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Old April 21, 2009, 05:57 PM   #1
TACKLEMAN24
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Questions about Short Barrelled M4

I recently aquired a nice m4 carbine at a gun show. I did not measure it at the show but it appeared to be a 16 inch barrel. However after getting it home and cleaning it I noticed that the barrel ends an inch into the very long flash hider. Measuring from the chamber to the end of the flash hider it only measures 15 inches but measuring from the chamber to the actual end of the barrel (inside the long flash hider) it only mesures about 10 1/2 inches. Now my question is am I correct in assuming that this is actually illegal without the tax stamp from the ATF letting me legally own short barrelled longarms. I am almost thinking that this M4 actually started out as AR pistol that for some reason someone decided to convert over to a rifle.
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Old April 21, 2009, 06:04 PM   #2
Willie Lowman
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If the flash hider is permanently attached then it is considered part of the barrel length.

If the flash hider will screw off, the measurement is to the end of the barrel. You can have the FH permanently pinned to the barrel if this is the case.

If the flash hider is removable, separate the upper from the lower and get it out of your house right now. Just having a short upper in a house with a working lower is called "constructive intent" and what the ATF would use to lock you up. Take it to your gunsmith and have a flash hider that will make the over all length 16" pinned in place.

If it is in fact 15", (and you don't have a NFA firearm that it could go on) you are in possession of a rifle that can get you put in the pen.

Last edited by Willie Lowman; April 21, 2009 at 06:13 PM. Reason: If I am reading your post right you are in legal danger
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Old April 21, 2009, 06:15 PM   #3
TACKLEMAN24
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The FH will not turn off the barrel, I used a padded strap wrench to attemp to turn it off the barrel and I could not get it to turn. However I also can not see any sort of pin etc that would permanently attach it. As far as overall barrel length, am I correct in assuming that it has to be 16" overall length or longer?
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Old April 21, 2009, 06:18 PM   #4
Willie Lowman
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yes. 16" from back of chamber to end of flash hider or have a $200 tax stamp.
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Old April 21, 2009, 06:18 PM   #5
TACKLEMAN24
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Also, as far as it being modifed. It looks original as the finish is all uniform. Also standard M4 parts fit it such as the handguard which I replaced the standard M4 handguard with a M4 quadrail handguard and it fit perfect.
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Old April 21, 2009, 06:22 PM   #6
Willie Lowman
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If it really isn't 16" take it off the receiver. Take the upper to a friend that doesn't own an AR. (it is legal to have a short upper if you don't have the lower)

Find a gunsmith that can remove the flash hider and pin a longer one on... Or get your SBR tax stamp. Just advise. Take it or leave it.
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Old April 21, 2009, 06:29 PM   #7
TACKLEMAN24
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I guess I am gonna sell it. Anyone that is interested let me know and we can talk details.

Eric
Tackleman24@yahoo.com
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Old April 21, 2009, 07:46 PM   #8
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I would also be interested in possible trades as well instead of an outright sale. Rifles I am currently interested in obtaining are another M4, Springfield
M1A, AK47, Russian SVD or Romanian PSL, PTR91, FAL etc. Let me know what you have to trade.
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Old April 22, 2009, 01:37 PM   #9
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Wow. So now you are trying to sell a very illegal weapon in a public forum.
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Old April 22, 2009, 01:47 PM   #10
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Curious that a dealer would sell a SBR at a show where the SN is checked (presumably) with a 4473, to someone not in possession of the appropriate paperwork.

Seems like there may be some trolling going on (no offense if not), or you might want to remeasure the bbl. Who is the manufacturer?
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Old April 22, 2009, 02:13 PM   #11
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Transferring unregistered NFA items is a felony and punishable with 10 years prison and $100,000 fine.

Good luck to you sir.
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Old April 22, 2009, 02:33 PM   #12
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Fortunately removing the barrel is easy. Hypothetically, if someone were to find themselves with a short barrel, it could be removed and a new one installed, but it would be best if that hypothetical someone did not mention it to anyone. And of course that hypothetical somone would destroy that hypothetical short barrel.

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Old April 22, 2009, 03:17 PM   #13
JFettig
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Put a cleaning rod down the bore and mark it where the end of the rod is and make sure its seated on the bolt face. Then tell us that its 16.1" to clear yourself then assess what to do next with it. Make sure the flash hider is permanently attached. If its not 16", take the upper to a gunsmith and have it extended and pinned or sell it.


