AR15.Com Archives
 Rifle caliber MAC upper?
sardo_67  [Member]
8/5/2011 1:16:35 PM EST
I've herd about the RPD uppers that were made for the MAC family but then the ATF decided that it was an MG itself because they supposedly got it to shoot without the lower bing attached. Now is something like that possible if it were closed bolt, say something like a SHRIKE upper which fired from a closed bolt and you don't have to worry about feeding a mag in from the bottom?

I have no idea how this would work mechanically or even if possible but I'm just enquiring on the legality side of it as the form 4 I highly doubt would say 223 on it. The other post about a cheap belt fed MG got me wondering about it and in theory this could be done for under 10g.

ETA.... Another idea would be something similar to the AR57 upper. Would also be verry compact and the shells would probably eject out the magwell.
Paid Advertisement
--
tony_k  [Moderator]
8/5/2011 5:54:57 PM EST
Beyond the RPD MAC uppers ... more to the point are BRP's beltfed XMG uppers for the AR15/M16, which used a newly manufactured upper receiver to mate an MG42 design 8mm upper to an AR15/M16. Closed-bolt operation. It worked semi on AR15s and FA on M16s.

ATF approved these, Brian at BRP sold hundreds of them for $5k each ... and then ATF retroactively changed their classification of the XMG, and said that if it is installed on a legal full-auto M16 receiver, it constitutes manufacture of a second, post-sample MG. Thus, it no longer is legal for use on an M16, athough you may still legally install them on a semi AR15 and shoot them in semi.

This is yet another of ATF's rulings which support their belief that when Congress banned all MGs in 1986 but allowed for an affirmative defense against prosecution for those registered and lawfully owned prior to May 19, 1986, it had the effect of freezing the MG population to exactly where it was that day. That means, X number of HMGs, X number of MMGs, X number of LMGs, X number of assault rifles, and X number of subguns. It does not, in their view, mean that a registered machine gun can be transformed into any other class of machine gun; the opposite is true.

Sigh. YMMV.
sardo_67  [Member]
8/5/2011 7:10:34 PM EST
Well that's wonderful of them. Now those designs were new and custom made from scratch in a way, if an unmodified AR upper was mated to a MAC lower could they classify that as an MG as well? (well it's the ATF so they can do what ever really) If they did then it would make every aftermarket upper for the M16 illegal to use in full auto. Also the XMG makes completely no sense at all, it's the same as putting an auto sear into a brand new AR lower or HK rifle, isn't it?

That also brings up a new set of questions about sears then doesn't it since they can be used in everything from 22 to 308/8mm and in every type of MG from subgun to LMGs. So the. How are the Lage MAC uppers legal?



MitchSS  [Member]
8/6/2011 6:19:15 AM EST
A 5.7 upper on a mac would be nice
LonghornAR  [Member]
8/6/2011 6:21:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
That also brings up a new set of questions about sears then doesn't it since they can be used in everything from 22 to 308/8mm and in every type of MG from subgun to LMGs. So the. How are the Lage MAC uppers legal?


The simple answer? Because Lage sent a letter to BATF asking if it was legal to build and sell, and they haven't said no yet.

Dedeye  [Member]
8/7/2011 2:43:51 AM EST
The Lage uppers are legal because they don't change anything as far as the mechanical operation of the MAC is concerned. They just provide a larger upper receiver so a heavier bolt can be used, slowing the cyclic rate down. Same magazine, same feed method, same operation, just more weight.
sardo_67  [Member]
8/7/2011 3:53:27 PM EST
I think the ATF couldn't ban some type of mod that alows a stock AR type upper to be put on a MAC. As long as the Stryker or hammer is not in the upper half it can't fire when removed unless you take a punc and hammer to the firing pin. Just like with a SHRIKE upper or similar. I mean the MAC receiver probably wouldn't be able to stand up to FA 223 firing but the concept would be cool.
Fredmisery  [Member]
8/7/2011 4:39:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
I think the ATF couldn't ban some type of mod that alows a stock AR type upper to be put on a MAC. As long as the Stryker or hammer is not in the upper half it can't fire when removed unless you take a punc and hammer to the firing pin. Just like with a SHRIKE upper or similar. I mean the MAC receiver probably wouldn't be able to stand up to FA 223 firing but the concept would be cool.


You can't use logic when dealing with the ATF, nor can you assume anything, or use common sense. They will make rulings and base them off of made up rulings that are in no way following the intent or spirit of the legislation they are an extension of; they are creating administrative law and nobody abuses that more than ATF and their technology dept. One person can decide they don't like the idea of something and they will find a way to make a ruling that outlaws it. Look at the fast and furious investigation if you need an example of how they justify their actions, ATF leadership is a clusterf*ck!!!!
tony_k  [Moderator]
8/7/2011 5:05:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
I think the ATF couldn't ban some type of mod that alows a stock AR type upper to be put on a MAC. As long as the Stryker or hammer is not in the upper half it can't fire when removed unless you take a punc and hammer to the firing pin. Just like with a SHRIKE upper or similar. I mean the MAC receiver probably wouldn't be able to stand up to FA 223 firing but the concept would be cool.

