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Sten build

mozepermozeper Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
edited May 2016 in Ask the Experts
When cycling, how close does the bolt get to the barrel trunnion?

Thanks!

Comments

  • mozepermozeper Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    If I build a sten gun with 16inch barrel using orginal parts, but not installing a magazine well or cutting open the magazine port, leaving the exit port as the only way of loading the fire arm. Would this Sten be leagal? Thanks
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It would seem to me that it is effectively a single shot. The best answer is to get a ruling from them in writing - speculation could lead to prison time after tons of lawyer money. That is if you make it to court after they kick down your door.
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,798 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    For a sten, "original parts" means "illegal full auto". Some folks have built semi-auto stens with modified parts; your approach is novel.

    Many of the inmates in federal prison thought that they were being slick. I would not own a sten or a sten parts kit without an ATF Form 3 or 4. It's just too difficult to explain your idea to the fellas with the bulges in the cheap suits. I hate prison food.

    Neal

    "Arrest now, litigate later." ---- BATFE motto
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 24,511 ******
    edited November -1
    Single shot or not, if it fires from an open bolt it will not be a legal build.
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:>>Single shot or not, if it fires from an open bolt it will not be a legal build.
    The BATFE won't like it, that's for sure. It decided in 1982 that any gun that fires from an open bolt is "readily convertible to full auto" which they consider the same as a full auto gun. They've also determined that open bolt Sten clones are illegal (though I don't if their opinion has actually been tested in a court of law). Remember the BATFE enforces the law, and to do that, it needs its own opinioins. . .but it doesn't write or judge the law which means there can be (and has been) differences between what the BATFE thinks, and what courts think:

    https://www.atf.gov/file/55386/download

    Is the gun actually illegal? I actually doubt it. Here is the reg in question the BATFE cited with respect to this:

    The National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. 5845(b), defines a machinegun to include any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.


    So that bit about "manual reloading" may well exclude a single-shot Sten clone.

    IE, this gun doesn't shoot more than one shot per trigger pull, and CANNOT do so. Since the design deliberately omits a magazine well, it cannot be "readily restored" to do so, and I think its perfectly reasonable to argue that by deliberately excluding the ability to take any cartridge feeding device, this particular gun was designed NOT to fire more than one shot per trigger pull.

    Non-open bolt semi-auto Sten clones are OK. . .they don't have a problem with Stens per se, just with guns that are trivially easy to convert to full auto.

    Unlike the Sten clone they said was a machinegun, above, it would NOT be easy as simply snipping a disconnector to make this fire auto. To get this to fire full auto would require substantial work, including cutting and re-welding the receiver.

    How "readily" convertible that makes this is one of those things that lawyers make their livings arguing about in court, but I think there are probably other BATFE rulings suggesting that if you have to do a significant amount of cutting of metal and welding to get there, it doesn't count. IE, you can turn ANY semi-auto gun into full auto with enough manipulations. . .some of them pretty easily.

    Lets assume the worst: You build it, somehow the BATFE finds out about it (not sure how they would. . .since anyone seeing this in action would know its a single shot), they actually care, AND they decide they care enough to go ahead and refer this for prosecution. At that point it would be up to a judge and jury to decide if your no-magazine single shot gun was a "machinegun", not the BATFE, and my guess is they probably wouldn't do so.

    Bottom line, I agree with Charliemeyer007 here. Personally I wouldn't try this without a written advisory opinion from the BATFE indicating that a single-shot Sten is OK. IMO its a very cool idea, but not worth the worry. Go ask the BATFE what THEY think.

    Would the BATFE give you that? My guess is "no"; if you asked them, they'd reiterate their opinion that open bolt guns are illegal. That doesn't mean their opinion is legally correct, but unless you want the possiblity of a gigantic legal bill and jail time, better not to "push the envelope". Better to ask them this question, and see what they say.
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by nmyers
    For a sten, "original parts" means "illegal full auto". Some folks have built semi-auto stens with modified parts; your approach is novel.

    Many of the inmates in federal prison thought that they were being slick. I would not own a sten or a sten parts kit without an ATF Form 3 or 4. It's just too difficult to explain your idea to the fellas with the bulges in the cheap suits. I hate prison food.

    Neal

    "Arrest now, litigate later." ---- BATFE motto

    Well, I think you're mostly right. . .if you used all "original parts" and then put them in the standard configuration, this, obviously would be illegal. See BATFE ruling, above.

