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Dummy Barrel - Sbr Or "non-gun"?


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#1 Bob B

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 03:19 PM

Work and planning on my Numrich '27A1 continues - one day it'll be a beauty! Since in the almost thirty years I've had the piece its only "use" has been as a display gun, I was thinking it would be neat to fit it with a dummy 10.5" barrel - or an actual barrel welded closed at the chamber.

For safety and to prevent damage to the piece I also would fit a stationary half-sleeve in the magazine opening immediately below the bolt (this would be a curved piece of spring steel or some such that would simulate the closed-bolt condition and thereby obstruct the feed path). In the unlikely event someone (a child, space alien, mother-in-law) were to insert a loaded magazine, the uppermost cartridge would be inaccessible to the bolt and thus prevented from feeding (this obstruction would be removable and only used with the dummy short barrel).

Assembled with the non-barrel and safety sleeve it would be impossible to feed, chamber or fire a round - in essence, a "non-gun". Meanwhile, no permanent modifications would have been made to prevent returning the piece to it's original long-barrel configuration.

The mechanical end of it is fairly simple, but would there be legal difficulties to making this kind of modification? Logic would say not, but laws and how they're interpreted are sometimes far from logical. I guess the key question is would the BATF interpret mounting a short solid or blocked barrel on an otherwise-functioning firearm "manufacturing" a "Short Barrel Rifle"? If there are any red flags, I'll call the BATF (I probably will anyway), but thought I'd get some opinions first.

Bob

Assuming this would CLEARLY not be a problem, would anyone have a shot-out, bulged, or otherwise unserviceable finned barrel available? This could be any length, long or short, since work will have to be done on it anyway to "dewat" it and fit it with a compensator.

Edited by Bob B, 13 August 2004 - 03:25 PM.

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#2 Bill in VA

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 04:27 PM

Bob, as you said, "laws and how they're interpreted are sometimes far from logical." This is a perfect example. regardless of your rifle's ability to chamber or fire a cartridge, putting a shorrt barrel on it (even if it's welded closed at the chamber) constitutes manufacturing an SBR. The reason is the receiver. As you're liekly aware, the BATF considers the recweiver to be the actual firearm...everything else is just "parts."

See 18USC CH 44 921(a) (3) which states, "The term 'firearm' means (A) any weapon...which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosion; (cool.gif the frame or receiver of any such weapon; © any firearm muffler or silencer; or (D) any destructive device."

Under 921(a)(3) your rifle is still a fiream under parts (A) and (cool.gif...it was both designed and may be readily converted to shoot a projectile, plus, the receiver is an actual rifle receiver.

IMHO, if you want to be absolutely certain that 1) no one can chamber a live round, and cool.gif you are not in possession of an unregistered SBR I would get a piece of solid stock and put it on a lathe...keep the TSMG bbl length and profile, thread the chamber end and install it on your receiver. You could even counter drill the muzzle end an half inch or so, so that it looks like a real bbl. (It may not hurt to counter drill it at something less than .45"...maybe .3"?) In effect, you'd have a dummy bbl mated to a live receiver. (No different than a semmiauto UZI with a dummy bbl...perfectly legal, even if not logical.)

HTH
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#3 Sgt

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 07:17 AM

Bob--
I'm just curious why you didn't use your 27 as a firing gun. If you desire greater authenticity and less legal hassle, why not go with a parts kit and a solid dummy receiver?
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#4 Tman

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 11:23 AM

You would be OK if you used a solid barrel for your display. Valkerie Arms (M3) and Action Arms (Uzi) included solid barrels at the original length as display pieces with their guns.

I would check with the guys at the Tech Branch if you choose to use a welded up barrel for your project. Just to get their feel for it. They will give you the best answer and can also give it to you in writing if you desire.
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#5 Bob B

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Posted 14 August 2004 - 07:02 PM

Thanks for the sound advice folks. I'll be calling the firearms tech branch next week. Guess I can understand how using a dewatted real barrel could be a problem, since the potential for "rewatting" could vary so widely depending on how and who. Good to know a dummy non-barrel is still an option though - and at least there are already legal precedents (Thanks Bill in VA and Tman for those examples).

Goes to show, once again, that only the law-abiding worry about this kind of thing. I'll bet the BATF phones aren't ringing off the hook with inquiries from drug dealers concerned about staying strictly within the law when they want to do full auto conversions. Of course with a hobby like Thompson collecting, having a drug dealer's income wouldn't hurt! LOL - I can hear the defense now: "Members of the jury, my client was forced into dealing drugs to support his machine gun addiction ..." laugh.gif

Thanks again guys
Bob
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