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Old August 5, 2012, 10:05 AM   #1
Coach Z
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Spikes 37mm flare launcher to DD

I've been reading about adapters to load 12ga rounds into my new 37mm flare launcher and that it will change the classification to a destructive device. I certainly have no intent on breaking the law so before I purchase an adapter I'd like to get the launcher registered correctly. I'm new to the NFA game and I've just started the suppressor paperwork a few months ago. What is the process for registering a destructive device?

Thanks
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Old August 5, 2012, 12:07 PM   #2
Willie Lowman
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Fill out a form 1 and submit it.
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Old August 7, 2012, 07:55 AM   #3
Skans
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I believe that anything you shoot out of a 37mm flare launcher that is basically not a flare is considered a DD.
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Old August 7, 2012, 09:59 AM   #4
Willie Sutton
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I'd do some research on using a BBL insert in a 37mm though, think about this:

Seems that legally it would be no different than adding a cylinder conversion kit to a cap and ball pistol: An individual manufacturing a conventional firearm out of a non-firearm, which is legal to do. There's a distinction between "firing something other than a 37mm flare out of a flare gun" and "manufacturing a small bore cartridge firearm out of a non-firearm" which is what a barrel insert does.




Caveats:

It would need to be a rifled bbl if for a rifle/pistol cartridge and you can likely make & use it without any papers at all.

For a shotgun cartridge adapter (smooth bore) the adapter itself would need to be dealt with as a SBS on a Form 1, but not as a Destructive Device.

The flare launcher itself becomes a DD if you decide to load up 37mm buckshot cartridges.


A letter from BATFE would be a bonus to ensure no adverse ambiguity.



Ideas?


Willie

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Old August 7, 2012, 11:21 AM   #5
Fishing_Cabin
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Coach Z,

As Willie Lowman said, complete a Form 1 and send it in.

Also you should be able to speak with the company you are interested in buying the 12ga conversion insert from, and they will probably be able to walk you through the paperwork to keep you legal. Unsure which company you are looking at, but I have noticed a couple require a copy of the approved Form 1 before they will process your order.

Hope that is a help

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; August 7, 2012 at 12:17 PM.
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Old August 7, 2012, 09:45 PM   #6
Willie Sutton
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So just to clarify:

Is the Form 1 done for the BBL Insert "as a SBS", or is it done for the flare launcher that is "now becoming a SBS"?


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Old August 8, 2012, 09:49 PM   #7
johnwilliamson062
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Everywhere I have seen such adapters it says only to be used with flares. I think they are aluminum. You didn't link exactly what you are talking about though.
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Old August 9, 2012, 09:40 AM   #8
Fishing_Cabin
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johnwilliamson062,

The OP didnt mention which version he was looking at, but since he was speaking of registering the launcher as a DD I guessed it was one that would fire a standard 12 ga shotshell. There are several companies selling different types of inserts, adapters, or whatever the proper name is... You can check out the link below, and see a difference in the description because they sell one for a 12 ga flare, and another for a 12 ga shotshell. They do not describe the difference in construction though, and both do look similar. Also note that from that site,
Quote:
Originally Posted by American Specialty Ammo website
warning:

Combining this adapter with an un-registered flare launcher turns your flare launcher into an un-regestered destructive device. The penalty for possessing an un-registered destructive device is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

If you need help registering your launcher please contact us. We will send you the correct forms and answer any questions you may have

If we suspect you do not own a registered class 3 launcher we will cancel your order.

http://www.americanspecialtyammo.com/37mm_adapters.html

Also note ATF ruling 95-3
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATF
...ATF has previously held that devices designed for expelling tear gas or pyrotechnic signals are not weapons and are exempt from the destructive device definition. However, ammunition designed to be used against individuals is available for these 37/38 mm devices. This “anti-personnel” ammunition consists of cartridges containing wood pellets, rubber pellets or balls, and bean bags. When a gas/flare gun is possessed with “anti-personnel” type ammunition, it clearly becomes an instrument of offensive or defensive combat and is capable of use as a weapon. Since these gas/flare guns have a bore diameter greater than one-half inch, fire a projectile by means or an explosive, and, when possessed with “anti-personnel” ammunition, are capable of use as weapons, the combination of the gas/flare gun and “anti-personnel” ammunition is a destructive as defined in the GCA and the NFA. As a result, registration as a destructive device is required.
Though this rulling discusses anti-personnel ammunition such as containing wood pellets, rubber pellets or balls, and bean bags, it could be hard to argue that 12 ga shotshell loaded with lead shot fired from a 37mm launcher would not be anti-personnel.

Also, to Willie Sutton,

The Form 1 should be done for the launcher as I understand it to become a Destructive Device. SBS has nothing to do with it from my understanding because the Destructive Device does not have a required barrel length, so hence it can not be "short-barrelled"

Also, just to note, that the smaller, pistol type flare launchers with an insert are considered an AOW per the ATF website, except for the 25 mm to 12 GA which is legal unless modified, but it gives no further description.

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/guides/i...-firearms.html

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; August 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM.
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Old August 9, 2012, 10:37 PM   #9
Willie Sutton
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To the above...

"Yeah"... I see your point "sort of" and "Naah" I see the opposite point "sort of"... I think it's a delicate point that could be made either way.


If you shoot 37mm *cartridges* with anti personnel loads directly thru the 37MM tube... it's a DD as per the BATF. No questions about this.

