A couple Gatling type firearm questions

Mark W.

1. Is a Gatling gun type firearm considered a rifle?
2. If so then does the 26" min. lenght requirement come into effect?
3. Would the carraige on a carraige mounted firearm be considered as part of the overall lenght?

I have been looking at some plans and progress photos from a couple of .22LR models. And thinking about a version in .44 Mag.

The Heretic

I don't have an authoritative answer to your questions, but my knee jerk *guess* is that the answer to all of them is - yes.

That said, I would also guess it might depend on what you guild it from.

If you build a "gatling" gun from rifle receivers as some have done, then it will definitely be a rifle.

If you build it from handguns, then probably a handgun laws apply.

But those are probably not true Gatling guns.

I did some googling and couldn't find anything authoritative on whether a Gatling type gun you build yourself is *legally* considered a rifle or not.

Maybe there is no applicable law.

Before building, I would write a letter to the ATF and ask. Don't call, write - you want a letter back from them to show that what you do is legal, a phone call or email won't do that for you.
Generally if it doesn't have a stock, and it can't be concealed on the person it falls under the classification of "long gun". This was used for a while to get around the california AWB, as people who wanted 50 cal rifles would buy semi-auto M2 brownings as the spade grips were legal. There have also been a number of other strange things californians have done, like put a pistol buffer tube and a 20" upper. This qualified it as a "long gun" which kept it out of the purview of the AWB.

While I tend to think some of the goofyness carried in in CA is a tenuous way to skirt the law, the classification of "long gun" definitely carries for any kind of crew-served weapon under federal law, as there is zero ambiguity about anyone concealing a gatling gun on their person.

Out of curiosity why .44mag? Why not .460 ruger then you have the capability to fire the bigger more powerful cartridges if the occasion ever arises, but you can feed it .45colt? Maybe even .357 max? Either way it's going to be an expensive project for it's entire lifecycle.


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