Then why are these uppers, according to ATF's ruling, post-1986 machine guns in and of themselves? It's not just an issue of open-bolt vs. closed-bolt, as witnessed in the BRP XMG, which is closed bolt .... it's because (a) they contain barrel, bolt and feeding mechanism, and (b) ATF does not like them. IMHO, because they have changed a subgun into an LMG, and that is contrary to the spirit of 922(o). Finally, because ATF is part of the Department of Justice, which is the largest single employer of lawyers in the world, and they have the legal resources to exhaust the financial resources of anyone foolish enough to challenge their rulings.



sardo_67  [Member]
8/7/2011 6:19:25 PM EST
Not meaning to come off as rude but to play devils advocate here... Did the XMG use the hammer of the AR/M16 lower to strike the firing pin?


Then to the MAC with an AR upper, what would they say if it were an unmodified upper? Just the same as one you have on your registered M16 lower? There would be some type of block that attaches to the MAC receiver, then the AR upper pinned into that just the same way as an M16. Possibly something like that new MAC upper that accepts Suomi drums and mags by putting the mag infront of the receiver instead of threw the grip. Sorry to play the what if game but my curiosity is bothering me.
tony_k  [Moderator]
8/7/2011 7:49:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
Not meaning to come off as rude but to play devils advocate here... Did the XMG use the hammer of the AR/M16 lower to strike the firing pin?

Yes. The XMG uses a 100% milspec lower receiver, including all fire-control components. Including the hammer, which struck the firing pin on the XMG upper. It also functions perfectly with an RDIAS and standard fire-control parts.


Then to the MAC with an AR upper, what would they say if it were an unmodified upper? Just the same as one you have on your registered M16 lower? There would be some type of block that attaches to the MAC receiver, then the AR upper pinned into that just the same way as an M16. Possibly something like that new MAC upper that accepts Suomi drums and mags by putting the mag infront of the receiver instead of threw the grip. Sorry to play the what if game but my curiosity is bothering me.

ATF would rule that the block that attaches the AR upper to the Mac lower is a machine gun conversion device, and thus cannot be sold to civilians post-May 19, 1986. Sigh.


Sardo, this is much like the folks who post here asking about buying those Shotgun News-advertised post-1982 unregistered DIAS, or why can't they just buy a milspec M16 autosear and install it in their AR15? The bottom line is, ATF's stance, by policy and in practice, is that 922(o) froze the MG registry on May 19, 1986.

That does not mean that it limited the number of transferables as of that date –– they also see it as freezing the nature of the transferables in existence on that date. So in their view, turning a subgun into an LMG is the same as creating a new, post-1986 machine gun –– it cannot be done lawfully. And they have the hordes of lawyers to back it up, and a legal system that is stacked in their favor.

ATF generally does not worry much when a new upper is designed which keeps the MG in its own class –– witness Richard Lage's 9mm uppers, or even .45ACP conversions of Uzis. But they get very, very interested when a 9mm subgun suddenly is transformed into a 5.56 or 7.62x39 machine gun, or a .556 machine gun is suddenly transformed into (like the XMG did) an 8x57 or 7.62x51 beltfed.

I know you are simply curious. But to date, every manufacturer who has tried to do so has, sooner or later, been shut down by ATF. Usually after a bunch of folks have invested thousands of $$$ buying their now-useless products. ATF is very, very good at killing curious cats.

YMMV.
sardo_67  [Member]
8/7/2011 8:52:20 PM EST
Well The long arm of the law has all the "lawyers, guns, and money so I guess we're down on our luck".

One day I hope we can get enough legal backing and social change to fix this. Don't think it will be soon but with all the info on the Internet and the huge raise in popularity of suppressors along with a few states reversing their ban on them it's only a matter of time before this will get brought up. Till then I'll have to settle with my MAC and as much 9mm ammo as I can afford.
damcv62  [Life Member]
8/8/2011 5:59:39 AM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
I think the ATF couldn't ban some type of mod that alows a stock AR type upper to be put on a MAC. As long as the Stryker or hammer is not in the upper half it can't fire when removed unless you take a punc and hammer to the firing pin. Just like with a SHRIKE upper or similar. I mean the MAC receiver probably wouldn't be able to stand up to FA 223 firing but the concept would be cool.


I think the killer or the XMG was it was a title one firearm in of itself. You had to transfer it to an FFL and do the back ground check on it as it was a long gun, it wasn't just a part like an upper.
MP15T  [Team Member]
8/8/2011 6:10:40 AM EST
Didn't the ATF just declare the .223 round a pistol caliber?

Maybe people can start making 223 uppers for MAC's again?

AN94NK  [Team Member]
8/8/2011 6:15:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By tony_k:
Beyond the RPD MAC uppers ... more to the point are BRP's beltfed XMG uppers for the AR15/M16, which used a newly manufactured upper receiver to mate an MG42 design 8mm upper to an AR15/M16. Closed-bolt operation. It worked semi on AR15s and FA on M16s.

ATF approved these, Brian at BRP sold hundreds of them for $5k each ... and then ATF retroactively changed their classification of the XMG, and said that if it is installed on a legal full-auto M16 receiver, it constitutes manufacture of a second, post-sample MG. Thus, it no longer is legal for use on an M16, athough you may still legally install them on a semi AR15 and shoot them in semi.

This is yet another of ATF's rulings which support their belief that when Congress banned all MGs in 1986 but allowed for an affirmative defense against prosecution for those registered and lawfully owned prior to May 19, 1986, it had the effect of freezing the MG population to exactly where it was that day. That means, X number of HMGs, X number of MMGs, X number of LMGs, X number of assault rifles, and X number of subguns. It does not, in their view, mean that a registered machine gun can be transformed into any other class of machine gun; the opposite is true.

Sigh. YMMV.