But:

If you shoot 12 Guage cartridges thru a 12 guage barrel that is used as an adapter to the flare launcher, you are shooting a 12 guage short barreled shotgun. The adapter itself might be the SBS. Or the launcher/BB combo might become a SBS and not a DD as it does not meet the bore size requirement for a DD. Or at least it could be intetpreted that way.

Methinks a BATF opinion would make this one go away.


Willie


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Old August 10, 2012, 09:59 AM   #10
Fishing_Cabin
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Willie Sutton,


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Sutton
The adapter itself might be the SBS. Or the launcher/BB combo might become a SBS and not a DD as it does not meet the bore size requirement for a DD. Or at least it could be intetpreted that way.
Umm, how does it not meet the bore size requirement? The bore size of a 12 ga is over the 1/2 inch limit that can bring it in to the DD area. The reason why a regular 12 ga shotgun is not a DD is because of the sporting use exemption. I know of no sporting use exemption for the 37mm launchers, so when used with anything beyond a signaling type of ammo, they are considered a DD. Using a 37mm launcher with a 12 ga adapter would still be in the DD area, because as of yet, I have not seen an exemption for this combination listed by the atf under sporting use. Absent of a sporting use exemption by the ATF for this combination, it would be wise to treat it as a DD. At least this is my view, and hopefully you understand the logic behind it.

There are already other 12 ga shotguns that the ATF considers are DD already, and they are factory built shotguns in 12ga, but do not meet the sporting use requirement.

I do see your view point on the SBS aspect, but unfortunatly, I know of no arrest or case law over an adapter alone being a SBS. Perhaps there is case law on this already out there, but I just dont remember any. Others may have more knowledge.

Last edited by Fishing_Cabin; August 10, 2012 at 10:47 AM.
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Old August 10, 2012, 12:25 PM   #11
Coach Z
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And all this is one thing that deters many people from entering the NFA arena. Too much of what goes in is interpretation. I will research more and post results. I'm trying not to write directly to the ATF because I believe this has been addresses by them already but I may if I can't find a ruling or interpretation that explains in detail what I'm looking for.

Stand by.....
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Old August 10, 2012, 10:35 PM   #12
Willie Sutton
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"Umm, how does it not meet the bore size requirement? The bore size of a 12 ga is over the 1/2 inch limit that can bring it in to the DD area."


You're exactly right. My bad. I was tired and dehydrated from being out on the flightline in 110 degree heat all day when I posted that. Hot in the Mojave these days.

But in any event... the technical question still remains: Is the insert "by itself" a SBS at that point when found in compamy with it's host, or is the entire assembly a DD?


Willie


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Old August 10, 2012, 11:13 PM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
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I'd be willing to bet that possessing both would be "constructive possession" of a DD.
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Old August 11, 2012, 04:32 AM   #14
Willie Lowman
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Register the 37mm as a destructive device.

You aren't the first person to think of this. Don't bother writing to the ATF. Register the 37mm as a destructive device.

Also, if you want to shoot shotgun shells out of it, make sure it is mounted well. I have seen where the aluminum rails on a AR15 and the mount on a DD'ed flare launcher were broken off from excessive use with a 12 gauge insert.
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Old August 11, 2012, 10:25 AM   #15
Willie Sutton
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I'd be willing to bet that possessing both would be "constructive possession" of a DD.


Agreed 100% Brian. Zero questions.

I also see the points made above and agree that others can agree reasonably that this is a way to go about it.

I also believe that a case could be made that the flare launcher is a "host" and that the insert is the "weapon" and that you might be able to register the insert as a DD or SBS and then use it in a number of different host flare launchers as you desire... think "registered sear" as analogy.


Willie


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Old August 14, 2012, 05:10 PM   #16
01SVTvert
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If you think of the insert as a barrel then you can understand that the 37mm needs to be registered, not the insert.

Considering the inserts are not regulated now, I do not see how the ATF would allow registration of one as a DD. Beehive rounds are not regulated, just the launcher. Same follows for a 12 ga insert which they also have for the 40mm.

Again, only my opinion.
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Old August 14, 2012, 05:57 PM   #17
Willie Sutton
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Yeah... I see your point. And it's probably right.

But just to be contrary...

"Considering the inserts are not regulated now, I do not see how the ATF would allow registration of one as a DD"

The same way that thoughtful folks registered AR-15 drop in auto sears before 1986 and made a now-legal $10,000 chunk of steel out of a $29.00 one? Move it from host to host and it's the sear and not the host that is the registered item?


Dunno.


Willie


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Old August 14, 2012, 08:14 PM   #18
essohbe
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Quote:
I believe that anything you shoot out of a 37mm flare launcher that is basically not a flare is considered a DD.
I reload flares, reports, smokes, etc...

As long as you don't use more than .25oz of overall powder flashbangs are okay and smokes are obviously not anti-personell rounds; HOWEVER, even pointing a flare at someone can make that an "anti personel round" to a prosecuting attorney.

Just don't be stupid and don't load projectiles that aren't pyrotechnic.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:06 PM   #19
Nick-Mc
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Not to drag up a few month old thread, but I know kennesaw cannon makes 26.5 mm adapters for .22lr and .410/.45lc. They come with the batfe approval letter. It's feasible to get a 37mm to 26.5 mm adapter, then drop the .410/.45 adapter into that and your cool flare launcher becomes something more fun. Maybe someone with more nfa knowledge can comment on that.

Note: the barrels in those adapters are rifled.
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