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Posted: 11/29/2005 7:47:09 PM EDT
Folks,

Ok, got a stripped pistol lower, really want to build a rifle - (reservist w/ not enough trigger time) - but would like to preserve my legal ability to build a proper pistol in the future. So - build as a pistol 1st, document, take & post photos? Thus giving the confiscators something to shoot for :)

Then, order the long bbl, install, then order the stock & install.

Is that all my i's crossed & my t's dotted?

Cheap options:

Use a full length buffer? Does it just screw in, or am I missing something?
Chop the used 20" stripped fluted bbl short of the gas port, & use that for a manually operated repeater?

Gig 'em,

PO2 backbencher USNR

PS - Just a suggestion, but perhaps the AR Pistol Information Thread could be slimmed down? 32 pages is a long read for a FAQ. bb <--- volunteers to summarize if an expert will edit.
Link Posted: 11/29/2005 8:06:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By backbencher:
Folks,

Ok, got a stripped pistol lower, really want to build a rifle - (reservist w/ not enough trigger time) - but would like to preserve my legal ability to build a proper pistol in the future. So - build as a pistol 1st, document, take & post photos? Thus giving the confiscators something to shoot for :)

Then, order the long bbl, install, then order the stock & install.

Is that all my i's crossed & my t's dotted?

Cheap options:

Use a full length buffer? Does it just screw in, or am I missing something?
Chop the used 20" stripped fluted bbl short of the gas port, & use that for a manually operated repeater?

Gig 'em,

PO2 backbencher USNR

PS - Just a suggestion, but perhaps the AR Pistol Information Thread could be slimmed down? 32 pages is a long read for a FAQ. bb <--- volunteers to summarize if an expert will edit.



it is my knowledge that once you convert the pistol to a long rifle, you cannot legally convert
it back into pistol. why dont you just buy another lower, they are cheap enough to buy a couple and
just keep the pistol lower on hold until you can do the project.
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 5:13:54 AM EDT
It has to be a pistol first, but once it is a pistol, it can go to a rifle as long as at least a 16” barrel is installed before the stock.
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 5:59:04 AM EDT
donovan,

What you say would make it extremely difficult for Thompson Center Contender owners, who regularly convert their single shot pistols to rifles & back again. As I understand it, the trick is the receiver has to be built into a pistol 1st, then can be flipped back & forth, as Airman mills says, taking the precaution to remove the stock before removing the long bbl.

No offense, but I'd rather spend my next $100 on beer.

Has anyone gone the gasless route & operate their pistol manually? Anyone know any legal or installation issues w/ using the full length buffer tube? Anyone in the N Texas area want to take pity on me & let me borrow their pistol upper for 10 minutes to take pictures? Anyone think this is a completely pointless exercise in meaningless law loophole jumping?

Gig 'em,

backbencher
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 6:30:43 AM EDT
BackBencher:

You don't need no steenkin' gas system....

If all you want is to establish a pistol, then install a worn out M16 barrel, lopped off to 6 inches or so.

No gas system needed - it becomes a straight pull bolt action. Just use a barrel nut - no handguard. Screw a buffer tube in, and have a ball. Don't forget your earplugs...


Lem
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 8:24:04 AM EDT
Lem,

Exactly what I was thinking. I just picked up a very nice used fluted bbl, but it's completely stripped - not even a bbl nut or front sight. Was thinking of chopping that for my cheap & dirty pistol. If I could get a chronograph, I could chop it all the way back to an inch, one inch @ a time & record the results :) & the fireballs :)

With the full length buffer tube, do we run into any legal issues if the pistol is longer than 26.5"? I'm in Texas, so no state problems, but anyone know of some obscure interpetation of the law the BATFE is using this week?

So I am right in thinking the full length buffer tube simply screws into the rear of the lower receiver? Forgive all my questions, I've only ever cleaned M-16s before - and that twice in my life.

Gig 'em,

backbencher
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 8:52:39 AM EDT
Pistol can have any length barrel. IIRC. Write the ATF to be sure. Every build I do from here on will have a pistol buffer on it first. Go to a notary and have them stamp and date a Photo of your pistol build.

SCOTUS said Pistol>Rifle>Pistol is legal. 16" min barrel for the rifle when stock mounted.
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 9:33:33 AM EDT
BackBencher:

If the barrel is a good unit, then you may want to re-think just chopping it off.

