Licencing - muskets etc.

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Joolz
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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:58 pm

Gas-fired machine guns are legal - my FLO is a WWII reenactor and has just got himself one made up from a deactivated MG42. We were chatting about it the other day. It needs no licence as it's not a gun - nothing comes out of the barrel - it's more a glorified cigarette lighter!! Although I assume the VCR Act must apply to it (unlike a deact)?

Can't say what it sounds like, as I've never heard it shoot, but there is footage on YouTube of various ones being fired.


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby acecat999 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:52 pm

try reading my post

Gas Firing Machine Guns - can be illegal depending how they are made for many reasons same as cartridge blank ones

Did I say they were all illegal. No its in all in how they were converted


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:09 pm

OK, this topic is all about information, not confrontation. I obviously skimmed over your original post too quickly. Maybe you could elaborate, as this is pertinent to the issue of licensing of reenactment weapons?

From what I have seen and heard of gas guns (which is not much), they appear to be made from deactivated weapons (ie. legally non-guns). Their conversion to gas guns is not a re-activation, as all that is being done is the removal of the deactivated action and the addition of a means by which compressed flammable gas can be released and ignited to create a 'bang'. On some, the deactivated barrel is used as a sound chamber, on others, there is a sound chamber separate to the barrel. Neither system permits the loading or firing of live ammunition, or the launching of a projectile. The only difficulty I see is that those which use the barrel as a sound chamber could be classed as forward-venting blank firers and thus be restricted (even though they don't shoot blanks in the conventional sense). Are there other reasons they may be made illegal (other than the obvious one of starting off with a prohibited weapon as the basis of your conversion in the first place, as would be the case with a cartridge blank-firing machine gun/self-loading rifle).

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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby acecat999 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:29 pm

its rather simple
having handled under controlled circumstances a gas gun that was built so it was still capable of discharging a projectile, quite accurate as it happened.

i'd rather not go into details of how to do it on an open forum, just as I wouldn't say how cartridge blank weapons can be converted.
suffice to say that you from you repeated reference to cartridges you are assuming there is only one way to load a projectile


WTAC i believe make a unit since 2009 that fits into a bren gun and doesn't use any of the original gun parts than the trigger - it vents through the old gas ports not the barrel. Its important that you don't change any part of a deactivated gun. The barrel should remain blocked.
similar units fit into almost anything and change the rate of fire to suit. This includes replica and deactivated guns, replicas may be constructed so the gas vents down the unobstructed barrel though


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:08 am

As you say, the manufacture of illegal projectile weapons (whichever end you wish to load your projectile) is not difficult, but deliberately breaking the law is not what this topic is about.

Notwithstanding the WTAC guns (which are the only ones I have seen), there are more and more reenactors out there (and also film-prop people, too) who like the idea of gas gun conversions (for cost and availability reasons, more than the licensing issues), to make themselves or to buy. After all, you would have difficulty owning a belt-fed full-auto GPMG that ran on blanks, but you may be tempted to create a gas gun conversion of a replica or deactivate. Because ignorance of the law is no excuse, I was looking to get clarification on what makes a gas gun legally ownable (and by extension, what would make it illegal to own). Thanks for your input in your post above.

It may also be worthwhile to go over the legalities of blank firers, as I am seeing altogether too many illegal versions of these being advertised for sale (Gunstar?) to the unknowing. I guess that would also be on topic for this thread, as advice to the novice....

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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby acecat999 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:41 am

for advice on blank firers, gas, VCRA

its easier to join wwiireenacting.co.uk



and read everything thats been written there


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:30 pm

Good advice, I suppose (I'm a member myself) except not everyone who uses blank firers does WWII (or even 20thC....).

From what I know of the relevant act, an (unlicenced) blank firer needs to have a permanent drill-resistant blockage incorporated into the barrel, and the gases from combustion of the blank charge cannot be directly vented through the barrel such that a projectile may be fired out of it. The use of some kind of obstructive device within the barrel structure that doesn't allow a projectile to be launched but does allow the gasses to go through has been permitted in the past (Pietta/Sutler's Stores used to sell such guns) and Derbyshire Arms' current blank firers use such a principle. Revolvers also have a further permanent partial obstruction in their cylinder chambers.

Blank firers abroad (France, Belgium, Germany etc.) tend to be constructed differently, and allow projectiles to be launched and are therefore illegal in this country.

Edit: link to the relevant part of the VCRA legislation: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/1754/made

I should also point out that legitimate reenactors that can prove themselves as such are exempt, although how that works practically I will leave up to someone else to clarify....

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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Langley » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:10 am

Joolz - definition of a bone-fide re-enactor is someone who is a member of a group which carries Public Liability Insurance and can prove both of those things - being a member (so membership records, bank statements of deposits and receipts,membership cards for a current year and a copy of the insurance certificate are what is required.) You can be a group of one as long as you can pay the full premium on your own.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Fox » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:39 am

Langley wrote:You can be a group of one as long as you can pay the full premium on your own.