Then that would mean that installing a short 9mm upper on an RM16 lower would be illegal coz it would turn it into a SMG..
tony_k  [Moderator]
8/8/2011 7:13:16 AM EST
Originally Posted By AN94NK:
Then that would mean that installing a short 9mm upper on an RM16 lower would be illegal coz it would turn it into a SMG..

That isn't an issue because the 9mm upper was developed by Colt as an M16 variation, well prior to 1986. At least to date, ATF has not required the "marrying" of one upper to each lower, and you are free to swap them around within the original design family.

Similarly, HK sears may legally be installed on 9mm, 5.56 or 7.62x51 HKs. This has nothing to do with the calibers unnecessarily listed on the Form 2's –– as we all know now, that is no longer permitted –– but because all of the hosts are in the original design family.

The "design family" qualification goes way back to Tech Branch in the 1970s/80s, right along with the requirement that no more than 20% of a registered receiver may be modified without turning it into a new, different MG which must be re-registered.

The "design family" requirement explains ATF's rejection of allowing installation of FNC sears in AR family hosts. It's not difficult to do, but the FNC is a different design family than the AR15, and registered conversion devices are limited to the firearm family for which they were designed.

Over time, ATF actually is fairly consistent with their logic, even if they do not appear fair or constitutional. If you read enough of their letters and rulings, you can see how it has developed over time in certain directions, and predict pretty accurately how they will rule. (Though on occasion they do still surprise me.)

HTH. YMMV.
sardo_67  [Member]
8/12/2011 5:24:38 PM EST
Not to beat a dead horse here but I'd like to hear your take on something like a Lage upper but chambered for 5.7? Functions the same way and the mag goes in just like the original MAC designe, would that be considered a "subgun" still? I got the idea when I was thinking of the HK MP7 and if you could make something like that from a MAC but the actual MP7 ammo is impossible to find unless way high priced. Added bennifites would be more rounds in the same length mag or same 32rds in a shorter mag.
tony_k  [Moderator]
8/12/2011 7:03:39 PM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
Not to beat a dead horse here but I'd like to hear your take on something like a Lage upper but chambered for 5.7? Functions the same way and the mag goes in just like the original MAC designe, would that be considered a "subgun" still? I got the idea when I was thinking of the HK MP7 and if you could make something like that from a MAC but the actual MP7 ammo is impossible to find unless way high priced. Added bennifites would be more rounds in the same length mag or same 32rds in a shorter mag.

As long as it fires a handgun cartridge and feeds through the magwell, I don't think you'd have an issue with ATF.

Where you might have an issue is on two points:

–– First, the 5.7 cartridge's overall length is 1.594", compared to 1.169" for 9mm NATO. That means it would not fit in a factory MAC or M11 magwell (the FN Five-seven pistol mag certainly would not, because it's at a different angle). You would have to cut off the factory grip assembly, fabricate a new one and weld it on... and thus it also would no longer be able to use 9mm mags, so it would have to be dedicated to the new (more expensive-to-buy ammo) caliber. If you were planning on using FN magazines, it would have a different mag angle, so it would be difficult to invent some sort of 9mm magwell adapter. It would also mean the pistol grip is almost a half-inch longer, front-to-rear, than a 9mm grip, so you would need big hands.

In addition, remember that the original grip assembly was welded on, then cut off and another welded on ... Craig Wheatley, who does STEn magwell conversions on M11s, says two welding processes are the limit for M11s due to potential heat-induced receiver warping and/or heat treating from the welding. So you couldn't "undo" the conversion.

––Second, the 5.7 generates 50,040 PSI chamber pressure vs. the 9mm's 34,084 PSI. That's why 5.7 firearms use a delayed-blowback action, instead of a direct-blowback for 9mm, .380, .45ACP etc. A delayed-blowback is much more difficult to create from a design and fabrication viewpoint. It's not just a bolt moving directly back and forward in a bolt channel.

It's a fun concept ... and maybe you could avoid some of the above with work-arounds, but I don't know of any.
sardo_67  [Member]
8/12/2011 9:23:29 PM EST
Oh I have NO idea how any of that would actually work but I was wondering more about the concept. The 5.7 is still considered a piston round?

(this is just a quick idea and probably has a lot of holes In It)

Now if I were to do this it wouldn't be cheap as I would make custom mags that are straight like the 9mm/45 mags but seeing as they would be thinner just cut the front/back of the stock magwell. The hole in the receiver would also need to be elongated for the 5.7 then some type of grip cover to take care of mag latch a d what not. Would be much easier to make custom mags than to adapt the gun to use mags from the 57 pistol.

Something that uses P90 mags on top is probably going to get shot down? Maybe part of a modified P90 feed mech?

But back to the SHRIKE upper... If you had unlimited funds and the machining capabilities to make that fire 308 (think 308 out of a 223 upper) would they be able to illegalize that?
tony_k  [Moderator]
8/13/2011 5:18:23 AM EST
Hey, ATF has already ruled that a shoestring is a machine gun, requiring NFA registration. They can do anything they want.

The choices are to save up a couple of hundred thousand bucks to challenge them in federal court ... or try to figure out their logic, and anticipate how they will view any innovative device.

Bottom line is, if you want a .308 machine gun, just buy a .308 machine gun. It's cheaper to buy an M60 than it is to hire a lawyer. Sigh.
damcv62  [Life Member]
8/13/2011 1:47:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
Oh I have NO idea how any of that would actually work but I was wondering more about the concept. The 5.7 is still considered a piston round?

