Letters to SAR: September 1998

By Dan Shea

Stoner 63 and 63A rifles classified as Curio & Relics by ATF

SAR was just sent this letter by one of our Stoner Historians, Mr. Jerry Tarble. In the interest of helping our readers understand the process by which firearms are classified into the Curio and Relics category, we have included the entire letter from ATF. What this means is that now Stoner 63 and Stoner 63A machine guns may be transferred to individuals who live in the two states that only allow Curio and Relic machine guns, as well as localities where there are C&R restrictions. This also means that Stoner 63’s and 63A’s can be transferred interstate on a tax paid Form 4 to those who have C&R Federal Firearms Licenses.

June 10, 1998

This refers to your letter of March 13, 1998, in which you request certain Stoner 63 and 63a rifles be classified as curios or relics.

As defined in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 178, section 178.11, the term curios or relics includes certain firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality not ordinarily associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must:

1) Have been manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but NOT including replicas thereof; or

2) Be certified by the curator of a municipal, State or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; or

3) Derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, or bizarre, or from the fact of their association with some historical figure, period, or event.

As you are aware we have previously classified Stoner 63 and 63A rifles as curios or relics. Based on your information and our research we will amend the Firearms Curios Or Relics List to include all original factory variations of the Stoner 63 and 63A rifles. The Curios or Relics list will be amended to:

Stoner, model 63 and 63A machineguns, all variations, as originally manufactured from 1963 through 1970.

This determination authorizes licensed collectors to acquire, hold, or dispose of them as curios or relics subject to the provisions of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 44 and the regulations in 27 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Part 178. They are still firearms as defined in 18 U.S.C., Section 821 (a) (3), and they are still machineguns subject to all the provisions in 26 US.C., Chapter 53.

We trust that the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.


Edward M. Owen - Acting Chief, Firearms, Explosives and Arson Services Division

Dear SAR,

Page 39 of the June 1998 issue shows a picture of an UZI SMG with the select fire lever on the right side of the pistol grip. Every other UZI I have ever seen has the selector lever on the left side. What’s up, was this a prototype or a regular production run. If this pistol grip is available who might have them for sale. This would make it a lot easier for a left-handed shooter to handle the weapon. Please keep up the good work on a great magazine.

Baltimore, MD

Dear H.K.

This was one of those “Oh no! we flipped the photo” reactions at SAR headquarters. I went to Jeff and said “Look, you put the picture in reversed!” He went back to his office and then burst out of it, pointing at the picture and said “See? Look! The ejection port is on this side too, I did NOT put it in backwards.” I apologized and considered the possibilities. SAR was at the NDIA Small Arms Symposium right after this letter came in, so I went over to see Bob Tinari of Uzi America. His Uzi on the table was indeed ambidextrous in its controls. Very interesting. Turns out that IMI is building them this way, and that these are being offered to law enforcement agencies today. I was unable to find out if they were planning on importing these lowers for general sales, but I do know that there are receiver modifications to be done before this will work on a standard Uzi. Oh yeah, I knew about this all along, and have even written about it before, just totally spaced it. - Dan

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V1N12 (September 1998)
and was posted online on January 6, 2017


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