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Posted: 10/13/2002 8:32:05 PM EDT
I know I need to use a "new" lower. Is there a difference in pistol/rifle lowers (markings), or can I simply have the FFL dealer register the unit as "pistol"? Does the 50 oz limit refer to sights, or magazine? A flat-top upper would weigh less than an A-2.
Link Posted: 10/13/2002 8:55:18 PM EDT
IIRC, you just have to be able to prove it was never a rifle, and be in compliance with the AWB's 'pistol' section...
Link Posted: 10/13/2002 9:15:30 PM EDT
And the 50oz limit is unloaded, without a magazine.
Link Posted: 10/14/2002 8:07:10 PM EDT
UPDATE:
I spoke with Hesse, they said the MANUFACTURER has to record the upper as a pistol, not the dealer. I can't buy a new "rifle" upper and use it. They also mentioned that they no longer sell pistol lowers.
Anyone know where I can buy a "pistol" lower?
Dennis
Link Posted: 10/15/2002 1:05:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/15/2002 1:15:49 PM EDT by monkeyman]
I don't think Hesse is entirely correct, but that may be how they read the law. The following is from a letter to ATF concerning an AR pistol. It says you have to verify with the manufacturer but it doesn't say what you have to verify. It has been the opinon of many, that one simply has to verify that the new stripped lower was never made into a rifle. Certainly, a factory lower stamped "Pistol" on it pretty verifies it as such.

A call to the manufacturer with the serial number could verify whether a new receiver has left the factory as complete gun. The specific pistol receiver information is in the fourth paragraph.

You will note that this letter was written in 1992, before the AW ban. The AWB only adds the weight and flash hider and other stipulations to the building of an "assault weapon" type pistol, it really has nothing to do with the using of receiver for a pistol.

"Dear Mr. XXXXX:

This refers to your letter of October 1, 1992, in which you inquire
about the legality of manufacturing a handgun which utilizes a rifle
type receiver.

26 U.S.C. Chapter 53 # 5845(a)(4), the National Firearms Act (NFA),
defines the term "firearm" to include a weapon made from a rifle if
such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches
or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.

Utilizing the receiver of an existing rifle for the purposes of
manufacturing a handgun would constitute the making of a firearm as
defined above. Individuals desiring to make such a firearm must first
submit an ATF Form 1, Application To Make And Register a Firearm and
pay the applicable $200 making tax.

If an individual were to obtain a rifle type receiver that had not
previously been utilized in the assembly of a rifle, a handgun could be
made and not be subject to the provisions of the NFA. Verification
must be obtained from the manufacturer of the receiver to establish
its authenticity.

We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we may
be of any further assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely your,
(signed)
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch"

So here is what I think you could do. Buy a stripped new receiver from one of the people who sell them. Let's say it is from Rock River Arms. Send a letter to RRA with the serial number and ask them to verify that the lower was not a completed gun/rifle when it left the factory.

Link Posted: 10/15/2002 6:20:35 PM EDT
Monkeyman,
Thanks for the help. I made a few calls today & most people told me the same. A dealer also told me there is no such thing as a "dedicated" pistol lower? Hesse used to advertise them in the FAC WHOLESALE catolog. HESSE must be worried about liability?
Dennis
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 7:04:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dogbuster:
Monkeyman,
Thanks for the help. I made a few calls today & most people told me the same. A dealer also told me there is no such thing as a "dedicated" pistol lower? Hesse used to advertise them in the FAC WHOLESALE catolog. HESSE must be worried about liability?
Dennis



I think you are right about the liabiltiy. I think it would also be a good idea to have the ffl write it up as a pistol frame and then register it as a pistol. This way there would be no doubt that it is a pistol and not a short barreled or cut down rifle.

If you build, how do you intend to meet the weight limit?
Link Posted: 10/16/2002 11:08:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dogbuster:
UPDATE:
I spoke with Hesse, they said the MANUFACTURER has to record the upper as a pistol, not the dealer. I can't buy a new "rifle" upper and use it. They also mentioned that they no longer sell pistol lowers.
Anyone know where I can buy a "pistol" lower?



