While this subject is too long to cover adequately on this Forum, here are some things from my files. Firstly, you will need to procure a copy of the article published in Issue 295-296m July-August 1980, of the “International Cartridge Collector,” the name then of the Journal of the ICCA, now known as International Ammunition Association (IAA). Not to have it is to be missing the most comprehensive article written on this subject, to my knowledge. Ahhh, the power of Government! In the instance of the Daisy VL, like with most guns effected by new Federal decisions, if this decision was actually made by BATF, the VLs already produced were obviously grandfathered in, which is the norm.
If you send me a private email with your mailing address, I will supply you with a copy of this article.
As to the ammunition maker, Daisy made all of the prototype ammunition, although Omark Industries played an important part in the testing and development of propellants for it. That story is told in the above article. All of the production ammunition of made by Canadian Industries Ltd. (C-I-L). They produced approximately 47 Million Rounds by the end of the project.
Although I don’t have a high regard for the popular Gun Press, “Guns & Ammo,” February 1993 issue, pages 84-86, has what seems to be a fair article. They report that of the guns, 19,000 standard rifles were produced in 1968 and 1969, they also sold about 4,000 of the presentation model guns with walnut stocks. A further 1,000 rifles were part of collector’ packages.
The only mention I have of the “BATF Decision” issue that I can find is a statement in the same article from “Guns & Ammo” magazine, which I will quote:
"Production was stopped when the federal Bureao of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ruled that the caseless rifle was indeed a firearm, and that Daisy was, at the time, licensed to produce air weapons only. Considering the fact that the caseless bullet leaves the gun with about the same muzzle energy as a .22 Short high-velocity round, the ruling is hardly surprising."
Actually, the last statement about the velocity and energy of the round is rather silly. There are dozens of high-grade air rifles that have velocityies equal or superior to the .22 Short HV cartridge. Most are European, Korean, Chinese or Japanese. They are made specifically for small game hunting, and certaining are beyond the “BB Gun” stage of capabilities. These have not been ruled to be “firearms.”
This information should be easy to check. I believe that BATF rullings are public record under the Freedom of Information Act, and you should be able to even get a copy of that ruling from them. I have received copies of two rulings in the past, one concerning pistols with barrels longer than 16" and one concerning the overall length of the M1A1 carbine.
By the way, regarding Daisy manufacturing this, the statement above would indicate BATF made the rulling after the rifle was in production awhile. This would have precluded prosecution, but certainly forced Daisy to obtain the required licenses, or to stop production. Speaking as an ex-dealer, the gun never sold terribly well in the overall scheme of firearms sales at the time, and it could be that it had just about run its course anyway. Also, decisions making an item illegal after its serial production are not unusual, either by the Federal Government or State Governments. They do it in the firearms field all the time in California - assault rifle laws, rulings on certain weapons’ OAL which conflict with the Federal ruling, banning threaded muzzles on handguns even if it is a feature of assembly and not made for the attachment of flash hiders or silencers, etc. Also, Federally, there was a thing called the Volstead Act that outlawed nationally a product made for thousands of years - Liquor.
None of may material shows any cartridge or packaging other than the one we all know and has already been discussed. There were Daisy/Omark prototypes, some covered in the IAA article.
However, Daisy may have planned for a variety of loadings. I quote from a very early Broadsheet advertisement for the VL, unfortunately not date but the language of it indicates it was introductory, ie: “The first new shooting system in 100 years,” “New Rifle, New Ammo,” etc.
"And the first step into the future is here today. . . the shleek, single-shot .22 caliber VL 5ifle . . . using VL ammo which fires a 29-grain missile at 1150 feet per second. (VL Test ammo has been manuractured to fire at lower and much higher controlled velocities, so potential variations are virtually unlimited)."
Well, enough here. If you want copies of any of this let me know. I do not have time to scan them, but I will do them on my Canon copier, and mail them to you if provided with an address.
At this time I will ONLY be able to provide DennisKyou with these copies, since he is the originator of this thread and seems to be doing serious research on this issue. I am very busy with other matters, so please gang, don’t flood me with requests for them. I normally would be glad to do it for anyone, but I am up to my ears in hectic things that have to take precedence right now.