Monday, May 26, 2008

Michael's NFA Rant

I posted this rant over on the DRTV Forums on the Shotgun Self-Abuse thread, then thought it's rightful place was on the blog:
The Knoxx Breacher Grip is the absolute next accessory! The Knoxx stocks work extremely well. I'm also going to Hans Vang with it...I think with the Knoxx grip and a Vang Comp job (and sights, dammit!) and the little monster becomes a useful tool. The Remington factory breachers come with a Pachmayr rubber grip, which is a little easier on the hands than the hard plastic one on the Serbu. My pal Alan Samuel has the Pach's on his Mossberg Super Shorty, and it is much easier to handle.

You will definitely see more NFA stuff on SHOOTING GALLERY in 2009, and for exactly the reasons outlined in earlier posts. There's nothing evil, wicked, mean and nasty about SBR, SBS, suppressors or the other odd things controlled by the NFS. In fact, IMHO, the 1934 Firearms Act defies even the slightest tinge of logic. It is a law spun out of whole cloth to give a job to the hordes of "revenue agents" left with nothing to do after the repeal of Prohibition.

In all honesty, i do at least understand the urge to control full-auto weapons (but NOT the 1986 ban on the same). The other items lumped into the NFA border on ridiculous...make-work for federal agents and a constant sword of damocles over our heads. In much of the world suppressors — essentially the firearms equivalent of a car's muffler — are considered a courtesy to neighbors (and in some areas even mandated) as opposed to under federal control. Every year police officers have their hearing permanently damaged by touching off AR-15s/M-4s — now standard issue rifles — in enclosed spaces. EVERY POLICE CARBINE SHOULD BE SUPPRESSED!

Short-barreled rifles with an arbitrary barrel length of less than 16-inches? Both Winchester and Marlin cataloged 14-inch "saddle carbines" in their lever gun lines back in cowboy days. Why 16-inch and not 14-inch? And why the whole Byzantine set of definitions? I can legally purchase without paperwork (and in fact have one on order from Chiappa Firearms) a 12-inch barreled, 24-inch overall length 1892 "Mare's Laig" lever gun, because it was built from the ground up as a pistol. I can't put a full-sized stock on it, because that would make it a short-barreled rifle, an NFA controlled item. Technically (as I understand the law) I can't even own an 1892 replacement stock at the same time I own the Mare's Laig unless I have another 1892 Winchester that the replacement stock could conceivably go on, because owning the pieces of an NFA weapon is considered by the G to be the same as owning an assembled weapon. I suggest you read the Supreme Court decision from 1992 regarding Thompson Center's interchangeable parts system:

<<Justice Souter wrote that "a set of parts that could be used to make nothing but a short-barreled rifle" would, if there is an "aggregation" of such, be a short-barreled rifle.>>

"Sawed-off" shotguns? Imagine the stupidity of attempting to control a weapon that can be readily made with a hacksaw. An Ithaca 20-gauge Auto & Burglar double-barreled shot pistol is controlled because it is a smoothbore; a .410 gauge Taurus "Judge" 5-shot revolver isn't because the Judge — now one of the most popular self-defense guns in America — has a rifled barrel. Is there a difference? No...of course not. Don't get me started! Short-barreled shotguns are now in widespread use in the military and in law enforcement as breachers and entry guns. The 14-inch barrel is substantially easier to use in a self-defense scenario such as home protection than a barrel in the uncontrolled length of 18 inches.

What would happen if the Federal "controls" on barrel length of rifles and shotguns were lifted tomorrow? NOTHING AT ALL, except we'd all have access to a whole new generation of handy rifles and shotguns. Would such guns be "more concealable" than their long-barreled counterparts? Depends on whether you live in the Real World or not...for a fact, no such short-barreled rifles or shotguns would be nearly as "concealable" as a 1911, much less a Bond Derringer in .410 (with a rifled barrel!). "More deadly" than a handgun? Hmmmmm...your choice...stand in front of my Super Shorty 12-guage or my Wilson Combat 1911 .45 ACP and tell me which makes you more dead.

What would happen if suppressor technology was suddenly uncontrolled? We'd save millions of dollars used in treating firearm-related hearing loss in shooters (go price a set of digital hearing aids and tell me this is not an issue); police officers would no longer have to worry about forced disability retirement from hearing loss; the "not-in-my-backyard" knee-jerk reaction to shooting ranges because of noise-related issues could be drastically reduced — especially in urban areas — hunters would have a whole new option, especially when hunting near populated areas; young shooters could be introduced to the sport in a safer would be a total win-win, except that it's not going to happen. Amazing, considering we're talking about technology that can be on par with a quart plastic cola bottle and duct tape.


Anyhow, on SG we'll be dealing with how to fill out the paperwork for an NFA gun, what you can expect from the G, etc. I'm also considering putting together a class on the utility of the short-barreled shotgun just for the heck of it.


Anonymous said...


Eric said...

I would love to see a "how-to" on the steps necessary to legally purchase a supressor.

Anonymous said...

That SBR length might actually have been 18 inches at one point...

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that if a stock is placed on a AOW it becomes a SBS.

Dedicated_Dad said...

You neglected to mention that:

(1) a shoestring is a machine gun according to the ATF,
(2) a piece of leather is an AOW if it covers the pistol and allows it to still fire
(3)a malfunctioning semi-auto in its factory-original configuration is a machine gun if after an unlimited number of tests they are ever able to make it fire more than one shot per trigger pull.


Dustin said...

Well said! I agree 100%! The government should not be wasting our tax dollars & freedom by regulating this stuff. They should instead concentrate in more important areas such as protecting our boarders.

Anonymous said...


Glad to hear it. Anytime you want to make good on your threat to come up to visit us in Boise, we can continue our chat about suppressors from all those years ago...


Kel (Gemtech guy)

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Anonymous said...

Anyhow, on SG we'll be dealing with how to fill out the paperwork for an NFA gun, what you can expect from the G, etc. I'm also considering putting together a class on the utility of the short-barreled shotgun just for the heck of it.
so difficult to understanging .
good idea. thank you .

Anonymous said...

Anyhow, on SG we'll be dealing with how to fill out the paperwork for an NFA gun, what you can expect from the G, etc. I'm also considering putting together a class on the utility of the short-barreled shotgun just for the heck of it.
so difficult to understanging .
good idea. thank you .
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Elnonio said...

Interesting argument, except that LE agencies are specifically exempted from most provisions of NFA, except for the Lautenberg portion for instance. If LE agencies don't use suppressors, it's because they choose to not go that route, not because they can't.

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