AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

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AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by 91Eunozs » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:55 pm

OK, I promise I've done multiple searches but based on google (vs just here or a couple other gun forums) there's a lot of conflicting info out there. Does anyone here know from first-hand experience if I can build one of my spare stripped lowers into a pistol or do I need to buy a new lower marked "pistol"...or at least a new lower that I "register" as a pistol when I take delivery from my FFL?

Background info here: http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulings/ ... 2011-4.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As far as I can tell, since a stripped lower can be made into a pistol or a rifle I can simply buy a pistol buffer assembly (this one for example) and build a pistol lower. Once I have that built I can order a barrel (or upper) for a pistol build.

Correct?

Long-term plan is to build an SBR or two but the lower(s) that will be built aren't even finished yet, let alone in my possesion...gonna send one (or two) out for engraving and then do the forms for the tax stamp. I know I can do it faster but the process outlined in this thread seems like a good way to stay out of trouble.

I don't want to cut any corners illegally but would like to lead-turn the process (i.e. get the barrel(s)/upper(s) before the SBR stamps are in hand) without running afoul of the law.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by Gingerbread Man » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:07 pm

To be on the safe side, if it's a receiver that has never been built as a rifle, yes you can built it into a pistol. A receiver can not be registered as a pistol unless its in a pistol configuration. A receiver is a receiver until it is a rifle or a pistol.
Hope that helps.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:08 pm

Depends. What did the 4473 and NICS checkc say? If it was "pistol" or "other" you're good, if it was "rifle" then you might as well leave it stripped and start filling out the form 1.

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by JTNieman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:08 pm

If you buy a stripped lower, ensure it is transferred to you as "other" and not rifle. If it's a FTF deal... just consider it a rifle if you're being particular.

From that point, so long as your lower has never been built into a rifle, it can be built into a pistol.

Here's a couple other letters where it's implicitly stated, quite clearly on page 2:
http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/4001/b ... stols1.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/2101/b ... stols2.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

First hand experience? Yes, the parts physically fit into the receiver and it is now a pistol. I've done it myself. I was physically able to build an AR15 lower receiver into a pistol.

You do not need to have anything extra engraved on your gun. If you'll notice, Glocks, Colt 1911s, and other handguns do not say "PISTOL" on them anywhere. There is no reason for it to be different for an AR15 or T/C kit. In fact, engraving "PISTOL" on it won't /do/ anything either way. It won't save you from someone thinking it's a rifle, and it won't grant you the right to build a rifle lower into a pistol if it's already been a rifle. Engraving that has no legal authority. BATFE paperwork has authority and sometimes requires engravings, but that authority comes from the BATFE not the owner/manufacturer who engraved it.

If you want something more clear than that, you're trying to prove a negative and that's pretty hard. The ATF

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by 91Eunozs » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:12 pm

Regular Guy wrote:To be on the safe side, if it's a receiver that has never been built as a rifle, yes you can built it into a pistol. A receiver can not be registered as a pistol unless its in a pistol configuration. A receiver is a receiver until it is a rifle or a pistol.
Hope that helps.
Thanks! These are virgin receivers... Never built.

Question though: Didn't I already "register" them when I took delivery from my FFL? Do I have to re-register it as a pistol somehow if I build it as a pistol? Sorry for the head in anus questions...I've bought pistols and I've bought rifles, and have obviously built rifles off lowers but have no experience w/doing the optional build thing.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by JTNieman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:15 pm

91Eunozs wrote:
Regular Guy wrote:To be on the safe side, if it's a receiver that has never been built as a rifle, yes you can built it into a pistol. A receiver can not be registered as a pistol unless its in a pistol configuration. A receiver is a receiver until it is a rifle or a pistol.
Hope that helps.
Thanks! These are virgin receivers... Never built.

Question though: Didn't I already "register" them when I took delivery from my FFL? Do I have to re-register it as a pistol somehow if I build it as a pistol? Sorry for the head in anus questions...I've bought pistols and I've bought rifles, and have obviously built rifles off lowers but have no experience w/doing the optional build thing.
You're in Texas and afaik there is no registration there, nor does the BATFE require registration of firerams.

It's yours. Do what you want with it within the GCA/NFA and you're fine. Ain't no registration required until you submit your application to manufacture a SBR.

There's nothing different between building a rifle on a lower and building a pistol on a lower. One has a buttstock, one can't have a buttstock. One can only have barrels longer than 16", the other can pretty much have any length barrel. S'bout it.

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by 91Eunozs » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:17 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Depends. What did the 4473 and NICS checkc say? If it was "pistol" or "other" you're good, if it was "rifle" then you might as well leave it stripped and start filling out the form 1.

~sent via spacearmadillogram~

Will have to check... Took delivery back in June from my local FFL in Florida the day after I hit the ground back in the CONUS. Honestly don't recall and I wasn't given a copy or if I was given a copy don't recall and it's in a box somewhere.

