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KaPowieWowie
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Posted: 4/23/2012 3:45:23 PM
Various sites advocate building your own lower from an 80% block. You just have to do the last 20% yourself. Well, a local FFl says that is true but that you still have to let the authorities (BATF?) know what you did. Does anyone know for sure and references please.

Thanks!

example site:
http://www.colfaxtactical.com
BlahBlah
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Posted: 4/23/2012 4:18:35 PM
You do NOT have to let anyone know what you did. As long as you build it yourself with NO intentions of selling it, you're GTG.
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KaPowieWowie
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Posted: 4/23/2012 4:21:41 PM
Originally Posted By BlahBlah:
You do NOT have to let anyone know what you did. As long as you build it yourself with NO intentions of selling it, you're GTG.


Awesome! But.... Where is this info from and how do I authenticate it?
sergtjim
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Posted: 4/23/2012 4:45:21 PM
[Last Edit: 4/23/2012 4:47:17 PM by sergtjim]
Originally Posted By KaPowieWowie:
Originally Posted By BlahBlah:
You do NOT have to let anyone know what you did. As long as you build it yourself with NO intentions of selling it, you're GTG.


Awesome! But.... Where is this info from and how do I authenticate it?


Kinda hard to authenticate it. Ya see, laws don't tell you what you CAN do, They tell you what you CAN'T do. You are not a licensed manufacturer, are you? If not, there is nothing in Federal law that prohibits a private person from building a firearm(other than an NFA item) for personal use. I've built five now, and have a pretty nice stable growing in the safe.

If you want something on paper, write a letter to the BATFE.

And you don't have to put a serial number on it, either.
Radar363
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Posted: 4/23/2012 4:47:46 PM
FAQs about 80% builds
A lot of info on the above site. They say this can be done with common hand tools but I'm still trying to convince myself I can do it. It looks a little harder than putting a lower together or installing an Apex kit in an S&W M&P9, which are the only gunsmithing I have done.
Muncher
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Posted: 4/23/2012 4:48:19 PM
I had to do a BG check for my stripped lower. the rest I got through the mail. That's all the notification I had to give to the authorities as far as i know.
Radar363
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Posted: 4/23/2012 4:58:20 PM
You don't need a background check for an 80% lower. In fact,it is shipped directly to you, no FFL needs to be involved.
sergtjim
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Posted: 4/23/2012 5:14:00 PM
Originally Posted By Radar363:
FAQs about 80% builds
A lot of info on the above site. They say this can be done with common hand tools but I'm still trying to convince myself I can do it. It looks a little harder than putting a lower together or installing an Apex kit in an S&W M&P9, which are the only gunsmithing I have done.


You can make an operable lower with a Dremel and some hand tools like files, drills, etc. It's not particularly difficult, But "measure five times, cut once" is the rule. If you take too much metal off, it's really hard to glue it back on.

This is what worked for me. A Sears rotary grinder and the "drill press" stand. Bought both on sale. And a single speed 3/8" hand drill. I did buy a jig from Colfax Tactical. It helped. Not because of the drill guides, but because it lets you hold the work piece level.





Now I have a drill press.



uxo2
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Posted: 4/23/2012 6:02:45 PM
[Last Edit: 4/23/2012 6:04:51 PM by uxo2]
Your FFL is on drugs or spewing FUDD info..

Go here for CALI stuff.
http://www.calguns.net

hometown forum

and bulid info form a cali bulider
Vader_Spade_s_80__AR_15_build___

and lots of engravings..
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_123/549978_80__A1_lower.html

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you,
Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.
One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.
George Patton



bwideman
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Posted: 4/23/2012 8:27:18 PM
Originally Posted By sergtjim:
Originally Posted By Radar363:
FAQs about 80% builds
A lot of info on the above site. They say this can be done with common hand tools but I'm still trying to convince myself I can do it. It looks a little harder than putting a lower together or installing an Apex kit in an S&W M&P9, which are the only gunsmithing I have done.


You can make an operable lower with a Dremel and some hand tools like files, drills, etc. It's not particularly difficult, But "measure five times, cut once" is the rule. If you take too much metal off, it's really hard to glue it back on.

