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jkgts1
12-11-2012, 1:20 PM
I purchased a couple 80% lowers recently and I read up on the law and stuff, but still have a question. I know we don't have to have a serial number on it, but say you are shooting at the range and police want to check it out? How will you prove that you built it from a 80% lower? I guess you could keep receipts and pictures, but is there anoher way?

bwiese
12-11-2012, 1:29 PM
So go put a serial# on it and name and city, etc.

Your serial number can be BILLYBOB1, for example.

Intimid8tor
12-11-2012, 1:45 PM
You don't have to prove it. However, feel free to serialize if you would like. Keep in mind you should KNOW the law from a federal standpoint and how it applies to you. This concept of knowing the law also applies to blocked mags, bullet buttons, etc.

john67elco
12-11-2012, 1:53 PM
I threw a s/n number with my kids name on it so they don't end up at pawn stars getting $100 for it after I'm dead

Munk
12-11-2012, 4:58 PM
I purchased a couple 80% lowers recently and I read up on the law and stuff, but still have a question. I know we don't have to have a serial number on it, but say you are shooting at the range and police want to check it out? How will you prove that you built it from a 80% lower? I guess you could keep receipts and pictures, but is there anoher way?

You aren't required to serialize it, and the burden of proof is on them (innocent until proven guilty and all that); HOWEVER, there's no protection against harassment over it. It could cause you some significant discomfort and the possibility of missing work/school/whatever during the time they hold you to figure out that you didn't actually remove a serial number because none was ever there.

To make things easy, and to make it easier to transfer should you ever decide to do so, you should put some manner of serial number on it.

MattyB
12-11-2012, 6:39 PM
You aren't required to serialize it, and the burden of proof is on them (innocent until proven guilty and all that); HOWEVER, there's no protection against harassment over it. It could cause you some significant discomfort and the possibility of missing work/school/whatever during the time they hold you to figure out that you didn't actually remove a serial number because none was ever there.

To make things easy, and to make it easier to transfer should you ever decide to do so, you should put some manner of serial number on it.

Ive given this some thought on my lowers but more on where they need to be. Is there a requirement for size, depth and location if you do serialize it? Reason I ask is in a car that wasn't initially installed with seatbelts but you later added them and are stopped unbuckled, you can still get a ticket if they are present and not being used. I was thinking that by the same mode, a serial that doesn;t follow regulations could cause more problems than not adding one at all.

I was thinking of having a laser engraver do a small serial on the front of the magwell if I do it.

CBruce
12-11-2012, 6:40 PM
I purchased a couple 80% lowers recently and I read up on the law and stuff, but still have a question. I know we don't have to have a serial number on it, but say you are shooting at the range and police want to check it out? How will you prove that you built it from a 80% lower? I guess you could keep receipts and pictures, but is there anoher way?

You don't have to prove it, they have to prove you didn't. Otherwise, I would think the lack of manufacturing roll marks and serial number is a pretty big hint that it was home-built.

Serial number is good to have in case it's lost or stolen.

bwiese
12-11-2012, 6:43 PM
You don't have to prove it, they have to prove you didn't. Otherwise, I would think the lack of manufacturing roll marks and serial number is a pretty big hint that it was home-built.

Yes, but you are forgetting the dump-cop-in-traffic-stop factor and may or may not understand homebuilt rules. Some measurement of 'official looking' can appease a flatfoot.

For 3 minutes of engraving, and the ability to have your own S/N, why not do it?

Moonshine
12-11-2012, 7:39 PM
Where does one go to get an 80% engraved? And if the parts kit has matching serial numbers can you just use that serial because the old receiver was destroyed to create the kit anyhow?

Intimid8tor
12-11-2012, 7:56 PM
Where does one go to get an 80% engraved? And if the parts kit has matching serial numbers can you just use that serial because the old receiver was destroyed to create the kit anyhow?

Parts kits don't have serial numbers, at least none that I have ever seen. A few triggers do, but those are higher end triggers. I doubt there would be a legal issue of using a serial of the trigger, but I wouldn't copy the serial off of another gun you own.

The ATF does have legalities for marking of firearms. Search the ATF sight and you will find them. I believe text must be 1/16" high and .03" deep. I believe font has to be a block type font.

You might be able to find a local place to engrave it, especially before you machine it. Vaderspade, aka vadertactical.com does engraving on 80% lowers with designs and logos as well.

MattyB
12-11-2012, 8:02 PM
Parts kits don't have serial numbers, at least none that I have ever seen. A few triggers do, but those are higher end triggers. I doubt there would be a legal issue of using a serial of the trigger, but I wouldn't copy the serial off of another gun you own.

