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Firearms - minimum stock length?

#1
A friend wants to cut down an old .22 stock so as to teach his sons to shoot, and has asked the local Firearms Dept, and has got answers ranging from 'you can take the whole stock off as it's overall length that counts' to 'any modifications are an offence.'

To save him reading through various Statutes, does anyone know the answer, and if so, where in the Statutes can it be found?
 
#3
A friend wants to cut down an old .22 stock so as to teach his sons to shoot, and has asked the local Firearms Dept, and has got answers ranging from 'you can take the whole stock off as it's overall length that counts' to 'any modifications are an offence.'

To save him reading through various Statutes, does anyone know the answer, and if so, where in the Statutes can it be found?
If we're talking a standard .22RF rifle, do it. So long as the overall length doesn't get less than 24" and the barrel length isn't less than 12", it's not a problem and commonly done imx.

I personally wouldn't feel any need to tell the plod licensing dept either.

It's the law that counts and saying you can't cut down the length of a stock shows complete lack of knowledge by whoever gave that advice.
 
#4
It's the law that counts and saying you can't cut down the length of a stock shows complete lack of knowledge by whoever gave that advice.
To be fair to them, knowledge of shooting and firearms isn't required when they apply for the job, and they get minimal training. They say some ridiculous things at times but that's usually because they have little idea, and no help, and have to try to work things out for themselves based on guesswork informed by common sense (not that a lot of firearms law has to do with common sense, but that's another matter).

So when some lovely little doe-eyed blonde tells me that .270 is 'safer' than .308 'because it's a smaller number' you can sort of see how she arrived at that conclusion (although it's balderdash).

Thanks for the help anyway.
 
#6
To be fair to them, knowledge of shooting and firearms isn't required when they apply for the job, and they get minimal training. They say some ridiculous things at times but that's usually because they have little idea, and no help, and have to try to work things out for themselves based on guesswork informed by common sense (not that a lot of firearms law has to do with common sense, but that's another matter).

So when some lovely little doe-eyed blonde tells me that .270 is 'safer' than .308 'because it's a smaller number' you can sort of see how she arrived at that conclusion (although it's balderdash).

Thanks for the help anyway.
Without destroying my persec, it's not always the case. However, there's normally somebody in the dept who does know one end of a firearm from another. I've heard a lot of .243 okay, .308 not. .270 okay, 30.06 not etc. but you can often get hold of their 'expert' and get a definitive answer.

Imv, they'd rather have a good administrator ie someone who can enter details onto NFLMS correctly, quickly and print a certificate. Can actually type is a must. I agree with that as the technical issues which all shooters seem to think they should have; can be dealt with by those who are aware. There are some who are good admins, and have knowledge of the law and firearms, but they're pretty rare 8)

Anyway which plod has this 'doe eyed blond? :evil:
 
#8
600mm overall length..

Section 5(1)(aba) of the 1968 Firearms Act

Firearms: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service
Thanks to the unholy mess of unconsolidated legislation, we have an unhelpful mix of imperial and metric.

"Section 5(1)(aba) any firearm which either has a barrel less than 30cm in length or is less than 60cm in length overall, other than an air weapon, a muzzle-loading gun or a firearm designed as signalling apparatus, e.g. handguns, revolvers;

Section 5(1)(ac) any self-loading or pump-action smooth-bore gun which is not an air weapon or chambered for .22 rim-fire cartridges and either has a barrel less than 24" in length or is less than 40" in length overall, e.g. self loading shotguns;"

Different tests for different purposes but all too easy to think "Ahh yes, for all firearms law purposes 24" = 600mm. Easy"

Wrong:

24 inches = 60.96cm

60cm = 23.622 inches

Classic pratfall is cutting that shotgun barrel down to just a tad over 60cm.....
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
There was someone at Bisley last year selling Chipmunk rifles in .22 which are designed for small children. From memory they're no more than 2 feet long, but qualify, and have been sold in Britain as, rifles. I'd post a link my my defence company won't let me look at weapons sites. That might be a starting point as a guide for how small you can make a rifle.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#11
To be fair to them, knowledge of shooting and firearms isn't required when they apply for the job, and they get minimal training. They say some ridiculous things at times but that's usually because they have little idea, and no help, and have to try to work things out for themselves based on guesswork informed by common sense (not that a lot of firearms law has to do with common sense, but that's another matter).

