View Full Version : second guessing myself on building an AR pistol

02-28-2010, 8:01 PM
so, i will be officially moving to cali next week and i will be bringing the following AR related items with me:

4 complete rifles
4 stripped OLL lowers
several uninstalled LPKs

i was going to build a 7.5" pistol with one of the stripped lowers before i leave NC, but that will leave me with 3 stripped lowers that will not have any matching uppers. should i abandon my pistol build due to the remaining lowers? i have a C&R license, so i could be inspected at any time and i don't want to be accused of being able to swap uppers to make an AOW or SBR. i don't know the legalities of building a pistol while in possession of additional stripped lowers, so just want to make sure i am within the law.


02-28-2010, 8:05 PM
I'm pretty sure you can't build a pistol from an OLL lower.

02-28-2010, 8:17 PM
I'm pretty sure you can't build a pistol from an OLL lower.

he's in NC, so he can do that. The issue would be is what do with the other 3 stripped lowers. They could all be built up as pistols and registered as pistols when he moves back to CA. With what he has descibed as his inventory, I don't think there would be any AOW or SBR issues since he has a legal use for his one pistol upper. the problem would be if he had stocks on all his other lowers, but no rifle uppers for them, and had a second pistol upper that could be used to make an SBR.

I would suggest that at least two of those lowers be built up as pistols, even if you have to swap the upper between them. Because, once you move to CA, you won't be able to easily get any more stipped lowers tht can be built up as pistols.

02-28-2010, 8:21 PM
I'm no expert but since his were DROSed as receivers he can do whatever. The reason you can't turn a receiver into a pistol IN California is because it can only be DROSed as a long gun. I believe that as long as the OP sends in the voluntary registration paperwork and claims his receivers as pistols he can do whatever he wants. Just as if he was bringing a 1911 frame.

02-28-2010, 9:02 PM
I'm pretty sure you can't build a pistol from an OLL lower.

You can legally build a pistol from a stripped receiver if it's never been built into a rifle or been registered as a rifle before. If you purchased the stripped receivers after Nov 2008, then you should have used the new 4473, which no longer classified stripped receivers as rifles. Just to be safe you should also make sure your dealer didn't log them into his book as Rifle Receivers, which is what FFL's are being asked to do now.

Having extra stripped lowers in the same house as a pistol upper is not a problem as long as you have one pistol lower in possession.

But because of the uncertainty of whether a pistol lower built from a stripped lower has always been a pistol, it is best to build pistol AR's from pistol marked lowers. Additionally, many dealers won't transfer a stripped lower as a pistol frame even if shown DOJ documentation that it has been registered as a pistol unless it is marked pistol.

My recommendation is to purchase a few pistol marked stripped lowers, along with as many high demand off roster handguns as you can and bring them along when you make the move. In many cases, you'll be able to get better than 50% above what you pay once in CA; that'll fund a few more builds/purchases.

02-28-2010, 10:41 PM
I am guessing but make em all pistols and use whichever one you want for a rifle build later on but if all pistols no problem...?

03-01-2010, 6:47 AM
thanks everyone! i will proceed with my build and register 2, if not all 3 stripped receivers as pistols :D

anyone know if i need to engrave "pistol" on the receiver?

03-01-2010, 6:56 AM
anyone know if i need to engrave "pistol" on the receiver?

Legally, no. But unless you can show a complete papertrail all the way to the manufacturer, it'll make transfering much easier.

03-01-2010, 10:00 AM
anyone know if i need to engrave "pistol" on the receiver?

no you don't. Does your 1911 or Glock say pistol on the receiver?