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Laws Around Shooting 'obsolete Caliber' Guns?

Discussion in 'Firearms Certificate (FAC) Guns' started by c4four, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. c4four

    c4four Active Member

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    After looking for a solid 30 minutes around google about the law around shooting obsolete caliber vintage guns (i.e martini henry, holland and holland .577 pistol). I understand it is legal to own them without a license, but I believe you need a license to shoot one?
    What would someone have to do to be able to produce ammunition of an appropriate caliber and shoot them using these antique guns? Surely its not too difficult. Also, are cartridge loading obsolete caliber pistols able to be fired?
     
  2. gargloit

    gargloit Post Whore

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    If you have an obsolete calibre rifle, for example a 577/450 Martini Henry (Rifle A) you can hang it on your living room wall on a couple of nails. Suppose you then buy another (Rifle B), perhaps with a consecutive serial number but decide you want to shoot it. You get it on your FAC, then you must lock it in your firearms cabinet and any ammunition must also be locked away separately. But the other one can remain on your living room wall. Ammunition for these is going to be hand loaded and probably the bullets will be hand cast.

    Now, suppose you want to shoot the other one. This is fun. You have rifle B taken off ticket and rifle A put on. Then you must ensure that rifle B is now hung on the living room wall while rifle A is in the cabinet. If you live in France you just hang it where you like and shoot it anywhere you are allowed, nobody seems to give a damn about antiques. You can buy a modern reproduction muzzle loading revolver from a toyshop. No licence (So I have been informed by a long term resident of France who visits the shop from time to time)

    Shooting obsolete calibre pistols I'm not sure about. Probably could be done on S.7 but I don't know as it's not something I'm interested in (I'm rubbish with a pistol)
     
  3. buffy vampire slayer

    buffy vampire slayer Keyboard Hero

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    firearm legislation (in most instances) is a joke!
     
    cloverleaf likes this.
  4. Disco_richy

    Disco_richy Engaging Member

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    Wasnt there something recently about them changing the law re. obsoletes?
     
  5. rich79

    rich79 Donator

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    Gargloit is right about the rifles, pistols are different, my old man's going for a S7, I think he's had to join the historic breech loaders association and show that he has a specific interest in the pistol he wants (Enfield), also its not like a sec1 where you get a slot for a calibre & go & buy any rifle in that calibre, you have to specify the actual pistol you want, not the generic model the actual gun by its serial number, this will be stored at a range where you will have to pay a storage fee which in time will exceed the value of the gun.
     
    cloverleaf likes this.
  6. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I'm not so sure about this - I think it's somewhat of a grey area. Despite being in possession of ammo legally on account of the gun that's on the ticket, it could be argued that the other rifle that's off-ticket should also be licensed since you're in possession of ammo for it so in a position to fire it.

    A guy at my club was enquring about this re. a number of .310 cadet rifles he has - I'll ask him how it turned out next time I see him. My guess is that the polis just shrugged their shoulders and shook their heads in confusion and apathy..
     
  7. Spray1Mark

    Spray1Mark Big Poster

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    That statement leads me to think you might like the taste of prison food!
     
  8. darklord

    darklord Can’t beat a tx200 at 30m

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    You forgot that the wall hanger will be deactivated if it’s pissible to reload. You will also require an FAC or blackpowder certificate to purchase your propellant and also you would need fac to buy primers. Though these are not written on your fac it isneeded to be confirmed your can legally own the primers therefore you need the calibre on an fac.
     
  9. gargloit

    gargloit Post Whore

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    It will be a grey and murky area for those many firearms licensing officer who know next to nothing about firearms and regard firearms laws as something they can make up as they go along.
     
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  10. Spray1Mark

    Spray1Mark Big Poster

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    Grey areas sometimes mean arrest! then trial to determine case law by virtue of the defendant being the guinea pig and depending on the judge very out of pocket!
     
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  11. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Except it's possible to reload many "obsolete" calibres; hence the caveat to have them on ticket if you want to fire them. Also you don't need to present an FAC to buy powder, no legally to buy primers (although shops routinely ask for them now as an additional check).

    Also, quite possible that you could use primers bought for another application - there are only two basic sizes and only a number of variants within these.

    Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn't want to find myself in that position.
     
  12. gargloit

    gargloit Post Whore

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    Hence my battle cry "Who wants to be a test case?"
     
