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Thread: Can black powder rifles be shipped in the mail?

  1. #1

    Can black powder rifles be shipped in the mail?

    I have an old Thompson Center 54cal I want to get rid of. I'm thinkin' that a FFL is not needed? If I find a buyer, can I send it directly to him through the mail?

  2. #2
    lets try it out on me... who's youre buddy..

  3. #3
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
    I have an old Thompson Center 54cal I want to get rid of. I'm thinkin' that a FFL is not needed? If I find a buyer, can I send it directly to him through the mail?
    It'll depend on which state your buyer is in. There is no federal law requiring shipping a BP rifle to an FFL, but a few states require it.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  4. #4
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Funny you ask that. I bought one straight from the Mfg a few years ago and they were all set to mail straight to my door. They were slow getting it off the line or to UPS, though, and I had a trip coming up that I was worried would have me away from home exactly when the gun showed up. Didn't want signing hassles at delivery, a possible return to sender, or the thing sitting unattended on my front porch for a week. Other things have grown legs and walked away from my house from time to time, so call me paranoid.

    So I called my gunsmith and asked him if he'd receive and hold the rifle for me, and oh, by the way, if I drop off a scope to you before I get out of Dodge, would you mount it when the gun comes in to save me some time? Sure, he says, and I go off on my merry way after notifying the gunmaker of the change to the shipping address.

    Well, the rifle arrives at my gunsmith's, and he calls me to tell me and then he asks how I got them to send the thing to me direct without paperwork (the original plan), and I said, "What paperwork? It's a blackpowder gun." Because I always thought blackpowder guns could go direct to you (which is why you can buy them straight from a catalog). He says he knows, but because it's capable of taking a 209 primer for ignition, the rules are different. Well, I'd never heard of such a thing and figured the gunmaker would have known that, so why were they willing to ship to me direct and then to my gunsmith direct when my gunsmith says we need to sign transfer papers?

    The whole thing had me scratching my head.

    Anyway, my gunsmith is an honest guy and wouldn't put up with government bureaucracy just for the heck of it unless it meant possible jail time, so I had to go with what he was telling me.

    I still think he should have cut me a break on the transfer fee though, LOL. Freakin $30 to fill out a form, and I had to use my own pen!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    By the way, the question isn't really whether I should have had to do paperwork at my gunsmith's, given the circumstances-- I can see where the idiot bureaucracy might have demanded it if we're connecting dots, but I maintain that it wasn't called for if you use common sense---The real point is that a guy who probably knows what he's talking about questions why the gun mfgr never raised the issue of any shipping hassles with me in the first place.

    Maybe he doesn't/didn't know the law, and the mfgr did, but I kinda doubt it, knowing him.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    I wasn't aware of the 290 primer thing either, but doing a little digging I found a few references to rulings from BATFE that do seem to call out 209 primer-fired MLs as a special case. I also checked out a couple of prominent on-line vendors of such MLs and they require shipping to a FFL as well. So your smith may well be correct.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Er....."209" primer. The coffee seems to have finally worn off.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  8. #8
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    209, 290....whatever it takes....


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