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paradox
04-27-2007, 2:00 PM
Scarecrow Repairís dream of a blackpowder upper for an AR has got me thinking...

Suppose:
* there was such a creature, a black powder upper that would mount to a standard AR lower and use the standard fire control group.
* the company selling them sells complete rifles in addition to uppers.
* the lower receivers for said complete rifles are made in-house from raw forgings or billet.


Now, would it be legal for them to sell said blackpowder AR cash and carry without going through an FFL just like you would for any other blackpowder rifle? Would the rifles need to each have a serial number?

Scarecrow Repair
04-27-2007, 2:40 PM
If that is true, it would be a loophole my carrier could barge on through. Wholly criminy!

I like the way you think.

tgriffin
04-27-2007, 2:46 PM
oh man the there are going to be some officals with the intials F.A.T & F.O.B(not necessarily in that order ;) ) at your door if that sort of shenanigans were tried. I love the idea, and I dont think its illegal, but they will crucify you or barkrupt you trying.

Scarecrow Repair
04-27-2007, 3:04 PM
I posted a new thread on wondering exactly how black powder muzzle loaders fit into tings legally, and I wonder ... If black powder muzzle loaders are cash and carry because they are replicas, then modern black powder muzzle loaders, such as the inline models for actual hunting, might still require DROS and ten day wait and need serial numbers. If this is so, then presumably the AR-15 complete muzzle loading rifle would be no different and would require a serial number.

sierratangofoxtrotunion
04-27-2007, 3:52 PM
I'm not sure. My felon friend (the felony was bs btw) was able to buy a black powder pistol without any trouble.

xenophobe
04-27-2007, 5:09 PM
Scarecrow Repairís dream of a blackpowder upper for an AR has got me thinking...

Suppose:
* there was such a creature, a black powder upper that would mount to a standard AR lower and use the standard fire control group.
* the company selling them sells complete rifles in addition to uppers.
* the lower receivers for said complete rifles are made in-house from raw forgings or billet.


Now, would it be legal for them to sell said blackpowder AR cash and carry without going through an FFL just like you would for any other blackpowder rifle? Would the rifles need to each have a serial number?

Wow... that's going into undecided territory. If the AR lower had a magazine well that was functional, I highly doubt putting a black powder upper on it would make it exempt from transfer...

More info on the configuration of the lower is necessary...

paradox
04-27-2007, 5:32 PM
Wow... that's going into undecided territory. If the AR lower had a magazine well that was functional, I highly doubt putting a black powder upper on it would make it exempt from transfer...


Why would the magwell matter? The rifle itself isn't a "centerfire rifle" therefore magwell openness and evil features don’t apply until the owner modifies the rifle.

How is this any different than CWS sending in an AK without evil features or a detachable-magazine .22lr AR? It's still up to the customer not to change things such that the law is broken.

Alan Block
04-27-2007, 5:33 PM
There are conversion cylinders for cap&ball revolvers to use modern cartriges. Ask the cowboy shooters what is required to install one of those.

Scarecrow Repair
04-27-2007, 8:14 PM
There are conversion cylinders for cap&ball revolvers to use modern cartriges. Ask the cowboy shooters what is required to install one of those.

I am not a cowboy shooter, but I did look into these. The ones I saw were not what I expected. You did not end up with anything close to a "modern" cartridge cylinder which could be loaded either one at a time or swinging out to load all at once. You had to remove the cylinder from the revolver, unscrew a lid on the back, empty the spent cases, load new cartridges, screw the rear lid back on, and put the cylinder back in the revolver.

There may be others, but these cost more than the cap and ball revolver itself ($225 vs $200).

383green
04-27-2007, 8:24 PM
This is a very interesting idea, and it brings up another related legal question: If some of us offer in advance to chip in a hundred bucks towards the legal fund for whoever tries this first, then could we be charged as co-conspirators? :eek:

hoffmang
04-27-2007, 8:49 PM
383,

Co-conspirator charges are not likely to apply.

A black powder rifle is a black powder rifle. There isn't constructive possession of a rifle that's not a machine gun.

