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Old December 26, 2012, 03:00 PM   #1
Hairbag
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AR15 Pistol/rifle lower receiver

Sorry if I posted this in the wrong place but I have a "virgin" AR15 lower that I bought right from the manufacture directly in person too ! (use to live near LRB arms) I have never assembled it as a rifle or anything. It's been sitting in my safe since the Clinton days. Now, I'm pretty sure I can get and use a pistol upper but If I ever put a rifle upper I can't go back. However, some folks say I can't use it as a pistol lower because it does not have the words "pistol" stamped on the receiver that part I'm not sure of? Yeah, I know most of you are not into the AR pistol thing but the is a reason for everything.
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Old December 26, 2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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Currently, stripped AR lowers are marked as receivers on Form 4473 (Section D, box 29). You can build it into EITHER a rifle or a pistol. Before the current 4473, I think they were marked as "other," but that shouldn't affect anything.

I am not aware of any AR lowers that are marked "pistol," but even if some are, that doesn't change the fact that until you build it into something, it isn't anything but a receiver. I believe you can built it into a pistol or rifle as you choose.

It wasn't that long ago they issued a ruling about whether something built as a pistol could later be swapped into a rifle (or vice versa), but heck if I can remember what it was.

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Old December 26, 2012, 04:05 PM   #3
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every stripped lower reciever is classified as a pistol unless the person buying is under 21 in which case by law they can only sell rifles and sell them as such. nobody is going to blink twice at an AR in pistol configuration.
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Old December 26, 2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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That's what I figured. Gun store owner I was talking too once brought it to my attention that the lower had to be stamped "pistol" but I did not want to argue with him. I have seen AR lowers stamped "pistol" though thanks for the info
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Old December 26, 2012, 07:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
tahunua001 wrote:
every stripped lower reciever is classified as a pistol unless the person buying is under 21 in which case by law they can only sell rifles and sell them as such. nobody is going to blink twice at an AR in pistol configuration.
That may be true in other countries, but in the USA, a receiver is classified as a receiver. Not a handgun and not a rifle or shotgun. Just a receiver. State laws may refine the sale, but federal law does not make a configuration distinction.

Please consult the BATF website for more information.
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Old December 26, 2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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interesting, receivers are not classified as firearms so I wonder why you still have to buy them from an FFL?

you can knit pick all you want but but AR receivers are sold as pistols to make it legal for you do do whatever you want with it, whether it's build a rifle or pistol as a pistol can be converted back and forth between longarm and handgun but a rifle can not be converted to a handgun.
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Old December 26, 2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
tahunua001 wrote:
you can knit pick all you want but but AR receivers are sold as pistols to make it legal for you do do whatever you want with it, whether it's build a rifle or pistol as a pistol can be converted back and forth between longarm and handgun but a rifle can not be converted to a handgun.
I am not nitpicking and you are just plain wrong. Don't continue to be ignorant. Look it up. It is there in black and white.
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Old December 26, 2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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And to make things more confusing......... If it starts out (Born a pistol) it can always remain a pistol BUT if you ever attach a rifle upper at ANY time you can never switch back to a pistol again it is now a rifle forever? I know it's not very clear.
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Old December 26, 2012, 10:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
And to make things more confusing......... If it starts out (Born a pistol) it can always remain a pistol BUT if you ever attach a rifle upper at ANY time you can never switch back to a pistol again it is now a rifle forever? I know it's not very clear.
that's backwards, pistols can go back and forth between rifles and pistol but rifles have to stay rifles. this is how companies like mech tech and CAA can get away with selling their carbine conversions for glocks and thompson center can market pistol and rifle setups for their contender and encore lines.
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:04 PM   #10
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tahunua001- I think this one has been beat to death in endless forum topics.

If it's a new lower that's never been a rifle, it can be a pistol or a rifle.

Once it's been a rifle, no more chances to be a pistol. Even if you built it as a pistol, then added a 16"+ barrel and a stock to make it a rifle- there's no reverting back to pistol configuration.

Like FALPhil said, it's pretty black and white.
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:05 PM   #11
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Actually if you buy the CAA Roni kit and slap your favorite pistol in there you have made a SBR and are subject to NFA rules. The mech tech kit makes a rifle, but not a short barrel rifle. No NFA issues.
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:35 PM   #12
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Thanks tmorone I did some more "research" and that seems to be the answer among the AR pistol forums. I was just asking before I decide on buying a pistol upper. I know a "stock" will NFA it.
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Actually if you buy the CAA Roni kit and slap your favorite pistol in there you have made a SBR and are subject to NFA rules. The mech tech kit makes a rifle, but not a short barrel rifle. No NFA issues.
not to highjack the thread for for a long time CAA made a civilian compliant RONI that had a 16 inch barrel.
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Old December 27, 2012, 12:18 AM   #14
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[quote]
Quote:
Actually if you buy the CAA Roni kit and slap your favorite pistol in there you have made a SBR and are subject to NFA rules. The mech tech kit makes a rifle, but not a short barrel rifle. No NFA issues.
Quote:
not to highjack the thread for for a long time CAA made a civilian compliant RONI that had a 16 inch barrel.

