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Legality of "extreme" spudguns

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Legality of "extreme" spudguns

Unread postAuthor: kjjohn » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:51 pm

I know that spudguns are totally legal, but I am wondering if there are certain limitations (in the US)...

-very high power (3000+ ft/lbs)
-fully automatic combustions
-high velocity bullet like projectiles (metal slugs)

Of course, no messing around with powders or solid fuel, but would any of these factors affect whether a standard propane or MAPP or launcher (or pneumatic) is legal?
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Unread postAuthor: DYI » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:09 pm

Legality is not nearly so clear cut as some would like to think it is. In cases like these, with poorly defined laws, what happens depends almost entirely on contributing factors, not what you actually possessed.

If you start firing spudguns at passing cars, you'll notice how fast they transform from dangerous toys to lethal weapons. If there is an injury as a result of a cannon, the media have a field day and someone gets hauled off to jail as a result.

My best advice is to not go telling everyone what you've built, and to do your testing somewhere that won't attract attention. If few people know, and nobody gets pissed off, you're unlikely to have a problem. My problem, for example, appeared as a result of lots of people knowing a little bit about what I did - enough for me to become a convenient target when someone else did something stupid. I suppose the best advice I can give is to not make yourself into a convenient target.
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Unread postAuthor: kjjohn » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:19 pm

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about what happened to you, too bad about that.

Do you think it would be safe to take a high power spudgun to a shooting range? I live in a residential neighborhood and I don't really know anywhere else to go.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:50 pm

kjjohn wrote:Do you think it would be safe to take a high power spudgun to a shooting range?

Only an idiot gun range owner would allow such if for no other reason than liability. How is he to know that your gun isn't a pipe bomb just waiting to happen?

I live in a residential neighborhood and I don't really know anywhere else to go.

Where do you live geographically?
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Unread postAuthor: rp181 » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:10 pm

Your profile says you like skiing, so a wooded area would be a good bet. I live in CO, and the best spots are either undeveloped land or a forest.
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Unread postAuthor: kjjohn » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:25 pm

@D_Hall - Yeah, I suppose most shooting ranges might get suspicious of homemade guns made out of plumbing parts. I live in western Wisconsin.

@rp181 - I mostly go to resorts to ski, most of them out in Michigan or too far away. I do know some friends of my dad who own a lot of land close by that I hunt on, but I don't think they would like me shooting a spudgun there (they're pretty concerned about safety, don't even like me four-wheeling there).
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Unread postAuthor: c11man » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:33 pm

western wisconsin you say? thats not too far from me. and its freaking WISCONSIN! we have so many farms you cant find one to shoot at? as payment just take over a 6 pack, and if you want to go back again a 12 pack
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Unread postAuthor: kjjohn » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:41 pm

c11man wrote:western wisconsin you say? thats not too far from me. and its freaking WISCONSIN! we have so many farms you cant find one to shoot at? as payment just take over a 6 pack, and if you want to go back again a 12 pack


lol, yeah, there are lots of places to shoot, I guess my parents just don't really want to drive me out somewhere. I used to have this massive gravel pit below my house where I tested my first pneumatic, then they put a house down on top of it.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:51 am

D_Hall wrote:How is he to know that your gun isn't a pipe bomb just waiting to happen?

He's one of us :D
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:56 am

DYI wrote:My best advice is to not go telling everyone what you've built, and to do your testing somewhere that won't attract attention. If few people know, and nobody gets pissed off, you're unlikely to have a problem. My problem, for example, appeared as a result of lots of people knowing a little bit about what I did - enough for me to become a convenient target when someone else did something stupid. I suppose the best advice I can give is to not make yourself into a convenient target.


Couldn't agree more. It's all about keeping a low profile. If you're not harming or alarming anybody you're unlikely to be prosecuted over a technicality.
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