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Alex$
12-21-2009, 6:04 PM
So bear with my questions please, I want to explore what is legal to do in order to prevent trouble.

I want to build a gun for my own use:


Am I lawfully permitted to machine a rifle from a billet?
Am I lawfully permitted to machine a handgun from a billet?
Am I permitted to build above without a 07FFL?
If I am permitted to build from scratch, am I required to serialize it?
If I am permitted to build, am I able to sell it?
If I am permitted to build, can I borrow someone's CNC machine at their shop to build my own? (I would be the machine operator)


Then the most important question: am I permitted to build a colt GI spec 1911 frame?

Thanks in advance.

bigcalidave
12-21-2009, 6:07 PM
Yes yes yes no yes yes yes

goober
12-21-2009, 6:13 PM
lol yup although #5 (yes) should be qualified a bit... you can not build with intent to sell. and you would not want to build a whole bunch and then "decide" later to sell them all.

davescz
12-21-2009, 6:49 PM
yes I have heard or read of this being done, just make sure you have a copy of the law handy, just in case you are questioned by anyone. Some folks will assume it is not legal, this can make life better for you, if you have a encounter with less informed lawman.

when i was in collage, a student made a supper large hand gun, revolver i believe for his senior engineering project. he was nearly done, working on it in class with his professors approval, the whole semester. He had it in a back pack and it was seen some how while he was transporting it on campus, some one freaked, and he got it confiscated, he was looking at possible expulsion, he did I recall get to finish his last year as i recall, his gun was NOT returned.

So it can be legal, but be very carefull where you have it. if you use a machine shop, get permission to bring a gun on site. Dont use any governmnt facility, school facility or such to make , measure, etc.. any part of this gun, to be on the safe side. certain parts such as recievers might land you in trouble is some zones of anti-guns zelots. I woulld only do so with written permission from the shcool board/ principle / dean at these types of "puplic" facilities.

ditto on the do not sell clause, how long you need to wait depends, ask what would a jury consider ??? a year?? then again if you just lost your job, you got hit with a fire, and your car broke, you could justify selling it that month, because things changed after you built it. The do not sell law is about intent. as stated, build ten examples, and that is not believable that you did not intend to sell if you are caught selling even just one, long time later. So build one of each kind, no duplicates, this will steer well clear of any problems. however you if and a freind want to get together and build together the same guns, you could, I see no reason why not, and that would allow you both to take advantage of the efficiancy of a mini production run, you can run two parts in a fixture for machining at little extra effort.

have fun

Cokebottle
12-21-2009, 7:33 PM
yes I have heard or read of this being done, just make sure you have a copy of the law handy, just in case you are questioned by anyone. Some folks will assume it is not legal, this can make life better for you, if you have a encounter with less informed lawman.
Ditto.... primarily for a handgun.
This is primarily an issue if you are detained and searched (legally or illegally), and the cop decides to run the serial number. If there isn't one, "freak out" could be a mild term for his reaction.

Safest, would be to serialize it and vol'reg. In any case, it would have to be manufactured as a dimensionally-compliant (barrel length >6", OAL >10.5") single shot pistol to remain in compliance with the laws that make it illegal to manufacture and "unsafe handgun" (not on-roster).
Manufacture it to be in compliance with the roster exemption, then modify it to semi-auto, and swap for a shorter barrel if 6" is too long.

It will have to be serialized if you decide to sell it.

Cokebottle
12-21-2009, 7:41 PM
Then the most important question: am I permitted to build a colt GI spec 1911 frame?
This could run afoul of the roster exemption issue.
The frame itself is not a problem, but at the time manufacture is complete, it must be a dimensionally-compliant single shot.

Single shot it not a problem... block the mag so it cannot feed a round. Pull the slide back, manually chamber a round, release slide, fire.
It will be self-ejecting, but still a single-shot.

The dimensional compliance is the problem.
Barrel length must be 6" minimum, and the OAL must be 10.5" minimum.
Depending on the length of the beavertail, you might be able to hit 10.5" with a 7" barrel.

