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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/23/2005 4:06:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 4:07:15 PM EST by BoBoPrime]
No, not an AR (yet), but she wants a Mare's Leg. Winchester Model '92, chopped down to a pistol 12" barrel and basically just enough stock to make a pistol grip left. Used by Steve McQueen's character in the TV series "Wanted: Dead or Alive" as well as John Wayne in "Stagecoach". She wants it mainly cause of the character "Zoe" in Joss Whedon's "Firefly" and "Serenity". Who am I to deny my wife wanting to purchase a firearm. (Would you? )

So, my question to you fine folks is the ever-present "Is this legal in NJ?"

Here's part of my research thus far. I know I cannot convert of rifle to a pistol, which would fall under NFA. "To quote from the ATF letter: "A weapon made from a rifle having a barrel less than 16" in length or an overall length of less than 26" is a firearm subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act. It is unlawful for a person to make or transfer a firearm of this type without first having an approved application from ATF and paying the $200 tax. However, a lever action pistol made from a new, unused receiver, which had never been assembled or barreled as a rifle, would not be a weapon made from a rifle as defined above and it would not be subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act."

Some links:
American Handgunner Article

Article with neat pictures

JB Custom selling these puppies

ETA: Another cool picture

Thoughts? Ridicule? Should I call the State Police on this? (Seems likely... )

Thanks for any input.

Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:38:16 PM EST
Well with the barrel at 12" it would have to be registered as an "AOW"
There are some genuine "trapper carbines" with barrels ~14" that are on the C&R list, but they're very expensive. Maby someone on one of the Cowboy Action Shooting boards could direct or help out with procurenment. I suppose you could buy a used rifle and modify it or have a gunsmith build it...how about caliber? I would expect the original if one really existed would have been in 38/40 or 44/40. The problem with using 30/30 would be magazine capacity...with a 12" barrel it would only hold about three rounds. Certainly would be interesting.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:46:24 PM EST
I've been known to be wrong, but a rifle with a 12" barrel in NJ is a no-no. I don't believe if it even started life as a pistol it would be legal either.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 4:56:34 PM EST
I've been toldhinking.gif That an artillery Luger with stock and the broomy Mauser with stock were ok. Because they started life that way. I'm not familiar with the piece in question. Is it along the same lines?
BTW congrat on the gun friendly wife! Mine has more than me
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:55:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/23/2005 7:56:19 PM EST by BoBoPrime]
From the articles above, I think that as long as the gun starts its life as a pistol instead of a rifle it would be classed as simply a 12" barrelled lever action pistol and thus NJ legal. Which is what she wants, the pistol not the short-barrelled rifle, so it would not have a shoulder mountable stock like the Mauser and Luger. The lever action and internal magazine would be the only functional difference between this and say a Thompson/Contender, that I can see. In other words, since you can have a AR pistol (Carbon15, OA-98), which is semi-auto, why not a lever action one?

The original '93 were in 25/20, 32/20 and 44/40, I think. I also saw one that was/is 38 WCF. The "replica" rifles on gunbroker seem to be 357/38, 45LC and 44/40. I wouldn't mind one in 357/38, and the JB Custom shop seems to have the "Mare's Leg" in those last 3 calibers for about $1500. It is custom, so I guess you're paying a premium for that work...

Any other thoughts?


Edited for clarity
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 2:17:23 AM EST
Why not build your own from scratch? New stripped receivers are available.

Link Posted: 12/24/2005 3:10:18 AM EST
Federal Law and ATF opinions - Basically you can buy a NEW stripped receiver
(Any kind - bolt, pump,lever,semi )
have it transferred to you by an FFL. as a pistol receiver on the Fed form , and build your pistol.
It has to be NEW and have NEVER been assembled as a rifle.
You do not have to specify barrel length or caliber.
(I did this when I built my AR pistol ).

I know nothing of NJ state Law
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 4:50:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/24/2005 4:50:52 AM EST by NY-EMT]
Back when I was into Cowboy Action (19th Century Assault Weapons) I recall a company making a limited run of custom copies of Steve McQueen's cut down lever action. They were sold as pistols and very expensive, don't remember how many thousand $.

These started out as new receivers never assembled into a rifle and subsequently not considered an AOW. Since they aren't semi auto and don't take a detachable mag, I don't see how NJ could have a legitimate problem with it. No difference between that and a Thompson Contender 30-30 with a 12" barrel.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 5:26:40 AM EST
Thanks for all the input guys. I think PK90 is on to something... I might buy and build. I'll be looking at prices and keep you guys informed if you'd like to know more...

Link Posted: 12/24/2005 10:42:49 AM EST
Found a decent looking manufacturer. Does anyone have experience with Legacy Sports?

Legacy Sports

Oooh, they also have .454 casull and .480 calibers... Both of which come ported! Don't think I'd make that caliber into a pistol, though... ouch...

Link Posted: 12/25/2005 7:10:30 PM EST
I really doubt they will sell you a receiver.

They are missing a great business opportunity. Uberti or Pedersoli or Taurus should make them as a regular item and sell them as HANDGUNS, they would sell like hotcakes to the CAS crowd.

This one is cheap.. I've seen the 4 times as much.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:53:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By PK90:
Why not build your own from scratch? New stripped receivers are available.


I love that diagram
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