Deactivated Weapons - FAQ

Deactivated Weapons - FAQ

What is a deactivated weapon?

A deactivated weapon is a real firearm which has been altered in such a way that it is no longer capable of discharging any bullet, missile or other projectile. UK deactivated weapons will have been submitted to one of two Proof Houses (Birmingham and London) in order to check that they have been correctly deactivated to EU/UK specifications. If this is the case they are stamped accordingly and have a deactivation certificate issued. This clearly states what the weapon is and records its serial number. This certficate provides evidential proof that the weapon is no longer a firearm in the eyes of the law and that it is perfectly legal for an individual to own.

Who can buy or own a UK deactivated weapon?

The simple answer to this question is just about anyone who resides in mainland UK over the age of 18. However, our company policy is to only supply deactivated weapons to customers over the age of 21. Currently, we do not offer deactivated firearms outside the UK. NO FIREARMS AUTHORITY OR CERTIFICATE IS REQUIRED FOR OWNERSHIP IN THE UK MAINLAND.

Why are deactivated weapons so expensive?

Nearly all of the firearms deactivated and sold in the UK come from Europe; next to nothing is imported from the US. As with any importation there are a range of costs which add to the final price of the item. These include currency fluctuations (significant at the moment), import taxes and transport costs. Due to the nature of such items, secure transport is very costly. Once a weapon has been brought into the UK, it then has to be deactivated and proofed. The combined cost of this can range from about £80 to £100 depending on who does the work. Some firearms have to be inspected twice at a Proof House due to the captivation requirements for some types of firearm. The cheapest deactivated weapons tend to those acquired from military surplus stocks. These are less individual pieces and condition may vary significantly as they are usually purchased by dealers in bulk and then sold to other dealers such as ourselves. Inevitably, particularly rare items command higher prices; this is no different from any other collector driven trade.

In addition to the above factors, we are taxed just as every other legitimate company is. In particular, VAT is a major issue due to the high value of our products.

Deactivation Standards

The EU deactivation standard came into force for all Member States including the UK on 8th April 2016. In May 2016, the Home Office published additional guidance and extra UK processes to compensate for the inadequacies of the EU Regulation. The information below is based on the EU Regulation with the additional UK processes. This is generally referred to as the EU+ or EU/UK standard.

Anyone considering importing a firearm deactivated in another Member State to the standard EU specification should note that all deactivated firearms coming into the UK must conform to the EU+ specification, i.e. must have had the additional UK processes completed on them. 

As of May 2nd 2017, firearms deactivated to any standard prior to 08/04/16 (including all previously UK deactivated firearms) can no longer be sold, gifted, bartered, exchanged or transferred (including by inheritance). The only exception to this is for firearms that are not in scope for the EU Deactivation Regulation; this includes mortars, grenade launchers, rocket launchers and artillery. These firearms types continue to be deactivated to the applicable UK specification and can be sold and transfered. Selling or transfering any firearm covered by the EU Regulation, but not deactivated to the post April 8th standard would result in an offence being committed under the Policing and Crime Act 2017. This can result in a fine and/or a custodial sentence of up to 5 years. Existing UK deactivated firearms can still be legally owned. All of the deactivated firearms on this site are deactivated to the EU/UK standard or where appropriate to the firearm type, to the applicable UK standard, and are completely legal to purchase and own.

Please note that the following represents our interpretation of the official standards and should be taken as a guide only.

 

Pistols

  • The chamber is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; a tight fitting hard steel rod is inserted from the chamber entrance for 2/3 length of the barrel and welded in place through the chamber; where present, 2/3 of the locking lugs on barrels are ground away and the feed ramp milled back
  • The frame rails are weakened; a pin is fixed across the magazine well preventing insertion of a standard magazine
  • Where present, 2/3 of the locking lugs inside the slide are ground down; the breech face is ground back; the firing pin is ground back or at times removed; the firing pin channel is welded
  • The slide is captivated on the frame preventing disassembly of the pistol. Depending on the pistol's construction, this may be achieved by welding, pinning or bonding
  • The magazine is adapted by adding two slots either side or front and back to allow it to pass either side of the pin in the magazine well
  • EU+ Deactivated pistols have a full working action and can dry-fire. They can't be field stripped, but the adapted magazine can be removed.

Revolvers

  • The barrel is slotted (two different options) or three calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; a tight fitting hard steel rod is inserted from the forcing cone for 2/3 length of the barrel and welded in place through the slot/holes in the barrel/forcing cone; the barrel is pinned to the frame with a hardened steel pin (50% chamber diameter)
  • The cylinder has a large section milled out of the middle and a steel ring welded in place
  • The breech face is milled away and the firing pin is ground back or removed completely; the firing pin channel is welded
  • Measures are taken to prevent the cylinder being removed from the rest of the firearm. On revolvers with swing out cylinders, the cylinder can still be swung out, but the crane/cylinder assembly can't be removed from the revolver. For break action revolvers, the cylinder cam assembly is usually welded to the frame to prevent removal of the cylinder.
  • EU+ Deactivated revolvers have a full working action and dry-fire. Some parts may be field strippable depending on how the cylinder captivation is achieved.

