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Prowler Fowler NFA? Has cartridge not compressed air.

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I had a Prowler Fowler at the gun show and someone got into my face about it being an NFA item. It is put away for the moment so no pics right now. This one actually takes a cartridge and does have a rifled tube. I can't find anything saying it is NFA on my fancy computer.

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I see where it is described as an MBA prowler fowler. There is as an "A" in MBA so they probably confused it with the "A" in NFA. There are after all a few out there that know it all. I may be wrong though. I never heard of it.

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  • 1 month later...

Yes the original MBA that used a fixed powder fired 37mm round was classified by ATF as a destructive device due to the rifled plastic barrel

They also eventually classified the original Taser as a short barreled shotgun due to the smooth bore nature of the powder fired cartridges


This led to the CO2 bean bag guns as well as the current air Taser products which are unregulated


while the originals were never exempted ATF has mostly turned a blind eye towards enforcement thus like pen guns it's not uncommon to see them crop up online or at gun shows.


As I recall the MBA nonsense dates back to the 70s

ATF also went after MBA's Gyrojet rocket guns due to the originals being 13mm however exempted the guns already in circulation even though they are technically short barreled shotguns due to the smooth bore even on the 12mm variants pistols.

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My pleasure Big Daddy...

I have actually seen these being sold by County LEO at gun shows. Some agencies have a go to Gun guy they hand old hardware off to to sell for them, sometimes it's one of their own. Other times it's a local FFL or retired LE, or for that matter a combination of the two.

Very few folks really understand some of this early Less than Lethal hardware was later regulated by ATF as NFA.


The Bean bag gun deal is pretty extreme, the damn things have a plastic "barrel". They rifled them so the bags would properly deploy.

I'd have to dig through my files but it occurs to me that while the term "Prowler Fouler" is used rather generically for ALL of the MBA bean bag developments, the only one marketed as such was the CO2 variant which was directed at the civilian market.

Pretty sure the confusion developed from Steve McQueen's use of an example in Bounty Hunter.


Now if you want to be super respectful of federal insanity you can easily use a split 3/4" hardwood dowel with strips of 36# sand paper to hone out the rifled bore with a suitable drill.

once it's smooth, no biggie but bear in mind that having bean bag rounds with it even after honing it out is still a constructive DD thanks to damn fools writing letters to ATFE in the GW Bush era.

you can own either the bean bag rounds or the MBA baton launcher once altered but not both.


I have an old ATTD Identification manual, think it's a 1969 edition.

After the 68 GCA the Feds went a bit crazy. They turned very common gas pen guns into NFA. I can remember ordering them out of Popular Mechanics in the 60s as a youngster. No doubt hundreds of thousands were sold over the years leading up to 68' and they crop up constantly.


The deal was back then was some street gangs were chambering conventional ammo in them so rabid fools in DC banned them as AOWs

Same nonsense happened to automatic knives...

That was knee jerk reaction by Congress mostly to the West Side Story musical that came out in 61' as well as a number of rather lurid B & C class Outlaw Biker movies of the early 60s.


It's comical today

Understand it's STILL Federally unlawful to move spring loaded blades in interstate commerace. Up through the 80s people were still going to Federal Court for importing them from Italy and Germany for resale. Primarily US Customs enforcement referals.

These days even though the idiot law stands nobody pays any attention to it really. It's a product of a by gone era.


The early 70s was a real special time

While some see it as the "Good Ole Days" it really was nothing of the sort.

Less than Lethals scared the bejesus out of certain regulators as did the advent of cap and ball revolvers. In that case that made it nearly impossible to ship or store black powder unless you had an explosives license and a certified powder magazine.


I can go on and on with regards to this nonsense but my point is even the Federal mindset has radically changed since the 70s with regards to switchblades, novelty tear gas pens and other inane artifacts they once were rabid over.

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  • 10 months later...

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