.23 Rimfire?


On the UK list of “obsolete calibre” guns that you can own without a UK firearms permit, there is a line that says:

[quote]Part I: Old weapons which should benefit from exemption as antiques under section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act 1968

a) All muzzle-loading firearms;

b) Breech-loading firearms capable of discharging a rim-fire cartridge other than 4mm, 5mm, .22" or .23" (or their metric equivalents), 6mm or 9mm rimfire; [/quote]

I have never heard of .23 Rimfire, and can’t find any information on it via google searching. Is it a real calibre or just a mistake?

For anyone who is interested, here is the full list of obsolete calibres:



I don’t think there is such a thing as a .23 rimfire and I think its a mistake. However, a lot of early .22 R/F BSA martinis have .220 stamped on the barrel to designate the calibre. Its not a seperate calibre its just a different name for the common .22. So we can’t totally discount the possibility that someone somewhere used the handle .23 to make their .22 rifles stand out from the crowd as being a bit different from the rest. Gunmakers were fond of such ploys years ago but I am not aware it actually happened.


it is 6 mm RF


I suppose it is just the same as the 7x57 Mauser being known as the .275 Rigby in England, a more English sounding name.


I said it must be 6 mm RF because they say : 22 and 23 (or their metric equivalent)

The metric equivalent of 23 is 5.85 mm which is the measurement of some 6 mm RF ctges
(I answered in another topic that the measurement of the 6 mm RF was evoluting depending of the years)


The British “obsolete calibres” legislation is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise totally opressive regime of fireararms legislation. I an very grateful for its existance because it means for me I can buy and own rifles like the 577/.450 Martini rifle without needing a permit. how ever it is not without its down side.
Take our good friend Falcon for example. lets say he went to a show and bought himself a .44 S&W Russian pistol . Totally legal, he can own it, leave it on a coffee table, hang it on a wall etc with absolutely no problem.

However, Falcon is also a cartridge collector and probably owns a licence to hold several hundred rounds of live ammunition for the purpose of collection. He can own .303s .30-06s in fact any thing he wants. But if he subsequently owns a single round of .44 S&W Russian susequent to buying that pistol he will be breaking the law. A lot of collectors don’t realise that.

You cannot own an exempt calibre weapon and ammunition under any circumstances, even if both ownerships are seperately legal. I know a few collectors who are big on the Martinis and also collect the ammunition. I offer this advice in a friendly manner to anyone who may fall into this catagory. Don’t get caught out.

I know Falcon well and know this doesn’t apply to him so I am using him as an example to illustratrate a point. I know he is aware of the law.


I would like one of those Smith and Wesson .44 Russian revolvers, the only problem is that they are usually around £2000 or more each, for a pistol you can’t even fire.


Falcon you are correct about the prices, all obsolete calibre pistols are overpriced in this country. In the example given of the .44 S&W Russian they are in demand from the section 7 users.


Section 7 is that Black Powder?


“Section 7” is for pistols made before 31st December 1918. If they are in a “modern” calibre they must be kept at the British national shooting centre at Bisley and only used there. If they are an obsolete calibre they can be kept at home on a firearms permit but you can’t fire them, they must be stored at Bisley if you want to fire them.




What I have wondered about before is whether it would be possible to buy up a piece of land (of course large enough to have a few hundred yards of shooting range) and get it officially declared as your own independent micro state. No more taxes to the corrupt MPs in Westminster, no more ridiculous gun laws.

I’m not sure if this would be possible on the UK mainland, but this is an interesting example using an old WW2 era fortress which is officially in international waters.

The owner of the fort obviously feels the same about his guns: Here is an extract from the site: