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View Full Version : Can I make a Primer "toy gun"?


cyrus
06-22-2010, 8:04 AM
Can I make a Primer "toy gun"? I want to take a small tube and put a primer and plastic Air Soft bb in it. No gun powered just the primer, like a cap gun. Can I do this?

383green
06-22-2010, 8:34 AM
I don't think there is a legal distinction between propulsion by primer + powder or by primer alone. So, you would still be making a firearm even though it doesn't use powder.

What I can't answer is whether it may be classified as an antique (i.e., muzzle-loader) gun or not, and whether it might run afoul of the zip gun law or not.

AJAX22
06-22-2010, 8:36 AM
There is a catagory of firearm that is very similar called 'parlor pistols'

which propelled small lead shot using just a primer.

they were used indoors for recreational target shooting in social situations.

Glock22Fan
06-22-2010, 8:41 AM
You can also get rubber bullets in normal calibers powered by primers. I have seen them in one of the CDT or similar catelogs. Apparently they can still bruise badly.

383green
06-22-2010, 8:42 AM
There is a catagory of firearm that is very similar called 'parlor pistols'

which propelled small lead shot using just a primer.

they were used indoors for recreational target shooting in social situations.

There are some modern reproductions of those (in both pistol and rifle forms) made by Pedersoli that use 209 primers instead of percussion caps. If I'm not mistaken, they fall under the same legal classification as muzzle-loading guns. Cabela's carries them on their web page.

Does anybody know whether the zip gun law may apply to what the OP wants to build?

AJAX22
06-22-2010, 8:43 AM
zip gun laws do not apply if it is a copy of a type of gun made by a major manufacturer.

Also, if it is a non gun, then it isn't a zip gun by any deffinition as it would require fixed cartridges to be classified as such.

383green
06-22-2010, 8:47 AM
You can also get rubber bullets in normal calibers powered by primers. I have seen them in one of the CDT or similar catelogs. Apparently they can still bruise badly.

Midway carries them. Speer makes plastic ones in .38, .44 and .45 calibers, and there's another company (X-Ring?) that makes rubber ones.

I can neither confirm nor deny that a 12ga shotgun shell, with the crimp cut away, the powder and shot removed, and the plastic shot cup returned to the primed hull, can bounce said shot cup off a piece of cardboard with surprising force. I can also neither confirm nor deny that putting some airsoft pellets in the shot cup with a cardboard disc over them to keep them in the hull has the expected effect, but that the shot cup often remains in the barrel. :whistling:

AJAX22
06-22-2010, 8:48 AM
Midway carries them. Speer makes plastic ones in .38, .44 and .45 calibers, and there's another company (X-Ring?) that makes rubber ones.

I can neither confirm nor deny that a 12ga shotgun shell, with the crimp cut away, the powder and shot removed, and the plastic shot cup returned to the primed hull, can bounce said shot cup off a piece of cardboard with surprising force. I can also neither confirm nor deny that putting some airsoft pellets in the shot cup with a cardboard disc over them to keep them in the hull has the expected effect, but that the shot cup often remains in the barrel. :whistling:

I know of at least one individual who used cardboard wads and airsoft pellets to reload shotgunshells... then actually played in an airsoft game until they figured out he had a real gun

fun times.

383green
06-22-2010, 8:52 AM
I know of at least one individual who used cardboard wads and airsoft pellets to reload shotgunshells... then actually played in an airsoft game until they figured out he had a real gun

fun times.

That individual sounds like a rascal. ;)

cyrus
06-22-2010, 2:00 PM
uhh... so legal or not.

How about it I use muzzle loader caps?

stitchnicklas
06-22-2010, 3:30 PM
i would not do it,it seems to be a zip gun type and leo would most likely look at it that way.then you would lose your guns while they investigate and so on ..etc etc..

if you want a new toy got buy one and stay out of jail i say..:cool:

cyrus
06-22-2010, 9:37 PM
Call cabelas about the D209 version you can buy from them. They said it was pellet gun and can ship that pistol to CA no FFL.

FirstFlight
06-23-2010, 1:36 PM
Are Cap Guns still legal? I don't see or hear about them anymore. Or is it that there is no market for them because PC parents don't buy them for the kids anymore. I can remember (granted, a long time ago) when every self respecting kid wouldn't be caught dead without a Cap Gun in their pocket.

bwiese
06-23-2010, 2:28 PM
Be careful in this general area.

