ATF Quietly Ruled Shoulder Stocked Pistols are “Short Barreled Rifles” in 1961

Image courtesy Rock Island Auction

U.S.A.-( A proposed rule change about arm braces on pistols prompted this correspondent to research the history of shoulder stocks, pistols, and the National Firearms Act (NFA).

When the National Firearms Act of 1934 was passed, pistols with shoulder stocks were not mentioned. Short barreled rifles were not intended to be in the law. They were inserted at the insistence of a confused congressman on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Fitting a pistol with a shoulder stock had always been an option.  The 1934 NFA was imagined to be regulating shotguns which had been shortened to create concealable, awkward pistols, not pistols that had a stock added to them, creating a carbine more accurate, but less concealable than a regular pistol.

The primary targets of the 1934 bill had been pistols, revolvers, sawed-off shotguns, silencers, and machine guns. Through lobbying by the NRA and concerned citizens all over the country, pistols and revolvers were taken out of the bill.

page 1 of H.R. 9066 hearing on 16 April 1934

The resulting law regulated things most people did not have.

Homer Cummings was the first Attorney General of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) administration.  Cummings pushed hard for national restrictions on firearms. He had a long run as Attorney General. Cummings helped engineer the U.S. v. Miller test case of the law before he left office in 1939.  Cummings is credited with many of the laws which vastly expanded Federal power in criminal matters.

The economic failures of the New Deal, and then World War II, removed most interest in the National Firearms Act. For many years, there was little enforcement. Returning servicemen brought back war trophies of shoulder-stocked Mauser and Luger pistols.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) was a part of the Department of the Treasury.  The firearms act had been passed as a tax act to circumvent the Second Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the Tenth Amendment. The reason was openly acknowledged by Cummings and others during the Ways and Means Committee hearings.

The ATF did not officially rule on shoulder-stocked pistols until 1961.

This correspondent contacted Rick Vasquez, an acknowledged expert on ATF history and federal firearms law, to ask when the ATF had formally included shoulder-stocked pistols as short-barreled rifles under the NFA. Rick lived up to his reputation. Within a few hours, Rick had forwarded the documentation showing the rule change in 1961:

A hand gun of the Luger or semi-automatic Mauser type having a barrel less than 16 inches in length with an attachable shoulder stock affixed, or held by the possessor of such a weapon, is held to be a short barrel rifle.

However, a handgun of this type permanently altered by removing the stock attachment device on the hand grip so that a stock may not be attached is held to be a pistol.

Revenue Ruling 54-455, C.B. 1954-2, 34, revoked.

Shoulder-stocked pistols have always been available. They were in common use before the NFA was passed. They were never “dangerous and unusual” weapons.

The ATF has recognized this fact by placing the aforementioned Luger and Mauser shoulder-stocked pistols into the “Curio and Relic” category, nullifying the poor judgment shown about those particular firearms with the rule change in 1961.  The placement of Luger and Mauser pistols, made with shoulder stocks, before 1946, into the Curio and Relic category, appears to have been made in 1981. Here is a letter reproduced from a Luger forum:

Dear Dr. :

This refers to your letters of March 13 and March 30, 1981, in
which you ask that certain Luger and Browning Hi-Power pistols
equipped with reproduction shoulder stocks be considered for
removal from the provisions of the National Firearms Act.

It is not the policy of this Bureau to render a classification on
a shoulder stock which in and of itself is not subject to the
provisions of the Gun Control Act or the NFA. However, as you are
aware, certain Luger and Browning Hi-Power pistols when accompanied
by original shoulder stocks have been removed from the purview of
the NFA.


Another letter on the forum references Mauser pistols.

The National Firearms Act (NFA) was a botched disaster from the beginning. Reading the transcripts of the Ways and Means Committee hearings is like a re-run of gun control hearings of today. The same mix of arrogance and ignorance is displayed.

The original disaster of the NFA should not be compounded by the recently proposed rule to declare pistols with arm braces to be short-barreled rifles, subject to the $200 NFA tax stamp. It would be better to remove short-barreled shotguns and rifles from the NFA altogether.

Because of the Gun Control Act of 1968, removing them will take an act of Congress.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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APG member

Back in the day after watching “For a Few Dollars More” I was excited to obtain a Buntline of my own. I was highly disappointed to find thees pistols were not available in spite of 2A.

Roland T. Gunner

Though its not lumped in with the “Man With No Name” trilogy, High Plains Drifter has always been my favorite.


