Licencing - muskets etc.

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Dathi
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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Dathi » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:37 am

In my experience with Shotgun certificates and Blackpowder licences I've noticed that Different forces seem to be following different laws.My current FO hasn't the slightest interest in what group I belong, having prety much settled on a wording he seems to like on the licence "For the purposes of Reenactment" is his usual wording on the BP licence itself. My last renewal of the Shotgun certificate took 20 minutes, mostly spent drinking tea and talking about other stuff. Mind you having a TA armoury to store muskest in makes things easy...;-)



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby JC Milwr » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:32 am

Dathi wrote:In my experience with Shotgun certificates and Blackpowder licences I've noticed that Different forces seem to be following different laws.My current FO hasn't the slightest interest in what group I belong, having prety much settled on a wording he seems to like on the licence "For the purposes of Reenactment" is his usual wording on the BP licence itself.)



MY FO doesn't care either; he didn't think I really needed a BP licence at all if I was only shooting at re-enactment events, until I explained I wouldn't be issued powder without one! He certainly didn't care what group I was with,but did want to know 2 people I shot with regularly. Every FO is a bit of law unto themselves, and I guess you just have to learn what makes yours tick!


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Brand » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:45 pm

Lots of good advice been given but one thought- Gary Bate (Derbyshire Firearms) is producing very good blank firing pistols in a wide range of designs and periods. If you use black powder blanks (Gary makes them for parabellums but they will take the BP blanks) they sound right and give a more realistic appearance). These are safer to use, allow use at closer range than live-firers and require no licenses (note Police will still expect you to treat with respect and be covered by Public Liability Insurance). I use both as there are advantages to live-firers as well as blank and I use them down the gunclub too but for a highwayman portrayal a brace of blank firers may be an easy option.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Mike Garrett » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:55 pm

Interesting thought. Blank-firers for certain impressions and just go to the shooting club to take pot-shots at clays. :D



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Brand » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:06 pm

I use the live-firers for show and tell and the blanks for handling- another option is to have a deac for show and tell/ handling and blanks for action. As others have said if you still want the real deal get some experience using them with other groups first. Also if doing highwaymen the riding lessons, horse and horse tack will probably be the bigger hassle- footpads now are an easier option...



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Langley » Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:25 pm

The point about different interpretations is absolutely spot on. Strictly, the law delegates a lot of discretion to the individual Chief Constables and in practice, they delegate not to the FLOs but to the Firearms Manager. The law on Black Powder is much less delagationary (new word there?). When you talk to the people who try to train some consistency in to the individual forces they get as frustrated as we do for the reason stated earlier - what works in one county will not pass muster in another. This is a pain when moving around the country to do shows and there is even the possibility of getting stopped and checked in a third force area on the journey! They are trying to do something about it and the law is currently under review to try to build in more consistency. However - the people who do this are in my experience a pretty sensible and decent lot, not jobsworths but have to go along with their local Manager's views. Talking to them in detail and building up their understanding and trust is by far the best way. I too use one of Gary's blank firers for Piratical fun and can tell you they are good enough to make ladies spill their chardonnay down their blouses although it was the swivel gun which nearly had the harbour master fall into his own harbour. Anyway, as I was saying, convincing them of your being a well behaved sensible sort who would nbever do that sort of thing is what you are after. Of course - still want a proper one even if I have to get a FAC and am working on that cos they are just nicer to play with!



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Dave B » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:00 pm

Dathi wrote:In my experience with Shotgun certificates and Blackpowder licences I've noticed that Different forces seem to be following different laws.My current FO hasn't the slightest interest in what group I belong,


I'm not entirely sure, because my liscences are co-terminus (I renew them together), but I believe the belonging to a recognised group guideline is only an FAC thing, not a shotgun thing. As someone mentioned earlier it's different rules.


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Dave B » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:11 pm

Have a look at Page 75. It says that reenactors asking for an FAC (not SG cert) should normally be a member of a society that does the relevant period for the weapon in question. I believe that in this context normally means 'if they aren't they will have to give a good reason why not'

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/police/firearms/HO-Firearms-Guidance.pdf?view=Binary


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Mike Garrett » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:48 pm

Interesting stuff and useful. Thanks folks.



