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Posted: 10/27/2004 9:50:08 AM EST
I have been reading a lot here and considering buying/building another AR.

I have a Bushmaster VMatch 20" flattop rifle. Since it has a scope and no front sight, its not the greatest plinker in the world. My options are to 1)buy a 16" CAR upper for now and eventually buy a lower to have a 2nd gun or 2)buy an entirely new gun.

Question - is there a difference in resale value between 'kit' guns and 'real' factory rifles? What if I bought a BM lower for the one I build? How can you tell that its not an authentic BM rifle?

2nd Question - are uppers headspaced for a particular bolt? can I buy a cheap upper and expect it function with my existing BM lower and bolt? Reason I ask : I built a kit rifle 10 years ago and 1 spent round per mag would get stuck in the chamber. Never did figure it out, but want to prevent that kind of trouble in the future.

Link Posted: 10/27/2004 11:11:28 AM EST
Sorry, but gotta ask this, not trying to be a dick.

Why are you going about this thinking, right off the bat, about how much you can sell it for?

Why don't you go about it as "what can I get that I will enjoy and want to keep"?

If you don't like your current configuration, why not just use what you can from it and build it as you would like?

Link Posted: 10/27/2004 12:28:51 PM EST
You may want to look at the legal side first.
Are you a gunsmith?
Are you an FFL dealer?
I'm not 100% sure but if you bought a stripped lower, that is technically what you are allowed to sell. You cannot manufacture a rifle for re-sale.
You could sell it to a friend with the understanding that what he is buying is a 'parts kit' and a 'stripped lower' and you have 'assisted' him in assembling it.
The same goes for any parts you have added to your rifle yourself. Such as adding a collapsible stock, unless you have had a gunsmith do it , you'd better re-install the original stock as a CYA measure. You may include the aftermarket stock as part of the deal for the buyer to install himself.

Am I being overcautious in my interpretation of the law?
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 12:33:52 PM EST
Kind of sounds like it. But I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. It might also have to do with where you live. In AZ I've never really heard anything against building a gun and re-selling it or other stuff like that.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 1:07:33 PM EST

Is there a difference in resale value between 'kit' guns and 'real' factory rifles?


Yes.

There is no problem buying or assembling a rifle and selling it, unless you are doing it often, or telling people that you are building weapons to sell.

That you built a weapon and sold it because you wanted something different isn't an issue. That you did it 10 times last month would be looked at differently.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 1:10:03 PM EST
Well, since a stripped lower is technically a firearm, you're not manufacturing anything. You are legally allowed to sell firearms from your collection, you just can't go around buying and then re-selling firearms all the time. Then you would be considered as dealing in firearms, and you need a license for that. You also don't have to worry about the stock issue you mentioned. You can change the configuration of the firearm. The only way changing back from a collapsible stock would be an issue was if you were selling it to someone in a state who could not possess an 'assault weapon'. Otherwise, would adding a sling, or a match trigger suddenly turn you into a dealer? No. He can do whatever he wants with this rifle. If he wants to sell what he has, and buy something else, he's well within his right to do so.

RMK
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 1:17:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By Stickman:

Is there a difference in resale value between 'kit' guns and 'real' factory rifles?


Yes.

There is no problem buying or assembling a rifle and selling it, unless you are doing it often, or telling people that you are building weapons to sell.

That you built a weapon and sold it because you wanted something different isn't an issue. That you did it 10 times last month would be looked at differently.



Right...As long as there was no intent from the start to build something to sell at a profit. Keep in mind, when you are going the stripped receiver route you haven't paid the FET (Federal Excise Tax), which I believe is 13%. This tax is on every complete firearm sold. This is the money that is supposed to go to the National Parks system (but Hitlery helped steer a lot of it to Africa). I wouldn't worry about now and again selling an AR made from parts if you decide you want something else or need the money...

Also keep in mind all the "private" dealers that are at the gun shows every month. When you are constantly taking 10 guns, different guns, to every show...well, that is acting as a private dealer. My rule of thumb (which is far less strict than the ATF has applied in some cases) is that if you have a display case or printed out cards with gun names and prices (that you can recycle because of constant turnover) then you are a dealer lol and should have a FFL, at least to cover your own ass. But I wouldn't sweat it about selling a parts AR that you want to get rid of...think about this, if you couldn't resell an AR that didn't leave the factory as a complete gun, then anyone who bought and sold complete Essential Arms would be SOL (they were all sold as lowers AFAIK)...
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 1:17:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By SHIPSNIPE1:
You may want to look at the legal side first.
Are you a gunsmith?
Are you an FFL dealer?
I'm not 100% sure but if you bought a stripped lower, that is technically what you are allowed to sell. You cannot manufacture a rifle for re-sale.
You could sell it to a friend with the understanding that what he is buying is a 'parts kit' and a 'stripped lower' and you have 'assisted' him in assembling it.
The same goes for any parts you have added to your rifle yourself. Such as adding a collapsible stock, unless you have had a gunsmith do it , you'd better re-install the original stock as a CYA measure. You may include the aftermarket stock as part of the deal for the buyer to install himself.