And I do. :D

No problem with shotgun renewal this year; I let you know how it goes with the Firearms licence when I go co-terminus next year.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Tod » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:15 pm

Dave B wrote: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

This is something that has come up a few times in the last 5 years or so, especailly since pirate events have become popular. IMO the situation should be you have to prove you have been trained and belong to a group before you are allowed to have a pistol for any type of event. To be blunt too many people are dangerous with them and think they are a toy. I also know that either the police haven't asked or people have lied to get FAC's. Even if the police haven't asked the person applying should provide a good reason for having a pistol or wanting a FAC. There are a lot of people who have no idea about safety or the law when it comes to pistols and IMO that is a very good reason to tighten the law up when it comes to them and re-enactment.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Brand » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:38 pm

Second the above- not just FAC's either- at one event a chap fired a musket at someone within 4m and seemed to have no idea that this was dangerous. I generally reccommend the blank firers rather than live for most people- still dangerous if not used with caution but somewhat 'safer'. One problem is that these weapons (live and blank) come with no information as the dealer assumes someone with a Section 1/ Shotgun Cert knows what they are doing, some FO's seem to merely check they are a member of a society but not what training they have had.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby acecat999 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:08 pm

well i learnt something from this thread


I thought all the wannabee Jack Sparrows totally ignored firearm law, not just twisted it a bit


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Brand » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:26 pm

funny enough the musket chap was not a 'pirate' was in an allegedly highly trained regiment -won't be giving more details and seeing as I've done over 20 shows this season no point guessing ;-)

More worryingly some of the Spack Jarrow crowd (my term for panto pirates with no idea how awful their portrayals are) who aren't even members of groups have asked me and others where to buy blank firers- I tell them that without PLI and membership of a group they are best avoided and don't tell them where to get them but even so...



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby acecat999 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:19 am

what might be useful is if someone could also add details on powder storage and powder transportation.

specifically how it effects home insurance and if we are effected by the carriage of dangerous goods act?


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:12 am

Well, to start that one off (and I know it doesn't answer your specific questions), here's the storage guidelines supplied by my local force, when I renewed last month. My licence came with the RCA document incorporated, also co-terminus with my FAC and SGC.
Attachments
BP Storage 1.jpg
BP Storage 2.jpg
BP Storage 3.jpg
Last edited by Joolz on Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:14 am

And the last page, with a particularly poor photo of a storage box. I make my own.
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BP Storage 4.jpg


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Merlon. » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:12 am

Bit difficult to read those pictures, they are basically a repeat of the guidance contained in L139 which is the accepted code of practice issued by HSE for Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 (MSER).
You can find a copy at L139 sections 411 - 420 cover suitable means of storage for blackpowder.

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 allow an individual to be exempt from it if:-
4) The net mass of explosive substance being carried does not exceed—

(a)in the case of fireworks, 50 kilograms; and .

(b)in the case of other explosives or a combination of fireworks and other explosives, 30 kilograms.


As to insurance for property and vehicles; hopefully people are telling their insurers of the additional risk. Most insurers are happy to take on the risk for little or no extra premium. If they have not been told and something happens, you will be left in the ****.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby acecat999 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:21 pm

i asked an insurer about the carriage of dangerous goods (and guns) actually when insuring last year and was told that if you don't carry enough to be covered by the carriage of dangerous goods then its not dangerous and they didn't need to know.....


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby IanS » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:02 pm

I’m looking at getting a .22 rimfire for rabbit hunting and possibly a black powder pistol for 17th Century re-enactment. I presume both would come under a FAC but which is the easier way to get the FAC?
Are the police more forgiving if I asked for one for a 17th Cent doglock or would they accept a .22 rimfire a sensible rifle if I was a club member or had a permission to shoot on?
I tried reading all the post but just got lost in all the info. Also I presume if I got the FAC for the black powder pistol I would just need to add the rimfire to the list at a later stage?



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Brand » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:09 pm

Hi Ian, our FO (as your in Hampshire too) would want to check you were a bona fide re-enactor and then licence you to BLANK fire a C17 pistol. For the .22 would want letters of permission to shoot on suitable land and preferably completion of probvationary membership of a HO licenced rifle range (typically 6 months). If you want to be licenced to fire ball from your pistol would need a rifle range who allow it and complete their black powder training too. (Mine does and I'm licensed for both). A FAC does not allow you to buy any Section 1- just those listed, work out EVERYTHING you want first as it costs money and takes your time and his to add variations.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Joolz » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:02 am

Brand makes a good point: too many people who would like to get into shooting think that a Firearms Certificate is a 'golden ticket' that they can use to just walk into a gun shop and buy whatever they fancy. In fact, you technically have to justify each and every one of your firearms to your Chief Constable in terms of why you require it and where you will use it (and now also how often you actually get to use it). If he/she (effectively represented by your FEO) thinks that you do not have 'good reason' enough to justify acquiring a specific firearm, they won't let you have it.