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450 Martini
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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby 450 Martini » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:36 pm

As i am a target shooter at Swadlincote Rifle Club as well as a reenactor i have quite a complicated certificate. All my firearms department did when i joined my group(s) was add a condition to my licence"the firearms shall be used with blank ammunition for living history demonstrations with any group with adequate Liability insurance" that covers all my guns lee enfields, sniders, Martini henry's enfield rifled muskets flintlock/percussion pistols ect.
Every county has a diffrent way of doing things My county (staffordshire) FEO is happy to except copies of Public Liability insurance, group membership cards as proof of need for a firearm certificate.
As for aquiring of ammunition, BLANK ammunition is classed as a pyrotecnic not as live ammunition, so when appliing for a licence you dont have to specify a ammount, and there is not the same legal requirment for security in a locked BS standard cabinet but it is reccomended.

As a note Martini henry rifles are available to own without a licence by virtue of section 58 (antique obsolete) of the firearms act this is due to the rareity of the ammo, so if you purchase one and put it on your licence dont expect to get ammo off the shelf.Its a strictly roll your own operation I reform 24 gauge shotshell brass to make shell cases for me and my group, all rounds have to be hand loaded on a specialist press and scrubbed clean after every firing.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Phil the Grips » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:26 pm

Or you get your MH barrel replaced with a smoothbore, re-chambered for .410 shotty shells, fire readily available blanks and have it on an SG ticket.

I know a few folk with that set up, and even more who consider it vandalism!


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:39 pm

Phil, how dare you suggest such a thing! Besides, you would lose out on all the geek fun of making your own obsolete ammo (.44 Russian, in my case). The alchemy of ammo!

An advantage of Shot Gun Certificate historical guns, however, is that you can spread the fun much more easily amongst others - for instance, it's possible to organise live-firing have-a-go events for non-licence holders, something nearly impossible with firearms, which can be huge fun and go a long way towards spreading the joy of making loud bangs (and actually hitting something, rather than just making a lot of noise and smoke....)! I guess it's a question of accessibility - shotguns are so much more 'accessible' to someone just starting out in shooting than firearms, which is why many people who shoot live-firing guns, started out with a shotgun (possibly after messing about with air rifles). I've just started my little nephew on his first .410 shotgun session, under my tight supervision, and he loved it (of course, it helps that there are no lower age limits for supervised shotgun use....).

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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby 450 Martini » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:17 pm

I used to do a few have a go with a musket/shotgun thing at the game fairs a few years ago, lots of fun but a section 11 licence is a lot of hassel, at my rifle club we have an open day every month
The rebarreling of a section 1 rifle to a smoothbore section 2 is fraught with legal difficulties as the law says once a rifle is classified section 1 it cannot change to a lower classification, this is the reason why there are very few 410 smle conversions in circulation, and why a L1A1 SLR rifle with the gas tube removed and the hole welded shut and converted to single shot will legally remain a Section 5 Prohibited weapon. The way to do it legally is for a gunmaker to dissasemble a rifle in to "spare parts" then decide to build a "new" shotgun from the parts with a new serial number, then have it proofed and registered. this does cost a fortune. A cheaper way to get your martini working is to buy a lee classic cast press, and a set of 577-450 dies, some bertram/kynoch/magtech brass and roll your own, its more fun that way. Now snider shooting....don't get me going!
Last edited by 450 Martini on Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:24 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Langley » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:27 am

450 Martini wrote:.
As for aquiring of ammunition, BLANK ammunition is classed as a pyrotecnic not as live ammunition, so when appliing for a licence you dont have to specify a ammount, and there is not the same legal requirment for security in a locked BS standard cabinet but it is reccomended.


That raises an interesting question. At last Ordcon Paul (Danny) Kaye pointed out that most re-enactment events get a waiver on charges for registering a temporary Black Powder store but that if you have pyrotechnics on site then a separate store is required and the organisers will be charged full rate for BOTH licenses. I will raise this point with the Ordcon Steering Committee. Does the use of blanks at an event fall under this heading and render the licensing of stores liable to big charges?



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:53 pm

Not all gun clubs allow black powder/muzleloading guns to be used on open days (two of mine don't), although they will allow you to use cartridge guns. Possibly because of concerns about hangfires, chainfires and handling powder....

And as for Section 11, I regularly take non-licence holders out to have a go with my shotguns (there is provision in the Act for the 'occupier' of shooting land to do so), and the only proviso from my FLO is that I can vouch for them, they are under my one-for-one supervision when shooting, and if there's more than a few of them, I should ideally have another certificate holder tag along for 'crowd control'. I've never been asked to apply for a Section 11 permission. I guess it depends whether it is a formal event or an informal shoot.

