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What differences keep .22 blank-powered nail guns from being classified as firearms?

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  • What differences keep .22 blank-powered nail guns from being classified as firearms?

    I'm thinking about making a line launcher powered by .22 blanks by modifying a used single shot rifle. I've noticed that the blanks for the nail gun have a short section that fits in the standard .22 barrel, then a slightly smaller diameter section, and then the crimped end. I haven't examined a nail gun, but I'm guessing the barrel is bored with a step that prevents a standard cartridge from being inserted all the way. Is that correct? Would pressing a properly machined sleeve into the barrel work? Is that something that may only be done by a gunsmith? Is there something else that would need to be done?

    The city has an ordnance against discharging any type of firearm, but I'm told nail guns aren't classified as firearms. I'm just looking for info before going to the city officials to make sure I don't make or use something that's illegal.
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    The piston on a .22 nailer is much bigger than a .22 slug, so even if you fired one through it there wouldn't be much force behind it.
    Southwest Utah

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    • #3
      Originally posted by winchman View Post
      The city has an ordnance against discharging any type of firearm, but I'm told nail guns aren't classified as firearms. I'm just looking for info before going to the city officials to make sure I don't make or use something that's illegal.
      The nail guns you run into most are called low velocity guns. The charge drives a piston into the nail. High velocity guns drive the nail directly. My brother had to have a license to operate a high velocity gun when he was working commercial construction in Florida.



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      • #4
        Don't nail guns have to be PRESSED against a surface before they will fire? That should completely prevent a projectile (the nail) from being shot into the air. But you do want to shoot something into the air so you may have a tougher row to hoe.

        I would suggest that you look at some commercial line launchers and DO talk to the appropriate officials. The federal ATF comes to mind.

        https://www.atf.gov/
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
        You will find that it has discrete steps.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by winchman View Post
          The city has an ordnance against discharging any type of firearm, but I'm told nail guns aren't classified as firearms. I'm just looking for info before going to the city officials to make sure I don't make or use something that's illegal.
          The rifle has the manufacturers name, model and serial number stamped right into the frame as required by ATF regulations for firearms. You wanting to consider it as a nail gun is not likely to fly. Going even further, the ATF considers the receiver (frame) of a rifle to be the actual firearm, that is the part/piece that is regulated, requiring the serial number markings, modifying the barrel won't change that. It would still be considered a firearm even if you took the barrel off and thew it away !

          A example of this would be the famous AR15, the lower receiver is what is considered the firearm, contains the serial number and is regulated. The upper receiver section which includes the barrel is unregulated because its not considered a firearm. The are lots of other similar examples.

          Lastly, the line launcher would actually still fire a projectile, just not the original type !


          Last edited by Sparky_NY; 05-02-2021, 09:13 PM.

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          • #6
            I believe most nail guns are .27 caliber, at least the Hilti's are. Not positive ,but modifying a firearm to a different caliber or purpose does not change it from being a firearm. Jim

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            • #7
              There are launchers powered by .22 blanks that are used to throw a soft "retrieving dummy" used for training hunting dogs. I do not believe that the ATF requires these to be sold as firearms but state law where you live may or may not have a different interpretation on the legality of their use.

              In any case, these launch a soft canvas covered cylinder an impressive distance. I don't see any reason you could not attach a line to it to go along for the ride. Not exactly cheap, but not crazy expensive if you have ongoing use for such a thing. A few examples with a quick google search:

              https://www.google.com/search?client...ining+launcher

              just some food for thought.

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              • #8
                Why not avoid the issue all together and use CO2 or compressed air?

                https://www.treestuff.com/apta-air-powered-tree-access/

                https://icbrindle.com/line-launcher-complete-unit.html

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS43COLNsM4
                I just need one more tool,just one!

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                • #9
                  dummy launcher is a good idea. torpedoes will go up to 100 meters with red blanks. i suspect a purpose made projectile would go a bit further (without the line). discard the o-rings, they slow down the speed.

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                  • #10
                    I have launched a lot of line for wire pulling by using a cheap fishing reel, a lead sinker and a wrist-rocket sling shot!
                    Robin

                    Happily working on my second million Gave up on the first

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                    • #11
                      The line launchers I've found are either ridiculously expensive or have been out of stock for a long time.

                      The dummies for the dog training launchers are less than a third the weight I need to use. That plus the drag of the line would really cut the distance I could expect when launching nearly straight up to get the line in a tree. I've got a friend who's really into dog training, so I'll check with him on that. I didn't know they existed.

                      I'll ask the representative from the police department on the local community forum if the firearms ordnance applies to the line launchers or dog training launchers.

                      It looks it would be really easy to run afoul of the firearms laws by modifying a rifle, so I'll just abandon that idea.

                      Thanks for all the helpful info.

                      I've actually been using the lathe recently to taper the ID on the PVC pieces I put on the ends of the friction savers I make. I put them over the limbs and crotches on the yard trees I climb to protect the tree and reduce wear on the rope.
                      Click image for larger version

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                      My tree climbing hobby has morphed into a dead limb removal service for the neighborhood. There's a lot of hanging dead limbs from storms several years ago, so I offer to remove them for free in exchange for permission to climb their trees. I've been in dozens of trees, saved people a ton of money, not damaged anything, made things safer, and had a bunch of fun.

                      From this sixty-five feet up
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                      to this
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                      Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

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                      • #12
                        I wonder what would really run afoul of your areas firearms laws. If line-launchers dont set them off, even if theyre powered by blanks, could always look into getting one of these:
                        https://xproducts.com/product/can-ca...cher-ar-15-m16

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                        • #13
                          I once saw a guy launch lines across a river, using some water rockets made out of soda bottles. He even had a 2 stage one for longer range.
                          Helder Ferreira
                          Setubal, Portugal

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                          • #14
                            Your first mistake was posting anything gun related on a public forum.
                            Now there is a record of what you are doing, be it legal or not.
                            You just invited the government into your house.
                            Good luck. Especially if they don't want to leave.

                            -Doozer
                            DZER

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                            • #15
                              In the UK, nail guns made by Hilti use 32 caliber blanks in a range of powers designated by their colour. They do not need a licence. Back in the early 70's I was working in plumbing and heating, and was working in Wimbledon, South London, and my mate and I put some of the cartridges in the Irish navvies tea brewing bonfire at the building site. When they exploded a few minutes later the Irishmen went ape****, and we kept our heads down for a while.

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