Interesting NFA Guns

I came across a webpage on the BATFE website with examples of NFA regulated guns …

Mauser Machine Pistol
M1 Carbine. How this thing could be controlled on full auto is beyond me.
Sawn-off “Lupara” style shotgun
Flare launcher inserts. Legal to own but put one of these into a flare launcher and you will be locked up for a long time.
Commercially made shot pistol
Commercially made shot pistol

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Nathaniel

    The M2 Carbine is an SBR, it is likely not full auto.

    • Nathaniel

      M1 Carbine, I mean. If it were an M2, then yes, it would be full auto.

    • Avery

      Even still, I still doubt if you could control that thing in just semi-auto.

      It seems like the shooter’s hand would either be on top of the firing action or not firmly grasping the gun.

    • gunguydave

      M2 is full auto m1 is semi.

    • Bryan S.

      And by the listing above it on the ATF page, even if the M2 is semi-auto only, it is an MG.

  • bbmg

    Why is a sawed off shotgun controlled, but a large bore handgun not?

    A hypothetical buckshot round for a 0.500 S&W revolver could send 9 double aught pellets downrange at 1500 fps, that’s faster that what you could expect for a typical 2.75″ shotgun load.

    You could get a used revolver legally for around a thousand bucks, not exactly cheap but not beyond what your average serious criminal could afford.

    • Mcameron

      the NFA laws make absolutely no sense when anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together actually sits down and thinks about it…

      I can legally own a pistol, and I can legally own a rifle…..then why do I have to jump through hoops to get an SBR…..

      ….and SBR is no more concealable than a pistol…….and it is no more dangerous than a typical rifle……..

      hell, i can go out and buy an AR-15 pistol and walk out the store the same day………but if i want to take an existing AR-15 rifle and put a shorter barrel on it, i have to pay more money and jump through hoops……the 2 guns are exactly the same, except one has “pistol” marked on the receiver, and the other is marked “rifle”……

    • Chris

      The main basis for many of these NFA laws was racist in origin. The banning of the “Lupura” style sawed off shotgun was directed at the Italian and Sicilian ethnic groups who not being WASP were an easy target for politicians of the day. It would make as much sense as banning large rims on luxury vehicles today to target a part of the population.

  • Alpha Roger

    BATFE sure has odd regulations.

  • Reg

    Quite surprised to see that a small revolver in a wallet holster is classified as AOW. I think you should have included that as a warning. Those were widely marketed at one time.

    • Cymond

      I think they were only widely marketed until ATF handed down the ruling that they are AOWs. That’s why they aren’t marketed anymore.

      The DeSantis Pocket Shot is very similar, but it exposes the slide of a semi-auto pistol. Apparently ATF has given the ‘OK’ for the pocket shot because it still looks enough like a handgun.

  • cayton

    I was under the impression that flare gun inserts were legal. Am I mistaken?

    • Mcameron

      using a flare insert constitutes “manufacturing a firearm”….which is 100% legal on the federal level(check your local laws)……which of course means the newly manufactured firearm must conform to all state and federal laws(including NFA laws)….using a flare-to-pistol converter is legal assuming the adapter rifled(otherwise you are making an AOW, and require a tax stamp). the flare-to-shotgun is illegal(without a tax stamp) because you would be making an Short barrel shotgun.

      • Joe Grine

        The distinction made by the BATFE between a rifled barreled insert (Non-NFA item) and a non-rifled barrel (NFA item) really makes no sense from a policy standpoint. It’s a perfect example of now Byzantine the NFA statutes and rules really are.

      • Branson

        It is pretty silly that an sub-caliber insert is legal, but a drop in sear is not. Both functionally does the same thing, turn something that was not under NFA into something that is under NFA.

  • Vaarok

    The M1 Carbine appears to actually be a commercial Iver Johnson Enforcer, and the bottom shotgun is a factory-produced Ithaca Auto & Burglar, which from what I understand is exempted from NFA due to rarity- they made a couple hundred tops.

    So I’m pretty sure those are legal, unless something’s been done to them.

    • Hypothetically, would putting a 12 gauge insert into, say, a 37mm flare launcher be legal if you only used it to launch 12 gauge flares? Not that I ever would or recommned it, of course. It would seem though that it would still remain a flare gun at that point and not an SBS. Unnecessarily convoluted regulations indeed.

