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Old November 1, 2010, 05:52 PM   #1
chris in va
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Legality of Mech Tech upper for Glock

I'm getting the run-around regarding a 45acp upper I'm interested in for my Glock.

Some people point out the installation of this kit will prevent you from reinstalling the Glock slide, legally per the BATFE.

I emailed the BATFE, still waiting on a response...usually takes a month.

Here's the response I got back from an independent entity working with Mech Tech.

Quote:
Hello xxx-xxx - First issue: an SBR is a rifle with a barrel less than 16" long - when using the pistol lower attached to the CCU you do not have an SBR. Secondly, the issue of converting back and forth is addressed by an attorney Stephen Halbrook in the link below:

http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/tc.html

Also is attached a PDF which contains copies of the Halbrook case and a letter from the ATF. Careful reading of both documents may answer your questions.

Before proceeding further, we are not legal experts and cannot officially give any legal advice - the ball is in your court.
Here is our opinion:
1) there is no ATF rule against restoring to the original pistol. (I understand this not to be the case)
2) when installing a barrel equal to or longer than 16" to a pistol, the pistol can now be fitted with a shoulder stock without special licensing.
3) when #2 above has been assembled, you have a shoulder stocked pistol - not a rifle.
4) when switching barrels and stocks on a firearm frame, it matters how the frame began life from the factory - as a pistol or a rifle.
5) if the frame is registered as a pistol, it so remains.

Given the information provided by Stephen Halbrook it seems that everything is OK relative to the CCU. One fact in your favor is that the unaltered CCU cannot be used to assemble an SBR. The shoulder stock does not mount directly to the pistol frame.

I might point out that I am not an officer of Mech-Tech Systems corporation. I am an independent consultant hired on a contract basis for my engineering skills. I have been asked to address this issue because I also maintain the website.
If you are really concerned about switching back and forth, you might consider doing so in a non-public area.

Hope this helps,
Ray G. Herriott
Thoughts?
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Old November 1, 2010, 06:57 PM   #2
rjrivero
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This thread. Post #19.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=416934

The case you were directed to is specific to the Thompson Contender KITS. Per the Supreme Court ruling, the THOMPSON CONTENDER KITS, when bought in ONE KIT can be used to configure any weapon you choose. Rifle to pistol and pistol to rifle, as you choose.

YOU CAN NOT do this with a your glock or your 1911.

Once a Rilfe, ALWAYS a rifle. Unless you file a form 1 to make a SBR.
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Old January 8, 2011, 04:51 PM   #3
Goidel
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What is an Illegal SBR?

Excuse my ignorance but "What is an Illegal SBR?"

I recently acquired a Mech Tech CCU chambered for a 1911 A1 .45acp and now looking for a .45 pistol and the OP is somewhat startling. My barrel is
16.25 inches long, which is a 1/4 inch over the minimum. Do I have a problem when converting and possibly reverting the pistol ?

Any comments will be appreciated.
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Old January 8, 2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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SBR = Short Barrel Rifle

An illegal SBR is one for which there isn't a proper tax stamp.
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Old January 8, 2011, 10:30 PM   #5
Toxdoc
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Quote:
I recently acquired a Mech Tech CCU chambered for a 1911 A1 .45acp and now looking for a .45 pistol and the OP is somewhat startling. My barrel is
16.25 inches long, which is a 1/4 inch over the minimum. Do I have a problem when converting and possibly reverting the pistol ?
I am not fully versed in the law, but my understanding is that once you take your pistol, add a long barrel and a stock, it becomes a rifle, for ATF purposes. When you revert it back to a pistol, it is now a pistol made out of a rifle and that requires ATF approval (and I believe a tax stamp for an SBR).

While the US v Thompson Center Arms case, would suggest that you can convert back and forth, the ATF has taken the position that this case applies only to the TC pistol kit (I'm sure someone with better search skills knows of a link to letters from the ATF which state this).
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Old January 11, 2011, 10:55 AM   #6
2ndChildhood
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Mech Tech CCU legalities?

