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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 04-18-2013, 4:06 PM
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Default 80% lower: build a rifle or pistol?

I'm at a crossroad. I've built a featureless rifle from a stripped lower, and I've bought a rifle caliber pistol via SSE (Kel Tec PLR16). I just received an 80% lower and I have no idea which road I want to take... rifle or pistol.

Can you convince me either way? What are your pros and cons?
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:08 PM
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If you already have a rifle lower, why not go pistol? Worse case scenario you can always convert it to a rifle down the road
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:08 PM
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Pistol. Rifle lowers are relatively easy to get.
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:11 PM
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What's the difference between a pistol or rifle 80% lower?
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:20 PM
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What I like about making into a pistol is that, yes, pistol lowers are hard to come by, and once you own a pistol lower you can have a pistol upper. But I hate mag locks, and for practical use I just don't know about having another pistol. It would be nice to have a couple normally functioning rifles when necessary.
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:20 PM
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@Mizouse - Same thing, just how they are built up is obviously different
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:22 PM
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Would u have to have a bullet button on a pistol ar15 ? Cause technically its a pistol and not a rifle ....

RAZR Maxx .:TapaTalk2:.
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:22 PM
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^^^ Yes, you have to.
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalsworst View Post
Would u have to have a bullet button on a pistol ar15 ? Cause technically its a pistol and not a rifle ....

RAZR Maxx .:TapaTalk2:.
Magwell outside of grip = maglock
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Old 04-18-2013, 4:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newglockster View Post
@Mizouse - Same thing, just how they are built up is obviously different
Thanks I'm getting a 80%, was gonna make it to replace my polymer lower on my AR but maybe now I'll make it to a pistol.
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Old 04-18-2013, 6:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizouse View Post
Thanks I'm getting a 80%, was gonna make it to replace my polymer lower on my AR but maybe now I'll make it to a pistol.
Wise choice.
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Old 04-18-2013, 8:02 PM
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Pistol b/c you can always convert it to a rifle later...just not vise versa.

Robert
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Old 04-18-2013, 8:04 PM
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Another vote for pistol.
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Old 04-18-2013, 8:17 PM
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Pistol, any stripped AR15 lower can be made into a rifle. The ultimate choice is up to you and whatever floats your boat.
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Old 04-18-2013, 8:51 PM
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Pistol
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Old 04-18-2013, 9:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanakasan View Post
Pistol b/c you can always convert it to a rifle later...just not vise versa.

Robert
could you explain to me why not?
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizouse View Post
What's the difference between a pistol or rifle 80% lower?
A pistol lower was first assembled in a pistol configuration, and here in California the first incarnation of that was a single shot pistol (via a sled).

Pistol -> rifle -> pistol -> rifle = legal under federal law
Rifle -> pistol = unregistered short barreled rifle felony under federal law and a state felony for California residents

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 04-19-2013 at 12:58 AM..
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizouse View Post
could you explain to me why not?
Under the National Firearms Act of 1934

Quote:
26 USC � 5845 For the purpose of this chapter—
(a) Firearm
The term “firearm” means

(4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
If you want such a weapon you need to file a form 1 with BATF, pay your $200 tax, and wait for permission. Failure to do so means you just committed a felony.

Here in California, you'd have committed a second felony by violating state law

Quote:
As used in Sections 16530 and 16640, Sections 17720 to 17730, inclusive, Section 17740, Article 1 (commencing with Section 27500) of Chapter 4 of Division 6 of Title 4, and Article 1 (commencing with Section 33210) of Chapter 8 of Division 10 of Title 4, "short-barreled rifle" means any of the following:

(c) Any weapon made from a rifle (whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise) if that weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
Also note that here in California we have a constructive posession law for short barreled rifles. If you own an upper < 16", a non-"pistol" lower, and no "pistol" lower you're a felon.

Quote:
(e) Any part, or combination of parts, designed and intended to convert a device into a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, or any combination of parts from which a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive, may be readily assembled if those parts are in the possession or under the control of the same person.
When it starts as a pistol it's not "made from a rifle" and none of that applies.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 04-19-2013 at 12:57 AM..
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  #19  
Old 04-19-2013, 12:56 AM
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Fwiw, the ATF has recently stated converting a rifle to a pistol is now ok, ca law however can offer different hurdles
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Old 04-19-2013, 1:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPlink View Post
Fwiw, the ATF has recently stated converting a rifle to a pistol is now ok, ca law however can offer different hurdles
I don't think so.