Probably best to just get a pistol lower to be on the safe side... Because that's what I need, another lower in the safe! These things are multiplying like friggin' tribbles!
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by 91Eunozs » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:23 pm

...and thanks JTNieman. That makes a lot of sense to me. Will ask my local FFL here in Tx and probably call a lawyer (we're considering an NFA trust anyway) to be sure.

And re: the first hand experience line...sorry if that came accross as patronizing. What the noob meant to ask was first hand experience building/registering an AR pistol. Didn't mean to condescend on the idea of how to assemble an AR lower.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by JTNieman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:25 pm

91Eunozs wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Depends. What did the 4473 and NICS checkc say? If it was "pistol" or "other" you're good, if it was "rifle" then you might as well leave it stripped and start filling out the form 1.

~sent via spacearmadillogram~

Will have to check... Took delivery back in June from my local FFL in Florida the day after I hit the ground back in the CONUS. Honestly don't recall and I wasn't given a copy or if I was given a copy don't recall and it's in a box somewhere.

Probably best to just get a pistol lower to be on the safe side... Because that's what I need, another lower in the safe! These things are multiplying like friggin' tribbles!
A stripped lower is "Other/Receiver" - they're not to be transferred as a pistol or a rifle unless they are built into a pistol or rifle receiver, meaning, complete lower receiver with buttstock or as a complete pistol, for example.

More info here: http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2009/ ... fl-gca.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by Gingerbread Man » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:29 pm

If you bought it as a receiver than its not a rifle or a pistol. It can not be anything until its configured as one or the other.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by kbilly84 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:40 pm

As I understand it (and maybe to sum up the above in uber-simple terms), once it goes rifle, it's a rifle for ever and evar. If it starts pistol, goes rifle, it can't go back to pistol. If it starts rifle, 'tis always a rifle.
Unless the 4473 or whatever says otherwise.

Sound about right?

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by JTNieman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:43 pm

kbilly84 wrote:As I understand it (and maybe to sum up the above in uber-simple terms), once it goes rifle, it's a rifle for ever and evar. If it starts pistol, goes rifle, it can't go back to pistol. If it starts rifle, 'tis always a rifle.
Unless the 4473 or whatever says otherwise.

Sound about right?
No, it's not right, in fact the very pdf linked in the OP's first post actually spells out the facts of that very issue.

We don't need any more "gun shop rumors" and "common consensus" about these topics - there's enough of that, and sadly it's usually misinformation. Cite things with documentation or it's just another rumor on the wind.

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by Wildeman_13 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:34 pm

The 4473 form is the final word. If it says Pistol, then the receiver has to stay a pistol. If it says Rifle, it has to stay a rifle. If it says other, then there is a lot of grey area and JTNieman covered that already. Check your 4473 and I would be very surprised if it does NOT say rifle on it. Most of the time, the FFL puts that in by default.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by JTNieman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:37 pm

Wildeman_13 wrote:The 4473 form is the final word. If it says Pistol, then the receiver has to stay a pistol. If it says Rifle, it has to stay a rifle. If it says other, then there is a lot of grey area and JTNieman covered that already. Check your 4473 and I would be very surprised if it does NOT say rifle on it. Most of the time, the FFL puts that in by default.
Stop.

Read the PDF in the first post.

It does not have to /stay/ as it's first incarnation, in the case of pistols. It can be flippy floppy.

Bare receivers are "other/receiver/frame" not "rifle" unless your FFL is an asshole or ignorant of proper practices.

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by Wildeman_13 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:45 pm

JTNieman wrote:
Wildeman_13 wrote:The 4473 form is the final word. If it says Pistol, then the receiver has to stay a pistol. If it says Rifle, it has to stay a rifle. If it says other, then there is a lot of grey area and JTNieman covered that already. Check your 4473 and I would be very surprised if it does NOT say rifle on it. Most of the time, the FFL puts that in by default.
Stop.

Read the PDF in the first post.

It does not have to /stay/ as it's first incarnation, in the case of pistols. It can be flippy floppy.

Bare receivers are "other/receiver/frame" not "rifle" unless your FFL is an asshole or ignorant of proper practices.
Ok... you are correct on the pistol. I miss read that. But the FFL can and does routinely (at least around here) put RIFLE on the 4473 for AR receivers. I have even talked to people who specifically asked to have it marked as Pistol and the FFL would not do so. Both of my AR lowers came in as receivers only and both were marked Rifle on the form before I even had a say.

My point was to put emphasis on checking the 4473 above all else. If it says Rifle, then that is all you can ever make out of it without NFA rules applying.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by JTNieman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:48 pm

Wildeman_13 wrote:
JTNieman wrote:
Wildeman_13 wrote:The 4473 form is the final word. If it says Pistol, then the receiver has to stay a pistol. If it says Rifle, it has to stay a rifle. If it says other, then there is a lot of grey area and JTNieman covered that already. Check your 4473 and I would be very surprised if it does NOT say rifle on it. Most of the time, the FFL puts that in by default.
Stop.