(this is just a quick idea and probably has a lot of holes In It)

Now if I were to do this it wouldn't be cheap as I would make custom mags that are straight like the 9mm/45 mags but seeing as they would be thinner just cut the front/back of the stock magwell. The hole in the receiver would also need to be elongated for the 5.7 then some type of grip cover to take care of mag latch a d what not. Would be much easier to make custom mags than to adapt the gun to use mags from the 57 pistol.

Something that uses P90 mags on top is probably going to get shot down? Maybe part of a modified P90 feed mech?

But back to the SHRIKE upper... If you had unlimited funds and the machining capabilities to make that fire 308 (think 308 out of a 223 upper) would they be able to illegalize that?


I don't think a .308 shrike would fly. The AR15/M16 platform was never intended to run .308, that is where the AR10 came in. You couldn't feed the gun threw the magwell any longer, so you'd likely run into the issue with the RPD conversion for the MAC. The gun wasn't made to run that, so it would not fall under the same "family" class that the ATF has always gone back to.
ZachH  [Team Member]
8/16/2011 1:23:07 AM EST
I thought one of the main issues of the RPD Mac uppers was that it contained all the parts for firing except the trigger group . The spring and feeding wer in the upper along with the fixed firing pin open bolt .

What if some one was to take a Task modified mac and make an upper that used the spring and FCG of the mac with the upper made like the mac's but was gas opperated delayed blowback to handle the pressure of the 5.7 and used the P90 mags ? The upper couldn't fire without being on the regestered lower and it would still be a pistol caliber ? what if you did it in .223 and used the mags like a bren does ?
1gewehr  [Member]
8/16/2011 7:18:05 AM EST
The whole 'family' issue is BS. No such law. If you had a legal registered sear, and by inserting into another weapon, it would fire full-auto with no other modifications, it would be legal. The trick is the 'no other modifications' part. If you have to modify the other firearm, you have created a new machinegun in the eyes of the ATF.

The problem with the RPD upper was that ATF got it to fire full-auto without the MAC receiver. That made the upper receiver by itself a machinegun. The problem with the BRP XMG was that the upper by itself could be made to fire. That made the XMG a firearm all by itself, without the AR-15 lower.
tony_k  [Moderator]
8/16/2011 8:27:10 AM EST
The issue is with the law's phrase "made to fire." ATF's approach, approved in federal court trials, is that if it can be "made to fire" after a maximum of eight hours' work in a full machine shop, with unlimited knowledge, tools and supplies, it is a machine gun.

Of course, under that definition, everything is a machine gun, because a good machinist can fabricate a machine gun form scratch in less time.

ATF's is empowered by Congress and the Constitution with determining such issues, and turning them into federal law by administrative fiat. FOPA '86, which was incorporated into federal law as 922(o), decreed that all machine guns were illegal for civilian ownership, but provided for an affirmative defense against prosecution if you can prove you are the legal owner of an MG manufactured and registered prior to May 19, 1986.

While we like to think that what gives a transferable MG its value of many times over the cost of current production is the piece of paper (Form 4), the real value is in the physical machine gun itself –– the receiver or, in the case of registered conversion parts, of the parts. ATF takes 922(o) literally: The only MGs legal for civilian ownership are the actual pieces of machined metal that existed prior to May 19. They can be repaired, but not replaced.

M11/9's were not registered as "machine gun conversion parts". Instead, they were registered as 9mm subguns. And ATF believes that what they were on May 19, 1986 is all they can be today –– subguns. Not assault rifles. Not Light Machine Guns, or beltfeds. Subguns. Period.

ATF's Legal and Tech branches have allowed the envelope to stretch slightly in different directions over the years. But it has consistently shut down projects that radically alter the characteristics of the individual pre-1986 machine gun.

Now, regarding registered machine gun conversion parts: Every Form 2 I've seen –– either on the Form itself or in the supporting documentation supplied by the original 07/02 who made them –– has included a description listing the firearm they were designed to be used in. An RDIAS is not a "convert-any-machine-gun" free pass; it is a device to allow an AR15 to function in full auto. That much and no more.

BTW, I am not saying this is correct, or fair, or constitutional, nor am I in any way agreeing with or supporting ATF's stance. However, state and federal courts have consistently supported that ATF stance. So your choices are to comply, or to challenge ATF in court. If you've got a couple hundred thousand $$$ in a legal war chest, that is.

PRDUBI  [Member]
8/28/2011 7:27:44 PM EST
People need to stop being curious and just make it instead of asking ATF's permission as long as they fulfilled the spirit of the law.

It's no different to me in my logic then Fleming sears or HTA setups going from a MP5 setup to a out of the blue..say a HK23 or 21 setup.


All I can say is to just keep breaking down their stupid theories and logic and expose their hypocrisy more so to the American public at large.


I really feel the Fast and Furious is the vampire stake to the heart that can really change the tactics of the ATF and their abuse.

cyborg543  [Team Member]
8/31/2011 7:11:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By PRDUBI:
People need to stop being curious and just make it instead of asking ATF's permission as long as they fulfilled the spirit of the law.

It's no different to me in my logic then Fleming sears or HTA setups going from a MP5 setup to a out of the blue..say a HK23 or 21 setup.


All I can say is to just keep breaking down their stupid theories and logic and expose their hypocrisy more so to the American public at large.


I really feel the Fast and Furious is the vampire stake to the heart that can really change the tactics of the ATF and their abuse.



