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Old January 29, 2018, 05:40 PM   #1
TruthTellers
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Antique firearms that use fixed ammunition?

This is probably a common question, sorry if I'm bringing it back up.

This is sort of going to be a part two question that's been spurred by another thread I made. I won't go into the details of that thread, but the question I have is what firearms or replicas of firearms that use fixed ammunition that are classified as antiques if they don't use "fixed ammunition that is readily available through commercial trade"?

I've seen that pretty much any firearm in .32 or .38 Rimfire doesn't require an FFL transfer and some centerfire cartridges also don't require FFL transfers because the ammunition isn't "readily available."

Is there a set list of what's "readily available" or does it change whenever one cartridge is available for sale anywhere in the United States?
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Old January 29, 2018, 07:51 PM   #2
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Antiques are classified as anything 1898 or older. Some states have different rules. Depends on where you live.

There were many firearms built after 1898 that used obsolete rimfire ammunition. I know where I live they are still classified as firearms.

Some places use the obsolete caliber to determine if it's an antique or not. As far as I know it still has to be manufactured before 1898.

Last edited by Tidewater_Kid; January 29, 2018 at 10:14 PM.
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Old January 29, 2018, 09:54 PM   #3
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Okay, so anything pre-98, no matter what the cartridge it shoots, is an antique and not subject to FFL's.

So the "readily available ammunition" line is up to a lot of interpretation then I take it?
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Old January 29, 2018, 10:17 PM   #4
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Yes, some state are different.

From the web: "Under the United States Gun Control Act of 1968, any cartridge firearm made in or before 1898 ("pre-1899") is classified as an "antique", and is generally outside of Federal jurisdiction, as administered and enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE)."

Some states don't recognize "pre-1899" at antiques and that includes cap and ball.

I edited my post above, because it's "pre-1899" not 1898.
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Old January 29, 2018, 10:18 PM   #5
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Notice it's says Federal jurisdiction.
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Old January 29, 2018, 10:59 PM   #6
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Except for transfer and record keeping laws, whether a firearm is an antique is rarely of any importance and certainly not in the criminal code. If a bad guy robs a bank and shoots a cop with a 400 year old flintlock pistol, the charges will be exactly the same as if he had used a Glock.

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Old January 30, 2018, 01:36 PM   #7
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"...Notice it's says Federal jurisdiction..." You get to comply with all laws. Federal, State and sometimes municipal.
"...the ammunition isn't "readily available."..." Right. However, it's readily found on cartridge collector sites. It's also loaded with BP(whole new set of transporting rules) and isn't always the same(there's Long at $3.75 to $6 EACH and Short at roughly $185 per 50.). Plus buying it on-line is just as expensive in the long run as buying any other ammo.
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Old January 30, 2018, 01:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir View Post
"...Notice it's says Federal jurisdiction..." You get to comply with all laws. Federal, State and sometimes municipal.
"...the ammunition isn't "readily available."..." Right. However, it's readily found on cartridge collector sites. It's also loaded with BP(whole new set of transporting rules) and isn't always the same(there's Long at $3.75 to $6 EACH and Short at roughly $185 per 50.). Plus buying it on-line is just as expensive in the long run as buying any other ammo.
So the "readily available" argument, at least in today's internet age, is basically meaningless because anything available for purchase on the internet is "readily available?"

I would have to wonder if price is a factor in determining if ammunition is "readily available" then because if say a 4 bore cartridge costs $500 per shell, it would still be considered readily available even though that's a weeks paycheck for 90% of the country.
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Old January 30, 2018, 08:12 PM   #9
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Aside from the classification as an "antique" or "curio and relic", the cartridge the firearm is chambered for has no bearing on its status as a modern firearm.

There are rifles and handguns made prior to 1899 that are chambered for ammunition that is still available (44-40, 45 Colt, 7x57, 30-30, 32-20, 7.62 Nagant etc). There are rifles and handguns made since 1899 that are chambered for ammunition that is no longer available (280 Ross, 7.35 Terni, 30 Remington, 32 Remington, 401 WSL, etc). Just because you cannot buy ammunition for your particular firearm has no bearing on whether it is not subject to laws as a modern firearm. What matters is when your particular firearm was manufactured.

And as stated, in some states it doesn't matter anyway because all firearm transfers are controlled.
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