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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Firearms

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Firearms Verification

National Firearms Act Definitions
Antique Firearm

26 U.S.C. § 5845(G)

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.

Examples of “Antique Firearms” include:

Muzzleloading Rifle (made in or before 1898 or a Replica thereof) Muzzleloading rifle: original and modified to shorter barrel.

  • Determinants for Classification: Even though this weapon may exhibit a barrel shorter than 16 inches and/or an overall length less than 26 inches, it is not subject to NFA regulations governing those dimensions because it employs a primitive ignition system identified as an exempting characteristic.

Original Percussion Shotgun Percussion shotgun: original and modified to shorter barrel.

  • Determinants for Classification: Even though this weapon may exhibit a barrel shorter than 18 inches and/or an overall length less than 26 inches, it is not subject to NFA regulations governing those dimensions because it employs a primitive ignition system identified as an exempting characteristic.

Original Antique Rifle Antique rifle: original and modified to shorter barrel.

  • Determinants for Classification: Even though this weapon may exhibit a barrel shorter than 16 inches, it is subject to NFA regulations governing those dimensions because it employs a conventional ignition system and uses fixed ammunition that is readily available through ordinary channels of commercial trade. Consequently, this weapon would be classified as a “Short-barreled Shotgun” and therefore all NFA regulations apply.

Original Antique Shotgun Antique shotgun: original and modified to shorter barrel.

  • Determinants for Classification: Even though this weapon may exhibit a barrel shorter than 18 inches, it is subject to NFA regulations governing minimum dimensions because it employs a conventional ignition system and uses fixed ammunition that is readily available through ordinary channels of commercial trade. Consequently, this weapon would be classified as a “short-barreled Shotgun” and therefore all NFA regulations.

Original Antique Rifle Antique rifle: original and modified to shorter overall length.

  • Determinants for Classification: Even though this weapon may exhibit a barrel shorter than 16 inches and is less than 16 inches in overall length, it is subject to NFA regulations governing those dimensions because it employs a conventional ignition system and uses fixed ammunition that is readily available through ordinary channels of commercial trade. Consequently, this weapon would be classified as a “Weapon made from a Rifle” and therefore all NFA regulations apply.

Original Antique Shotgun Antique shotgun: original and modified to shorter overall length.

  • Determinants for Classification: Even though this weapon may exhibit a barrel shorter than 18 inches and is less than 16 inches in overall length, it is subject to NFA regulations governing those dimensions because it employs a conventional ignition system and uses fixed ammunition that is readily available through ordinary channels of commercial trade. Consequently, this weapon would be classified as a “Weapon made from a Rifle” and therefore all NFA regulations apply.
 

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