EU Deactivation

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+ 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. 

The following represents our interpretation of the official standards. If you are undertaking deactivation work, you are advised to follow the official EU Regulation and Home Office guidance documents

 

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

  • EU+ Deactivated light machine guns do not have moving parts or working dry-fire actions. Field stripping is not possible, but where present, 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

  • EU+ Deactivated medium/heavy machine guns do not have moving parts or working dry-fire actions. Field stripping is not possible, but where present, 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 pre 08/04/16 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.

- Under construction -

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