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Posted: 9/1/2005 8:11:38 PM EDT
From browsing around, does that mean you get an 80% receiver shipped to you and you can build the rest of it yourself?

Can you legally build an AR-15 from an 80% or does it still have to have a fixed mag, etc?

If it's the latter case, why not just buy a fab-10?
Link Posted: 9/1/2005 9:42:57 PM EDT
As most 80% manufacturers will tell you, building a 80%er is NOT for finacial reasons. The 80% receiver alone will cost more, usually, than a completed lower. So why bother? Well several reasons ranging from just for the hell of it, to knowing you built it, and also the fact for custom fiting every single part (possibly good or bad).

In California, WITH APPROVAL FROM THE DOJ FIRST, you can finish an 80%er as long as it complys with all Federal, State, and local laws. In most cases, pinning the mag well in place is good enough.

The 80% 'receiver' is not really a receiver....yet. It is at the most complete form of the metal block that it will stay at. It is, in the legal sense, a hunk of metal. The SECOND anything is done to it to further its progression into being a firearm, even if that is drilling a small hole for a spring, it is becomes a firearm (in the ATF's eyes). The DOJ has taken the stance that only 100% finished receivers are true firearms, but that could change at any second.

Check out some places about it and see if it is something you want to do, then contact the DOJ. I would suggest starting at www.Footpounds.com.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 7:08:06 PM EDT
This was DOJ reply regarding the very same subject: DOJ letter
I would be wary of having an 80% receiver unless I see something different from the DOJ.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 7:42:08 PM EDT
That same guy said the same thing to me after 3 other reps said the exact opposite. I think that guy is like gun shop owners and they hear "AR" and instantly say it is illegal. the CA DOJ and the ATF do not recognize 80% receivers as firearms and as such they can not be regulated as a firearm.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 8:16:44 PM EDT
Can you post your replies? Mine was from a "field representative" which doesn't really mean anything. Yours might carry more weight. Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 9/3/2005 9:03:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2005 9:03:46 PM EDT by NeoWeird]
My querry about making my own fixed mag AR:

Mr. ******:

California Penal Code (PC) section 12276 defines an assault weapon as a
semi-automatic firearm and by the make & model. All these models have a
detachable magazine. The AR 15 is listed.

Penal Code section 12276.1, additionally, defines an assault weapon by
the characteristics on the firearm. One of the categories is " A
semi-automatic rifle with a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept
more than 10 rounds. PC 12280 prohibits the manufacture of an assault

The modification to a permanently fixed magazine (not capable of being
reversed back to a detachable) that can not accept more than 10 rounds
would be an acceptable modification.

For information regarding the above cited Penal Code sections,visit the
Department of Justice website; www.ag.ca.gov/firearms, via the Dangerous
Weapons Control Laws. If you need further assistance, contact the
Department of Justice at (916) 263-4887.

Kathy Quinn, Field Representative
Firearms Division

About 80% handguns in general:

Dear Mr. ******:

In response, have you contacted the ATF office in your area regarding the federal restrictions on manufacturing of handguns? With certain exceptions, it is a permitted activity. Could you provide me with a daytime telephone number to discuss the issues with you?

Mr. Dana McKinnon
Field Representative
Firearms Division
(916) 263-4881

Querry about modifing an 80% rifle receiver of an assault weapon to accept only rimfire ammunition and then completing now non-assault weapon. The example used was permanently attaching a cross bar in the mag well of an AR and then cutting down into the rimfire magazine behind the bullets. The Rimfire mag would then go around the cross bar, however centerfire ammunition, which is longer, couldn't.

Dear Mr. ******:

In response to your correspondence, assault weapons as defined by California Penal Code section 12276.1 would exclude a rifle that fires only .22 cal rimfire ammunition.

Mr. Dana McKinnon
Field Representative
Firearms Division
(916) 263-4881

My very first querry. Took almost a year to get a response. The querry was about the legality of the "nut on the mag release so you can't press it" mod. By the time they responded, it had moved web domains.

Dear Mr. ******:

I went to the websight you mentioned and there were no firearms on it; it was an advertisement for purchasing websight addresses. It is up to you to determine the legality of a firearm. To make this determination, refer to our website and open the online publication, "Assault Weapon Identification Guide."

Essentially, if the ca-15 has a receiver that, when put together with AR-15 parts, would function as an AR-15, then it is an assault weapon under the series portion of the assault weapon law, and prohibited under CA law. If the receiver of said rifle would not function as an AR-15 receiver, then you must determine whether the rifle can meet the definition of assault weapon rifle under the characteristics portion of the assault weapon law, i.e., Penal Code 12276.1.

