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Federal Laboratories 1.5" Tear Gas Gun Information


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All,

 

I bought a Federal Laboratories 1.5" Tear Gas Gun a few years back, mostly because of my interest in the Fed Labs connection to the Thompson and Reising Submachine Guns, and also because I have an interest in tear gas guns, in general. (Thus this web forum...) Anyway, I'd like to gather more information about this law enforcement tool, including the date ranges of manufacture, and quantity produced.

 

In the 1966 book, Tear Gas Munitions," by Thomas F. Swearengen, he states that the Fed Labs gun began production in the mid-1930's, and was still in production at the time the book was written. I recently acquired a Fed Labs advertisement from a 1933 Municipal Index, and the gas gun is included, so that puts it back to at least that year, and maybe earlier.

 

Here is an image of the Fed Labs page from the 1933 Municipal Index:

 

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/MGBoards/TearGas/1933MuniIndex_Web.JPG

 

From the excellent information in Swearengen's book, which is mostly focused from a technical perspective, the gas gun had several updates. I'm summarizing them below:

 

(Note: "Early Model" is a term from the Swearengen book. I have added "Very Early Model," "Middle Model," and "Late Model." These are not official terms, but are descriptions I'm using to differentiate the progression of modifications to the Fed Labs 1.5" Tear Gas Gun, which may also be known as the "No. 210-Z.")

 

Very Early Model: Steel barrel and receiver, only has 50-yard rear sight on breech opening latch

Early Model: Zinc barrel and receiver, only has 50-yard rear sight on breech opening latch

Middle Model: Has added flip-up rear leaf sight with 75 and 100-yard apertures, and the 50-yard rear sight on breech opening latch

Late Model: Has inclinometer sight mounted on left side of receiver, and also flip-up rear leaf sight with 75 and 100-yard apertures, and the 50-yard rear sight on breech opening latch

 

Here is a picture of my Fed Labs Gun (Middle Model):

 

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/MGBoards/TearGas/FedLabsTGGun_Web.JPG

 

My Fed Labs Tear Gas Gun is serial #5165, and is marked as follows on the left side of the receiver:

 

1.5 CAL. FEDERAL GAS RIOT GUN

FEDERAL LABORATORIES, INC.

PITTSBURGH, PA.

MADE IN U.S.A.

 

So, for those of you who own one or more of these, I would like to gather the following information, if you are willing to share it here:

 

1. Is yours marked in the same manner as mine?

2. Does yours have "No. 201-Z" anywhere on it?

3. What is the serial number of yours?

4. Does your have Very Early, Early, Middle, or Late Model characteristics?

5. Does yours have any other unique characteristics?

6. Do you have any original documentation that might list a date of sale, and serial number?

 

Photos are encouraged, but if you will provide your information, that would be a great start. I'd like to learn more about this law enforcement device.

 

Mine has improvised sling swivels on it, which are fairly crude. They were obviously not a factory install.

 

Thanks!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

 

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Fedral Laboratories 1.5' gun was used by the British Army in Northern Ireland during the 1970's thru to the early 80s. It could fire 'rubber bullets' or gas munitions. It was colloquially known as the 'FRG' or Fedral Riot Gun. It was phased out in favor of riot guns made from modified No4 Mk1* 1.5" signal pistols, having new barrels and stocks fitted.

 

In a British Army manual I have from the early 1980's the "FRG" is refered to as the Fedral Laboratories 201-Z.

 

Pictured below (when David puts them up for me - can't get the hang of re-sizing photos) are some pictures from a manual printed in the UK for a firm called Civil Protection (1946) Ltd. It appears to be a re-print of an American manual judging by the uniforms of the police offices in some of the illustrations.

 

Notice the buck shot attachment, what a great accessoy to keep an eye out for at the next gun show. Not to sure if it would be legal in the States though, it looks quite short.

