Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Question Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    Going around on Gunbroker today , I found this interesting , especially since I have 2 of them. One I purchased via mail order when I was 17.


    From 1972 until 2008, Ruger produced the *Old Army* .44 caliber cap and ball pistol. Since reproduction period percussion pistols suffer the same design deficiencies as the originals, Ruger designed their pistol from scratch, rather than opting to continue on the 1800s blueprint. Using a modern platform for the action, the result was a very reliable, robust cap and ball pistol, which far outshines the originals. Since this pistol is not a copy of a legacy pistol, it is considered by the ATF as a modern gun, not an antique, as are the reproductions of Colt and Remington percussion revolvers.

    We have been instructed by ATF to treat this revolver as a Modern Firearm as it is NOT a reproduction of a pre-1899 design and it IS readily converted to fire a fixed cartridge via commercially available drop-in cartridge conversion cylinders. Please do not bid on this item unless you are willing to have it transferred through a dealer FFL. We understand that there are varying opinions on this matter, we will be treating this revolver as we have been instructed by ATF.
    Anyone else ever hear of these ''instructions'' from BATFE?
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    I only heard of that IF the conversion cylinder was installed.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    Quote Originally Posted by DucatiRon View Post
    I only heard of that IF the conversion cylinder was installed.
    Same thing here and I've been in the business for 30 years. I would like to see the citation from this seller (bet he can't find it). Many on line sellers come up with their own "laws/regulations" and cite the ATF but can never prove them. They do this for whatever reason they have and I've seen stranger as I am sure most FFLs have also over the years.
    Ron USAF Ret E-8 FFL01/SOT3 NRA Benefactor Member

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    There was a bill 20yrs ago to have cap & ball replica revolvers regulated as modern revolvers after some nutcase bought one mail-order and killed a nurse at Norristown State Hospital. Needless to say it went nowhere.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    Ask a cop.
    It's the only way to be sure.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    Complete bullshit. The old army is probably the strongest of the cap and ball revolvers, but it's still based on an antique design and doesn't fire cartridge ammo without the conversion. The conversion cylinders have to be bought separately and are available for colt/remmy replicas too

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    The 1st test for determining whether or not a gun is a Antique Firearm is - age, made before 1898.

    The 2nd test is - does it use fixed cartridges? If yes, and made after 1898, it is a modern firearm(except see 3rd test). If no, regardless of when it is made, it is an antique firearm. Technically, the main guns on a battleship aren't "firearms" because they do not use fixed cartridges. The guns themselves shouldn't require any paperwork whatsoever. The shells on the other hand would if they are exploding(Destructive Device), custom made solids would be as regulated as a .44cal muzzleloader ball.

    The 3rd test is - is the cartridge ammo that the gun is chambered in available in normal avenues of commerce? If yes, and gun is made after 1898, the gun is a modern firearm. If no, and even if the gun is made after 1898, it is an "antique firearm". If someone were to manufacture a gun chambered in .27 Stevens Rimfire today, it would be an antique firearm because that ammo is not commercially available.


    Whomever is calling the Ruger Old Army cap & ball a "modern firearm" is utterly and completely incorrect.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    The point was made that the ROA is NOT replica or reproduction of any 19th century percussion revolver , but a thoroughly modern (1972) design , which is technically true.

    However , there are many other Civil-War style cap & ball revolvers that are not either. A quick search on Gunbroker shows many ads for an ''1851 Colt Navy .44'' , which is nowhere near authentic. All Colt 1851 Navy models were .36cal. No .44 was ever made. And no Colts ever had brass frames. BATFE loves technicalities.

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    IMO, it's not a matter of a BATFE interpretation or directive, it's a particular FFL setting some internal policy but blaming BATFE.

    Sort of like an FFL I stopped at in OH during the summer. Another customer in there, from NYS, wanted to buy a rifle but the owner wasn't having it; he told the guy he was prohibited from selling the New Yorker a rifle because NYS was not a contiguous state with OH. That "contiguous state only" law/reg went away like 35 yrs ago.

    But, all that said no FFL is obligated to sell anything to anyone. They don't need an excuse.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Never heard this before. Ruger Old Army.

    Plenty of other BP revolvers have conversion cylinders available...

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