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Posted: 9/19/2004 4:37:24 PM EDT
I have a couple of AR pistols. I don't really like the pistol buffer assembly. I would like to replace the pistol buffer assembly with a standard CAR receiver tube (minus the CAR stock) to increase reliability. That would also allow a quick conversion to a rifle with my extra 16 inch barrel and car stock piece. I don't really think the receiver tube could be construed as a stock and get me in trouble as an SBR, but I thought I'd ask what you guys think. The tube only adds about 2 inches of lenght and allows me to use a CAR buffer and spring instead of the spring system in the pistol buffer setup.

So, what do you think?

1. Does the reciever tube without the stock piece count as a stock?

2. If you think it does, what about if I modified the tube so that it could not accept a stock piece?

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 5:51:58 AM EDT
If you want a real written answer that will keep your ass out of jail, you need to pose this question to the ATF Technical branch. Having the carbine buffer tube on there might be considered "readily convertible" to a rifle configuration and a short barreled one at that.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 6:41:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 6:42:48 AM EDT by fq1234]
You are right, I probably should write to the ATF. I'm not so concerned about it being readily convertable to a rifle because I am allowed to convert it to a rifle but if they would view the CAR extension as a stock then it would be an SBR as you pointed out. I guess there is only one way to find out for sure.

Does anyone have the address for the technical branch? I guess it is probably on thier website somewhere, but if you have it handy please post it.

Does anyone else have an opinion for curiousities sake?
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 6:57:34 AM EDT
I've thought about the same thing. I have a pistol buffer but it is a pain in the azz to separate the upper and lower.

My thinking was to drill a hole horizontaly across the rail that the telestock slips onto then insert a pin, maybe a roll pin that is long enough to prevent the stock from being put on. With a long enough pin, you could attach an arm support under the tube to rest on your forearm.

Another idea would be to use a 'D' ring instead. This could provide a place for a sling attachment.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 7:09:37 AM EDT
I asked the same question HERE and it seems to be no-go.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:05:11 AM EDT

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Room 8150 (Office of Science and Technology)
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20226


You might call that number to be sure that is the correct place to send it.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 10:58:27 AM EDT
I agree that it's best to ask ATF on this.

Here's my opinion: if you have your firearm setup in pistol configuration with a carbine buffer tube hanging off the back, then what you have is readily covertible to a short barrel rifle (particularly if you have the carbine buttstock in your possession). I like the idea posted above about drilling through the lower part of the buffer tube and inserting a semi-permanent pin or sling swivel.

I was thinking about getting a rifle (smooth) buffer tube but in carbine length (available from ace) to use with my soon-to-be-built ar-15 pistol. To be safe, I would probably JB weld something to the outside to preclude sliding a stock over it.

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 11:10:42 AM EDT
I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that no approach using a clip, ring, pin, whatever is going to fly. How hard will it be to take the ring/pin/clip off and install a stock? Probably not hard enough for the ATF.

If you really want to use it, you'll probably have to mill the rib off, so there is no place whatsoever to attach that nasty slider stock.

But the ATFE is the final word, so wait until you have a clear letter from them before proceeding.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 2:01:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 2:02:12 PM EDT by fq1234]
I got this from the llegal section:

ATF takes the position that this includes any combination of parts from which a short barreled rifle can be assembled. And they said this included a set of parts with dual uses. In the Supreme court case of Thompson/ Center Arms v. US, - U.S. - (1994) ATF said it was a set consisting of a receiver, a 16"+ barrel, a pistol grip stock, a shoulder stock, and a barrel less than 16 inches long. The idea of the kit was that you needed only one receiver, and you could have both a rifle and pistol in one gun. While making a pistol out of a rifle is making a short rifle, ATF has long approved of converting a pistol into a rifle, and then converting it back into a pistol, that was not an issue. T/C made one set on a Form 1, then sued for a tax refund, claiming the set was not a SBR, unless it actually was assembled with the shoulder stock, and short barrel, something they instructed the purchaser of the set not to do. The Supreme court disagreed with ATF, and agreed with Thompson/Center.

The court said that a set of parts was not a short barreled rifle, unless the only way to assemble the parts was into a short barreled rifle. As this set had a legitimate, legal, use for all the parts it was OK. However they also approved of lower court cases holding that the sale by one person, at the same place, of all the parts to assemble an AR-15, with a short barrel, was sale of a SBR, even if they weren't assembled together at the moment of the bust, and had in fact never been assembled. See U.S. v. Drasen, 845 F.2d 731 (7th Cir. 1988). This was because the only use for the parts was a SBR. If the person in that case also had a registered M-16, then there would be a legitimate use for the SMG barrel, and there shouldn't be a problem. And the Court agreed, of course, that a fully assembled rifle with a barrel less than 16", or an overall length of less than 26" was also subject to registration.

I don't think it matters if the pistol is readily convertible to an SBR because I have an extra 16 inch upper for it. It seems to be just like the Thompson case above.

I will write though to make sure.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 5:55:21 AM EDT
You could just spend the $200 for an SBR and do whatever you want...Might be easier than wading through this BS.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:18:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Southern_Raider:
You could just spend the $200 for an SBR and do whatever you want...Might be easier than wading through this BS.

That is an option. I already have a couple of registered SBR's though, I just want to have a pistol setup that functions more reliably. I really don't like the pistol buffer.
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