There have been folks popped for shooting primed cases in their basement from regular guns.

383green
06-23-2010, 4:21 PM
There have been folks popped for shooting primed cases in their basement from regular guns.

This is good to know. Would any of these cases have involved use of plastic/rubber/wax bullets for indoor practice use?

As I understand it, a primed case which launches a projectile is no different than a fully loaded case with respect to firearm discharge laws. Even if there's no powder, a projectile is still being launched by expanding gasses from combustion.

In my amateur opinion, one of those primer-powered guns would not be legally equivalent to a pellet gun. Since it doesn't fire fixed ammunition, it would be in the same category as black powder muzzle-loading pistols (that is, an antique or a replica of one). I believe that Cabela's is correct that they can ship it right to your door without going through an FFL, but I think they're mistaken about it being a pellet gun. Firing it at home may fall into the same legal category as discharging a firearm.

I seem to recall that ATF at one time tried to claim that modern muzzle-loaders (in particular, the inline rifles that are primed with a 209 primer) are not antique weapons, since they are not direct copies of configurations that existed in olden times. Does anybody know whether they made that stick? I suspect they didn't, since I still see inlines offered for sale from vendors like Cabela's and Midway. I think that the 209-powered guns that Cabela's carries would compare to original percussion-cap-powered parlor guns in much the same way that inline muzzle-loaders compare to original percussion cap muzzle-loaders.

bwiese
06-23-2010, 4:44 PM
This is good to know. Would any of these cases have involved use of plastic/rubber/wax bullets for indoor practice use?

Dunno, and somewhat irrelevant - discharge of a firearm within city limits.

CHS
06-23-2010, 6:28 PM
zip gun laws do not apply if it is a copy of a type of gun made by a major manufacturer.

Zip gun laws don't apply at all unless it's a Title 2 firearm.

So you are free to invent your own Title 1 design.

jamesob
06-23-2010, 7:33 PM
buy a starter pistol.

cyrus
06-25-2010, 1:28 PM
What is a title 2 gun?

I saw a black power gun which uses brass primers and it is that exact idea just no power. And making sure to use no case of course.

CHS
06-25-2010, 1:53 PM
What is a title 2 gun?


Regular guns that you buy at a place like Turners or Big 5 are Title 1 guns.

Rifles, shotguns, handguns, etc.

Title 2 guns are guns and other things that are controlled by the NFA. Machineguns, short barreled rifles, and even includes things like silencers/suppressors.

The guns that the zip gun law was designed to enforce would be what most consider "AOW's", or "Any other weapon". Pen guns, smoothbore pistols, cane guns, are all AOW's. AOW's are also NFA/Title 2 firearms.

vantec08
06-25-2010, 2:54 PM
A friend would take primered .38 shells, stick the open end in a small disc of parafin to make a plug-bullet, and target shoot in his garage. We got to questioning it so he called DOJ anonymously and they said its a no-no. But then breathing without a permit is no-no to the state. Anyway, he decided not to push his luck.

CSACANNONEER
06-25-2010, 3:06 PM
It sounds perfectly legal to me. But, you would be manufacturing a firearm for personal use. It would not be a "toy" at all. What you are describing is a firearm by any and every legal definition of "firearm" that I have ever seen.

orangeusa
06-25-2010, 3:25 PM
My uncle almost lost an eye messing around with a primer. So, might want to stay away from firearms manufacturing (whole nother legal hurdle) and zip guns....

OFF TOPIC: But was reading ATF literature, and they have a section on POTATO GUNS!!! :)

.

Munk
06-25-2010, 10:02 PM
First-off, like the others say, it definitely reeks of "Firearm". You have explosive propellant firing a projectile in a manner that's similar to a cap and ball muzzleloader.

Also, primers still pack a noticeable amount of propellant. You can purchase 22LR that are powderless ( "sans poudre" on the box). Same brass, same lead, just has no powder. These still pack enough punch to go into wood (just not very far), which means they can still severely injure something soft and squishy... like a person.

Imagine the extra kick provided by a muzzle loader's cap, or a 209. If you use a lighter projectile (like your Airsoft), you will get some decent speed out of it which is probably on-par with a gaspowered airsoft gun that's been turned up too high.