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Old July 5, 2013, 09:07 PM   #1
std7mag
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need clarification on ffl

Ok, so I read a smithing book and it describes building your own gun. Buy an action, get a barrel, trigger assy, stock.. Easy...

Wait... Need manufacturers FFL for that...
Fine...
Wait... Need to be a "business"...

So how the heck does someone that wants to build a rifle for themselves get a FFL???

The "frequently asked questions" on the ATF website don't come close to answering anything...
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:44 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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You don't need an FFL to build your own gun.

It just can't be intended for sale. You can serialize it or not.

(Local/State laws may apply)
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Old July 6, 2013, 08:05 AM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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What does this book mean by buying an "action"? Are they referring to a trigger group that drops into a receiver, or are they talking about something like an AR-15 lower receiver (complete or stripped)? The BATFE considers a receiver to be "the" firearm. That's the part that, in commercial production, gets the serial number. Nothing else is regulated (except in a few backwards states that consider themselves forward).

Let's use the AR-15 as an example. While you can actually fire up a lathe and milling machine and fabricate all the parts yourself, you can also buy everything needed and just put them together to make a rifle. This is often referred to as "building" your own AR-15, but it might more properly be termed "assembling" your own rifle. If you go that route, the lower receiver will carry a manufacturer's name and a serial number and you will have to take delivery of the lower receiver through an FFL, just as if it were a complete firearm.

Or ... you can get a blueprint, buy an ingot of aluminum alloy, and machine your own lower receiver. If you do this, as Brian Pfleuger noted above, no FFL is necessary (under federal law -- some state will have their own laws). You don't need to buy the ingot through an FFL, and YOU don't need to be an FFL to fabricate your own, personal firearm for your own, personal use.
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Old July 6, 2013, 08:42 AM   #4
std7mag
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Sorry, I know there is a lot of inference back and forth between action and receiver.

Am looking to build a bolt action gun. Primarily for hunting and target shooting. Planning on a new barrel, possibly a Hart, along with a Timney trigger, and stock of as to yet unknown origin, possibly a Hogue.

I am planning on a "short (aka 2.80inch) action, as I am looking into the possibility of creating my own wildcat cartridges at a later date.

Thank You for all the input!

std7mag
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Old July 6, 2013, 08:45 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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You say "planning on a short action".

You're going to buy or build this action?

Buying it is no different than buying an entire, complete gun. Once you own the action no other part is "controlled". You can buy all the rest and have it shipped right to your door.

Building it is completely legal without an FFL, under federal law. State/local laws may vary.
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Old July 7, 2013, 11:01 PM   #6
std7mag
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Yes, I plan on buying either a used bolt action rifle, and taking it apart, or if I can affordably buy a receiver and bolt, and build from there.
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Old July 8, 2013, 07:48 AM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Then you don't need an FFL. You're not manufacturing anything. You're putting parts together.
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