 

Regards

 

AlanD

Sydney

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The Federal Laboratories 1.5' gun was used by the British Army in Northern Ireland during the 1970's thru to the early 80s. It could fire 'rubber bullets' or gas munitions. It was colloquially known as the 'FRG' or Federal Riot Gun. It was phased out in favor of riot guns made from modified No4 Mk1* 1.5" signal pistols, having new barrels and stocks fitted.

 

In a British Army manual I have from the early 1980's the "FRG" is refered to as the Federal Laboratories 201-Z.

 

Pictured below (when David puts them up for me - can't get the hang of re-sizing photos) are some pictures from a manual printed in the UK for a firm called Civil Protection (1946) Ltd. It appears to be a re-print of an American manual judging by the uniforms of the police offices in some of the illustrations.

 

Notice the buck shot attachment, what a great accessory to keep an eye out for at the next gun show. Not to sure if it would be legal in the States though, it looks quite short.

 

Regards

 

AlanD

Sydney

 

Alan,

 

Very cool! I did not know about its inclusion in a British manual. Your pictures are posted below.

 

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/MGBoards/TearGas/CPManual-1_Web.JPG

 

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/MGBoards/TearGas/CPManual-2_Web.JPG

 

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/MGBoards/TearGas/CPManual-3_Web.JPG

 

http://www.sturmgewehr.com/dalbert/MGBoards/TearGas/CPManual-4_Web.JPG

 

The picture in the manual of the police officer gassing a suspect with the truncheon is from a Federal Labs advertisement of the 1920's - 1930's.

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Without the buckshot adapter , of course. With the adapter , it would need to meet both the 18-inch barrel rule and the 26-inch over-all rule or it would fall into the SBS ( Short Barreled Shotgun ) category . You would then have to pay $200 to register it , then when your paperwork clears , pick up the adapter.

Chris

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Without the buckshot adapter , of course. With the adapter , it would need to meet both the 18-inch barrel rule and the 26-inch over-all rule or it would fall into the SBS ( Short Barreled Shotgun ) category . You would then have to pay $200 to register it , then when your paperwork clears , pick up the adapter.

Chris

 

Chris,

 

Good clarification. Does anyone have one of the buckshot adapters?

 

Thanks!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

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  • 10 months later...

Ok all. I stumbled onto this forum kinda by mistake. So heres mine

Mine is a very early model, steel barrel, 50 yard sites

Nowhere on it is it marked "No. 201-Z"

Serial # is 12##, exact number not given, but you know the range. Serial number is actually on the trigger housing looking down when the breech is open. Not visable unless you are really looking for it.

No unusual characteristics, no documentation.

I actually still use mine, I get smoke ends and what not and fire them. 37mm rnds work perfect. It is not a dd.

post-258385-0-21661500-1351023465_thumb.jpg

post-258385-0-17144800-1351023527_thumb.jpg

post-258385-0-36019800-1351023561_thumb.jpg

post-258385-0-13840100-1351023596_thumb.jpg

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Kozzy,

 

Welcome to the boards...

 

The early 1.5" Fed Labs gas guns did not have the "No. 201-Z" designation. As you note, the early ones also have the serial number that is difficult to observe...You do have to look down into the gun while the action is open to see it. The later models have the serial number on the bottom of the receiver.

 

Thanks for posting!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

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  • 7 months later...

I realize that this is an old thread, but I do have something to offer. I just purchased the launcher that kozzy pictured above. In the process of looking for info on the Fed Labs launchers, I found this site, then this thread and now the manual pictured above. It is from scribd and is a public domain document. If there is interest, I can upload it or link to it on scribd, or both.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

I have a trunchen that was passesd down to me from my Grandfather. He served the NYPD from 1922 till 1957. and I served from 90 till 00 ( left on a disability). It looks like it got some use, the rear plastic is knocked off the firing pin knob, and it has a bar across the middle to prevent anything from being launched from it. I widh I had enough computer savvy to put up some pic's. One day I will grab the kid across the street to helpme.