What’s always chapped my butt the most about the 1934 NFA, is it was a piss poor solution to a problem that the government itself created. Had the government not created the problem, there would be no need for the NFA. When Prohibition was enacted, it set the stage for organized crime to expand its influence. When Congress passed the NFA, it was shortly after Prohibition had been repealed. The NFA however, did not stop or slow down the use of the listed items by the criminal elements in society. It infringed upon the Law Abiding’s Right to own certain… Read more »

Henry Bowman

It likely passed because the NRA 100% supported it, minus the restrictions on pistols/shotguns. Peak fuddery at its worst.


you still know nothing. thier position in the 1930’s was under the original founding crew who’s only focus was marksmanship. it wasnt until lapier took the helm that NRA actively began to challenge unjust firearm regulation. learn it.

APG member

The NRA opposed victim disarmament prior to Lapier. He (unfortunately) forced out Neil Knoxx back in the day, Neil was a 2A absolutist.


this is what big government does best, create problems where none exist and then create fixes that don’t work or make the situation worse. big government never works, i.e. socialism.
problem is our elected officials, mostly national, get elected to represent their constituents and then get to d.c. and they represent themselves. they do not care what we think, they think they are our overlords.
at this point in time, anarchy almost seems like a better choice than what we have now, at least you know what you have then.

Miserable Wretch

What were the ATF smoking back then?


Adolph Hitler’s fossilized bone.


Apparently strong stuff, and rolled using the Bill of Rights.

Henry Bowman

Every major gun control law passed was either crafted by or received strong support from the NRA, including an NRA-drafted bill that sought to disarm veterans with PTSD or who needed help with managing finances. I’ll not support NRA with a single penny till Wayne Latrine is fired & the NRA makes up for nearly 100 years of compromise and surrender by becoming the most aggressive, no-compromise, pro-2A organization in history.
Check out the meme and do your own homework. Most source info courtesy of Angel Shamaya /


Much of that happened before Wayne. Wayne is only a part of the problem with the NRA. The NRA has moslty been about money since way before Wayne. When was the last time you saw them call out a flip-flopping Republican politician? GOA is headed down the same road. They never called-out DeSantis after he not only supported red flag laws, but enthusiastically encouraged people to use them against their fellow “civilians.” At this point, all my donations go to inividual “civilians” who are fighting back against individual enforcers who have violated their rights protected by the 1st, 2nd, 4th,… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC
Knute Knute

You’ve got it. The NRA’s problems existed wayyyy before Latrine placed himself as the sole one in charge. He’s just the one sailing it at full speed, straight unto the rocks! It was always headed that way anyway, he’s just going to be the last rat to leave as the ship sinks.


Wayne certainly refined the ways to profit personally.

The information Henry posted shows that the problems with the NRA pre-dated Wayne.

The people who are trying to “save the NRA” have not indicated how they are going to change it. A couple of them came on this board and said you have to pay now and then you will find out later. I’ll pass.


That image leaves out that the nra supported the LAUTENBERG GUN BAN and opposed constitutional carry for decades.

Henry Bowman

I’ll update! Thanks for the reminder!


bogus. the NRA NEVER supported the 94 AWB, they also never supported the 1986 freeze on new manufacturing of full autos intended for civilian ownership.
and any thin intial support for red flag legislation or bump stock prohibitions were both squashed within hours. lol….. the Pratt boyee at GOA has you believing anything.


they also never supported the 1986 freeze on new manufacturing of full autos intended for civilian ownership.”
Go to 4:09 and hear it straight from the traitor’s mouth. The NRA lied to the membership to get this one passed, promising they’d have reversal legislation immediately introduced and never did.


100% true & even more corruption sub Rosa. All roots meet & connect underground. NRA roots were actually formed by 4 Union Soul-diers. Research real history of what the Union actually was vs. what we are indoctrinated to think. Why does Lincoln sit on a Throne ? Why did James Booth purportedly cry out “Sic Semper Tyrannis” ?

Last edited 11 months ago by Tank
Boris Badenov

A question that perhaps the ATF can answer, how many of the shootings in Democrat cities are done with shoulder fired weapons, how many with weapons classified as SBRs that fall under the NFA?


I don’t KNOW but allow me to take a wild guess. I will put it in rund umbers. Actually ONE round number.

Commonly referred to as “zero”. as in naught,


“Shall not be Infringed ” somebody please give the idiots at the BATF a dictionary maybe then they can decipher the meaning of the second amendment and the phrase “Shall not be Infringed.” Please pass it on to the idiots in our government as they also need schooled in our constitution. If they can’t comprehend this then the obviously don’t belong in the position they are in . Remove these communist idiots from our government !


