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Posted: March 03 2017 at 6:54pm | IP Logged
I wonder what happens to those who use soft lead so the bullet will expand (obturate) in order to fill the riflings. Those soft bullets will expand while still in the case. There have been many tests where the barrels were removed from revolvers and the bullets photographed in an already expanded state as they exit the cylinder.
Ironically ATF has not, to my knowledge, persecuted any of those experimenters for possessing and firing smoothbore breechloading arms with barrels under 18.5 inches in length.
Bullets can only expand as much as the chambers or barrels will allow them. In the examples where the barrels were removed, they are deforming as they leave the cylinder and expand to fill the hole in the frame where the barrel was. The reason they don't do this when leaving the barrel is because the pressure has dropped so much by that time.
Revolvers, or rifles for that matter, with the barrel removed wouldn't be considered smoothbores. It would also not be illegal to possess such a firearm, however the "firing" may pose a problem. I believe it is illegal to alter a firearm in order to tamper with rifling evidence, but I'd have to look it up to be sure.
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