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4/22/2019 5:32:20 PM
Posted: 4/10/2016 1:17:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2016 1:17:58 AM EDT by Steamedliver]
Any one know the actual ATF location of what is "legal?" Is there a searchable PDF on that topic? Like what can be repaired and what can't I know there are a lot of opinions, I just want to read it.

I know its all subjective to interpretation, but I would like to read it.

Edit: I've been searching but can't find what I am looking for.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:11:51 AM EDT
I don't even know that such a thing exists. From what I've always heard and been told is that as long as the original sn and makers information is left in tact you are good to go. And of course not taking a mac11, cutting away everything and welding the sn and makers info on a 249 or something. But for like an M16 which is what I'm guessing you mean by RR lots of things could be fixed on it if you had a kaboom and blew up the lower. To a point of course.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:34:28 AM EDT
From what I've read on the internet, virtually every Olympic Arms made "M16 pattern" RR has been to one shop or another to be repaired into mil spec so that it could actually be used with mil spec parts. The 100 or so Group Industries stainless steel M16 lowers were also notorious for needing tweaking - usually for overly tight magwells.

MHO, YMMV, etc.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 1:36:23 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By SFHC:
I don't even know that such a thing exists. From what I've always heard and been told is that as long as the original sn and makers information is left in tact you are good to go. And of course not taking a mac11, cutting away everything and welding the sn and makers info on a 249 or something. But for like an M16 which is what I'm guessing you mean by RR lots of things could be fixed on it if you had a kaboom and blew up the lower. To a point of course.
View Quote


Clearly putting a MAC serial on a 249 has been done and has resulted in jail time. The ATF made a ruling on that.

How much of the RR can be repaired before most of the metal is replaced? I don't know, just what I've read from what someone else has told them.

I only want to read the ATF guidelines. The more I look the more I think the guidelines don't exist. I believe they are completely ambiguous just to keep gun owners in a perpetual state of uncertainty. The more I read and search the more I am disgusted. There is a reason I am interested in this.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 1:48:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2016 1:50:50 PM EDT by tony_k]
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 2:01:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2016 2:05:33 PM EDT by Steamedliver]
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Originally Posted By tony_k:
I have never seen or heard of any such guidelines issued by BATFE.

Therefore, what you need to do is work backwards (which is what your attorney would do, should you ever be challenged by ATF about repair work):

ATF has issued very detailed regulations about how a machine gun must be demilled. It varies by type of machine gun, and they will send you detailed drawings for a particular model if requested.

In general, though, the regs and drawings amount to cutting the receiver into three roughly equal-size parts (the precise placement of the cuts is indicated on the ATF drawings) and at least one section, almost always the middle one, must be discarded or destroyed.

Doing anything less than the above results IMHO in an incomplete demilling, and the machine gun remains "live" and requiring continued registration and treatment as a live firearm.

So: If your repair never reaches the point where the receiver is considered demilled under federal law, it therefore must have remained the live machine gun registered to you.

At least, that is the argument I would ask my attorney to use. However, I myself am not an attorney, and the above should not be considered legal advice, yada yada yada.

And note that the above does not include modifying a transferable MG into a different model of machine gun. They has been covered in many court cases, and the courts have backed up ATF on this.

Your Mileage May Vary.
View Quote



I have seen the de-milling pictures for various machine guns. It was a dry read. That language is very precise on cut placement. Example, if the serial number is completely cut from the receiver it is still considered a registered receiver, because it is NOT demilled according to the guidelines. From that it can be repaired. All the material around that could technically be replaced.

Everything else is kinda non existent. Example take a registered receiver and transfer the serial to a new receiver and destroy the old one. I have read that is completely illegal, or is it? Olympic Arms and Colt used to do it (or so I have read). Then they stopped. Was it illegal? Or frowned upon? Was it not profitable? If it was illegal then the ATF would have gone after the owners of those receivers. Never read they didn't.

Reason for my question. I have always understood that once you have a suppressor, the caliber of the suppressor can NOT be changed. Example a 9mm suppressor can NOT be converted to a 45 caliber suppressor. Everyone thumps that bible. Now a major suppressor manufacturer is doing just that. I know suppressors fall under different legal verbiage than receivers. Its just that I've read that so many times, that I took it for being true.

People say the "original" manufacturer can make those changes. Is the word "original" actually in the ATF language? Thats just something I have read.

I'm not advocating anything, just want to read it. For the record I bought an Olympic PAWS receiver from Tony_K, it works fine. I don't require any modification of it.

Thing about the ATF language is that the rules are open to interpretation and then the interpretation can be reviewed and changed.

Edit: To be clear, I'm asking for where I can read more on it. I have found dozens of opinions, but I can't find what those opinions are actually based on.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 2:06:50 PM EDT
I remember that there was a ruling by the BATFE during the assault weapons ban that a manufacturer could replace an entire receiver of an AR-15, using the same serial number as the destroyed serial number as part of a warranty replacement. I remember it because there were instances where someone had a weapon break and Bushmaster replaced the receiver with the old serial number. The Brady Bunch shit a brick over this because they were counting on guns breaking over time to help reduce the number of "assault weapons" in civilian hands, and the BATFE ruling shot that hope right in the ass.

