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Old August 1, 2011, 06:12 PM   #1
Rachen
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Legality of Cattleman 1858 carbine w/ Kirst cylinder and/or folding tactical stock

I am surprised that this has not been mentioned and discussed here at all, despite the popularity of the Uberti 1858 Cattleman revolving carbine.

I wanted to get a Cattleman carbine as a hunting/trails weapon because it is light and both .45 LC black powder loads as well as the cap and ball loads fired from this thing has about the same energy as a service 5.56 NATO round.

Also I like the idea of being able to use the same ammunition for both my longarms and sidearms.

As I understand, the conversion cylinder itself is not considered a firearm. Only when it is in the gun, then both items are technically firearms.

So if one installs a Kirst cylinder in a Cattleman 1858 carbine, would the carbine be considered an SBR for the duration the cylinder is in the gun? If I am at the range with said Kirst cylinder in the Cattleman shooting a bunch of .45LC handloads, could I be accused of possessing an untaxed NFA item (short barreled rifle)?

Also, I am a machinist and I wanted to build an extra stock for the Cattleman after I get it, a simple aluminum or steel M3A1 style stock that could be folded up when not in use so the carbine can fit in a backpack frog style holster. Because of the nature of this carbine, I also had thoughts of machining a simple grip/handguard that could be installed on the loading lever so your other hand can hold the front of the carbine without being exposed to the cylinder chambers.

What would be the legality of doing these things? I want to make sure that I do not break any laws. I wouldn't mind having to get a tax stamp for this thing since the utility and practicality of such an accurate, lightweight folding carbine is much needed when I am on the road or in the trails.

(PS Now I am sure there are some here who will say "Oh pshaw! Why don't you just get an AR or Microtech MSAR instead of going through all that hard work?" Truth is, I prefer the old smokers over anything that burns nitrocellulose, and I love machining projects to keep me from getting bored haha)

Thanks
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Last edited by Rachen; August 1, 2011 at 06:26 PM.
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Old August 1, 2011, 10:12 PM   #2
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The Cattleman Carbine has a both a barrel and an overall length that take it out of the SBR realm (which is <16" and <25"). As originally manufactured, the barrel is 18" and the overall length is 35".

You're on solid legal ground as far as the conversion cylinder goes. Of course, the "most solidest" ground would be a letter from the ATF.
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Old August 2, 2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
The Cattleman Carbine has a both a barrel and an overall length that take it out of the SBR realm (which is <16" and <25"). As originally manufactured, the barrel is 18" and the overall length is 35".
Wow! Good catch there Hardcase. I guess I need to read up a bit more on the NFA.

But it is excellent that the carbine was built within these specs. I did some pencil sketches last night, removing the original stock on the Cattleman, replacing the wood stock with a skeletal steel, submachine gun-style folding stock, along with a steel front-pistol grip that is mounted on the loading lever, which could also be folded out of the way under the barrel when not in use. I really liked how it turned out. The modified carbine has a distinct machine-type (think Terminator, Ghost Rider, etc..) look to it, but still handsome nonetheless.
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Old August 2, 2011, 11:42 PM   #4
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I think you're going to have a problem with the folding stock.
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Old August 3, 2011, 08:02 AM   #5
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The way I'm envisioning the pistol grip on the loading lever, you may be in for a surprise if you actually use it.
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Old August 3, 2011, 08:07 AM   #6
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Don't risk it. I am familiar with an ongoing case in which two issues are clearly not violations of NFA but convictions were obtained anyway. Want to talk appeals, etc.? OK, so you eventually win. But in the process you could lose everything you own. And, everything means everything.
Did I say "don't risk it"? Don't risk it.
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Old August 3, 2011, 08:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
I think you're going to have a problem with the folding stock.
Not from the ATF's perspective. The standard is to measure the rifle from one extreme to the other, that is, from the barrel to the end of the unfolded stock.

Rifleman1776 does have a very valid point, though - a fella can follow the law to the letter, but it's all for naught if it costs him ever penny to prove it.

It only costs a postage stamp to describe the configuration to the ATF and get a letter back saying that it's A-OK.

One other thing, though - some states measure the shortest length (stock folded, for example), so you do need to exercise care in that regard.
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Old August 3, 2011, 09:40 AM   #8
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Not from the ATF's perspective. The standard is to measure the rifle from one extreme to the other, that is, from the barrel to the end of the unfolded stock.
OK I thought it would be measured folded.
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Old August 3, 2011, 10:54 AM   #9
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This carbine is really strange...it is the only recent (replica) multi-shooter (6) weapon which is Free to Carry in France...provided you are 18+
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Old August 3, 2011, 01:18 PM   #10
Rachen
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Howdy pards,

I am going to take the advice here and first get a letter from the ATF about the configuration.

I have a second question though. If some states do measure using the folded weapon, I wouldn't mind machining a non-foldable stock. Either or, getting the federal tax stamp. It's price is less than a Kirst cylinder.

Quote:
The way I'm envisioning the pistol grip on the loading lever, you may be in for a surprise if you actually use it.
The pistol grip would be a separate machined block of aluminum or steel and attached by swivel to the "webbing" of the loading lever. So when the grip is not in use, it can be folded under the barrel. The loading lever itself is not the pistol grip lol

But if I do build a non-folding stock instead of getting the stamp, would the loading lever-mounted folding pistol grip be OK? Because in this case, the length of the carbine would be an original 35 inches, barrel 18 inches.

