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JohnJW
10-29-2007, 2:52 PM
I was at the range yesterday and I noticed that since I am generally just shooting at paper targets, practicing aiming and trigger control, I seldom load more than 3~5 rounds.

If I alter the AR15 bolt release so the bolt will be hold open after every shot regardless of magazine status or the position of the bold release handle, do I still have a semi auto AR15? I will have to push the bolt release after every shot to chamber a round.

There's no advantage over the fix magazine other than I rather have the ability to fire a few round and have a empty gun next to me while I check my shots with the spotting scope without having to break open the upper receiver just to load a few rounds.

Any opinions?

Thanks,

John

bwiese
10-29-2007, 2:56 PM
I wouldn't push it that close to the line.

If you want a non-semiauto rifle, remove the gas tube and close the gas port.

tgriffin
10-29-2007, 3:03 PM
"A" for effort. I think its a very very very grey area. Since all you would have to do is hold the bolt stop (in whatever position) in order to have a semi-auto, I think the firearm would still be considered semi-auto. Do as Bill suggests if you want to stay on the good side of the law.

bwiese
10-29-2007, 3:20 PM
If you want a non-semiauto rifle, remove the gas tube and close the gas port.

I'll amend my statement above to say "... for gas operated rifles".

If you instead have a blowback pistol-caliber carbine I would not rely on *any* system - including use of an ultra-heavy buffer & bolt carrier - to render rifle into non-semiauto status.

JohnJW
10-29-2007, 4:58 PM
"A" for effort. I think its a very very very grey area. Since all you would have to do is hold the bolt stop (in whatever position) in order to have a semi-auto, I think the firearm would still be considered semi-auto. Do as Bill suggests if you want to stay on the good side of the law.

What if the bolt stop is modified so it will need to reset by releasing it. Kind of like the trigger mechanism. So it will always hold open after each shot even if the bolt stop is being held down.

I know this is pushing the envelop a little and the concept if technically feasible is not as elegant as the bullet magazine release but I really don't like to break open the AR15 just to load 3 rounds. . . . Maybe this can be applied to other semi autos where the upper and lower receiver don't swing open or swing open as far, ie FAL.

bwiese
10-29-2007, 5:03 PM
Too risky. What you are proposing is at best an element of defense, and not action to be condoned/recommended or even tried.

The key action components for semiuato operation (open gas port + gas tube, along with gas key on bolt carrier) are still there.

Why go to the edge when you can just block the gas port and remove the gas tube anyway?

On FAL-type rifles you just close the G/L valve and remove the gas piston.

RANGER295
10-30-2007, 8:04 AM
We hashed this idea out back in the day. Besides the issues that Bill is talking about. We came up with all kinds of mechanical issues. If you stop and think about it, that bolt stop is made to catch the bolt every 30 rounds. If you donít have prebans or if you are running a fixed mag, every 10 rounds. That is 33 to 100 bolt stops per 1,000 rounds depending on mag size. At the very least, your idea would be adding 10 times the bolt stops. That is a lot of extra wear and tear.

fun2none
10-30-2007, 8:07 AM
I was at the range yesterday and I noticed that since I am generally just shooting at paper targets, practicing aiming and trigger control, I seldom load more than 3~5 rounds.

If I alter the AR15 bolt release so the bolt will be hold open after every shot regardless of magazine status or the position of the bold release handle, do I still have a semi auto AR15? I will have to push the bolt release after every shot to chamber a round.

There's no advantage over the fix magazine other than I rather have the ability to fire a few round and have a empty gun next to me while I check my shots with the spotting scope without having to break open the upper receiver just to load a few rounds.

Any opinions?

Thanks,

John

You still have a "semiautomatic" firearm. It fires one cartridge per trigger pull and loads a new round into the chamber by using energy from the previously fired cartridge. Modifying the bolt catch to hold the bolt carrier open after each shot has only created a "pause" in the semiautomatic operating cycle.

As previous posts suggested, disabling the gas system will convert the semiautomatic into a manually operated firearm, like a pump or lever action, where the operator must provide the work to chamber the next round.