I don't know that this applies to NFA weapons or not.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 4:46:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 8:03:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2016 8:06:34 PM EDT by Steamedliver]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By motown_steve:
I remember that there was a ruling by the BATFE during the assault weapons ban that a manufacturer could replace an entire receiver of an AR-15, using the same serial number as the destroyed serial number as part of a warranty replacement. I remember it because there were instances where someone had a weapon break and Bushmaster replaced the receiver with the old serial number. The Brady Bunch shit a brick over this because they were counting on guns breaking over time to help reduce the number of "assault weapons" in civilian hands, and the BATFE ruling shot that hope right in the ass.

I don't know that this applies to NFA weapons or not.
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Apparently you can still do this with non NFA receivers. I don't know if it is time or money efficient to do so. Sometimes its not a matter of the antigun lobby, sometimes its just a matter of economics. Clearly being able to replace a registered receiver is cost effective to ME, but probably not to Colt, Olympic Arms, etc.

Edit: I thought I submitted this response, but I did not before Tony_K.

So, is the repair of NFA machine guns a gray area? Clearly its not manufacturing, clearly the repairs are new.
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 10:28:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/10/2016 11:42:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2016 11:43:18 PM EDT by Steamedliver]
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Originally Posted By tony_k:
Steamedliver, I am glad you are happy with the Oly I sold you. I didn't go looking to buy it, because I am a Colt guy, but a friend who owned it needed cash in a hurry for an unexpected expense, so I helped him out. I shot it a few times and it worked fine for me, then I offered it up for sale. I am glad it went to a good home.

So much of the NFA realm is a gray area. It is what it is. So you have to extrapolate -- and do so on the basis of what an attorney could do, because of the serious legal repercussions of a misstep.

There are no hard-and-solid, published rules regarding the limits of repairing the receiver of a transferable MG. I do not ever expect there will be in the future. Current existing federal law promotes the diminishment of the population of transferable MGs, rather than supporting their continued existence as the rare items they are today.

In that sense, the laws are gray. In every opportunity to do so, ATF will rule that any repairs which are legal will be as minimal as possible.

Again ... it is what it is.
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I was afraid of that. In the reading that I have done, nothing is really consistent. In that, my questions along this line of thinking are mostly answered. However, I come away from it even more upset.

Another thing that is quite upsetting in the gun culture (couture if you know what I mean) is the repetition of an opinion without reference to a credible source. You know what I mean. I am glad that I looked into this just for my edification.
Link Posted: 4/12/2016 11:22:32 AM EDT
Here's how I would handle it -

I would restrict my repairs to what a jury of 12 dingbats would reasonably consider a repair.


A lot of times you'll see people quibbling over the language of the gun laws, but at the end of the day what counts is getting ATF to agree with you, and if that fails getting a jury to agree with you.

People think that a gray area is their friend but it's actually not. Gray areas are what make lawyers rich, not you.


Like for example, if your state says that guns must be transported in a locked case, then you buy a stout gun case and put a big fat padlock on it.

No policeman or jury member is going to look at your case with a padlock on it and be able to deny that it is a locked case.


I think the acid test would be the statement:

"The gun had XXXX damage, so I had YYYY done to fix it."

How could anyone argue with that?





Link Posted: 4/12/2016 12:16:31 PM EDT
While you are correct if the ATF disagrees and files criminal charges, they also have the option of seizing property under administrative charges where the burden of proof is different. Under administrative law, the burden of proof will be for you to prove compliance with their regulations. No jury involved.
Link Posted: 4/12/2016 1:53:53 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Steamedliver:



I have seen the de-milling pictures for various machine guns. It was a dry read. That language is very precise on cut placement. Example, if the serial number is completely cut from the receiver it is still considered a registered receiver, because it is NOT demilled according to the guidelines. From that it can be repaired. All the material around that could technically be replaced.

Everything else is kinda non existent. Example take a registered receiver and transfer the serial to a new receiver and destroy the old one. I have read that is completely illegal, or is it? Olympic Arms and Colt used to do it (or so I have read). Then they stopped. Was it illegal? Or frowned upon? Was it not profitable? If it was illegal then the ATF would have gone after the owners of those receivers. Never read they didn't.

Reason for my question. I have always understood that once you have a suppressor, the caliber of the suppressor can NOT be changed. Example a 9mm suppressor can NOT be converted to a 45 caliber suppressor. Everyone thumps that bible. Now a major suppressor manufacturer is doing just that. I know suppressors fall under different legal verbiage than receivers. Its just that I've read that so many times, that I took it for being true.

People say the "original" manufacturer can make those changes. Is the word "original" actually in the ATF language? Thats just something I have read.

I'm not advocating anything, just want to read it. For the record I bought an Olympic PAWS receiver from Tony_K, it works fine. I don't require any modification of it.

Thing about the ATF language is that the rules are open to interpretation and then the interpretation can be reviewed and changed.

Edit: To be clear, I'm asking for where I can read more on it. I have found dozens of opinions, but I can't find what those opinions are actually based on.
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Originally Posted By Steamedliver:
Originally Posted By tony_k:
I have never seen or heard of any such guidelines issued by BATFE.