???????

You can hardly find any set of laws more rigidly enforced and with bigger punishments than gun laws, particularly NFA laws.

You would have to be a flat out moron to try to challenge an existing gun law by breaking that law.

The BATFE has the entire power of the US government behind it and they vigorously prosecute.
cyborg543  [Team Member]
8/31/2011 7:12:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By tony_k:
Hey, ATF has already ruled that a shoestring is a machine gun, requiring NFA registration. They can do anything they want.

The choices are to save up a couple of hundred thousand bucks to challenge them in federal court ... or try to figure out their logic, and anticipate how they will view any innovative device.

Bottom line is, if you want a .308 machine gun, just buy a .308 machine gun. It's cheaper to buy an M60 than it is to hire a lawyer. Sigh.


exactly
garandman  [Member]
9/5/2011 3:41:22 AM EST
Until recemtly, I beleive tony_k's response here was pretty much the only correct answer.

But I'm thinking (hoping? ) the Alliance Armement M11/9 upper may provide us a new way to get into rifle caliber uppers for the MAC series.

http://www.alliancearmament.com/AMP11FireDemo.aspx


Whadda ya think?


andrasik  [Team Member]
9/5/2011 5:45:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By garandman:
Until recemtly, I beleive tony_k's response here was pretty much the only correct answer.

But I'm thinking (hoping? ) the Alliance Armement M11/9 upper may provide us a new way to get into rifle caliber uppers for the MAC series.

http://www.alliancearmament.com/AMP11FireDemo.aspx


Whadda ya think?




Problem is, all of the calibers listed at the end - 9mm, .45acp, 7.62x25, and 5.7 - are all still in the submachinegun class when it comes down to it. That's Tony's point - it doesn't change it from an SMG to an LMG. It still remains an SMG.
tony_k  [Moderator]
9/5/2011 5:52:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By garandman:
Until recemtly, I beleive tony_k's response here was pretty much the only correct answer.

But I'm thinking (hoping? ) the Alliance Armement M11/9 upper may provide us a new way to get into rifle caliber uppers for the MAC series.

http://www.alliancearmament.com/AMP11FireDemo.aspx


Whadda ya think?



Well, the first series is in 9mm. Then on this page –– http://www.alliancearmament.com/ampsystemmacaccesories.aspx –– they state:

"Caliber conversions (bolt face, mag well and barrel) are projected to cost $300.00
We need your help deciding in which order to produce caliber conversions (pistol calibers only)."

I still believe that ATF, as a policy, does not want pistol-caliber subguns to be readily convertible to rifle calibers. And apparently, Alliance Armament agrees with me.
garandman  [Member]
9/5/2011 6:07:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By tony_k:
Well, the first series is in 9mm. Then on this page –– http://www.alliancearmament.com/ampsystemmacaccesories.aspx –– they state:

"Caliber conversions (bolt face, mag well and barrel) are projected to cost $300.00
We need your help deciding in which order to produce caliber conversions (pistol calibers only)."

I still believe that ATF, as a policy, does not want pistol-caliber subguns to be readily convertible to rifle calibers. And apparently, Alliance Armament agrees with me.


My hope was that AA's limitation was self imposed.

My basic premise is that an upper feeding thru something other than the MAC magwell HAS received ATF approval. The AA upper feed mechanism opens the door to ANY caliber / gauge, at least from a mechanical stand point. (Rumor is AA has something "radical" planned as another caliber for their AA upper. And AA confirms this "radical" caliber has received ATF approval. Rifle / shotgun capapble hopefully. Anncment s/b forthcoming soon. Point being - AA would not have needed another ATF approval for another pistol caliber )

I was thinking the prohibitive factor in the rejection of the 308 MAC upper was its ability to be fired sans the registered lower - NOT the caliber being fired. I really haven't seen any definitive evidence ATF is against rifle / pistol caliber combinations. Just look at the M16 lower, which can be used with a bunch of pistol caliber uppers.

I may be wrong. I hope I am right. Call me an optimist despite the evidence.

And if I am wrong, and ATF prohibits SMG to LMG conversions, I plan to start a nationwide letter writing campaign. I won't take bureaucratic tyranny lying down.






tony_k  [Moderator]
9/5/2011 7:19:14 AM EST
I always hope for and expect the best ... but I also always prepare for the worst. That applies doubly to anything under ATF's purview.

For the record, I believe ATF has no objections at all to pistol-caliber, or sub-caliber, conversions of MGs. A 9mm conversion for an M16? No problem. It's when you start going in the opposite direction that ATF Legal Branch will find a way to stop you.

Worse, in most cases, they will give initial approval, and only after hundreds or thousands are sold, do they reverse themselves, and now you have folks who paid good bucks owning instant contraband.

BRP made and sold hundreds of its $5k XMG beltfed 8mm uppers for the M16, over almost a decade, before ATF reversed itself and said they could only legally be used on semi hosts. A lot of my friends lost money on that one.

SOCOM got ATF approval and sold about a dozen of its 7.62x39 RPD M11 beltded uppers, at IIRC about $8k each, before ATF reversed itself and ruled they were post-sample MGs. A close friend lost $$$ in that one, too.

The approve-then-reverse is standard operating procedure for ATF. Since they both write and then enforce the rules, it makes it easier for them to conduct high-profile raids, proving how well they are doing their jobs (and showing why their budget should be increased).

