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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
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

Ill try and get in contact with him. It seems I am going to be walking home with a Boys shortly that I'll need converted. This video makes me want it even more!
 

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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!
Be careful. It doesn't matter that it is a bolt action gun. It is STILL an unregistered NFA Destructive Device that has not been properly demilled according to BATFE requirements; merely welding the barrel is not sufficient.
26 U.S.C. § 5845(F)
For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Destructive Device” means:
Any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may readily be converted to expel a projectile, by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels
of which have a bore greater than one-half inch in diameter.
 

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That was my line of thought when I asked the question. Even though conversions are out there, I figured there must be some sorts of rules and/or hoops to jump through to get going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Be careful. It doesn't matter that it is a bolt action gun. It is STILL an unregistered NFA Destructive Device that has not been properly demilled according to BATFE requirements; merely welding the barrel is not sufficient.
26 U.S.C. § 5845(F)
For the purposes of the National Firearms Act, the term “Destructive Device” means:
Any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may readily be converted to expel a projectile, by the action of an explosive or other propellant, the barrel or barrels
of which have a bore greater than one-half inch in diameter.
I'll let other individuals chime in on this. Others think its a title 1 firearm because the barrel is deactivated therefore its only a receiver. Do you know if weld down the barrel is considered "readily be converted"? According to the ATF handbook Revise 2009 page 67:

"Deactivated War Trophy (DEWAT) firearms are still firearms under the NFA, but have been rendered unserviceable (i.e., incapable of discharging a shot by means of an explosive and incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition). The deactivation may have been accomplished by various means such as (but not limited to) welding of the chamber, cutting the barrel/chamber/breech, plugging the barrel, welding the bolt to the chamber, or some combination of these actions which rendered the firearm incapable of firing a shot."

Granted this is not a registered DEWAT but if what this states is correct then the firearm is deactivated. Link to the handbook: National Firearms Act Handbook | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
 

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If I understand correctly, DEWATS are a very specific timeframe of registered rifles before really set demilling standard were created. The rules dictating those DEWATS are very different from later rules regarding DD's.

See this topic:

 

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I've only ever seen DEWAT status applied to MGs, but I don't know if it is specific to MGs or if it just is very rare to see anything else as a DEWAT.

Here's what I found on DDs and barrel destruction in the NFA handbook.

"Large caliber destructive devices that are not also machineguns can be removed from the NFA by
disposing of the barrel. If the barrel of a 37mm cannon is removed and disposed of, the remaining
weapon has no barrel or bore diameter. As an alternative, the barrel of a destructive device may be
functionally destroyed. To destroy the barrel of a destructive device the following operations must be
performed:
• Cut a hole, equal to the diameter of the bore, on a 90-degree angle to the axis of the bore,
through one side of the barrel in the high pressure (chamber) area.
• Weld the barrel to the receiver of the weapon.
• Weld an obstruction into the barrel to prevent the introduction of a round of ammunition."

Slightly more steps than I'd remembered. Presumably when you strip the gun you will find a hole in the chamber and a weld attaching the barrel to the receiver. I'd still pull the barrel as soon as possible, as per this section that will make it lawful to possess (i.e. you don't have to have it destroyed).

"Firearms not lawfully registered as required by the NFA may not be registered and legitimized by their
possessors. They are contraband and unlawful to possess.49 However, see Section 2.4 for information
on removing NFA firearms from the scope of the NFA because of their status as collectors’ items,
modification, or elimination of certain component parts."
 

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As keeps being said: the currently unregistered gun is "contraband and unlawful to possess" even if someone attempted to "remove" it from the NFA by blocking the barrel (which "removal" is impossible because it was not an NFA-registered item and thus there is nothing to "remove" it from). This is true because, as WillSarchet quoted, "Firearms not lawfully registered as required by the NFA may not be registered and legitimized by their possessors." Had it been NFA-registered, then it could be "removed" by first doing all three steps also noted by WillSarchet:

• Cut a hole, equal to the diameter of the bore, on a 90-degree angle to the axis of the bore,
through one side of the barrel in the high pressure (chamber) area.
• Weld the barrel to the receiver of the weapon.
• Weld an obstruction into the barrel to prevent the introduction of a round of ammunition,

or, alternatively, by removal of the barrel (good luck, as Amafrank said) and second by filing an application for removal from the NFA due to functional destruction of the barrel (which may or may not have been done in the Boys rifle, we cannot tell from the photos).

It is likely contraband; that's why most gunsmiths will not allow an unregistered NFA item into their shop. And even if you conclude that it is not, what are you willing to bet that BATFE will agree with you?

Be smart. Be careful.
 

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@peterbats59 Scroll down a little farther to Section 2.5 which is what I quoted above.