    But its a little more complicated than that. With MOST guns, the restricted full auto, and perfectly legal semi-auto versions still share most parts. IE, barrels, receiver, action parts, are all the same, and the BATFE doesn't care about that stuff.

    With respect to parts, what they care about is fire control groups, or any parts that can be used to convert legal semi-auto ones into illegal full auto ones. It doesn't matter if your build has NO original parts. . .it could still be illegal. . .and it could have MOSTLY original parts, and not be. Its just about WHICH parts it has, and what those parts do.

    In this case, I think this is potentially an issue apart from the lack of magazine/well.

    Even if your semi-auto single shot Sten CANNOT fire more than one shot, the BATFE is going to take a dim view of the gun if it contains a selective fire control group that could be used to build a full auto gun, or modify a pre-existing one into full auto.

    Don't know how much of the case that is with Stens, but I'd say a semi-auto only firegroup would be necessary for this type of build, EVEN IF THE GUN has no magazine!

    On "arrest now and litigate later", that's SOP for all law enforcement, isn't it?. I think contrary to what some think, BATFE isn't comprised of a bunch of hotheads trying to bust everyone/anyone for anything they can get. (At least most of them aren't like that). Regardless, I think the idea, again, is not to give anyone an excuse to arrest you, if you can possibly help it.

    In the case of something that, when it comes down to it, is basically just a novelty build for your own satisfaction, there is zero reason to push the envelope or take a chance.
  • mozepermozeper Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I thank all for your opinions. Maybe a nice Sten lava lamp would be better project with a closed bolt on off switch. Thanks again
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I like the lava light idea. The liberator 45, the M3 "Greasegun", the Sten and others of the stamp metal firearms are the blight of craftsmanship.

    added As an engineer I do appreciate the designs, the actual product is what I have little use for.

    It takes longer to reload a Liberator that it took to stamp one out.

    Back in the day I worked on the Liberator II design. A buddy wanted to make a buy back program killer. So a glass infused nylon and plastic of a Sharps single shot derringer with a molded in serial # plate in 22 CB cap.

    Sad to see a member of the 1911 family as lamp, should be a crack frame Beretta replacement.
  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by mozeper
    I thank all for your opinions. Maybe a nice Sten lava lamp would be better project with a closed bolt on off switch. Thanks again

    Certainly that would be easier to build, and with less legal worries.

    Still, it costs you nothing to write the BATFE and ask them for an advisory opinion. Just be very specific and explain exactly what you want to do in a clear way. At worst they say "no". At best you might be surprised what they say.

    In terms of a lamp, I love the idea of a demilled Sten lamp with the bolt being the "on-off" switch, though you're going too far with that lava lamp idea [:p]!

    I have another idea. Transpose the guts of a Nerf, airsoft, or even watergun into your Sten to create a functional toy gun with an actual Sten body. Make sure you put a bright orange tip on this thing, otherwise, something bad will happen.

    1.jpg


    quote: The liberator 45, the M3 "Greasegun", the Sten and others of the stamp metal firearms are the blight of craftsmanship.
    I don't think of them that way.

    These guns are answers to a very specific engineering/design question, namely how to create an effective, and relatively durable firearm, quickly out of inexpensive parts with limited manufacturing ability.

    From that perspective, they're "beautiful" even though as conventional firearms, they're pretty ugly. Whatever they lack in asthetics, they make up for in expediency!

    Edit: Responding to above:
    quote:Back in the day I worked on the Liberator II design. A buddy wanted to make a buy back program killer. So a glass infused nylon and plastic [copy] of a Sharps single shot derringer with a molded in serial # plate in 22 CB cap.
    That's brilliant. Can you imagine bringing a functional $25 single shot pistol onto the market? I think heads would explode.

    quote:Sad to see a member of the 1911 family as lamp, should be a crack frame Beretta replacemenI don't think the gun in question is real in any way; its a replica molded into the lamp. The clue is the phrase "Mafia II" at the base, which comes from a popular video game.

    Similar lamp guns based on Berettas are also available. A silly gold one is below. I don't think basing one of these on an actual gun frame is a good idea, unless the frame has been legally demilled. Again, sooner or later someone might get into trouble that way.

    beretta-gun.jpg
  • mozepermozeper Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ok new idea!If the Sten bolt was cut in half creating two pieces,the forward part being altered too accommodate a mobile firing pin as well as a locking device and the aft piece now becomes the hammer.This would be a Closed Bolt system ?
  • TRAP55TRAP55 Member Posts: 8,277 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
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