So you have debacles like the Akins Accellerator, initially approved by ATF, then after tens of thousands of $1k stocks had been made, they retroactively ruled them to be machine guns, and demanded owners remove the springs and mail them to ATF. Owners were left with very, very expensive 10/22 stocks ... and somewhere in an ATF warehouse, there's a barrel of springs rusting away.

ATF allowed Cole's Distributing to import and sell hundreds of demilled Uzi parts kits, before deciding they had been improperly demilled. So they served a search warrant on Cole's, confiscated their sales records, and went knocking on customers' doors and confiscating the kits. No one ever got their money back.

I could write an entire book listing similar ATF actions over the years. So I have learned to look critically at every new NFA product before investing my too-much-to-lose cash. Just because it is for sale nationally, does not mean ATF won't come knocking.

As far as the other part of your post, regarding M16 lowers ... I found ATF Ruling 2008-1 to be particularly scary. Google and read it (I don't have a link handy).

That's their decision to reclassify the upper of the FNC to be the receiver, rather than the lower. Their argument:

ATF has reconsidered its classification of the lower assembly of the FNC rifle as the receiver. The upper assembly of the FNC rifle is more properly classified as the receiver. The upper assembly of the FNC rifle houses the bolt and provides a connection point for the barrel. Moreover, the upper assembly is classified as the receiver on similar types of firearms, to include other FN rifles, such as the FN FAL and FN SCAR.

Of course, that also is in keeping with many other firearms –– HKs, etc.

Now, what is to prevent ATF from reclassifying M16s –– or M11s –– to make the portion that "houses the bolt and provides a connection point to the barrel" to be the receiver?

I wish I could be optimistic. A couple of decades watching ATF operate has drained that from me.

Your Mileage May Vary.

garandman  [Member]
9/5/2011 7:50:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By tony_k:
For the record, I believe ATF has no objections at all to pistol-caliber, or sub-caliber, conversions of MGs. A 9mm conversion for an M16? No problem. It's when you start going in the opposite direction that ATF Legal Branch will find a way to stop you.

Worse, in most cases, they will give initial approval, and only after hundreds or thousands are sold, do they reverse themselves, and now you have folks who paid good bucks owning instant contraband.



AA just announced their plans to sell a 12 gauge MAC upper using the Aguila minishells. I believe they have ATF approval.

As you said, ATF is well known for reversing themselves on this stuff.

I've also seen ATF reverse themselves in our favor, in response to a concerted effort to get the DSA Steyr brake declassified as a flash suppressor.

So we gotta stay in the game.

I paid all my 10 tax stamps KNOWING the ATF / gov't could make them illegal at some point in the future. So each person can make their own decision whether $800 - 1,000 for an upper is too much to risk on this type of uncertain environment.

sardo_67  [Member]
9/5/2011 11:33:20 PM EST
So when the ATF came knocking for the Uzi parts could they search your house as well or just ask for the parts?
tony_k  [Moderator]
9/6/2011 4:30:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
So when the ATF came knocking for the Uzi parts could they search your house as well or just ask for the parts?

Most owners were initially contacted by phone. ATF explained the situation and asked when they could come pick them up. If you ignored their calls, then they came knocking. I imagine if you got confrontational, it could have gone downhill in a hurry, and that might have given them grounds for a search warrant. But most owners either arranged to drop them off at their lawyer's or at an ATF field office; you could also just step outside your door and give them to them there. I don't know of anyone who was even questioned beyond the initial request.

The downside was that ATF's stance was that it was still a live machine gun, the entire thing was illegally imported contraband, and they wanted the entire kit. Some owners managed to convince them to accept only the receiver sections; most, though, lost it all.

I can't remember exactly what Cole's sold these kits for –– $100? $150? –– but any "legal" purchase which generates a personal call from ATF is, well, unsettling.

Finally .....

The way ATF found out about these was someone bought two kits, realized that if he took the longish front receiver half from one kit and the longish rear section from another, he could cut them square, weld 'em together, and have a functioning Uzi.

So what did he do? He posted detailed pix of the receivers all over the internet.
shrikefan  [Team Member]
9/6/2011 4:42:36 AM EST
Originally Posted By tony_k:

Finally .....

The way ATF found out about these was someone bought two kits, realized that if he took the longish front receiver half from one kit and the longish rear section from another, he could cut them square, weld 'em together, and have a functioning Uzi.

So what did he do? He posted detailed pix of the receivers all over the internet.


I am assuming he did a couple months in the slammer?

tony_k  [Moderator]
9/6/2011 5:39:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By shrikefan:
Originally Posted By tony_k:

Finally .....

The way ATF found out about these was someone bought two kits, realized that if he took the longish front receiver half from one kit and the longish rear section from another, he could cut them square, weld 'em together, and have a functioning Uzi.

So what did he do? He posted detailed pix of the receivers all over the internet.


I am assuming he did a couple months in the slammer?


I don't believe so. He didn't actually weld them together: He just placed them side-by side in the photos. It was obvious how easily it could have been done.

He wasn't anyone I knew, but I'm pretty sure that if ATF had done anything other than confiscate his kits, it would be known on the internet, too.
whiskerz  [Team Member]
9/13/2011 3:51:41 PM EST
I have actually shot an RPK and RPD upper on a Mac and have some knowledge of this subject. The builder is local to me.

The original Wren upper was not found illegal in court , his issues were maxim side plates and claiming they were approved when the were not yet approved. plead guilty to 1 count of mail fraud and lost his SOT

the atf originally said the upper was ok to sell . I have seen the letter . The atf ruled against it in a letter after the builder testified against the atf in court on an unrelated case . The upper was found to be not a firearm in the first letter .