      • Mcameron

        12 gage flares are actually not the same shape as 12 gage shotshells…..and they make the legitimate 12g flare adapters to fit only 12g flare shells.

        if you wanted to fit a shotgun shell into a flare adapter, you would have to slightly modify the adapter.

        so if you have a flare gun that you wanted to shoot 12gage flares out of(very common actually)….you are perfectly legal to buy a 12g flare adapter so long as you dont modify it to fit 12g shot shells.

  • Acad Ronin

    There are many things annoying and irrational about the NFA rules. One I find particularly silly is the rule against the various garden guns such as the shot pistol. Handy Gun and the Stevens Auto Shot. One could readily exempt any smooth bore with a bore of less than 0.5″ without major threat to public safety.

  • gunslinger

    so, why is the wallet holster, with hole NFA regulated, but the belt buckle holster is not?

    and to get it clear…if a flare gun insert has a rifled barrel (for rifle/handgun ammo) it is legal to own, but if it is smooth, (for a shotgun shell) it requires a tax stamp? because a short barrel shotgun is less than 18 inches and has a stock. but a smooth bore gun w/o a stock less than 18 inches is just AOW?

    wow.. i need a lawyer to understand a lawyer to understand the rules…

    • Mcameron

      the wallet holster is an AOW because it disguises the pistol to look like a wallet, where as the belt buckle holster clearly identifies that it is a pistol.

      as far as i know, it is perfectly legal to have a ‘wallet holster’ if there is no way to actuate the trigger while in the holster.

      i believe at the time there was a fear the wallet holsters would lead to police shootings because the officer would be unable to tell if the person was holding a gun.

  • إبليس

    How much rifling is needed to make an illegal SBS into a legal pistol? Say Serbu makes a their trademark shotgun with a fully rifled 45LC barrel that accepts 410? Also, would the slide count as a forward grip, requiring a stamp?

    • Zincorium

      The issue is that by the time you’re actually in compliance with the laws, no one really is interested anymore. A pump action handgun in .45 colt/.410, with the small amount of rifling like you get on the judge, would be heavier, longer, have lower capacity (with a tube magazine) when compared to the judge and would have to be built from the receiver up as a pistol instead of being converted from a rifle. Having a second vertical grip would also be off the table.

      The Serbu super shorty is cheaper (with better margins) and more effective than what you’re talking about, being 12 gauge and without the rifling to screw up the pattern.

      A better idea might be to look at the Safir .410 shotguns that are compatible with AR lowers, by an upper by itself, replace the default barrel with a shorter one with just enough rifling to qualify as a pistol instead of a shotgun, and attach it to a registered handgun AR lower. You’d have a decently sized detachable magazine, it’d be easy to do legally, and who knows, the upper might be able to take higher-pressure .45 colt based rounds like .454 Casull or even .460 XVR- worth checking, anyways. Only hard part would be the custom, partially rifled barrel that would be compatible with the Safir upper.

      I’d write the BATFE a letter beforehand asking if you can do it. If they don’t have an issue, you don’t have to worry (as much) about getting in trouble over it.

  • W

    god. the mauser. *drolls

  • Tim

    I once shot the Mauser Broomhandle on full auto without the stock. The resut was one round in the target the rest in the air, maybe they should rethink that one…

  • Wait wait wait. The last gun show I went to had a guy selling the Spikes Tactical flare guns with all the inserts to shoot 12 gauge rounds. You are telling me that it is illegal? I even asked about the tax stamp for an AOW. He was like, “nah, you don’t need any license, its a flare gun!”

  • Even still, I still doubt if you could control that thing in just semi-auto.

    The .30 carbine is basically a pistol caliber and, from an 18 inch barrel is only marginally more powerful than a typical .357 handgun loading. I really don’t think a short barreled, buttstock-less M1 carbine would be harder to handle than, say, a Colt Python or Ruger GP100.

    Less ergonomic and inconvenient maybe, but from a recoil standpoint? Don’t think so.

  • .303British

    I <3 Mauser C96s

  • Gerry Lewis

    I have the last one. the scroll work on it is pretty awesome. Ithaca Burglar Shotgun.

  • Sam Suggs

    what politacal motivation inspired this varied list of firearms possibly all guns are dangerouse message cant possibly be anything good