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Old December 19, 2009, 04:39 PM   #1
mediatech13
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M2 to M1 Carbine Conversion Makes it Legal?

Can anyone comment on the legality of converting an M2 carbine to M1 by removing the selective fire components and replacing them with M1 parts? Does this make the rifle legal or would it still be considering a machine-gun?

I have come across an M2 carbine, probably assembled from parts. If I convert it back to M1, am I legit? It's a Winchester, 1,2xx,xxx serial number with M2 slide from what I can tell by the number.

Suggestions or comments welcome! Thanks. I'd like to keep it as a shooter but don't want to break any laws or hassle with the BATF.
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Old December 19, 2009, 04:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
I have come across an M2 carbine, probably assembled from parts. If I convert it back to M1, am I legit? It's a Winchester, 1,2xx,xxx serial number with M2 slide from what I can tell by the number.
Run away from that gun unless it is registered as a full auto. Once a gun is manufactured as a full auto it is always a full auto so far as the BATFE is concerned.

It might be a good idea to delete this thread.
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Old December 19, 2009, 04:51 PM   #3
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There is no legal way to convert an un-papered machine gun into a legal Title 1 firearm. Merely being in possession of the gun without the appropriate tax stamp is technically a federal felony.

Sometimes people have wound up discovering war trophy machine guns when a relative who was a veteran passed away. The proper thing to do is to contact the BATFE and arrange for disposal of the weapon, assuming that you came into possession of it innocently. They might be able to arrange to have it donated to a museum.
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Old December 19, 2009, 05:06 PM   #4
mediatech13
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So, if I replace the trigger assembly and toss the M2 parts in the trash, I'm still breaking the law? Does the gun's serial number make it illegal? Specific parts? Yes, I have the opportunity to inherit it or walk away. I absolutely don't want any legal problems, but hate seeing a good firearm go to waste.

If the M2 parts are gone and there's no prior registration, how would anyone know it was a M2 conversion. Receiver says "M1 Carbine". It's been converted sometime during it's lifetime.

Thanks for the advice.

I looked for a way to delete this thread but couldn't figure it out so far.
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Old December 19, 2009, 05:13 PM   #5
Tamara
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Originally Posted by mediatech13
So, if I replace the trigger assembly and toss the M2 parts in the trash, I'm still breaking the law?
Sadly, yes. As mentioned above, the BATFE's policy is "Once a machine gun, always a machine gun."

10 years and tens of thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees is awfully high stakes for an $800 rifle.
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Old December 19, 2009, 05:14 PM   #6
mediatech13
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Tamara - thanks for your info and advice. I'm letting this one go. (sadly)
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Old December 19, 2009, 06:42 PM   #7
Bill DeShivs
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If the receiver is marked "M1" and the gun does not have the automatic parts, it is completely legal. "M2" receivers are always machine guns, no matter what parts are in them.

If you bought a shotgun frame that someone MIGHT have had a too-short barrel on at one time, and you put a legal length barrel on it- it would be legal.
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Last edited by Bill DeShivs; December 19, 2009 at 07:17 PM.
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Old December 19, 2009, 07:39 PM   #8
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You might want to see if the gun is registered before tossing it. Sometimes, paperwork gets lost, there is a M2 up for auction on one of the NFA sites for about 6000.00 If it isn't on the registry you can cut up the receiver and still use the stock/barrel etc. and toss the F/A parts out. Just my .02, some folks will say, you should just ditch the weapon and run, which is perfectly OK as well.

Sometimes, it pays to do some digging, My co-worker came into a F/A rifle this way, it was his father's found in a safe after his passing, no paperwork was found with it, consequently the first thought was that this was an illegal rifle. Being prudent, he made an inquiry to BATFE, and found out that it was indeed registered to his father. All his guns had been willed to his only son (my co worker) and once things went through probate, it was x-fered to him, WITHOUT him paying an additional 200 dollars to transfer the weapon to him.
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Old December 19, 2009, 08:01 PM   #9
Tamara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs
If the receiver is marked "M1" and the gun does not have the automatic parts...
He just said it had the FA fire control parts.
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Old December 19, 2009, 08:28 PM   #10
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The fire control parts do not make it full auto or illegal, the reciever is what is going to be in question. If it truely is an M1 receiver that was converted to an M2 then yes the receiver is illegal as it was made into a machine gun. You have to machine 2 places on the receiver to make it auto, so that shows intent which is illegal in of itself even with out the parts.

