Thursday, May 26, 2011

I don't get it either.

When I was younger, I used to think cut-down lever guns, a la Steve McQueen's "Mare's Leg" were just the coolest thing ever.

Now that I am older and actually know a little bit about firearms, I think they make about as much sense as a kickstand on a tank.

They still look cool though, and, y'know... Firefly. The worst thing is, there are people trying to sell me one now. (Well, I mean, they've always been available, but until now the whole NFA tax stamp thing was pretty good protection against dumb impulse purchases...)

31 comments:

Fred said...

Yeah, and I don't need 6 different kinds of Mosin Nagants either... but I've still got them. :P

Jay G said...

Heh. I started out that post detailing the many reasons that the Mare's Leg was a bad idea.

I still want one, tho'...

Never said I was a rational dude...

Bob said...

Just give me a replica of John Wayne's 1892 Winchester and I'll be happy. Don't need a Mare's Laig.

perlhaqr said...

I don't understand. How does that not count as an SBR? I mean, it's got a stock on it, even if it's a stubby one.

Mister_V said...

Firefly is a good enough reason for anything.

seeker_two said...

If you've ever shot a revolver with a 12" barrel, you'll understand how a Mare's Leg makes sense....

Bubblehead Les. said...

I'm waiting until they make one in Rare Dark Earth w/ a Green Tactical Laser myself.

Anonymous said...

Think 'Judge', in the guise of a rifle.

Craig said...

"I don't understand. How does that not count as an SBR? I mean, it's got a stock on it, even if it's a stubby one."

The 'rifle' is only chambered in pistol calibers and the receiver has been modified to not be long enough to accept rifle cartridges. It's classified as a 'pistol'.

Laura said...

that's on the list of eventual purchases...mostly for shits&giggles than anything else.

Anonymous said...

When I'm as good looking and cool as McQueen was, I'll by a Mare's Leg. That should be the day after Hell freezes over.

Gerry

Tam (remotely) said...

Craig,

"The 'rifle' is only chambered in pistol calibers and the receiver has been modified to not be long enough to accept rifle cartridges. It's classified as a 'pistol'."

Actually, the caliber has nothing to do with it.

The receiver started life as a pistol, "designed to be fired with one hand". It has never had a shoulder stock attached (nor is the barrel cut down from a longer barrel) therefore it is a pistol and not a "Short Barreled Rifle".

Bubblehead Les. said...

Actually, having handled those firearms at the NRA Con, I'm in line with Tam. However, taking 2 steps to the left and having fondled their 92 clones, I was very pleasantly surprised. Much better Bang for the Buck than a Mare's Leg.

Sean said...

Given pistol calibers, weight, size and action - aside from style points, the only benefit I can see over a full frame DA revolver might be a couple theoretical hundred extra FPS from the long(er) barrel.

Let me know if they come chambered in .45-70, that would be a viable carry option :)

perlhaqr said...

The receiver started life as a pistol, "designed to be fired with one hand". It has never had a shoulder stock attached (nor is the barrel cut down from a longer barrel) therefore it is a pistol and not a "Short Barreled Rifle".

But what defines "shoulder stock", then? The ATF considers that wooden thing you bolt on the back end of a Mauser to be one, and will pop you for an SBR if you don't attach the barrel first... The "pistol grip" on that Mare's leg thing may be really short, but I'm inclined to be lenient, and I still think it looks like a stock.

I dunno, maybe it's a scale thing. It's hard to tell just how big it is in the picture, I suppose.

Tam (remotely) said...

Perlhaqr,

"The ATF considers that wooden thing you bolt on the back end of a Mauser to be one, and will pop you for an SBR if you don't attach the barrel first... "

Not if it's an original Mauser holster/stock; those have a C&R exemption.

"I dunno, maybe it's a scale thing."

It is. It's too stubby to use as a proper stock.

(Again, though, caliber has no bearing on whether something is a handgun under USC 921(a)(29))

wv: "makecal". You can makecal any you want with a rifled bore of a hlaf an inch or less.

elmo iscariot said...

But what defines "shoulder stock", then?

I've thought for a while now that the NFA only fails to be a pistol ban because the ATF knows what would happen if it interpreted the law so. That modern pistols are "designed to be fired with one hand" is a polite fiction.

Tam (remotely) said...

elmo iscariot,

The NFA only makes sense, with its bans on short rifles and shotguns, if your realize that it was originally intended to include handguns as well, and they were only dropped at the last minute.

Originally, it was meant to restrict anything that John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd and their ilk could stuff under a coat, but leave "sporting weapons" alone.

elmo iscariot said...

Quite. In a sane and just world, the SBR and SBS provisions would be easy to get rid of because they're so nonsensical, but, well, you know.

Large parts of the NFA seem to work in reality only because of the ATF's tacit commitment not to strictly interpret it. I'm still not entirely sure what's up with rifled "shotguns" over .5 caliber.

Anonymous said...

Over 0.5 inch (though .510 diameter bullets that engrave down to 0.5 are ok!) count as a Destructive Device unless given special permission for your shotgun.

They particularly want to ban 20mm cannons, 37mm cannons (two pounder), 47mm cannons (6 pounder), and really really want to ban anything bigger.

Of course if you got your Letter of Marque and Reprisal, you would need to affix a cannon to your privateer ship. 76mm is about the minimum satisfactory size, so one would suggest that Original Intent was for private parties to own such cannons, even before the 2nd Amendment came along.

Don M said...

Ok, I screwed up the pounder nomenclature.

40mm is 2 pounder
57mm is 6 pounder
77mm is 17 pounder
83.8mm is 18 pounder
87.6 is 25 pounder

Boy is my face red.

Don M said...

The "Wanted, Dead or Alive" Mare's Leg only shot standard studio "5 in 1" blanks. Rather odd since Steve McQueen wore giant .45/70 rounds in his belt. He always turned his back to us when he reloaded.

d said...

I'm not claiming a practical purpose, but the .22LR version from Henry is _fun_ ... and that's what it is for.

Blowing centerfire ammo money on such a toy baffles me, too.

Kristopher said...

Elmo: Originally, if it had a rifled barrel, they were handled like rifles and pistols.

Mossberg even sold a custom 12g Persuader, with a pistol grip and a one foot long rifled barrel as a 12g caliber pistol.

Recently, the BATF under Bush Mk. 1 decided that any shotgun that they thought was too scary was now a Destructive Device, and that the sporting exemption for 12g shotshells was now up for grabs.

Charles Pergiel said...

Some time ago I wandered into a gun shop that had some high powered hunting pistols. As I recall they used something like a 30-30 cartridge and the grip was more like what you see on a lever action rifle. Single shot, no lever. Haven't seen anything like it before or since. If I had known they were so unusual I would have paid more attention. Just did a quick Google and didn't find anything. Maybe it was a dream.

Lazy Bike Commuter said...

Charles, a Thompson Contender pistol can be had in 30-30 or 45-70:

http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/g2Contender.php

Mick Havoc said...

A kickstand on a tank!

You slay me.

John in Nashville said...

Tam,..

You were quoted on neatorama....

and I agree,.. Mares Leg looks good on film but not so much when your running and gunning..

http://www.neatorama.com/ May 26 post

John

Tango Juliet said...

Let us not forget that the Mare's Leg was Tallahassee's choice.

Steve Skubinna said...

Yeah, when I first read about that new Rossi my first thought was "That is so... cool? Stupid? Uh..."

Still can't decide, but want one anyway.

wrm said...

I have a Rossi that will prolly be cut down as soon as the other almost identical Rossi arrives. Yea, I know, not that useful, but as many have said, WANT.