Therefore, what you need to do is work backwards (which is what your attorney would do, should you ever be challenged by ATF about repair work):

ATF has issued very detailed regulations about how a machine gun must be demilled. It varies by type of machine gun, and they will send you detailed drawings for a particular model if requested.

In general, though, the regs and drawings amount to cutting the receiver into three roughly equal-size parts (the precise placement of the cuts is indicated on the ATF drawings) and at least one section, almost always the middle one, must be discarded or destroyed.

Doing anything less than the above results IMHO in an incomplete demilling, and the machine gun remains "live" and requiring continued registration and treatment as a live firearm.

So: If your repair never reaches the point where the receiver is considered demilled under federal law, it therefore must have remained the live machine gun registered to you.

At least, that is the argument I would ask my attorney to use. However, I myself am not an attorney, and the above should not be considered legal advice, yada yada yada.

And note that the above does not include modifying a transferable MG into a different model of machine gun. They has been covered in many court cases, and the courts have backed up ATF on this.

Your Mileage May Vary.



I have seen the de-milling pictures for various machine guns. It was a dry read. That language is very precise on cut placement. Example, if the serial number is completely cut from the receiver it is still considered a registered receiver, because it is NOT demilled according to the guidelines. From that it can be repaired. All the material around that could technically be replaced.

Everything else is kinda non existent. Example take a registered receiver and transfer the serial to a new receiver and destroy the old one. I have read that is completely illegal, or is it? Olympic Arms and Colt used to do it (or so I have read). Then they stopped. Was it illegal? Or frowned upon? Was it not profitable? If it was illegal then the ATF would have gone after the owners of those receivers. Never read they didn't.

Reason for my question. I have always understood that once you have a suppressor, the caliber of the suppressor can NOT be changed. Example a 9mm suppressor can NOT be converted to a 45 caliber suppressor. Everyone thumps that bible. Now a major suppressor manufacturer is doing just that. I know suppressors fall under different legal verbiage than receivers. Its just that I've read that so many times, that I took it for being true.

People say the "original" manufacturer can make those changes. Is the word "original" actually in the ATF language? Thats just something I have read.

I'm not advocating anything, just want to read it. For the record I bought an Olympic PAWS receiver from Tony_K, it works fine. I don't require any modification of it.

Thing about the ATF language is that the rules are open to interpretation and then the interpretation can be reviewed and changed.

Edit: To be clear, I'm asking for where I can read more on it. I have found dozens of opinions, but I can't find what those opinions are actually based on.


Back in 2007-2008 time frame, AAC and GemTech got into an online pissing match over manufacturers making "repairs" to suppressors built by other manufacturers. IIRC, it resulted in some fairly strict guidelines coming down from BATFE. At the time, AAC was hosting a contest wherein owners of other manufacturers' cans would submit a photo and AAC would pick a monthly winner and then rebuild the winner's can so that it had the same baffle design of a similar AAC can. With almost alarming regularity, it seemed the winners were always GemTech owners. In affect, the contest winners were disposing of their old cans and getting a different one, with the same manufacturer, model, and serial number as the one they already owned. BATFE determined they were taking possession of a different can and AAC had to stop the contest.
Link Posted: 4/12/2016 2:58:45 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By tony_k:

It did not apply to registered machine guns, although many folks thought it did (including Olympic, until ATF ordered them to stop replacing receivers).

The reason is the wording of the two different pieces of legislation:

-- The 1994 federal AW ban said that as of a certain date, so-called "assault weapons" could no longer be manufactured for civilian ownership. It made no mention of AW's lawfully produced and sold prior to that date.

-- The Hughes Amendment, incorporated into the Firearms Owner's Protection Act of 1986, ruled that no machine guns may be lawfully owned or possessed by civilians. None -- they were all banned. However, it provided an affirmative defense against prosecution if the owner could prove that it had been manufactured and registered prior to May 19, 1986. So in effect, every machine gun is illegal for civilians -- but you cannot be prosecuted if you can prove that it was both made and registered prior to the cutoff date, so your ATF Form 1/2/3/4/5 is a get-out-of-jail card.

Thus, you could lawfully replace an AW's receiver with a new one with the same SN. But you cannot do that on a machine gun, because the receiver has to have been manufactured prior to May 19, 1986.
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Originally Posted By tony_k:
Originally Posted By motown_steve:
I remember that there was a ruling by the BATFE during the assault weapons ban that a manufacturer could replace an entire receiver of an AR-15, using the same serial number as the destroyed serial number as part of a warranty replacement. I remember it because there were instances where someone had a weapon break and Bushmaster replaced the receiver with the old serial number. The Brady Bunch shit a brick over this because they were counting on guns breaking over time to help reduce the number of "assault weapons" in civilian hands, and the BATFE ruling shot that hope right in the ass.

I don't know that this applies to NFA weapons or not.

It did not apply to registered machine guns, although many folks thought it did (including Olympic, until ATF ordered them to stop replacing receivers).

The reason is the wording of the two different pieces of legislation:

-- The 1994 federal AW ban said that as of a certain date, so-called "assault weapons" could no longer be manufactured for civilian ownership. It made no mention of AW's lawfully produced and sold prior to that date.

