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Mesa Tactical
02-13-2005, 6:48 AM
The guy was at the Del Mar show selling his California-legal Bushmasters, so I went over and spoke to him at length about what he's doing.

The modification is done by EGSW Inc, who buy in real Bushmasters and alter them. The sales are being handled by GB Sales of Mission Viejo, 949-350-8521. I spoke to Geoffrey.

First, it's a real Bushmaster, with the snake and all (see photo). What they are doing is importing the receivers or rifles into the state, then WELDING a cover over the bottom of the magazine well. They clean up the weld, then have to re-heat treat the metal before refinishing it.

I think in an earlier thread some folks were complaining about the cost, and this procedure explains a lot.

http://www.mesatactical.com/images/california_legal_bushmaster.jpg

(the discoloration is from the heat when welding. Since this is one of the two sample rifles (the other is at the DoJ), it has not been properly finished for sale).

He won't sell receivers, just completed rifles. He says all of us who buy stripped lowers of whatever kind are still subject to Federal excise tax when we build them up into rifles. I dunno about that, but I see no reason not to believe him, know what I know about crazy gun and tax laws. So their approach is to build the entire rifle and pay the tax so there's no trouble later.

Geoffrey said there's a guarantee that if you take the rifle out of California, EGSW will restore it to original configuration free of charge. I don't know how they can afford an offer like that, but that's what he told me.

Here are some sample prices:

Bushmaster M4A3 type carbine, 16", 1/9 twist with four-position stock: $1,649.

Bushmaster AR15A3 type rifle, 20", 1/9 twist, fixed stock: $1,649.

There's a note on the brochure that they will also supply California legal Olympic Arms rifles.

The language of the letter from the DoJ was interesting and revealing. It said the "modification changes the design to a point that we do not consider it a Stoner X-15 series design. This is for a rifle that is in every important way an AR-15 and even is stamped "XM15" right on the receiver. I consider this very good news. It suggests the DoJ is taking it upon themselves to interpret whether or not a rifle is an AR-15 series rifle based on evil features alone.

This explains how we can now have closed mag well Bushmasters and pinned magazine Vulcans being approved as legal for sale. I am not a lawyer, but I believe this language opens the floodgates for approval of AR-15 rifles that manage to skirt the features-based ban in one way or another, which is very good news indeed, unless you are Shoeless Ventures.

dave3006
02-13-2005, 8:01 AM
What advantage does this Cali legal AR give you over a FAB10? I saw him at the gunshow and he tried to say his was much better. But, a closed magwell AR is a closed magwell AR.

Now a pinned version would be great. In an emergency to could convert it to a real AR to fight the bad guys.

Leon DeGamme
02-13-2005, 9:37 AM
I kind of like the idea of a AR with a upper that you only need to slide back to load with a stripper clip like the CA legal FAL, instead of having to unpin and fold over the whole upper. It's probably not possible because there are too many critical components directly above the magazine which would have to be removed. I still dont feel I would purchase it though, as I think the whole idea of a fixed mag AR is ridiculous. Now..a H&K 91 like that would be a different story.

Technical Ted
02-13-2005, 9:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leon DeGamme:
I kind of like the idea of a AR with a upper that you only need to slide back to load with a stripper clip instead of having to unpin and fold over the whole upper. I think that there is a CA legal FAL is like that. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The AR and the FAL have completely different systems of operation. Adapting the CA FAL loading technique wouldn't be simple or cheap. The AR direct gas operating system gets in the way.

Technical Ted
02-13-2005, 9:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dave3006:
Now a pinned version would be great. In an emergency to could convert it to a real AR to fight the bad guys. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The way the AG Bill Lockyer's DoJ works, this isn't going to be bloody likely.

Technical Ted
02-13-2005, 10:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dave3006:
What advantage does this Cali legal AR give you over a FAB10? I saw him at the gunshow and he tried to say his was much better. But, a closed magwell AR is a closed magwell AR. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
The forging vs cast debate. Since a lower building experience with a cast lower 24 years ago, I've always been a fan of forged lowers. Broke off one of the ears that holds the trigger guard in place while driving in the roll pin.

Finish. FAB-10's are particle coated, not anodized. Not sure if the FAB-10's are chemically treated to inhibit corrosion like the anodized lowers are.

On the other hand, the chances that a handicapped AR15 lower will find it's way into a tactical situation where forging and milspec finish would prove their advantage are slim.

