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Regulatory burden of proofing modified gun barrels

Comment 18th August 2010

Amend the Gun Barrel proofing Act to remove the requirement for proof houses to re-proof barrels modified in certain specified circumstances.  To address this I would suggest the Act is amended to reflect the following:

Any new rifle required to be tested individually by the proof house from new for full chamber / bolt testing etc.

Thereafter, the fitting of any accessories, which do not affect the chamber or bolt (ie a moderator / screw-cutting or muzzle break), should be tested with an overload (specified by % in law, eg 20% over usual max load).  That testing is to be carried out and certified by the armourer undertaking the modification.

The same can apply for moderators etc. (for example, a 20% increase in initial load test) then each trader can stamp with his personal mark.


This suggestion would provide a small reduction in the burden of regulation and concerns the provisions relating to the proofing of rifles.  In summary, at present all gun barrels (or substantially modified barrels) have to be proofed by either of the two UK proof houses or, if imported, with a recognised proof mark from another recognised body in another Member State.


Why does this matter?

Within the UK this process costs about £50 and has an associated wait of a number of weeks while the test is carried out.  A good number of modifications are “thread cutting” of barrels for the fitment of moderators.  The delay causes problems for armourers who are carrying out modifications to rifles, creates a delay for customers and industry, increases costs and results in firearms being transported unnecessarily.

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