-- The Hughes Amendment, incorporated into the Firearms Owner's Protection Act of 1986, ruled that no machine guns may be lawfully owned or possessed by civilians. None -- they were all banned. However, it provided an affirmative defense against prosecution if the owner could prove that it had been manufactured and registered prior to May 19, 1986. So in effect, every machine gun is illegal for civilians -- but you cannot be prosecuted if you can prove that it was both made and registered prior to the cutoff date, so your ATF Form 1/2/3/4/5 is a get-out-of-jail card.

Thus, you could lawfully replace an AW's receiver with a new one with the same SN. But you cannot do that on a machine gun, because the receiver has to have been manufactured prior to May 19, 1986.
I always enjoy your knowledge shared here Tony. I hope this is not a hijack but what is your opinion on the origin of the NIB with post 86 manuals, Black anodized M16A2s that showed up at a well known dealers site last year. I was under the impression that they were "replacements".
Link Posted: 4/12/2016 3:04:46 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tony_k:

It did not apply to registered machine guns, although many folks thought it did (including Olympic, until ATF ordered them to stop replacing receivers).

The reason is the wording of the two different pieces of legislation:

-- The 1994 federal AW ban said that as of a certain date, so-called "assault weapons" could no longer be manufactured for civilian ownership. It made no mention of AW's lawfully produced and sold prior to that date.

-- The Hughes Amendment, incorporated into the Firearms Owner's Protection Act of 1986, ruled that no machine guns may be lawfully owned or possessed by civilians. None -- they were all banned. However, it provided an affirmative defense against prosecution if the owner could prove that it had been manufactured and registered prior to May 19, 1986. So in effect, every machine gun is illegal for civilians -- but you cannot be prosecuted if you can prove that it was both made and registered prior to the cutoff date, so your ATF Form 1/2/3/4/5 is a get-out-of-jail card.

Thus, you could lawfully replace an AW's receiver with a new one with the same SN. But you cannot do that on a machine gun, because the receiver has to have been manufactured prior to May 19, 1986.
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Originally Posted By tony_k:
Originally Posted By motown_steve:
I remember that there was a ruling by the BATFE during the assault weapons ban that a manufacturer could replace an entire receiver of an AR-15, using the same serial number as the destroyed serial number as part of a warranty replacement. I remember it because there were instances where someone had a weapon break and Bushmaster replaced the receiver with the old serial number. The Brady Bunch shit a brick over this because they were counting on guns breaking over time to help reduce the number of "assault weapons" in civilian hands, and the BATFE ruling shot that hope right in the ass.

I don't know that this applies to NFA weapons or not.

It did not apply to registered machine guns, although many folks thought it did (including Olympic, until ATF ordered them to stop replacing receivers).

The reason is the wording of the two different pieces of legislation:

-- The 1994 federal AW ban said that as of a certain date, so-called "assault weapons" could no longer be manufactured for civilian ownership. It made no mention of AW's lawfully produced and sold prior to that date.

-- The Hughes Amendment, incorporated into the Firearms Owner's Protection Act of 1986, ruled that no machine guns may be lawfully owned or possessed by civilians. None -- they were all banned. However, it provided an affirmative defense against prosecution if the owner could prove that it had been manufactured and registered prior to May 19, 1986. So in effect, every machine gun is illegal for civilians -- but you cannot be prosecuted if you can prove that it was both made and registered prior to the cutoff date, so your ATF Form 1/2/3/4/5 is a get-out-of-jail card.

Thus, you could lawfully replace an AW's receiver with a new one with the same SN. But you cannot do that on a machine gun, because the receiver has to have been manufactured prior to May 19, 1986.


Actually the AW Ban statute 922 (v) reads almost exactly like the Machine Gun Ban 922 (o).

I.E. it bans it, then says it is OK as long as it was lawfully possessed before the effective date of Enactment which was September 14, 1994.

922
(v)(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer,
or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.
‘‘(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the possession or transfer
of any semiautomatic assault weapon otherwise lawfully possessed
under Federal law on the date of the enactment of this subsection.


If I recall correctly, ATF has ruled it is OK for a licensed manufacturer to replace the receiver of a registered machinegun as long as it is actually the same company that registered it.

Where Olympic Arms got into trouble was it was replacing receivers of machineguns that they themselves had manufactured in Semi-Auto configuration but PAWS a separate company, had drilled the auto sear hole and filed the actual Form 2. Or was replacing receivers registered by SGW their predecessor.

Now keep in mind just because a manufacturer uses the same trade name doesn't mean it is the same company in the eyes of the ATF. For example, I believe Strum Ruger would qualify to replace the receivers on an AC 556 because they have continuously been in business and held an SOT since the time of the registration. But a company like Colt who has gone through multiple reorganizations would NOT be eligible to replace a damaged receiver with the same serial number due to the fact the company has not been continuously in business since the receiver was manufactured.
Link Posted: 4/12/2016 3:26:39 PM EDT
To answer safetyoff's question about the NIB Colt M16A2's, I personally believe they are replacements, I wouldn't touch one with a 10 foot pole if it was my money.

I think they are one ATF ruling away from being confiscated as contraban and the current owner left holding the bag.

