AR15.Com Archives
 50% Lightning Link template legal? (pic)
UTlonghorns  [Member]
11/5/2009 7:35:27 AM EST
I found this AD on SubGun:

"AR-15 Auto Connector, Lightening Link, 50% template, made from spring steel per design and made to exact measurements as in the design. Posession of this template is not a violation of section 5845 B chapter 53 title 26, so anyone can LEGALLY OWN this 50% template. Once complete it is considered a posession of a automatic machine gun in violation of section 5845 B chapter 53 title 26. It must be completed by a SOT 07 manufacture to BATF requirements. This is for information purposes only and ALL NFA RULES APPLY! Shipping is Free!"




"Note picture is for reference only, I only have templates and not finished product, so please dont ask for them. Thanks"

SubGun.net AD


It seems that in a matter of seconds you could have a functional LL. He claims that the template is legal. What do you think?
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ak_  [Member]
11/5/2009 8:17:39 AM EST
This exact ad came up a while ago here, with the same picture. but i couldnt find the thread when i searched for it.

if i remember correctly, the consensus from the previous discussion was that 'the template may be legal (although still shady) but i wouldnt want one within 5 miles of any of my AR rifles'

That template is just asking for trouble.
UTlonghorns  [Member]
11/5/2009 8:22:03 AM EST
I agree. I would like to see the seller post a letter from the BATF stating that it is legal... I want to know their position on this matter.
sitkashooter  [Team Member]
11/5/2009 8:26:01 AM EST
i don't believe that template is cut. someone here said its just white paint where the cuts are supposed to be
cosmos556  [Member]
11/5/2009 8:56:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By sitkashooter:
i don't believe that template is cut. someone here said its just white paint where the cuts are supposed to be


But another guy emailed to ask if that was already cut, and the seller said it was. That was my thread I started on this exact item; I'll see if I can find it.
ds762  [Team Member]
11/5/2009 8:57:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By sitkashooter:
i don't believe that template is cut. someone here said its just white paint where the cuts are supposed to be


actually I remember the thread previous and saw it on sturm for sale from the same guy ... it was advertised as "laser cut"

ETA: its also a $99 item .. who in their right mind would pay that for it. If a person wanted a FELONY that bad .. why not cut your own out of a $0.50 piece of steel.
cosmos556  [Member]
11/5/2009 8:59:36 AM EST
dupetastic
SigOwner_P229  [Member]
11/5/2009 10:02:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By sitkashooter:
i don't believe that template is cut. someone here said its just white paint where the cuts are supposed to be


It is definitely cut, you can clearly see it in the pictures.
UTlonghorns  [Member]
11/5/2009 10:03:45 AM EST
the template is deffinately cut... just look closely at the picture & the inside edges.. and according to the other thread, the seller verified it's cut out

Sorry that this thread is a dupe
Silverado2500HD  [Member]
11/5/2009 12:05:19 PM EST
How does a LL work?
UTlonghorns  [Member]
11/5/2009 12:10:28 PM EST
check out this link to understand how it works

http://www.quarterbore.com/nfa/lightninglink.html
UTlonghorns  [Member]
11/5/2009 1:35:13 PM EST
This just seems like it's walking a very fine line.
cosmos556  [Member]
11/5/2009 2:14:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By UTlonghorns:
This just seems like it's walking a very fine line.


Not really. It's a conversion part, punch & play. I would not roll the dice with it.
WhatsThatSmell  [Member]
11/5/2009 2:38:02 PM EST
Don't LLs require a lot of "tuning" and maintainence, etc....???

Is this "punch out" LL truly punch 'n' play??
Circuits  [Team Member]
11/5/2009 2:41:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By WhatsThatSmell:
Don't LLs require a lot of "tuning" and maintainence, etc....???

Is this "punch out" LL truly punch 'n' play??


In an SP1, Sporter II or other dimensionally faithful semi auto, they do pretty much drop in and work.
WhatsThatSmell  [Member]
11/5/2009 4:05:12 PM EST
Please define "dimensionally faithful"....do current productions qualify? Let's take a Bushmaster or RRA for example...

Also, how is that considered 50%? Looks like a sturdy pair of scissors could finish the job.
Magoo6541  [Team Member]
11/5/2009 4:39:28 PM EST
Originally Posted By Silverado2500HD:
How does a LL work?