I beleive this would stand scrutiny under federal and California law. BATFE would be VERY UNHAPPY and try to stop the sales of these without serial numbers, but its a black powder rifle. I think US v. Thomspon/Center Arms would be the case that would apply, and this isn't a rifle:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-0164.ZO.html

-Gene

383green
04-27-2007, 8:53 PM
I was under the impression that there was uncertainty about whether modern black powder designs (such as inline rifles) are considered non-firearms like traditional black-powder designs.

hoffmang
04-27-2007, 10:15 PM
383,

Call you local ATF office and ask. It seems to be that the conventional wisdom (which could be wrong) is that black powder loaded rifles and handguns aren't firearms under Federal or California Law.

-Gene

383green
04-27-2007, 10:25 PM
Hey, I'm not volunteering to be the test case here. My gut feeling is that trying this would be just begging for trouble. It should be legal, but then the 2A should apply in CA.

hoffmang
04-27-2007, 10:33 PM
You don't have to be a test case to just call the BATF and ask.

-Gene

ARRRR-15
04-27-2007, 10:45 PM
Say it was legal and you go buy your black powder rifle with lower. Would you be able to put a .223 upper on legally, or would have to keep it as black powder only?

hoffmang
04-27-2007, 10:56 PM
ARRRRR-15,

That is just a very interesting unknown area. If the lower is unsearilized because its not a firearm due to its blackpowder status - adding a .223 upper may be private manufacture of a firearm. However, that's allowed. That also is a really weird version of the 80% frame mess...

-Gene

xenophobe
04-27-2007, 11:05 PM
Why would the magwell matter? The rifle itself isn't a "centerfire rifle" therefore magwell openness and evil features donít apply until the owner modifies the rifle.

See, the primary design of half of the gun would be to accommodate a modern centerfire rifle upper without modification.

Make a barrel for a 1911 that is muzzle loading and you should be fine as well.

Constructive possession would not be an issue, but an intent to circumvent the law by altering a firearm to bypass laws so that it may be quickly modified to fire a modern centerfire cartridge would be something the ATF would not like.

From all that I understand is that it would be legal.

All it would take is an ATF ruling that even though it's currently a black powder firearm, that it is designed to fire a centerfire cartridge regardless of it's current configuration and would still be considered a firearm in that respect.

Absolutely this is asking for trouble, and the ATF would put their foot down rather quickly, but currently you're right. It should be legal.

hoffmang
04-27-2007, 11:26 PM
This is one of those things that you can ask for a ruling on from ATF. I think they'll be hard pressed to make the argument that you rightly outline them wanting to make.

The only place that sort of argument has held any water is on machine guns. Otherwise, every rifle is an SBR because the primary design of an m4gery is to accept a 14" barrel...

-Gene

tankerman
04-28-2007, 6:57 AM
You get enough noxious gas in your face using smokeless powder with an AR. Need a half mask respirator and goggles to shoot the thing and boy I bet you could shoot maybe 2 or 3 rounds before needing to clean the whole gun.

paradox
04-28-2007, 8:02 AM
You get enough noxious gas in your face using smokeless powder with an AR. Need a half mask respirator and goggles to shoot the thing and boy I bet you could shoot maybe 2 or 3 rounds before needing to clean the whole gun.


Ah, but the chamber and barrel are strong enough to use smokeless powder just like the Savage ML-II:

http://www.savagearms.com/muzzleloader_home.htm
Call it innovation...call it thinking out of the box...at Savage, we call it listening to the needs of the hunter. That's why we developed the world's first smokeless powder muzzleloader. The 10ML-II's barrel and hardened breech plug are designed to safely contain the pressures from shooting smokeless. And, since smokeless powders are non-corrosive, the 10ML-II is a muzzleloader hunter's dream come true--clean it next week or next month--you decide.

383green
04-28-2007, 9:54 AM
As I recall, the previous group thinking was that building up an 80% AR lower could be dangerous, as it was unclear whether Harrott would offer suitable protection against home-made guns, as opposed to commercially-manufactured guns offered to the mass marketplace. Has this thinking changed?

If not, then would "manufacturing" an off-list AR out of a muzzle-loading non-gun be any different?

I'm not trying to argue either way here; I'm just trying to get all of the interesting implications into the discussion.

In any case, I have a very hard time wrapping my brain around this not being a sure way to get into legal trouble, even with letters from ATF, DOJ, etc. Even the mainstream OLLs have gotten some folks into hot water. "58 DA's" and all of that manure. That's why I've kept using the phrase "test case".

hoffmang
04-28-2007, 9:59 AM
Well, converting a black powder "AR" is a very different path to a semiautomatic centerfire rifle. In this case the black powder gun has a manufacturer which would be clearer under Harrot.