Of course I think the "New" rebuilt Oly Arms receivers are in the same boat. So far ATF has let those slide, but they could change their mind at any time and declare them all Post 86 samples and confiscate them with no compensation to their current owners.
Link Posted: 4/12/2016 3:46:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/12/2016 7:18:16 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By SecondAmend:
From what I've read on the internet, virtually every Olympic Arms made "M16 pattern" RR has been to one shop or another to be repaired into mil spec so that it could actually be used with mil spec parts. The 100 or so Group Industries stainless steel M16 lowers were also notorious for needing tweaking - usually for overly tight magwells.

MHO, YMMV, etc.
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Mine has not been worked on.
Link Posted: 4/13/2016 1:11:40 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By gmtmaster:


Mine has not been worked on.
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Originally Posted By gmtmaster:
Originally Posted By SecondAmend:
From what I've read on the internet, virtually every Olympic Arms made "M16 pattern" RR has been to one shop or another to be repaired into mil spec so that it could actually be used with mil spec parts. The 100 or so Group Industries stainless steel M16 lowers were also notorious for needing tweaking - usually for overly tight magwells.

MHO, YMMV, etc.


Mine has not been worked on.


There are still quite a few out there that have not been worked on, mine was not.

But is becoming more common. A decade or two ago when MGs were still "Cheap" it didnt make sense to pay someone $500-1000 to work on a oly arms lower that was out of spec, you just take than money and upgrade to a colt. But now with non-colt RR running close to $20k and Colt RR around $30k, buying a out of spec oly and having it worked on is a great way to save some cash especially if youre just looking for a shooter or trying to get into the M16 world on a budget.
Link Posted: 4/13/2016 11:16:04 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By tony_k:


Well, one clear way to tell is to check the receiver. If it has A3 reinforcements -- and some of these do have them -- it definitely is post-1986, because the A3 design didn't come along until the 1990's.

Here is the difference:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/M16A2vA3reinforcements1.jpg
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Originally Posted By tony_k:
Originally Posted By safetyoff:
I hope this is not a hijack but what is your opinion on the origin of the NIB with post 86 manuals, Black anodized M16A2s that showed up at a well known dealers site last year. I was under the impression that they were "replacements".


Well, one clear way to tell is to check the receiver. If it has A3 reinforcements -- and some of these do have them -- it definitely is post-1986, because the A3 design didn't come along until the 1990's.

Here is the difference:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/M16A2vA3reinforcements1.jpg



I don't own any of those guns that came on the market last year, but I followed the auctions with interest and examined some of the guns in person.

The ones I saw had A2 receivers.

Link Posted: 4/13/2016 1:39:31 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By cyborg543:
Here's how I would handle it -

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I would repair it, never post anything on net, and never tell anybody.

Funny concept, but I am old school.
Link Posted: 4/13/2016 2:03:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/13/2016 2:14:21 PM EDT by jbntex]
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Originally Posted By Spartikis:


There are still quite a few out there that have not been worked on, mine was not.

But is becoming more common. A decade or two ago when MGs were still "Cheap" it didnt make sense to pay someone $500-1000 to work on a oly arms lower that was out of spec, you just take than money and upgrade to a colt. But now with non-colt RR running close to $20k and Colt RR around $30k, buying a out of spec oly and having it worked on is a great way to save some cash especially if youre just looking for a shooter or trying to get into the M16 world on a budget.
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Originally Posted By Spartikis:
Originally Posted By gmtmaster:
Originally Posted By SecondAmend:
From what I've read on the internet, virtually every Olympic Arms made "M16 pattern" RR has been to one shop or another to be repaired into mil spec so that it could actually be used with mil spec parts. The 100 or so Group Industries stainless steel M16 lowers were also notorious for needing tweaking - usually for overly tight magwells.

MHO, YMMV, etc.


Mine has not been worked on.


There are still quite a few out there that have not been worked on, mine was not.

But is becoming more common. A decade or two ago when MGs were still "Cheap" it didnt make sense to pay someone $500-1000 to work on a oly arms lower that was out of spec, you just take than money and upgrade to a colt. But now with non-colt RR running close to $20k and Colt RR around $30k, buying a out of spec oly and having it worked on is a great way to save some cash especially if youre just looking for a shooter or trying to get into the M16 world on a budget.


I have two of them. One has been worked on and one has not.

The older of the two pretty much takes normal uppers at this point as I think a decade of shooting it has slowly worn down any high spots on the receiver. The mag well is a bit tight and doesn't drop p-mags free. Regular USGI or E-Mags are no issue. Never really concerned me since I have never really been a pmag fan.

The other one just had the top of the receiver shelf milled by a couple thousandths and the front take down lugs widen a smidge as well. The mag well was fine out of the box.

I don't see how the traditional Oly "bring to spec" type "repair" could in any way be construed as remanufacturing a post sample when you are talking about removing a thousandth or two from a bearing surface.

OP what do you need to have repaired on your Oly?
Link Posted: 4/13/2016 5:46:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/13/2016 5:59:06 PM EDT by cyborg543]
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Originally Posted By BigHunt:
To answer safetyoff's question about the NIB Colt M16A2's, I personally believe they are replacements, I wouldn't touch one with a 10 foot pole if it was my money.

