Oregon Pre 1898 cannon replica legality, and a different route with an A-10 30MM barrel.

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Hi, Hope somone can answer this obscure area of firearms legality.

I recently made a Whitworth cannon for a friend which followed drawings in every way except ratios, as the 1" rifled barrel I found was only 30" long. It is so obviously a Whitworth copy that I felt safe in making it. But the project started earlier with a 7' long A-10 30 MM barrel, with perfect rifling. I was going to use the gatling barrel's mounting lugs with a Whitworth style (Not at all obviously Whitworth) breech that slid on and locked with a half turn. My friend lost his excitement though as his son suggested he may end up in jail over it.
We had discussed the prohibition on fixed ammo and agreed to have them separate for that reason, but he did want to use smokeless powder which actually scared me to be involved with. In the end the jail scenario squelched the whole thing so I made the small Whitworth breech loader for BP instead.


But back to that A-10 Warthog barrel, my friend's son asked what the problem would be to legally turn that into a working single shot gun legally. I mean by legally including the stamp and extensive background checks etc. This family has good standing with law enforcement and we wouldn't want to try any deceptions in any way. Would I need to get a manufacturer's license? What classification would that take?

Actually that 7' long barrel would make two very nice 1/2 scale Whitworth guns. and I'd love to be able to find another like it, or any other rifled tubes larger than an inch, for my own Whitworth. Anyone who has any such tubes you are willing to part with I request that you PM me. I prefixed oregon but Washinton may have more rescources.
Thanks all.
 
Interesting, no idea on the answers you seek, but I would imagine the caliber will be the first issue, I believe there is a limit on the bore size to where it becomes a default Canon and requires a NFA stamp and all that, then there are the shells, and the whole shebang that those entail! Finally, where there is "manufacturing" as in your doing the work for another person, unless your a Licensed manufacture, I believe it's a no go! I'm not up on all the laws, so take this with several grains of salt!


Edit to add:
If that is a true A-10 barrel, you might not even want it around, those were used extensively to fire depleted uranium shells, and despite the best efforts at cleaning them, will always retain some radioactive material that has been proven to cause all sorts of health issues!
 
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There are many anti-materiel' rifles being made 'One off" in the USA every year up to and over 20 MM. Many look like oversize .50 cal "Sniper" rifles, unless they are all made elsewhere. And 3" bore Civil war replica's abound, with many dedicated cannon shoots. I just don't have the resources to attend them unless they are in Oregon or Washington.

As for depleted uranium, I have an A1 Abrams sabot round in my bedroom, I've held a Geiger counter up to it and there are no emissions. Perhaps if one ground it into a fine powder and ate that, but ground iron would give indigestion too.
 
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I seem to recall you can make as big a cannon as you want as long as it is muzzle loading. Breech blocks require tax stamp.
You cannot make it for anyone else. Only yourself. You can sell it when you get tired of it. Same with regular firearms. Make as many as you want, only for you, sell up to four a year went you don't want them.
 
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It used to be that we in oregon could sell privately to people from our state (Federal law I think) but now that's illegal without a background check. I don't know how it applies to any gun that doesn't have a serial number, and home built guns do not need a serial number AFAIK. But these are the kinds of questions we should all know the answers to. For one thing I'd bet a lot of police think any gun without a serial number is illegal, they don't get into that kind of esoteric study of the law. Serial numbering is only for Firearms manufacturers I believe.
I try very hard to not buy guns that have serial numbers because it's clearly a doorway to infringement against the second amendment.
 

Mark W.

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I have to friends who built many cannons and Motars all perfectly legal. And if I remember the key was they had to be muzzle loading to be legal with no special paperwork. I had a friend who is one of the countries premier muzzle loading rifle builders and he wanted a Mountain Howitzer so he made an exact scale model (2" bore) only he made it with a solid breech and used it as a muzzle loader. It was amazingly accurate.
 
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My great uncle built one way back when, that looked like a Howitzer, and towed behind his old Willy's. It was black powder, muzzle loading, and shot soda cans full of concrete fairly accurately. It was legal then, don't know about now.
 

oldcorpgunny

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Yes, black powder cannons and mortars. You are building a "signal" cannon. I believe that the gov't allows the manufacture of those devices without a whole lot of trouble. In most instances, the BATFE will be very helpful when you introduce them to your plans in the beginning rather than at the end when they are storming your house! There are plenty of folks with tanks that have functioning cannons and those require permits, etc. Just my opinion.
 
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It used to be that we in oregon could sell privately to people from our state (Federal law I think) but now that's illegal without a background check. I don't know how it applies to any gun that doesn't have a serial number, and home built guns do not need a serial number AFAIK. But these are the kinds of questions we should all know the answers to. For one thing I'd bet a lot of police think any gun without a serial number is illegal, they don't get into that kind of esoteric study of the law. Serial numbering is only for Firearms manufacturers I believe.
I try very hard to not buy guns that have serial numbers because it's clearly a doorway to infringement against the second amendment.

I am going to assume you are not aware there are literally thousands of guns that were made before 1968 that do not have serial numbers. It was not required although many gun companies did use them for other purposes such as inventory , production and warranty.

