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View Full Version : Any legal issues about M16 Bolt Carrier on AR-15?


maxd
05-27-2009, 1:55 AM
I am building an AR-15 from scratch. Just bought an Anvil lower receiver with LPK and put it together. Now I am waiting for my upper parts to arrive. I ordered a Colt M4 upper from CalArmory and there is a little wait involved.

Meanwhile I found out that Anvil Arms has started manufacturing their own Bolt Barriers that meet or exceed Mil-Spec (see Anvil Manufacturing (http://anvil-mfg.com/)) .

They make 3 different kinds of Bolt Carriers. First, a standard AR-15 per Colt's specs but made from a more superior material (SAE 9310). Second, they make another AR-15 carrier that looks and is speced just like an M16 but without capability of ever firing in ful auto and made also from SAE 9310. Third, they make an M16 Bolt Carrier again, made from SAE 9310 and carbon copy of Colt's specs.

My question is: would I get in trouble if I put an M16 Bolt carrier on my upper but without the auto sier? The reason I want this is that I'm told that the M16 bolt carrier is tougher and is designed for a heavier duty operation and thus better reliability and all. I have never owned an AR or M16 prior to this and I don't have any experience shooting either. This is a learning process for me and I figured the best way to learn about a rifle is to build one from scratch. Thanks for your opinions in advance. :thumbsup:

Gio
05-27-2009, 2:00 AM
No sear, no problem. Use the search function. Or this nifty site someone showed me that Googles this site only- http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=018149931542195181678:pzxbzjzh1zk

-Gio

Josh3239
05-27-2009, 2:04 AM
The only difference between the M16 carrier and the AR15 carrier is a tiny bit of extra metal and some fancy words that help it sell better. It doesn't make your rifle automatic so you are good to go.

aplinker
05-27-2009, 4:12 AM
I am building an AR-15 from scratch. Just bought an Anvil lower receiver with LPK and put it together. Now I am waiting for my upper parts to arrive. I ordered a Colt M4 upper from CalArmory and there is a little wait involved.

Meanwhile I found out that Anvil Arms has started manufacturing their own Bolt Barriers that meet or exceed Mil-Spec (see Anvil Manufacturing (http://anvil-mfg.com/)) .

They make 3 different kinds of Bolt Carriers. First, a standard AR-15 per Colt's specs but made from a more superior material (SAE 9310). Second, they make another AR-15 carrier that looks and is speced just like an M16 but without capability of ever firing in ful auto and made also from SAE 9310. Third, they make an M16 Bolt Carrier again, made from SAE 9310 and carbon copy of Colt's specs.

My question is: would I get in trouble if I put an M16 Bolt carrier on my upper but without the auto sier? The reason I want this is that I'm told that the M16 bolt carrier is tougher and is designed for a heavier duty operation and thus better reliability and all. I have never owned an AR or M16 prior to this and I don't have any experience shooting either. This is a learning process for me and I figured the best way to learn about a rifle is to build one from scratch. Thanks for your opinions in advance. :thumbsup:

There are no issues of legality. I've posted the BATFE .pdf a bunch of times.

I'd disagree with your conclusion, though, especially given they're all made by the same manufacturer. That it's semi-auto or M16 is meaningless. It's really the bolt and how well the carrier key staking is done that really matters. auto/semi carrier is meaningless, except for the 1/2oz of weight it adds (which is good for carbines).

FLIGHT762
05-27-2009, 7:55 AM
While BATFE may not have a problem with the M-16 carrier, I believe California DOJ has an issue with it. The M-16 carrier is a machine gun part. While the law covers "sufficient parts", I personally would not give the DOJ agents any reason to look at you. Years ago, I had an M-16 carrier as a spare. I traded it out for an AR-15 carrier. I personally have known a DOJ firearms agent who was extremely zealous. I find it is just not worth taking the risk.

http://www.gunlaw.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=28

"15. Machine Gun Parts And Conversion Kits.
Federal and state machine gun penalties apply to possession of sufficient parts to assemble a machine gun or to parts designed and intended to convert a semi-automatic firearm to fire more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger. You may be prosecuted for possession of conversion parts even if you do not own the firearm for which they were designed."

aplinker
05-27-2009, 8:24 AM
An M16 carrier can't make a gun go FA without a sear. The sole functionality difference is that it trips the auto sear. There's no way it can do anything otherwise.