I did the chrono / slice / chrono / slice / chrono deal years ago. It was interesting.

Check with somepalce like Sarco for a shot-out M16 barrel. You can use a standard buffer tube, it just screws in.

If you do cut the barrel you have, cut it at about 12 inches, so you can make something out of it later.....


Lem
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 9:44:30 AM EDT
Lem,

Was thinking of holding it hostage on the EE, as in loan me a pistol upper or I'll take a hacksaw to this beautiful fluted 20"! :) I promise, will post pics soon of existing parts.

Gig 'em,

backbencher
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 10:09:54 AM EDT
Build it with the carbine-length barrel but without the stock on the buffer tube or with a pistol buffer tube. Take a picture of it. Have the picture notarized. Finally, order the buttstock so that the date on the reciept is after the date on the notarized picture.

No, there are NO length limitations on a pistol barrel. A 24" barrel on a pistol is still legal.
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 12:46:11 PM EDT
Badger,

Thanks for the advice, but I have no intention of building a carbine. I want a rifle, as that's what I'll be issued, & I need the practice. So, it's a 20" bbl & a rifle butt for me. I can order a standard buffer tube & install that, then order the stripped stock later. Only question is, does BATFE consider the standard buffer tube to be a stock? In the AR pistol info thread, there's a pic of a chap w/ a standard buffer tube on his pistol.

Given the price of a pistol buffer is about half that of a receiver, it doesn't make much sense to purchase a pistol buffer & other parts to insure that someday, I can reuse my lower for a pistol.

Gig 'em,

backbencher
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 3:50:01 PM EDT
Read the above posted letter. You can use any buffer tube you want, CAR, Rifle, or Pistol, it doesn't matter so long as the stock is not attached. A buffer tube is NOT a stock and the tacked letter says it all.
Link Posted: 11/30/2005 4:16:54 PM EDT
Here's a link to the thread he's talking about:

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=122&t=245366
Link Posted: 12/1/2005 6:07:49 AM EDT
Big Bore, Badger,

Thanks for the link. I did read that thread, & my Aggie brain didn't process the either buffer tube line. Now I just have to avoid accidently possessing a buttstock. This is a pretty silly situation. If someone puts a buttstock in your xmas stocking, you're now in possession of a SBR. If the company you're buying the buffer from decides it's xmas, they'll go ahead & ship you a complete stock, you're now a felon.

Let's say I do notarize my picture of my pistol build. That proves when I took pictures of the pistol - it doesn't prove, & can never prove, that I didn't build up a rifle 1st. You can't prove the negative case. We have no proof that there's not a rogue FedEx crew taking virgin recievers out of the boxes overnight & attaching buttstocks to them.

For a small investment, we could lock up the whole BATFE. Just figure out what they carry, then give 'em all buttstocks for 'em. I'm sure most of the board would contribute to the cause.

I guess the trick is to keep a 16"+ bbl on hand @ all times. What a world. Thanks for everyone's help - should post pics of my parts this weekend, I hope.

Gig 'em,

backbencher
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 1:25:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lem:
BackBencher:

You don't need no steenkin' gas system....

If all you want is to establish a pistol, then install a worn out M16 barrel, lopped off to 6 inches or so.

No gas system needed - it becomes a straight pull bolt action. Just use a barrel nut - no handguard. Screw a buffer tube in, and have a ball. Don't forget your earplugs...


Lem



I found this late but I built my AR-15 pistol years ago using that logic...

quarterbore.com/ar15m16/postbanar15pistol.htm

That page is out of date but you get the idea...
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 8:35:59 AM EDT
Quarterbore,

Nice site. Brother was pleased w/ his xmas fluted 20". More parts to buy next gun show!

Gig 'em,

backbencher
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:59:22 PM EDT
A-1 Sales says they'll sell me a 16" thin bbl w/ no gas port... and tell me I can't build pistol, rifle, pistol - they say, pistol to rifle, end of story. Sigh. T/C went to all that trouble for us, & 24 years later folks still don't understand the law.

