Author Topic: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question  (Read 6828 times)

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Ben

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Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« on: September 13, 2009, 08:07:38 PM »
According to california:
Quote
CA Penal Code 978.20(a) which defines: "detachable magazine" means any ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool being required. "A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered a tool."

Does anyone know if there is a federal definition like that defining what a detachable magazine is?  I live in NY and have NOT been able to find any language in our laws (NYS laws) that define what exactly a detachable magazine is.

Is there anything scary about writing a letter to the ATF in washington to find out?


LESchwartz

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 10:25:22 PM »
I don't know of a definition . . . but to what end do you want to know:  Academic interest, or do you have something particular in mind?

Larry
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Ben

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2009, 11:20:22 PM »
Half-half.  Started as academic, but if it can be put to practical use...

NY still has the AWB on our books.  Long story short for everyone who hasn't had to deal with it, a SAW is defined as a semi-auto rifle that has a DETACHABLE magazine and has 2 features.

I first got interested when a friend and I were discussing the differences between an SKS magazine, AK 47, and the ease of removing an SKS magazine to allow a detachable magazine.  In NY if you were to remove the magazine of a Yugoslavian SKS you have what NY defines as a SAW.  The academic part started when the question of what constitutes a detachable magazine gun when all you need is a pointy rock, bullet, or tap to transform a gun to take detachable magazines.

Practical came when we were in the next state over and saw AK 47's with bayonet lugs and threaded muzzles for cheap prices but were not able to buy because they would not have been able to be brought back in to our state.  The other practical use is with AR 15 uppers that seem to all come with bayonet lugs and flash hiders (I know stag arms used to / still has a non bayonet lug'd version).  It is my understanding that if the rifles do not have a detachable magazine then the "evil" features is a moot point.

So there's the academic and the practical.  I have also home built (NY legal) AK's, but still have cut up kits in reserve that are as-purchased.  So finding an answer would settle a long standing question I have had, and allow for increased purchasing options as no one out of state cares (and rightfully so) what NY law says.

Aye Kay

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 08:33:17 AM »
  Ben,  Look at what they do in California to get around the stupid laws there.  Somebody makes a lower for the AR that you have to use a bullet tip or something pointy to release. 
   If I were worried about having a lot of rounds for my SKS I'd just buy one of the old 37 round USA magazines and make it non detachable.  A simple nub on the back of the magazine would make it non detach.  Then you could just load it from the top with stripper clips.  Or couldn't you cut off the lever on the mag release, and drill a hole in the part to put a bullet tip or small screwdriver in to pull back the catch.  I hope I explained that right,  (I just woke up.) 
    If you need a lot of rounds for an AK in a non detach form.  Permanently attach a 75 or 100 round Chinese drum to the receiver.  Then you could just load it from the back. 

Pflug

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 08:52:40 AM »
Probably missed the boat as far as the AK kits- a few months ago they were selling to where you could have turned a nice profit and concentrated on a platform that seems to work better with the "fixed" conversion
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Ben

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2009, 10:30:46 AM »
Probably missed the boat as far as the AK kits- a few months ago they were selling to where you could have turned a nice profit and concentrated on a platform that seems to work better with the "fixed" conversion

I have a good amount of kits for myself.  This isn't to turn a profit.  This is so that I can have some sense of normalcy with a gun that every other state seems to enjoy.

Ben

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2009, 10:36:26 AM »
  Ben,  Look at what they do in California to get around the stupid laws there.

  If you need a lot of rounds for an AK in a non detach form.  Permanently attach a 75 or 100 round Chinese drum to the receiver.  Then you could just load it from the back. 

Cali law clearly defines what a detachable magazine is and allows for ways to get around their laws, but as far as I have been able to find a definition for a detachable magazine does not exist on the federal or NY state level.

Unfortunetly a chinese drum would hit it's door on the trigger guard when it swings backwards to open for loading.  I only plink and collect.  Capacity is a non issue.

It's also mighty hard to retain ANY collectors value on a gun when you snip the bayonet lug and weld a muzzle attachment on.

