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Reward good behavior

We here at SayUncle tend to be a bit hard on the ATF. However, they occasionally do something cool. Recently, on Antiques Roadshow, someone inherited a pretty rare 1913 Winchester. Trouble is that the rifle had a 14 inch barrel, thus making it an unregistered short-barreled rifle and a contraband NFA item. But ATF was cool about it:

GUEST: Once my father passed, I knew that the rifle was short and I, like I said before, I had talked to the gentleman in Cody, Wyoming, and he said the best thing to do is be up front with the ATF and call them. And that’s where we went from there.

APPRAISER: That is the best course of action, is whenever somebody feels that they have a firearm which may be illegal, they should contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. What you do have here is you have a Winchester model 1892, manufactured in 1913, and these are extremely rare. All of these were made on custom order from Winchester. They were very popular with bank guards and express companies. Many of them found their way into Central and South America. They made other custom orders, like 15-, 16- and 18-inch barrels. Now, the good thing about those people that have the 16 and 18 inches is they’re not against the law. But what you’ve done here is you’ve contacted the ATF and they basically removed the firearm from the restricted list and added this specific firearm to the Curio & Relics list, which, in essence, helps you sell it in the future if you chose to do that. The 14-inch is probably the rarest out of all those firearms. There are probably only about a hundred of these…

That transferred to the C&R list to make it lawful. Excellent. A pity to have had that rifle destroyed.

15 Responses to “Reward good behavior”

  1. Caleb Says:

    Yeah, the short barreled lever guns are on the Curio list. Which is actually pretty cool.

  2. ChrisTheEngineer Says:

    Ah yes, the poor fellow was allowed to keep something there should not even be an issue about. The Master can be kind, no? (redacted inflammatory reminder of past atrocities)

  3. Mikee Says:

    So there were fewer than 100 of these rifles ever made. ATF realizes that this will not be a recurring problem for their personnel.

  4. Chris Says:

    I saw the episode last night. While I still think the BATFE should be disbanded, and their reason for existence (the NFA of ’34) repealed, I was pleased to see that this time, they got it right.

    Sweet little rifle, huh? I’d _love_ to have something like that. It’d make an ideal farm companion, in .357 perhaps?

  5. Zendo Deb Says:

    OFF Topic: How come Twitterfeed seems to work great for you, and I can’t get it to do squat for me?

  6. SayUncle Says:

    I have no idea. I set it up once and haven’t really looked at it since. Maybe RSS settings or something?

  7. Sebastian Says:

    Ah yes, the poor fellow was allowed to keep something there should not even be an issue about. The Master can be kind, no? (redacted inflammatory reminder of past atrocities)

    ATF isn’t the Master, Congress is. I don’t like the SBR, SBS laws any better than you do, but Congress are the ones to bitch to. ATF has to enforce the laws Congress passes.

  8. Nylarthotep Says:

    ATF isnít the Master, Congress is. I donít like the SBR, SBS laws any better than you do, but Congress are the ones to bitch to. ATF has to enforce the laws Congress passes.

    Well, except for all those fascinating interpretations of laws that the BATFE seems to come up with. They may not write the rules, but their interpretations are pretty free spirited if you ask me.

  9. Matt Groom Says:

    That’s a real beauty, and it’s in immaculate condition for one that old. My friend has a ’94 that was built in 1923 and has been in his family and used by his family that whole time, and it shows. Probably the relative rareness of the .38-40 cartridge until the rather recent rise of Cowboy Action Shooting means that this rifle has lived the life of a Safe Queen, and the obviously short barrel probably contributes to that.

    I’m surprised F-troop didn’t come to his house, throw it on the ground along with all his other guns in one big pile, punch his pregnant wife in the stomach, and stomp his kitten to death.

    If it were me, I wouldn’t have even asked the ATF what they thought, because it’s better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. There are probably lots of old Winchesters out there like this, but we’ll never know for sure, because they’re all hiding.

  10. HTownTejas Says:

    I don’t understand why we should reward an unconstitutional agency at odds with our human rights, for not stealing the property of a peaceful man.

  11. Sebastian Says:

    Well, except for all those fascinating interpretations of laws that the BATFE seems to come up with. They may not write the rules, but their interpretations are pretty free spirited if you ask me.

    That’s true enough, but the ultimate source of their authority is Congress. You can get on ATF for doing that stupid shit, but they don’t have an option about the laws on SBRs.

  12. RC Says:

    As I recall even congresscritters have declared ATF a rogue agency. About the only control congress would seem to be able to use would be complete disbanding since they don’t seem to listen to criticisms, kind of like the IRS.

  13. Tennessee Budd Says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but then, how else to learn but ask? I was thinking about going Cruffler, but it was my (probably mistaken) understanding that one was not permitted to sell any firearms obtained with the C&R license. Appraiser mentioned owner maybe selling the rifle in the future. Am I wrong? Thanks, all.

  14. drstrangegun Says:

    Chris Rock once said something like “You don’t expect praise for doing something you should have done in the first place.”

  15. ttocswob Says:

    Budd, a C&R licensee may buy and sell as any other private citizen, but, may not “engage in the business of buying and selling firearms.”