I'd like to see a manufacturer use the following marking on a line of limited capacity lowers:
http://www.safetymedia.com/usrimage/sa21.jpg

02-13-2005, 10:22 AM
so is it legal to build fixed 80% recievers with 10 round mags? i guess i have a use for all the 10 round bushmaster mags i picked up.

Technical Ted
02-13-2005, 10:28 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cowboydude2:
so is it legal to build fixed 80% recievers with 10 round mags? i guess i have a use for all the 10 round bushmaster mags i picked up. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
No.

02-13-2005, 12:01 PM
why can't i weld or pin the 10 round mag in? if vulcan can do it why can't i?

Technical Ted
02-13-2005, 12:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cowboydude2:
why can't i weld or pin the 10 round mag in? if vulcan can do it why can't i? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Correction on my part: It's probably legal for you to finish an 80% FAB10 style lower with a closed bottom mag well.. You'd still need to use a modified magazine body (For the feed lips), cut down to fit in the internal mag well.

10 round detachable mags would still need to be modified since they're designed to ease insertion and extraction from an open bottom mag well.

There's a difference between you as a private citizen of California and a manufacturer/dealer. Shoeless, Vulcan and the dealer Mesa Tactical have the advantage that they are out of state, Federally licensed manufacturers, or CA DOJ licensed Assault Weapon dealers. In the first case, out of state manufacturers, they are permitted to manufacture firearms for commercial sale. In the second case, the dealer selling modified BFI lowers, he probably has a CA DOJ AW dealers license and is permitted to import lowers that he then modifies. In both cases, samples are submitted to the CA DOJ Firearms Division for approval (Hence the opinion letters).

If you build anything resembling an AR15, it has to be submitted to the CA DOJ Firearms Division for approval. They have the final word whether you're handmade product is legal, for you to possess or sell. They will determine if you have in effect built firearm that can be classified as an Category 1 (Name), category 2(Series) AR15 or a copy of these proscribed firearms under 1276.5 PC.

In the case of the California legal FAL clones, the Imbel, DSA and Coonan receivers aren't banned by name (Category 1), nor are they banned by series (Category 2) and because of the fixed mag they can't be banned by characteristics (Category 3).

Reference http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/awguide/index.html

Technical Ted
02-13-2005, 1:09 PM
One other thing.

Even in the "opinion" letter from the CA DOJ Firearms Division which was included with my FAB10, they include the following comment:

"After inspecting your receiver, we have determined that our department does not consider your receiver to be controlled under Penal Code section 12276.5. However, some district attorneys may view your device differently. As such, you may wish to contact your local district attorney's office to better assess their opinion of your receiver."

Hopefully Mesa Tactical, having read the approval letter for those receivers that are the topic of this thread, can confirm or deny the presence of a similar comment.

Mike Searson
02-13-2005, 3:43 PM
I wonder if someone would now manufacture a Lower with a fixed magazine that holds 10 rounds of 50 Beowulf!

That might get me to buy one.
http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Mesa Tactical
02-13-2005, 5:46 PM
bump for my updated report.

Mesa Tactical
02-13-2005, 5:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Technical Ted:
Hopefully Mesa Tactical, having read the approval letter for those receivers that are the topic of this thread, can confirm or deny the presence of a similar comment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nothing like that in the letter they showed me. It was a very short letter.

bwiese
02-14-2005, 10:20 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mesa Tactical:
He won't sell receivers, just completed rifles. He says all of us who buy stripped lowers of whatever kind are still subject to Federal excise tax when we build them up into rifles. I dunno about that, but I see no reason not to believe him, know what I know about crazy gun and tax laws. So their approach is to build the entire rifle and pay the tax so there's no trouble later. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

_Receivers_ do not have excise tax, completed guns in the resale pipeline do (except for LEO/mil guns). It's 10% for rifles, 11% for handguns - or is it the other way around?
He can sell you receivers no problem though.

[ESGW & co. can do this mod to Bushy lowers because they can import AW receivers since they have a CA AW FFL.]

You are indeed allowed to build your own guns w/o paying Fed excise tax. If you sell them a short time later, you need to collect/file the tax.

But as I seem to recall, if you've held on to the guns for some time you can sell them providing it's infrequent and onesy-twosy.

Over the years apparently several gunshow-type AR vendors have been popped for not paying the excise tax on the couple of dozen ARs they may have sold thru the year...

Bill Wiese
San Jose

bwiese
02-14-2005, 10:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Technical Ted:
One other thing....