Thus, it's not a FA part, nor is possession/use of one a MG without a lower and a sear.

You're overthinking it.

While BATFE may not have a problem with the M-16 carrier, I believe California DOJ has an issue with it. The M-16 carrier is a machine gun part. While the law covers "sufficient parts", I personally would not give the DOJ agents any reason to look at you. Years ago, I had an M-16 carrier as a spare. I traded it out for an AR-15 carrier. I personally have known a DOJ firearms agent who was extremely zealous. I find it is just not worth taking the risk.

http://www.gunlaw.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=28

"15. Machine Gun Parts And Conversion Kits.
Federal and state machine gun penalties apply to possession of sufficient parts to assemble a machine gun or to parts designed and intended to convert a semi-automatic firearm to fire more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger. You may be prosecuted for possession of conversion parts even if you do not own the firearm for which they were designed."

Sniper3142
05-27-2009, 9:16 AM
An M16 carrier can't make a gun go FA without a sear. The sole functionality difference is that it trips the auto sear. There's no way it can do anything otherwise.

Thus, it's not a FA part, nor is possession/use of one a MG without a lower and a sear.

You're overthinking it.


+1 to what Uclaplinker said.

I've got a couple of LMT FA BCGs and they are totally legal and work great.

maxd
05-27-2009, 10:48 AM
Thanks for all your responses. Great info as always. After reading them here is what I have come up with, please correct me if I'm wrong:

First, lets look at the first part of the code: "...possession of sufficient parts to assemble a machine gun..."

I guess the question is whether an M16 BC is a "sufficient part" for assembling a MG.

From all your answers and the logic of it, the BC is, for sure, a necessary part but not a sufficient part for AR to work in FA because in and by itself and without other parts such as the sear it cannot make AR go FA. The code also uses "parts" as oppose to part. I think the legislature knows that no single part can be "sufficient" enough for the purpose of FA. You need a few other parts such as the sear, the lower receiver etc for make it FA.

Now lets deal with the second part of the code: "...or to parts designed and intended to convert a semi-automatic firearm to fire more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger."

Notice again it says "parts" (meaning a plurality of them needed), "that are designed and intended to convert...". I think it's talking about conversion kits that are designed for that specific purpose of converting an AR into a FA mode or multi-shot mode (tri-burst) and that mere possession of which gets you in hot oil.

My conclusion is that since the M16 BC that is not part of a conversion kit one purchased and that since it's not a "sufficient part" then we should be good to go. Of course as FLIGHT762 mentioned there are always over zealous DOJ agents out there who can ruin your day but I think that should be the extent of what they do.

In the end we should know and thoroughly understand what the law says so we can intelligently counter argue when the situation arises. It might help to carry a copy of the code so we can refer to it.

Again thaks for all your responses.
Max. :)

FLIGHT762
05-27-2009, 11:09 AM
An M16 carrier can't make a gun go FA without a sear. The sole functionality difference is that it trips the auto sear. There's no way it can do anything otherwise.

Thus, it's not a FA part, nor is possession/use of one a MG without a lower and a sear.

You're overthinking it.

You might think so, but when I was young and stupid, I was able to get a SP-1 AR-15 to go full auto by using a bobby pin under the semi auto sear. The carrier just followed the hammer, but it did go full auto. The early AR-15's had the rounded hammer and the M-16 style carrier. Years later, Colt cut a notch in the hammer and cut a notch in the back of the carrier. Newer AR-15 type carriers are cut completely out on the bottom.

I have worked with some DOJ firearms unit agents. I do speak with some experience.

If you want to have an M-16 carrier, go ahead, I won't.

By the way, I still own a very early AR-15 SP-1(serial # under 10,000) that has all of it's original parts. It's hammer and carrier is different than the new ones. This gun is so early, the carrier is not notched in the sides for the forward assist ratchet.

motorhead
05-27-2009, 11:25 AM
this comes up constantly with regard to the autosear trip on ak bolt carriers. there are 2 schools of thought and neither is accepted as gospel. keep it or grind it as fits your comfort level. w/o the 3rd axis pin and the autosear itself it serves no purpose. and please don't copy and paste that stupid sten letter from atf. it covers neither ars nor aks. all it does is present a checklist for POSSIBLE constuctive posession.
iirc atf issued 2 rulings on ars, the first negative, the second (after commercial rifles stated using m-16 carriers) saying gtg.

