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Working with the Eclipse

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Working with the Eclipse

Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:22 pm

It was a fairly hefty surprise to me to open my PM inbox last week and read the latest PM in there. There's even a chip in the edge of my desk because my jaw dropped open so fast.
To cut a pretty short story even shorter, Solar has asked for my assistance to further develop the Eclipse. I know I'm not the only person he's contacted, although it's up to them as to if they want to name themselves.

I'm going to quote directly from the PM here to avoid any hamfisted paraphrasing on my part:
Solar wrote:I know that the UK is a bit of a stickler with airguns and all, but do you think it possible for you to receive an eclipse launcher in exchange for some evaluation and testing?

For me at least, this is an unmissable opportunity.

Although, obviously there is a bit of a stumbling block in this process - as Solar points out, the UK is a bit of a stickler with airguns (to put it rather lightly), so getting it past customs is going to take some work.

You might think this is a dead horse, and I'm wasting my time flogging it. After all, "The UK bans everything."
If you do this, you underestimate me. Having let my brain bubble over the last week, I've come up with a number of possible solutions to this.

1) Firstly, but somewhat disappointingly, I could get back to Solar and say that although I'd love to get involved, it's not going to be possible. Not a great solution, but the simplest and most reliable of the solutions.

2) Just straight import it as a paintball gun. After all, paintball guns are legal in the UK, and indeed are exempt from certification as firearms:
Big Book O' Law wrote:It should be noted that the majority but by no means all guns powered by carbon dioxide which discharge paint pellets and which are used in adventure games are unlikely to cause serious injury, nor were they designed as “weapons”. As such, they should not be considered to be “firearms”.


3) Go for another clause of exemption. There are specific purposes under the law in this country that something is completely exempt from conventional regulation. These purposes include line throwing for ship/boat rescue, net launching for live animal capture, and use as signalling apparatus.
i.e. Have it imported as either a pure net launcher, or some kind of "net capture/animal marking" launcher combination for the use of animal workers, both perfectly legal options:
Big Book O' Law wrote:In the absence of a decision by a court, the Secretary of State takes the view that the following devices should not be regarded as firearms within the definition of the Act:
<snip>
e) net throwing guns which are devices designed for the live capture of birds and animals (but not those net throwing guns which are designed for law enforcement purposes);


The problem that could strike here is that although both 2 & 3 are perfectly accurate, they could be convinced it wasn't a paintball gun/net launcher.
I am confident that I could hit them solidly with the appropriate clauses for both of these points though.

Now, of course, any of you guys might have a better option than these, so if you have a sensible idea, spring it on me.
Just bear in mind that Solar's "Shark repellent launcher" idea has the failing point that there are no sharks around the UK.
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Last edited by Ragnarok on Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: ALIHISGREAT » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:37 pm

import it in parts?

you could get the trigger assembly in as a paintball gun i assume?

as for the rest, i'm unsure.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:52 pm

I'm quite sure that the Eclipse can go well over 12 ft/lbs and as such, it's going to be considered as a firearm - it is after all, a barreled projectile firing device. I think you'll be hard pressed in the "good reason" department if you apply for a FAC, or attempt to categorise it under the exemption clauses.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:55 pm

ALIHISGREAT wrote:import it in parts?

I had considered this, but I don't think it would be reasonable to ask for it to be shipped in more than one package, and if it was shipped in only one, it would still be fairly clear what it was, and perhaps cause more problems if customs thought it was a crude ruse.

This answer is important in more ways than one. It's obviously more market for Solar if a solution can be found.

@JSR: These areas actually present an exemption from licensing.
Neither paintball guns or Net launchers are considered firearms, thus meaning they don't have to conform to 12 ft-lb law.

Airguns are considered firearms, but if below 12 ft-lbs, are considered "Not especially dangerous", and are thus unlicensed.
The Eclipse could avoid being a firearm all together, thus preventing legal issues.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:58 pm

The intimidating appearance of Solar's beast is bound to prompt a detailed investigation of the launcher and I doubt it would stand up to scrutiny - in the sense, who needs a revolver/belt fed net launcher?

I would recommend you speak to someone who already imports paintball launchers to see what you can and cannot get away with.

edit: another sticking point is that the Eclipse has no fixed round. It's made in 40mm calibre, but there are no 40mm paintball grenade sabots available. Telling the police it fires "well, anything that fits in the barrel really" is going to make it even more difficult to be convincing.
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Last edited by jackssmirkingrevenge on Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:04 pm

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:I would recommend you speak to someone who already imports paintball launchers to see what you can and cannot get away with.

Not really an option. There are few equivalents to the Eclipse.

The semi-auto issue was one of the things that made the net launcher option a little less appealing - but then again, it's not completely inconceivable that it might have uses.

However, it could stand up to scrutiny as a paintball gun - because, obviously, that's what it is.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:10 pm

Ragnarok wrote:However, it could stand up to scrutiny as a paintball gun - because, obviously, that's what it is.


See the edit above - unfortunately, as it's not chambered for a paintball calibre, it's not "obviously" a paintball gun.