The .22 conversion mac upper will fire by itself without a lower attached there is video . all you have to do is support the recoil spring with your hand .

The beltfed upper will not . In a court case the atf added chain aluminum plate and duct tape to make the beltfed upper fire ( a conversion device)

The rules are a floating target , There is an approved Calico mag upper out there as well . but not in production that I am aware of

Mods if you want to edit this or talk fell free to do either as needed

Edited I was tired and made a mistake


damcv62  [Life Member]
9/13/2011 4:37:28 PM EST
Interesting info posted there whiskerz. Thanks for sharing it. Got to love the ATF and those letters. They love to change their mind on things, don't they?
SixSquared  [Member]
9/13/2011 8:23:07 PM EST
"The lage upper will fire by itself without a lower attached there is video . all you have to do is support the recoil spring with your hand ."

WHAT! How is the magazine supported in alignment with the barrel to feed rounds with no lower. All the while "supporting the recoil spring" with your other hand.

Oh, and pulling the bolt assembly back. And not walking away with bullet wounds assuming you can even get it to fire one round. Not saying I don't believe you, but some of these scenarios require a far stretch of the imagination. Which, I imagine the ATF excels at.

Once again. I ain't breakin' yer balls, thanks for the info. Would love to have a rifle caliber upper receiver for my M11/9.
Circuits  [Team Member]
9/14/2011 9:23:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By SixSquared:
"The lage upper will fire by itself without a lower attached there is video . all you have to do is support the recoil spring with your hand ."

WHAT! How is the magazine supported in alignment with the barrel to feed rounds with no lower. All the while "supporting the recoil spring" with your other hand.


A firearm does not have to have a magazine to be a firearm. Drop one in the pipe and slam the bolt forward...
BuffDragon  [Team Member]
9/14/2011 10:20:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By Circuits:
Originally Posted By SixSquared:
"The lage upper will fire by itself without a lower attached there is video . all you have to do is support the recoil spring with your hand ."

WHAT! How is the magazine supported in alignment with the barrel to feed rounds with no lower. All the while "supporting the recoil spring" with your other hand.


A firearm does not have to have a magazine to be a firearm. Drop one in the pipe and slam the bolt forward...



but in order to be a machinegun unto itself, it has to feed itself, right?
otherwise, its a single shot and not a MG.
tony_k  [Moderator]
9/14/2011 10:45:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By BuffDragon:
Originally Posted By Circuits:
Originally Posted By SixSquared:
"The lage upper will fire by itself without a lower attached there is video . all you have to do is support the recoil spring with your hand ."

WHAT! How is the magazine supported in alignment with the barrel to feed rounds with no lower. All the while "supporting the recoil spring" with your other hand.


A firearm does not have to have a magazine to be a firearm. Drop one in the pipe and slam the bolt forward...



but in order to be a machinegun unto itself, it has to feed itself, right?
otherwise, its a single shot and not a MG.

The federal definition of "machine gun" includes any firearm or item which is "readily convertible" to fire full-auto.

Federal courts have approved ATF's definition of "readily convertible" as any modification which can be performed in a fully equipped, fully staffed machine shop in eight hours or less.

In other words, a block of steel is a machine gun, if ATF decides to classify it as such. Because a good machine shop can build an MG from scratch in less than eight hours.

BuffDragon  [Team Member]
9/14/2011 10:54:54 AM EST
Originally Posted By tony_k:
Originally Posted By BuffDragon:
Originally Posted By Circuits:
Originally Posted By SixSquared:
"The lage upper will fire by itself without a lower attached there is video . all you have to do is support the recoil spring with your hand ."

WHAT! How is the magazine supported in alignment with the barrel to feed rounds with no lower. All the while "supporting the recoil spring" with your other hand.


A firearm does not have to have a magazine to be a firearm. Drop one in the pipe and slam the bolt forward...



but in order to be a machinegun unto itself, it has to feed itself, right?
otherwise, its a single shot and not a MG.

The federal definition of "machine gun" includes any firearm or item which is "readily convertible" to fire full-auto.

Federal courts have approved ATF's definition of "readily convertible" as any modification which can be performed in a fully equipped, fully staffed machine shop in eight hours or less.

In other words, a block of steel is a machine gun, if ATF decides to classify it as such. Because a good machine shop can build an MG from scratch in less than eight hours.



but to make the lage owners (like myself) sleep a little better after this thread, wouldnt you agree that a lage upper unto itself is a single shot, and no more a "MG unto itself" than any of the mac-style uppers (and other open bolts?), which are all legal, and "fairly safe from confiscation"

ETA: and the beltfeds were able to feed themselves by nature of the belt, versus lage uppers needing a mag held in place (which the lage upper cannot do by itself).
tony_k  [Moderator]
9/14/2011 11:03:34 AM EST
Originally Posted By BuffDragon:
but to make the lage owners (like myself) sleep a little better after this thread, wouldnt you agree that a lage upper unto itself is a single shot, and no more a "MG unto itself" than any of the mac-style uppers (and other open bolts?), which are all legal, and "fairly safe from confiscation"

ETA: and the beltfeds were able to feed themselves by nature of the belt, versus lage uppers needing a mag held in place (which the lage upper cannot do by itself).

Yes.

