A question about NFA

Are black powder firearms subject to the NFA laws?  For example, say I hypothetically had a double barreled 10 gauge muzzleloading shotgun that I wanted to chop down into a replica of a Wells Fargo coach gun.

Obviously, I don’t want the ATF climbing up my ass, and before I go wading through the NFA for an answer, I figured I’d ask the intertrons.

So, any answers?


  1. I think the 1968 law made the distinction between muzzleloading black powder and fixed ammunition.

    …but those types of firearms aren’t even considered firearms by the federal government… hmm…

    I found this Wikipedia page on short barreled shotguns, and it says blackpowder muzzleloaders are not illegal at the federal level.

    Let’s hope Wikipedia is correct (this time).

  2. For what its worth; local laws can do you in but my local Sheriff has said she’d see no problem with stubby muzzleloaders. Historical reenactors have been using them for quite some time, and there’s a fun show put on annually here with all sorts of home-modified smoke tubes.

  3. From the NFA (online at http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sec_26_00005845—-000-.html ):

    26 US Code 5845:

    For the purpose of this chapter—
    (a) Firearm
    The term “firearm” means
    (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length….

    (d) Shotgun
    The term “shotgun” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of projectiles (ball shot) or a single projectile for each pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed shotgun shell.

  4. OK.. someone needs to explain to me how a black powder shotgun works. How do you keep the shot in the barrel? I guess you would have to jam wadding on both sides of the shot?

  5. Yeah, the loading method I was taught goes in the following order. Powder, Wadding, shot, wad.

    Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to chant that as it is to chant “powder patch ball”. The one thing that is handy about front stuffing shotties is that it’s relatively easy to make paper cartridges for them.

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