BTW, the NFA of 1935 and the GCA of 1968 are perhaps two of the most weirdest laws ever passed.
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Old August 3, 2011, 03:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
The pistol grip would be a separate machined block of aluminum or steel and attached by swivel to the "webbing" of the loading lever. So when the grip is not in use, it can be folded under the barrel. The loading lever itself is not the pistol grip
Any part of your anatomy that you put forward of the cylinder to hold the grip will get seriously burned by hot gasses coming from the barrel/cylinder gap. On a revolving carbine, you want both hands behind the cylinder.
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Old August 3, 2011, 03:45 PM   #12
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Has anybody shot a Rossi Circuit Judge? It's got a forearm. Any issues when shooting .45s?
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Old August 3, 2011, 10:51 PM   #13
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The Circuit Judge works- mine does.

It has two things going for it previous revolving carbines didn't, namely...

First, It uses cartridges, in which the chances of a chain fire...your chances are better at getting a shark bite in Arizona. Secondly, the guards on the yoke area channel the blast from the barrel/cylinder gap up and away from where the shooter's arm is placed when gripping the forearm.
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Old August 3, 2011, 10:56 PM   #14
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When I envisioned weak hand hand support for a C&B carbine, it involved attaching a downward extension attached to the trigger guard which is behind and below the cylinder.
Expensive target rifles have different designs of forestock support for the weak hand that aren't pistol grips but which are still ergonomic and come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

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Old August 3, 2011, 10:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
would the loading lever-mounted folding pistol grip be OK?
A lot of work for something you're only going to use once.
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Old August 3, 2011, 11:23 PM   #16
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maybe i'm not understanding the question, but, i have one of these in 45lc.
no legal issues to ownership. why would a conversion cylinder be any different?
http://www.ubertireplicas.com/revolver-revolvercar.php
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Old August 4, 2011, 04:43 AM   #17
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maybe i'm not understanding the question,
You're not.
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Old August 4, 2011, 09:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Griffith
Secondly, the guards on the yoke area channel the blast from the barrel/cylinder gap up and away from where the shooter's arm is placed when gripping the forearm.
That's what I was wondering about.
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Old August 4, 2011, 10:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
maybe i'm not understanding the question, but, i have one of these in 45lc.
no legal issues to ownership. why would a conversion cylinder be any different?
It's the folding stock I wanted to make for the Cattleman. I am aware that the SAA carbine has been out there for some time.

Also you guys brought up a good point. Even though with cartridges I am not going to get a chainfire, the barrel/cylinder gap is what I didn't think about. Another good catch there.
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Old August 4, 2011, 02:45 PM   #20
Rachen
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First, It uses cartridges, in which the chances of a chain fire...your chances are better at getting a shark bite in Arizona. Secondly, the guards on the yoke area channel the blast from the barrel/cylinder gap up and away from where the shooter's arm is placed when gripping the forearm.
Actually, it is not that hard at all to get a shark bite in Arizona. All I have to do is get the jaw assembly of a shark complete with teeth, mount it on a broomstick, then come over to Arizona and hit you with it. Voila! Shark bite

I have never heard of a Rossi Circuit Judge until this thread and I was checking out some videos on youtube. Wow, seems like someone out there did some reading into the Colt Root revolving rifle of 1855. Me personally, I don't see any practical use for the Circuit Judge or all of it's Judge variants made by Taurus maybe except breaking glass balls and clay birds for the crowds to go WOW! and hunting grouse or other small game.
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Old August 4, 2011, 04:20 PM   #21
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Well, here is a Russian tactical revolving shotgun with a folding stock...in 12ga no less. At least you can have some ideas.

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2...olver-shotgun/
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Old August 4, 2011, 04:39 PM   #22
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Go steampunk with it, brass fittings and such, then it's antique tacticool.
Sorry, seriously, sounds neat, would love to see pictures of it when done.
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Old August 4, 2011, 05:16 PM   #23
Rachen
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Quote:
Go steampunk with it, brass fittings and such, then it's antique tacticool.
Sorry, seriously, sounds neat, would love to see pictures of it when done
Steampunk was THE first thing to come to my mind when I started to contemplate the project

My idea for the tactical 1858 Cattleman was almost completely inspired by the VERY popular Internet point and click game called Submachine, where you are trapped in a maze of rooms, tunnels, and corridors filled with highly advanced alien technology but at the same time, also filled with old relics like spring typewriters, valve radios and gramophones. A cross between The Matrix, 2001- A Space Odyssey, and the 1830s-1970s.
http://submachine.blogspot.com/

I will definitely post pictures and update you guys once this project gets underway. I am going to research the laws and legality behind it, and if it works out perfectly, I may even start patenting and producing the folding stock as an aftermarket item for Cattleman/SAA carbine shooters HAHAHA

The Remington variants are already incredibly powerful and accurate, and this project is intended to make the Cattleman carbine a weapon as light and manueverable as a pistol, but with sniper rifle grade accuracy and enough power to hunt big game at a distance.

RE: Andy Griffith: Wow, that is extraordinary, and is it me?, or am I seeing some distinct hints of 19th century revolvers in that shotgun's frame.
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Old August 4, 2011, 06:57 PM   #24
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I'd like to see that Russian shotgun imported...unlikely, though. Interesting firearm.
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Old December 23, 2011, 09:22 AM   #25
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First, sorry for resurrecting an older post.

Second, Rachen, how far did you get with this project? I've heard through my elven spies that Santa is bringing me an 1858 carbine (Cabela's, Santa, same thing right?). I plan to leave it in the stock configuration, but would still like to see how your plans are working out.
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