I think they are one ATF ruling away from being confiscated as contraban and the current owner left holding the bag.

Of course I think the "New" rebuilt Oly Arms receivers are in the same boat. So far ATF has let those slide, but they could change their mind at any time and declare them all Post 86 samples and confiscate them with no compensation to their current owners.
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I examined several of those guns in person and they looked absolutely legitimate.

If there was anything "replacement" about the guns or on the guns, it was not detectable.

It pays to be wary, but it doesn't pay to see a something wrong when it's not actually wrong.
Link Posted: 4/13/2016 5:58:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:


I would repair it, never post anything on net, and never tell anybody.

Funny concept, but I am old school.
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By cyborg543:
Here's how I would handle it -



I would repair it, never post anything on net, and never tell anybody.

Funny concept, but I am old school.



where's the challenge in that?

Seriously, not everyone does their own repairs. So unless you plan on killing the gunsmith after he does the repair, then there is a potential that the repair would become known to whoever.


I'm not sure exactly what the OP is referring to when he says "repairs".

Has ATF ever dropped the hammer of doom on anyone for repairing a crack or re-machining some out of spec holes?

I would bet you dollars to donuts that the only things ATF is worried about is people morphing MAC10s into M60s or similar hokus pokus.


Why would they care if you get your M11/9 refinished and rewelded?

It's not our fault that a lot of these guns were slapped together by people who couldn't weld or use a drill press accurately.

How about when you have an FNC machined to take a FA sear, they are literally converting the lower on the gun from SA to FA. But ATF officially doesn't care.



Link Posted: 4/13/2016 6:01:34 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By cyborg543:



where's the challenge in that?

Seriously, not everyone does their own repairs. So unless you plan on killing the gunsmith after he does the repair, then there is a potential that the repair would become known to whoever.

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Originally Posted By cyborg543:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By cyborg543:
Here's how I would handle it -



I would repair it, never post anything on net, and never tell anybody.

Funny concept, but I am old school.



where's the challenge in that?

Seriously, not everyone does their own repairs. So unless you plan on killing the gunsmith after he does the repair, then there is a potential that the repair would become known to whoever.



No need to whack the gunsmith. Just no need to blab all over the internet and invite scrutiny. How did that work out for the GemTax?

Link Posted: 4/13/2016 6:12:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/13/2016 6:13:00 PM EDT by cyborg543]
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:


No need to whack the gunsmith. Just no need to blab all over the internet and invite scrutiny. How did that work out for the GemTax?

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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By cyborg543:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By cyborg543:
Here's how I would handle it -



I would repair it, never post anything on net, and never tell anybody.

Funny concept, but I am old school.



where's the challenge in that?

Seriously, not everyone does their own repairs. So unless you plan on killing the gunsmith after he does the repair, then there is a potential that the repair would become known to whoever.



No need to whack the gunsmith. Just no need to blab all over the internet and invite scrutiny. How did that work out for the GemTax?




Well of course.

Telling someone that you're doing something definitely increases the odds that they will find out.

On the other hand, when a bunch of gunsmiths are openly and even famously making a living repairing MGs, the cat's out of the bag already.


In the 1970s, Numrich had some reverse-engineered Thompsons made called "West Hurleys". They have a number of dimensional problems, particularly the blish lock slots.

So there are several guys who actually install a big steel sleeve and machine new slots. If that doesn't count as a major repair, then nothing does.

This repair has been discussed openly for decades.


I think this thread is kind of paranoid, just seeing a boogeyman under the bed.

Show me where it says anywhere that you cannot repair a gun.





Link Posted: 4/13/2016 6:24:06 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By cyborg543:

I think this thread is kind of paranoid, just seeing a boogeyman under the bed.

Show me where it says anywhere that you cannot repair a gun.

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Originally Posted By cyborg543:

I think this thread is kind of paranoid, just seeing a boogeyman under the bed.

Show me where it says anywhere that you cannot repair a gun.



You are one who started the paranoia - if it is so obviously legal, why are you worried about defending it in court?

Originally Posted By cyborg543:

Here's how I would handle it -

I would restrict my repairs to what a jury of 12 dingbats would reasonably consider a repair.

Link Posted: 4/14/2016 5:37:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/14/2016 5:43:31 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By tony_k:
If you have seen an ATF or court ruling that such a replacement is lawful, I would love to see it. I've been involved with MGs since long before 1986, and researching these issues has consumed way too much of my life (and not just in my wife's opinion). I would be glad to say "You're right, I'm wrong," because if it indeed were legal, many MGs could be made as-new.

Until I see such a ruling, however, I will remain firm in my stance.
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CC me on that.

The most current rulings I have seen, which now apply to all firearms, is the serialized component cannot be replaced with same once the unit leaves the MFG area.
Link Posted: 4/14/2016 5:44:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/14/2016 5:45:02 PM EDT by tony_k]
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 10:47:57 AM EDT
Tony. After looking around I have to admit you were right. After the Olympic Arms exchanges were shut down it appears the BATFE issued a ruling that machinegun receivers could not be replaced, only repaired.