Reasons for refusal could be lack of experience in use of a specific type of gun (you may have to demonstrate tuition or a recognised level of safe handling); lack of an appropriate place to shoot a gun of that type or calibre (you may first have to join a club that allows you to shoot the type of gun you want, or maybe the land you have permission to shoot on is not passed for that calibre/the game on that land is not appropriate to hunting with that calibre); you may already have enough guns of a similar type/calibre and another one may be seen as unjustifiable (you will then have to argue about what makes it different to the others); lack of sufficient storage facilities for guns of that type (they will count how many 'spaces' you have in your cabinets and limit you to those 'slots' unless you show you have obtained more cabinet space); there are many reasons why you may not be allowed to purchase the guns you would like to buy, even when you have successfully obtained your certificate.

For the most part, FEOs are helpful and will advise you on what you need to do in order to get what you would like - up to a point ("what, you want another .22, on top of the half dozen you already have?!").

Oh, and for those of you that want to hunt with firearms on private land, don't forget to get yourself insured (join a shooting organisation), as your licence will have that as a condition if it's been issued in the past couple of years.....


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby IanS » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:18 pm

I hear that a shotgun licence is easier to get than a FAC?

That can’t be right?



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Phil the Grips » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:11 pm

IanS wrote:I hear that a shotgun licence is easier to get than a FAC?

Considerably

That can’t be right?

Why?


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Dave B » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:58 pm

IanS wrote:I hear that a shotgun licence is easier to get than a FAC?


I guess that the law takes the view that by-and-large the shotgun is primarily a rural pest control tool, and that you should be allowed to have one unless there is a good reason why not, but that a firearm (primarily pistol or rifle) is optimized for killing large mammals (including people) and that you should give a good reason why you should be allowed one.


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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Mike Garrett » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:42 pm

Large mammals - actually people - are pests... :smirk:



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby IanS » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:07 am

Just been advised not to buy a gun cabinet before i get the Ok to the FAC?

Surely if i dont own a cabinet at home they wont issue a FAC?

Admittedly the rifle will be for club use at present since cant find any permisions near me taking on new shooters. So i could store the rifle at the club in there cabinets untill i have a permision?

Also why is a blunderbus FAC not shotgun cert?



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Mike Garrett » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:16 am

I believe that they visit you and discuss your proposed cabinet and position, fixing etc. and then if they ok the licence they will come out, check the cabinet and then hand over the FAC. I may be misinterpreting this.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Fox » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:45 am

IanS wrote:Also why is a blunderbus FAC not shotgun cert?

It depends on individual gun.

I have Blunderbus, held as a shotgun.

But, most typical histroical examples, and thus replicas, do not meet the requirements for a shotgun; usually the barrel length is too short.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Langley » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:56 pm

To be classed as shotgun weapon needs to be minimum 24 inches muzzle to breech (in the case of muzzle loader to the touch hole) and under 2" bore. Your blunderbuss probably fails one of those two. It may depend on where the FLO thinks the bore should be measured - the bell opens out on a BB usually but others may think it should apply to the main length of the barell. There is still a lot of room for individual Chief Constables (which means in practise, their chief FLO) to interpret regulations, something which the lawmakers are trying to rectify as re-enactors may be legal in one county but not the next as things stand and thy move weapons around the country.



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Re: Licencing - muskets etc.

Postby Dave B » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:26 pm

Senilis Pravus wrote:I believe that they visit you and discuss your proposed cabinet and position, fixing etc. and then if they ok the licence they will come out, check the cabinet and then hand over the FAC. I may be misinterpreting this.


It depends on the force. At the time I got my liscences, our firearms officer started with a phone call to discuss security, and agree over the phone what kind of cabinet and where it would go, and offered to pop round 'informally' to discuss the position if there was any difficulty he also talked through the form with you and agreed it in principle. Then you fitted the cabinet and put the forms in. The FLO came round to do the formal interview and check the cabinet, then your liscence gets signed.

Since then I understand that they have changed - security checks are done by uniform, so it's interview and agree the location, your application gets agreed in principle, then you fit the cabinet and call, and uniform drop in to check it is fitted, then you get the signature.

But like I say I do not believe it is standardised. In all cases you start by deciding exactly what you are applying for, making sure this is in line with what the law says you can have, then phoning firearms liscincing for your force and asking to speak to the Firearms liscencing officer for your area to discuss and application, and let him tell you what needs doing.


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