-Gene

383green
04-28-2007, 9:59 AM
Now here's a dumb question: Would a muzzle-loading black powder minigun that rips off all six barrels in sequence when the motor is energized be considered an NFA weapon or a non-gun? :eek:

383green
04-28-2007, 10:03 AM
Well, converting a black powder "AR" is a very different path to a semiautomatic centerfire rifle. In this case the black powder gun has a manufacturer which would be clearer under Harrot.

-Gene

Maybe the hypothetical manufacturer would stay on safer ground by making their lower not accept a regular AR upper without modification. Say, by having some projection sticking up to interfere with the bolt carrier, and/or a web of metal left in the magwell area. Thus, manufacturing an AR out of it would require a visit to Mr. Bridgeport (or even Mr. Dremel), not just pushing out a couple of pins.

dychen
04-28-2007, 11:25 AM
I like the thinking on this, how about it for the BP-15 :D

Scarecrow Repair
04-28-2007, 5:26 PM
You get enough noxious gas in your face using smokeless powder with an AR. Need a half mask respirator and goggles to shoot the thing and boy I bet you could shoot maybe 2 or 3 rounds before needing to clean the whole gun.

A black powder muzzle loading (so to speak) revolver gets dirty because it is a revolver. A black powder muzzle loading pistol or rifle only gets dirty around the caplock and inside the barrel. It does not have an open breech, and there would be no gas tube to tunnel black powder into the action. It will get no dirtier than any other black powder muzzle loading pistol or rifle, and certainly nowhere near the revolver.

Scarecrow Repair
04-28-2007, 5:28 PM
I like the thinking on this, how about it for the BP-15 :D

I was trying to figure out how to get BARP-15 or even BRAP-15, but just can't make it nohow. BPAR or ARBP just doesn't cut it. Maybe the key is to concentrate on the ML and figure it could be either BP or smokeless. MLAR? no. ARML? A bit too close to that other (non-muzzle loading) company.

Scarecrow Repair
04-28-2007, 5:36 PM
I spent an hour or two at the Woodland Scottish Games today yakking with some reenactors, and Montrose's Army (http://home.earthlink.net/~dgshinn/montrose.html) is interesting. They are more interested in matchlock, wheellock, doglock, etc, than flintlocks, but they are in Sacramento, only an hour from home, and they make their own parts, since there isn't much of a market for replica wheellocks ... they purchase factory barrels but do pretty much everything else by themselves. I wonder if they will be interested in this idea ...

At any rate, I learned a ton about flintlocks and black powder, very practical stuff. If any one wants to learn about black powder, especially flintlocks and earlier, I recommend any Scottish Games, probably the Pleasanton ones on Labor Day weekend are the biggest ion northern CA. I could have spent hours with them alone, but there were bagpipes to hear and bangers to digest.

383green
04-28-2007, 6:41 PM
I was trying to figure out how to get BARP-15 or even BRAP-15, but just can't make it nohow.


Blackpowder AR, Percussion?

Black Rifle, AR Pretender?

How about Blackpowder AR, Flintlock? :D

tankerman
04-28-2007, 8:02 PM
A black powder muzzle loading (so to speak) revolver gets dirty because it is a revolver. A black powder muzzle loading pistol or rifle only gets dirty around the caplock and inside the barrel. It does not have an open breech, and there would be no gas tube to tunnel black powder into the action. It will get no dirtier than any other black powder muzzle loading pistol or rifle, and certainly nowhere near the revolver.
Except that it is a small caliber so any build up will quickly increase pressure. Build up in the barrel would not be good with a hole that small.

paradox
04-28-2007, 8:15 PM
Except that it is a small caliber so any build up will quickly increase pressure. Build up in the barrel would not be good with a hole that small.

Who says it has to be a small caliber?

Scarecrow Repair
04-28-2007, 8:16 PM
Except that it is a small caliber so any build up will quickly increase pressure. Build up in the barrel would not be good with a hole that small.

Have you not been paying attention? This would use an existing muzzle loading black powder barrel. I was thinking .54 caliber because I don't already have it, but it could be anything, from .75 caliber down. No one said anything about .223, if that is what you mean by "small hole".

James R.
04-28-2007, 9:29 PM
See, the primary design of half of the gun would be to accommodate a modern centerfire rifle upper without modification.

Make a barrel for a 1911 that is muzzle loading and you should be fine as well.