I still maintain that before this ruling manufacturers were able to replace receivers on an exchange basis as with any other firearm, I think what attracted the ATF's attention was the fact that OLY was replacing ANY OLY registered receiver regardless of who had actually registered it. This I understand would not be allowed as they were not the original manufacturer.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 1:00:52 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By BigHunt:
Tony. After looking around I have to admit you were right. After the Olympic Arms exchanges were shut down it appears the BATFE issued a ruling that machinegun receivers could not be replaced, only repaired.

I still maintain that before this ruling manufacturers were able to replace receivers on an exchange basis as with any other firearm, I think what attracted the ATF's attention was the fact that OLY was replacing ANY OLY registered receiver regardless of who had actually registered it. This I understand would not be allowed as they were not the original manufacturer.
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Aside from Colt and Ruger, whose procedures/policy for receiver replacement was well known, what other "manufacturers" are you talking about?
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 5:44:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/18/2016 10:13:04 PM EDT by SFHC]
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Originally Posted By Villafuego:


Aside from Colt and Ruger, whose procedures/policy for receiver replacement was well known, what other "manufacturers" are you talking about?
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Originally Posted By Villafuego:
Originally Posted By BigHunt:
Tony. After looking around I have to admit you were right. After the Olympic Arms exchanges were shut down it appears the BATFE issued a ruling that machinegun receivers could not be replaced, only repaired.

I still maintain that before this ruling manufacturers were able to replace receivers on an exchange basis as with any other firearm, I think what attracted the ATF's attention was the fact that OLY was replacing ANY OLY registered receiver regardless of who had actually registered it. This I understand would not be allowed as they were not the original manufacturer.


Aside from Colt and Ruger, whose procedures/policy for receiver replacement was well known, what other "manufacturers" are you talking about?


Olympic would replace any of their lowers that where converted by other companies. Most(if not all) Olympic M16's where actually registered as MG's by a third party SOT like PAWS or Weapon Specalities. So when Olympic started replacing old M16 lowers that where built on one of their receivers they were engraving someone else's info like PAWS on it, which as far as I'm concerned is breaking the law. Sure it was their lower that was a host, but they weren't the one on the F2. That's why I wouldn't suggest anyone touching a new billet oly M16 lower with a 10' pole. I'd be worried they are one ruling away from being contra ban.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 6:47:37 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By SFHC:


Olympic would replace any of their lowers that where converted by other companies. Most(if not all) Olympic M16's where actually registered as MG's by a third party SOT like PAWS or Weapon Specalities. So when Olympic started replacing old M16 lowers that where built on one of their receivers they were engraving someone else's info like PAWS on it, which as far as I'm concerned is breaking the law. Sure it was their lower that was a host, but they where the one on the F2. That's why I wouldn't suggest anyone touching a new billet oly M16 lower with a 10' pole. I'd be worried they are one ruling away from being contra ban.
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Originally Posted By SFHC:
Originally Posted By Villafuego:
Originally Posted By BigHunt:
Tony. After looking around I have to admit you were right. After the Olympic Arms exchanges were shut down it appears the BATFE issued a ruling that machinegun receivers could not be replaced, only repaired.

I still maintain that before this ruling manufacturers were able to replace receivers on an exchange basis as with any other firearm, I think what attracted the ATF's attention was the fact that OLY was replacing ANY OLY registered receiver regardless of who had actually registered it. This I understand would not be allowed as they were not the original manufacturer.


Aside from Colt and Ruger, whose procedures/policy for receiver replacement was well known, what other "manufacturers" are you talking about?


Olympic would replace any of their lowers that where converted by other companies. Most(if not all) Olympic M16's where actually registered as MG's by a third party SOT like PAWS or Weapon Specalities. So when Olympic started replacing old M16 lowers that where built on one of their receivers they were engraving someone else's info like PAWS on it, which as far as I'm concerned is breaking the law. Sure it was their lower that was a host, but they where the one on the F2. That's why I wouldn't suggest anyone touching a new billet oly M16 lower with a 10' pole. I'd be worried they are one ruling away from being contra ban.


I'm familiar with the Olympic thing.......it was never kosher to begin with......my question to Bighunt was can he name a domestic MG manufacturer (not "convertor") that had any type of receiver replacement/exchange program other than Colt or Ruger.......and if so.....what was their policy/procedure???? If he maintains this was was actually done, what is this based on?
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 7:19:52 PM EDT
I am simply stating that published federal rulings by ATF had long allowed any firearm receiver Title 1 or Title 2 to be replaced with the same serial number by the original manufacturer. This is what Oly claimed they were doing. When in fact they were not the NFA manufacturer of record on the registry. After the Oly incident the ATF clarified the ruling to not apply Title 2 machine guns.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 7:22:56 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By BigHunt:
I am simply stating that published federal rulings by ATF had long allowed any firearm receiver Title 1 or Title 2 to be replaced with the same serial number by the original manufacturer.
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No rule ever said this. In fact just the opposite, Serial Numbers must be unique and never re-used. Clarification came out a few years ago it could only be done before the receiver leaves the MFG area. Once it leaves that area, it is considered made and cannot be replaced.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 7:31:42 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:


You are one who started the paranoia - if it is so obviously legal, why are you worried about defending it in court?

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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By cyborg543:

I think this thread is kind of paranoid, just seeing a boogeyman under the bed.