Jon
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Old April 22, 2009, 03:38 PM   #14
TACKLEMAN24
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No actually what I was planning on doing originally was selling it as a short barrelled upper assembly. I guess I should have specified it better in the post, not just in the few emails I recieved. My plan was to get rid of that upper and buy another upper. The 2 halves are currently seperated and in 2 different locations, both out of my house. My intentions were to sell the upper to someone who wanted a short barrel upper and get it properly registered with appropriate paperwork and tax stamp to make everything legal. Also I did take the upper to a gunsmith and according to his measuerment it is exactly 16 inches. He said that it is mesured from the very back of the barrel where the end of the bolt with the 6 or 8 "fingers" that slide through the "fingers" on the chamber which then rotate and lock the bolt. I am not that comfortable with his assumption though because it is open to inturpration and dont want to violate the laws in any way. As far as purchasing it at a gun show and the dealer selling it inappropriately. In my state Dealers who hold a FFL and sell at gun shows are still required to do the background check paperwork etc. On the other hand there are so called "private collection" dealers at gun shows in my state that are only required to verify your age and state of residence. These so called "Private Collection" dealers are not required to do background checks keep paperwork or even write down and retain your name. I got this M4 from a Private Collection Dealers in a trade, I went to the show with a 1941 manufacture Winchester mod 62 22 pump action and traded with this guy to get this M4. He never said anything about it needing a tax stamp etc.
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Old April 22, 2009, 03:46 PM   #15
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Also, I am looking into getting a longer barrel installed even though the gunsmith said it measured 16" the way he measured. Theoretically of course.
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Old April 22, 2009, 04:58 PM   #16
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Anyways, thank you for everyones input. I have never dealt with any NFA items before and hope to never deal with them again as it is alot of BS to have items that I do not even need. As for the barrel that was in question even though the gunsmith said it was barely legal. This barrel is no more, it has been removed cut in half and the 2 pieces welded together side by side. Needless to say, by next week it will be a muffler on someones new chevy.
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Old April 22, 2009, 06:33 PM   #17
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The flash hider was probably permanently attached by a weld of some sort. Don't sell a good rifle just because some here are paranoid. I hope that you are just being paranoid when you said you destroyed the barrel and that you left it intact.
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Old April 22, 2009, 07:25 PM   #18
TACKLEMAN24
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The flash hider did not appear to be welded and there was no pin whatsoever. From 1st glance it looked to be 16" but upon measuring the outside it was 15" and the gunsmith measured the inside and said it was 16". On the other hand the flash hider was not permanently attached, it appeared to be just threaded although I could not get the flash hider to thread off the barrel.
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Old April 22, 2009, 09:08 PM   #19
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A well done silver solder job can't be seen and is perfectly legal.

I've also never seen anything from ATF saying it is a crime to posess a SBR upper if you own a lower unless you put them together.
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Old April 23, 2009, 09:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
I've also never seen anything from ATF saying it is a crime to posess a SBR upper if you own a lower unless you put them together.
It's illegal. They'll charge you with intent if they find both in your house. This is assuming you don't have a legal upper for the lower. If you've got a lower and an SBR upper chilling in your safe, that's where you can get into trouble.
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Old April 23, 2009, 10:08 AM   #21
AMX
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Do you have a picture of this upper?

Last edited by AMX; April 23, 2009 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Felt like it.
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Old April 23, 2009, 10:20 AM   #22
ISC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiskey_33
It's illegal. They'll charge you with intent if they find both in your house. This is assuming you don't have a legal upper for the lower. If you've got a lower and an SBR upper chilling in your safe, that's where you can get into trouble.
Please show a link backing up this statement. Are you saying that I can't own both an AR rifle and an AR pistol since the uppers could be swapped?

I've seen that you can't own the full auto conversion parts and the semiauto gun because the only use for those parts is for the construction of a full auto gun (illegal since 1986).

That is not the case for a SBR upper since it is they can be legally owned with the NFA paperwork or installed on a pistol lower without any paperwork.
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Old April 23, 2009, 10:45 AM   #23
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Are you saying that I can't own both an AR rifle and an AR pistol since the uppers could be swapped?
No, you can own both, as they've both got dedicated lowers. You can't have multiple lowers without dedicated uppers, and a short barrel upper in the same location, as you could put together an illegal SBR.
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Last edited by Wiskey_33; April 23, 2009 at 11:00 AM.
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Old April 23, 2009, 10:57 AM   #24
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I'd like to see something from ATF to that effect. The same logic could be used to say it's illegal to own a short barrel, even if it wasn't installed in an upper or even a hacksaw and a rifle since the hacksaw could be used to make it into a SBR.
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Old April 23, 2009, 11:33 AM   #25
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It's called constructive possession and people have been prosecuted. If you want to research case law yourself you can find the actual cases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructive_possession
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