Friday, January 21, 2011

Good Night, Saiga?

ATF to announce a ruling on the Russian-made Saiga self-loading shotguns on Monday.

The Saigas have been skating on thin bureaucratic ice for a long time. Only the hen’s-tooth scarcity of large-capacity magazines kept them from joining the USAS-12 on the “Destructive Device” list (Remember, every shotgun bigger than a .410 is technically a DD, without a "sporting purpose" exemption) but their surging popularity in 3-gun competition has driven more large magazines to the market. Apparently 3-gun doesn't qualify as a "sporting purpose", since no clay pigeons, feathered critters, or stack-barrel Perazzis wielded by Vice Presidents are involved.

It’s awfully hard for the ATF to allow the importation and sale of Saigas with a straight face while keeping the USAS-12 on the no-go list. (The answer, of course, is to de-list the USAS-12...)

35 comments:

Me said...

Guess I'd best order one today then.

Anonymous said...

Where does that leave the new Keltec Masterblaster?

Gerry

Tam said...

It's both domestically-produced, and a slide action. It'd be hard for the BATFE to say that an American-made pump-action shotgun has "no sporting purpose". It'd take forever to find a judge and twelve jurors who'd never owned an 870 or a 500 to beat the appeal.

Robert said...

But that would require someone in public service to admit that they were wrong. Surely you jest....

Tam said...

Robert,

Yup. That's why I know how I'm betting on Monday's announcement (which will be made on the day after JMB's birthday, for an extra dose of irony.)

Mad Saint Jack said...

Breda sez buy a Saiga!

http://www.thebredafallacy.com/2010/10/best-gun-for-woman.html

(had to be done.)

theirritablearchitect said...

De-list the USAS?

I'm sure the boys (and girls) who've spent lotsa dough on purchasing the governmentally-imposed limited supply of those DD's are gonna be mighty pissed about their now devalued scatterguns.

Kinda like the Form IV Fraternity, in my estimation. They usually don't like talk of repealing the NFA '34, since it would sink their corner of the market.

Mad Saint Jack said...

Would they ban the 12 and 20, but let the .410 in???

Tam said...

theirritablearchitect,

Having had extensive personal experience with NFA owners and shooters, that is bullshit. Sure, there might be a couple guys with huge collections who feel that way, but the vast majority would be more than willing to take a bath on their guns just to be able to buy more with no tedious Form 4 nonsense. That "Form 4 Fraternity" stuff is about as based in reality as the 9/11 Truther movement. I don't tell you about architecture, you don't tell me about machine guns, okay?

Besides, all five people who bought USAS-12s haven't hardly seen any financial return at all. They were expensive to begin with, have hardly appreciated, and the transfer hassle renders them hard to sell.

Tam said...

Mad Saint Jack,

That's how I'd bet. (IIRC, the .410 was the only one imported at first.)

perlhaqr said...

Fuck. Waited too long to get one, I guess. :(

God damn those ATF sons of bitches. God
damn them to hell.

Is this "sporting purpose" bullshit from '34 or '68?

Laughingdog said...

So I'm assuming that this expected ruling would affect all currently owned ones, and force current owners to either forfeit them or file paperwork to the ATF to be allowed to keep them?

I never got around to buying one of these. But a lot of my friends have them, and I'm wondering how this will affect them.

Tam said...

perlhaqr,

The Title II category of "Destructive Device" was created by the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Prior to that, you could mail order 20mm cannon to your heart's content.

D.W. Drang said...

Mrs. Drang seemed to be under the impression that we were going to this weekend's fun show to buy a KSG, I had to explain to her that it takes a little longer to bring a new design to market, not to mention fix design glitches. (*cough*triggerreset*cough*)
Hopefully the price of Saigas didn't just go through the roof, and I might still have time...

WV: nononter. Not sure what it means, but the possibilities...

Tam said...

Laughingdog,

"So I'm assuming that this expected ruling would affect all currently owned ones, and force current owners to either forfeit them or file paperwork to the ATF to be allowed to keep them?"

Who knows?

My bet is that they just hand-wave the whole thing away by simply grandfathering existing ones and ending further importation of 20's and 12's, as the paperwork involved would completely swamp BATFE and they know it. Almost nobody bought USAS-12's, but Saigas are as common as dirt by comparison.

alath said...

Every time I am reminded of the "sporting purposes" legalism, I am think of this quote from the ATF policy:

"The fact that a firearm is commonly used for sporting purposes does not mean that it is suitable for sporting purposes."

Orwell would have been proud.

tomcatshanger said...

alath',

Proud? I thought Orwell wrote that for the ATF.

Laughingdog said...

Well, it will be interesting to see if anyone at the gun show tomorrow has heard of this, and if it affects their prices (if anyone even carries them there).

