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How much did the NFA status impact the price on this M1885 "Baby Carbine"?
May 14, 2019
12:50 am
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https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/76/1069/winchester-model-1885-baby-carbine

Some of you likely followed this one.  I think it is pretty cool.  I've seen darn few of these over the last many years.  Anyway, this one did not go the curio and relic route and get that ATF exemption.  Rather, it went the NFA route.  Seems an unfortunate fork in the road to take.  What might this have brought had it not been an NFA piece?  I see it did sell below the low end of the auction estimate.  However, I wonder how much the auction estimate reflected the NFA status? 

As I ponder this carbine, I recall a thread recently where someone had a short barreled carbine that had NFA status and (if I recall correctly) sent it in to the ATF for an exemption.  They would not return it to him.  Perhaps it would not be easy to have this one converted from NFA status to curio and relic exemption status?  By the way, I've never has a rifle in this status so I claim little knowledge in this area.  That is why I post stuff like this.  I'm a lot more interested in what I don't know than what I know. 

A carbine that did go the exemption route, did very well - performing nearly ten grand beyond the high end of the auction estimate:

https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/76/1051/atf-exempt-winchester-model-1894-trapper-carbine

May 14, 2019
1:34 am
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I suspect the BATFE may not have felt the evidence supported an exemption as the factory info did not fully describe the carbine. Then again, trying to explain the actions of a bureaucrat can be a slippery slope.

 

Mike

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May 14, 2019
1:38 am
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TXGunNut said
I suspect the BATFE may not have felt the evidence supported an exemption as the factory info did not fully describe the carbine. Then again, trying to explain the actions of a bureaucrat can be a slippery slope.

 

Mike  

Mike - that's a great explanation as to what happened.  Maybe they did try for the exemption and were denied. 

What are the thoughts on the impact of the NFA status on the hammer price?

May 14, 2019
1:51 am
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NFA status severely limits the target market, IMHO. Most buyers will not be willing to do what it takes to transfer an NFA item. Some people feel buying an NFA item gives the BATFE a blank search warrant for their home on any day, at any time. In extreme cases, they may be right. Personally I avoid NFA items but I understand that if you go the trust route it’s no biggie. I’m not a lawyer and I don’t even watch TV so if you’re looking for legal advice look elsewhere. 

 

Mike

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May 14, 2019
2:08 am
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Mike - that is what I suspected, that the NFA status would restrict the target market. 

Any estimates what this carbine would have brought if it had the exemption?

May 14, 2019
2:15 am
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I have always wondered why the BATF has gone to such lengths to regulate short barreled rifles?  They have much longer barrels than handguns and are much less easily concealable.

I'm sure it has to do something with the Gun Control Act of 1934 or 1968, But why?

May 14, 2019
12:58 pm
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mrcvs said
I have always wondered why the BATF has gone to such lengths to regulate short barreled rifles?  They have much longer barrels than handguns and are much less easily concealable.

I'm sure it has to do something with the Gun Control Act of 1934 or 1968, But why?  

I don’t think the “why” is valid any more, if it ever was. I think the restrictions on SBR’s and SBS’s should be removed, especially when they allow “handguns” to be manufactured with short rifle and shotgun barrels. JMHO of course, and probably wrong.

 

Mike

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May 14, 2019
3:36 pm
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mrcvs said
I have always wondered why the BATF has gone to such lengths to regulate short barreled rifles?  They have much longer barrels than handguns and are much less easily concealable.

I'm sure it has to do something with the Gun Control Act of 1934 or 1968, But why?  

Yes, under discussion we have a 104 year old Winchester single-shot rifle with a 15 inch barrel that requires, under then and current law, NFA status.

Simultaneously, we have 14 inch barreled, pump action Remington 870's with pistol grips that require no NFA status.  In fact, the requirements and procedure to (legally) purchase and own one is identical to purchasing a Winchester M1886 manufactured in 1899.

Here is an example:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/805983343

And for those that prefer a detachable magazine:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/808731520

And for those that prefer a wood stocked version:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/813463743

Remington is not the only company that makes these. Also, they make them in 20 gauge too.

 

Such firearms are not my taste.  I discovered them by chance last year.  I was floored.  How could a 14 inch barreled smooth bore shotgun not require NFA status?  Recall the hassle Thompson Center (single-shot) to get their .410/.45 Colt barrel legal (which was only accomplished by the barrel being rifled).  These are smoothbores. 

But, while being smoothbores, they are not, "shotguns."  The reason they are not shotguns is because by definition a, "shotgun" is shoulder-fired.  These are not shoulder fired and hence they are not shotguns.  As I understand it, they are also do not meet the definition of a handgun either.  What are they?  Legally, they meet the definition of, "other."  They meet that definition by default (i.e. because they do not meet the definition of shotgun, rifle or handgun).

Again, I am floored that such an item is as easy acquired as a circa 1899 Winchester rifle.

Who can make sense of this for me?

 

Confused

May 14, 2019
5:20 pm
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While we're trying to make sense of things, here's a lever action repeating rifle with a 12 inch barrel.  If the stock weren't cut down, it would require NFA status:

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/811048293

So the single-shot 15-inch barreled rifle under discussion is so much more dangerous because the stock hasn't been cut down?

May 18, 2019
7:49 pm
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Steve,

For future reference, Winchester manufactured a total of (380) Lightweight (Baby) Carbines. Of that number, (281) of them are pre-1899 (Antique), leaving just (99) of them that are in the NFA category. There is no reason why all of them could not be cleared by the BATF as Curio & Relics. I have a detailed survey of all (380) of the Lightweight Carbines in my reference material on the Model 1885.

Bert

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May 18, 2019
9:30 pm
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Thanks for the information Bert.  Very interesting.  I consider these quite the collectables. 

May 18, 2019
10:25 pm
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1.JPGImage EnlargerHear is mine, I have shown them before, together with a 20'' short rifle.

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May 18, 2019
11:00 pm
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Tony - very cool. 

Thanks for posting.

June 26, 2019
1:19 am
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I missed this post. I was the buyer of the baby carbine and the plan is to attempt to apply for an exemption from BAFT. Any help with the process if it’s possible would be appropriated. 

June 26, 2019
2:30 am
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started47 said
I missed this post. I was the buyer of the baby carbine and the plan is to attempt to apply for an exemption from BAFT. Any help with the process if it’s possible would be appropriated.   

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/curios-relics

Bert

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July 2, 2019
3:06 am
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I have 2 Marlin 1894s with 15" barrels, both were out of the factory ledger range, Marlin known numbers end around 1906, mine made 1908 and 1912. I got them at different auctions. They weren't cleared by ATF, both auction company's offered refund if they didn't clear. First refunded funds and sent gun to ATF, they received gun back in 4wks with clearance papers. They called me and asked if I still wanted it, needless to say it's in the safe. The other one I paid for and Auction Co paid to send it in, 5wks later I took ownership with paperwork. Bottom line, if it's a real short barrel, you shouldn't have a problem getting it cleared.

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