Just like an AR with the auto sear pin hole drilled. That is considered a machinegun even with out anything else or any part in the receiver, the same goes with the M1 to M2 conversion.
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Old December 19, 2009, 08:57 PM   #11
Dfariswheel
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You have to machine 2 places on the receiver to make it auto

That's not the case on the Carbine.
The sole and only difference between a MARKED M2 Carbine and an M1 marked Carbine is the number "2" or the number "1".
The receivers are precisely the same.
The auto parts are in the trigger group and operating slide assembly.

That's what makes all this so stupid. The receivers are the same other than that small number, and the number alone makes it a machine gun.
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Old December 19, 2009, 09:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dfariswheel
That's what makes all this so stupid.
Word.

I know of a dealer who buys estate sales who bought a slew of "M1 Carbines", one of which still had all the M2 parts, less the selector switch, that had been dropped into an M1 stock. As best as could be told, it came that way from the .gov back in the day when it had been sold as surplus.

"What should I do with it?"

"Well, if it was me, half of it would fall into the river off one bridge and half would fall into the river off another..."
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Old December 19, 2009, 09:40 PM   #13
Bill DeShivs
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Early carbines were not cut for M2 parts. Most M1s will take the parts, but this does not make them M2s.

Tamara-
I said "if" the gun does not have the FA parts!

The other scenario is that the M1 gun was legally converted, and you bought it without the FA parts-it would still be a machinegun. Once a gun is registered as an MG-always an MG.

UNLESS.....the fire control parts are registered as an MG. Confusing, isn't it?
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:30 PM   #14
impalacustom
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M1 and M2 receivers ARE NOT THE SAME. The number 2 isn't what makes it a machine gun. The machining for the 9 spring and the milling of the right side where the disconnector lever goes is what makes it a machine gun receiver.
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Old December 20, 2009, 02:39 AM   #15
Bill DeShivs
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Almost all M1 receivers are cut for the auto parts. The parts themselves constitute a machine gun in ATF's eyes. The M2 marking also makes a gun a machine gun. You are wrong about the machining.
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Old December 20, 2009, 08:29 AM   #16
Tamara
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs
UNLESS.....the fire control parts are registered as an MG. Confusing, isn't it?
Not really. I've served my time behind the counter at an SOT.
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Old December 20, 2009, 09:44 AM   #17
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If you bought a shotgun frame that someone MIGHT have had a too-short barrel on at one time, and you put a legal length barrel on it- it would be legal.
But if it began life as a registered shotgun with a short barrel, you could not modify it to make it legal.

It is my understanding that if I took a M2 and changed parts to make it into a M1, it is illegal.

If I took an M1 and turned it into an M2, it is illegal.

So if serial #1,2xx,xxx began life as an M2 (In any record of its manufacture) it will never be known as a legal rifle.

If serial #1,2xx,xxx began life as a M1, it is a very illegal weapon to own (unless there is some government paperwork to show 'permission given' to modify it). Changing the weapon back to an M-1 would seem to be legal, unless the rifle has been machined to accept illegal parts.

(Also, I believe, depending on who did the machining. If it came from the factory already machined for those parts, but parts not installed, I would think you would be good to go. I have heard both sides of the 'they came from the factory that way and the no they did not' arguments.)

We had a family here in Missouri (I can not find the news article) that found a beautiful Thompson "Al Capone" style machine gun in their grandmothers attic. They tried to get the ATF to let them convert it to a semi, but they would have nothing to do with it and gave the family the option of either turning it in for destruction or having it modified and then given to a museum. (I do not remember what they did with it, if it was even in the story.)

My head hurts trying to figure all this out. But I think the best thing to do with it would be to walk away from it. If in fact it will not cost you anything to obtain this rifle, then I would get it and call the ATF and tell them what you have. You usually do not get in trouble if you turn in a gun that has been willed to you, or you bought in an estate sale.