I have seen the ATF working a case and they and the FBI need to quit thinking outside the box when it comes to the Constitution


Any law repugnant to the Constitution has no force of law, and attempting to enforce such a law should be labeled “High Treason.” As things stand now, there are so many criminal traitors out there that there is no way to turn the thing around.

Henry Bowman

Yeah, not without a full-on civil war, eliminating every last one of them. That’s a level of ugly that no one wants, yet may be necessary if we want our descendants to live free.

NOW is the time for this generation to choose.

Roland T. Gunner

Good article Dean; I have missed your writings lately. We have way too many chickenshit citizens who cannot or will not utilize logic and reason when analyzing a situation; and too many spineless, corrupt politicians, to hope the will ever fix these broken, abominable laws.


And the dirt bag FDR was involved through his A,G,– shocking




Second Amendent Preservation Acts (SAPA) are required to prevent state, county, city/town enforcers from cooperating with federal law enforcement to enforce upcoming federal laws – like the registration of semiautomatic rifles. SAPA laws must include provisions requiring all law enforcement personnel to sign agreements acknowledging they are aware of, and understand, the SAPA laws and that if they violate those laws they will lose any right to qualified immunity and may be sued by their victims (“civilians” who have been prosectued under new federal laws). The document should indicate any attempt to “hide” assets may result in punitive damages on… Read more »


“Non-civilian” government employees object to being held accountable.

Your objection is noted.

Why would anyone who is not planning on abusing the rights of good people object? They wouldn’t.

These laws are required for “public safety.”

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC

Never ceases to amaze me how many downvotes you get for simply proposing common sense gun-law reform.


It’s indicative of how many “non-civilian” state, county, city/town enforcers want to be able to cooperate with federal enforcers. Their motivations are: Keeping their job; Getting lucrative “task force” bonuses; and Having a shot at moving up from a local enforcer job to a federal enforcer job to get better benefits and even more job security. To do this, they would have to demonstrate how good they are at shooting a good person’s golden retriever, handcuffing the good person, screaming obscenities at the good person’s wife and kids while pointing guns at them, and tearing apart the good person’s home… Read more »


What’s so annoying about the ban on “short barreled rifles” is that it is creates a felony crime that addresses no societal problem whatsoever. There has never been a rash of “short barreled rifle crimes.” The justification was that they made rifles more concealable, based on what lawmakers saw in old black-and-white gangster movies. But a pistol is vastly more concealable than even the shortest rifle, so the argument hold no water. It is similar to the ban on “silencers.” A bunch of country club plaid pants congressmen had seen them in movies and thought they helped assassins, so they… Read more »


Read more: Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Follow us: @Ammoland on Twitter | Ammoland on Facebook However, a handgun of this type permanently altered by removing the stock attachment device on the hand grip so that a stock may not be attached is held to be a pistol. Now, since my Glock pistol does not have the brace attached to the hand grip of the pistol but is attached to my Mck then it would not be a short barrel rifle and the brace is not permanently attached to the MCK or the pistol but can be removed by only removing a pin from… Read more »


Politicians of the ilk who fostered the Bovine Scatology are like Jackals, Hyenas and Vultures circling a downed wildebeest! IE: unless scum!


I remember visiting the old National Gun Traders in Miami, FL back in the mid to late 1960s and seeing one display case with a row of Luger P08s for sale for $49.95. They were “mix & match” guns, refinished, gold plated grip safety and trigger, and some not quite blended in grinder marks where the shoulder stock lug had been removed.


Article posit’s some interesting propositions.
2nd A – “shall not be infringed” vs. any government who is caught sponsoring terrorism.

What if there was a Hidden Hand Secret Society that was pulling the strings & behind the evil – dark-side of the polemic paradigm ?

The absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence, just ignorance of that system’s gestalt’s/dogma’s existence.

What does that mean if the government or it’s agents IS/ARE the terrorist’s ?

Last edited 11 months ago by Tank
Henry Bowman

Well federal agents ARE terrorists; they tried to massacre an Idaho family as retribution for their self-defense against a federal kill squad… they mmassacred an entire religious community in Texas because 2 of the members were hackers who discovered secret information on a government database, information so dangerous that the feds had to kill every potential witness… federal agents then destroyed evidence relating to that massacre by blowing up a federal building with over 160 innocent people… and even bigger terrorist attacks where thousands were killed so a total surveillance police state could be ushered in at the beginning of… Read more »


Rural sheriffs, national guard, and active military were involved in both Ruby Ridge and Waco.


