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Old January 20, 2000, 11:47 AM   #1
Joe Portale
Senior Member
Join Date: June 8, 1999
Location: Tucson, Arizona Territory
Posts: 715
Hi all,

This question may be more for the Legal/Political forum. With all the gunsmiths that hang out here and deal with this sort of thing in their business, it seemed more appropriate.

I'm in the process of putting together an AR15. I am using a pre-ban lower and trying to decide what upper to use. All the places that I have contacted warned me that I had better be very sure that the lower is pre-ban if I decide use a pre-ban upper. Just for the record, what are the legal ramifications of using a post-ban lower with a pre-ban upper? I am sure that gunsmiths do this all the time under the heading of repairs. Since the rifle will only be mildly military looking, I don't want a bayonet lug, just a muzzle compensator. I maybe mentally thick, but I am having a hard time understanding the differences. Or is this just another stroke of brilliance from our government bureaucrats?

Joe Portale
Tucson, Arizona territory

"The unarmed man is a subject, the armed man is a citizen."
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Old January 20, 2000, 01:44 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: October 5, 1999
Posts: 408
Your first priority is determining whether or not you have a pre ban or a post ban lower. If preban then you can put just about any upper on it. If post ban then your upper must also be post ban compliant (no flash hiders or bayonet lugs). The law differentiates between flash hiders like the A2 and muzzle brakes like the Smith...

I'm in the process of working up a Colt AR 15 on a Tactical Elite lower (post ban).

I plan on using a Colt pre ban 16" Lightweight upper after removing the A2 flash hider (a pre ban part)and replacing it with a Wilson Muzzle Brake (a post ban compliant part when pinned and welded in place) then filing off the "hooks" on the lug that hold the bayonet in place. I'm told this will be OK on a post ban lower.

In any case, make damned sure you have a pre ban lower if you want pre ban features on your upper. The penalties are most likely severe. True, the chances of someone spotting the fact you have a preban upper on a post ban lower are slim, but once you're embroiled in the "government bureaucracy" you'll get raked over the coals good and forever wear the label criminal.

The laws that made flashhiders and bayonet lugs illegal on post ban rifles might seem ridiculous to some. The fact is this law was a brilliant strategy to remind you who is in control of your guns. The law was just harsh enough so out and out revolt would not occur. Gun makers and owners complied. Rolled right over. I expect continued erosion of what you can and cannot own it terms of firearms...

[This message has been edited by DeBee (edited January 20, 2000).]
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Old January 20, 2000, 05:24 PM   #3
Joe Blacke
Join Date: September 12, 1999
Posts: 57
For your lower to be preban, it must have been assembled prior to 9/13/94 with the ability to accept a detachable magazine and have TWO of the following already in place:
pistol grip
flashider or threaded barrel capable of accepting said flashider
bayonet lug
collapsible stock

If your rifle lower is truely preban, you can add any of the above items that you want. If you have a preban lower and decide that you only want a bare muzzle, or a muzzle break, no bayo lug, and a normal A2 stock, can I suggest something?


You can sell the lower to someone who will use it for it's rightful purpose, and you will get enough money to build a complete rifle on a postban lower.
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