Since the January 2001, article in Special Weapons for Military & Police has spurred so much interest in our products, we have decided to print this information sheet to help those who have never before entered the Class 3, NFA world. This is currently governed by BATF, and is subject to additional rules, spins and interpretations. Since 1934 an Act of Congress has regulated certain firearms and firearm-related products. In 1934 the cost of a Thompson submachine gun was $50, so the politicians of that era arbitrarily decided to make the transfer fee to individual citizens four times that amount -- $200. Back then the amount was prohibitive and crippling, but inflation over the years has made it less so. The Act makes the legal transfer of short-barreled rifles, machineguns and silencers liable to a one-time federal tax of $200, per NFA-regulated item. Police departments, states, counties and municipalities are not subject to these taxes, and may take a form 5 transfer free of charge. Police departments and governmental entities can take a transfer in any state.
Individuals can take silencer transfers in the following 35 states: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, KY, LA, ME, MD, MN, MS, MT, ND, NC, NH, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, & WY. We were unprepared for the volume of inquiries initiated by the article, and do not have a complete listing of those states that currently allow short barreled rifles. The list is not identical. We have been asked repeatedly by individuals if they can “drive down and pick up one of these weapons”. The answer to that is NO! We would not be in business very long if we violated state or federal laws. Transfers must take place through legal channels. One can purchase a weapon directly from us, but must take a legal transfer through a Class 3 dealer. If you live in a state that does not allow a certain device, your only legal options are to move to a state that does allow that device, or to obtain a Class 3 dealer’s license. A tax of $200 is levied on each transfer to an individual. That would be $400 for the complete Type 3 Pocket Rifle.
There is currently an established procedure for paying this tax and acquiring NFA firearms in those states that do not prohibit it. Typically, an individual will fill out two copies of an NFA Form 4, get fingerprinted twice (4 times for 2 transfers) and get the written blessing of a local sheriff or chief of police. A corporation can take a transfer on a similar Form 4, for which no background check or fingerprints are required. That person or corporation would then send the whole mess of papers and fingerprint cards and a $200 (or $400) money order off to BATF at an address in Chicago. A dealer within the individual’s state must normally take place in the transfer. That dealer can’t be just any FFL holder, he must have paid a $500 to $1,000-a-year SOT (special occupational tax) for the right to deal in NFA weapons. Within roughly 90 days an individual’s fingerprints will be run in all 50 states and their background will be checked. Form 4s take about 20 days to clear for a corporation and about 90 days to an individual. If all goes well the NFA branch of BATF will approve the form and send one approved copy to the local Class 3 dealer. That dealer can then legally release the restricted weapon to the individual. Police departments and governmental entities take their transfers on a tax-free form 5. These transfers usually take only 20 days. Manufacturers and dealers can do business directly with any institution in any state in the U.S. Both forms look intimidating, but are actually quite simple. If a Class 3 dealer needs to be involved a fee from $50 to $100 is often charged.
Since different people and governmental intitutions want the Pocket Rifle in different configurations, we are listing the prices on a piecemeal basis. A new, blued 10/22 retails for roughly $223, while a stainless one goes for roughly $263. A pre-ban 10/22 sells for roughly $325. If you are an individual we would rather work with your rifle, as long as it is pre-ban, safe, sound, and the barrel is in good condition (not shot out). Barrels on the 10/22 are easily changed and new barrels are readily available from us. Due to the Brady Act, passed in 1994, there is currently a legal problem with mounting a folding stock or a pistol grip on a semi-automatic rifle manufactured after that date, so “pre-ban” rifle actions, and pre-ban folding stocks are required for an individual transfer. We are told that the feature of the Brady Act against “assault rifles” will go away in 2004, unless further congressional action is taken. The act allows only two of a number of features on semi-automatic rifles. Those features are folding stock, pistol grip, removable magazine, bayonet lug, and flash hider/suppressor. About the only thing we wouldn’t recommend on the 10/22 “assault rifle” is the bayonet lug. Again, if the weapon will be going to a police department or a branch of the government, none of the above restrictions apply. Bolt-action rifles are not subject to the restrictions of the act, and if folding stocks are available for certain models of bolt guns we can easily make pocket rifles out of them.
We charge $345, retail, for our suppressor, mounted on your barrel. If one wants a special bull barrel with a faster twist, there is a $125 charge for that. Normally the standard barrels work fairly well with heavy, Aguila SSS 60-grain ammo, but a faster twist does impart more stability for those who want a little more accuracy. Note that, while a faster twist will help accuracy with the longer SSS bullet, the slower 16” twist has been proven optimal for 40-grain .22 bullets. Normally 10/22 triggers are not very good, and we will work on them to make them a little crisper, and put an overtavel screw in to limit the amount the trigger moves after the hammer trips. All of Choate’s new folding stocks are gone now, but it is our understanding that we can buy and mount used, pre-94 folders on pre-ban weapons that are legally registered short barreled rifles. If we can get them, they cost about $170 apiece. We will install scopes and mounts and bipods on your weapon, but many want to do this themselves. Since prices vary so much, we will leave this area open. Typically, a good bipod will cost between $50 and $80, while scopes range from $40 to $hundreds. Although it is overbuilt for the light Pocket Rifle, VersaPod is about the best of the bipods. We are also comfortable with Harris and B-Square, which come in different sizes and mounting systems. We do not recommend saving $10 by using Ruger’s flimsy 3/8” scope strip” on top of the receiver. Instead, we suggest using a 1” Weaver base, and Loctiting it in place.
Our Type 1 system uses a 5+” barrel welded to a 12” long suppressor tube, to give an overall length beyond 16”, and taking the weapon out of the short barreled rifle category. We no longer make the Type 2 weapon. The Type 3 system uses a similar 5+” barrel coupled to a 7 or 8” tube of larger diameter, and it has to be a legally registered SBR. Both cans take the sound of the system below that of action noise. When your ear is on the stock during firing the system sounds much louder than it actually is. When someone else shoots it from a distance it is then possible to get a full appreciation for the lack of noise upon discharge. An officer just E-Mailed us to report that he had to put a raccoon that has been injured in traffic out of its misery. The raccoon was on someone’s front lawn in a big subdivision. Formerly when the officer had done this with a duty pistol or shotgun, lots of lights went on, and lots of phone calls went out to the station house about gunshots being fired. When he used the Pocket Rifle no one heard the two shots, and no lights went on. It was a non-event.
The reason for the unusual accuracy of the Pocket Rifle can be traced to the 50 years of experience we have had with building accurate rifles. We now know what matters and what doesn’t. The short barrel keeps the speed of the bullet below the sonic level. Since the bullets never enter a transonic velocity, they remain stable. The short barrel also allows the bullet to remain enroute for a shorter period of time, and this keeps the effect of extraneous movement to a minimum. In addition, the weight of the steel can stabilizes the barrel’s muzzle, a most important aspect in accurate bullet delivery. Few people use a bipod, and this can be a mistake, because this device really enhances accuracy at distance, especially from prone. Last, but not least, our technique and experience in porting allows us to vent gas pressure inside the can before it can mess with bullet accuracy at the critical moment of departure.