Author Topic: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?  (Read 7463 times)

Offline bcksknr

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Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« on: May 27, 2014, 10:53:10 PM »
      I just tested out my single shot 12 ga. air shotgun and was very pleased with the result. Basically, it's a "potato" gun, with a .69 caliber PVC barrel, powered by a PVC compressed air cylinder at 100 psi. The valve is a standard yard sprinkler control valve that activates with a button trigger and a nine volt battery. The valve gives an instantaneous "dump" of the compressed air. By unscrewing the barrel, I can insert a modified 12 ga. shell with the primer removed (no powder of course), a .69 cal. felt wad, 20 buckshot and an overshot card, lightly crimped. The barrel is then screwed back onto the valve. At 25 feet, all of the pellets hit in a 12 inch ring and penetrate two layers of corrugated cardboard. The barrel length is 28", smooth bore, no choke.
     This same configuration will easily put a .69 cal. musket ball through 1/2 inch plywood. It is very quiet and I see it as a covert way to get rid of garden pests. I am, however, a little concerned about the legality of a home manufactured, air powered gun of this caliber. Any thoughts?

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 11:00:43 PM »
     Forgot to mention, I'm in Wisconsin. We have legal open carry and concealed carry with a license.

Offline David in MN

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 05:56:33 AM »
I spent much of my youth in WI and the key here is that there are two sets of laws. I wouldn't dream of doing this in Milwaukee or Madison but in rural areas you should be OK. I've discharged potato guns on our old farm dozens of times with no problem. The farm was outside of Beaver Dam and most farmers had permanent tree stands. My grandfather routinely shot a .410 for pest control. If hunting and gun use is legal where you are, I'd assume it's no problem.

All that said, I'm sure it's technically illegal. I would certainly never start putting shell components down a tube in front of a cop. Also, I think that there are a lot of laws on the books regarding "guns" and the worst thing would be getting charged with illegally building a destructive device or something like that. When I was semi-rural I stuck with a pellet gun and my bow.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 09:40:17 AM »
     We are rural and I hunt deer, in season, on my property. Discharging firearms on one's property is legal where I live. Most of the neighborhood is reasonable about the noise from shooting and there is a membership only range, five minutes away. I limit my on property shooting to testing out a reload or "tuning" a flintlock.
     I find the maze of laws concerning firearms to be confusing, capricious, arbitrary, and an affront to common sense. Because I am a rural homeowner, I have the usual assortment of pipe fittings in my shed. Because I'm a reenactor, I have black powder and cannon fuse. I imagine that would qualify me as a "terrorist" for having possession of potential bomb making materials? I could imagine any number of scenarios, such as putting a new handle on an axehead, building a slingshot, making a bow or crossbow as manufacturing "destructive devices".
     Given the desire to "get" someone, I could imagine the authorities dredging up any number of arcane statutes to accomplish their ends. I always play by the rules, never stand out, am not publicly vocal (except on this forum) or combative and am incredibly polite and compliant around the police. That being said, I fear my own country's police, and the legal system that gives them unbridled authority, more than I do foreign terrorists. 

Offline soupbone

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 02:46:17 AM »
Tread carefully. While the Feds may not consider an airgun to be a "firearm", there could be state or local laws that could jam you up. It could be something as simple as how powerful the airgun is - Canada and GB have laws like that - or you could get caught up in the "destructive device" issues. IIRC, one of Cleveland OH's suburbs completely bans airguns [be it a BB gun or an Olympic air rifle], but allow firearms. Seems some kids were running wild shooting out windows with BB guns, so..... Please make sure you are legal.

That being said, it seems like a fun project. Is it safe, though? Pumping and dumping repeatedly could cause stress fractures in the reservoir over time, and it letting go with you in the vicinity would not be a good thing.

soupbone

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 11:02:16 AM »
     I tested the reservoir at 200 psi, and never go above 100 psi. the reservoir is wrapped in several layers of fiberglass stranded tape and gorilla tape and is schedule 40 PVC. The advantage of using compressed air, over a flammable vapor, is that the pressure will never exceed what I put in. With hairspray or WD-40 (as in a regular "potato cannon") you never know what chamber pressures may be generated at ignition.
     I also built a super detailed, 1/1 scale RPG-7 using PCV and the same valve system. I based it on a paper cardstock 1/1 scale replica that is found on a paper modeling website. You made be interested to know that there is probably a cardstock model of anything you can think of, to print out and glue together, on the web. I've been building these models for years. it's the way modeling was done before the advent of plastic kits. An example is warplanes from WWII, printed on the back of cereal boxes during the 40's. Some are incredible detailed and take much skill to assemble (some not so much). Just Google "paper modeling". There is quite probably a paper replica of every type of weapon, from swords and medieval armor to a simple, scaled down model of the "Fat Man", Nagasaki bomb. Most firearm models are full scale.
     Needless to say, I never take the RGP in public. It will fire a replica anti-armor projectile 50ft. with some accuracy. The idea was to glue a paintball on the tip of the projectile and use the RPG in paintball combat, against "armor" or "bunkers" I have been advised that it is realistic enough that I would get arrested or shot if I was seen with it in public. I guess "open carry" doesn't include replica RPG's.
     

Offline soupbone

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 01:02:23 PM »
Wow!! I'd love to see some of your models. I've downloaded a couple of Fiddlers Green freebees for when I have nothing to do and some quiet time. Not there yet, damnit. If you have some additional websites, I'd appreciate a chance to check them out.

Thanks,

soup

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 02:32:55 PM »
     When I get the time, I have ninety six pages of printed cardstock that assemble into a three foot tall exoskeleton from "terminator", hundreds of parts. That one should get me through next Winter. I've built a number of "Mechs" and there's an Indonesian guy who posted a beautiful model of the twin rotor copter from "Avatar". I also did the pulse rifle from "Alien" in full scale. There are many structures for tabletop gaming. I built a castle and village complex for D&D once that covered a dining room table. Over the years, I've given away most of what I built because I needed room and I enjoy the construction the most. The only expense is usually 110 lb. cardstock and printer ink. I'll make up a list of some good sites and post it. Most collections are made up of current models from paper artists and are of all types. They have searchable archives going back years. There are also many great models from foreign countries; truely a global hobby. So many great models, so little time!

Offline armymars

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2014, 07:39:18 AM »
   I also have an air luncher for my antenna work. The reservoir goes around the 1 1/4" barrel. Same valve system. In Michigan it has to be over 30" long or it's a pistol and a concealable wepon. Of course mine has a fishing real on it to pull the antenna up. I never run it over 70 PSI.
  For an air powered shot gun the British came up with something called the Davis convertion. You take a break action shotgun and incert a special shell. The shell has the compressed air and shot in it. The firering pin triggers the air valve in the shell. You use a brake action so the shell can be longer then a stander shell. The shot gun had to be coverted so it would not fire standered shells to meet the change in laws. Then they changed the law again so it was still a firearm if it had more then 12 pound / feet of energy .

Offline IKN

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Re: Legality of Home Manufactured Airguns?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2014, 08:28:57 AM »
Somewhat dated (last updated in 2013), but here's a link where you can find links to the various State laws concerning airguns.
http://smartgunlaws.org/non-powder-guns-policy-summary/