Firearms - Guides - Importation & Verification of Firearms, Ammunition - Gun Control Act Definitions - Antique Firearm

Previous Page Download this Section Download the Guidebook Next Page

Firearms Verification

Gun Control Act Definitions
Antique Firearm

18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(16)

The term “Antique Firearm” means:

A. Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and

Image of an illustration of antique firearms ignition systems such as matchlock (serpentine), wheel lock, flintlock, and percussion cap (caplock).

B. Any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica

Image of an illustration showing the differences between convention and unconventional ammunition.


  1. is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or

  2. uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.


C.  Any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term antique firearm shall not include any weapon which includes a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock or any combination thereof.

Image of an illustration of a jar and canister of gun powder and a plastic jacket and primers.


  Go to top of page

Last Reviewed April 27, 2018