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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby 450 Martini » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:58 pm

The exemption from FAC licencing for blanks comes from this section of the firearms act
section 1 (4) (c) this exempts blank cartridges not more than one inch in diameter, measured immediately in front of the rim or cannelure of the base of the cartridge, from this requirement.

I Beleve the amount of explosive contained within ammunition decides wether it needs to be stored in a specialist store. you can keep large amounts of primers, percussion caps and blank ammunition without registering as a explosive store as long as the net explosive content of all these items stays below 15 Kg

From west mids police:
Not licensed or registered

up to 10 Kg: Black powder
up to 5 Kg: Shooters powder
up to 15 Kg: Percussion caps and small arms ammunition (net explosive content)

on average a blank round contains around 1 gram of smokeless powder, and a Vast ammount of ammunition would have to be on site to require registered storage, on the other hand i would think that a few of those strung brown maroons they use to simulate aircraft bombs at ww2 events would require seperate storage. But the people who deal with that kind of hardware generally know what they are doing.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Dave B » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:10 pm

Yep, thats exactly my understanding of the law. UN0014 for small arms ammunition (blank) is listed under schedule 1 of COER (not requireing a liscence) along with some pyros under 1kg, and under the 15kg limit in MSER. So there are requirements for safe storage but not for liscencing or registration if there is less than 15kg on site. Worth a double check with the relevant liscencing officer though to be safe.


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Brand » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:20 pm

'Not licensed or registered

up to 10 Kg: Black powder'

Sure about that? I thought any amount of BP required a store cert for keeping on a site overnight?



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Mike Garrett » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:00 pm

Further to this - are there any groups displaying 10th century Chinese fire-lances in the UK? (I'm guessing probably not).

Which UK group(s) are portraying the earliest firearms use?



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Dave B » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:24 pm

The earliest record of firearms in the country (and near enough the earliest in england) is in Walter De Milmete 1327, with a pot de fer cannon, but I'm not aware of anyone doing anything that early. Lots of people with replicas of the earliest provable european handgun, the tannengerg gun dated 1399. I'd say there is no-one doing anything really prior to 1399 that I know of.

I think the chinese fire lance would be interesting. I suspect that on a literal reading of the rules they are a firearm / shotgun despite having no solid projectile as CS squirters are?, but getting a liscence issued for a bamboo tube and getting the proof house to proof it would raise the odd eyebrow!


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Dave B » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:32 pm

2.3 “Firearm” means a lethal barrelled
weapon of any description from which
any shot, bullet or other missile can be
discharged, and includes any prohibited
weapon, whether it is such a lethal weapon
or not, any component part (see paragraphs
13.69 and 13.70) of such a lethal or
prohibited weapon, and any accessory to
any such weapon designed or adapted to
diminish the noise or flash caused by
firing the weapon. Lethality is a complex
issue and although case law exists (Moore v
Gooderham (1960)), only a court can decide
whether any particular weapon is capable
of causing a (potentially) lethal injury and
therefore is a “firearm” for the purposes of
the Acts. The Forensic Science Service will
be able to advise in any case where “lethality”
is likely to be an issue. Firearms law also
covers some other weapons, including stun
guns and CS sprays, which are prohibited
items under the terms of section 5 of the
1968 Act (see Chapter 3 for further
information).

PROHIBITED WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION

This section not
only includes flame throwers and poison gas
projectors, but also personal protection sprays
using CS, Mace or OC pepper. Additionally,
it covers dart guns and blowpipes for
shooting drugged or poisoned darts

Yep, I'd have to check the details, but I think that chinese fire tubes are tricky. you either call it a blank firing shotgun, in which case you need a liscence, or a flame thrower in which case its a section 5 category 7 weapon and you can't have one at all. Might be fun though.


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Mike Garrett » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:37 pm

I was toying with the idea of a proofed barrel which would then be clad in bamboo - would probably look ok. A totally bamboo dummy model for handling.
Fascinating little doo-hickeys, apparently fired darts, pellets/shot and just flame. Sound fun. (range very limited by all accounts)

Top right - demon with fire-lance, and just below to the left one with a grenade-type object. Attacking Buddha! 10th Century.
Attachments
748px-FireLanceAndGrenade10thCenturyDunhuang.jpg



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Mike Garrett » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:41 pm

Hmm...No flamethrowers? :( It's a shotgun then. However It's a pretty stubby barrel, so would need a FAC. More complications.

