View Full Version : USFA 12/22 Revolver Legal In CA?

roughing it
04-20-2010, 8:23 AM
The USFA 12/22 revolver has a 12 round cylinder capacity so does this come under the 10 magazine capacity limit? USFA advised me in an email that they are selling this 22 cal revolver in CA but was wondering if DOJ has come out with a ruling on it? I guess the cylinder could be considered a tube feeding device which would exempt it. Anybody with any info?

04-20-2010, 9:24 AM
Jeezus kee-rist, no it's not legal - due to the cylinder.

I'll have to give USFA a call.

While this neat little wheelgun is Roster-exempt due to 12133PC dimensionally-compliant single-action status, the 12rd cylinder is a "large-capacity ammunition feeding device" and does not fall under the "cowboy exemption" for tube 22/lever-actionguns.
PC 12020(c)(25): As used in this section, "large-capacity magazine" means any ammunition
feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, but shall not be construed
to include any of the following:(A) A feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it
cannot accommodate more than 10 rounds.

(B) A .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device.

(C) A tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.

If the cylinder had two dead spots (i.e., undrilled or 'permanently' filled in) then it would be legal (and still Roster-exempt).

04-20-2010, 10:15 AM
Ummm, a revolver cylinder isn't a feeding device though. It's the chamber that is inherent to functioning of the gun.

04-20-2010, 11:15 AM
Ummm, a revolver cylinder isn't a feeding device though. It's the chamber that is inherent to functioning of the gun.

I really do think the cylinder would be considered a feeding device in court unless a lotta expensive handwaving were taking place.

Your argument does have some merit however - esp if it were an 11-shot cylinder. Only one of the holes is the active chamber, the rest are storage/feed.

roughing it
04-20-2010, 12:06 PM
Copy of the email USFA sent to me in response to my question as to whether the 12/22 is legal to sell in CA:

We have been selling the 12/22 in California.

US Fire Arms Mfg. Co.
100% American Made

445-453 Ledyard St.
Hartford, CT 06114

04-20-2010, 12:19 PM
Copy of the email USFA sent to me in response to my question as to whether the 12/22 is legal to sell in CA:

We have been selling the 12/22 in California.

US Fire Arms Mfg. Co.
100% American Made

As much as Bwiese's opinion and mine may differ, THAT does not make the gun legal.

If they can't articulate how and why they believe that that firearm is legal for sale into California, based on input from their lawyers, then they shouldn't be selling them.

While I too believe they are legal, I am also not a lawyer.

04-20-2010, 12:51 PM
I have heard that FFLs are exempt from the prohibition against selling a hi-cap magazine, but I'm not sure if that is really the case (I am almost certain I heard it here; someone please confirm what is actually the case). If this is so, wouldn't it essentially be a moot issue if you were buying the gun from a dealer?

I do think, though, that the cylinder of a revolving weapon isn't really an ammo feeding device, but simply a revolving series of chambers. Our laws here are so messed up. We shouldn;t even have to be debating minutiae like this.

04-20-2010, 12:58 PM

Hey Bill/Gene... This could be a really cool case for the CGF.

Here we have a handgun, which is perfectly legal to import and sell by FFL's who hold Hi-cap permits to LEO's, but cannot be re-sold to anyone else.

At least with existing roster issues an LEO can always sell an off-roster pistol to someone else.

Also, non-LEO would not be able to legally import these, but they could be kept by people who had them before 2000 (but they didn't exist).

What a weird case. If they truly are a hi-cap mag.

I still think a cylinder for a revolver is not a magazine as defined by the laws. It's simply a revolving chamber vital to the function of the gun.

04-20-2010, 1:18 PM
Given that there are exemptions for three specific entities - but not this particular one - one can see an exclusio unius-style situation: that it wasn't exempted specifically means that it (and all other devices not described by these exemptions) were not intended to be exempted either.

That of course assumes the device in question is a "large capacity ammunition feeding device"; the concerns others speak of here do have some validity, but (1) we don't have regulatory or other statutory definitions narrowing/clarifying; (2) the fact it holds ammo in the gun could well be regarded as analagous to a magazine. ["Feed" could be interpreted to cover the fired round being fed into the barrel.] Again, I think some argument could be made that the "chamber" could be regarded as the one as in line with bore, with the 11 other ones being "in storage", with "feed" being interpreted as "rotated into position".

This might be defendable in the sense that detailed technical arguments and a lack of knowledge might, in a busy DA office, result in a no-file. Also, we've seen, in a political sense, that revolvers have much less "politics" about them than semiauto pistols (i.e., lack of microstamping, no SB489 mandated safeties, no transfer bar safety required, etc.) - so much so that it appears certain DOJ staff mistakenly allowed LEOs to DROS Taurus Judges without thinking of the other consequences.

But there's also substantial risk of a bad judge in a busy court going "sideways". And this is potentially not a misdemeanor Roster issue.

Users of old revolvers - esp single-action percussion conversions like the Remington 185X variety - did in fact use loaded replacement cylinders as replacement "magazines" for rapid reloading. Brownell's catalog has 2 or three - Kirsch is the brand I remember for Ruger Old Army centerfire conversions.

We also have the issue that S/A revolver cylinders are readily removeable and replaceable by movement of latch and base pin. I've heard in past that some diehard S/A wheelgun devotees do carry spare loaded cylinders (appropriately tested for bore-alignment). I do also note that Ruger S/A revolver manuals caution against carrying ammo in cylinders due to risk of what I'll call "contained & directed discharge".

And while movies should never be relied upon for accuracy in gun matters, there's enough of these situations embedded in peoples' minds that some traction is probably out there that cylinders can be replaceable reloading entities - Clint the Preacher vs. The Marshal at the end of Pale Rider is illustrative.

DOJ has curried favor with the cowboy shooting guys before - in part as an effort to not look so anti-gun. It would not surprise me if they even issued a letter saying this gun was legal - if so, and if USFA has one, that's great. Case closed - if a reasonably high up issuer (i.e, not-a-phone-clerk) like Alison, Iggy, Rossi, Cid, Brett George, signed off.

But for various staff reasons right now I'd not expect any new letters on even trivial non-AW non-heavily-political matters to be issued other than vague comments by "phone staff".

While this matter is "interesting" it's a real "outlier" matter. There are far better ways of relaxing hicap mag issues in CA and matters are underway (and it doesn't even involve an armored car co.)

11-26-2011, 11:31 PM

Anything ever happen with this?
Like maybe getting the DOJ to say anything? (wishful thinking).

This post about the same gun from a different thread is from 2008, but still funny.
I love it. The single action hi-cap "assault revolver".

Stupid California laws...


11-27-2011, 8:09 AM
I don't recall reading a resolution to this particular issue (I had asked about it earlier as well). Fundamentally it is just too small a "target" with very little benefit outside trying to make this *very* cool revolver ownable in CA.

11-27-2011, 1:20 PM
Didn't Heller involve a 12-shot revolver ?

11-27-2011, 6:03 PM
Didn't Heller involve a 12-shot revolver ?

twas a 9-shot revolver.