Pflug

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 11:28:12 AM »
Probably missed the boat as far as the AK kits- a few months ago they were selling to where you could have turned a nice profit and concentrated on a platform that seems to work better with the "fixed" conversion

I have a good amount of kits for myself.  This isn't to turn a profit.  This is so that I can have some sense of normalcy with a gun that every other state seems to enjoy.

That's the point- the law has effectively kept you from enjoying the normal configuration

Another option if you're collecting rather than shooting anyways is to demill into non gun wallhangers 
If you don't know, shut yer hole

Aye Kay

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 08:17:27 PM »
  Ben,  Look at what they do in California to get around the stupid laws there.

  If you need a lot of rounds for an AK in a non detach form.  Permanently attach a 75 or 100 round Chinese drum to the receiver.  Then you could just load it from the back. 

Cali law clearly defines what a detachable magazine is and allows for ways to get around their laws, but as far as I have been able to find a definition for a detachable magazine does not exist on the federal or NY state level.

Unfortunetly a chinese drum would hit it's door on the trigger guard when it swings backwards to open for loading.  I only plink and collect.  Capacity is a non issue.

It's also mighty hard to retain ANY collectors value on a gun when you snip the bayonet lug and weld a muzzle attachment on.

    Then why do you care?  Just put a plug in the mag well and use it single shot.  Problem solved.  Plink and collect. 

     BTW You could probably plink a lot more accurately and cheaper with a .22LR.   
   

Ben

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 09:59:34 PM »
   Then why do you care?  Just put a plug in the mag well and use it single shot.  Problem solved.  Plink and collect.  

     BTW You could probably plink a lot more accurately and cheaper with a .22LR.  

(I already have a .22 that I shoot with)

This goes right back to the question I first posed.  What defines a fixed magazine vs. a detachable magazine.  Is there a law, regulation, or BATFE determination that says what exactly is fixed and what exactly is detachable.  Plugging is a good idea, I could see taking 2 pieces of metal, 1 on each side of the mag well, and riveting them together being acceptable, but it's a gray area to me until I can find a solid determination... And it's not up to what I find acceptable, it's as always up to the laws / BATFE.

LESchwartz

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2009, 01:16:45 AM »
To get the thread back on topic . . .

I think I saw an ATF definition one time that mentioned that a fixed magazine required the use of tools . . . try Googling William Bardwel's web site:  http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist.

Larry
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Ben

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2009, 01:48:36 AM »
To get the thread back on topic . . .

I think I saw an ATF definition one time that mentioned that a fixed magazine required the use of tools . . . try Googling William Bardwel's web site:  http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/wbardwel/public/nfalist.

Larry

I tried to steer it right again, thanks :)

LESchwartz

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2009, 01:55:38 PM »
Quote from: NYS Assembly Bill A06157
24. "DETACHABLE MAGAZINE" MEANS ANY  AMMUNITION  FEEDING  DEVICE,  THE FUNCTION  OF  WHICH IS TO DELIVER ONE OR MORE AMMUNITION CARTRIDGES INTO THE FIRING CHAMBER, WHICH CAN BE REMOVED FROM THE  FIREARM  WITHOUT THE USE OF ANY TOOL, INCLUDING A BULLET OR AMMUNITION CARTRIDGE.

Full text of the bill:  http://www.assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A06157&sh=t

Looks like it passed . . . but I don't know if if was signed into law or when it goes into effect.

Larry
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Ben

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2009, 12:01:09 AM »
That's saying if you can remove the magazine from the gun using a bullet or cartridge than it's considered a detachable magazine, or do I have that backwards? If I have it right some could argue that an SKS is a detachable magazine gun.   :shock:

Ben

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Re: Fixed magazine vs. detachable magazine question
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2009, 12:18:14 AM »
Did some more searching, looks like the bill DIED between the senate and assembly, never got to the gov.

Well, they've made an attempt to define a detachable magazine as such.  I guess it might be time to snail mail the ATF and try to get a letter?