Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all! This weekend I was at a friends house and a little bit of talking back and fourth he mentioned that he has something that I might have interest in. Well in he comes with a Boys Anti Tank Rifle covered in dry wall from storing it for the last 40 years. We cleaned it up a bit to make it presentable for some pictures. He wants to get rid of it. From what I can tell, the gun seems to be legal.

This beast was made in 1938 in the BSA factory. It seems to not have any of the Mk 1* upgrades to it. Numbers seem to match on almost everything besides the front sight and the bipod. The bolt, barrel and receiver all match. The barrel has been deactivated by pouring lead down the barrel but that is it. It is still in the original caliber of .55 Boys. The rest of the gun is there besides the magazine. I'm very interested in buying it from him but I just want to clarify the legality of it. For starters, I do live in New Jersey but New Jersey does not have restrictions of deactivated firearms like this. Should this be registered federally as a DEWAT or is it just like any other rifle and can be transferred like anything else that isn't a NFA item?

My second question is, if I get it, should I convert it to .50 BMG? How would you convert something like this to .50 BMG? I heard you rethread a M2 Browning barrel to fit to the Boys Receiver. Is there anyone out there who might be able to take a task like this? Lots of questions but this is such an interesting piece! Here is a picture of it and the demilled barrel.
Air gun Machine gun Trigger Gun barrel Shotgun

Wood Religious item Fashion accessory Metal Sculpture
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,648 Posts
Lead isn't a legal deactivation. That looks like weld though to me. I've rebarreled about 35 or 40 of those to BMG and they are really good shooters in that cal. If you don't have paperwork for it there is no reasonable way to make it legal in 55 cal. Barrels are a bit of a pain to make but are doable. You need a lathe that will handle a 36" barrel and some knowledge of what you're doing. Threads in the breech end are whitworth and 10tpi. The muzzle thread is also whitworth and 14tpi left hand. Whitworth threads are a 55 degree rather than 60 deg thread angle. The grooves for the trunnion and the front sight are really critical for dimension and location.
Removing the old barrel is going to be painful too. They are torqued into the receiver at about 350 lb ft. You need to make a relief cut right in front of the receiver about .030" to .050" from the receiver face and about 1/4" deep into the barrel. This relieves the pressure from the torquing and will allow you to remove the barrel with only about 100 lb to get it loose. Once it is loose, assuming none of the weld is holding the barrel to the receiver, you should be able to turn it by hand. Be really really careful with the receiver in how you hold it. It will bend and twist if you do it wrong....

hope that helps
Have at it.

Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Lead isn't a legal deactivation. That looks like weld though to me. I've rebarreled about 35 or 40 of those to BMG and they are really good shooters in that cal. If you don't have paperwork for it there is no reasonable way to make it legal in 55 cal. Barrels are a bit of a pain to make but are doable. You need a lathe that will handle a 36" barrel and some knowledge of what you're doing. Threads in the breech end are whitworth and 10tpi. The muzzle thread is also whitworth and 14tpi left hand. Whitworth threads are a 55 degree rather than 60 deg thread angle. The grooves for the trunnion and the front sight are really critical for dimension and location.
Removing the old barrel is going to be painful too. They are torqued into the receiver at about 350 lb ft. You need to make a relief cut right in front of the receiver about .030" to .050" from the receiver face and about 1/4" deep into the barrel. This relieves the pressure from the torquing and will allow you to remove the barrel with only about 100 lb to get it loose. Once it is loose, assuming none of the weld is holding the barrel to the receiver, you should be able to turn it by hand. Be really really careful with the receiver in how you hold it. It will bend and twist if you do it wrong....

hope that helps
Have at it.

Frank
Oh wow. So this is not a backyard gunsmith job. This is the information I love. Thank you so much for the detailed response! Do you happen to know anyone who can do the conversion? I was thinking of contacting DJS in Connecticut but I have no idea of their capacity to do something like this.
 