In the AR platform, it would be very easy to fabricate a plug for the front-sight gas block. Find steel rod the same diameter as the gas tube, cross drill a hole for the gas tube pin, remove the gas tube, install plug - voila ! No more semiautomatic operation. I am surprised nobody makes a plug.

bwiese
10-30-2007, 8:32 AM
Ranger295 brought up some good analysis on bolt catch wear cycles!!

Again, the only time you might not have a semiauto firearm with such a gas system present is if you had a fixed single-shot "sled" magazine. And that still is pushing it.

I continue to advise, with some measure of sanity:

(1) semiauto status should be only regarded as removed if gas port closed and gas tube/gas piston removed. (Even better would be to have no gas key on the bolt carrier just as an additional 'smell good' measure.)

(2) semiauto status of blowback guns cannot clearly be disabled, so do not rely on a blowback gun's disabled semiauto status as keeping it SB23 compliant.

AJAX22
10-30-2007, 9:43 AM
I believe there may actually be a Fed opinion letter on this subject somewhere.

I have a friend who had a custom target rifle made for competition which was a modified semi auto anschutz.

It held the bolt in the rearmost position untill he pushed it with his thumb which allowed it to return to battery. This was good enough for it to be considered a bolt action for competition and allowed him to not shift his grip or hold on the rifle.

I don't know if it was a common modification. But I believe I've seen blow back .22 target guns which self eject, and require a slight amount of pressure to the bolt to return to battery... That could just be a competition definition and have no legal bearing on our situtation but its a neat thought.

a bolt catch might not be the best way to modify an AR for this function.. but it might be possible to make a forward assist that caught a notch in the side of the bolt carrier and held it untill the forward assist was tapped.

it would be nice to get a fed opinion letter on it (since CA i believe incorporates the Federal definition of semi auto into the code)

even if impractical, its neat that you guys are thinking outside the box.

bwiese
10-30-2007, 11:35 AM
Federal definition + ATF letters helpful but not necessarily that useful.

"Semiautomatic" descriptor is not defined in & of itself; there is however the following:

PC 12126(e) As used in this section, a "semiautomatic pistol" means a
pistol, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 12001, the operating mode
of which uses the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to extract a
fired cartridge and chamber a fresh cartridge with each single pull of the
trigger.

Remember that there was a fairly recent unreg'd Imbel FAL case in LA where the dude removed the bolt carrier from the gun (I don't have full details, know if it's being appealed, etc.) - he was popped/convicted of AW crimes as it was a 'defective' AW. (He really wasn't playing in the OLL field, he apparently bought an Imbel FAL in AZ unpapered, no FFL, etc.)

As far as bolt-catch games go, just don't go there. This is just way too friggin' edgy. What happens when a bolt catch breaks on a crappy bottom-feeder Model1, Oly Arms, etc. parts kit? You've now got a semiauto rifle.

There is no valid reason to push such limits anyway, since you can run nonsemiauto with gas system removed.

JohnJW
10-30-2007, 3:11 PM
I wasn't that worried about the bolt catch wearing out because I don't really shoot rifles that much. . . . But, I'll take the Calgun consensus. . . . are there any bolt action AR upper available that's reasonably priced ? Something like the Tubb 2000 without the hefty price tag.

bwiese
10-30-2007, 3:24 PM
I wasn't that worried about the bolt catch wearing out because I don't really shoot rifles that much. . . . But, I'll take the Calgun consensus. . . . are there any bolt action AR upper available that's reasonably priced ? Something like the Tubb 2000 without the hefty price tag.

Maybe JP rifles or Sierra Precision?

But irrelevant though - go get a good upper of your choice, close off (by filling) the gas port, and don't have a gas tube installed.

Badabing, badaboom.

artherd
10-30-2007, 7:58 PM
If you can't afford a Tubb2000, then you absolutely cannot afford to defend your non-semi AR.

Your suggestion is possibly legal (as you do not fire one shot per pull of the trigger), but will probally get you busted and forced to prove it. Do so if you've got $50k kicking a hole in your pants, otherwise pass and go more conservative. I'm hesitant to recommend a setup that parts can 'fall off' and create an AW...

Then again I do own a Barrett M82-A1CAL, which is exactly that, a rifle parts can 'fall off' and creat an AW.