Mossberg for example did not put serial numbers on guns for the commercial market for years.

For historical context imported handguns were required to have serial number beginning in 1919. The Federal Firearms Act of 1938 required serial numbers on domestic handguns, and also created the system of Federal Firearms Licenses which exists today. The GCA 1968 mandated unique serial numbers on all firearms; handguns and long guns.

There is no crime in not having a serial number on a gun as long as you can prove the legality such gun. Either I made that gun or you can prove that the model , and make of gun did not ever have one to begin with which is easy to do.

ETA your mileage may vary from state to state obviously.
 
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" if I remember the key was they had to be muzzle loading to be legal with no special paperwork. "
That may be so, but I've seen many Whitworth type breech loaders on youtube, some of them so cludgy that they bore little resemblance to an original Whitworth. I wonder if they had to have a stamp, actually I doubt it. I'm pretty sure drop firing (Mortar) is illegal without some destructive device approval, and fixed ammo, meaning the projectile is attached to the case.

My favorites among the cannon shoots are the Krupp breechloaders with the sliding breechblocks, those are fired with smokeless powder. They are pre 1898, so they would be very tantalizing to make if that is the criteria.
I should see about emailing Ian of Forgotten Weapons, he's been to many shoots with WW2 and even Korean era pieces, and you have to admire the dedication and wealth required to get those legally fired in the US.
 
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One problem is the fact that your barrel should not exist. I was a Marine Aviation Ordnance Technician and when we had barrel's from our 20mm M61 Vulcan out of F-18 Hornet's or a 25MM GAU-12 Equalizer from AV-8B Harrier Gun Pods become un-servicable they had to De-Milled and cut into enough pieces that they didn't even resemble a barrel. I can't imagine that the Air Farce is any different in this area. This would ESPECIALLY come into play with an item that is going to have residual radiation from the Depleted Uranium rounds used in the GAU-8/A. Just make sure you CYA
 

Mark W.

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That may be so, but I've seen many Whitworth type breech loaders on youtube, some of them so cludgy that they bore little resemblance to an original Whitworth. I wonder if they had to have a stamp, actually I doubt it. I'm pretty sure drop firing (Mortar) is illegal without some destructive device approval, and fixed ammo, meaning the projectile is attached to the case.
The mortars I was talking about were muzzle loading and used a fuse. The most common was ones that fired an 8lb bowling ball. At least thats what I saw when we shot blackpowder competition for a dozen years in the 80's and early 90's It was quite exciting when they were fired steep enough that the ball came back down within maybe 50 yards of the Mortar. Course it still took a shovel to recover the bowling ball.
 
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For the record, I was given the barrel but I gave it to someone else. It may have been illegally carried off base by someone. OTH, those prohibitions may be entirely within the military, and not apply off base.
Many years ago when my dad was alive, probably 1980 or so, he took me up to a guy's home shop near Mt Angel. He had a largish modern asian lathe with a long bed and it held a naval tube of about 3" bore, which he was turning into a BP cannon. There were several other barrels there too.
Looking back I had the impression he was not much for talk, but I think it was his nature, not fear.
The reason I gave that 30 MM barrel away was because I felt I was unworthy of such a wonderful gift, the guy who gave it to me is a man of high integrity who must have been alarmed by his son's word picture of jail.

Seems funny talking about such laws while people are getting away with murder under BLM.
 
For the record, I was given the barrel but I gave it to someone else. It may have been illegally carried off base by someone. OTH, those prohibitions may be entirely within the military, and not apply off base.
Many years ago when my dad was alive, probably 1980 or so, he took me up to a guy's home shop near Mt Angel. He had a largish modern asian lathe with a long bed and it held a naval tube of about 3" bore, which he was turning into a BP cannon. There were several other barrels there too.
Looking back I had the impression he was not much for talk, but I think it was his nature, not fear.
The reason I gave that 30 MM barrel away was because I felt I was unworthy of such a wonderful gift, the guy who gave it to me is a man of high integrity who must have been alarmed by his son's word picture of jail.

Seems funny talking about such laws while people are getting away with murder under BLM.

Unfortunately such are the times we live in.

I for one have always Fantasized about a 1.5” front stuffer....oh the shenanigans I could come up with hahaha
 

jordanka16

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A breechloader over .50 caliber would be a destructive device, you or anyone else could legally make one by filing a form 1, same thing as if you make a silencer or an SBR, pretty easy to do.

A muzzleloader is not legally a firearm(in Oregon) regardless of caliber and would need nothing.

If on the other hand you wanted to make it for someone, then it gets more complicated. As for you to manufacture it for them you technically would need an FFL, a type 10 in this case. Then you could make it and transfer it on a form 4 to whomever.
 
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We talked about that, ownership I mean. We agreed that he and his descendants would own the gun. Since he also has a machine shop I really doubt anyone could ever prove he didn't do all the design and manufacturing work. But do you think all those guys who have civil war replica breech loading cannons got a stamp (No big deal) and a deep probing background check? The worst part about the background check is that depending on the sheriff one may not get permission, right?
 

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