Bolt Action Rifles

  • The chamber is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; the barrel is permanently fixed to the receiver with a hard steel pin (50% chamber diameter) that passes through the chamber and is welded in place; a tight fitting hard steel rod is inserted from the chamber for 2/3 length of the barrel and welded in place through the barrel slot/holes
  • The bolt face is cut back at around 45 degrees and the firing pin is ground back; the firing pin channel is welded; locking lugs are weakened usually by reducing their size
  • A pin is fixed across the magazine well/receiver preventing insertion of a standard magazine
  • The magazine is adapted by adding two slots either side or front and back to allow it to pass either side of the pin in the magazine well
  • EU+ Deactivated bolt action rifles have fully working actions, dry-fire and can be fully stripped apart from the barrel. The adapted magazine can be removed.

Lever Action Rifles

  • Deactivation of this type of firearm is broadly in line with bolt action rifles
  • The magazine tube is permanently fixed to the receiver using a hardened steel pin (normally the same one use to fix the barrel to the receiver)
  • EU+ Deactivated lever action rifles have fully working actions, dry-fire and can be fully stripped (depending on how they disassemble) apart from the barrel and magazine tube

Pump Action Shotguns

  • The chamber is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three 2/3 calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; the barrel is permanently fixed to the receiver with a hard steel pin (50% chamber diameter) that passes through the chamber and is welded in place; a tight fitting hard steel plug (2/3 chamber length) is inserted as close to the breech as possible and welded in place through the chamber or barrel slot/holes
  • The magazine tube is pinned and welded to the receiver across the chamber entrance (normally through the bottom of the receiver using the same pin that fixes the barrel to the receiver); the spring and follower are usually removed from the magazine tube.
  • The bolt is cut back at around 45 degrees and the firing pin is ground back; the firing pin channel is welded; locking lugs are weakened usually by reducing their size
  • EU+ Deactivated pump action shotguns have fully working actions and dry-fire; the barrel is obviously fixed in place so they may or may not strip down depending on individual takedown procedure. 

Semi Auto Shotguns

  • The chamber is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three 2/3 calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; the barrel is permanently fixed to the receiver with a hard steel pin (50% chamber diameter) that passes through the chamber and is welded in place; a tight fitting hard steel plug (2/3 chamber length) is inserted as close to the breech as possible and welded in place through the chamber or barrel slot/holes
  • The magazine tube is pinned and welded to the receiver across the chamber entrance (normally through the bottom of the receiver using the same pin that fixes the barrel to the receiver); the spring and follower are usually removed from the magazine tube. If the shotgun is magazine fed, the magazine and magazine well are altered to prevent the insertion of a standard magazine (see detail in bolt action rifles)
  • 50%+ of the bolt is removed and the breech face ground back at 45 degrees; the bolt is welded to the receiver
  • The firing pin is ground back or removed and where appropriate to the firearm type/mechanism, the firing pin channel is welded
  • The trigger mechanism may be ground back/weakened and will be filled/fused with weld
  • EU+ Deactivated semi auto shotguns do not have moving parts or working dry-fire actions. Only superficial field stripping is possible.

Double/Single Barrelled Shotguns

  • The chamber on each barrel is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three 2/3 calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; a tight fitting hard steel plug (2/3 chamber length) is inserted as close to the breech as possible and welded in place through the chamber or barrel slot/holes
  • The breech face(s) are milled out and firing pins are ground back or removed; the firing pin channel is welded
  • At times the extractor/ejector is also removed.
  • EU+ Deactivated double/single barrelled shotguns have fully working actions, can dry-fire and can be fully stripped. 

Submachine Guns

  • The chamber is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three 2/3 calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; the barrel is permanently fixed to the receiver with a hard steel pin (50% chamber diameter) that passes through the chamber and is welded in place; a tight fitting hard steel rod is inserted from the chamber for 2/3 length of the barrel and welded in place through the barrel slot/holes
  • 50%+ of the bolt is removed and the breech face ground back at 45 degrees; the bolt is welded to the receiver
  • The firing pin is ground back or removed and where appropriate to the firearm type/mechanism, the firing pin channel is welded
  • The trigger mechanism may be ground back/weakened and will be filled/fused with weld
  • A pin is fixed across the receiver/magazine well preventing insertion of a standard magazine; the magazine is adapted by adding two slots either side or front and back to allow it to pass either side of this pin
  • EU+ Deactivated submachine guns do not have moving parts or working dry-fire actions. Only superficial field stripping is possible, but the magazine can be removed. However, the EU+ specification does allow the addition a dummy bolt behind the cut-down original bolt. This can move freely, providing the impression of being able to cock the firearm.