Video - How a Lightning Link works
Circuits  [Team Member]
11/5/2009 8:11:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By WhatsThatSmell:
Please define "dimensionally faithful"....do current productions qualify? Let's take a Bushmaster or RRA for example...

Also, how is that considered 50%? Looks like a sturdy pair of scissors could finish the job.


DPMS, yes. Bushmaster, yes, except for their bolt carriers. That's all I know for certain among current production.

I agree, it looks WAAAAAAY more than 50%.
UTlonghorns  [Member]
11/6/2009 6:34:30 AM EST
check out the quarterbore website.. it explains what bolts work with it


It seems the guy has been selling them on GunBroker & on SubGuns for a few months now ... if it was illegal for him to sell, wouldn't the ATF have busted him by now ?

eric10mm  [Team Member]
11/6/2009 8:59:56 AM EST
Maybe it is the ATF selling them, just like the Su-Press-On "Auto Safety Sear" sting ad in Shotgun News.
UTlonghorns  [Member]
11/6/2009 9:23:33 AM EST
Stay away from it. ATF determined these to be machine guns in April of 1981

These ads have been in shotgun new for 10+ years. Anyway, for it to work you have to have M16 fire control parts (minus GI auto-sear) & a M16 bolt installed. It gets rid of the need to drill a sear hole into the receiver.




http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=7th&navby=case&no=973748
tony_k  [Moderator]
11/6/2009 10:03:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By UTlonghorns:
It seems the guy has been selling them on GunBroker & on SubGuns for a few months now ... if it was illegal for him to sell, wouldn't the ATF have busted him by now ?

ATF moves with glacier-like speed in these sort of investigations.

If they spot some bozo selling one example of an illegal item, they bust them asap. But if someone actually sets up a business, ATF's standard approach is to "investigate and gather evidence," sometimes for more than a year.... Then they raid the place, confiscate business records, and use those records to after the individual purchasers.

After all, which headline makes better PR for an agency always seeking more .gov funding:

ATF agents arrest man for selling machine gun kits

or:

ATF Sweep Nets 462 Illegal Machine Guns in 34 States
Two-year nationwide investigation shuts down internet sales ring


Bureaucrats know how to finesse these things....
UTlonghorns  [Member]
11/6/2009 10:09:56 AM EST
Very good point. Plus, if the seller doesn't have an ATF letter proving it's legality, it probably means you should run far far away.
eric10mm  [Team Member]
11/7/2009 4:00:45 PM EST
Originally Posted By UTlonghorns:
Very good point. Plus, if the seller doesn't have an ATF letter proving it's legality, it probably means you should run far far away.


Of course even if one did acquire such a letter today, it could be completely worthless tomorrow with a wave of their magic ATF pen. Once again, the complete lack of oversight over the ATF bites one in the butt.
Shade00  [Member]
11/7/2009 6:11:27 PM EST
There is absolutely nothing illegal about owning a lightning link or a DIAS - AS LONG AS you don't own an AR receiver simultaneously. Once you do, you're in constructive possession of a machinegun.
tony_k  [Moderator]
11/7/2009 6:27:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By Shade00:
There is absolutely nothing illegal about owning a lightning link or a DIAS - AS LONG AS you don't own an AR receiver simultaneously. Once you do, you're in constructive possession of a machinegun.

I have to disagree with you. A machine-gun conversion device is, under federal law, a machine gun in and of itself. Doesn't matter under federal law whether you also own a host gun –– simple possession of the device by itself is a felony.

ATF has no dual standards –– if you can register an LL as a machine gun by itself, or a DIAS as a machine gun by itself, an unregistered example of either is an unregistered machine gun, whether or not you also possess a host firearm.

Federal law is not forgiving: something either is, or is not.

Your Mileage May Vary.
sardo_67  [Member]
11/7/2009 10:01:51 PM EST
anything that needs to be ended in "all NFA rules apply" should be looked at closely and probably means it is related to Class 3 or Post 86 MG stuff. i saw the same add and figured it was too sketchy. whats the point of making a machine gun illegally, you can't go anywhere with it and if someone knows you have it then tells someone who tells a cop.... just pointless and would take any fun out of it, like having the hottest wife or fastest car in the world but you can't let people know about her/it.
cosmos556  [Member]
11/8/2009 3:01:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
anything that needs to be ended in "all NFA rules apply" should be looked at closely and probably means it is related to Class 3 or Post 86 MG stuff. i saw the same add and figured it was too sketchy. whats the point of making a machine gun illegally, you can't go anywhere with it and if someone knows you have it then tells someone who tells a cop.... just pointless and would take any fun out of it, like having the hottest wife or fastest car in the world but you can't let people know about her/it.