·
Diamond Bullet Member
Joined
·
1,553 Posts
It's not a Machine Gun, so you should be able to be registered it as a Destructive Device.
Remember, 20mm "rifles" are being built and registered today.
You might need the services of a FFL licenced manufacturer to do so.
That said, restoring that barrel may not be possible.
So, going with a 50 BMG rebarrel might be a better idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
Oh wow. So this is not a backyard gunsmith job. This is the information I love. Thank you so much for the detailed response! Do you happen to know anyone who can do the conversion?
You might try contacting https://www.oowinc.com/

Btw, just happen to have this very nice Boys ATR round muzzlebrake web cover and empty .55 casing lying about...PM me if interested.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,637 Posts
Question: Can a 'smith accept a technically unregistered NFA firearm from an unlicenced individual?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,633 Posts
You are beginning to see why your pal is willing to unload (I mean part with) that good 'ol Boy.
The .50BMG conversion is the hands down win the day way to go to have that rifle preserved and still be useable and legal. Not to mention ammo availability. Just saying.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Question: Can a 'smith accept a technically unregistered NFA firearm from an unlicenced individual?
Most the gunsmiths I know won't even let unregistered NFA items into their store. I'm guessing they can't but that probably doesn't stop stores from converting or destroying the receivers under the table and then accepting them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
677 Posts
I think you'll have a hard time finding any reputable 'smith to take on the job because possession of an unregistered, un-demil-ed destructive device can earn the possessor a long striped-pajamas federal holiday.
 

·
Registered
Gunsmith
Joined
·
177 Posts
If you don't have paperwork for it there is no reasonable way to make it legal in 55 cal.
DD's don't fall under the same Once/Always rule MGs do. If the barrel is welded up (and therefore unable to accept a round over .5") then the receiver transfers as a normal Title 1 firearm just like a M203 receiver without the barrel or an SBR that has a 16" barrel installed. He can then Form 1 it or have an SOT manufacturer build it and Form 4 it to him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
DD's don't fall under the same Once/Always rule MGs do. If the barrel is welded up (and therefore unable to accept a round over .5") then the receiver transfers as a normal Title 1 firearm just like a M203 receiver without the barrel or an SBR that has a 16" barrel installed. He can then Form 1 it or have an SOT manufacturer build it and Form 4 it to him.
So as of now, this firearm is legal just as a title 1 firearm? I live in New Jersey so even if I wanted to I will not be able to make it a .55 Boys. It has to be made into .50 BMG.
 

·
Registered
Gunsmith
Joined
·
177 Posts
So as of now, this firearm is legal just as a title 1 firearm? I live in New Jersey so even if I wanted to I will not be able to make it a .55 Boys. It has to be made into .50 BMG.
Well, in NJ I'm not sure. It's still a semiautomatic rifle with a threaded muzzle, pistol grip, detachable magazine etc. But to my understanding as it is, assuming that weld has effectively turned the barrel into a solid bar, yes it would be considered no different than an AR15 or a Garand. Disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer, just a gunsmith, but I'd have no issues accepting it for work as it currently is. Removing the barrel would of course make it unquestionably a Title 1 receiver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,024 Posts
It’s a bolt action with a welded up barrel. It’s not a semi automatic. It’s not a DD.

I’m not sure what legal debate there is to be had here......? It’s the same as a drill purpose Enfield at this point.


I know that Amafrank has rebarrelled these in the past. I would ask him for a quote.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, in NJ I'm not sure. It's still a semiautomatic rifle with a threaded muzzle, pistol grip, detachable magazine etc. But to my understanding as it is, assuming that weld has effectively turned the barrel into a solid bar, yes it would be considered no different than an AR15 or a Garand. Disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer, just a gunsmith, but I'd have no issues accepting it for work as it currently is. Removing the barrel would of course make it unquestionably a Title 1 receiver.
This is not a semi automatic. Its a bolt action therefore I can have any feature I want. Interesting indeed! Thank you for the reply!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
It’s a bolt action with a welded up barrel. It’s not a semi automatic. It’s not a DD.

I’m not sure what legal debate there is to be had here......? It’s the same as a drill purpose Enfield at this point.


I know that Amafrank has rebarrelled these in the past. I would ask him for a quote.

I have seen, purchased and loved a Boys Gun modified to 50 BMG by Amafrank. Not only is he a Craftsman and a Gentleman but did a damn fine job. He modified the one I purchased so it would feed 50 BMG from the magazine. That means he rebuilt a new magazine for it, you would not know it if just by looking.

Perhaps a little training film may assist someone out there

 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top