So when some lovely little doe-eyed blonde tells me that .270 is 'safer' than .308 'because it's a smaller number' you can sort of see how she arrived at that conclusion (although it's balderdash).

Thanks for the help anyway.
Would the dumb blonde be an ex wren? If so whale ommelette doesnt come close!
 
#12
There was someone at Bisley last year selling Chipmunk rifles in .22 which are designed for small children. From memory they're no more than 2 feet long, but qualify, and have been sold in Britain as, rifles. I'd post a link my my defence company won't let me look at weapons sites. That might be a starting point as a guide for how small you can make a rifle.
Chipmunk rifles have a barrel length of 16 1/8" and an overall length of 30 1/2" so are well in (barrel 30cm - 11.81" and overall length 60 cm - 23.622")

They look quite good.. pity the miminum age for possession is 14!
 
#14
The plod told a local museum that they had to hand three "firearms" in to them; one of them because was "sawn-off" and "could be used in a robbery".

Luckily for the museum I met one of the curators at a Museums Conference (See, I do get out!) and offered to check their "guns" out. The result: one "Middle Eastern/Khyber Pass" flintlock, one Volunteer Rifle that had been smooth-bored at some time in the past (sad because it was by a good London maker) and one 577/450 Martini-Henry (the sawn-off gun). None of them were illegal despite what the fuzz said. They all benefited from Section 58 including the Martini-Henry. Not only did it fit the current "box" but was of an obsolete calibre anyway. Its was as rusty as f*** and I couldn't couldn't get the breach block to drop anyway. So I wrote them a letter explaining what they had and how they were all legal and could therefore be retained.

It made me wonder (again!) in the current climate, what an earth the police are doing wasting time on this stuff. I got very close to an official letter of complaint, as a rate payer, to our Chief Constable.
 
#15
The plod told a local museum that they had to hand three "firearms" in to them; one of them because was "sawn-off" and "could be used in a robbery".

Luckily for the museum I met one of the curators at a Museums Conference (See, I do get out!) and offered to check their "guns" out. The result: one "Middle Eastern/Khyber Pass" flintlock, one Volunteer Rifle that had been smooth-bored at some time in the past (sad because it was by a good London maker) and one 577/450 Martini-Henry (the sawn-off gun). None of them were illegal despite what the fuzz said. They all benefited from Section 58 including the Martini-Henry. Not only did it fit the current "box" but was of an obsolete calibre anyway. Its was as rusty as f*** and I couldn't couldn't get the breach block to drop anyway. So I wrote them a letter explaining what they had and how they were all legal and could therefore be retained.

It made me wonder (again!) in the current climate, what an earth the police are doing wasting time on this stuff. I got very close to an official letter of complaint, as a rate payer, to our Chief Constable.
You should have written imo, not least because it shows there is a wealth of lack of knowledge (is that a real thing?), anyway loads of ignorance particulalry re S.58 antiques.

Problem is imx, that plod get a call from someone who claims to be knowledgeable (back of fag packet knowledge), they then ring the museum who often don't have an idea and it then entails a visit to ascertain what is there. Giving incorrect advice though, needs to be acted on.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
Well if it was Sussex its the way they recruited the FEOs thats half the problem. I dont mind the advert saying previous experience not needed but surely a structured training package beyond what constitutes a record keeping offence would be worthwhile.
I often have quick phone calls with my local FEO when he wants to know why someone wants to chop in a 6.5 x 55 for a .260 Rem and is there any difference?
Always happy as it ensures that he is more open to explanation when something obscure is needed on my FAC!
 
#17
Well if it was Sussex its the way they recruited the FEOs thats half the problem. I dont mind the advert saying previous experience not needed but surely a structured training package beyond what constitutes a record keeping offence would be worthwhile.
I often have quick phone calls with my local FEO when he wants to know why someone wants to chop in a 6.5 x 55 for a .260 Rem and is there any difference?
Always happy as it ensures that he is more open to explanation when something obscure is needed on my FAC!
On FEO's previous experience is something that helps considerably imx. My local lot when they recruited, had 50% ex coppers who did the job before civilianisation and 50% ex/current shooters who then learnt off each other.

Office staff, I'd rather have someone who can type quickly than someone who knows where .270 originated from. The FEO is often the person who states what will go onto the certificate, so they need the experience imo.

At least yours asks. There's plenty who think they already know ;-)
 

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