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I have a trunchen that was passesd down to me from my Grandfather. He served the NYPD from 1922 till 1957. and I served from 90 till 00 ( left on a disability). It looks like it got some use, the rear plastic is knocked off the firing pin knob, and it has a bar across the middle to prevent anything from being launched from it. I widh I had enough computer savvy to put up some pic's. One day I will grab the kid across the street to helpme.

 

gonzo25mm,

 

If you send me the photos at the e-mail address below, I'll get them added to this thread.

 

Thanks!

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

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  • 6 years later...
  • 3 weeks later...

F.Y.I. i have 2 of these fed labs gas guns;;;1 early model marked 1.5 cal,pittsburg pa sn6207 i bought thi from the estate of max accesson years ago,,and onemarked mod201z federal 1 1-2, cal gas gun, saltsburg pa. sn g33006, thi one came from oakland ca. p.d., hope this helps, just sayn

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I know I'm late to the party, but I wanted to chime in! I've got a Saltsburg 201Z # G20738 with the 75 & 100 yd sights. It looks good except the buttpad is dry rotted.

Also have a hardcase for it. Still looking for an original manual. I break it out on July 4th and New years Eve and shoot bird bombs out of it. Need to find some flares.

Guessing from the serial numbers they must have made a bunch of these. Would like to get another one for backup. Thanks for this great Board. BP

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  • 5 months later...

Just to add some points:

 

Numrich imported a large number of these from south of the border, most were deactivated by welding a rod across the barrel and wreaking the firing pin

that was in the 90s

 

The Brits used them as well however they were later retired in favor of the Enfield developed ARWEN spool driven multi shot 37mm in the 70s for the SAS in Belfast

ARWENs are pretty nasty affairs launching a 37mm hardwood dowel via a high low with a .44 magnum blank. The Sage rimless 37mm rounds are clones of those pioneered by the brits for the ARWEN

 

if anyone is interested I have one of the vintage Chemical shells, same one pictured in the brit manual, aluminum case and long nose cone with the gas vents

it's empty but a great example for display

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  • 5 months later...

I work for a local PD and we still have one of these in the armory. No ammo, it was starting to rust and the trigger was jammed. I took off the sideplate and oiled it good and got it working, because i am a little OCD. But on the shelf it sits.

 

<img src="https://share.icloud.com/photos/0e6W05cJIU6y_VDOi6PdqdEig"</img>

 

 

 

I have a 1970s Palmer Chemical Co tranq gun the animal control officer was going to throw out, with original paperwork and a box of refillable aluminum darts. Might post that later. Seems like it works. I just thought it was too cool to toss.

Edited by 1950Plymouth
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I have never used a Federal Ordnance Gas Gun but have quite a few darts down range with a Palmer Chemical Tranquilizer gun. Do you have any of the small brass charges that fit inside the rubber plunger inside the dart that pushes the rubber plunger to dispense the drug inside the metal body?

Edited by Bridgeport28A1
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Which version of gun? There are air and 32ga/22rf versions. Some LE considered using the animal marking dart (no point)for marking rioters(like FN 303) but I never heard of it being used. Edited by copdoc
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I used the 32/.22lr. version. The gun was made by Harrington and Richardson and was basically a single shot shotgun in different chambering then their sporting shotguns. It used .22 long rifle nail gun blanks to expel the aluminum darts of various cc capacity. I used it to tranquillize large game, deer and bear.
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I used it to tranquillize large game, deer and bear.

I would guess taking a big bear with one was challenging. This may be a bit off course but here are a few pics from manuals.

post-265-0-98128000-1654214603_thumb.jpg

post-265-0-77945000-1654214660_thumb.jpg

post-265-0-02221200-1654214754_thumb.jpg

post-265-0-58419500-1654214800_thumb.jpg

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Pictures! The bore has seen better days, but it might clean up.

 

Seems to have a 50 yd peep sight only. Zinc barrel.

post-289662-0-40441300-1654784820_thumb.jpg

post-289662-0-24560100-1654784835_thumb.jpg

post-289662-0-81662500-1654784841_thumb.jpg

post-289662-0-68898100-1654784851_thumb.jpg

Edited by 1950Plymouth
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