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Old December 31, 2010, 11:52 PM   #1
C.M.9
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Building an AR 15 pistol.

Hi everyone,

I am new to the AR's. I did own an AK in the past. And that was my first rifle. I did end up selling it though because I had to move to a bigger city and could not find a good defense load and had fear of the over penetration if I ever had to use it. I have been doing some research and found there are allot of good HD loads for the .223 so that is what I am going to go with. I just have a few questions about building an Ar pistol. I know what I need to build an AR rifle but I am not so sure about the pistol. Would A regular AR Lower work? I read on the net it has to be new if you want to use it for making a pistol I'm not sure about the legal side of building an ar pistol barrel lengths,overall length etc... and for the upper do they make ar pistol uppers? or how would the upper be for the ar pistol....the parts I'm not sure about either. I know it can not have a stock and needs a buffer tube or something...but other than that would the parts for the rifles work? Basically I want to try to build a carbon 15 pistol if I can get the parts. I didn't see really any parts for the carbon 15 pistol on gunbroker though. I would like to build some type of ar pistol though if possible. if anyone can give me some info on this I will appreciate it. Thanks.
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Old January 1, 2011, 12:01 AM   #2
zoomie
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Why is it you don't want to just buy a Carbon 15 pistol?

RRA and others make AR pistol uppers (and lowers, for that matter).

http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...ategory_id=233

http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...ategory_id=235

Model 1 sales, too: http://www.model1sales.com/index.cfm...ategory_id=332

The main legal issues are that it can't have a buttstock and the lower can't have been a rifle at any point in its life.

Most of the parts (LPK, BCG, upper receiver, pistol grip, upper/low receivers) are the same parts as AR-15 rifles. Most things that are not are just shorter versions of the same (barrel, gas tube, buffer tube, handguard...).

Last edited by zoomie; January 1, 2011 at 12:08 AM.
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Old January 1, 2011, 12:13 AM   #3
C.M.9
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Thanks! Basically I know lots of people build ar's. I just thought it would be a cool project to build an ar pistol. Plus Money wise I probably would not be able to just buy a new one right now. So I want to do it as a project. The carbon 15 I think I would like to build. But it does not have to be a carbon 15. I do not know a whole lot about ar pistols. But I have heard about carbon 15's. Thanks for the info.
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Old January 1, 2011, 12:40 AM   #4
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Building an AR pistol is very much the same as building an AR Rifle. The only big difference is that the buffer tube can not be able to accept a stock.

Barrel length is up to you. There is no barrel length restriction for a pistol. The barrel can be as short as you can make it (and still function of course) 7" is the shortest that cycle with a pistol length gas tube. A barrel can be as long as you want to make it. The definition of a pistol is not in the barrel length.

All the other AR parts are pretty interchangeable with an AR pistol. The bolt, the upper receiver, the lower receiver are all the same. The gas tube is dependent on the barrel length you decide to use, of course.

The only "caveat" is that a pistol lower can have NEVER been built into a full rifle. You can use a stripped lower, or even a complete lower that HAS a stock on it, but has NEVER been built into a full rifle. You must remove the stock before putting an upper on it. (Once you put an upper on a lower, it is a complete RIFLE, and can NOT be a pistol any longer.)

This is the one I built:

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Old January 1, 2011, 03:04 AM   #5
Jim243
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Rjrivero

Cool, that's a nice build.

C.M.9

Basicaly the parts are all the same. However, when ordering parts, pay attention to weither they are "Mil Spec" or "Commercial Size" parts (different size parts). The best reasson to use a Carbon-15 upper and lower is weight. The Car-15 is substantually lighter and easyier to use as a pistol.

Car-15's use to have very bad reps, because of the mfg that went out of bussines that made them. The product line was bought up by Bushmaster and they have substantually improved the product. In fact the only Carbon parts on the new guns are the casing for the upper and lower, the stock and the hand guard. All the other parts are metal. People use to complain about there not having a foward assist and dust cover, the new ones have both.

I am unsure on the barrel length restriction for a pistol, but I believe it can not be longer than 11 inches for a pistol or shorter than 16 inches for a rifle. And a pistol can not have a stock or a vertical grip on the front of the pistol.

Lowers can be made into pistols or rifles, but can not be changed once it is registered, and yes it will be stated on the form you fill out for purchase of any weapon and kept by the retailer of the lower.

To eleminate the need for the takeup (recoil tube and spring) you could go with a piston system instead of the normal gas system. This will make your pistol shorter yet, lighter and eleminate the tube from the back of the weapon.

The new Carbon-15's I personally think are great buys, fun to shoot and very accurate. My christmas present this year was a Bushmaster SuperLight Car-15 carbine (16 inch) in 5.56 Nato. It was on sale for $599.00 and I spent another $135.00 on add-on parts (Butt Pad, Houge pistol grip, bipod, vertical pistol grip and quad rail)

They are easy to build and fun to use. This is what mine looks like.



Good luck and have fun.
Jim
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Old January 1, 2011, 04:23 AM   #6
rjrivero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim243
I am unsure on the barrel length restriction for a pistol, but I believe it can not be longer than 11 inches for a pistol or shorter than 16 inches for a rifle. And a pistol can not have a stock or a vertical grip on the front of the pistol.

