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Posted: 12/29/2003 9:17:43 AM EDT
Is it legal to hand deliver my completed 80%  ar15 lower and have it anodized by an anodizing shop? I have it all machined and don't really want to get into "home anodizing".

Link Posted: 12/29/2003 9:40:59 AM EDT
The way I read the law was you can but you would have to stay there until complete. I could be wrong....so many stinking laws hard to keep up.
Now remember the anodizing process will shrink holes. Example your nice .250 reamed holes will now be .248 when it comes back. At full anodized process will add .001 to all surfaces.

Link Posted: 12/29/2003 3:47:57 PM EDT
you got me thinking on this one.  IIRC the law states that all gunsmithing has to be done by a licensed individual(ie..FFL or gunsmith with FFL).  since refinishing/finishing is gunsmithing the answer to your question would be "no" even if you stood there.  another possible sticky point would be that you are the manufacturer and the initial finish you are applying is part of the manufacturing process.  to gloss the law "any subcontractor for the manufacture of a firearm needs to stamp there company info on that part(ie..receiver)and be a licensed firearm manufacturer.  inorder to leave their name off that part they have to file for a waiver from the ATF".  since you are "subcontracting" the finishing they need to be a licensed manufacturer and stamp their company info on the receiver or file for a waiver to leave the info off.  home anodizing would circumvent this, or send it to someone like DPMS(around $60 IIRC).  i'm not sure which way the ATF would look at it, so i would send it to someone that is licensed to cover my butt.  
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 5:11:34 PM EDT
Although the anodizing will shrink the holes, it is of little concern. If you reamed the holes according to the blueprint specs, then its not an issue, since it is the exact method used by all manufacturers. The actual pins are slightly undersized to accomodate the anodization growth.

As for being a manufacturer...a home builder is NOT considered a manufacturer, by BATFE definition. A home builder is a "MAKER" and does not require any type of Federal license (State Laws may Vary) and is not required to follow the laws established for manufacturers. The definition of a manufacturer can be found on the BATFE website, but basically, if you are in the BUSINESS of making firearms for sale, then you are a manufacturer. As for the subcontractor and stamping issues, they don't apply as you are not a manufacturer.

As for your specific question..yes, you can have it anodized at a local shop. They also are not considered Gunsmith's in the eyes of BATFE unless they are engaged in the business of finishing firearms. A local anodizing shop doing an occassional firearm wouldn't be considered as being 'in the business'.

As for being present, my guess is that you would have to be there while the work is being performed, as you would technically still be in control of your lower. I couldn't find anything specifically addressing this question in the ATFE FAQs.

Link Posted: 12/29/2003 6:32:45 PM EDT
Anodizing is a finishing operation, not a machining operation.  I would think that having a lower anodized would be OK, as it is not machining the lower.

Anodizing will only add a few tenths to the diameter of the machined holes, so it really shouldn't affect the assembly.

I am not a legal scholar, and as such YMMV.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 6:32:45 PM EDT
I don't see why it wouldn't be leagle to have it done.
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