View Full Version : requirements for making a non AW gun from a 80% reciever

10-17-2007, 10:58 PM
What are the requirements for making a non AW gun from a 80% reciever.

i.e if you cross the 80% mark to 100%

do you need a permit or anything?

Do you have to put your name on it. or a serial number and model like

Homemade gun serial #1 owned by John Doe

I gather that it can be done legally, but of course in cali we are never sure


10-17-2007, 11:17 PM
It can be done legally but doing it from an 80% receiver is a gray area. Do some more research. There is no real ATF definition (forget state law for now) of what is considered 80%, but they have arrested people and shut down operations. The ATF letters that I found that were legitimate and not forged stated that a receiver blank would need to require substantial time by a skilled person (with a mill etc.) to get a working gun. Cutting rails on a 1911 frame was not considered enough unfinished work to make it a non-firearm. I was looking into this a few months ago. Many folks that have been selling these "80% receivers/frames" that you could finish with a dremel or a drill press, they had phony letters from the ATF authenticating their receivers as okay to sell as non-firearms. They either are in court or jail. If you want to make a gun from scratch, start with raw materials, or a raw forging or flat piece of sheet metal that will require you to do substantial machining, bending, welding etc. If you build it, you can never sell it. A serial number is not required IIRC but is encouraged to prevent legal hassle.

Search for DIY guns. They were in some legal trouble for their 90% 1911 frames though the website doesn't mention that. Also try this link http://www.ktordnance.com/kto/order.php they admit to be in court about their 80% frames.

IMO it's not worth risking you RKBA over a homemade gun.

10-17-2007, 11:35 PM

normally I agree but for a few reason I am, considering doing this for G3 projects... the stamped receivers look pretty much 80%. the maker had to leave them unbent for the ATF to issue the letter. I followed it for a while and they seem legit...


There is significant work needed, but overall it is great that they are doing it...

So no S/N or names but it is probably a good idea?


10-17-2007, 11:41 PM
If your vendor has a ATF tech branch letter for the *exact specific configuration* the flat or forging or whatever is in that says it'is a non-gun, you have some backing.

I don't see that in the catalog and for all I know it's just their assertion it's a non-gun. Frankly that looks like a lot of work has been done already.

Remember what happened to Richard Celata and his band of dingbats up in Montana.

But many people are getting in trouble for 80% issues because one man's 60% is a more skilled person's 90%. At a certain point things are close enough the ATF can assert it's a receiver. If that receiver is shipped to you across state lines, that's when trouble begins - it's just like you ordered something from GunBroker from an out of state source and the gun was sent to you directly and not thru a CA FFL.

This is wholly aside from CA AW laws.

10-18-2007, 6:16 AM
Just my $0.02,

To save $170 by ordering a 80% "non-firearm" receiver (that looks like it can be finished with a few rivets or welds or whatever) you willing to gamble that you wont getting nailed with illegally buying a gun across state lines because it looks like its 80%? If the verdict was out on 80% kits like it is with OLL builds then it'd be a different story. I'd buy the finished receiver and build it with a bullet button setup or no pistol grip. In California you can get in trouble for manufacturing an assault weapon, even if it's on a homemade receiver, and you can't register it as one either. When you get in hot water like B.W.O. is do you want to fight an uphill battle about your receiver and your build? Or just your build?

10-18-2007, 10:55 AM
I think it's prob cool to do AKs from flats and bend 'em yourself. ATF seems to be OK with this too.


It should take a SHARP person with appropriate experience AND tooling a lot of time to complete.

10-18-2007, 11:07 AM
I believe all the hassles so far with 80% issues have been involving CNC machined pistol frames, 1919A4 sideplates, and sten gun receiver tubes, (as well as AR15 lowers, but the KTordinance ones were REALLY close to being done, they even had pilot indentions for drilling the final holes)

The AK receivers are being done across the country in such vast numbers and are being supplied by such a large number of different manufacturers, I agree with bill, the ATF has prety much given tacit (if not explicit) approval to these projects.

The people who are manufacturing these '80%' receivers are IMHO the ones taking the big risk, and they are doing so publicly and in a well documented manner.

I've built an AK lower from an 80% flat and a M11/9 from a weld togeather 80% kit, both took substantial tooling and while easy to do, were rather time consuming (and I used to do sheetmetal fabrication for a living)