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Posted: 2/1/2006 10:15:19 AM EDT
Has anyone addresses the issue of building a fixed mag ar from an 80% lower blank? Since you would be your own manufacturer you couldn't be specifically listed. With a pinned mag similar to a vulcan lower would it be legal?
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:19:46 AM EDT
We REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need a pinned thread on 80% lowers.

As I understand it, in California, it is illegal to make your own lower from an 80% blank.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:09:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 11:11:59 AM EDT by bwiese]
Please see my FAQ on Calguns which addresses this (it's around midway in the document):

www.calguns.net/a_california_arak.htm

BTW, 80% lowers are not an issue - it's when they're completed into 100% lowers ;)

[Now if you built a lower into a closed magwell FAB10-like widget, that's a different thing. I presume our topic of discussion here is homemade regular AR lowers that will have a separate 10rd mag screwed in to be nondetachable.]

Briefly, it may or may not be illegal but it's certainly QUESTIONABLE and significant legal exposure.

The problem is that while Harrott v Kings County requires banned guns to be listed by specifc make/model before they are considered assault weapons (and before a trial court can consider them to be assault weapons!) , there is no practical way to list all/any possible homebuilt lowers.

Instead of allowance for homebuilt lowers - which could never get 'declared' - it is conceivable and even likely that Harrott would not apply... thus these could fall back under the Kasler decision where if "it looks like a duck, it is a duck" - regardless of features attached or absent.

For the life of me I cannot figure out why someone wants to spend hundreds of dollars in money and time to make his own lower, when it is so questionable, when perfectly good off-list lowers are available.

[Hell, this doesn't even make sense in Free America either - when most lowers cost in the $90 range, and it'll cost you $350 bucks to get some scarred-up thing out of the CNC machine and even more for finishing/coating.]


Bill Wiese
San Jose CA

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:08:25 PM EDT
I guess the real reason behind my question is that I want an ar-10. While there are good CA legal ar-15s on the market I haven't seen an ar-10 yet. What I'd like to build is a ar-10 from a ktordinance 80% receiver with a magazine that has been pinned through a blind hole exactly like the vulcan. I don't even mind welding the pin into the hole. If I could buy a finished one I would.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:11:18 PM EDT
I guess I'm even willing to build a closed magwell model although I'd rather spotweld the mag in so that it could be replaced easier.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:47:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 3:47:48 PM EDT by bwiese]

Originally Posted By Rocknut:
I guess the real reason behind my question is that I want an ar-10. While there are good CA legal ar-15s on the market I haven't seen an ar-10 yet. What I'd like to build is a ar-10 from a ktordinance 80% receiver with a magazine that has been pinned through a blind hole exactly like the vulcan. I don't even mind welding the pin into the hole.



Geezus, you're gonna get yourself in trouble. Read the top posts here and my replies. Better yet, you need to read my FAQ:

www.calguns.net/a_california_arak.htm

Summary: do NOT build up lowers from 80% receivers (unless they have an unmilled, closed magwell). These homebuilt lowers, while "off list", do not necessarily have protection of Harrott decision. Run away.

Right now unfortunately it appears there are no off-list 308 lowers.



I guess I'm even willing to build a closed magwell model although I'd rather spotweld the mag in so that it could be replaced easier.



If you're just talking about a 223 lower, go buy a regular off-list lower.

Use a screw-down mag catch from Sporting Conversion along with a 10rd magazine and you will have a nondetachable fixed mag that is perfectly legal.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

Link Posted: 2/2/2006 10:31:34 PM EDT
Asking people who are more educated than me on a respectable board like this is how I keep myself out of trouble. Like most other people on this forum, I'm trying to enjoy my hobby while complying with the law not breaking it. Thats why I asked the questions I did.

I was very specific in my last post that I was talking of an ar-10 lower. I already own a fab-10. I was also clear that I'm willing to weld the magwell shut like a fab-10.

My last specific question came from your link that you sent me. You talked of both the fab 10 as well as some company selling colt and armalite lowers with the mag wells welded shut. I don't see where its a poor question to ask if I can build my own lower using approved designs already approved by the doj.

In your own post earlier in this thread you yourself said that building a lower with a closed magwell is a different situation.

Why am I going to get myself into trouble by asking legitimate questions about what I can and can't legally do?

Just because I'm a new member and would like clarification on some state laws doesn't mean that I'm ignorant or am willing to take a chance on getting myself into trouble.

I appreciate the information I've been given. Since building a closed magwell lower is a different situation, where can I read more on the legality of that build without further confrontation?

Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 11:12:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rocknut:
I was very specific in my last post that I was talking of an ar-10 lower. I already own a fab-10. I was also clear that I'm willing to weld the magwell shut like a fab-10.



Your phrasing/writing was not quite clear to me.

If you are building an 80% lower into a 100% lower it should NEVER have the mag well milled out - this is implied, since you apparently wanted a fixed magazine pinned in which meant to me your mag well was fully milled out.