Ruling 2011-4 says pistol->rifle->pistol is legal. It also says

Quote:
Held further, a firearm, as defined by 26 U.S.C. 5845(a)(3) and (a)(4), is not made when parts in a kit that were originally designed to be configured as both a pistol and a rifle are assembled or re-assembled in a configuration not regulated under the NFA (e.g., as a pistol, or a rifle with a barrel of 16 inches or more in length).
AFAIK there's yet to be a ruling which allows rifle->pistol in the general case, with that being a clear violation of federal law.
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Old 04-19-2013, 1:13 AM
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I would say rifle. I don't seen much point in a rifle caliber pistol... unless you intend to go SBR in the future.
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Old 04-19-2013, 2:23 AM
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Drew, to clarify ATF says its ok to start with a pistol, convert to non NFA rifle, then back to pistol.
From the horses mouth
http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulin...ing-2011-4.pdf

Edit: whoops! Looks like we are on the same page

Last edited by MrPlink; 04-19-2013 at 9:50 AM..
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Old 04-19-2013, 7:51 AM
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Good to know. Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2013, 8:08 AM
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SBR or long gun.....I dont see any practicallity in an m4 platform pistol. Want a pistol? Go get a 1911
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Old 04-23-2013, 4:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksaeger31 View Post
SBR or long gun.....I dont see any practicallity in an m4 platform pistol.
The practicality lies in the difference between what can be used as a shoulder stock and what's legally defined as one, especially when you live in California where you're not allowed to have a SBR with a tax stamp.

This Bushmaster ARM is legally a "pistol" (later versions had a side charging handle less likely to wack you with a cheek weld)



Here's inquiry about building an an AR15 "pistol" using a "rifle" buffer tube (note the part about the screw hole in the end) with a cane-tip on the end "to provide a non-slip way to stand the AR15 pistol up in my gun safe" which "would also function to block any soot from getting on my shirt through the hole in the end of the buffer tube while shooting. "

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_122/4...sion_tube.html

The ATF responded that was OK:

"In response to your second question regarding the legality of adding a rubber cane end-cap to your AR15-type pistol buffer cap -- this addition would not be considered a butstock and would not change the classification of the pistol as a GCA firearm; therefore it would be lawful."

where the emphasis on "not" comes from the ATF letter.

I haven't a clue how much wiggle room we actually have under California law, although people are selling CA legal (with single shot sleds for roster exemption) AR "pistols" with foam covers on the buffer tubes.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg arm2.jpg (42.7 KB, 133 views)

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 04-23-2013 at 4:34 PM..
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  #26  
Old 04-23-2013, 4:54 PM
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http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...58&postcount=1

ATFs ruling on 80%
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  #27  
Old 04-23-2013, 5:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Paper Pimp View Post

Sorry, but no. That is a vendor posting information without sharing the actual document to support the statements being made. Thus it is far from an ATF ruling at this point.
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Old 04-23-2013, 5:48 PM
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actually, no. it was posted by Jason Davis CGN lawyer, you can contact him for the document.
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Old 04-23-2013, 5:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Paper Pimp View Post
actually, no. it was posted by Jason Davis CGN lawyer, you can contact him for the document.
Incorrect. 80% Arms made the post.
They referenced a letter which they did not provide a copy of.
They reported that Jason Davis received the letter.

Jason Davis did not make the post.
The Letter is not posted.
There is no ATF policy posted that matches this story (yet).
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Old 04-23-2013, 6:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Here's inquiry about building an an AR15 "pistol" using a "rifle" buffer tube (note the part about the screw hole in the end) with a cane-tip on the end "to provide a non-slip way to stand the AR15 pistol up in my gun safe" which "would also function to block any soot from getting on my shirt through the hole in the end of the buffer tube while shooting. "

My AR "pistol" has been set up this way (modified rifle tube with cane cap) for years (since it is over 26inches it has a foregrip too).

No Ca restrictions on using cane caps, foam covers, stock saddles etc etc (yet!)
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