As far as short guns: Winchester released a replica of Steve McQueen's "Hog Leg" from the "Wanted: D or A" TV show.( I t was a short stocked 1892 Winchester.) It was later banned by Fed, regulations, but the ban was lifted when they were shown it was a "replica" of a pre-1898 pattern gun, chambered for black powder.
Brace yourself things get real confusing when dealing with the BATFE. I vaguely recall the firearm but couldn't find any actual specs on it yet (barrel length etc.) as released to the public. However based on Federal law here's how Winchester could have made an NFA exempt McQueen "Hog Leg":
#1: the rifle had a barrel of 16 inches and overall length of 26 inches. (not likely)
#2: It was actually manufactured as pistol (12 inch barrel)(most likely since these are still being made today be other companies)
Here's the confusing part: by Federal law you can't cut down an existing rifle or take a rifle receiver/frame and turn it into a pistol without it being an NFA firearm. You can however build a pistol from the the ground up as long as it meets BATFE's definition of what a constitutes a pistol. You can even take a pistol and if the design allows it, swap out the barrel for a 16 inch , add a shoulder stock to come up to 26 inches total length and you're good to go. Just don't ever have that short barrel on there while the shoulder stock is in place. ( don't you just love their "logic" ?) I suspect when Winchester first came out with the McQueen "Hog Leg" as a pistol BATFE got all bent out shape and considered that little stub of wood on the end a shoulder stock and thus an NFA short barreled rifle.
Here's some interesting links on the gun:
CA also has a stupid law banning Yugo SKS's--their are posters near the AZ border. Seems a Yugo with a grenade launcher attachment makes it a .750" bore rifle (??) and against the .50 caliber law(?). I have removed my launcher. I'd like to take it in under their noses. And, a few Ferrets.
Actually I think they have problem with the grenade launcher part. When the yugos were first coming in several dealers made modfications to the launcher for California sales and turned it into a muzzle break. It would no longer function as a launcher but still looked close to the original.
Plus, with the import ban of 1968, no more are being imported, it is a fixed number.
Not long ago thousands of WW2 era American made Thompson SMGs were found in Russia. We sent them over during the war but the Russians didn't use .45 ACP ammo so they sat in cosmoline all these years. They are now coming back to us as nearly pristine parts kits minus the receivers which have been torched . Brings tears to my eyes when I think of these collectible pieces gone forever.
Speaking of collectibles and pre-1898 guns: Does an old Maxim machine gun, say from 1897, qualify as a collectible, not a firearm? I can't get a straight answer on this. What about an 1885 Maxim, with a black powder loading?
Excellent question. BATFE seems to contradict itself. Here's the official BATFE NFA Handbook:
BTW blackpowder in the cartridge doesn't make a difference. Federal law is pretty clear on this. If it was made in 1898 or later and uses any
separate powder cartridge it's considered a modern firearm, thus the muzzleloader exemption.