You can find this penal code in its entirety on our website at: www.ag.ca.gov/firearms , on the left side of the screen you will see the online publication DANGEROUS WEAPONS CONTROL LAWS.

Sally Carney, Field Representative
Firearms Division

Querry to get an actual response to 80% handguns:

Dear Mr. ******,

Thank you for your inquiry.

California law prohibits a person from building his or her own handgun for personal use pursuant to Penal Code section 12125. However, one can build a long gun as long as it is not an assault weapon under California law. Additionally, long guns must have a serial number assigned to them.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Firearms Division at 916-263-4887.


Lisa Strange, Analyst
Firearms Division
(916) 263-4882

Question about building an AR style pistol, with an 80%er or a manufactured receiver:

Mr. ******: In response to your August 6, 2005, Penal Code section 12125 does not allow the manufacturer of handguns since they would not be tested and be approved by California. In addition, an AR-15 receiver (whether 80% or not) is an assault weapon and cannot be imported into California.

David A. Witt, Field Representative
Department of Justice
Firearms Division
(916) 263-8180

Now, in all of those I mentioned 80% receivers because it was around the time I started to make mine. I was curious and cautious, so instead of debating it on the forums I went and asked for the answer. Not a single person said a single thing about 80% reicevers, and most of them referred straight to the AR 80% receiver. David Witt however instantly says that any AR reicever, whether 80% or not, is illegal. He doesn't even site any penal code for it (even though I am sure we all know it by now). He just says "AR?.....ILLEGAL!" You will also notice that he answered the first half, about Handguns and sited the penal code for it and why it would not be legal, but for the AR he just says "it's illegal". He didn't give it any though or even look into it. Just "Illegal".

Just remember two things:

1. Yes, Any AR reciever completed to any degree is illegal.
2. an 80% 'receiver' is not a receiver yet. Once it passes on into the 81%+ range, then it is a reciever.

So if you get approval, modify the mag so it is permanently attached (and thus not an AR by series or an AW by feature) then when it passes on into the 81% range then it is not an AR receiver and is not illegal.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 8:28:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 10:34:59 AM EDT
Thanks for the input, guys; you have cleared up the real question I had, which was when does it become a receiver. From your answers I see it is 81% or so. I think, I see a trip to Nevada soon.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 2:02:09 PM EDT
Well several people have already asked about replacing mags on the fixed mag ARs, and the DOJ has said that you can take them out for repairs as long as it is only the length of time needed to do the repair.

So you can get around it by jb welding something in the mag well (like a fab 10), completeing the firearm, drilling the whole for the mag pin, remove the soft jb weld, insert magazine and permanently attach.

It was never an assault weapon, except for the time you did a reapir to the magazine, which you had permission from if you write the DOJ.
Link Posted: 9/4/2005 11:51:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2005 11:54:02 PM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Here are my fantasies:

1. Make an AR-type receiver with a super powerful magnet that "FIXES" the magazine magnetically. You need steel bodied magazines but they are available. Insert magazine and voila, it locks in place. You use your secret decoder ring to release the magazine in the event a repair is needed.

2. Even some sort of hot melt glue would work. For repairs, get it hot and pull out magazine.

3. How about a key-activated lock. You insert magazine and lock it in place. Locks come in MANY forms, not all are tumbler keyed. It could be a perfunctory lock as long as it is positive and requires a "key" to unlock. For repairs, you unlock and remove.

The important thing is that the magazine is not removable without a tool.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:37:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
If you take a file to an 80% to convert it to an 81% receiver you have however manufactured an assualt weapon and you're going to face charges.

Do you have any reference for that?? The dealer I got my 80%'s from said that they were "non-weapons" up until 99%.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 2:54:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lon_Moer:

Originally Posted By Paul:
If you take a file to an 80% to convert it to an 81% receiver you have however manufactured an assualt weapon and you're going to face charges.

Do you have any reference for that?? The dealer I got my 80%'s from said that they were "non-weapons" up until 99%.

I've never seen the law, only read what others say about it, but all I have seen is that 81% is "too far".

Thats why they are all 80% and not 81, 82, 83 , 84 ,85, ..... 90, 91......98 or 99%.

Makes sense if you think about it. If the law was 99% they would sell alot more incomplete lowers if they were 97% complete and you only had to tap the buffer..
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