Am I being overcautious in my interpretation of the law?



No, you are being completely wrong in your interpretation of the law.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:30:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By bastiat:
No, you are being completely wrong in your interpretation of the law.



Wow, great argument!
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 3:57:46 PM EST
OK OK.... I probably won't sell it. BUT I don't want to save $50 by buying a Mega lower only to find out that the rifle is worth hundreds less than if I put a Bushmaster or other name brand lower on it. Forget about the legal aspect of selling the thing.

Let me ask the question differently. Can you tell the difference between factory assembled Bushmaster rifles and a good parts kit with a BM lower?

And what about the headspace question. Are barrels headspaced for a particular bolt, and can I use my existing bolt on barrels headspaced with other bolts?

Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:14:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By SHIPSNIPE1:

Originally Posted By bastiat:
No, you are being completely wrong in your interpretation of the law.



Wow, great argument!



What more do you want?

You are 100% wrong, you admitted you weren't sure of what you're saying, yet you're giving him advice.

Bad advice.

The receiver is the registered part of the rifle. If you buy the receiver, add a parts kits, decide you don't want it and sell it, there's nothing against the law about that. It is in no way 'doing business' as a gun maker or FFL.

He isn't manufacturing a rifle for resale. The 'manufacturing' was done by the maker of the receiver.

Maybe you should read up a little on the law before you start giving advice on it.

Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:38:14 PM EST
Hm...
Isn't installing parts on a rifle considered 'gunsmithing'?
If you make one red cent on doing it, it is considered 'doing business'. Wether that is profit or not is up to you.
And if you do so you'd better have an FFL or be working for someone that has one.

bastiat- I do not entirely disgree with you. I am just posing the 'what ifs' if for some reason he were to wind up on the wrong side of a legal issue with an unsimpathetic jury or judge. The worst case scenario.

Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:53:14 PM EST
poser-
You can tell most makers uppers apart usually by finish, forge markings, barrel markings etc.
There usually is a difference in the quality of the internals of the lower.
If you were to try to pass off whatever you want as a BM upper to some rube that is up to you and your conscience.

Bolts and uppers can be changed around with no ill effects as long as within specs. Check headspace always. If your old rifle shot OK with one upper and then FTE with the other, the problem may have been a rough chamber in your second upper or a weak extractor spring on the bolt.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 4:57:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By SHIPSNIPE1:
Hm...
Isn't installing parts on a rifle considered 'gunsmithing'?
If you make one red cent on doing it, it is considered 'doing business'. Wether that is profit or not is up to you.
And if you do so you'd better have an FFL or be working for someone that has one.

bastiat- I do not entirely disgree with you. I am just posing the 'what ifs' if for some reason he were to wind up on the wrong side of a legal issue with an unsimpathetic jury or judge. The worst case scenario.




Then you should really consider looking up the laws before dispensing advice or 'what ifs', especially if he wasn't asking for them. Seriously. It's as bad as the gun shop commandos telling people they couldn't use pre-ban magazines in a post ban gun. It's false info that only discourages and confuses people.

Just look at this site - the equipment exchange for example. Kits rifles are being sold all the time. People building a rifle and selling them because they want a different one doesn't rise to the level of where you require a FFL to sell.
Link Posted: 10/27/2004 5:09:42 PM EST
Let me chime in just a little bit that I know to be true. I have an ffl and directly asked the ATF agent who did my interview about putting together uppers and lowers. If you have an ffl and do this you better not resale it as a complete gun without paying the FET that would be a violation of the law.

Individuals are allowed to by parts seperatly and assemble them without paying the FET.
If you buy a gun with the sole intention of resale you are in Violation of federal law FACT not fiction.
And yes its basicaly imposible for them to inforce but if they want to and can prove it they can.

As far as selling a kit gun its definetly not as valubale as a complet firearm would be unless you use all quality parts. Then I dont see what the difrence would be personally its still a used gun and valued as such.

What you are talking about doing sounds to me like is tricking someone into thinking they have a bushy or a colt or whatever when in reality they don't.