I think this could be applied to anything... why do people enter the country illegally when they can be deported? Why would anyone possess/traffic controlled narcotics when they're facing hard time? Why do you exceed the speed limit when you're going to get a speeding ticket when caught? Why enter a bar before you're 21 if you'll get in trouble if discovered? I see the people who have the illegal machine guns as little more than gamblers. They have it, they get the thrill knowing they have it, they may take it out to remote areas and shoot from time to time, but they are banking they won't get caught. The difference is, gamble with the feds and you can lose big... really big.
black-and-blue1234  [Team Member]
11/8/2009 12:45:47 PM EST
Fudge that, children!

If "50% templates" for a hundred bucks were legal, I really doubt anyone would be buying true registered LLs for >$7000, which they are.
AK_Zeke  [Team Member]
11/8/2009 1:24:08 PM EST
Even if it were legal to purchase and you did finish the manufacturing process, this link would NEVER work.

The guy selling this is SCAMMING you. While the dimensions LOOK correct, they are not.

The laser cuts are 180 degrees out of whack, The loop the goes around the disconnector is backwards.

Thus, this particular link will not work.

Shown here are 2 photos, the Real Lightning Link and the FAKE Template. Spot the difference?

The Real Link


Now the FAKE Template




cosmos556  [Member]
11/8/2009 1:35:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By AK_Zeke:
Even if it were legal to purchase and you did finish the manufacturing process, this link would NEVER work.

The guy selling this is SCAMMING you. While the dimensions LOOK correct, they are not.

The laser cuts are 180 degrees out of whack, The loop the goes around the disconnector is backwards.

Thus, this particular link will not work.



AK_Zeke, could you go into a little more detail? I believe I have the manual this guy used that shows how this works to grab the disconnector (I'd post the pics but I think conversion info violates the CoC) and looking at this template I'm not sure how this would fail if installed in a rifle.
AK_Zeke  [Team Member]
11/8/2009 1:42:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By cosmos556:
Originally Posted By AK_Zeke:
Even if it were legal to purchase and you did finish the manufacturing process, this link would NEVER work.

The guy selling this is SCAMMING you. While the dimensions LOOK correct, they are not.

The laser cuts are 180 degrees out of whack, The loop the goes around the disconnector is backwards.

Thus, this particular link will not work.



AK_Zeke, could you go into a little more detail? I believe I have the manual this guy used that shows how this works to grab the disconnector (I'd post the pics but I think conversion info violates the CoC) and looking at this template I'm not sure how this would fail if installed in a rifle.


The photo with the red background is the REAL link. In the right side of the photo, notice the large loop. This is the part the goes around the disconnector.

The other photo, the link on top, look how much smaller the loop is, and much more material towards the end. This would not allow for the room for the disconnector.
Thus, without additional material removed, it would not work. As it is, just punching it out and installing it, it won't fit properly if using a double disconnector. A single disconnector might work, but is seems to me that the groove would need to be widened.
cosmos556  [Member]
11/8/2009 1:43:12 PM EST
Here's a few pics that have no dimensions or other conversion info that show how the disputed template could work.


Circuits  [Team Member]
11/8/2009 6:40:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By AK_Zeke:
Even if it were legal to purchase and you did finish the manufacturing process, this link would NEVER work.

The guy selling this is SCAMMING you. While the dimensions LOOK correct, they are not.


Don't know if the tolerances are exact, but there's nothing stopping the link "template" shown from functioning. Anything which connects the bottom of the bolt carrier to the disconnector will function like the SWD link.
rightwingnut  [Member]
11/13/2009 10:47:08 AM EST
Just file down your firing pin

Either the ATF is going to take their time busitng him and all hist customers or it is a sting. They do go to ranges "under cover" trying to sell machine guns or FA conversion devices you know.
cosmos556  [Member]
11/13/2009 1:42:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By rightwingnut:
Just file down your firing pin

Either the ATF is going to take their time busitng him and all hist customers or it is a sting. They do go to ranges "under cover" trying to sell machine guns or FA conversion devices you know.


Wait a minute... I know I have my tinfoil hat around here somewhere...
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