"Can I lawfully make a pistol into a rifle without registering that firearm?
Assuming that the firearm was originally a pistol, the resulting firearm, with an attached shoulder stock, is not an NFA firearm if it has a barrel of 16 inches or more in length. Pursuant to ATF Ruling 2011-4, such rifle may later be unassembled and again configured as a pistol. Such configuration would not be considered a “weapon made from a rifle” as defined by 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a)(4).
[26 U.S.C. § 5845, 27 C.F.R. § 479.11; ATF Ruling 2011-4]
Last Reviewed September 23, 2016"
So, within the law, I could buy an AR pistol with a brace, AND a 16" upper & rifle buttstock?
Use it in pistol form for a "truck gun" and swap out the brace & pistol upper for rifle buttstock & 16" rifle upper to shoot competitions?
And just be VERY careful to never assemble the pistol upper with a rifle buttstock on the lower??
Yes... for a lot of work and hassle.
Actually, I'm not sure it's that simple... My understanding is that the pistol buffer tubes are usually enough different that you can't really put a normal stock on one.
Having to swap the buffer tube every time would take it beyond "a lot of work and hassle" into "monumental pain in the ass."
Even if you could switch the stocks back and forth, you'd only be saving maybe $150 or so.
think SBA brace... rides on a standard mil-spec tube
|Go ahead punk, make my day|
I think it's easier on weapons that don't have a buffer tube setup, but an easy way to swap out stocks / braces / etc.
Like the Scorpion, MCX, etc.
I have a Scorpion that was bought as a pistol (and still is). I have SBR paperwork on it and could convert it if / when I chose to do so by attaching a stock and complying with all the other NFA requirements. And if I needed to, I could always convert it back to a pistol, since it started life as a pistol.
Thanks for the advice, guys; I didn't mean to get bogged down in the technical ease/difficulty of converting, just the ATF legal requirement.
AR was a bad example.
If I have a weapon manufactured as a 'pistol', and can easily swap out for a rifle length barrel and forearm, leaving the "brace' in place …
that would be within the law and ATF regulation? No stamp required?
^ In that example, would it still be a pistol? Is barrel length the determining factor in pistol/rifle?
If it doesn't have a stock, and you put a 16" barrel on it, isn't it still a pistol?
The Enemy's gate is down.
From 27 CFR 479.11:
Colloquially: it's designed to be fired held by a pistol grip with one hand.
Colloquially: it has a rifled barrel and is designed to be shouldered.
Not a lawyer but the SB Tactical SBA3 rides on a std mil spec buffer tube. What you are describing is legal and easy. Just don't do it in the wrong order.
The original case law on this came from TC offering a carbine kit to convert TC Contender single shot pistols to single shot carbines.
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