"Section 2.5 Removal of firearms from the scope of the NFA by modification/elimination of
components.
Firearms, except machineguns and silencers, that are subject to the NFA fall within the various
definitions due to specific features. If the particular feature that causes a firearm to be regulated by the
NFA is eliminated or modified, the resulting weapon is no longer an NFA weapon"

So, no application needed should he remove the barrel or if the barrel is welded and cut in accordance with the rest of 2.5. The usual way this comes up is when an SBR or SBS is fitted with a non-NFA length barrel, removing it from the provisions of the NFA (even if the receiver is still a registered SBR/SBS), allowing it to be treated as a Title 1 firearm. Section 2.4 is for the list that includes Mauser Broomhandles, "Trapper" lever actions, and the like - I wouldn't recommend this route even if they could do it for DDs, since the list can be revised without notice suddenly making you in possession of an unregistered NFA item (C96s for example have changed status on the list at least three times).
 

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WillSarchet, you are right that Sec. 2.5 says that a registered NFA firearm can be removed from the scope of the NFA by modification/elimination of components. In your example, that SBR or SBS is a legal registered item before the modification. In the OP's situation, the Boys is currently unregistered and that makes all the difference. "Firearms not lawfully registered as required by the NFA may not be registered and legitimized by their possessors. They are contraband and unlawful to possess." That means the Boys in its current state is contraband, unlawful to possess, and can never be "legitimized." Of course, if the .55 Boys barrel were to disappear forever, would the bolt-action receiver alone be any problem? And would anyone know or care that there used to be a .55 Boys barrel? I don't know.
Back in the day, a friend asked me what to do with an unregistered Sten SMG found in the back of his deceased father's closet. The best advice I got back then (from a reputable gunsmith) was that there was nothing that could be done to make it a legal NFA MG, so the best option was to use a plasma torch to cut the receiver and chamber end of the barrel into little pieces, throw them away into a barrel of scrap metal, and sell any other parts that were usable in semi-auto configured or otherwise registered guns, and that's what happened. The smith would not do the work himself or in his shop, as he didn't want to "possess" the thing for even 10 seconds, and I had no problem with his point of view. I think my friend got about $200 for the remaining parts, so everyone was happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
WillSarchet, you are right that Sec. 2.5 says that a registered NFA firearm can be removed from the scope of the NFA by modification/elimination of components. In your example, that SBR or SBS is a legal registered item before the modification. In the OP's situation, the Boys is currently unregistered and that makes all the difference. "Firearms not lawfully registered as required by the NFA may not be registered and legitimized by their possessors. They are contraband and unlawful to possess." That means the Boys in its current state is contraband, unlawful to possess, and can never be "legitimized." Of course, if the .55 Boys barrel were to disappear forever, would the bolt-action receiver alone be any problem? And would anyone know or care that there used to be a .55 Boys barrel? I don't know.
Back in the day, a friend asked me what to do with an unregistered Sten SMG found in the back of his deceased father's closet. The best advice I got back then (from a reputable gunsmith) was that there was nothing that could be done to make it a legal NFA MG, so the best option was to use a plasma torch to cut the receiver and chamber end of the barrel into little pieces, throw them away into a barrel of scrap metal, and sell any other parts that were usable in semi-auto configured or otherwise registered guns, and that's what happened. The smith would not do the work himself or in his shop, as he didn't want to "possess" the thing for even 10 seconds, and I had no problem with his point of view. I think my friend got about $200 for the remaining parts, so everyone was happy.
Ah. This gun, no matter what you do, will always be contraband. There is no way around it. Thank you! My buddy wanted $1000 but I think I'll take a pass on it. Its not worth the trouble at this point then.
 

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@peterbats59 My understanding is that the NFA item would be contraband and unregisterable as is, but since it does not fall under the once/always rules that a machine gun does, that by removing/deactivating it you remove it from the purview of the NFA. From there since you no longer have an NFA item, you can register it and add a barrel. I think this is a point that an NFA lawyer should be contacted on though since both of our interpretations make sense. That said I'd be comfortable immediately removing the barrel on a Boys that showed up in this condition to my shop.

MGs are different because the defining feature is the receiver and any receiver that has once been a machine gun is always a machine gun. I've chopped several receivers and used the parts kits on new receivers to make post-samples including a few done for various police departments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
@peterbats59 My understanding is that the NFA item would be contraband and unregisterable as is, but since it does not fall under the once/always rules that a machine gun does, that by removing/deactivating it you remove it from the purview of the NFA. From there since you no longer have an NFA item, you can register it and add a barrel. I think this is a point that an NFA lawyer should be contacted on though since both of our interpretations make sense. That said I'd be comfortable immediately removing the barrel on a Boys that showed up in this condition to my shop.

MGs are different because the defining feature is the receiver and any receiver that has once been a machine gun is always a machine gun. I've chopped several receivers and used the parts kits on new receivers to make post-samples including a few done for various police departments.
Im inclined to believe this over the firearm being entirely illegal because at the end of the day, its just a reciever. There are over 100s of these things lying around in the US that are not NFA items that are in .50 BMG. If it was the other way then technically all the other Boys rifle are NFA items still and are subjected to it.
 

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If the bore is plugged with weld and especially the chamber section it is no longer a DD. The regs that were posted agree with that as well. A DD is only a DD if it will fire a round with a bore diameter larger than 50 cal. Welding a plug in makes it non functional. Its not contraband in the US though in new jersey I cannot say. They have some odd regs and laws and I don't know them all. Always good to check state and local laws when there is a question.

Frank
 
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