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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:58 pm 
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I'm interested to understand more about this S1, S5 conversion malarkey. And I sincerely hope it doesn't restart old arguments. In a way I guess I shouldn't be doing this, because of that risk, given that it's of no practical importance to me - I've got no plans to acquire a gun which might or might not be illegal - neither my pockets nor my cojones are big enough for me to want to head to the 'here there be serpents' part of the map.

Even if I do see some merit in the idea that a gun can't be S5 if it isn't in the UK.

But to turn to "conversions". To me a "conversion" is an after-market affair. If a gunsmith were to take a revolver with a 12" barrel but a normal grip, and attach a bit of wire to the grip to bring it to an overall length of 24", I can see that that would be a "conversion", and that there would be good reason to disallow that, as it could easily be unconverted.

But then, of course, it would be the work of only moment with a hacksaw to "unconvert" these:

Image

Just as with the same hacksaw one could shorten the barrel(s) of a shotgun.

So I struggle to understand what the aim of the lawmakers was when they made the "once a S5, always a S5" rule. (Yes, I know that only madness lies in looking for logic and reason in firearms legislation).

If one of those LBRs was deliberately or accidentally modified, my understanding is that it would become illegal because it would fall into S5 due to the overall length being < 60cm.

But if the law says that once S5 it's always S5, doesn't that mean that it could never be repaired and regain its legal status?

In the now-locked thread there was discussion of by whom, and at what stage in the manufacturing process, and where, a handgun which would fall under S5 could be modified and then be regarded as an S1?

At first glance the Alpha 357 Magnum LBR bears more than a passing resemblance to the carbine they make. I don't know if they also make it with a normal pistol grip, but if they do where/when/how does the one with the extension piece get made to make it legal in the UK?

Could S&W add an extension to this before it leaves the factory and have it be legal in the UK?

Image

(I bet there would be some takers lol )

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:51 pm 
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I looked at that smith a while back and it would probably only need 3 or 4 inch wrist brace fitting.
If was done at the factory I believe it would be sec 1.
That being the case it would be £3k by the time it arrived in gun shops here.
And it may be tricky to find somewhere to shoot it!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:24 pm 
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mag41uk wrote:
I looked at that smith a while back and it would probably only need 3 or 4 inch wrist brace fitting.
If was done at the factory I believe it would be sec 1.

But is that fitting of a brace a conversion?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:41 pm 
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The 14" barrel version needs barely more than 2" added on - could probably do that with a different grip...

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:15 am 
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Quote:
Could S&W add an extension to this before it leaves the factory and have it be legal in the UK?


Given that UK sales of such a thing would hardly scrape into 3 figures, if that, I doubt it is even on their radar.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:58 am 
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Why not write to the Home Office and ask? The wheels turn slowly but they do turn. I've done so on three occasions to get their opinion (and it is just an opinion, you have to go to court to get a decision), and got two satisfactory answers.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:36 am 
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TRG-22 wrote:
mag41uk wrote:
I looked at that smith a while back and it would probably only need 3 or 4 inch wrist brace fitting.
If was done at the factory I believe it would be sec 1.

But is that fitting of a brace a conversion?


Its not a conversion if it was made that way at the point of manufacture.
Same thing applies to the Taurus LBR`s etc etc.
If its made that way in the factory and cataloged as such it meets UK criteria.
If that is not the case there are 1000`s of lbr/lbp owners who are crims!
Alan Westlake has been "converting" browning 22 rifles into buck mark lbp`s for many years.
And he also builds his nitro ml pistols from frames he brings in.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:15 pm 
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Ovenpaa wrote:
Quote:
Could S&W add an extension to this before it leaves the factory and have it be legal in the UK?


Given that UK sales of such a thing would hardly scrape into 3 figures, if that, I doubt it is even on their radar.

Indeed.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:20 pm 
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Blackstuff wrote:
Why not write to the Home Office and ask? The wheels turn slowly but they do turn. I've done so on three occasions to get their opinion (and it is just an opinion, you have to go to court to get a decision), and got two satisfactory answers.

Two reasons:

  1. This is all just curiosity/academic interest stuff, so writing to them comes under the CBA heading.
  2. I'm not sure I would want to risk them thinking "Hmm, here is a man interested in exploring the boundaries of S1 vs S5 handguns, including the S&W FBG Magnum".

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:31 pm 
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mag41uk wrote:
TRG-22 wrote:
mag41uk wrote:
I looked at that smith a while back and it would probably only need 3 or 4 inch wrist brace fitting.
If was done at the factory I believe it would be sec 1.

But is that fitting of a brace a conversion?


Its not a conversion if it was made that way at the point of manufacture.
Same thing applies to the Taurus LBR`s etc etc.
If its made that way in the factory and cataloged as such it meets UK criteria.

If that is the legal position, then it is a simplistic one which ignores the reality of manufacturing, where parts and sub assemblies flow back and forth between different companies, subsidiaries, sub-contractors etc.

viewtopic.php?f=93&t=37198&start=40#p397126

Returning to our hypothetical S&W LBR, it could well leave their factory as a finished product sold to a wholesaler/dealer/importer/whatever, but before then it is conceivable that it left their factory as a regular product, which would be S5 here, to go to a sub-contractor with a expertise in low-volume hand grip manufacturing who removes the standard grips, fits the longer ones, and returns the modified revolver to S&W.

We can't police that sort of thing.

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