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View Full Version : Moving to Cali with an AR question


arizonamaddy
02-18-2008, 10:56 AM
I'm sure this has been asked several times, but here we go again. I am moving to Cali from AZ soon and am the proud owner of a bushmaster Varminter. I'm sure this is classified as an assault rifle and wanted to know if changing to the U-15 stock would make me legal. This I'm guessing will let me keep the removable mag. I love this gun and don't want to have to leave it behind. Please help.
Thanks
Arizonamaddy

SemiAutoSam
02-18-2008, 10:59 AM
This flow chart should help.

http://www.calguns.net/caawid/flowchart.pdf

JBird33
02-18-2008, 11:20 AM
As long as it isn't a "named" lower on the Cali ban list, then all you need to do is install a bullet button in place of the regular magazine drop. Simply buying a U-15 or Monster Man Grip will do you no good if you have any "evil" features (pistol grip, thumbhole stock, flare launcher, flash hider, collapsible stock.)

I'd just buy a $25 bullet button and call it good. Again, if your lower is on the list of banned guns, you're screwed no matter what.

ohsmily
02-18-2008, 11:57 AM
It is likely that your lower receiver says "Bushmaster XM-15" on it. This is a listed lower receiver and can't be brought into the state, regardless of configuration of the rifle. If you want to keep your rifle, then buy an off-list lower receiver and get rid of the Bushmaster XM-15 lower and then you can bring your rifle into the state provided that you use the U-15 stock with no evil features, or any other legal configuration you choose (fixed mag, etc).

arizonamaddy
02-18-2008, 1:22 PM
Any suggestions on a good relacement lower?

SemiAutoSam
02-18-2008, 1:47 PM
Any receiver that suits your needs that is not on the Roberti Roos or Kasler lists.

You will find these lists at the flow chart link I posted earlier.

Any suggestions on a good replacement lower?

Josh3239
02-18-2008, 1:59 PM
If your going with the U15 stock remember that means no flash hiders or vertical foregrips also.

RegularLT1
02-18-2008, 2:18 PM
Any suggestions on a good relacement lower?

I had the exact same issue when I moved here from Texas, bushmaster rifle and all. I left my whole rifle in Texas though because I didn't do my homework ahead of time, and didn't want to risk breaking any laws. Here's my advice.

Leave your 20/30-round mags in a free state, or disassemble them and never assemble them, or have them permanently modified to only accept 10 rounds. It's a FELONY here to import high-caps.

Here's your shopping list: an OLL, a BB (Bullet Button), and some CA-legal mags.
Get the OLL - a.k.a. Off-List Lower while you are still in AZ and presumably have cheaper FFL fees, no waiting period, etc. There are many threads on here about OLL's so I won't even go into it.

Install a "bullet button" into the lower. It can be had from a number of vendors on this board as sponsors. I bought mine from Lanworldinc.com. Great guy, great service. He also sells the rest of the parts you need for good prices.

Another option that might work for you would be to buy a LPK - Lower parts kit so that you don't have to deal with disassembling all those little springs, roll pins, detents, etc from your existing lower. They run about $70 from most places.

Now transfer all your bushie parts to your new lower. Total cost - about $200 including the BB ($25), OLL ($100), 10-rd mag ($20), FFL fee/shipping (~$65).

Reason for the Bullet Button is that CA has a retarded law that only non-criminals will follow where you have to have a tool to detach a magazine. The "Tool" in this case is a bullet, something you are more than likely to have on hand while shooting. :)

The use of the BB allows you to retain all the other "evil" features of your rifle except for the large-cap magazines. Otherwise you'd have to buy a new muzzle brake, stock (assuming you don't have an A2 on there), monster-man grip, and 10-round mags.

There are numerous topics on this board and a good faq to follow, so I'd suggest reading up on those before buying anything.

aplinker
02-18-2008, 3:03 PM
I would also highly suggest picking up a few handguns not on the certified list, such as the HK45, P30, Kel-Tecs, 1911 frames, etc.

I would also suggest buying your AR lower as a pistol. There's nothing to prevent you from building it up as a regular AR rifle (30" OAL and 16" barrel), but down the road you could also make it into a pistol with a shorty upper and NO STOCK (still using a BB, though).

JagerTroop
02-18-2008, 3:44 PM
RegularLT1... I'm impressed. That was the most informative, and precise bit of advice I've seen dished out by a newb (myself included), not to mention new to California. Good job. We need more informed people like you on here.