Mob
05-27-2009, 12:59 PM
just go for it, there are many FA BCG in civi hands. its smoothed out my A4gry and i plan to fit them to the rest of my rifles.

bwiese
05-27-2009, 4:45 PM
You might think so, but when I was young and stupid, I was able to get a SP-1 AR-15 to go full auto by using a bobby pin under the semi auto sear. The carrier just followed the hammer, but it did go full auto. The early AR-15's had the rounded hammer and the M-16 style carrier. Years later, Colt cut a notch in the hammer and cut a notch in the back of the carrier. Newer AR-15 type carriers are cut completely out on the bottom.

I have worked with some DOJ firearms unit agents. I do speak with some experience.

If you want to have an M-16 carrier, go ahead, I won't.

By the way, I still own a very early AR-15 SP-1(serial # under 10,000) that has all of it's original parts. It's hammer and carrier is different than the new ones. This gun is so early, the carrier is not notched in the sides for the forward assist ratchet.


Many Colt ARs and other ARs that are reg'd AWs in CA have M16 carriers but no other parts. (In fact, the 9mm Colt AR15s use 9mm M16 bolt assemblies, there is no differentiation.) I believe the earliest Colt AR15s actually had carriers no different from M16s either.

Such changes by Colt to differentiate AR15s from M16s are just mfg drama - things like shelf in receiver, bolt carrier, etc. What you don't want to have is FA or burst FCG: hammer/trigger/disco/selector, and you don't want a 'happy hole' in your lower nor a lightning link. Using quality semiauto FCG etc the gun can't run full auto. (And a Colt AR15 with AR bolt carrier and semi FCG *can* run FA with some firing pin tricks, though it's unsafe.)

Also quite a few LEO Colt ARs (LE6920) seem to use M16 carriers too.

The "necessary but not sufficient" discussion in a post above is valid; it makes the bolt carrier fall into the same class as a barrel or a buffer (hey, an M16 needs a barrel or buffer too!) We'd all be in jail now otherwise.

You can self-limit if you choose to but I have zero fear.

BTW: what DOJ BoF agents "think" about something is well-nigh irrelevant. They're provably incompetent, and at this point it's very useful to get them in court or in deposition to further demonstrate their irrelevancy. They don't know guns and they don't know gun law.




HEY ALISON/DOJ BoF: I OWN AR15s WITH M16 BOLT CARRIERS. Don't let the cats out when you kick down my door. Please call Don Kilmer ahead of time to minimize drama.

Sgt Raven
05-27-2009, 5:44 PM
Many Colt ARs and other ARs that are reg'd AWs in CA have M16 carriers but no other parts. (In fact, the 9mm Colt AR15s use 9mm M16 bolt assemblies, there is no differentiation.) I believe the earliest Colt AR15s actually had carriers no different from M16s either.

Such changes by Colt to differentiate AR15s from M16s are just mfg drama - things like shelf in receiver, bolt carrier, etc. What you don't want to have is FA or burst FCG: hammer/trigger/disco/selector, and you don't want a 'happy hole' in your lower nor a lightning link. Using quality semiauto FCG etc the gun can't run full auto. (And a Colt AR15 with AR bolt carrier and semi FCG *can* run FA with some firing pin tricks, though it's unsafe.)

Also quite a few LEO Colt ARs (LE6920) seem to use M16 carriers too.

The "necessary but not sufficient" discussion in a post above is valid; it makes the bolt carrier fall into the same class as a barrel or a buffer (hey, an M16 needs a barrel or buffer too!) We'd all be in jail now otherwise.

You can self-limit if you choose to but I have zero fear.

BTW: what DOJ BoF agents "think" about something is well-nigh irrelevant. They're provably incompetent, and at this point it's very useful to get them in court or in deposition to further demonstrate their irrelevancy. They don't know guns and they don't know gun law.




HEY ALISON/DOJ BoF: I OWN AR15s WITH M16 BOLT CARRIERS. Don't let the cats out when you kick down my door. Please call Don Kilmer ahead of time to minimize drama.


Some Colts were built with a hole where the happy hole is that holds a 'block' in the lower. :eek: ;)