This is what worked for me. A Sears rotary grinder and the "drill press" stand. Bought both on sale. And a single speed 3/8" hand drill. I did buy a jig from Colfax Tactical. It helped. Not because of the drill guides, but because it lets you hold the work piece level.

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg216/sergtjim/100_1464.jpg

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg216/sergtjim/100_1461.jpg

Now I have a drill press.

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg216/sergtjim/100_1430.jpg



Man you have a lot more patience/balls than me. I would lose my mind trying to use a press/dremel to make a lower work. I don't think I could keep everything level, and my hands steady enough to pull it off.

I use one of our machines like this to make lowers



I think as long as you take your time and make sure everything is level and trued, and you make sure of your measurements you should do fine


KaPowieWowie
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Posted: 4/23/2012 8:51:59 PM
I have a friend with a machine shop who is interested in doing the same thing.

Originally Posted By bwideman:
Originally Posted By sergtjim:
Originally Posted By Radar363:
FAQs about 80% builds
A lot of info on the above site. They say this can be done with common hand tools but I'm still trying to convince myself I can do it. It looks a little harder than putting a lower together or installing an Apex kit in an S&W M&P9, which are the only gunsmithing I have done.


You can make an operable lower with a Dremel and some hand tools like files, drills, etc. It's not particularly difficult, But "measure five times, cut once" is the rule. If you take too much metal off, it's really hard to glue it back on.

This is what worked for me. A Sears rotary grinder and the "drill press" stand. Bought both on sale. And a single speed 3/8" hand drill. I did buy a jig from Colfax Tactical. It helped. Not because of the drill guides, but because it lets you hold the work piece level.

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg216/sergtjim/100_1464.jpg

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg216/sergtjim/100_1461.jpg

Now I have a drill press.

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg216/sergtjim/100_1430.jpg



Man you have a lot more patience/balls than me. I would lose my mind trying to use a press/dremel to make a lower work. I don't think I could keep everything level, and my hands steady enough to pull it off.

I use one of our machines like this to make lowers

http://www.atkinson-engineering.com/graphics/library/HAAS%20VF4.jpg

I think as long as you take your time and make sure everything is level and trued, and you make sure of your measurements you should do fine




BantryArms
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Posted: 4/24/2012 8:38:32 PM
Originally Posted By Radar363:
FAQs about 80% builds
A lot of info on the above site. They say this can be done with common hand tools but I'm still trying to convince myself I can do it. It looks a little harder than putting a lower together or installing an Apex kit in an S&W M&P9, which are the only gunsmithing I have done.


I've built eight lowers with just a drill press. Trust me, if I can do it, anybody can. :-)

(Full disclosure: I ruined the first one....measure five times at least.)

I have developed a system that works best for me using a Colfax jig to drill all the 1/8" holes, then use a Tactical Machining jig to finish it.

Enjoy!
fatkid35
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Posted: 4/25/2012 12:03:39 AM
i was refered to a guy, semi local that rents out his knee mill to finish all the machining on 80% lowers. he has all the jigs and he makes you remove all the material but coaches you the whole way. was very edjucational and alot of fun.
Joenavy85
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Posted: 5/22/2012 4:24:25 PM
Originally Posted By fatkid35:
i was refered to a guy, semi local that rents out his knee mill to finish all the machining on 80% lowers. he has all the jigs and he makes you remove all the material but coaches you the whole way. was very edjucational and alot of fun.


Quick question, my dad has the tools and patience to machine a 80% lower for me. Is there any restriction on him machining it for me and then shipping it to me? or would that be considered him manufacturing it and a big NO-NO with ATF?
"A government that does not trust it's law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust." - James Madison

ATF should be a convenience store, not a government agency.
BillCotter
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Posted: 5/22/2012 4:47:17 PM
Originally Posted By Joenavy85:
Originally Posted By fatkid35:
i was refered to a guy, semi local that rents out his knee mill to finish all the machining on 80% lowers. he has all the jigs and he makes you remove all the material but coaches you the whole way. was very edjucational and alot of fun.