No 07FFL is needed if the gun is being manufactured for personal use.
You must "build" the gun yourself. You can have assistance, but can not turn over any part of the build of the frame/receiver to another.

Alex$
12-21-2009, 7:46 PM
Some context, thanks for the responses...

My brother-in-law is not a gun owner, never really thought they were needed in his life. His house was burglarized, he then took to keeping a bat by his bed, he felt OK with that. Some gang-bangers were arrested and he now knows that it could have escalated.

He is a master machinist and usually builds everything himself. I told him he could build his own, he is very interested.

Now the next problem, are there publicly available blueprints of the 1911 and 1911a1 frame?

goober
12-21-2009, 7:48 PM
Now the next problem, are there publicly available blueprints of the 1911 and 1911a1 frame?

yes

Cokebottle
12-21-2009, 8:04 PM
Honestly... even being a master machinist, I seriously doubt that the material and time investment would be less than the cost of a GI spec 1911.
RIA 1911s are under $500, Springfields start around $700.
You should easily be able to find a S/A GI or Milspec for $650 or less from a pawn shop.

Does he have the proper tooling to rifle the barrel? There's some pretty specialized tooling used in building guns.

goober
12-21-2009, 8:21 PM
agreed, building your own is rarely cheaper.
more fun, fulfilling, educational, satisfying, discreet, etc. yes.
cheaper, no.

bigcalidave
12-21-2009, 8:25 PM
There are great cad files around. A quick google search will find them.

Meplat
12-21-2009, 8:50 PM
Safest, would be to serialize it and vol'reg. In any case, it would have to be manufactured as a dimensionally-compliant (barrel length >6", OAL >10.5")

A Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 10" barrel is a lot longer than 10.5" over all? I'm not following here?:D

ke6guj
12-21-2009, 8:54 PM
A Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 10" barrel is a lot longer than 10.5" over all? I'm not following here?:Dnot sure what you are talking about.

A blackhawk is exempt as a dimensionally-compliant single-action revolver

12133. (a) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a single-action revolver that has at least a 5-cartridge capacity with a barrel length of not less than three inches, and meets any of the following specifications:
(1) Was originally manufactured prior to 1900 and is a curio or relic, as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(2) Has an overall length measured parallel to the barrel of at least 7 1/2 inches when the handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are assembled.
(3) Has an overall length measured parallel to the barrel of at least 7 1/2 inches when the handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are assembled and that is currently approved for importation into the United States pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection (d) of Section 925 of Title 18 of the United States Code.

the 10.5" reg mentioned before would be for a single-shot pistol,

12133(b) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a single-shot pistol with a barrel length of not less than six inches and that has an overall length of at least 10 1/2 inches when the handle, frame or receiver, and barrel are assembled.

Meplat
12-21-2009, 8:55 PM
Build the frame and buy a parts kit. :rolleyes:
Honestly... even being a master machinist, I seriously doubt that the material and time investment would be less than the cost of a GI spec 1911.
RIA 1911s are under $500, Springfields start around $700.
You should easily be able to find a S/A GI or Milspec for $650 or less from a pawn shop.

Does he have the proper tooling to rifle the barrel? There's some pretty specialized tooling used in building guns.

Cokebottle
12-21-2009, 9:02 PM
A Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 10" barrel is a lot longer than 10.5" over all? I'm not following here?:D
">(number)" = measures greater than (number).
A dimensionally-compliant single shot pistol must have a barrel at least 6" long and an OAL at least 10.5".

But as Ke6 said, the Blackhawk is a single-action revolver.

Cokebottle
12-21-2009, 9:03 PM
Build the frame and buy a parts kit. :rolleyes:
Still need to at least temporarily have a 7 or 8" barrel to make the OAL requirement.

Alex$
12-21-2009, 9:41 PM
There is a barrel machine in the shop next to his, they trade work already so that isn't the issue.

Cost isn't the issue either, I already told him how to buy a new $345.00 GI spec rock and just build the upgraded components, but he likes doing one-offs in his spare time.

He knows a 07FFL machinist who can probably answer almost all these questions for him, I was just trying to do some leg work for him.

