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View Full Version : Building a pistol from an 80% reciever ???


dunwitjayz
06-15-2012, 3:02 PM
Iv done my research and have goten mixed reviews , some shop owners ( the gun vault) say its a no go ! Some say I'm completely legal ( valkyrie arms ) ? From my understanding of all the due dillagence Iv done says I can build a pistol ar-15 from a 80% reciever . I already went a head and bought most of what I need for the build but just out of curiosity I called the doj to ask , she said all 80% recievers must be made into long guns ?!? Is this true ????

RazzB7
06-15-2012, 3:04 PM
DOJ and Gun Vault are incorrect in that. You can build an AR pistol from an 80% receiver. Several of them can be seen here on CalGuns. I think it's a popular 80% build.

dunwitjayz
06-15-2012, 3:19 PM
Do you guys have any documentation to back that up ?

gunnerstuff
06-15-2012, 3:47 PM
Well, since laws are designed to tell you what you CANNOT do, and there is no law that says you can not do this, it is generally accepted that you can do it. IE it is lawful until out lawed.

nismobishi
06-15-2012, 5:14 PM
Yep.

dunwitjayz
06-15-2012, 10:07 PM
Do we have to mark the recievers "pistol" ?

nick
06-15-2012, 10:10 PM
You don't have to mark them anything at all.

Donk310
06-15-2012, 10:14 PM
your not going to get an answer from the doj thats worth the phone call. Yes building your own pistol is legal as long as it is built as a single shot first, and then later modified to hold more than one round. It's the same process as doing a single shot exemption, which gets you around the CA safe handgun list.

HUH? Who's going to know it was first a single shot? Do you have to register it after you build it, then make it a multi shot? Just trying to make since of this.

I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but my research also leads to no-go.

S470FM
06-15-2012, 10:17 PM
you CAN build an AR pistol from an 80% receiver, it's 100% legal. Just make sure you use a pistol buffer assembly and BB when doing your build. You're also allowed 5 builds per year, just whatever you do, don't sell, make them for someone else who isn't allowed to own a weapon or transfer it to anyone.

80% "paperweights" are available for 1911s and AKs as well.

Donk310
06-15-2012, 10:35 PM
I don't know about this one. If you decide to do it, more power to you. It just seems all too risky and not worth it to me. I am by far not an expert in this matter, but all of my stripped lowers were dros'd as RIFLE lowers, so I just don't see how I can make one into a pistol. Good luck.

Reductio
06-15-2012, 10:41 PM
You can't make a lower DROS'd as a rifle into a pistol. You CAN make your own from an 80%, build it as a single-shot AR pistol, then convert it to a semi-auto AR pistol with a mag of 10 or less. It's not that complicated.

Donk310
06-16-2012, 5:52 AM
You can't make a lower DROS'd as a rifle into a pistol. You CAN make your own from an 80%, build it as a single-shot AR pistol, then convert it to a semi-auto AR pistol with a mag of 10 or less. It's not that complicated.

80% vs stripped... gotcha!

RazzB7
06-18-2012, 2:21 PM
You're also allowed 5 builds per year,


Could you or someone else elaborate on the "5 build per year" limit? I have never heard this before.

stix213
06-18-2012, 2:29 PM
There are a large number of threads on this topic that should cover all your questions. A new one seems to be started like once every 3 weeks.

nick
06-18-2012, 2:37 PM
Could you or someone else elaborate on the "5 build per year" limit? I have never heard this before.

That's because it doesn't exist. He likely has it confused with the 5 transactions SELLING handguns per year, after which you may be considered a firearms dealer in CA.

gun toting monkeyboy
06-18-2012, 2:38 PM
you CAN build an AR pistol from an 80% receiver, it's 100% legal. Just make sure you use a pistol buffer assembly and BB when doing your build.