Even in the "opinion" letter from the CA DOJ Firearms Division which was included with my FAB10, they include the following comment:

"After inspecting your receiver, we have determined that our department does not consider your receiver to be controlled under Penal Code section 12276.5. However, some district attorneys may view your device differently. As such, you may wish to contact your local district attorney's office to better assess their opinion of your receiver."

Hopefully Mesa Tactical, having read the approval letter for those receivers that are the topic of this thread, can confirm or deny the presence of a similar comment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

DOJ Opinion letters hold significant weight in court - not just by DAs but by judges. They are generally regarded in eyes of law as technical experts.

Even if a crusading DA thought he had something, waving this letter would likely cause a judge to throw out case.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

02-14-2005, 10:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Technical Ted:

In the second case, the dealer selling modified BFI lowers, he probably has a CA DOJ AW dealers license and is permitted to import lowers that he then modifies. In both cases, samples are submitted to the CA DOJ Firearms Division for approval (Hence the opinion letters).

<span class="ev_code_RED">If you build anything resembling an AR15, it has to be submitted to the CA DOJ Firearms Division for approval. They have the final word whether you're handmade product is legal, for you to possess or sell. They will determine if you have in effect built firearm that can be classified as an Category 1 (Name), category 2(Series) AR15 or a copy of these proscribed firearms under 1276.5 PC.</span>

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


This is where everything is just all wrong, not factually -Ted has it correct AKAIK- but the morals are screwed every which way to Sunday. It's the precedent that is being set for procedure that's killing me.

There is no necessity to ask if a rifle is legal to sell in California. If it adheres to the law, then it's legal and it shall be up to the state to prove otherwise after the fact. The more this happens, the worse it will get IMO. In the case of this Bushmaster ala FAB10, the legality of the exact same thing was already set (although vaguely if you read the FAB10 letter), so short of doing this to a category I assault weapon (like a rifle stamped "AR15"), then it is even more unnecessary and it only further works to empower the CADOJ. That's bad.

I understand that liability and the possible risk of prosecution are the motivations for doing so, but it doesn't change anything. This is essentially the same as groveling at the feet of our masters for the sake of being granted our "privileges".

http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

Sorry for the rant. It's just that this crap boils my blood when I read it.

Mike Searson
02-14-2005, 10:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Basura Blanca:
Sorry for the rant. It's just that this crap boils my blood when I read it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ditto!

endings1@aol.com
02-14-2005, 12:38 PM
Who's going to be the brave soul with the open mag well, pinned mag CA Legal(In theory) AR lower marketed under the Model Name, "Test Case"?http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

02-14-2005, 1:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stanze:
Who's going to be the brave soul with the open mag well, pinned mag CA Legal(In theory) AR lower marketed under the Model Name, "Test Case"?http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your right and I agree, but it will take much more than that IMO. A vague, gray area firearm and only one case wouldn't be enough IMO. It will take a mountain of cases of so-called "illegal" firearms to clog up the courts or better yet, clog up law enforcement resources that would need to track down all of the so-called "offenders". I know the whys behind how this won't likely occur, but it's ultimately what is necessary. It also doesn't matter what the courts have ruled in the past - any of them.

Civil obedience is much more dangerous than civil disobedience. I've said this elsewhere - no one is required to abide by that which is unconstitutional but by continuing to do so, we're all digging ourselves deeper and more accomodating graves.

*I'm not advocating breaking the law.
It's simply my realistic opinion on the matter.

bwiese
02-14-2005, 1:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stanze:
Who's going to be the brave soul with the open mag well, pinned mag CA Legal(In theory) AR lower marketed under the Model Name, "Test Case"?http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A nonstarter. Go Directly To Jail.

Legislature & courts defer to Cal DOJ firearms bureau for narrow technical issues. This would be regarded by courts as "small" since it involves changes to one brand/style of rifle and there's nothing here that would bring it out of "administrative law". If Cal DOJ says it's an AR15, it is an AR15: case simply moves on to did you or did you not possess it.

With Kasler reasonably settled law for 5 years, if it "looks like an AR, talks like an AR it is an AR". The minor pinned-in mag detail would be moot since this is a Type I AW.


