View Full Version : M1 Bazooka replica legality question
November 1, 2010, 06:50 PM
I have been wanting to build a replica M1 Bazooka for a while now [for WWII reenactment]. When I started to get serious I ran into several problems with the legality of the build. I want to build a replica M1 bazooka that will fire an inert M6 Model Rocket.
The problem is that if I add a functioning trigger to the replica it is an NFA weapon and that's not what I need.
I was wondering if I could just build the launcher without a trigger [so it would just be a fancy tube with a stock and handles] and fire the model rockets using a step activated model rocket launch controller like the ones you find at hobby stores.
Would that be legal? The launch controller that would usually launch the model rocket from the launch stand would still be used to launch the rocket, and the tube would act as a new launch stand/guide rod. The launch controller and the tube would be two separate devices and would never be physically attached.
November 4, 2010, 09:00 PM
The trigger isn't just literally a trigger. If it's a smoothbore tube over .50 that fires a projectile, you have an NFA item. Period. :(
November 5, 2010, 12:01 AM
Check into the legalities through ATF for getting the forms filled out for it and do it right, otherwise plan on an extended vacation in Club Fed.
When you do get it all approved and built we'd love to see video!
December 10, 2010, 04:49 PM
If it's a smoothbore tube over .50 that fires a projectile, you have an NFA item.
I think that would not hold true if the projectile is a model rocket propelled by a solid fuel rocket engine, not gunpowder.
What do you think?
December 10, 2010, 05:58 PM
Maybe look into having it propelled by some compressed gas of some sort, like a spud gun. Then it's not even classified as a firearm and you don't have to deal with the ATF ( as long as the projectile doesn't explode)
December 10, 2010, 07:17 PM
You could make the projectile from a plastic foam material, that would be light enough. Compressed air/gas from a paint ball gun should work OK, or use spring power.
December 10, 2010, 09:14 PM
Request, in writing, a ruling from ATF.
December 10, 2010, 09:42 PM
... will you be firing the "launcher?"
December 11, 2010, 12:34 PM
And get it in writing!
The last I knew (and this is decades old, so it may have changed) the launcher is not an NFA weapon.
If it's a smoothbore tube over .50 that fires a projectile, you have an NFA item. Period
I don't think this is correct. Lots of 12ga shotguns out there that aren't!
What the ATF did back in the 1970s, (which was the last time I checked), was that they didn't consider the launcher tubes to be NFA weapons. The same went for actual artillery pieces.
Each individual round of ammo was NFA registered! Because they contain explosives. Practice rounds, with inert projectiles, were not registered.
I have seen lots of LAW tubes for sale, and once in a while bazooka type launchers, although I haven't paid much attention to them, not my thing, really.
Check with the ATF, in these matters, their word is (unfortunately) law.
Until they change it. So, best thing is get something in writing. Don't take a phone conversation with some "agent" in an office as valid. IT may be, but then again.....
Kind of like taxes, if the IRS tells you something, and it turns out to be wrong, you are still responsible!:mad:
December 12, 2010, 11:30 PM
That would definitely be a cool build if you can figure out how to do it legally, and safely. For all purposes I would suggest looking into the compressed air build... but the simple fact I have personally seen model rocket engines go catastrophically wrong... and would not be a great thing to fire off your shoulder.
If you ever do build one... as others said.. please post the final project.:)
December 13, 2010, 12:43 AM
There are only about a half dozen people who post here that know anything about NFA law. And a hundred that want to guess...
When in doubt get a letter from the department of A(lways) T(hink) F(orfeture).
The clowns online will lead you wrong. Ask the folks that will put you in jail what they are ok with with this week...
December 15, 2010, 09:24 PM
over .50 smooth bore is nfa ? so my spud gun is class 3 ? awesome ! btw the potato guns work great off map gas !
December 18, 2010, 10:43 PM
I suppose I should've been more precise, due to the piles of online folks who will take things out of context, put words in my mouth, etc. ;)
Shotguns would be NFA if they weren't exempted for sporting purposes. Airguns don't count as NFA, and "spud guns", well, they seem to vary from letter to letter, state to state.
If you have a tube that is going to be used to fire a projectile, that is smooth bore, that is over .50", that is a firearm in any legal sense (using a burning propellant to project an object over distance), you have an NFA item in the large bore destructive device category. Doesn't really matter if you're "only" using model rocket motors (which is how actual AT rocket launchers essentially work...), doesn't really matter if it's "only" a toy, in a pure legal sense it's within the NFA.
(There, is that more precise?)
Frankly, if you don't believe me, you can ask the NFA tech branch, or you can read the law, or you can look at existing examples. To be NFA compliant, tubes are either registered and sold as DDs, or they are rendered compliant by being "demilled" to whatever specs the BATFE is currently happy with.
By the by, if you go by the thinking that if there's no explosive projectile it's not NFA, why in the world are 40mm grenade launchers required to be registered? Why are mortars required to be registered? ;)
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