Constructive possession would not be an issue, but an intent to circumvent the law by altering a firearm to bypass laws so that it may be quickly modified to fire a modern centerfire cartridge would be something the ATF would not like.

From all that I understand is that it would be legal.

All it would take is an ATF ruling that even though it's currently a black powder firearm, that it is designed to fire a centerfire cartridge regardless of it's current configuration and would still be considered a firearm in that respect?

Absolutely this is asking for trouble, and the ATF would put their foot down rather quickly, but currently you're right. It should be legal.

Actually along that line of reasoning wasn't one of the makers of inline rifles asked by the BATFE to modify the breech plug design or some such because they felt it would be too easy to convert the rifle to fire centerfire cartridges?

Sorry I don't remember the specifics of the rifle. I think it was a blackpowder gun with bolt action type setup for the firing cap and a plug that unscrews like most black powder guns. But something about it made it too close to another model or too easy to modify to be a normal firearm and the BATFE balked.

Regards,

James R.

TKM
04-29-2007, 1:50 AM
Front
Accessible
Rifling
To
Keep
Names
Off of
California's
Kommittee for
Eventual
Re-education

Say it now, say it loud.....

xenophobe
04-29-2007, 5:38 AM
Actually along that line of reasoning wasn't one of the makers of inline rifles asked by the BATFE to modify the breech plug design or some such because they felt it would be too easy to convert the rifle to fire centerfire cartridges?

Sorry, my knowledge of black powder firearms is really limited... I can tell a black powder Colt frame from a SAA, and I can look at antique rifles and tell you if they are genuine or reproduction, and if they've been dicked with... and I can identify a few Civil War era carbines by name... other than that I know nothing. lol

Tmac
04-29-2007, 9:33 AM
It's been done.

www.tromix.com

http://www.tromix.com/2002/2002_images/muzzl2b.jpg

OldWestGambler
04-29-2007, 9:36 AM
I'm not sure. My felon friend (the felony was bs btw) was able to buy a black powder pistol without any trouble.

I could be wrong, but felons aren't to have any firearms, correct? If that's the case, why would he want firearms with a felony on his record? Risk vs. reward doesn't seem worth it.

FatKatMatt
04-29-2007, 9:43 AM
I don't think it will work; I wanted to buy a Thompson Encore with the muzzleloading barrel so I could skirt the 10 day wait, but those were considered firearms since you could convert them to centerfire. The same thing probably applies here.

paradox
04-29-2007, 10:14 AM
It's been done.

www.tromix.com

http://www.tromix.com/2002/2002_images/muzzl2b.jpg


That's cool! Too bad Tony didn't post any details, only a pic. :(

Scarecrow Repair
04-29-2007, 4:30 PM
That's cool! Too bad Tony didn't post any details, only a pic. :(

Hasn't answered email yet either :-(

Scarecrow Repair
05-05-2007, 8:28 PM
... some inexperienced blather about conversion cylinders for cap and ball revolvers ...

I went ahead and bought one from MidwayUSA for my 1858 Remington New Model Army .44. Works great and easier than I had thought. The rear lid simply comes off, no screws or even a friction fit; it is held in place by the revolver frame once installed. There is a guide pin. As for shooting, it's a lot cleaner than cap and ball, although it feels vaguely like cheating. It sprayed a lot of fragments, more than cap and ball, for me, but a friend didn't notice that. I bought several different cowboy loads at the same time, "Colt .45 Long" is the keyword I think.

Process is simple enough. Remove the cylinder from the revolver, pull off the top, use a screwdriver or pencil or dowel or probably even the ram rod lever to push out the spent cases (they will not fall out on their own), load new cartridges, put the lid back on, put it back in the revolver, bang bang bang! They warn in big red letters to not dry fire, but I don't see how you can avoid doing it at least once in a while, and I haven't broken mine yet. I don't see why dry fire should hurt it anyway; the pins would just hit air and stop at the same place as if they had hit a cartridge primer. Easier to clean, since with the lid off, you can run the brush all the way through. No need to clean chambers between loads, and the barrel might stay cleaner without the patch grease in each chanber on top of the balls.

Did cost as much as the revolver itself, $228 or so at MidwayUSA. But it would make it possible to have a home defense revolver without any kind of registration, since you can leave cartridges oaded for as long as you want, unlike cap and ball. Best not to need more than 5 shots, or six if you don't mind the hammer resting on a live round.