JagerTroop
02-18-2008, 3:46 PM
I would also suggest buying your AR lower as a pistol. There's nothing to prevent you from building it up as a regular AR rifle (30" OAL and 16" barrel), but down the road you could also make it into a pistol with a shorty upper and NO STOCK (still using a BB, though).

Wait, WHAT?! I thought you could NEVER go from rifle to pistol? Double check your info.

aplinker
02-18-2008, 4:40 PM
Read again, buddy.

You are buying a PISTOL and adding a stock and 16" barrel. There's nothing wrong with this. It's still a pistol and conforms to the pistol laws.

Wait, WHAT?! I thought you could NEVER go from rifle to pistol? Double check your info.

63 tango
02-18-2008, 5:15 PM
Any suggestions on a good relacement lower?
a stag or fulton lower. both are high quality.

JagerTroop
02-18-2008, 5:45 PM
Read again, buddy.

You are buying a PISTOL and adding a stock and 16" barrel. There's nothing wrong with this. It's still a pistol and conforms to the pistol laws.

This isn't the 'end all be all' of proof, just couldn't stand to look anymore.

...the lower I made is VERY specifically a dedicated PISTOL receiver and has NEVER had a stock put on it. That is VERY important...


I was under the impression that if you had a virgin lower, or "pistol" lower, you could never assemble it as a rifle(if you wanted to make it a pistol someday). I know I've read it here before, several times...pistol to rifle = OK, rifle to pistol = chrome bracelets.

If I'm wrong, by all means, let me know. But I'm pretty darn sure on this one:)

ke6guj
02-18-2008, 5:58 PM
I was under the impression that if you had a virgin lower, or "pistol" lower, you could never assemble it as a rifle(if you wanted to make it a pistol someday). I know I've read it here before, several times...pistol to rifle = OK, rifle to pistol = chrome bracelets.

If I'm wrong, by all means, let me know. But I'm pretty darn sure on this one:)


What he is talking about is basically the Thompson Contender ruling. Basically if you buy a TC pistol or virgin frame, you can first assemble it as a pistol. Then, you can convert to rifle and back to pistol legally. It was a pistol first so it is ok.

But, if you start with a TC rifle, or virgin fram that is first assembled as a rifle, you can't convert to pistol.

The same method should work with any other pistol>rifle>pistol conversions.

jamesob
02-18-2008, 6:59 PM
I'm sure this has been asked several times, but here we go again. I am moving to Cali from AZ soon and am the proud owner of a bushmaster Varminter. I'm sure this is classified as an assault rifle and wanted to know if changing to the U-15 stock would make me legal. This I'm guessing will let me keep the removable mag. I love this gun and don't want to have to leave it behind. Please help.
Thanks
Arizonamaddy

i have a question for you. why on earth are you moving here? i looked at a house in arizona back in june. yeah i know june, but the wife wanted to see how hot i got there.

aplinker
02-18-2008, 8:11 PM
Two issues in there... We'll assume (for the sake of not dealing with SBRs) we're only in CA and we're dealing with "normal" firearms.

You can NEVER put a barrel shorter than 16" or have an OAL less than 30" with a semiautomatic centerfire rifle. That's a given.

Now, in order to be able to have it in a pistol configuration, it could never have been sold as a rifle. Anything that is classified as a rifle must never break those rules above.

However, if you bought a VIRGIN receiver and bought it as a pistol, it is then a pistol receiver. With a pistol you can ABSOLUTELY have a stock, IF you maintain the 16" barrel and 30" OAL (and assuming you don't break any assault weapons issues).

You could also have that pistol in a pistol configuration (short being an AW).

You can switch back and forth at will. Having it registered as a pistol allows you to have it in the pistol configuration. You can ONLY do this on a receiver that was purchased as a pistol.

My suggestion was, since he has to buy the receiver anyways, buy it as a pistol (might be $25 more), as this will allow him more options in the future.

Hope that's clear now. ;)



This isn't the 'end all be all' of proof, just couldn't stand to look anymore.

I was under the impression that if you had a virgin lower, or "pistol" lower, you could never assemble it as a rifle(if you wanted to make it a pistol someday). I know I've read it here before, several times...pistol to rifle = OK, rifle to pistol = chrome bracelets.

If I'm wrong, by all means, let me know. But I'm pretty darn sure on this one:)

JagerTroop
02-18-2008, 8:21 PM
Hope that's clear now. ;)

Crystal :)

I just want to be 1000% sure when it comes to things like this. I'd rather beat this to death, than be phoning in my posts, 3rd person from a California Correctional Facility :D