I have one of these (love it) and in looking over the Halbrook thing I see no reference to where the Supreme Court singles out the T/C Arms products as being the only ones to which their decision applies. IMHO the reasoning put forward by the court is generic in nature and must apply to everyone and serves as a general interpretation to BATF 'rules'. In any event the question is are you really 'creating' a rifle when you attach a shoulder stock to a pistol having a barrel equal to or greater than 16"? - according to the Halbrook decision you are not if you're doing this to what is indeed a pistol. There are several classic pistols which have been fitted with 16" barrels - artillery Luger - and have shoulder stocks which can be legally attached - but not legally removed? - nah! If you are really bothered by all this do as the post above suggests - 'convert in private'. Some overzealous bureaucrat in the BATF may be watching but I don't see it holding up in court. I'll be interested to see the response by the BATF to the email sent their way by 'chris in va' - maybe also email Halbrook.

Last edited by 2ndChildhood; January 11, 2011 at 11:01 AM. Reason: added text
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:19 AM   #7
gyvel
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Quote:
There are several classic pistols which have been fitted with 16" barrels - artillery Luger - and have shoulder stocks which can be legally attached - but not legally removed? - nah!
Au contraire. If the gun, with the shoulder stock removed, is not over 26" in length, you have created an SBS from a "rifle."

By my calculations, a Luger with a 16" barrel is going to be about 21 1/2" long. Put the stock on, you have created a rifle. Take the stock off and you now have an illegal SBS.
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:46 AM   #8
smince
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I think you mean SBR, not SBS
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Old January 11, 2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
2ndChildhood:...There are several classic pistols which have been fitted with 16" barrels - artillery Luger - and have shoulder stocks which can be legally attached - but not legally removed? - nah!...
Wrong.
You're getting your guns mixed up. ANY Luger with a 16" bbl and shoulder stock is a rifle by definition. The barrel is not removable (as in a 1911, Glock or Hi Power) so it cannot easily or readily be converted back to a pistol.

A Luger with a 12" bbl, on the other hand IS a handgun. It becomes a short barrelled rifle when a shoulder stock is attached. Remove the shoulder stock and it remains a SBR under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and requires an ATF tax stamp. Unless.......it is specifically exempted as many Artillery Lugers are.

Certain Lugers, Mausers and FN/Browning Hi Powers are exempt from NFA regulation due to their status as curios. Not all Lugers, Mausers or Hi Powers are exempt from the NFA....only a defined few.

See the list here:http://www.atf.gov/publications/down...-p-5300-11.pdf
See Section III SECTION III: "Weapons Removed From The NFA
As Collector's Items And Classified As Curios Or Relics Under The GCA" (pages 34-42)

Quote:
The Bureau has determined that by reason of the date of their manufacture, value, design and other
characteristics, the following firearms are primarily collector's items and are not likely to be used as weapons
and, therefore, are excluded from the provisions of the National Firearms Act.
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Old January 11, 2011, 07:08 PM   #10
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http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...7&postcount=19

This post contains a copy of ATF's thinking.
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Old January 12, 2011, 12:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
I think you mean SBR, not SBS
Yes. Bad eyes and bad typing.
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Old January 12, 2011, 02:25 AM   #12
skinnygun
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I have a Mech Tech in .460 Rowland ,when I take the slide off my 1911 .45 and add the Mech Tech unit is becomes a rifle...When I remove the unit and attach the slide to my 1911 .45 it becomes a pistol..Leave the house with one or the other.No problem.
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Old January 12, 2011, 10:48 PM   #13
dogtown tom
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Quote:
skinnygun I have a Mech Tech in .460 Rowland ,when I take the slide off my 1911 .45 and add the Mech Tech unit is becomes a rifle...When I remove the unit and attach the slide to my 1911 .45 it becomes a pistol..Leave the house with one or the other.No problem.
Not quite.
When you remove the Mechtech from your rifle and reassemble with your 1911 sllide and barrel...........you have just manufactured "a firearm made from a rifle". That requires a SBR tax stamp.