I really cannot imagine ATF having an issue swapping one 9mm upper for another 9mm upper on any MG, or objecting to a sub-caliber conversion like a .22 in a 9mm MG. I can't imagine them even objecting to 9mm/.40/.45 interchangability.

What really attracts their attention (in a bad way) is a conversion which allows firing of a significantly larger caliber, like a rifle-caliber conversion for a pistol-caliber subgun like a Mac or Uzi. Even if Tech Branch give initial approval, Legal Branch has a perfect track record of recinding that approval and turning your expensive conversion into contraband.

Lage owners can sleep soundly.
whiskerz  [Team Member]
9/14/2011 2:06:50 PM EST
My mistake NOT the lage upper but the Flemming kit that will run by itself . . The .22 kit will run most of a mag out by itself with no lower or control for that matter . Sorry for my mistake I have corrected it .

The 1 upper was actually approved for a year before the ATF changed its mind. In an effort to get some stuff right , There were 2 versions of the 7.62x54r Mac 10 upper and 1 7.62x39 upper for a Mac-11 . There is video somewhere of me shooting the 54r upper it is a hoot to shoot and way lighter than most 54r guns so a little more recoil.
1gewehr  [Member]
9/15/2011 6:05:15 AM EST
I have yet to see anything from ATF showing a concern about the caliber of the conversion except in the case of a caliber over 1/2 inch (Destructive Device). In every case I have seen, the sole concern of ATF was whether the item in question was by itself a firearm or machinegun. If anyone has any documentation showing that a conversion from a smaller caliber to a larger one will not be approved by ATF, I'd love to see it. As far as I can tell, ATF is not concerned about the type of ammunition feed either.
garandman  [Member]
9/16/2011 4:47:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By 1gewehr:
I have yet to see anything from ATF showing a concern about the caliber of the conversion except in the case of a caliber over 1/2 inch (Destructive Device). In every case I have seen, the sole concern of ATF was whether the item in question was by itself a firearm or machinegun. If anyone has any documentation showing that a conversion from a smaller caliber to a larger one will not be approved by ATF, I'd love to see it. her.


I'll echo that. I've never seen anything on ATF letterhead or official documentation that said you can't change from pistol to rifle caliber. Colt SMG / Colt M16 being just one example. HK registered trigger pack being another.



BuffDragon  [Team Member]
9/16/2011 6:01:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By 1gewehr:
I have yet to see anything from ATF showing a concern about the caliber of the conversion except in the case of a caliber over 1/2 inch (Destructive Device). In every case I have seen, the sole concern of ATF was whether the item in question was by itself a firearm or machinegun. If anyone has any documentation showing that a conversion from a smaller caliber to a larger one will not be approved by ATF, I'd love to see it. her.


I'll echo that. I've never seen anything on ATF letterhead or official documentation that said you can't change from pistol to rifle caliber. Colt SMG / Colt M16 being just one example. HK registered trigger pack being another.




as has been said before, both of those guns came from the factory in those calibers.
so when you change from 9mm to 5.56 (or 7.62 in the HK's case), you arent "building a new machinegun"
pretty sure that's the sticker (regretfully)

in the m11 (for example), it never came in a 5.56 or 7.62 caliber so by building one, you'd be creating something wholly different
yes, I understand that none of the "mac guns" came in a 22lr (again, for example), but subcaliber kits dont seem to be a problem at BATFE.

this is as I understand what some smarter than me people have said. and makes some sense.
(even though the BATFE rulings/decisions dont always make sense)
sardo_67  [Member]
9/16/2011 6:02:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By whiskerz:
My mistake NOT the lage upper but the Flemming kit that will run by itself . . The .22 kit will run most of a mag out by itself with no lower or control for that matter . Sorry for my mistake I have corrected it .

The 1 upper was actually approved for a year before the ATF changed its mind. In an effort to get some stuff right , There were 2 versions of the 7.62x54r Mac 10 upper and 1 7.62x39 upper for a Mac-11 . There is video somewhere of me shooting the 54r upper it is a hoot to shoot and way lighter than most 54r guns so a little more recoil.


could you post a bit more info on those or a few links? i'd really like to see it.

the ATF has unlimited resources, it doesn't need to make a ruling on sub-gun to rifle caliber. it just needs to find or make a reason for them to be illegal. it's not hard when you have the entire US Government backing you.
BuffDragon  [Team Member]
9/16/2011 7:34:16 AM EST
Originally Posted By sardo_67:
Originally Posted By whiskerz:
My mistake NOT the lage upper but the Flemming kit that will run by itself . . The .22 kit will run most of a mag out by itself with no lower or control for that matter . Sorry for my mistake I have corrected it .

The 1 upper was actually approved for a year before the ATF changed its mind. In an effort to get some stuff right , There were 2 versions of the 7.62x54r Mac 10 upper and 1 7.62x39 upper for a Mac-11 . There is video somewhere of me shooting the 54r upper it is a hoot to shoot and way lighter than most 54r guns so a little more recoil.


could you post a bit more info on those or a few links? i'd really like to see it.

the ATF has unlimited resources, it doesn't need to make a ruling on sub-gun to rifle caliber. it just needs to find or make a reason for them to be illegal. it's not hard when you have the entire US Government backing you.



I dont know of the video of it running without a lower, but the flemming 22lr conversions were known to be very tempermental. they used a side mounted ruger 10/22 mag. you see them for sale on GB and such occassionally. the lage subcaliber kits made them all but obsolete.

here's a long thread on uzitalk:
linky
Paid Advertisement
--