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View Full Version : Can I legally change my barrel?


mikefromsac
04-08-2011, 7:49 AM
Hi All:

I'm new here, so please forgive me if this has been discussed many times. I ran a search, but didn't find anything.

I bought a Colt Match Target with a 20" barrel here when they were still legal back in the early 1990s.


Can I legally change the barrel to a 16" Carbine barrel?
Can I legally change the stock to a shorter type?


I always expected to get a carbine, but they became illegal before I had the money saved up.

- Mike

Baconator
04-08-2011, 7:51 AM
I believe, and I know someone will correct me if I am wrong, that as long as A. your barrel comes out to a total of 16", and B. your rifle in it's shortest fireable configuration is 30" you can change things.

mif_slim
04-08-2011, 8:05 AM
Yes, you can change the barrel to 16 inches. Heck you can change the barrel to a 14.5" and add a flash hider/"break". By "add" i mean steaking the unit into the barrel so it cant be removed. You can even change calibers too if you want. Like say, from a 5.56 to a 50 bewolf or 7.62x39 or pistol rounds like 9mm, 40sw etc. :)

Just make sure you are within the flow chart. If you have a pistol grip or any of the "evil" features then you'll need a bullet button and run 10rd MAX mag limits. If you are going featureless then a BB is not needed.

Sniper3142
04-08-2011, 8:29 AM
Since you have a Colt, it almost certainly needs to be a RAW (Registered Assault Weapon).

If that is the case, you can change lots of things on it.

You can go to a shorter barrel (minimum of 16 inches), go to a collapsable stock, install a VFG (Vertical Forwar Grip) or a flare launcher. And your minimum OAL (Over All Length) only needs to be 26 inches (if it is a RAW).

joelogic
04-08-2011, 9:04 AM
Why not just buy a new upper and keep your Colt original.

joelogic
04-08-2011, 9:08 AM
By "add" i mean steaking the unit into the barrel so it cant be removed.

Not sure how wrapping a steak around the muzzle brake/flash hider would make it permanent. :D

It actually needs to be blind pinned and welded or silver soldered not staked.

goodlookin1
04-08-2011, 9:54 AM
If you have a Colt and it's not a RAW, then you better get that thing out of state: Even if you made it legal by conforming to the features and so forth, it is still illegal due to it being on the named Assault Weapon list.

hotprowl
04-08-2011, 10:00 AM
Hi All:

I bought a Colt Match Target with a 20" barrel here when they were still legal back in the early 1990s.



Hopefully you registered it when the ban came around.....;)

dieselpower
04-08-2011, 10:06 AM
the only thing you can not do is add a barrel of less than 16" without ATF approval. Which you are not getting in CA.

I only say this since you said you owned the AR15 pre-2000 and its a REGISTERED AW. So you are not limited by a 30" overall rule. You are limited to 26" overall as any AW is. You do not need a Bullet Button on a RAW, you can use all features of an AW...since your Colt is an AW. You are only limited on how you transport and where you use it, who you let fire it. Please read up on AW ownership. Owners of AWs must comply with laws other people don't have to worry about.

Rekrab
04-08-2011, 10:10 AM
Mike, I hope your rifle is registered properly as an assault weapon.

But no, if you change the barrel you're not breaking any laws. As long as the overall length of your rifle in the shortest configuration is 30" you're also good to go.

But yeah, I hope you've got that baby registered.

mif_slim
04-08-2011, 10:13 AM
Not sure how wrapping a steak around the muzzle brake/flash hider would make it permanent. :D

It actually needs to be blind pinned and welded or silver soldered not staked.

Got me there! :D :D but, at least we know it'll cook when you shoot a lot right? haha

CHS
04-08-2011, 11:27 AM
Mike, I hope your rifle is registered properly as an assault weapon.

But no, if you change the barrel you're not breaking any laws. As long as the overall length of your rifle in the shortest configuration is 30" you're also good to go.


26", not 30.

It's already an AW, so it doesn't matter if it's less than 30". Going less than 30" takes normal semi-auto centerfire detachable magazine rifles and turns them into EVIL ASSAULT RIFLES.

But since his gun is a RAW, it can be less than 30".