No tax stamp?

BIG problem.
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Old January 13, 2011, 02:18 AM   #14
gyvel
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Quote:
I have a Mech Tech in .460 Rowland ,when I take the slide off my 1911 .45 and add the Mech Tech unit is becomes a rifle...When I remove the unit and attach the slide to my 1911 .45 it becomes a pistol..Leave the house with one or the other.No problem.
And it wasn't a problem until you went on a public forum and blabbed to the whole world about it.
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Old January 13, 2011, 04:08 AM   #15
skinnygun
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Thanks for the warnings I have not removed the 1911 from the Mech Tech unit as it is a great little rifle compact fun to shoot, I intend to keep it that way.
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Old January 13, 2011, 04:19 AM   #16
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And, to the best of my knowledge, it still isn't a problem.

The Mech-Tech upper conversion is available for purchase via website. It has been for years. In all this time, they have sold numerous units. I have seen these units. I have fired these units. I have been on live ranges, and seen these units fired IN THE DIRECT PRESENCE of DEA and ATF enforcement agents, as well as other law enforcement personnel.

This is from the Mech-Tech website...

"The CCU is not a firearm and will not fire without a pistol lower in place. The CCU is simply an accessory such as a scope or grips. For State and local laws you are advised to become aware of them relative to where you live. As far as Mech-Tech is aware, the CCU in and of itself is legal in all States. We do know that in the case of California the combination of the CCU and a pistol lower becomes illegal under current law. If and when Mech-Tech becomes aware of any other special circumstances such as California, we will publish this information. Again, the customer has the responsibility to determine the legality of the combination in their circumstance. "

Perhaps this is what some of you are referring to.

Source:

http://www.mechtechsys.com/faqs.php#a0
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Old January 13, 2011, 02:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Powderman And, to the best of my knowledge, it still isn't a problem.
It sure as heck is.
Converting a pistol to a rifle...no problem.
Converting that rifle back to a pistol.......BIG problem unless you hold a tax stamp.


Quote:
The Mech-Tech upper conversion is available for purchase via website. It has been for years. In all this time, they have sold numerous units. I have seen these units. I have fired these units. I have been on live ranges, and seen these units fired IN THE DIRECT PRESENCE of DEA and ATF enforcement agents, as well as other law enforcement personnel.
So what?
No one is disputing that the MechTec upper is legal.....we all know it is.



This is from the Mech-Tech website...

Quote:
"The CCU is not a firearm and will not fire without a pistol lower in place. The CCU is simply an accessory such as a scope or grips. For State and local laws you are advised to become aware of them relative to where you live. As far as Mech-Tech is aware, the CCU in and of itself is legal in all States. We do know that in the case of California the combination of the CCU and a pistol lower becomes illegal under current law. If and when Mech-Tech becomes aware of any other special circumstances such as California, we will publish this information. Again, the customer has the responsibility to determine the legality of the combination in their circumstance. "
Perhaps this is what some of you are referring to.
Source:
http://www.mechtechsys.com/faqs.php#a0
All the above is MechTecs marketing hype. They do a great job of never addressing the fact that converting your MechTec rifle back to a pistol requires a tax stamp. ATF could not be more clear regarding the status of a firearm made from a rifle.............it requires a $200 SBR tax stamp. When you register that firearm as an SBR it remains an NFA weapon....meaning that all future transfers will require the buyer to pay an NFA tax as well.

MechTec doesn't want you to know this because it would cause many buyers to reconsider the purchase of a conversion kit.
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Last edited by dogtown tom; January 13, 2011 at 02:38 PM.
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Old January 13, 2011, 05:33 PM   #18
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I am aware of a couple of guys who wanted to SBR their Glocks and carry the gun CCW, with the Israeli/FAB stock in a Maxpedition-type bag to have available just in case.

After contacting ATF, their ruling was once the pistol is SBR'd it must be stored and transported in SBR configuration.