Not trying to put you off by the way, just trying to be pedantic so you know what to expect from the plod ;)
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:24 pm

Could it be sold as a confetti launcher?
Special effects device?
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:28 pm

jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:See the edit above - unfortunately, as it's not chambered for a paintball calibre, it's not "obviously" a paintball gun.

Well, I imagine that could be fixed by the inclusion of a deliberately obvious instruction manual in the box, which just happens to be the first thing you see if you open it... *whistle*

Make it clear how it's a paintball gun. Things become far more obvious if you're told.

Not trying to put you off by the way, just trying to be pedantic so you know what to expect from the plod ;)

Yeah, I did a lot of that to myself.

Paintball guns are allowed to sidestep a surprising number of laws now I think about it. They're not limited by the VCRA (which clamped down on airsoft and airguns), they're not limited by muzzle energy - although nominally they only put out about 10 ft-lbs, they're all easily adjusted to do more... and they can do that in pistol sizes (The Tiberius T8 is for sale in the UK), the only thing that manages to beat 6 ft-lbs in pistol form.

You're not even allowed in excess of 6 ft-lbs in anything (but a PB gun) on a firearms licence.

About the only thing I'm not sure we get in this country is full-auto PB guns.

@frankrede: It was something I had considered, but I think it falls foul of the problem JSR mentioned - who needs a semi-auto confetti cannon?
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:31 pm

Ragnarok wrote:
jackssmirkingrevenge wrote:See the edit above - unfortunately, as it's not chambered for a paintball calibre, it's not "obviously" a paintball gun.

Well, I imagine that could be fixed by the inclusion of a deliberately obvious instruction manual in the box, which just happens to be the first thing you see if you open it... *whistle*

Make it clear how it's a paintball gun. Things become far more obvious if you're told.

Not trying to put you off by the way, just trying to be pedantic so you know what to expect from the plod ;)

Yeah, I did a lot of that to myself.

Paintball guns are allowed to sidestep a surprising number of laws now I think about it. They're not limited by the VCRA (which clamped down on airsoft and airguns), they're not limited by muzzle energy - although nominally they only put out about 10 ft-lbs, they're all easily adjusted to do more... and they can do that in pistol sizes (The Tiberius T8 is for sale in the UK), the only thing that manages to beat 6 ft-lbs in pistol form.

You're not even allowed in excess of 6 ft-lbs in anything (but a PB gun) on a firearms licence.

About the only thing I'm not sure we get in this country is full-auto PB guns.

@frankrede: It was something I had considered, but I think it falls foul of the problem JSR mentioned - who needs a semi-auto confetti cannon?
I could think of a few uses.
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:05 pm

Oh gods, I was just talking to Jo across Messenger...

Jo: "How about this - say it's an expresso machine."
Me: "They might call me on that."
Jo: "No, wait - ship it as a snowcone maker."
Me: "I know, why don't I call it a water heater?"
Jo: "No, that would just be stupid."

I have idiot relatives. And if you don't recognise the reference.

But she does have a interesting point. There was this comedian who dressed up a tank with a bit of net, called it an "ice cream van", then went to a government department to ask if he could ship his "ice cream van" to Iraq.
He had various people out to look at it, it was still clearly a tank, but some of them still said he could ship out his "ice cream van".

Not sure I want to try and invoke the stupidity of the law though as a technique.

@frankrede: Yes, there are certainly reasons for it, but it's not a point I'd want to argue.
On the other hand - a semi-auto paintball gun? You'd have a pretty hard time arguing that was superfluous.
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:27 pm

Edit: sorry, I missed an earlier post.
This is what I was going to suggest:
Well, I imagine that could be fixed by the inclusion of a deliberately obvious instruction manual in the box, which just happens to be the first thing you see if you open it... *whistle*

Would probably work.



Just bear in mind that Solar's "Shark repellent launcher"...

How about "Shark <s>repellent</s> launcher"?

Unfortunately, you'd have to import ammo too.


Edit edit:
Ha. I just clicked an ad at the top of the page that said "Propeller powered skateboards?" and was redirected to a page about air cannons. One of the "air cannons" links on the page was a link back to spudfiles.
It's a vicious cycle! :D
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Re: Working on the Eclipse

Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:34 pm

Ragnarok wrote:Just bear in mind that Solar's "Shark repellent launcher" idea has the failing point that there are no sharks around the UK.

There are no sharks, thanks to your previous attempts at repelling them, but you have decoded a message which shows the entire shark fleet of the Mediterranean is swimming over in a huge armada to finally reclaim the seas around England, and it's up to you to stop them and save the world! :shock:

What about a sunblock launcher, to cover everyone on the beach and protect them from the harmful rays of the sun!...oh wait, you have no sunshine either :wink: :D
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Re: Working on the Eclipse

Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:09 pm

MrCrowley wrote:There are no sharks, thanks to your previous attempts at repelling them, but you have decoded a message which shows the entire shark fleet of the Mediterranean is swimming over in a huge armada to finally reclaim the seas around England, and it's up to you to stop them and save the world!

And now... we have a one way trip to the looney bin!

...oh wait, you have no sunshine either.

Sorry... but it's practically Spudfiles tradition now when saying something like that...

Wanker!

:D
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:38 pm

How about a prize launcher for events? You could say its meant to shoot those foam stress ballz.
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