Bill W
San Jose

Rascal
02-14-2005, 4:22 PM
I just don't understand how CALDOJ can say that it is OK, since it is a catogory 1 named receiver. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Dr. EBR
02-15-2005, 11:19 PM
I wonder what FFL is willing to transfer one of the pinned 10-rnd Hesse/Vulcan receivers? Comes with a latter from the DOJ.

http://img220.exs.cx/img220/4177/doj9gu.jpg

Technical Ted
02-15-2005, 11:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BRD:
I wonder what FFL is willing to transfer one of the pinned 10-rnd Hesse/Vulcan receivers? Comes with a latter from the DOJ.

http://img220.exs.cx/img220/4177/doj9gu.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Interesting, it reads a lot like the FAB10 letter with the text referring to 12276.5 (Not Roberti-Roos (12275/12276) or SB-23 (12276.1): "After inspecting your receiver, we have determined that our department does not consider your receiver to be controlled under Penal Code section 12276.5. However, some district attorneys may view your device differently. As such, you may wish to contact your local district attorney's office to better assess their opinion of your receiver."

artherdGROUPEESUCKS
02-16-2005, 12:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> There is no necessity to ask if a rifle is legal to sell in California. If it adheres to the law, then it's legal and it shall be up to the state to prove otherwise after the fact. The more this happens, the worse it will get IMO. In the case of this Bushmaster ala FAB10, the legality of the exact same thing was already set (although vaguely if you read the FAB10 letter), so short of doing this to a category I assault weapon (like a rifle stamped "AR15"), then it is even more unnecessary and it only further works to empower the CADOJ. That's bad. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


The intresting thing here is, this WAS a named reciver stamping! It's been altered to meet category 3 (features) standards, BUT STILL CARRIES BANNED CATEGORY 1 VERBAGE!

If this were infact tried in case law, it could be used as future ammo to link Category 1 and Category 3 features.


IE, if I remove the pistol grip on my banned-by-stamping COLT AR-15, is it legal?

Very intresting that the DOJ has made this opinion (which is not nearly as good as case law, but is not totally weightless in court.)


Bwise: I suggest you reconsider your opinion stated in your post February 14, 2005 01:49 PM. This very intresting opinion letter by the DOJ indicates that category 3 features infact DO influence category 2 and category 1 restrictions. I wish it were case law too.

bwiese
02-16-2005, 11:45 AM
I just don't understand how CALDOJ can say that it is OK, since it is a catogory 1 named receiver.

It's actually a Type II 'Kasler' receiver, though that generally throws it into Type I category.

The intresting thing here is, this WAS a named reciver stamping! It's been altered to meet category 3 (features) standards, BUT STILL CARRIES BANNED CATEGORY 1 VERBAGE!

If this were infact tried in case law, it could be used as future ammo to link Category 1 and Category 3 features.

IE, if I remove the pistol grip on my banned-by-stamping COLT AR-15, is it legal?

Very intresting that the DOJ has made this opinion (which is not nearly as good as case law, but is not totally weightless in court.)

Bweise: I suggest you reconsider your opinion stated in your post February 14, 2005 01:49 PM. This very intresting opinion letter by the DOJ indicates that category 3 features infact DO influence category 2 and category 1 restrictions. I wish it were case law too.


Here's what's happening, perhaps I didn't make myself clear in prior post.

The only 'named' gun/receiver here is a true as-marked Colt AR15.

Other receivers that look/feel/operate AR15-ish are banned by Kasler as Type II. Name doesn't matter.

Also, alas I do not have a picture of the text on the Hesse/Vulcan receiver. (Could someone post a link to it here??)

YOU, a mere mortal/citizen, cannot take an AR-style receiver (that's not already reg'd as an AW in CA) and then permanently block off the mag well: you're already committing a crime by possession of this lower in CA before the modification.

But an FFL w/Calfi AW dealer permit could do this. And if you were a non-CA resident and wanted to bring in a permanently modded fixed mag AR lower and wrote to DOJ with exact description/pic (and or sent it to them for inspection) and got a letter like the above, that'd prob be OK.

The perm. modding of the lower to only allow fixed 10rd mag would remove it from the Type II Kasler AR/AK class category - but I'd ask DOJ Firearms for specific letter beforehand.

Removing a pistol grip from a Colt AR15 or other identical-appearing lower will NOT render it NOT an AW.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

gobabygo
02-16-2005, 3:23 PM
Originally posted by Mike Searson:
I wonder if someone would now manufacture a Lower with a fixed magazine that holds 10 rounds of 50 Beowulf!
This just got me thinking... these 7 round 50 Beowulf mags are legal here in CA right? (a la XD .40/9mm mags).
http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/189868

These guys even say the mag is legal:
http://www.impactguns.com/store/AL-M-BEOMAGZ.html