Personally I think thats fucked up and shity on your part. And you better hope you don't sell it to someone who can come back to you when they find out what you did.
I can promise you thats bad carma and I don't buy into carma.

Bolt and headspace issues thats a matter of opinion but I have personally swaped bolt in M16 a2's when I was in the militar just to see what It would do we took 10 guns swaped all the bolts around in them all 10 worked fine so unless something is way worn I don't think its a real issue.
YMMV
Other folks shuder at the Idea.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 3:32:03 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2004 5:08:20 AM EST by Mouseomatic]
There is also the problem with Warranties' I bought a complete Bushmaster lower half then a complete bushmaster upper half. Both came from the factory but because it wasn't sold as a complete rifle I have no factory warranty. The resale value drops too because it's not a "factory built" rifle even though it's an all Bushmaster rifle just bought in two parts.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 10:00:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By SHIPSNIPE1:

Originally Posted By bastiat:
No, you are being completely wrong in your interpretation of the law.



Wow, great argument!



All the argument that is needed the way I see it.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 10:32:30 AM EST
There is no intention to pass off an inferior rifle to an unsuspecting buyer. If I built a rifle with the best parts available and had an off brand lower, then I fear a potential buyer wouldn't consider buying it. I am just trying to figure out if the added cost for name brand lower is worth it, assuming initial quality is the same for all brands.

A complete BM factory upper and complete lower connected together in my mind is a complete BM factory rifle and no one should hesitate to buy that configuration.

Does BM warranty components differntly than complete rifles?

If I build a kit for $700 it may make sense to buy a complete gun for $900. Warranty and resale value may be worth it. But I really want to do it myself.

Link Posted: 10/28/2004 10:45:01 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/29/2004 3:36:19 AM EST by KBL]

Originally Posted By SHIPSNIPE1:
Hm...
Isn't installing parts on a rifle considered 'gunsmithing'?
If you make one red cent on doing it, it is considered 'doing business'. Wether that is profit or not is up to you.
And if you do so you'd better have an FFL or be working for someone that has one.



Look at it this way SHIPSNIPE1. Let's say that you found a really good deal on a Colt Gov't model .45 for yourself and then over the course of the next year you decided to install a new trigger, a Commander ejector, a new set of sights, and lets say a new barrel bushing. A while later you decide to sell the pistol to friend. Do you think that because you installed these parts on your own pistol that you're a gunsmith and you should have had an FFL? And so what if you made money on the re-sale. You got a good deal in the first place, and then you enhanced the performance of the pistol by customizing it. Nothing you have done here is beyond the realm of "hobbyist".

Now, if you were taking in other peoples firearms, keeping them for a few days and in that time installing parts for repair or customization, and making a profit at it - then you'd be a gunsmith and you'd need an FFL to do what you do. I know there's a lot of semi-professional gunsmiths out there that don't do this, but Federal law does require it.

What acman145acp said is right. I checked this out back in the pre-ban days when I was in the firearms business and putting AR assemblies together. If you have an FFL, you don't want to get caught assembling completed AR's for re-sale without paying the FET. If caught, you'd be in deep do-do and it wouldn't be that hard for ATF to find out. The lower will be in your bound book and from there it's not to hard for them to find out how the receiver was shipped - as a receiver alone, or as a complete firearm. And when it comes to dealing with ATF, you're guility until you can prove your innocence. And they'll make that as hard as they can if they think they've got you.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 11:13:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 3:36:49 PM EST by WildBoar]

Originally Posted By SHIPSNIPE1:
Hm...
Isn't installing parts on a rifle considered 'gunsmithing'?
If you make one red cent on doing it, it is considered 'doing business'. Wether that is profit or not is up to you.
And if you do so you'd better have an FFL or be working for someone that has one.

bastiat- I do not entirely disgree with you. I am just posing the 'what ifs' if for some reason he were to wind up on the wrong side of a legal issue with an unsimpathetic jury or judge. The worst case scenario.




I was a witness at a Federal trial. A guy was buying kits , assembling them and selling them at gun shows. He got busted and good thing too. They said even if only broke even on the costs he would still be breaking the law. This guy would sell to anyone. If you didnt want to fill out a 4473 or couldnt due to a criminal background, he would sell it anyways. He even used that to advertise himself at the shows. If he saw folks getting turned down he would snatch them and sell him something from his table. I am sorry but the the State of florida turns you down on a background check, you must have really fked up somewhere and dont deserve a gun. Its these shady wannabe dealers that piss me off to no limit.

We also fired a sales rep at our store for doing work on peoples guns. After selling them a pistol he would offer to "polish" the gun inside and out and charge them $100. Once we caught wind we fired him.