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  13. Spray1Mark

    Spray1Mark Big Poster

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    You are cleverer (if thats even a real word) than me! and I agree entirely!
     
  14. JoeHeugh

    JoeHeugh Busy Member

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    "obsolete caliber vintage guns"

    My understanding is that there are pre 1939 firearms which are classed as "antique" and exempt from certification so long as they are held as an "ornament or curio". If they are held or used in any way other than an "ornament or curio" then the full force of the Firearms Act applies, so for example if you were to threaten someone or place a live percussion cap on an old rifled musket it is no longer exempt as an antique and defaults to its Section One status. Then there is obsolete calibre ammunition and to be honest I find this a grey area. Firstly you may not possess obsolete calibre ammunition without a Certificate and the main purpose of designating ammunition as such seems to be to allow certain breech loaders to be held as antiques and some pre 1919 pistols or "historic handguns" which would otherwise be classed as Section 5 weapons to be held and used as part of a collection at designated centres under Section 7. A lot of this law seems to be untested so if you want to do anything with an "obsolete caliber vintage gun" without getting a certificate apart from admire it then I suggest a good lawyer and deep pockets. This would include any modifications which you could not show to have been done for the purpose of conservation or restoration.

    Ok so lets say you have a .45 Martini Henry hanging on your wall as an antique and you fancy shooting it. First you are going to have to take all the steps you would for a Section 1 rifle, gun safe, ammunition safe and consider security generally. Then you are going to have at least an hour chatting with your local Firearms Enquiry Officer who is going to want to know exactly why you want to shoot it so have you served a probationary period as a member of a club whose members shoot old firearms? Do you want to go hunting and if so exactly what quarry do you think it's suitable for, or are you thinking about shooting it in the confines of your own home (this was something you asked about earlier)?

    Now your FEO may not ask the question but one thing that should be uppermost in your mind given this is an old gun from the 1880s, is it safe to shoot, is it in proof or do you need to get it tested with all the hassle and costs that involves? Even then theres no reason to believe those old springs will stand up to much so have you thought about replacements. Now if you do go down the route of joining a club, you will be able to find out about all these things from the experts who will also teach you where to get ammunition or it's components and how to load it yourself and be quite happy to send you on your way.

    I see from your posts that you are interested generally in the legal aspects of firearms ownership so it may be worth your while downloading "Firearms Law, Guidance to Police" published by the Home Office as a good primer on the subject. Having "obsolete caliber vintage guns" may seem a viable route to into the world of firearms ownership but if you deviate from the law you could be looking at 5 years inside and the unenviable status of "prohibited person" when you come out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
    cloverleaf likes this.
  15. r10hunter

    r10hunter Honorary Member

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    Since the violent crime reduction act in 2006 it has been a legal requirement to show an fAC with an authority for a suitable metallic cartridge in order to be able to buy metallic cartridge primers.
    Any one not doing this is breaking the law.
     
  16. rich79

    rich79 Donator

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    I have to show my fac when I buy powder at countryways, they write my number down in their ammo sales book.
    Basically if you're going to make ammo for & shoot obsolete calibre rifles then it's no different to any other sec1 firearm & ammo, they all have to go on ticket, hence the reason they're off ticket as the ammo isn't commercially produced anymore.
    Antique firearms is something the government wants to clamp down on as some dodgy Fred in a shed rfd's have apparently been making ammo for criminals for these gun's, how true that is I don't know.
    So I'd treat it like any other rifle & do it 100% the same way as some blokes a few years ago thought they'd get away with shooting on ticket 7.5x55mm through their off ticket 7.5x53.5mm schmidt rubins & got arrested at/outside Bisley.
     
    cloverleaf likes this.
  17. cloverleaf

    cloverleaf Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Ta - wasn't aware of that..
     
  18. SteveO

    SteveO Account Parked

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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5081815/Antiques-firearms-dealer-guilty-supplying-guns.html
     
  19. rich79

    rich79 Donator

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    Its not such a big deal showing your licence when you buy powder or primers, otherwise any scroat could buy a kit & start doing the above.
     
  20. darklord

    darklord Can’t beat a tx200 at 30m

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    We had this discussion last week at my club re obsoletes and deactivating and general consensus is if it’s obsolete wall hanger then it’s to be deactivated either temp or perm therefore no ticket. For shooting then it’s FAC ticket all the way.
     

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