Um... Why do you need to use a pistol buffer assembly? I have seen nothing on that anywhere. I admit that using a carbine buffer tube might not be the wisest choice unless you put a pin or rivet through it so that it can't accept a carbine stock. But there is nothing that says you can't use an A1 tube with a gusset a la ACE Stocks. As long as you don't have the corresponding buttstock, I don't see how they could have a problem with it. No buttstock, no constructive possession. I have one set up with a pistol tube and one with an A1 tube, and the A1 is definately more comfortable to shoot.

-Mb

CSACANNONEER
06-18-2012, 2:47 PM
You're also allowed 5 builds per year, just whatever you do, don't sell, make them for someone else who isn't allowed to own a weapon or transfer it to anyone.


Do you have any proof of this "5 per year" thing you're claiming? I really doubt it. Also, it is legal to sell a homebuild. It is not legal to build with the intention of selling though.

You can't make a lower DROS'd as a rifle into a pistol.

Can you cite PC? I didn't think so. There is no written or case law regarding this so, it might or might not be legal. So far, no one thinks it's worth being a test case. But, that doesn't make it illegal. I have personally aske an ATF field supervisor about this at SHOT 2011 and was told that ATF doesn't give a rat's azz about how a receiver was DROSed in CA. Therefore, it should be 100% legal for a Ca resident to buy a stripped receiver, take it out of state (just an extra precaution in case anyone is worried about violating CA law while assembling), build the virgin receiver into a legal handgun, make it CA compliant, bring the same firearm that was purchased in CA back into CA and possess another perfectly legal and unregistered handgun in CA. Of course, I will add that my theory has not be tested in a CA court and I'll advise against doing this at this time. While IANAL, I do believe that it would be 100% legal. Personally, I'll stick to 80%s just because, they are easier to aquire and there is zero question regarding their legality.

Reductio
06-18-2012, 6:42 PM
Can you cite PC? I didn't think so. There is no written or case law regarding this so, it might or might not be legal. So far, no one thinks it's worth being a test case. But, that doesn't make it illegal. I have personally aske an ATF field supervisor about this at SHOT 2011 and was told that ATF doesn't give a rat's azz about how a receiver was DROSed in CA. Therefore, it should be 100% legal for a Ca resident to buy a stripped receiver, take it out of state (just an extra precaution in case anyone is worried about violating CA law while assembling), build the virgin receiver into a legal handgun, make it CA compliant, bring the same firearm that was purchased in CA back into CA and possess another perfectly legal and unregistered handgun in CA. Of course, I will add that my theory has not be tested in a CA court and I'll advise against doing this at this time. While IANAL, I do believe that it would be 100% legal. Personally, I'll stick to 80%s just because, they are easier to aquire and there is zero question regarding their legality.

Correct, seemingly no PC on it, but my understanding was the right people have said essentially that it's not a great idea in CA for the moment. If people don't understand the difference between an 80% and a completely milled lower they have toDROS, they're definitely not the type to push the limits atm.

j6p2004
06-18-2012, 8:09 PM
... no one thinks it's worth being a test case. ...



Rather than finding out from test cases, is it possible to get a formal legal opinion or even an advanced ruling from DOJ on the legality of building pistols from virgin lowers? I am not talking about a joe6pack like myself calling DOJ but a formal written request from a law firm.

SocomM4
06-18-2012, 8:58 PM
It's been covered several hundred times, with threads, group buys , build parties and shooting meets. If that isn't enough to get you to build one, then just go buy an ar15 pistol in a shop and be done with it.

Buy your 80%
Mill your 80%
BB your 80%
SS your 80%
Put an upper on your 80%
Take your SS sled out of your 80%
Insert 10/30 in your 80%
Shoot your 80%

Don't put a stock on your 80%
Don't put a Vertical Foregrip on your 80%
Don't talk to police if asked about your 80%.

Having a logo and "Pistol" laser engraved is added piece of mind. Not needed tho.

That's what I've picked up on , with my limited research on the matter.

Donk310
06-18-2012, 10:32 PM
just go buy an ar15 pistol in a shop and be done with it.





BAM! And there you have it.