On an unrelated note, since I seem to recall that your email gets backlogged, I thought I'd mention that I mentioned something to you in one about a CD/book called "Grunt: Pigorian Chant from Snouto Domoinko de Silo". It's by Boynton, and it's hysterical.

If you think you'd like it, and it appeared on your wish list, it wouldn't be long before it headed your way. Someone else in the blogosphere needs to understand why "Gloria, in excelsis Deo!" in Angels We Have Heard on High makes me giggle every time I hear it.

theirritablearchitect said...

Tam,

That was meant in a completely sarcastic tone.

Sorry it ruffled your feathers.:)

Jayson said...

My response is guaranteed to be uncivil, and i don't want those jackasses coming after my guns.

Tam said...

theirritablearchitect,

Sorry, that's just a red flag for me. :o

Netpackrat said...

It may be a bit of a leap, but I think this is the real reason for the existence of the "Raging Judge" in 28 gauge. ATF has been in a bit of a quandary where the Saiga shotguns are concerned, since the base product has been legally importable as a sporting weapon for years, and they have zero authority to regulate US made magazines.

Then Taurus waves their latest monstrosity in front of ATF's nose, giving them the excuse to make a ruling prohibiting import of the new revolver, which oh by the way will end up shutting the door on further importation of Saiga shotguns. I know I should probably be wearing a tinfoil hat for suggesting this, but ATF has the power to make life for Taurus very difficult, through tying up and slowing down importation of their normal product lines. And if producing some one-off revolvers for display at the shot show will prevent that, then they'd do it in a heartbeat.

gandalf23 said...

I just bought a Saiga-12. If it's declared a DD then I can convert it to whatever barrel length and not have to worry about 922 parts counts. I'm thinking 14.5 inch barrel and a nice folding stock would look great on it.

What's the downside to that?

Other than having to pay $200 to transfer it. I assume that the initial registration will not cost $200 though, right? It was that was on the USAS-12, right?

Wolfwood said...

Gandalf23,

That might be fine for you, but won't you please think of the children?

Netpackrat said...

Believe it or not, I had a gut feeling, and ordered mine on Tuesday. I think they are just going to freeze imports, not make them a DD just yet, but if they do, I wonder if I am screwed since it will likely still be in transit to my FFL? He's a class 3 guy, but even if he can transfer it to me, I expect I'll miss out on any amnesty and have to pay the full $200.

The Raving Prophet said...

Hmm. Wonder what this will do to mine. If it's grandfathered and new imports prohibited, I think I may just have figured out how to fund a new O/U for skeet- My Saiga can be fun, but it's no 870 for reliability.

I just hope I don't have to do the Form 4 crap for it- I went through all that last year for my suppressors, I'm not eager to get a tax stamp for a shotgun that was perfectly legal when I bought it.

Mad Saint Jack said...

BATFE have put Raging Judge 28 on hold.—from Gunblast.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgAcbNwRUUU

Dirt Sailor said...

Well, I'd been wnating one for a while. This just cemented that it was finally time to go spend the money.

Clint said...

I thought a Shotgun had to be larger than 8 gauge to be a DD. Is that only for USA made guns or was the gun counter wrong again?

Tam said...

Clint,

The gun counter was wrong again. :)

Netpackrat said...

I take it you are talking about some gun shop commando, because over at "The Gun Counter" I don't recall anybody mentioning any 8 bores recently. And besides, we'd have gotten it right. Eventually.

Anonymous said...

According to GCA'68, anything over .50 bore is a DD unless BAFTE classifies it as meeting the "sporting exemption". So pretty much all shotguns fall under this (although the .410 does not, and thus wouldn't be subject to any such ban).

It gets interesting if this were challenged - does that imply that all weapons are allowed, or that every 12-ga in the country is now a DD? Talk about swamping the Form 1 / Form 4 division!

Justthisguy said...

I concur with what perlhaqr said, about where the Deity should send the ATF organisms. I just got back from Divine Services, too! Dammit.

Douglas Hester said...

Well, got my order for one in last night with Arms Of Ameria in Flagstaff (for $489, and a source at arf.com reports receiving an email that they're apparently going to honor that price as well; fantastic customer service, and I'll use them again because of that fact, regardless of how this turns out).

Their site doesn't even show the 19-inch barreled one anymore, and the 24-inch barreled one is $509.

Now we'll see if the jack-booted thugs will deign to allow those purchased and already in the pipeline to be delivered.

Netpackrat said...

At least you knew when you placed your order that there might be an issue with taking possession of it, depending on exactly what the ruling is. They made their announcement the day after I placed my order, and I didn't find out about it until the day after that... It wouldn't have changed my mind, but still...