Gig 'em,

backbencher
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:00:09 PM EDT
quick question on this? if you build it as a pistol and than put a stock on it doesn't it than become subject to rules as a short barreled rifle?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:14:31 PM EDT
Yes. You have to put a long barrel on it to make putting the stock on legal.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 9:35:50 PM EDT



It is legal to convert a pistol to a rilfe and back to a pistol. Look at all the Glocks and 1911s running around w/ Mech Tech CCU units! I've seen 16" barrels and butt stock kits for 1911.

The main point is, to start w/ a 'virgin' receiver. Left the factory as stripped. Then have it papered as a pistol on the 4473 and on any state forms (if applies). I was going to do that w/ my pistol, but I have enough rifles, why bother I said.....

But, the option of doing so IS legal, so as long as the long barrel is on the receiver BEFORE the stock (or remove the short barrel before putting on the stock).
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 8:30:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 8:33:14 PM EDT by stlshot]
More confusion.I called the St.Louis office (batf) asking about pistol to rifle,then back to pistol. They told me it was a 1-way trip. You can only make a pistol from a reciever that has NOT EVER been a rifle.He said you can't go back and forth.I sure would like to know the real truth as I don't like jail,and would lose all my guns.Honestly, I will probably not bother,and will buy as a dedicated pistol. Maybe even glue foam on so a stock won't fit.and plug screw hole in back of buffer tube.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 9:01:05 PM EDT
The law covers making a pistol from a rifle. The BATF has an OPINION on the matter, but that opinion was challenged once in the Supreme Court and they lost. Therefore, they still have an opinion but cannot support it with law, regulation, or anything else. So long as you NEVER build it with a short barrel and stock, you're legal switching it back and forth.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 9:21:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By stlshot:
More confusion.I called the St.Louis office (batf) asking about pistol to rifle,then back to pistol. They told me it was a 1-way trip. You can only make a pistol from a reciever that has NOT EVER been a rifle.He said you can't go back and forth.I sure would like to know the real truth as I don't like jail,and would lose all my guns.Honestly, I will probably not bother,and will buy as a dedicated pistol. Maybe even glue foam on so a stock won't fit.and plug screw hole in back of buffer tube.



Calling was the mistake. NEVER use 'voice' to confirm something. Can be easily denied. Plus, if you called back in a day, got someone else, could be another "opinion". Unless it is a lawyer who is willing to stick by it (and even then). Only thing that works if it's in writing......
Link Posted: 1/20/2006 7:37:55 AM EDT
Since you've already called, would you be willing to be the test dummy and send a letter to the BATFE research department? I can help you write the letter. I've sent one and got a reply regarding "2-shot" conversion of a mini-14. Wanna try?
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 5:12:04 PM EDT
might be worth a try.Might keep someone out of jail.Or at least stop the educated guessing
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 6:46:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2006 6:47:13 AM EDT by otto_esq]

Originally Posted By BadgerArms:
The law covers making a pistol from a rifle. The BATF has an OPINION on the matter, but that opinion was challenged once in the Supreme Court and they lost. Therefore, they still have an opinion but cannot support it with law, regulation, or anything else. So long as you NEVER build it with a short barrel and stock, you're legal switching it back and forth.



The Supreme Court opinion to which Badger refers is U.S. v. Thompson/Center Arms Co 112 S.Ct. 2102 (1992) (generously hosted by Quarterbore).


As an aside, I would recommend every AR owner/builder/enthusiast to read the Thompson/Center case as well as its analysis in US v. Kent, 175 F.3d 870 (1999), also hosted by Quarterbore.

Cheers, Otto
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 7:31:06 PM EDT
Lem,

Earplugs - no kidding, especially w/ a muzzle brake vent 8" from the chamber : ) Behold, the cheapest AR pistol yet seen:

Gift Stag virgin lower ($20 certificate of virginity)
Unknown used upper, w/ 20" fluted bbl given to brother for xmas, $120
$59 Model 1 Sales parts kit & $24 buffer tube (crap trigger)
$200 M-16 bolt, new (think that was high)
$45 used 24" bbl off the EE swapped for 16" used bbl off the EE ($10 postage)
$9 used LE 30rnd mag

And now, the pics:



My 8" rifled muzzle brake port/former dissy gas port



A very very short freefloat tube : )



The FSB on the dissy bbl - which has a port for a gas tube on the back, but not on the inside:



Gig 'em,

backbencher
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