The original question was "is it safe to fire?" If the weapon is, and doesn't alarm the average reenactor at ten paces, then it can still have a place in the hobby.
Shortcuts help people over the initial logistical hurdles of entering the hobby. For example, I still have my original Indo-Pak uniform. I haven't worn it since I got the first of many better outfits (which I ordered a couple of months into the hobby) but it took those better clothes nearly a year to arrive, during which time I was still able to reenact. I keep that uniform as a loaner and will continue to keep it for that purpose.
For the same reason, and because I seem to miss out on all the great deals for used weapons, and am not sure I'd order one from a stranger anyway, I would definitely consider springing for a loaner that would pass the ten foot rule and not blow up on the user.
This isn't because I don't think proper uniforms and weapons are important. I do, and I wouldn't take either to an event where they would offend other participants. But sometimes a person has to get into the hobby in the first place before they understand the desirability of an upgrade.
Heck, I'll even accept morning reports filled out with pencil on cheap printer paper if it gets people thinking about paperwork. Once they're interested we can talk dip pens and rag content, but until then only Sharpies make my eyes bleed.
So I guess I'd rephrase the original question this way: Are Loyalist Arms weapons like pencil and printer paper or are they still on the level of Sharpies?
M. A. Schaffner
Midstream Regressive Complainer