Read the PDF in the first post.

It does not have to /stay/ as it's first incarnation, in the case of pistols. It can be flippy floppy.

Bare receivers are "other/receiver/frame" not "rifle" unless your FFL is an asshole or ignorant of proper practices.
Ok... you are correct on the pistol. I miss read that. But the FFL can and does routinely (at least around here) put RIFLE on the 4473 for AR receivers. I have even talked to people who specifically asked to have it marked as Pistol and the FFL would not do so. Both of my AR lowers came in as receivers only and both were marked Rifle on the form before I even had a say.

My point was to put emphasis on checking the 4473 above all else. If it says Rifle, then that is all you can ever make out of it without NFA rules applying.
lol then yea, he's an asshole or ignorant.

Maybe print out that open letter from 07-07-09 I linked earlier and drop it off for him some time. :P

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AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by hkusp1 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:52 pm

I always transfer lowers as "other".

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:52 pm

There are some FFLs who didn't get the memo about stripped lowers. A simple call to the FFL will tell you (they will have the 4473 on file) but if it was transferred after 2007 (IIRC) and your FFL isn't a moron, then it should be an "other" no questions asked. I stopped someone from buying a lower a few weeks back because the guy wouldn't transfer it as an "other." Rare, but it happens. I say the phone call first. Chances are, you're in the clear, and if it saves you buying an extra lower, then it's worth the quarter.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by Wildeman_13 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:56 pm

JTNieman wrote:lol then yea, he's an asshole or ignorant.

Maybe print out that open letter from 07-07-09 I linked earlier and drop it off for him some time. :P
Ignorant is almost a given at most FFLs here, sadly. Throw in the fact that many still don't know what is legal in their own state. That is why most here at least put rifle on it. CYA as it were. I really wasn't even thinking about it when I bought the two lowers I have as they were planned for being rifles anyways. But it would always be nice to have options in the future. Guess I should just go buy another lower and have it 4473'd right. :)

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by JTNieman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:01 pm

I absolutely empathize with anyone who makes a move to be "extra safe" in the eyes of the ATF. Inspections suck. Sometimes they do it to cover their ass, even if it's inconvenient for customers. It sucks but I can't say I don't understand. Some just don't know... some are just tired of all the changing rules and just said "fuck it" and err on the side of safety. Around here, anyways.

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by Wildeman_13 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:08 pm

Agreed. And around here you have to deal with CA-DOJ as well as the ATF. Double whammy of confusion there. Lot's of people buying AR "pistol" lowers around here the past year or so. I imagine it will be much easier to get the paperwork done the right way when I go to buy my next one.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by 91Eunozs » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:47 pm

Thanks all...e-mail sent to the FFL where I took possesion of these lowers to confirm they're registered as "Other." He's a pretty hard core 2nd amendment guy as well as a former LEO so this will hopefully be a non-issue.
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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by ajk07734 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:19 pm

91Eunozs wrote:
Regular Guy wrote:To be on the safe side, if it's a receiver that has never been built as a rifle, yes you can built it into a pistol. A receiver can not be registered as a pistol unless its in a pistol configuration. A receiver is a receiver until it is a rifle or a pistol.
Hope that helps.
Thanks! These are virgin receivers... Never built.

Question though: Didn't I already "register" them when I took delivery from my FFL? Do I have to re-register it as a pistol somehow if I build it as a pistol? Sorry for the head in anus questions...I've bought pistols and I've bought rifles, and have obviously built rifles off lowers but have no experience w/doing the optional build thing.

negative, Stripped lowers transfer as "Other" not "Pistol" or "Rifle" on a 4473, which is why you can't buy stripped lowers outside of your home state... you would have to have it shipped to a local FFL.

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Re: AR pistol lower from a currently-owned stripped lower?

Post by JTNieman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:33 pm

ajk07734 wrote:
91Eunozs wrote:
Regular Guy wrote:To be on the safe side, if it's a receiver that has never been built as a rifle, yes you can built it into a pistol. A receiver can not be registered as a pistol unless its in a pistol configuration. A receiver is a receiver until it is a rifle or a pistol.
Hope that helps.
Thanks! These are virgin receivers... Never built.

Question though: Didn't I already "register" them when I took delivery from my FFL? Do I have to re-register it as a pistol somehow if I build it as a pistol? Sorry for the head in anus questions...I've bought pistols and I've bought rifles, and have obviously built rifles off lowers but have no experience w/doing the optional build thing.

negative, Stripped lowers transfer as "Other" not "Pistol" or "Rifle" on a 4473, which is why you can't buy stripped lowers outside of your home state... you would have to have it shipped to a local FFL.
Finally, I'm glad someone cleared that up.

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