Tamara, am I correct on this issue?
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Old December 20, 2009, 11:17 AM   #18
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This sure is complicated. I've spoken to my BATFE examiner about these sorts of things, as I have registered MGs and SBRS that I occasionally change up...for example..my M16 can go from having a 16' LWRC gas piston upper to a short colt commando upper...nothing illegal about that. With my SBRs I have them registered for 10.5 inch barrel length but I put that same LWRC upper, again nothing illegal about that. I can even put a 7.5 inch upper on my SBR and send in an amended Form 1, if I want that to be its native build. The key is that the weapon is registered and the changes in configuration updated with the BATFE. In the case of the registered shotgun, if it is registered as a SBS, you can put a longer barrel on it without getting in hot water. Those that know who their examiner is, can call them and verify.
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Old December 20, 2009, 04:39 PM   #19
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If you bought a shotgun frame that someone MIGHT have had a too-short barrel on at one time, and you put a legal length barrel on it- it would be legal.

I too kind of doubt that is always true. In the case of an Ithaca Stakeout, I found out that I can't even add a buttstock to it, dispite the previous owner selling it under a picture of it with both a full buttstock and a pistol grip. Course he also shipped it to a class III dealer from out of state (thinking his ffl was enough)and didn't go thru another class III dealer.The funny part was the transfer was approved like that! My dealer walked out to the car when I drove up, and handed me a buttstock and said when I got "rid" of that, come on in and we would finish up the paperwork. Adding a longer barrel to that receiver would tend to make me wonder if it were legal to carry across state lines without having to apply for the proper paperwork. No basis for my doubt, but I still doubt it!
David from jax

On Edit, the Stakeout is an Ithaca shotgun with a 12" barrel and pistol grip, thereby making it an AOW, not a SBS.
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Old December 20, 2009, 05:12 PM   #20
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In general, you can not make an NFA gun a non-NFA gun.
I was speaking of a plain shotgun.
Nor, can you make an AOW a SBS without re-papering it.
I don't recommend anyone doing anything illegal, but if you can remove a few parts to make an illegal gun legal-I say go for it. Just destroy the illegal parts.
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Old December 20, 2009, 06:17 PM   #21
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Sandman said it best. Almost each weapons system / platform has its own rules for compliance wrt. NFA. Just because one build is "legal" for one platform doesn't make it legal for another. In the case of M2 Carbines, having the FA parts kit makes you the proud owner of a machine gun according to the BATFE, regardless of your possession of a m1/m2 rifle or parts. This has happened even with M16 F/A parts kits. Now most reputable dealers won't sell you these goodies without proof that you own a registered firearm, as the BATFE is also holding them just as accountable as the ignorant people that get said parts for the "koolness" factor.

If you search the boards on here, you will find lots of info on this from good folks. There is thread on here about what makes a m1 vs. m2 especially from a parts kit/NFA compliance perspective. When in doubt, call the man and get them to send it to you in writing.

I and a bunch of people were recently under the "wrong" impression that non-sporting firearms were 922(r) exempt, well we were wrong. Just b/c they are registered under NFA doesn't exempt them from 922(r) when in doubt, call the BATFE, get clarification in form of a letter. If you assume, it could be a costly assumption and may cost you your freedom.
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Old December 21, 2009, 09:56 PM   #22
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I stand corrected

I had to go tear my M2 apart and I am WRONG. The receiver is the same as my M1, the trigger housing is what I should said about being machined. I am sorry for the confusion. I do apologize for my mis-statement about the receiver though.

Quote:
In the case of M2 Carbines, having the FA parts kit makes you the proud owner of a machine gun according to the BATFE, regardless of your possession of a m1/m2 rifle or parts.
That isn't what the ATF told me in Omaha when I approached them in 1999 with my Inland M1. It had several of the M2 parts in it and they told me as long as your rifle/gun isn't machined or started life as a full auto weapon the parts do not make it a machine gun as it can't be fired in fully automatic with out further modification. Now maybe he was blowing smoke? I don't know that is just what he told me when I received my M1 that had the FA sear, hammer, disconnector and plunger and the round bolt.

I would be interested in buying his parts from him though for my registered M2
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Old December 22, 2009, 02:19 AM   #23
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My .02 on the original post: If you do not already have the weapon in your possession, I would have the M2 parts removed and destroyed. Then you could (I believe) legally obtain the barreled receiver and go from there. You would never have been in possession of anything illegal, and as has been discussed, the receivers are identical except for the model number markings. But I would check with ATF and see if the thing had been registered at any time first.
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