Saturday, April 05, 2014

Saturday Morning and NOT Shoveling Snow!

That's because we shoveled about a foot-and-a-half of concrete-heavy spring snow yesterday!

Sigh...

We're about a month out from moving to the new Secret Hidden Bunker, where there is exactly zero snow. Solar goes in next week, along with the rest of the water system. BTW, the well-cistern system cost about twice our worst case projections. Septic is in...propane systems in place and functioning. Haven't even addressed the workshop in the garage yet...my plan is to model it on Jerry Miculek's gun workshop. Jerry's is designed for production of a variety of ammunition...mine sort of grew up around my first Dillon progressive press.

RE: Yesterday's comments that SBR laws are stupid, as a matter of fact, they are! They don't actually make any sense, largely because they are nothing but the vemiform appendix of a larger, much more restrictive law. The 1934 Firearms Act as drafted applied to all handguns and any other firearm that could be concealed, short barreled rifles and shotguns. Except that a huge handgun regulatory scheme/ban was politically untenable and quickly disappeared. Nobody thought or cared that the rules strictly regulating the SBR and SBS remained on the books.


The laws are purely arbitrary. Even though both Marlin and Winchester cataloged 14- and 15- inch versions of their lever guns, the Feds chose a 16-inch barrel length for rifles. The 18-inch barrel length for shotguns was even more capricious...as we noted on GUN STORIES, the really definitive American firearm of the mid-19th and early 20th centuries was not the single action revolver or the lever action rifle, but the lowly double-barreled shotgun.

Unlike in England and on the Continent, where the double-barreled shotgun had evolved into works of art for the landed gentry, the shotgun in America was a proletarian tool, the most common gun on the western expansion and a useful tool in rural America. Most of these shotguns may have started out with Long Tom barrels, but with the exigencies of rural and frontier life, the barrels quickly yielded to the other indispensable tool of rural America, the hacksaw. [Admit it...cant you hear Joe Mantegna saying those words?] An the time of the passage of the 1934 Firearms Act, there were quite literally tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of non-conforming shotguns in routine use in America. They're still turning up in closets, back rooms and forearms collections, often to the detriment of the finders.

So the 1934 Firearms act became the perfect prototype for future gun controllers — it criminalized perfectly legal common weapons that had been in use for decades; the legal standards were purely arbitrary (trust me, there's no difference in the lethality of a 17 3/4-inch shotgun barrel versus an 18-inch barrel), and penalties for violation were draconian. Oh yeah, and law accomplished exactly...wait for it...wait for it...nothing. Plus, it kept all those "Revenue Agents" put out of business by the repeal of Prohibition working at something equally worthless.

And don't even get me started on suppressors!

Since the arrival of the Thompson Center Contender in the 1960s (and the subsequent 1990s Supreme Court decision), the spectacular success of the .410 pistol platform and the rise of the AR and AK pistol platforms, the water is even murkier than before. Keep in mind the Supreme Court ruling on T/C...possession of parts that can be assembled into an illegal configuration is legal if the parts can also be assembled into a legal configuration. By my reading, that means if you have a pistol AR upper, you must have the parts to assembled a legal pistol (e.g., a lower that has been or can be assembled as a pistol). DO NOT have a pistol upper and no pistol lower! Just like no folding Contender/Encore stock unless you are also in possession of a rifle-length barrel.

The intelligent thing to do, of course, is to remove the appendix. Not gonna happen, though.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great points Michael. Laws prohibiting SBS and SBR were designed to harass the law abiding. The classic example of this is the 200 transfer tax, a minor sum now but huge in the 1930''s. If we get a president who is open minded on the constitution we may make progress on defederalizing suppressors. That and temporary amnesty on weapons brought home from WW2 or Vietnam.
Gerard

Anonymous said...

I bugged my Congresscritters about repealing suppressors from the Firearms act. Nothing - no reply even though they are "conservatives." But maybe if a lot of folks start bringing it up, some laws might change.

Flash Powder Hal said...

I keep saying it:
Push to repeal 1934 NFA!

Offence, not constant defense, is what we need.

Unknown said...

it is ny understanding that those laws were almost word for word the same laws the Nazis put in effect in Germany, they were brought here by Senator Dodd from CT

Anonymous said...

So you want a work shop like Jerry Miculek's , eh?

Will your's have Jerry's "it's in here somewhere" clutter?

LOL!

DamDoc said...

what is the difference between those first two shotgun pistols in your illustration and a taurus judge? The judge is higher capacity and shorter! must be the guage? didnt joe biden tell us that that we didnt need an AR but should get a double barreled shot gun? except in the pistol format? these gun grabbers have me thoroughly confused!

Michael Bane said...

My wokshop is ALREADY "it's in here somewhere, I swear! I just saw it in late 2011!!!!!

A sidenote...Taurus did a 28 gauge big-ass judge pistoi and a .410 Mare's Leg based on the Rossi Rio Grand .410 lever action rifle. At the time I questioned whether the guns could be imported. The 28 exceeded the .50 bore size (another ridiculous rule) and thus became, at least in my reading of the law, a regulated destructive device. I felt the .410 Mare's Leg, because it wasn't specifically listed as .45/.410 that it was a bridge to far for regulators. Neither guns were ever imported. I saw a new version of the Mare's Leg in Brazil a couple of years ago marked .45/.410 that I was told had been cleared, but it hasn't yet come to the U.S.

Actually, I'm surprised that someone hasn't created a double-barreled .45/.410 "Auto & Burglar" clone...I'd buy one just for the cool factor!

mb

Daniel Watters said...

I seem to remember that the original SBR minimum length was 18". The late Sam Cummings was credited with greasing the skids with Congress to have it reduced to 16". Part of the reason that surplus M1 carbines weren't released to the public until the early 1960s was that while the carbine had a nominal 18" barrel, many did not make that length. I seem to remember the American Rifleman mentioning this on more than one occasion.

I'd love to see the SBR and SBS minimums reduced to 14" or less. And while we're feeling optimistic, have the DD maximum bore pushed out to 20mm. That way, no 10 or 12 gauge shotguns could ever be reclassified as DD again.

kmitch200 said...

back rooms and forearms collections

If anyone has a forearms collection...well that's just sick.