looking for a definitive answer
I am sure this has been addressed ad nauseam, but searches have only turned up internet opinions.
The question is of whether a DIY'er can legally remove the barrel of his AK, cut it below 16", re-thread, and permanently attach a muzzle device back over the 16" mark, then re-install the barrel.
told you it's been asked a million times. But what I am looking for are the facts, not the opinions
It's legal as long as you don't cut the barrel then wait around for days to finish it. Then you could be charged with having an illegal weapon.
It really doesn't matter if the barrel is in or out of the rifle, so if all you're doing is cutting it down and installing a permanent muzzle attachment, you really don't have to remove it unless you're going to use a lathe to thread it and it would work better out of the receiver.
The key is if you have a receiver and a short barrel in your possession just laying around. If you cut it off and immediately make it legal by installing the permanent attachment it's going to be hard for anyone to claim you're doing something illegal.
Plus, unless an ATF agent happens to be just standing in your shop as you cut the barrel off, no one is going to be there when you're between a legal barrel and a legal barrel.
Removing the barrel IS legal.
Cutting the barrel IS legal.
Permanently attaching a muzzle device to bring barrel length back to 16"+ IS legal.
Re-installing said barrel IS legal.
DON'T make these mods with the barrel installed in the receiver. That is NOT legal without a tax stamp.
You might want to check local and state laws on your muzzle device, though. Some of the "Kommie" states have some peculiar views on this.what you can and cannot attach.
and these are two opinions that are like other opinions I have read, however, I have heard opinions to the contrary.
Everything I have read on the subject, is all here-say.
what do you all think of the SCOTUS decision of US vs Thompson Center for this issue?
what about thid=s?
Yes. That supports what others have already said. Enjoy your project.