PRETTY hard to make an AR less than 30" though, without already violating federal law :)

Rekrab
04-08-2011, 11:35 AM
Right, I always forget that RAWs are treated differently on that. /facepalm

I wish I had a RAW...

mif_slim
04-08-2011, 11:38 AM
^ +1. your not alone. Lol.

mikefromsac
04-08-2011, 12:50 PM
How do I find out if I registered it as an AW? I know that may sound crazy, but I bought is over 15 years ago and I don't remember.

I know with my handguns I had to get a certification card before I could buy them, but I just don't remember that long ago as the laws weren't so crazy as they are now.

I did buy it from a large and popular gun store in Sacramento and they're still in business. Is there an easy way to find out if I (or they) registered it when I bought it?

Is there some sort of database I could check?

- Mike

dieselpower
04-08-2011, 12:54 PM
How do I find out if I registered it as an AW? I know that may sound crazy, but I bought is over 15 years ago and I don't remember.

I know with my handguns I had to get a certification card before I could buy them, but I just don't remember that long ago as the laws weren't so crazy as they are now.

I did buy it from a large and popular gun store in Sacramento and they're still in business. Is there an easy way to find out if I (or they) registered it when I bought it?

Is there some sort of database I could check?

- Mike

contact DoJ they will have you on file. You can request they comfirm all AWs linked to your name. If they tell you ZERO...get that firearm out of CA and or contact a lawyer ASAP..

You should remember having to get fingerprinted by Police and paying money after buying a firearm. Don't know how you could forget such a thing...

Rekrab
04-08-2011, 1:47 PM
If they don't have you on file, I would contact a lawyer immediately.

There's a list of lawyers on our front page: http://www.calguns.net/ It's just down and a little to the right.

mikefromsac
04-08-2011, 2:59 PM
If the rifle was never a RAW, can I strip the upper, stock, etc., and all the internal parts from the lower and then put all the parts back on a CA compliant lower with a bullet button?

Would the Colt Match Target parts fit most any high-quality CA compliant lower that I buy or do I have to find one that specifically fits the Colt Match Target upper and internal lower parts? I guess I'm asking are most all AR style lowers compatible with any other lower and upper parts?

Rekrab
04-08-2011, 3:43 PM
The lower receiver(the part with the serial number) is the part that is restricted. If it is not registered as an assault weapon it needs to be properly disposed of(again, contact a lawyer).

But to answer your question, yes, everything else on that ought to fit into and onto any other off-list lower and you'd be good to go.

mikefromsac
04-08-2011, 4:36 PM
Thanks all.

The rifle is out-of-state where it's been for several years, so I think I'm safe from the law. I'm bummed because I was going to bring it back this weekend, but now I'll wait until I get the parts to make it legal here.

I'll make the change of lower receiver before I bring it back into California.

Rekrab
04-08-2011, 4:44 PM
Ah, well if it's out of state you're good to go with the whole RAW business. Good to hear! You wouldn't believe how many people I've had come up to me at the CalGuns Gun Show Booth and start asking me about certain guns they should have in California... I've gotten a bit paranoid about it.

mike_the_wino
04-08-2011, 4:45 PM
Check your records, mike. I was in a similar situation; i.e. couldn't remember if I registered or not. After tearing my filing cabinets apart I found that beautiful scrap of paper. If you can't find it I think diesalpower laid it out for you.
contact DoJ they will have you on file. You can request they comfirm all AWs linked to your name. If they tell you ZERO...get that firearm out of CA and or contact a lawyer ASAP..

dachan
04-08-2011, 8:27 PM
But to answer your question, yes, everything else on that ought to fit into and onto any other off-list lower and you'd be good to go.

Not true if the Colt is of late eighties/early nineties vintage. That's when Colt was playing around with offset front pivot pins and larger sized trigger/hammer pins.

xbimmers
04-08-2011, 8:51 PM
Just get this from Bushmaster or other sources if you have a Big hole Colt upper and want to put it on a mil spec lower receiver.



Offset Pin
Adapts a Colt Lower Receiver (with large hole) to M16 Forward Assist type Upper Receiver with smaller hole.

Price: $6.50
Part No: NES-06
Quantity:
Options

Not true if the Colt is of late eighties/early nineties vintage. That's when Colt was playing around with offset front pivot pins and larger sized trigger/hammer pins.