Can't I just call it a re-chargeable firework/pyrotechnic? :D



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby acecat999 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:10 pm

There's a yank ww2 group with a working flamethrower

I assume it is a theatrical prop rather than a firearm


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Merlon. » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:13 pm

Dave B wrote:Yep, thats exactly my understanding of the law. UN0014 for small arms ammunition (blank) is listed under schedule 1 of COER (not requireing a liscence) along with some pyros under 1kg, and under the 15kg limit in MSER. So there are requirements for safe storage but not for liscencing or registration if there is less than 15kg on site. Worth a double check with the relevant liscencing officer though to be safe.

To reinforce what Langley said:- the presence of even one pyrotechnic device removes the 100Kg for 72 hours MSER exemption. You are immediately into two stores:- one BP one Pyro with two sets of separation distances and possibly more importantly two sets of fees for the grant of paperwork
Brand wrote:'Not licensed or registered

up to 10 Kg: Black powder'

Sure about that? I thought any amount of BP required a store cert for keeping on a site overnight?

Depends on what legislation is being referred too. As mentioned above you can get an exemption from MSER for upto 100Kg for 72 hours on a given site..
However under COER you still need a certificate issuing for the site where you intend to distribute the powder to users This has been covered at Ordcon several times over the last few conferences.

In case people are interested Ordcon is being held from 10:00 am on October 20th Thames Valley Police Training Centre Sulhamstead

Of course with The Explosives Legislation Review being stillborn, many elements of the legislation are in disarray



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Brand » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:27 pm

Thanks Merlon- that was my understanding, was wondering if my FEO was doing things differently to everyone else again.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Langley » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:16 am

As Merlon points out - the other regulations for being able to store lots of blank ammo are intended for permanent stores like at home. It is the MSER exemptions which are the problem here. I talked to Lady L last night about this and her point is that it depends on whether or not blank ammo really is classified as pyro. If it is, then as Merlon says, even one on site under the temporary licensing exemptions does mean you need to be aware of this. I will go back and review the recording we made at Ordcon of exactly what Danny said (we have been trying to write up the proceedings since the meeting but Lady L's father became seriously ill and has in fact recently died so we were spending all our spare time looking after him. Project getting back on track in the next few weeks though).



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Mike Garrett » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:04 pm

acecat999 wrote:There's a yank ww2 group with a working flamethrower

I assume it is a theatrical prop rather than a firearm



Hmm.
Like to see it operate - sounds interesting. Although I posit that it may possibly be a thin line between banned weapon and theatrical prop in regards to a working flame-thrower. :D

I can hear the argument with the constabulary now! :twisted:



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby 450 Martini » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:39 pm

The reenactment "flamethrower " in question may work on the same principle (or a disguised?) as one of those propane gas bottle weed killing deeleys you find at the garden centres which when turned to max have "flamethrower" like effects, they are domestic versions of agruicltural tools used in heather burning, cane plantations, burning firebrakes.
A real flamethrower uses nitrogen pressurised cylinders to despense jellied petrol. They were taken out of service because of thier danger to the user as well as the enemy, a change of wind/stray bullet will fry the operator and those around them. they were replaced in military use with rocket launchers with thermobaric warheads because of this danger.
and if tubes with burning gas were illegal to use, then every gas firing machine gun is a prohibited weapon...



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby acecat999 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:09 am

450 Martini wrote:The reenactment "flamethrower " in question may work on the same principle (or a disguised?) as one of those propane gas bottle weed killing deeleys you find at the garden centres which when turned to max have "flamethrower" like effects, they are domestic versions of agruicltural tools used in heather burning, cane plantations, burning firebrakes.
A real flamethrower uses nitrogen pressurised cylinders to despense jellied petrol. They were taken out of service because of thier danger to the user as well as the enemy, a change of wind/stray bullet will fry the operator and those around them. they were replaced in military use with rocket launchers with thermobaric warheads because of this danger.
and if tubes with burning gas were illegal to use, then every gas firing machine gun is a prohibited weapon...



Nope its a flamethrower. Seen pics of the guy who made its early attempts which blew up when he got the pressure wrong. Not getting into deetails on how to make flamethrowers on the internet though - needless to say the info is out there. It doesn't use petrol or nitrogen or gas. Thats the trouble with threads about how to applly for reenactment firearms goes off thread.


Gas Firing Machine Guns - can be illegal depending how they are made for many reasons same as cartridge blank ones .
But the most forgotten one is if youcan't have a gas appliance that can work whilst a vehicle is in motion under the road vehicles construction and use regulations 1986.

legal or illegal - gas machine guns sound shite


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