For gun buying purposes, the BATF thinks that active duty military are citizens of the state where they are stationed via PCS. See the wiki -- http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Fe...ments#Military
That means, ship from Utah to your local CA FFL; it's intrafamilial so the Roster does not apply, but interstate, so the FFL can charge whatever fee he likes.
Any handguns you had when you moved into CA are exempt from registration as a 'new resident'.
Sadly, once again the DOJ telephone-answerer was unaware of Federal law on interstate transfers. To be a tiny bit more fair, the BATF ruling thing is a subtler point than the usual.