The ATF does have legalities for marking of firearms. Search the ATF sight and you will find them. I believe text must be 1/16" high and .03" deep. I believe font has to be a block type font.

You might be able to find a local place to engrave it, especially before you machine it. Vaderspade, aka vadertactical.com does engraving on 80% lowers with designs and logos as well.

Think he was talking about AK's not AR's but to that end I think you may have answered my question but not conclusively. The big question for me and to the eggheads, if you decide to mark an 80% that doesnt technically require it, are you bound by the same engraving rules as FFL manufacturers or do you have a lot more leeway in how you mark it??

skibuff
12-11-2012, 8:13 PM
So what are the advantages of owning a gun built from an 80% lower?
It still has to comply to AW laws and unless you use one of those silly looking pistol grip wraps you can't use High Cap mags (purchased prior to 2000) correct?

What am I missing here?
Funny, cause I had a LE friend asking me this morning about getting one.

DarkSoul
12-11-2012, 8:27 PM
So what are the advantages of owning a gun built from an 80% lower?
It still has to comply to AW laws and unless you use one of those silly looking pistol grip wraps you can't use High Cap mags (purchased prior to 2000) correct?

What am I missing here?
Funny, cause I had a LE friend asking me this morning about getting one.

You get the joy and satisfaction of doing it yourself :D , as well, no paper trail of any kind, if you care about such things. Remember that starting in 2014, you will have to register all newly purchased long guns (same as pistols).

MattyB
12-11-2012, 8:28 PM
So what are the advantages of owning a gun built from an 80% lower?
It still has to comply to AW laws and unless you use one of those silly looking pistol grip wraps you can't use High Cap mags (purchased prior to 2000) correct?

What am I missing here?
Funny, cause I had a LE friend asking me this morning about getting one.

It is one of the very few ways to build an AR pistol in CA due to the DROS requirement to list any AR stripped lower as a rifle. You can buy a SSE AR pistol but you cant actually build one unless you 80% it. There is also a price and time benefit that is dependent on how you build it. Remember, if you build it you dont have to do a NIC or a DROS nor a 10 day hold. There is zero papertrail to follow you and that is important to some regardless if the .gov says they ditch your paperwork after the sale is complete. Last, for some its the DIY aspect and/or getting to know your weapon that much better that is the motivating factor.

I have a few reasons that fall into that list, thats why I built mine.


EDIT:damn I got beat by 1 min with the same, although wordier answer :D

Yugo
12-11-2012, 8:29 PM
So what are the advantages of owning a gun built from an 80% lower?
It still has to comply to AW laws and unless you use one of those silly looking pistol grip wraps you can't use High Cap mags (purchased prior to 2000) correct?

What am I missing here?
Funny, cause I had a LE friend asking me this morning about getting one.

OP as others have said no need to explain anything it is on the detaining officer to do the explaining on why he is holding you.

IMHO I dont want to wait 10 days if I dont have to and I like the way they look when they have no marks AT ALL.

The only time I worry is if they get stolen but I just carved my last name on the inside of the trigger group (I have a very distinct last name thats also tattooed) so no need for markings.

other wise there really is no difference between a drossed or 80%er. The price works out the same after tax and dross.

Santa Cruz Arms
12-11-2012, 8:30 PM
So what are the advantages of owning a gun built from an 80% lower?
It still has to comply to AW laws and unless you use one of those silly looking pistol grip wraps you can't use High Cap mags (purchased prior to 2000) correct?

What am I missing here?
Funny, cause I had a LE friend asking me this morning about getting one.

If it matters to you, there is NO paperwork anywhere saying you bought/own this firearm.

You can build AR pistols from an 80% lower.

Edit: Looks like 3 of us posted at around the same time.. :)

mrdd
12-11-2012, 9:08 PM
Parts kits don't have serial numbers, at least none that I have ever seen. A few triggers do, but those are higher end triggers. I doubt there would be a legal issue of using a serial of the trigger, but I wouldn't copy the serial off of another gun you own.

The ATF does have legalities for marking of firearms. Search the ATF sight and you will find them. I believe text must be 1/16" high and .03" deep. I believe font has to be a block type font.

You might be able to find a local place to engrave it, especially before you machine it. Vaderspade, aka vadertactical.com does engraving on 80% lowers with designs and logos as well.