You can remove the stock and fire the gun in non-NFA (pistol) configuration for short periods of time at the range for fun, but before you leave the gun must be put back into SBR configuration (stock on). You also must store the gun in your safe in SBR configuration.

So, by the other ATF letter, once you 'legally' convert the Mechtech back to being a pistol (by SBRing it), then the pistol/SBR has to be carried in the SBR config (in the case of one letter, as a pistol).

But according to the letter the guys I know have, you can't carry an SBR as a pistol, it has to be in SBR configuration.

Unless in SBR config it is a pistol?

Now I fully understand....

(I won't even get into the fact that a semi pistol with a stock is considered an SBR (constructive possession) without NFA paperwork, but with paperwork it can't be carried that way because it isn't in SBR configuration - our tax dollars hard at work)

Last edited by smince; January 13, 2011 at 07:59 PM.
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Old January 13, 2011, 07:49 PM   #19
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So, a question...

How can this be an SBR with a barrel length of over 16"?

But, that's OK. I put a shout out to one of my old buddies in the Seattle ATF office. He should be getting back to me with the definitive answer, and I'll post it here.
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Old January 13, 2011, 07:55 PM   #20
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And, by the way...this is directly (again) from the Mech-Tech website...

Quote:
At this point you have your pistol with a 16+" barrel 'top end'. The unit is ready to fire! Slip in a loaded magazine, rack the cocking handle to the rear and release it - this loads a round into the chamber in the same way as does the original pistol slide. The unit operates in semi-auto mode exactly as does the pistol with the original 'top end' in place. No modifications to the pistol 'lower' are necessary. No unusual wear occurs when using the new 'top end'. The assembly is totally reversible. As we understand things, now that you have a pistol with a 16+" barrel you can legally install a shoulder stock and what you have is a shoulder stocked pistol. 'Unique to this product is the fact that you cannot attach the shoulder stock itself directly to the pistol lower.
Now, I may be way off in my thinking, but I believe that a company that has been doing business as long as these guys have MUST have obtained some type of ruling from ATF concerning the legality of their conversion units. They're not hard to find, and they're NOT hiding.

Make of it what you will. I'll still post the info from ATF when I get it.
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Old January 13, 2011, 07:55 PM   #21
smince
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Quote:
How can this be an SBR with a barrel length of over 16"?
It isn't. It becomes an 'SBR' (supposedly) when you take the CCU off and put the slide back on. You've made something 'less' from a 16" rifle
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Old January 13, 2011, 07:58 PM   #22
rjrivero
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Let me know if they tell you anything different than they told me in July.

LINK HERE.

For the record, it's not a "SBR" when you take the Mech Tech upper off the frame, it's a "pistol made from a rifle." That's a no no.
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Old January 13, 2011, 08:17 PM   #23
smince
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Quote:
For the record, it's not a "SBR" when you take the Mech Tech upper off the frame, it's a "pistol made from a rifle."
That's one definition. Can you show me specifics for "a pistol made from a rifle'? I couldn't find it in my book.

I did find
Quote:
26 U.S.C. sec. 5845(a)
* * * *
(3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels less than 16 inches
in length;
(4) 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
But it's not specified as a pistol made from a rifle that I can find.
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Old January 14, 2011, 08:31 AM   #24
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smince,

My previous post should read "weapon made from a rifle" instead of "pistol made from a rifle." My error.

It is indeed from the National Firearms Act (NFA), 26 U.S.C. ยง 5845(a),
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Old January 14, 2011, 02:03 PM   #25
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Well, I just got off the phone with the ATF Office in Seattle. Here is the official word:

There is NO--I repeat, NO--Federal restriction to using the Mech-Tech CCU Unit with a handgun lower (1911, Glock), then removing the carbine upper and reinstalling the pistol slide assembly.

The one caution that I got was to "check your State's laws as well".

So, check your State's laws.

And, when cleared, use with confidence and much fun.
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