One of my hobbies is collecting Curio & Relic firearms. Often called C&R firearms, these guns are defined in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 478.11 as those “…of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons.” C&R firearms include most manually operated and semi-automatic firearms used by a military force prior to 1946. This includes most firearms used by the warring nations in World War I and World War II. This is why I collect them. I love the old battle rifles and sidearms of the first and second world wars. If you have ever had the privilege of shooting an M1 Garand then you know what I am talking about. You can just feel the history in your hands.
C&R collectors can get a special Federal Firearms License (FFL) to collect these guns, which among other things allows a person to have a C&R firearm shipped directly to them instead of having to complete a sale through a gun dealer, often adding to the cost. To apply for a C&R FFL, you will need to file an ATF Form 7CR. The ATF website to request a form is http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-5310-16-notice.html.
To be recognized by ATF as a C&R firearm, a firearm must fall into at least one of the following three categories:
- Firearms manufactured more than 50 years prior to the current date, not including replicas
- Firearms certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum that exhibits firearms as curios or relics of museum interest
- Any other firearms that derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category requires evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector’s items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.
So far I have a small collection. One of my goals is to have one of every major rifle used by US forces. Another collection I have started is the bolt actions of WWI and WWII. From time to time, I will write a post about some of these firearms, their history, and most importantly, how they handle at the range. If you have any questions about collecting C&Rs just add a comment and I will do my best to answer your question.