Quick question, my dad has the tools and patience to machine a 80% lower for me. Is there any restriction on him machining it for me and then shipping it to me? or would that be considered him manufacturing it and a big NO-NO with ATF?


You need to do the work yourself...Sounds like a good excuse to go visit your dad and have him coach you through the machining. It's not really difficult, I just finished one a couple weeks ago using a drill press exactly like the one pictured a few posts ago, drill bits, and end mills. The jig that you buy along with the 80% blank is very helpful, and a good drill press vise would have been very helpful. I am not experienced at machine work and did a decent job. The LPK fit fine, my upper attached correctly, and my test firing went off without any problem.
Joenavy85
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Posted: 5/22/2012 5:57:22 PM
Originally Posted By BillCotter:
Originally Posted By Joenavy85:
Originally Posted By fatkid35:
i was refered to a guy, semi local that rents out his knee mill to finish all the machining on 80% lowers. he has all the jigs and he makes you remove all the material but coaches you the whole way. was very edjucational and alot of fun.


Quick question, my dad has the tools and patience to machine a 80% lower for me. Is there any restriction on him machining it for me and then shipping it to me? or would that be considered him manufacturing it and a big NO-NO with ATF?


You need to do the work yourself...Sounds like a good excuse to go visit your dad and have him coach you through the machining. It's not really difficult, I just finished one a couple weeks ago using a drill press exactly like the one pictured a few posts ago, drill bits, and end mills. The jig that you buy along with the 80% blank is very helpful, and a good drill press vise would have been very helpful. I am not experienced at machine work and did a decent job. The LPK fit fine, my upper attached correctly, and my test firing went off without any problem.


I figured I would have to do it. I can do the machining without a problem (provided I get the jig), it's just the time and patience aspect. Either way, it sounds like a good project for my next trip out there.
"A government that does not trust it's law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is itself unworthy of trust." - James Madison

ATF should be a convenience store, not a government agency.
madmedic
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Posted: 5/22/2012 6:02:33 PM
I have actually thought about this many times... My only question is: What happens when you run into a police officer who is not familiar with the law, and wants to know why you have no seial # on your gun?
WITH....a HERRING!

BillCotter
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Posted: 5/22/2012 6:27:08 PM
[Last Edit: 5/22/2012 6:28:56 PM by BillCotter]
Originally Posted By madmedic:
I have actually thought about this many times... My only question is: What happens when you run into a police officer who is not familiar with the law, and wants to know why you have no seial # on your gun?


Carry a reference to the legality of it with you, or have a serial number put on it...Make sure you know your state laws on the subject too...some states probably don't allow this...?
BlahBlah
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Posted: 5/22/2012 7:52:08 PM

Originally Posted By BillCotter:
You need to do the work yourself...

Actually, that is another gray area of the law. As long as the maker doesn't make it with intentions of selling it, it is fine. It also specifically states that self-made firearms can be inherited or passed-down.

I take that to mean that my Dad could make an AR lower and gift it to me and we'd both be well within the law.

This is not legal advice, just topic for discussion. As always, YMMV.
CZ527.com - The CZ 527 Enthusiast Community

There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?
Russ4777
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Posted: 5/22/2012 10:01:18 PM
[Last Edit: 5/25/2012 12:03:42 AM by Russ4777]
Originally Posted By madmedic:
I have actually thought about this many times... My only question is: What happens when you run into a police officer who is not familiar with the law, and wants to know why you have no seial # on your gun?


As per the ATF, no serial numbers are required but it sure makes identification alot easier if your 80% er were to be stolen. Stamp some kind of S/N on the pistol grip lug, Invisible once you install the grip.
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Schleprock
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Posted: 5/23/2012 12:52:08 AM

Originally Posted By BlahBlah:

Originally Posted By BillCotter:
You need to do the work yourself...

Actually, that is another gray area of the law. As long as the maker doesn't make it with intentions of selling it, it is fine. It also specifically states that self-made firearms can be inherited or passed-down.


