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Posted: 2/8/2006 4:24:59 PM EDT
I posted a question in the general discussion area about using my AR15 for groundhogs. I was thinking about removing the gas rings from the bolt, effectively making it a bolt action rifle. Does anyone have any experience modifying/using an AR for hunting in PA? I haven't contacted the PA game commission yet, hoping to have a few options before I did.

Thanks,
Tom
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 5:47:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 5:52:26 PM EDT by feral]
The game law really just says you can't use a semi-automatic for hunting, at least on my reading:


Sec. 2308. Unlawful devices and methods.

(a) General rule. - Except as otherwise provided in this title, it is unlawful for any person to hunt or aid, abet, assist or conspire to hunt any game or wildlife through the use of:

(1) An automatic firearm or similar device.

(2) A semiautomatic rifle or pistol.



The problem, IMO, is that you're getting into the land of interpretation here. Explaining to a Game Warden, who may know nothing at all about ARs, that yours is modified and isn't semi-automatic might get a little dicey.

I wouldn't chance it. I'd get a ruling on this from the Game Commission, preferably in writing.

Good luck.

ETA: Take a loook at this thread for another idea on turning your AR into a bolt gun.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:01:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2006 9:02:33 AM EDT by armabill]
It doesn't matter what you do to the rifle. It's still a semi-auto. Manufactured as such, it can't be used in Pa.

Manually operated only- bolt, lever or pump.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 11:06:52 AM EDT
either way, make DAMNED SURE you get it in writing and carry it with you!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:14:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By armabill:
It doesn't matter what you do to the rifle. It's still a semi-auto. Manufactured as such, it can't be used in Pa.




Not sure I agree with the above statement. The game laws say nothing concerning whether a firearm was manufactured as a semi auto or not. If a rifle is modified so that it must be manually operated to cycle the action, it is no longer a semi automatic.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I wrote the game commission a letter asking for clarification. I'll post the results when I get it......
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 10:00:28 PM EDT
Tried asking the Game Commission this a few years back. They never responded. A game warden living close by said that using an AR would be illeal. I explained about using a tunable gas tube, stated that if it wasn't permanent it would still be illegal. It could be adjusted to easily.......duh
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:02:26 AM EDT
I read about this years ago, not sure where, and it was said that you could use such a rifle if it was "permanently" altered by a gunsmith to be manually operated, and you had a letter from said gunsmith stating so.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 6:26:37 AM EDT
a6bn


I just asked this same question to a game warden about a month ago, he smiled, laughed and said "NO".

Link Posted: 2/12/2006 9:37:42 PM EDT
The "as manufactured" argument doesn't hold water. An analogous situation exists: A Mossberg 500 is manufactured as a modern center-fire shotgun, yet you can modify it into a muzzle-loading rifle for use in the muzzleloader-only fall deer season....same for a New England Handi-Rifle and a T/C Encore. These modifications aren't permanent (just a barrel switch) and don't require a letter from a gunsmith.

The problem with simply removing gas rings from the bolt is that you are going to have to explain this to a game warden or (much worse) a deputy game warden, who will only be interested in fining you for hunting with an evil-looking black rifle... then you'll have to explain it to a magistrate...then you'll have to pay the fines.

A less-problematic alternative (expensive, but possibly worth the laughs) might be a Watson's single-shot .50 BMG upper. Even a deputy game warden might be able to figure out that it's not semi-auto....and I hear that the .50 BMG is mighty effective on groundhogs.

Link Posted: 2/13/2006 3:47:49 AM EDT
Alternatively, what about a dedicated upper for hunting? Install a barrel with the gas port welded over and no gas tube. It would seem hard to argue that a configuration like that is anything but a bolt-action rifle.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 8:07:00 AM EDT



Sorry for the bump of a relatively old thread, but two things since I'm knew to PA..

Hunting with a semi is illegal? damns.. so much for my varminter...


and


Y'all have a groundhog problem in this state? Any way I can help?? :)

Link Posted: 3/9/2006 8:23:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Patriot328:

Y'all have a groundhog problem in this state? Any way I can help?? :)




There are plenty of groundhogs and most farmers will gladly let you come out for a little shooting session. Welcome to PA.
Link Posted: 3/9/2006 1:00:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Researcher:

Originally Posted By Patriot328:

Y'all have a groundhog problem in this state? Any way I can help?? :)




There are plenty of groundhogs and most farmers will gladly let you come out for a little shooting session. Welcome to PA.



Thanx for the welcome! I'll have to go get another rifle (ah damn, right?) because I don't think I own one that doesn't go "shproinng" after the hammer drops...

I'm outside of Allentown in Breinigsville... any good ranges to go shoot pistol/rifle/sporting clays within an easy drive?

Link Posted: 3/9/2006 6:37:08 PM EDT
You have some nice big open fields up there, should be able to snipe g'hogs from way off, especially since you can shoot centerfire. I'm in Bucks and have to use a rimfire, most of the fields arent too big so it's not a huge problem for the 17HMR.

BTW... I saw the first hog of the year below Quakertown on the way to work Monday morning. Time to get dialed in!!!
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 10:22:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Heatnbeat:
You have some nice big open fields up there, should be able to snipe g'hogs from way off, especially since you can shoot centerfire. I'm in Bucks and have to use a rimfire, most of the fields arent too big so it's not a huge problem for the 17HMR.

BTW... I saw the first hog of the year below Quakertown on the way to work Monday morning. Time to get dialed in!!!




Not to ask a stupid question, but how do you go about askin permission to shoot on someone's field.. go up to the house and ask if there's a hog problem (which areas are more apt to have ground hogs?) and then see if they mind you shooting on it?

Link Posted: 3/10/2006 5:30:54 PM EDT
'Hogs around here seem to stick to treelines between fields, stone walls, and the rolling fields.

The way we used to do it (when my brother and I were teenagers) was to ride around in the farmland, and if you see a groundhog, go to the nearest farm and ask if you can hunt there. Most farmers are plenty willing to let you shoot off their vermin, and if the folks at the house you stop at don't own the ground, chances are they can tell you who does and where they live.

Where in PA are you?
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 1:12:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TravisM1:
'Hogs around here seem to stick to treelines between fields, stone walls, and the rolling fields.

The way we used to do it (when my brother and I were teenagers) was to ride around in the farmland, and if you see a groundhog, go to the nearest farm and ask if you can hunt there. Most farmers are plenty willing to let you shoot off their vermin, and if the folks at the house you stop at don't own the ground, chances are they can tell you who does and where they live.

Where in PA are you?




I'm just west of the Allentown area (Breinigsville, Trexlertown, East Texas). Only been here about a week, so I really know nothing of the area (or state for that matter).

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