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Author Topic: Pre-1899 MGs?  (Read 5661 times)

Langenator

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Pre-1899 MGs?
« on: October 06, 2017, 06:33:25 pm »
Anything pre-1899 isn't legally a firearm.

What about a pre-1899 machinegun?  Is it legally a machinegun or not?

I was idly pondering how horrific it would have been if the Las Vegas nutjub had used a tripod-mounted MG, Maxim or somesuch, with a proper T&E.

That led me to wonder  if a say, 1895 vintage Maxim or Colt potato digger would even legally be a firearm/machinegun.

Because probably had the $$$ to buy one, if he was willing to take the time.

"Whatever happens, we have got / the Maxim gun, and they have not"
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    sqlbullet

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    Re: Pre-1899 MGs?
    « Reply #1 on: October 07, 2017, 09:44:42 pm »
    Gunbroker classifies them as Class 3 NFA items.
    Utah

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    Re: Pre-1899 MGs?
    « Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 04:39:01 am »
    Good question. I didn't know the answer, so I went looking. I found this.

    From the ATF (https://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearms-guides-importation-verification-firearms-national-firearms-act-definitions-antique)

    "For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Antique Firearms” means any firearm not intended or redesigned for using rim fire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898) and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade."

    Also this (https://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearms-guides-importation-verification-firearms-ammunition-gun-control-act-definitions-0)

    This information differs from my working understanding of the definition of "Antique i.e Not a Legally a Firearm". My understanding has been the same as Langenator's; the legal definition is only based on age of the device. If I'm reading things correctly, there's more to it. I don't remember a whole bunch of technical features being part of the "Antique" definition...
    "Bushido is all very well in its way, but it is no match for a 30-06." - Col. Jeff Cooper

    Langenator

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    Re: Pre-1899 MGs?
    « Reply #3 on: October 08, 2017, 09:39:35 pm »
    Quote
    any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade."

    That last part would seem to be inconsistently enforced, to say the least.  I remember seeing pre-1899 Finnish Mosins sold online as antiques, and 7.62x54R is certainly readily available.

    Now, if I found an 1898-vintage Maxim gun in 7x57 Mauser (the Spanish army deployed some during our war with them), would it be an antique?
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    Re: Pre-1899 MGs?
    « Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 01:28:05 am »
    The way I'm reading the ATF info...I'm guessing "no". 7x57 Mauser is probably manufactured by somebody in the US, so apparently not an "antique". Find a Swiss MG94 Maxim instead :)
    "Bushido is all very well in its way, but it is no match for a 30-06." - Col. Jeff Cooper

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