May I ask where it says that exactly? Chapter and verse.....
BlahBlah
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Posted: 5/23/2012 9:42:17 AM
I've got about 100 links to self-built regs (mostly for Form 1 NFA stuff). I'll sort through them and see if I can find the specific one (ATF's site sucks). As has been mentioned many times in the past, the written laws don't usually say what you CAN do, they only tell you what they prohibit you from doing. If it is not specifically prohibited, it is assumed to be legal.

The law states that an individual can build their own legal firearm with no license as long as it is not built with the intention of selling it. Building it as a gift is not intent to sell.

I recall that the law also states that the builder has to do it himself or it has to be done under their direct supervision. That would also imply that someone else could build the whole thing for you as long as you were present.

Again... Not professional legal advice. I'll dig up some links when I get a chance.
CZ527.com - The CZ 527 Enthusiast Community

There are over 550 million firearms in worldwide circulation. That's one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is: How do we arm the other 11?
CBR900
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Posted: 5/23/2012 4:08:14 PM
Originally Posted By madmedic:
I have actually thought about this many times... My only question is: What happens when you run into a police officer who is not familiar with the law, and wants to know why you have no seial # on your gun?


This is EXACTLY why you should take everyone's advice (including the atf) and MARK YOUR LOWER. Put a pretend, made-up, ficticious, faux, NUMBER on it someplace.

Look, Officer Ignorant is not interested in a road-side lecture about how YOU know the law better than him. You will have your gun confiscated by most police if they become aware there is NO number on it.

In court, you might ave better luck with a judge. But why go there?? Just mark it with some sort of number & have a happy (arrest-free) life.
CBR900
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Posted: 5/23/2012 4:14:24 PM
[Last Edit: 5/23/2012 4:17:20 PM by CBR900]
Originally Posted By KaPowieWowie:
. . . Well, a local FFl says that is true but that you still have to let the authorities (BATF?) know what you did. . .

example site:
http://www.colfaxtactical.com


You really need to go back to that FFL and give him a (verbal) kick in the nuts. If he told you that, then he clearly does NOT know what he is talking about. Feel free to call any BATFE field office & ask them what they think of this FFL's advice.

People rely on FFLs to know and follow firearms law.

This particular FFL either made up some shit & passed it off as knowledge or he is woefully wrong on an area where others might seek his "expertise." I suspect the former. If people do not know, they should just be honest.

Now the one place you should be worried about is California's state "DOJ." I have no idea what their current arbitrary view is on 2nd Amendment rights in your state. Perhaps CalGuns has some info to contribute.
Cadapult
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Posted: 5/24/2012 10:51:23 PM
Your Dad making the lower for you is technically a no-no. A gun can be made by an individual for their personal use, not for the intention of being transferred. Could he machine it, you visit and get it from him, and you both keep your mouths shut about who built it? Maybe, but I wouldn't risk it (being a chicken). In the name of heaven, *do not* have him mail a completed receiver to you. Only an ffl can receive a gun, which is what that finished receiver would be. Very, very bad juju for you if you get caught. The ATF never takes a "boys will be boys" stance on those sorts of things. Better to visit Dad and spend time with him & let him help you finish the receiver.

Build a gun, enjoy it for a while, and it *can* be sold or given, but it has to be marked with the builder's name, city, and state. Here's a couple links to scans of an ATF letter stating it:
http://www.victorinc.com/images/ATF%27s%20AMD-65%20Response%20-%20Pg%201.jpg
http://www.victorinc.com/images/ATF%27s%20AMD-65%20Response%20-%20Pg%202.jpg
(sorry about undoubtedly screwing up the link insertion...)

the_rubber_duck
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Posted: 5/25/2012 9:21:56 AM
[Last Edit: 5/25/2012 9:24:06 AM by the_rubber_duck]
Originally Posted By Cadapult:
(sorry about undoubtedly screwing up the link insertion...)



Here you go!

Page 1
http://www.victorinc.com/images/ATF%27s%20AMD-65%20Response%20-%20Pg%201.jpg
Page 2
http://www.victorinc.com/images/ATF%27s%20AMD-65%20Response%20-%20Pg%202.jpg

EDIT:
I would visit Pop to drill the last hole and call it a day. You completed the firearm as it were and all is gravy.

My Dad and I are going to do the same thing and build a pair together.
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