Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Newport, Pennsylvania
    (Perry County)
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    Default Can a sporterized surplus military rifle be C&R?

    I was looking at another forum the other day and they were talking about whether a certain rifle would be C&R and someone mentioned that if you put a plastic stock on say, a 1903 springfield, that it is no longer C&R.

    I found the following on the ATF site:

    Q: What modifications can be made on C&R firearms without changing their C&R classification?

    The definition for curio or relic (“C & R”) firearms found in 27 CFR 478.11 does not specifically state that a firearm must be in its original condition to be classified as a C&R firearm. However, ATF Ruling 85-10, which discusses the importation of military C&R firearms, notes that they must be in original configuration and adds that a receiver is not a C&R item. Combining this ruling and the definition of C&R firearms, the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) has concluded that a firearm must be in its original condition to be considered a C&R weapon.

    It is also the opinion of FTB, however, that a minor change such as the addition of scope mounts, non-original sights, or sling swivels would not remove a firearm from its original condition. Moreover, we have determined that replacing particular firearms parts with new parts that are made to the original design would also be acceptable-for example, replacing a cracked M1 Grand stock with a new wooden stock of the same design, but replacing the original firearm stock with a plastic stock would change its classification as a C&R item.

    There are a few things I find interesting in that answer.

    1) the receiver is not what is considered C&R. Pretty much every other law for guns out there uses the receiver as the most important piece. Hell, the only thing on a AR that matter is the lower receiver. Why is there a difference with old guns?

    2) You can replace small parts like swivels and sights, and even replace the original stock with a NEW, but wooden stock of the same design and it's still considered C&R but when you replace it with a plastic stock, even if it would be of the same design, it's no longer C&R.

    This also got me to thinking about sporterized rifles. I see a ton of sporterized rifles on gunbroker under the C&R section. They still have wooden stocks but they are not of the same design. They are shorter, do not have handguards, and do not even have the same shape.

    Hell, I've even seen plastic stocked rifles in the C&R section. I particularly remember seeing a plastic stocked Mosin. It looked like crap and I can't imagine anyone would buy it, but it was still there.

    So does sporterizing a C&R eligible rifle remove the C&R eligibility?


    What about a cut down original stock?
    Last edited by WWGunslinger; January 26th, 2012 at 03:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    York, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Can a sporterized surplus military rifle be C&R?

    I have always took it to be the only thing that made a C&R not eligible anymore was if it was sold as just a barreled action or just a receiver. The rifle has to be "complete". It's up to you to make the final call though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    se, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
    Rep Power

    Default Re: Can a sporterized surplus military rifle be C&R?


    Its always been my understanding that was the 'official' defimition of a C&R regardless of what people do. You'll find people having the same type of argument about whether you need to record items in your BB acquired while licensed but not using explicitly using your license.

    In the end what you say below is all that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by WWGunslinger View Post
    the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) has concluded that a firearm must be in its original condition to be considered a C&R weapon.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."- The Papers of Ben Franklin

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