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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:05 pm 
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410 Folding shotguns, Belgian things, we have all seen them haven’t we?

They are a hoot to shoot, can be held on a Shotgun Certificate, fold away to a very discreet size and break clays/knock down rabbits when needed. I am sure you know someone who owns one.

They can also get you a mandatory 5 year prison sentence!


The Firearms Act 1968 states:
<Snip>
(3)This section applies to every firearm except—

[F1(a)a shot gun within the meaning of this Act, that is to say a smooth-bore gun (not being an air gun) which—

(i)has a barrel not less than 24 inches in length and does not have any barrel with a bore exceeding 2 inches in diameter;
<Snip>

The key part we are interested in is ‘not less than 24 inches in length’ People often talk about S2 shotgun barrel lengths as 24 inches or 60cm or more and they are not the same, 60cm is 23.62 inches and that .38 inches or around 3/8 inch is actually quite a lot in the eyes of the Law. Certainly enough to render a shotgun Section 1 (FAC)

So what has this got to do with the ubiquitous .410 folder? Well many of them came out of the factory with 60cm/ 600,0mm barrels and are instantly a fail when it comes to our UK Firearms Act definition of a shotgun barrel. Worse still, many internet sources, people and even gun shops on occasion will glibly tell you a shotgun barrel minimum length is 24 inches and/or 600 mm which is wrong.

Even worse, people unwittingly can hold these under a Section 2 certificate because nobody has ever checked the barrel length and it looks about right. Well ignorance is no excuse. Now I am fairly sure if you checked and found you had one that did not hit 24 inches and advised your local FEO, (You can even point out this article) He would probably/hopefully just take it away and that would be the end of it. There are, however, circumstances which most definitely could see you in court so beware.

I also see this quite often with 9mm garden guns which are actually Section 1 however they can be held under a Section 2 exemption as long as they are smooth bored and have a barrel length of not less that 24 inches Out of interest, does anyone know what the other example of this exemption is without looking it up?

So if you have a folder, or a garden gun, or even a .410 bolt action such as a Webley, pop a tape measure against the barrel when you get home tonight. The measurement you are looking for is the overall barrel length, or in the case of a bolt action the distance from the bolt face when closed to the other end of the barrel.

…and why am I telling you this? Because you need to know.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:38 pm 
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IANAL, but I expect you could find one to argue that as it doesn't say "has a barrel not less than 24.0 inches in length" that the rules for rounding must apply and that therefore 60cm is 24 inches.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:31 pm 
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A man by any chance?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:45 pm 
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The principal Act stipulates 24" as does the latest Home Office Guidance. Single barrel .410 with a "60cm" barrel is s1.

Yet another reason to ditch the metric system completely....

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:35 pm 
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Ask me who's just been running up stairs with a tape measure (Ahead of a renewal visit Monday) - Relieved to say it 71cms (28") :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:41 pm 
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1066 wrote:
Ask me who's just been running up stairs with a tape measure (Ahead of a renewal visit Monday) - Relieved to say it 71cms (28") :)


Likewise .................

But mine has a barrel extension and a Birmingham proof stamp on the extension . So it should be legal ?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:42 pm 
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Sim G wrote:
Yet another reason to ditch the metric system completely....

And that would cause all 60cm barrels to become longer how, exactly?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 9:16 pm 
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TRG-22 wrote:
Sim G wrote:
Yet another reason to ditch the metric system completely....

And that would cause all 60cm barrels to become longer how, exactly?



Obviously it wouldn't. But it would certainly have prevented confusion. And given that the Principal Act dictates Imperial, endorsed by the 2016 guidance.....

As with other incorrectly used nomenclature that abounds the shooting world, people should stop it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:35 am 
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One wonders to what accuracy a length of 24" has to be measured.

If it is the case that 23.62 is not regarded as 24, despite what every mathematician in the world would say it is if you round to the nearest integer (and 24 is an integer), what about 23.9"? 23.95? 23.99?, 23.99999999?

Are there actually any precedents for people being found guilty of an offence, or prosecuted, where a measurement was vital, but the discrepancy was down in the decimal place weeds?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:57 am 
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When you get to court, just ask the police to produce their "certificate of calibration" to prove their measuring device is accurate and has been regularly checked.

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