Show me where it says anywhere that you cannot repair a gun.



You are one who started the paranoia - if it is so obviously legal, why are you worried about defending it in court?

Originally Posted By cyborg543:

Here's how I would handle it -

I would restrict my repairs to what a jury of 12 dingbats would reasonably consider a repair.




I thought the whole subject of the thread was the legality of repairing receivers. Which according to certain world class experts, we're supposed to keep secret. Because of the scrutiny of Big Brother.

Oh well, wrong again. Cue sad music.
Link Posted: 4/18/2016 9:19:19 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By SiVisPacem:


Back in 2007-2008 time frame, AAC and GemTech got into an online pissing match over manufacturers making "repairs" to suppressors built by other manufacturers. IIRC, it resulted in some fairly strict guidelines coming down from BATFE. At the time, AAC was hosting a contest wherein owners of other manufacturers' cans would submit a photo and AAC would pick a monthly winner and then rebuild the winner's can so that it had the same baffle design of a similar AAC can. With almost alarming regularity, it seemed the winners were always GemTech owners. In affect, the contest winners were disposing of their old cans and getting a different one, with the same manufacturer, model, and serial number as the one they already owned. BATFE determined they were taking possession of a different can and AAC had to stop the contest.
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Originally Posted By SiVisPacem:
Originally Posted By Steamedliver:
Originally Posted By tony_k:
I have never seen or heard of any such guidelines issued by BATFE.

Therefore, what you need to do is work backwards (which is what your attorney would do, should you ever be challenged by ATF about repair work):

ATF has issued very detailed regulations about how a machine gun must be demilled. It varies by type of machine gun, and they will send you detailed drawings for a particular model if requested.

In general, though, the regs and drawings amount to cutting the receiver into three roughly equal-size parts (the precise placement of the cuts is indicated on the ATF drawings) and at least one section, almost always the middle one, must be discarded or destroyed.

Doing anything less than the above results IMHO in an incomplete demilling, and the machine gun remains "live" and requiring continued registration and treatment as a live firearm.

So: If your repair never reaches the point where the receiver is considered demilled under federal law, it therefore must have remained the live machine gun registered to you.

At least, that is the argument I would ask my attorney to use. However, I myself am not an attorney, and the above should not be considered legal advice, yada yada yada.

And note that the above does not include modifying a transferable MG into a different model of machine gun. They has been covered in many court cases, and the courts have backed up ATF on this.

Your Mileage May Vary.



I have seen the de-milling pictures for various machine guns. It was a dry read. That language is very precise on cut placement. Example, if the serial number is completely cut from the receiver it is still considered a registered receiver, because it is NOT demilled according to the guidelines. From that it can be repaired. All the material around that could technically be replaced.

Everything else is kinda non existent. Example take a registered receiver and transfer the serial to a new receiver and destroy the old one. I have read that is completely illegal, or is it? Olympic Arms and Colt used to do it (or so I have read). Then they stopped. Was it illegal? Or frowned upon? Was it not profitable? If it was illegal then the ATF would have gone after the owners of those receivers. Never read they didn't.

Reason for my question. I have always understood that once you have a suppressor, the caliber of the suppressor can NOT be changed. Example a 9mm suppressor can NOT be converted to a 45 caliber suppressor. Everyone thumps that bible. Now a major suppressor manufacturer is doing just that. I know suppressors fall under different legal verbiage than receivers. Its just that I've read that so many times, that I took it for being true.

People say the "original" manufacturer can make those changes. Is the word "original" actually in the ATF language? Thats just something I have read.

I'm not advocating anything, just want to read it. For the record I bought an Olympic PAWS receiver from Tony_K, it works fine. I don't require any modification of it.

Thing about the ATF language is that the rules are open to interpretation and then the interpretation can be reviewed and changed.

Edit: To be clear, I'm asking for where I can read more on it. I have found dozens of opinions, but I can't find what those opinions are actually based on.


Back in 2007-2008 time frame, AAC and GemTech got into an online pissing match over manufacturers making "repairs" to suppressors built by other manufacturers. IIRC, it resulted in some fairly strict guidelines coming down from BATFE. At the time, AAC was hosting a contest wherein owners of other manufacturers' cans would submit a photo and AAC would pick a monthly winner and then rebuild the winner's can so that it had the same baffle design of a similar AAC can. With almost alarming regularity, it seemed the winners were always GemTech owners. In affect, the contest winners were disposing of their old cans and getting a different one, with the same manufacturer, model, and serial number as the one they already owned. BATFE determined they were taking possession of a different can and AAC had to stop the contest.



I knew the premise of AAC rebuilding Gemtech cans using Gemtech SNs but I ever knew it was a photo contest type thing. Thanks for the education
Link Posted: 4/20/2016 6:09:43 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By BigHunt:
I am simply stating that published federal rulings by ATF had long allowed any firearm receiver Title 1 or Title 2 to be replaced with the same serial number by the original manufacturer. This is what Oly claimed they were doing. When in fact they were not the NFA manufacturer of record on the registry. After the Oly incident the ATF clarified the ruling to not apply Title 2 machine guns.
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Do you have an insight on where I can find that ruling? I'd like to read the original ATF statement without interpretation.
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