Not sure how long they actually sold those, but I don't think they're still in the lineup. I "think" they make an NFA compliant version with a sling where the stock used to be, and no foregrip, but I could very well be wrong on the details.
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Old December 27, 2012, 12:22 AM   #15
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yes the RONI Recon is still in the lineup but yes they only offered the NFA complain RONI carbine for about a year but it cost $150 more than the NFA version so most people just got the tax stamp and got the SBR. last I checked I couldn't find it either.
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Old December 27, 2012, 04:38 PM   #16
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FWIW there are AR lowers marked "pistol".
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Old December 27, 2012, 04:50 PM   #17
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Yeah I was able to pic up a spikes 5.45x39 pistol upper today from GB. I was lucky to find 4 AR15 5.45x39 mags at "normal" prices.
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Old December 28, 2012, 11:52 PM   #18
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Here's picture of pistol only lower.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RRA lower (2).JPG (152.8 KB, 31 views)
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:17 AM   #19
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Yeah i was pretty sure I have seen AR lowers marked "pistol only" When I lived in Long Island NY NYS law took things a step further and had a weight restriction on AR pistols so basically making it illegal to own one. There were no AR pistols that would come under or meet the weight restriction but then Bushmaster came out with a ultralight AR pistol forget the name of it? and I bought one. Let me tell you the look I got when I had to bring that pistol into my local pct to register it. They were "frowning" upon it but hey too bad it's legal.
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Old December 29, 2012, 10:04 PM   #20
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FALPhil:

In the interest of not being ignorant (I was under the impression that an AR originally configured as a pistol, could be legally configured to a rifle and back without any problems or restrictions), I looked on the BATFE site and all I could find was this page:

http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulin...ing-2011-4.pdf

with this comment (among others):

Quote:
Held further, a firearm, as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(3) and (a)(4), is not made when a pistol is attached to a part or parts designed to convert the pistol into a rifle with a barrel of 16 inches or more in length, and the parts are later unassembled in a configuration not regulated under the NFA (e.g., as a pistol).
While this quote doesn't expressly address the situation, they discuss the reconversion to a pistol as though it is not an issue at all. The same page does state specifically that you CANNOT make a pistol from a firearm that was originally configured as a rifle ...

I would really appreciate it if you could please post a link to the passage where they clearly state that once it becomes a rifle it cannot be reconverted to the pistol configuration.

Thanks in advance!

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Old December 30, 2012, 10:18 AM   #21
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From the same ATF page:

"Therefore, so long as a parts kit or collection of parts is not used to make a firearm regulated under the NFA (e.g., a short-barreled rifle or “any other weapon” as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(e)), no NFA firearm is made when the same parts are assembled or re-assembled in a configuration not regulated under the NFA (e.g., a pistol, or a rifle with a barrel of 16 inches or more in length). Merely assembling and disassembling such a rifle does not result in the making of a new weapon; rather, it is the same rifle in a knockdown condition (i.e., complete as to all component parts). Likewise, because it is the same weapon when reconfigured as a pistol, no “weapon made from a rifle” subject to the NFA has been made."

And

"Nonetheless, if a handgun or other weapon with an overall length of less than 26 inches, or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length is assembled or otherwise produced from a weapon originally assembled or produced only as a rifle, such a weapon is a “weapon made from a rifle” as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(4). Such a weapon would not be a “pistol” because the weapon was not originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile by one hand."
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Old December 31, 2012, 08:09 PM   #22
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DaveWUSAF: Those are the exact passages that I was referring to ... they sure make it sound like back and forth isn't a problem for something that starts out life as a pistol, but that it is a big no-no for something that started out as a rifle.

If there is a clear reference that refutes this, I'm hoping that someone will post a link to it.

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Old January 1, 2013, 01:47 AM   #23
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Geez... I didn't know this was such a convoluted matter... It's quite simple.

Any virgin lower that is sold as such, is not classified as a pistol or a rifle, just a 'firearm'. Once you build it out, there is also no legal issue with converting that lower receiver between a rifle and pistol configuration - you just must be sure to never have the pistol upper(anything less that 16" or 14.5" w/ fixed flash hider) attached to the lower group while a stock is attached. This even goes for just the standard stock buffer tube(removing the stock from the tube does not a pistol make).

This is similar in theory to buying a PGO shotgun, such as a Mossberg 500 Cruiser. The 4473 does not list the gun as a shotgun, but as a firearm. Since it does not come with a stock attached, and is therefore not classified under federal law as a shotgun, it is not subject to the 18.5" barrel limitation. Using a Shockwave Technologies 'birdshead' style pistol grip, you can add the Mossberg 590 AOW 14" front end without needing to register under the NFA. This is because the Shockwave grip extends rearward, instead of down, making the OAL over 26"(26.5"). It's an easy and legal way to have an SBS without registering under NFA. [see here]

You can have a pistol buffer tube attached and put on your 10.5" (or whatever) size upper group... or even your 16"+ upper group... although it would be weird shooting a pistol tube with an upper that large.

Switch back and forth as much as you want... just be sure to never have it in a configuration that would qualify under the NFA.

On a somewhat related note, some people build out a pistol configured AR in anticipation of registering the weapon under NFA as an SBR.... build out your AR pistol, pay your $200, get your stamp... NOW you can slap a stock on there. Just remember that once the receiver has been registered under NFA, it will always remain as such, even if you convert it to a non-NFA configuration. That is to say... you can't create an SBR now... then decide you want to sell it, slap a 16" upper onto it, and sell it privately.
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Old January 2, 2013, 08:40 PM   #24
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Well thats good to know. Does not matter much to me anymore the upper arrived almost broken in half. The seller from GB wants ME to make a insurance claim with USPS. At war with him now. I'm out a $900 and a upper. Do you think it's a little bent? lol
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Old January 3, 2013, 08:15 AM   #25
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HOLY CRAP....
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