Hesse is wrong, but if you want to feel really good, there are a couple C2's around here who could register a virgin stripped lower as a pistol for you... :-)
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 12:33:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By monkeyman:
I don't think Hesse is entirely correct, but that may be how they read the law. The following is from a letter to ATF concerning an AR pistol. It says you have to verify with the manufacturer but it doesn't say what you have to verify. It has been the opinon of many, that one simply has to verify that the new stripped lower was never made into a rifle. Certainly, a factory lower stamped "Pistol" on it pretty verifies it as such.

A call to the manufacturer with the serial number could verify whether a new receiver has left the factory as complete gun. The specific pistol receiver information is in the fourth paragraph.

You will note that this letter was written in 1992, before the AW ban. The AWB only adds the weight and flash hider and other stipulations to the building of an "assault weapon" type pistol, it really has nothing to do with the using of receiver for a pistol.

"Dear Mr. XXXXX:

This refers to your letter of October 1, 1992, in which you inquire
about the legality of manufacturing a handgun which utilizes a rifle
type receiver.

26 U.S.C. Chapter 53 # 5845(a)(4), the National Firearms Act (NFA),
defines the term "firearm" to include a weapon made from a rifle if
such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches
or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.

Utilizing the receiver of an existing rifle for the purposes of
manufacturing a handgun would constitute the making of a firearm as
defined above. Individuals desiring to make such a firearm must first
submit an ATF Form 1, Application To Make And Register a Firearm and
pay the applicable $200 making tax.

If an individual were to obtain a rifle type receiver that had not
previously been utilized in the assembly of a rifle, a handgun could be
made and not be subject to the provisions of the NFA. Verification
must be obtained from the manufacturer of the receiver to establish
its authenticity.

We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we may
be of any further assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely your,
(signed)
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch"

So here is what I think you could do. Buy a stripped new receiver from one of the people who sell them. Let's say it is from Rock River Arms. Send a letter to RRA with the serial number and ask them to verify that the lower was not a completed gun/rifle when it left the factory.



Above is correct - if your dealer orders a new stripped receiver for you then you should be fine. A practiced eye can look at any AR receiver and tell you if it is still a "virgin" - even refinishing will usually not hide the tell tales - unless it was teflon or camo coated.
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 4:40:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/17/2002 4:59:54 AM EDT by Dogbuster]
Monkeyman,
The weight limit: I've got an A2 upper w/forward assist & deflector machined off. I hope to do some drilling/machining of lightening holes like the new OLYARMS pistol.
I'll also consider turning down the barrel diameter in a lathe.
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 7:12:45 AM EDT
Dogbuster, I've been considering doing the same thing. Once I thought about it for a while the more I think I am going to build a manual action AR pistol. No weight limit or retrictions on flash hiders etc.

I am thinking of using a stock CAR buffer/tube, a standard 11.5" upper and simply removing the gas tube or replacing it with a solid steel rod. Action would work by retracting the charging handle each time.
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 5:45:59 PM EDT
The manual action might be a more realistic approach. The other thing I was considering is one of the "california" lowers with a top-loading (stripper clips) 10 round box mag. That would eliminate a lot of the restrictions & I kind of like the idea (& look) of that lower with no mag hanging down.
Another weight reduction idea-no handguard.
Link Posted: 10/17/2002 8:09:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By monkeyman:
Dogbuster, I've been considering doing the same thing. Once I thought about it for a while the more I think I am going to build a manual action AR pistol. No weight limit or retrictions on flash hiders etc.



DPMS has something like this, a pump AR15.
Link Posted: 10/18/2002 6:20:58 AM EDT
What if one simply removed the gas tube? You would then have a manualy operated pistol with no other restrictions. One would have to block the gas vent in the barrel but otherwise it should be ok.
Link Posted: 10/19/2002 9:13:34 AM EDT
Instead of just removing the gas tube, cut down a longer barrel, or have one built with no gas block/hole at all (if you are using a halo-sight/scope/red-dot). That would be a clean-looking barrel.
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