View Full Version : What is the determining criteria for a firearm to be a curio or a relic?

Sea Buck
November 23, 2008, 10:57 AM
What determines a firearm to be either a curio and/or a relic? Age cerainly.What else? What is he BATF ruling on C & R ?

November 23, 2008, 11:51 AM
There are a list of different ways, but basically the ATF has to decide it is unlikely it will be used in a crime or it has to be 50 years old.

November 23, 2008, 01:10 PM
Basically 50 years old, or because ATF says so.
Generally, the younger ones are because there is something "odd" about them that makes ATF view them as unlikely to be used in a crime.

November 24, 2008, 11:50 AM
Straight from the horse's mouth:



Subpart B_Definitions

Sec. 478.11 Meaning of terms.

When used in this part and in forms prescribed under this part,
where not otherwise distinctly expressed or manifestly incompatible with
the intent thereof, terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this
section. Words in the plural form shall include the singular, and vice
versa, and words importing the masculine gender shall include the
feminine. The terms ``includes'' and ``including'' do not exclude other
things not enumerated which are in the same general class or are
otherwise within the scope thereof.
Act. 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44.

{"Adjudicated" thru "Committed" omitted}

Curios or relics. Firearms which are of special interest to
collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with
firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons.
To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of
the following categories:
(a) Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the
current date, but not including replicas thereof;
(b) Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal,
State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics
of museum interest; and
(c) Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their
monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or
because of their association with some historical figure, period, or
event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this
category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence
that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or
that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial
channels is substantially less.
(emphasis mine)

FWIW the determining factor for C&R status, at least on paper, is not whether they're likely to be used in a crime or not. Plenty of C&R firearms have qualities that theoretically would make them attractive to criminals. The determining factor is the presence of qualities other than the gun's mere usability as a tool, for legal purposes or not.

December 3, 2008, 02:49 AM
I have a Spanish FR-8...a formally 8mm cut down to 7.62x51mm by the Spanish in 1952...so it says on the Mauser O-ring. It is a Mauser 98 re-rifled in 1952.

It is a short carbine length with bayonet lug and has capacity for firing a projectile...(wish I had some) grenade. It holds 5 rounds, in house, bolt action with great peep sights for out to 400 meters. The original rifle might be from the 20's or 30's...who knows...but now as a 308 caliber...its a great carbine that can keep up with the best...except, the design will not allow a scope.

If the Fed's ever grab my guns...I would hope this one could be kept under the 'curio' label. (Actually I would do the PVC trick if I knew they were coming.)

El Paso Joe
December 4, 2008, 12:56 AM
ok - so I read the statute and am still confused. I have a Cadet Martini - would it be included? How about a 44 1/2 Stevens? Both old and interesting. But do they pass the test? How would I know? I have a Carcano JFK Special - would it make the cut?

Just really confused...

December 4, 2008, 08:59 AM
If it's 50 years old or older - it's automatically a "relic".

To be a "curio" the BATFE has to have been petitioned and then approved a firearm as such. There is a list of "curios" at http://www.atf.gov/firearms/curios/index.htm.