Zartan
06-19-2012, 4:37 AM
Buy your 80%
Mill your 80%
BB your 80%
SS your 80%
Put an upper on your 80%
Take your SS sled out of your 80%
Insert 10/30 in your 80%
Shoot your 80%

Don't put a stock on your 80%
Don't put a Vertical Foregrip on your 80%
Don't talk to police if asked about your 80%.

Having a logo and "Pistol" laser engraved is added piece of mind. Not needed tho.


BOOM, roasted

CSACANNONEER
06-19-2012, 7:40 AM
It's been covered several hundred times, with threads, group buys , build parties and shooting meets. If that isn't enough to get you to build one, then just go buy an ar15 pistol in a shop and be done with it.

Buy your 80%
Mill your 80%
BB your 80%
SS your 80%
Put an upper on your 80%
Take your SS sled out of your 80%
Insert 10/30 in your 80%
Shoot your 80%

Don't put a stock on your 80%
Don't put a Vertical Foregrip on your 80%
Don't talk to police if asked about your 80%.
Having a logo and "Pistol" laser engraved is added piece of mind. Not needed tho.

That's what I've picked up on , with my limited research on the matter.

ATF has ruled that a stock on a lower without an upper attached is still not a rifle. So, attaching a stock to a lower can be OK.

Putting a VFG on a handgun can be done without a problem as Franklin Armory has proven.

I've talked with many LEOs about homebuilt firearms. Hell, I've helped many LEOs manufacture their own firearms.

Markings like "PISTOL" don't have ANY LEGAL status. Peace of mind for those who don't understand the laws? Maybe. But, it holds no legal weight.

SocomM4
06-19-2012, 7:51 AM
ATF has ruled that a stock on a lower without an upper attached is still not a rifle. So, attaching a stock to a lower can be OK.

Putting a VFG on a handgun can be done without a problem as Franklin Armory has proven.

I've talked with many LEOs about homebuilt firearms. Hell, I've helped many LEOs manufacture their own firearms.

Markings like "PISTOL" don't have ANY LEGAL status. Peace of mind for those who don't understand the laws? Maybe. But, it holds no legal weight.

Thanks.

Don't put a stock on your 80% pistol build.
Don't put a VFG on your 80% pistol . Just don't,just because FA proved its ok, doesn't mean you won't have to as well.
Being talkative with LEO is your choice.
Any markings are also your choice.


1

CSACANNONEER
06-19-2012, 3:12 PM
Thanks.

Don't put a stock on your 80% pistol build.
Don't put a VFG on your 80% pistol . Just don't,just because FA proved its ok, doesn't mean you won't have to as well.
Being talkative with LEO is your choice.
Any markings are also your choice.


1

Again, while there is no reason to put a stock on a lower that you want to make into a handgun, there is nothing illegal about doing so unless an upper is also attached.

As for your VFG arguement, just because someone else has proved that it's legal to manufacture your own firearm, DON'T DO IT. If you do, you might have to prove it's legal too. Yea, you're arguement isn't the best. Of course, one can only put a VFG on an AR pistol IF it's an AOW or over 26" in length.

Now, to address the LEO thing again. Are you aware that there are LEOs on this forum who actively help member's finish 80% lowers? I'm willing to bet that a few LEOs here are, in part, directly resposible for hundreds if not over a thousand home built firearms in CA.

SocomM4
06-19-2012, 5:17 PM
So as far as I can tell, your not disagreeing with each statement you keep commenting on.
What is your point here dude. Writing things like you COULD put a stock on an 80 percent build , but not if your going to put an upper on it? So your arguing that someone could put a stock on a pistol lower as long as they don't put the upper on it?? Thanks for clearing that up !!

And someone COULD put a VFG on their pistol given that it's over so many inches. Well the vast majority are not that long.
And the general rule is its a no-no. Could be why we see so few pistol builds without a VFG .

And I'm all warm inside thinking of all the wonderful officers that have helped put 80% builds in the hands of Californians but the sad truth is there is likely 100 -1 ratio of ones that want to take them away.