View Full Version : are gun frames legal

09-06-2007, 6:27 AM
I went to a certain gun store and was shooting the breez (excuse the pun) and we got to talking about home made guns. I understand the rifle portion of the law but when it comes to pistols, are we allowed to buy frames and build them up. this question applies to standard hand guns, ar and ak style hand guns. what are the do's and don'ts on this subject. If also you could attach some links to where the laws to this applies.

09-06-2007, 6:32 AM
The frame is the legally registered part of the handgun just as, for example, the lower receiver is the legally controlled part of an AR-15. So if you wanted to buy a frame and build it up, you would have to DROS it and register it and if it wasn't a person-to-person transfer the frame would have to be from a California certified handgun.

If you bought an AK receiver and then attempted to make a handgun out of it, you would run afoul of a variety of state and Federal laws concerning short barreled rifles, assault weapons, etc.

09-06-2007, 6:26 PM
I guess nobody else knows or doesnt care. anybody????:(

09-06-2007, 6:48 PM
You can't buy a handgun frame as they have to be on the safe list, and a frame can't be tested as it is just a frame with no working parts.

You can however buy a frame from another individual in the state via PPT.

09-06-2007, 6:50 PM
This is a really involved subject that has special problems for us in CA

yes you can buy frames and build them up... however handguns in CA have to pass a drop safety requirement if they are being purchased from a dealers inventory which basically eliminates the possibility of a stripped receiver being able to be purchased new.

You can buy a used one from a private individual and use the Private Party Transfer exemption to the drop safety requirement.

You can have the pistol frame built up into a single shot with a barrel over six inches long out of state and transfered in (this works well for AR/AK type pistols as well as 1911's and others) there is a single shot exemption to the drop safety requirement.

some revolvers can be reconfigured while out of state into single action pistols which quailify for another drop safety exemption.

The other option you have is to make friends with a Law enforcement officer who can purchase the frames for you then when the initial 10 day wait is over, he can use the PPT exemption to transfer it to you.

There are a few federal issues that you can run afoul of as well (using a rifle receiver to build a pistol) however I don't want to get into it right now since it would be a bit confusing and my opinion on the subject differes slightly from some of the other members who's opinion I respect.

09-06-2007, 6:51 PM
Well, Simonov has it correct.

You can't buy a frame from a gun shop, unless it was a consignment/PPT.

Frames are not approved safe handguns and can't be sold directly by FFLs - except to legally execute PPT transfers btwn Californians of already-owned firearms/frames.

If Joe Blow has an old 1911 frame he wants to sell you, you could buy it from him via PPT at an FFL and do the 10 day wait. Upon receipt you could build it up with whatever slide/bbl, etc. you wanted no problem.

AR/AK pistols have special concerns and noobs are perhaps wise to stay away from this.

09-06-2007, 9:15 PM
About the only way to get a new handgun frame in from out of state through a dealer is to have a LEO friend who buys one and decides he likes you enough to PPT it to you later.


09-06-2007, 9:18 PM
Hrm. Idle late night thinking here; A handgun frame wouldn't exactly fail the drop test, would it ? ;)

09-06-2007, 9:23 PM
Hrm. Idle late night thinking here; A handgun frame wouldn't exactly fail the drop test, would it ? ;)

No but it has to pass the firing test.

09-06-2007, 9:26 PM
Hrm. Idle late night thinking here; A handgun frame wouldn't exactly fail the drop test, would it ? ;)

While it wouldn't fail the drop test, it would fail the firing requirement of the safety test 12127. (a)