I believe the specific marking requirements only apply to licensed manufacturers:

27 CFR 478.92 How must licensed manufacturers and licensed importers identify firearms, armor piercing ammunition, and large capacity ammunition feeding devices?
(a)(1) Firearms. You, as a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer of firearms, must legibly identify each firearm manufactured or imported as follows:
(i) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For firearms manufactured or imported on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch; and
(ii) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain additional information. This information must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed. For firearms manufactured or imported on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of this information must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch. The additional information includes:
(A) The model, if such designation has been made;
(B) The caliber or gauge;
(C) Your name (or recognized abbreviation) and also, when applicable, the name of the foreign manufacturer;
(D) In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer maintain your place of business; and
(E) In the case of an imported firearm, the name of the country in which it was manufactured and the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the importer maintain your place of business. For additional requirements relating to imported firearms, see Customs regulations at 19 CFR part 134.
(2) Firearm frames or receivers. A firearm frame or receiver that is not a component part of a complete weapon at the time it is sold, shipped, or otherwise disposed of by you must be identified as required by this section.

Moonshine
12-11-2012, 9:34 PM
I was reading the same regs off the ATF website (thank you Intimid8r). My interpretation was that as long as it is build by you and is only to be used by you and never sold you may include whatever markings you want. However it's also my reading that when putting on a serial number it should be in Arabic (1,2,3,4,etc) numbers. I'm going to write ATF a letter because I have a matching serial AK-74 build and want to use the number from the destroyed receiver and I want to use Cyrillic characters to keep the build authentic... I went to great ends to get the correct furniture, bayonet, and sling.

Lex
12-12-2012, 6:54 PM
Can someone link me to the ATF site for some literature about this topic?

ke6guj
12-12-2012, 7:56 PM
Can someone link me to the ATF site for some literature about this topic?
www.atf.gov

skibuff
12-12-2012, 8:35 PM
Sorry OP for jacking your thread.
Cool Thanks guys for your responses guys. Actually makes sense to me now. I'll pass that on to my friend, I might make one for myself now but it's tough for me to justify another AR cause I have 2 RAW AR's already.

Since the lower is not registered as a rifle, can you legally switch it between a rifle and a pistol?
So starting 2013 even an 80% lower will have to be registered?

MattyB
12-12-2012, 9:32 PM
Sorry OP for jacking your thread.
Cool Thanks guys for your responses guys. Actually makes sense to me now. I'll pass that on to my friend, I might make one for myself now but it's tough for me to justify another AR cause I have 2 RAW AR's already.

Since the lower is not registered as a rifle, can you legally switch it between a rifle and a pistol?
So starting 2013 even an 80% lower will have to be registered?

Yes, as long as you reconfigure the pistol into a legal rifle w/ BB, 10 rd mag, 16" barrel you can switch uppers at will. Gotta be careful on the use of the same buffer tube if you have the rifle stock hanging around and you can readily install it on the buffer tube. Beyond that since it hasn't been DROS'd, it can't be locked into the same laws as FFL purchased lowers as they all have to be rifles.

NO, if you didnt buy it you dont have to register it as long as you arent an FFL manufacturer. Oh and NO for having to register long guns in 2013, it is 2014. As of January 1, 2013, open unloaded carry of long guns will be banned.

sharxbyte
12-12-2012, 9:46 PM
burden of proof is on them. see link in sig.

Jason_2111
12-12-2012, 10:10 PM
Just don't end up marking your lower with the same make/model/brand as something from the Roberti-roos list from the back of the CGN Flowchart.... that would be bad.
Other than that, mark it any way you like. Get creative!

Moonshine
12-12-2012, 10:48 PM
Wait a moment though if you were going to switch between rifle and pistol configuration wouldn't having the pistol upper around when in rifle configuration trigger constructive SBR fed laws?

madjack956
12-13-2012, 1:09 AM
Try a trophy shop for the engraving.

DarkSoul
12-13-2012, 7:23 AM
Wait a moment though if you were going to switch between rifle and pistol configuration wouldn't having the pistol upper around when in rifle configuration trigger constructive SBR fed laws?

As long as the lower was built as a pistol and built on a sled etc. (and engraved as a "pistol"), you are fine switching it from its pistol confit to a rifle config. The SBR issue will bite you if your lower IS NOT engraved as a pistol.

dantodd
12-13-2012, 8:43 AM
The ATF has stated that a pistol can be reconfigured into a rifle or long gun and back. You may not configure a rifle into a pistol federally so be sure to build your 80% into a pistol first. Also, you cannot configure your pistol into a short barreled rifle without a tax stamp.

However; this is further complicated by CA law which defines a short barreled rifle differently than federal law. There is no reason to believe that reconfiguring a pistol into a rifle and back is legal in CA. You can reconfigure your pistol into a rifle but going back to pistol is the problem. I believe that the DOJ has excepted kits sold as combo rifle/pistol like certain TC guns but even those are only exempted if they are bought in kit form and not if you buy a rifle or pistol and then purchase additional parts to be ale to reconfigure it. Yes, it is Byzantine and not worth the risk today, especially when the only cost associated with being clearly on the legal side of the line is a $100 lower and a $100 LPK.