Cokebottle, sounds like I need to be reading the roster, could you provide a link to possibly? (6" barrel, overall length 10.5" etc.)

Cokebottle
12-21-2009, 10:04 PM
Cokebottle, sounds like I need to be reading the roster, could you provide a link to possibly? (6" barrel, overall length 10.5" etc.)
The roster itself is simply a list of compliant makes and models that have passed the DOJ's "not-unsafe handgun" test.
To be rostered, the manufacturer needs to submit, I believe, two guns for testing along with the fees (I'd rather buy a Z06).

The idea is to manufacture a handgun that is exempt from the testing required to put a gun on the roster, which is contained in PC 12133
12133(b) is the single-shot exemption.

Alex$
12-21-2009, 10:11 PM
ah OK, but since this would be a personal gun, not intended for sale make it exempt from the need to be on the roster?

Cokebottle
12-21-2009, 10:17 PM
ah OK, but since this would be a personal gun, not intended for sale make it exempt from the need to be on the roster?
Nope.

Manufacturing by a non 07FFL must be for personal use with no intent to sell.
Regardless of whether home-built or by a manufacturer, it is illegal to manufacture an "unsafe handgun" in California.
An "unsafe handgun" would be one that is either not on the roster or one that does not meet one of the roster exemptions.
Since as a private individual you can't get one listed on the roster, the single shot (or single-action revolver) exemptions must be used.

Meplat
12-21-2009, 10:50 PM
Still need to at least temporarily have a 7 or 8" barrel to make the OAL requirement.

A tube with any sort of spiral scratches in the bore would suffice right?

Cokebottle
12-21-2009, 11:06 PM
A tube with any sort of spiral scratches in the bore would suffice right?
To qualify as "manufactured" it would have to be operable... but I like where you're going with that.

Perhaps a barrel insert chambered for 22lr? Not sure the walls would be thick enough even going into a .45 barrel though.

ke6guj
12-21-2009, 11:25 PM
A tube with any sort of spiral scratches in the bore would suffice right?

I've heard of some .410 handgun barrels having twist rates in 1 in 10+ foot range. Looking down the barrel, the grooves look almost straight. That way the rifling wouldn't spin the shot wad when shot. With having a couple grooves, it isn't a smoothbore pistol, aka an AOW.

Cokebottle
12-22-2009, 1:36 AM
Just caught a note on another thread....
One of the guys at Riflegear mentioned that Sarco offers a 10" 1911 barrel for about $60.

That'll take care of dimensional compliance.

SP1200
12-22-2009, 2:13 AM
Yes yes yes no yes yes yes

unless your a felon, then No,no,no,no,no,no,no...

Alex$
12-22-2009, 7:40 AM
Very informative, thanks cokebottle. May have to continue this later this week as he will be a house guest and I am sure the topic will come up.

And just to be clear, the above only applies to handguns, long guns and shotguns are less stringent, as long as they do not violate the AW laws correct?

Cokebottle
12-22-2009, 12:11 PM
And just to be clear, the above only applies to handguns, long guns and shotguns are less stringent, as long as they do not violate the AW laws correct?
Yes. As long as it doesn't fall under the "zip gun" category, you can take a block of wood and machine it into a stripped receiver that actually functions.

Alex$
12-22-2009, 1:43 PM
Thanks again, hopefully I will be able to help with the basic questions now.

Hmmm, anyone know a source for snakewood or ironwood? (just kidding)

Cokebottle
12-22-2009, 1:53 PM
Thanks again, hopefully I will be able to help with the basic questions now.

Hmmm, anyone know a source for snakewood or ironwood? (just kidding)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3chSzLxPuzU
This guy made one from laminated cutting board.
He also built one from wood, but there wasn't enough strength on the upper mounting ears and they broke.

He also built a pistol from wood... similar problem with the front upper mount, but it held together for a few shots.

Alex$
12-22-2009, 2:31 PM
Interesting. Thankfully we would be dealing with a couple million dollars of mill and lathe machines.

Thank you for the help, it has been most informative.