Assault Rifles

  • The chamber is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three 2/3 calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; the barrel is permanently fixed to the receiver with a hard steel pin (50% chamber diameter) that passes through the chamber and is welded in place; a tight fitting hard steel rod is inserted from the chamber for 2/3 length of the barrel and welded in place through the barrel slot/holes
  • 50%+ of the bolt is removed and the breech face ground back at 45 degrees; the bolt is welded to the receiver
  • The firing pin is ground back or removed and where appropriate to the firearm type/mechanism, the firing pin channel is welded
  • The trigger mechanism may be ground back/weakened and will be filled/fused with weld
  • A pin is fixed across the receiver/magazine well preventing insertion of a standard magazine; the magazine is adapted by adding two slots either side or front and back to allow it to pass either side of this pin
  • The gas assembly is removed/destroyed and gas ports are often welded up
  • The flash hider is pinned/welded in place
  • EU+ Deactivated assault rifles do not have moving parts or working dry-fire actions. Only superficial field stripping is possible, but the magazine can be removed. EU+ specification assault rifles may be deactivated in such a manner that although the bolt is welded to the receiver, the cocking handle is left free to move providing the impression of being able to cock the firearm without actually doing so.

Semi Auto Rifles

  • EU+ deactivation requirements are broadly in line with assault rifles; .22 rifles are considered no differently than full-bore pieces and therefore can no longer have moving parts and dry-fire actions

Light Machine Guns

  • The chamber is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three 2/3 calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; the barrel is permanently fixed to the receiver with a hard steel pin (50% chamber diameter) that passes through the chamber and is welded in place; a tight fitting hard steel rod is inserted from the chamber for 2/3 length of the barrel and welded in place through the barrel slot/holes
  • 50%+ of the bolt is removed and the breech face ground back at 45 degrees; the bolt is welded to the receiver
  • The firing pin is ground back or removed and where appropriate to the firearm type/mechanism, the firing pin channel is welded
  • The trigger mechanism may be ground back/weakened and will be filled/fused with weld
  • A pin is fixed across the receiver/magazine well preventing insertion of a standard magazine; the magazine is adapted by adding two slots either side or front and back to allow it to pass either side of this pin; on belt-fed firearms, the feed mechanism must be welded
  • The gas assembly is removed/destroyed and gas ports are often welded up
  • The flash hider is pinned/welded in place
  • Captivation (usually welding) is used to prevent disassembly of the main parts of the gun (e.g. upper and lower receivers/trigger groups)
  • EU+ Deactivated light machine guns do not have moving parts or working dry-fire actions. Field stripping is not possible, but the magazine can be removed.

Medium/Heavy Machine Guns

  • The chamber is slotted for its entirety; barrel is slotted (two different options) or three 2/3 calibre sized holes are drilled into it or a 'V' slot is cut into it; the barrel is permanently fixed to the receiver with a hard steel pin (50% chamber diameter) that passes through the chamber and is welded in place; a tight fitting hard steel rod is inserted from the chamber for 2/3 length of the barrel and welded in place through the barrel slot/holes
  • 50%+ of the bolt is removed and the breech face ground back at 45 degrees; the bolt is welded to the receiver
  • The firing pin is ground back or removed and where appropriate to the firearm type/mechanism, the firing pin channel is welded
  • The trigger mechanism may be ground back/weakened and will be filled/fused with weld
  • A pin is fixed across the receiver/magazine well preventing insertion of a standard magazine; the magazine is adapted by adding two slots either side or front and back to allow it to pass either side of this pin; on belt-fed firearms, the feed mechanism must be welded
  • The gas assembly is removed/destroyed and gas ports are often welded up
  • The flash hider is pinned/welded in place
  • Captivation (usually welding) is used to prevent disassembly of the main parts of the gun (e.g. upper and lower receivers/trigger groups)
  • EU+ Deactivated light machine guns do not have moving parts or working dry-fire actions. Field stripping is not possible, but the magazine can be removed.

Rocket/Grenade Launchers and Mortars

  • There is no EU+ standard for this type of firearm. Deactivation is therefore carried out to the 2010 UK standard - as below
  • Although there are minor differences depending on the type of firearm, all have their barrels/tubes blocked with a steel plug, rod or pin permanently fixed in place; the barrel/tube is slotted where possible
  • Where present, the breech face is ground back; the firing pin is ground back or removed and as appropriate, the firing pin channel is welded
  • Firing mechanisms may be removed or disabled
  • UK Deactivated launchers and mortars usually have mostly moving parts and where the item employs an 'action' this is normally at least partially working. There is no real difference between post and pre-95 deactivation standards.

Can I request additional photographs of an item?

Our eShop environment places certain limits on the size of photographs that we can show. Within these set limits we always try to show a good range of different views of an item. If as a potential buyer (not just a photo collector!) you feel that you need other or more detailed photographs, we will do our best to provide these. However, it can take between 7 to 10 days for us to provide additional photos - depending what our commitments are in terms of processing orders or new stock.