The moment the magwell is empty, before you've installed the fixed/pinned/screwed/etc mag you have an AR lower that may well not be covered/protected by the Harrott decicion. This should have been clear to you in the FAQ. Other people have understood it.

Again, the fixed-mag Vulcan situation is different than yours. This is a lower that is in commercial circulation (giving it Harrott protection), and then they also got special DOJ permission to sell these pinned/glued-mag lowers in CA. You likely won't get this, and it is very late to start seeking this approval to get in under any time window.

You can make a lower (just put a serial # on it - Joe Bob #1, for example) but do NOT mill out the magwell area - leave the bottom closed. This is substantively different than the Vulcan situation.

Making something like a FAB10 lower - with a magwell never milled out and can only accept 10rds max - but in 308, would be fine.


My last specific question came from your link that you sent me. You talked of both the fab 10 as well as some company selling colt and armalite lowers with the mag wells welded shut. I don't see where its a poor question to ask if I can build my own lower using approved designs already approved by the doj.


The company doing the welded-up Bushmasters & Colts, GB Sales, has a CA Assault Weapons permit: they had to, in order to get the normal unmangled rifles into CA. They then got special DOJ permission that overrules their banning-by-name because they are considered substantively and permanently different.

Just because their design is approved doesn't mean you won't be charged with a felony for getting a Bushmaster and welding it up.



In your own post earlier in this thread you yourself said that building a lower with a closed magwell is a different situation.



Yes, your only chance is to build a 308 version of the FAB10 with a closed magwell. That way you don't have a true AR-style open magwell lower that is homebuilt - which is risky because it may well not have Harrott protection.


Why am I going to get myself into trouble by asking legitimate questions about what I can and can't legally do?


You were asking questions that most feel were addressed in the FAQ. I think I've explained things in pretty good detail. Perhaps I can enhance it.


I appreciate the information I've been given. Since building a closed magwell lower is a different situation, where can I read more on the legality of that build without further confrontation?


You are allowed to build rifles (but not handguns except certain single action revolvers and certain single-shot pistols) as long as they are not assault weapons. Don't do it as a business though,

If you wanna build a bolt gun, go for it. If you wanna build a blind-mag FAB10 for 308, go for it.


Bill Wiese
San Jose CA

Link Posted: 2/3/2006 5:57:37 AM EDT
Thank you Bill.

I've read the FAQ but its been a while. I'll do it again. (I had another username but wanted to change it to match the other forums I'm on. Thats why the new account)

Since most of the 80% receivers have the mag well already milled out, would it be appropriate to weld the mag well shut before doing any other work instead?

Also, could you point me in the right direction for contacting the doj with any questions?

Thanks again.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 6:24:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 10:05:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:

bwiese wrote:
For the life of me I cannot figure out why someone wants to spend hundreds of dollars in money and time to make his own lower, when it is so questionable, when perfectly good off-list lowers are available.



For the same reason people build their own homes, cars, boats, and airplanes.



I grant you that in a free state this is fine. Who am I to tell you how to spend your spare time?

But in CA it is different. Folks have been repeatedly told here and on Calguns that there are really questionable issues about homebuilt AR-style lowers (those with open magwells). While indeed 'off-list', there's a susbstantial chance that Harrott doesn't apply to these homebuilt lowers so CA folks should run far, far away. And esp at this late date, one should get a production lower ASAP. (Also, the homebuilt lowers, even if legal, likely have ZERO chance of being declared/listed as an AW unlike a production off-list lower.)



The cost in tools for me was less than $500. Having the knowledge and a bunch of lowers without serial numbers is priceless. If California ever rejoins the republic and the US Constitution becomes the law of this land too then those weapons will reunite with their maker.



I'm a bit unclear on this - you're allowed to build firearms without serial #'s? For some reason I thought they had to have some identifier, even if it's "Billy Bob Gun #1".

Yes, I agree it's a nice thing in general. Just not for this situation right now.



IMHO there will always be a steady steam off people wanting AR weapons in California and a matching stream of shade tree armories building them a few hundred at a time. The CA DOJ is going to have their hands full for a long long time on this issue.



Naah. Expect legislation later in the year to close this legislatively-unaddressed issue (note that I don't call it a loophole since is clearly a wide-open area that was distinctly unaddressed by legislation, cemented by Harrott decision, and compounded by DOJ inactivity for 5+ yerars). This will close down the 'name game'. We may have one or two iterations of 'name game', then DOJ listing, et al, before legislation comes down.



A ban by feature will always have enough wiggle room that the demand will encourage people to make a profit meeting it - the .50 BMG banning is a perfect example. Soon will have .50 CA weapons 1/500th of an inch off of the BMG specification.



Yes. As long as the new gun cannot chamber 50BMG and fire it's good.

This might, however trigger muzzle energy (mv2) limits encoded into law.



My first 80% lowers were build over a day of relaxed fun at my folks house in the United States. When I returned to California I left them behind and later brought one in on my MAWP. The CA DOJ didn't know what to do with a lower without a serial number.


Congrats that you were able to take advantage of your special status.

Bill Wiese
San Jose CA
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