Lowers can be made into pistols or rifles, but can not be changed once it is registered, and yes it will be stated on the form you fill out for purchase of any weapon and kept by the retailer of the lower.

To eleminate the need for the takeup (recoil tube and spring) you could go with a piston system instead of the normal gas system. This will make your pistol shorter yet, lighter and eleminate the tube from the back of the weapon.
Barrel Length: There is no requirement for a barrel on a pistol to be of any specified length. You can make it as short, or as long as you want to.

Lower Configuration: A pistol can be made into a rifle with NO federal paperwork. A rifle CAN NOT be made into a pistol, as per federal rules. There is NO FEDERAL REGISTRATION for pistols or rifles. State laws will vary, and you need to abide by any state registration that you are subject to. Neither my pistols or my rifles are registered in any way. My Short Barrel Rifles, however, are all on the National Firearms Act Registry through the ATF. That's a different ball of wax all together.
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Old January 1, 2011, 11:26 PM   #7
Jim243
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Quote:
Neither my pistols or my rifles are registered in any way
That's what you think (Ha, ha, ha) LOL, the FBI has all your information in their computers. Any time there is a transfer of firearm by a FFL a form 4473 has to be completed and transmitted to the "National Instant Chriminal Background Check System"


http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nic...ion/fact-sheet

Along with all of your information and the serial number, manufacturer, model/make, type (rifle or pistol), date of purchase and purpose of purchase.

And yes you have to fill out a Form 4473 to buy a lower.

Jim
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Old January 1, 2011, 11:40 PM   #8
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The 4473 lists receivers as "other." They are neither pistols nor rifles.

If you read the link you provided you will find:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NICS Fact Sheet
Data stored in the NICS is documented federal data and access to that information is restricted to agencies authorized by the FBI. Extensive measures are taken to ensure the security and integrity of the system information and agency use. The NICS is not to be used to establish a federal firearm registry; information about an inquiry resulting in an allowed transfer is destroyed in accordance with NICS regulations. Current destruction of NICS records became effective when a final rule was published by the Department of Justice in The Federal Register, outlining the following changes. Per Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 25.9(b)(1), (2), and (3), the NICS Section must destroy all identifying information on allowed transactions prior to the start of the next NICS operational day.

Bold added by me.
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Old January 1, 2011, 11:44 PM   #9
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Jim243

C'mon down to one of our gun shows in Virginia Jim
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Old January 2, 2011, 12:55 AM   #10
Jim243
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Quote:
information about an inquiry resulting in an allowed transfer is destroyed in accordance with NICS regulations
First off the FFL is required to keep the Form 4473 as well as a written log of all firearms transfers in or out, I believe for at least 10 years and the FFL's records are subject to inspection at any time by any authorized agent of the FBI or ATF.

You guys must also believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and that Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter in Dallas in 1963.

Quote:
C'mon down to one of our gun shows in Virginia Jim
That's the loop hole everyone is trying to close, and Gun Shows here in Illinois require NICS checks, FOID cards and Form 4473 before transfers are made here. And as a resident of Illinois we can not purchase handguns in another state, the best we can do is have one shipped to a FFL here in Illinois and go through the transfer process of NICS, Form 4473 and waiting period (72 hrs here)

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Last edited by Jim243; January 2, 2011 at 01:05 AM.
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Old January 2, 2011, 01:37 PM   #11
C.M.9
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Thanks for posting guys! this really helped me. I'm going to call bushmaster and see what they have to say about purchasing receivers. and if that does not work out you guys showed me allot of other company's that make them. Thanks!
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Old January 2, 2011, 03:48 PM   #12
ausher
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can a pistol ar have one of these without breaking any nfa rules?
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Old January 24, 2013, 12:21 AM   #13
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Zombie thread, but yes, you may have the angled foregrip on an AR type pistol, per an ATF letter. This DOES NOT apply to any other type of pistol.
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Old January 24, 2013, 03:01 AM   #14
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I know the guy before me resurrected a year-old thread, but I had to correct this misinformation:

Quote:
the FBI has all your information in their computers...Along with all of your information and the serial number, manufacturer, model/make, type (rifle or pistol), date of purchase and purpose of purchase.
Not true at all. Not even close.

If your dealer chooses to use the paper 4473 and calls in the NICS background check, only the following information is transferred to the FBI:

-Name
-State of birth (country if not the US)
-Height
-Weight
-Gender
-Date of Birth
-SSN (optional)
-Ethnicity and race
-State of residence
-Country of citizenship
-Type of firearm (handgun, long gun, and/or other)

That's it. That's all the information provided to the FBI. While the 4473 form is kept on premises at the dealer for at least seven years, the only reason the Feds would look at it is during an investigation of some sort.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:33 AM   #15
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Building an AR pistol at this time will be expensive. I would just buy one of the Carbon-15 pistols for sale on Gunbroker. I have one, they work just fine. If you want to shoot Wolf steel-cased ammo in them, it's possible, but you will have to spray-clean the chamber and keep things lubricated, or you will get spent shells that won't eject all the way. With brass ammo, there is no problem.
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