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Old November 23, 2014, 12:42 PM   #1
5.56RifleGuy
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rifle to "pistol" and arm brace question

Good afternoon everyone,

A dealer told my friend he could cut down the barrel on his ak rifle, remove the stock and replace it with an arm brace, because he was turning it into a pistol. To my knowledge, this is incorrect and illegal. It was my understanding that you cant turn a rifle into a pistol just by chopping the barrel and pulling the stock. The configuration seems like it falls under the weapon made from a rifle category, and would require the $200 tax stamp.

Am I missing something, or is this dealer setting a lot of people up to get in trouble?

Thanks,

Devin
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Old November 23, 2014, 12:52 PM   #2
dakota.potts
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My understanding: a pistol or virgin receiver may be made a rifle, but a rifle cannot be made a pistol. A firearm that is a pistol originally may be converted back and forth as long as other laws are followed.

I am not a lawyer
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Old November 23, 2014, 01:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
My understanding: a pistol or virgin receiver may be made a rifle, but a rifle cannot be made a pistol. A firearm that is a pistol originally may be converted back and forth as long as other laws are followed.
Correct. Born a rifle, always a rifle. converting it to a pistol or SBR without the proper tax stamp is illegal.
If it started off as a pistol it can be converted to a rifle and back again providing it is done in an order that at no time parts are assembled into something illegal.

Receivers (ARs at least) are neither until assembled the first time.
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Old November 23, 2014, 01:16 PM   #4
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I was pondering a similar thing about a month ago. I had an SP89, which is an HK pistol, that I wanted to turn into a MP5 K, which is a rifle.

According to the dealer, who checked with the ATF, a pistol can become a rifle, but it is a one way street, in that a rifle can not become a pistol.

One way that your friend can cut down the AK rifle and keep it legal is to install a registered full auto sear. The machine gun status overrides all other statuses. But the moment he takes the sear out, he must immediately either register the rifle as an SBR, or, if the stock is removable and the gun is legally a pistol, then he must remove the buttstock (the latter being irrelevant to your friend, but there are people who have SP89s or AR pistols for which this may be relevant).

I'm not an expert on this issue. I am only passing along information that was passed to me.
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Old November 23, 2014, 02:03 PM   #5
Tom Servo
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Quote:
Am I missing something, or is this dealer setting a lot of people up to get in trouble?
I'm afraid you're right. Here's the original ruling, from 2011 [pdf]. This is the relevant part:

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).
Temporarily converting a pistol to a rifle is permitted. However, the inverse is not:

Quote:
Held further, a firearm, as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(4), is made when 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 produced from a weapon originally assembled or produced only as a rifle. Such weapons must be registered and are subject to all requirements of the NFA.
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Old November 23, 2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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Pistol into a rifle good to go. Rifle into a pistol is a no-no. The only way to get a short barrel on the AK mentioned is to do a form 1 and SBR the gun. If he does that he doesnt need the Sig brace. A real stock is a better way to go at that point.

About the HK SP89 into a MP5k...
If there is a way to attach the Sig brace to the SP89, that would remain a pistol. If you are planning to put the Choate side folder on it then again its a form 1 turning it into a SBR
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Old November 23, 2014, 06:47 PM   #7
5.56RifleGuy
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Thanks for the replies.

I believe Atlantic firearms is working on a brace for hk type weapons. They may have it already.
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Old November 23, 2014, 09:25 PM   #8
Machineguntony
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Correct me if I'm wrong, Sharkbite...

I believe that you don't have to Form 1 the SP89 to MP5k, with a folding Choate or B&T stock, as long as there is a machine gun sear in the SP89. If you remove the sear, then you must Form 1 the SBR or remove the stock.
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Old November 23, 2014, 09:54 PM   #9
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MGTONY...

You are absolutely correct. A auto-sear makes the gun a "machinegun". That makes barrel length or stock config irrelevant.

MG is not a pistol or rifle. Its a MG

I was thinking a stock install onto a semi SP89
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Old November 23, 2014, 10:02 PM   #10
5.56RifleGuy
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Those braces for the mp5 k are almost $300. Might as well pay the tax.
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Old November 23, 2014, 10:31 PM   #11
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There is an additional problem with SBRing a rifle that isn't often discussed: it negatively affects the resale value of a gun, making the SBR very difficult, if not impossible, to sell. Because of the tax and wait time to transfer from person to person, the pool of potential buyers shrinks significantly.

A search of SBRs for sale on Gunbroker shows almost no bids to buy.

As of 11/23/2014, there are approximately 378 listings, but there are only about a dozen bids (360 out of the 378 listings have zero bids). Of the dozen bids, none meet the reserve, except for the mossberg SBS. So out of 378 listings, there is only one qualifying bid.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Short-Barre...es-SBR/BI.aspx

Before you say, 'I don't care because never sell the gun', that might not be what your heirs say; and if they don't want it, and can't sell it, they'll have to surrender them or dump them for pennies.
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Old November 23, 2014, 11:32 PM   #12
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If your SBR is an AR then its a simple matter to change to a 16" barrel and have it removed from the NFA registry.

Then you can sell it as a standard rifle.
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