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  #1  
Old 08-13-2019, 11:10 AM
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Default Legality of building/designing a new rifle

Was just wondering if one could legally design and build a rifle that was not short, not full or semi-automatic, etc.

Obviously this would not be made for sale.

This would basically be a project that I wanted to try.
Legal or not?
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:15 AM
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I'd move to Texas before I started a project like that in this state.

I think you need more thought on exactly how this rifle would operate. Muzzle loader, breech, loose components, cartridge, propellent types??
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:27 PM
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Like a bolt-action rifle? Sure that’s legal, just follow normal steps and ask for a S/N as you would an 80% build.

With a good metal shop, a single-shot action would be simple; I remember seeing sheet metal drawings of rifles like the Cobra derringer kits that you used to see in magazines.
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Old 08-13-2019, 1:11 PM
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Thank you both.
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Old 08-13-2019, 1:46 PM
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apply FOR SERIAL NUMBER AND GO FOR IT.
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Old 08-13-2019, 1:54 PM
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Make sure that you understand California's "Zip Gun" statute and that you comply with it.

The common understanding of a "Zip Gun" is a crudely made improvised firearm, but the law is actually quite different.

Here is the full text of the statutes:

Zip Gun Defined (PC 17360) - "As used in this part, “zip gun” means any weapon or device that meets all of the following criteria:

(a) It was not imported as a firearm by an importer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.

(b) It was not originally designed to be a firearm by a manufacturer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.

(c) No tax was paid on the weapon or device nor was an exemption from paying tax on that weapon or device granted under Section 4181 and Subchapters F (commencing with Section 4216) and G (commencing with Section 4221) of Chapter 32 of Title 26 of the United States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.

(d) It is made or altered to expel a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion."


Manufacture or Possession of a Zip Gun a felony (PC 33600) - "Except as provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, any person in this state who manufactures or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or possesses any zip gun is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170."
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Old 08-13-2019, 3:18 PM
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So under this statue I wouldnt be able to legally build one? How did this not apply to 80% builds?
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Old 08-13-2019, 3:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MosinVirus View Post
So under this statue I wouldnt be able to legally build one? How did this not apply to 80% builds?
I think “b” justifies you, since your intention is to build a firearm... that’s the way I read it...
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Old 08-13-2019, 3:38 PM
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80% builds are copies of existing firearms that have been licensed.
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Old 08-13-2019, 4:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MosinVirus View Post
Was just wondering if one could legally design and build a rifle that was not short, not full or semi-automatic, etc.

Obviously this would not be made for sale.

This would basically be a project that I wanted to try.
Legal or not?
As long as it's not an assault weapon, semi-auto handgun, SBR, Machine Gun, Zip Gun, AOW or any other prohibited gun, all you need to do is apply for a serial number and then engrave the serial number that the state issues you.

It's all here:
https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/usna
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Old 08-13-2019, 4:40 PM
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Understood. Thank you
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Old 08-13-2019, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldmandan View Post
I think “b” justifies you, since your intention is to build a firearm... that’s the way I read it...
(b) applies to guns designed by licensed manufacturers, not unlicensed manufacturers.

Basically CA zip gun law says if you are not making a firearm from a pattern designed by a licensed manufacturer, and you are not a licensed manufacturer, then you are making a zip gun. Stupid law of course, but also par for the course here. CA does not want unlicensed people making new gun inventions. You can think about it, draw it, digitally model it, but apparently not make it unless you are 07 FFL.
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Last edited by SkyHawk; 08-13-2019 at 4:56 PM..
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