Firearms - Guides - Importation & Verification of Firearms - National Firearms Act Definitions - Antique Firearm

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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)

Image of muzzleloading rifles: one in original length and the other has a modified length of less than 16 inches
  • 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

Image of two percussion shotguns: one shotgun is original length while the other is modifed with a barrel length of less than 18 inches and/or an overall length less than 26 inches
  • 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

Image of two antique rifles. One is the original length, while the other exhibits a barrel shorter than 16 inches.
  • 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 Rifle” and therefore all NFA regulations apply.

Original Antique Shotgun

Image of two antique shotguns.  One is an original length antique shotgun, while the other is a modified antique shotgun which exhibits a barrel shorter than 18 inches
  • 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

Image of two antique rifles. One rifle is the original without modification. The second antique rifle exhibits a barrel shorter than 16 inches and is less than 26 inches in overall length
  • Determinants for Classification: Even though this weapon may exhibit a barrel shorter than 16 inches and is less than 26 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

Image of two antique shotguns: One shotgun is the original and unmodifed.  The second antique shotgun exhibits a barrel shorter than 18 inches and is less than 26 inches in overall length
  • Determinants for Classification: Even though this weapon may exhibit a barrel shorter than 18 inches and is less than 26 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 Shotgun” and therefore all NFA regulations apply.
 

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Last Reviewed September 22, 2016