Link Posted: 10/28/2004 11:34:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By poser:
There is no intention to pass off an inferior rifle to an unsuspecting buyer. If I built a rifle with the best parts available and had an off brand lower, then I fear a potential buyer wouldn't consider buying it. I am just trying to figure out if the added cost for name brand lower is worth it, assuming initial quality is the same for all brands.

A complete BM factory upper and complete lower connected together in my mind is a complete BM factory rifle and no one should hesitate to buy that configuration.

Does BM warranty components differntly than complete rifles?

If I build a kit for $700 it may make sense to buy a complete gun for $900. Warranty and resale value may be worth it. But I really want to do it myself.




How much is your peace of mind worth?

It sounds to me like resale value is a priority for you and this whole issue is really troubling you. If the extra $200 (your figure) is not a problem, I would suggest that you go ahead and buy a complete rifle. Be sure to keep the original box, packaging, papers, etc. to maximize resale value down the road.

I am being serious, not sarcastic... if I were being sarcastic, I would have told you to handle it only with cotton gloves and never, ever, under any circumstances to actually shoot it.
Link Posted: 10/28/2004 7:55:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/28/2004 7:56:42 PM EST by Quake_Guy]
when the government pays you to turn them in for destruction, they will pay you the same regardless... of course you may choose an alternate response, in which case resale value will also matter little...
Link Posted: 10/29/2004 4:11:44 AM EST
The value of a gun... what is the value of freedom?


are uppers headspaced for a particular bolt?

No.
Link Posted: 10/29/2004 4:34:54 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/29/2004 7:42:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By poser:
There is no intention to pass off an inferior rifle to an unsuspecting buyer. If I built a rifle with the best parts available and had an off brand lower, then I fear a potential buyer wouldn't consider buying it. I am just trying to figure out if the added cost for name brand lower is worth it, assuming initial quality is the same for all brands.

A complete BM factory upper and complete lower connected together in my mind is a complete BM factory rifle and no one should hesitate to buy that configuration.

Does BM warranty components differntly than complete rifles?

If I build a kit for $700 it may make sense to buy a complete gun for $900. Warranty and resale value may be worth it. But I really want to do it myself.




OK here's the deal Bushmaster does warranty their parts very well. I bulit an upper that consisted of a RRA upper receiver and bolt assembly and matted it with a BM barrel. The first BBL I received had a faulty chamber, reamed too deep and screwed up the shoulder. Returned the barrel and got a new one, no charge, but that one wouldn't close on the Go head space gauge. Called BM told them the problem + a parts list of what I used. They said return the whole upper to them, I said but it's not all your parts, they said return the whole thing anyway. Finally received the upper back with a max hadspace bolt installed, get this for no cost, traded bolts even up. So far it's been a dream, dependable as a hammer.

Now on to the bolt assembly & upper receiver, go to www.eaglefirearms.net and pick up a RRA bolt assembly for $95 and an flat top receiver for $88. Match that up with a chrome lined barrel of your choice and have fun. Heck you can even add a Yankee Hill free float tube for $87 for that custom look. While you're at it take a look at the Cavalry arms lowers on Armalites web site, $95 isn't to bad considering you don't have to but a stock just a CAR buffer + spring.

As a see it a true AR fanatic will pay more for cool parts than a factory correct rifle. My advise build something you can't get from the factory. Even a Novice AR fan will pay big $$ at a gun show for a neat looking rifle. Besides the point of the sport is HAVE FUN!
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 7:17:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
The value of a gun... what is the value of freedom?


are uppers headspaced for a particular bolt?

No.



As long as the uppers have the same chambering. I wouldn't mix and match .223 and 5.56mm without checking headspace.
Link Posted: 10/30/2004 1:24:57 PM EST
Sounds like we have similar ideas. I also have a 20" (super) V-Match. I wanted another gun to play around with. Something with open sights, and lighter weight. I decided to build my own just for the experience. (AWB sunset pushed me over the edge too) I don't think that I will save any now, or lose much if I sell it down the road. I stuck with a RRA upper and lower. That way, both halves are the same brand. It would appeal more to me if I were looking at it at a gunshow. I like the idea of both top and bottom being the same brand. I bought the US Property lower just to give it some uniqueness. I am only waiting on the backordered barrel, a turned down 16" midlength from Adco and the DD forend. The forend is where I go into the red on this project, but it makes the gun too. I need to pick out a BUIS also. I don't know if I'll ever afford the optics, but I can shoot it until then with open sights. This is just the way I am looking at the project, hope I have helped.

Rob
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