Did you get a response?

The majority of the people who post here believe local law enforcement is on their side. It defies all logic and evidence to the contrary.

If you haven’t see this yet, watch these Colorado “bad apples” violate the rights protected by the 5th Amendment. This is a conspiracy caught on the enforcers’ own cameras.

Search for this video:

“Cops Retaliate When He Refuses To Answer Questions – He Knows His Rights”

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC

Here’s the link (may take some time to be released from hold):


I want to see someone like the guy in the video I noted above win big – I’d like to see everyone of those enforcers lose their job, lose their pension, and lose the ability to work for any Colorado government organization ever again. I’d like to see their spouses divorce them and get custody of their kids. I’d like to see them turn into raging alcoholics and fall into a downward spiral of despair. I’ like to see everyone in their community (including private sector employers) ostracize them. Until this starts happening, nothing will change. All this ranting about… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC

You can’t hardly swing a dead cat around here without hitting a retired LEO, yet not one will call-out state, county, and city/town enforcers who violate the rights protected by the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th amenments. Ex-Enforcers, put this into your search engine: “Cops Retaliate When He Refuses To Answer Questions – He Knows His Rights” Watch how the Colorado enforcers conspire to violate a “civilian’s” rights and laugh about it. Not one thing will happen to those enforcers. What is more telling is the comments on youtube – because enforcers who think they are “good apples” won’t call-out… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC

I understand – just for clarity in my post, when I wrote “here,” I meant this forum.


Yep same here. It’s easy to spot them.


100% true.

Henry Bowman

Drop the part about the Sheriff being involved with the Waco Massacre and you’ll have it correct.
It was federal boots who tread on these victims.


Sorry man, the rural sheriff was the one who got the ball rolling. Watch the congressional hearings.

The national guard was also involved.

The military was also involved (the feds claimed the Davidians were involved in making drugs – that allowed access to military resources).

Watch the hearings, then you’ll have it correct.

Henry Bowman

Actually, the Sheriff had investigated them AND CLEARED THEM OF ANY WRONGDOING. His part ended there. The Davidians were targeted for other reasons, things that had nothing to do with the official allegations that were without merit. I not only saw the hearings, I know some of the people who survived and some of the people who testified at the hearings.


The sheriff contacted the feds.

Henry Bowman

No, he didn’t. I got my info from the horse’s mouth, so whatever your source is, it’s wrong.


My source is the sworn testimony of Gene Barber, who was a Lieutenant of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department. He gave that testimony on August 21, 1995 at the Joint Subcommittee Hearings on Waco. Go to 1:54 of the linked video. His testimony included the following:   The sheriff’s department was involved in a couple incidents prior to the incident in 1993 (to investigate a shoot-out involving George Roden in 1987 and an allegation of illegal aliens in 1990). In 1993, the BATFE did not initiate the contact with Koresh and the Davidians. The BATFE became involved only after being contacted by the… Read more »


Henry Bowman,

Can you be more specific about your source?

Why did he/she not testify to refute the sworn testimony of Gene Barber of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department?


Talk about deniers – downvoters, you crack me up.

There is a video of a member of the sheriff’s department indicating the sheriff’s department, Chief Deputy, Captain Dan Weanburg (sp?), called in the BATFE and that initiated the BATFE’s involvement.

See the details posted above.

I realize a lot of posters have a reverence for rural county sheriff departments, but get a grip.

There is a video of a sworn testimony (by the Lt. in the sheriff’s department) to a subcommittee of U.S. legislatures.

Last edited 11 months ago by JSNMGC

good gawd, man….. why are you drinking so early in the day?

Henry Bowman

I don’t drink, but whatever, commie.


Yep. Thank you for further illustrating & elucidating my foci & point.

Henry Bowman

That hidden hand society is actually several: Club of Rome, Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, Davos group, World Economic Forum, etc… Most politicians at the federal and state level, including judges & Justices (such as the late Ruth Ginsberg), and people within the invisible bureaucracy (deep state) are all part of “the club” (globalists). Practically all federal-level Dems are in on it. And RINOs too.


Yep 100%. Your spot on & far bigger optics than many here are willing to research or even take a gazing look into the Occult abyss of esoteric knowledge.
Absolute truth is out there although it closes get obtuse at times. People are full of false knowledge & cognitive dissonance. Two very strong forces when coupled with an Ego.

AZ Lefty

Another article by Deep State Dean; a proud Retired Federal Employee


You did not address the substance of his article, likely because you lack substance. You are little more than a noisemaker.