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  #1  
Old 03-26-2013, 2:54 PM
KBSacto KBSacto is offline
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Default MechTech carbine conversion for Glocks: CA legal?

MechTech Systems makes an upper for Glocks and 1911s pistols. After field stripping the Glock, the upper affixes to the pistol frame to form a carbine rifle. The plain upper does not come with a rifle stock, though this accessory along with others can be purchased. I tried searching this forum for MechTech, but nothing came up.

My question to the FFLs is whether there are any legal issues with this in California. I'm not familiar enough with handgun conversions laws, short barrel rifles, and conversions back to pistols to know where this falls legally. Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2013, 8:41 PM
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If you install the Mech-Tech CCU with a shoulder stock onto the (Glock/1911) frame, it would then be considered a semi-auto centerfire rifle with a pistol grip that accepts detachable magazines (which is an assault weapon).

In order to make it CA legal, it would need to be made as a fixed magazine rifle (maglock + 10 or less round magazine) or as a "featureless" rifle (gripwrap).

If you install the Mech-Tech CCW without a shoulder stock onto the (Glock/1911) frame, it would then be a semi-auto pistol with a second handgrip that accepts detachable magazines (which is an assault weapon).

In order to make it CA legal, it would need to be made as a fixed magazine pistol (maglock + 10 or less round magazine).


In addition to all that...
CA DOJ viewpoint: handgun -> rifle -> handgun = SBR

Therefore, once you install a Mech-Tech CCU with shoulder stock onto a (Glock/1911) frame, (while in CA) it can not be made back into a handgun or else it would be considered a Short Barrel Rifle (SBR).
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Old 03-27-2013, 6:48 PM
KBSacto KBSacto is offline
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As I suspected. Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:09 AM
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Hey KB. I am a newly licensed FFL and still learning the law, but a good friend and I have had this exact discussion many times regarding the MechTech uppers. Idea: buy a replacement mag release button for your Glock (only a few bucks) and grind it down to a point where it is flush with the grip...goal is to render it inoperable by hand (a makeshift "bullet button" if you will). This should eliminate the "detachable magazine" feature of the firearm and thus keep it from being considered an "assault weapon" regardless of any other "evil features" (pistol grip, telescoping/folding stock, threaded barrel if applicable, etc). Keep the original mag release button and swap out when converting back to the Glock's original configuration (should be a very easy procedure). Since both the original Glock and the "converted" firearm with MechTech upper/modified mag release are in compliance with CA law, there should be no problem switching back and forth. At least from what I can see, and I hope that you and others reading this will correct me if I'm wrong Good luck...we have a 10mm upper for our 21's and it is super fun!!
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryjonesrealtor View Post
Since both the original Glock and the "converted" firearm with MechTech upper/modified mag release are in compliance with CA law, there should be no problem switching back and forth. At least from what I can see, and I hope that you and others reading this will correct me if I'm wrong Good luck...we have a 10mm upper for our 21's and it is super fun!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet
In addition to all that...
CA DOJ viewpoint: handgun -> rifle -> handgun = SBR

Therefore, once you install a Mech-Tech CCU with shoulder stock onto a (Glock/1911) frame, (while in CA) it can not be made back into a handgun or else it would be considered a Short Barrel Rifle (SBR).
The issue Larry is Quiet's post quoted above. CA AW laws are less an issue here.
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2013, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryjonesrealtor View Post
Hey KB. I am a newly licensed FFL and still learning the law, but a good friend and I have had this exact discussion many times regarding the MechTech uppers. Idea: buy a replacement mag release button for your Glock (only a few bucks) and grind it down to a point where it is flush with the grip...goal is to render it inoperable by hand (a makeshift "bullet button" if you will). This should eliminate the "detachable magazine" feature of the firearm and thus keep it from being considered an "assault weapon" regardless of any other "evil features" (pistol grip, telescoping/folding stock, threaded barrel if applicable, etc). Keep the original mag release button and swap out when converting back to the Glock's original configuration (should be a very easy procedure). Since both the original Glock and the "converted" firearm with MechTech upper/modified mag release are in compliance with CA law, there should be no problem switching back and forth. At least from what I can see, and I hope that you and others reading this will correct me if I'm wrong Good luck...we have a 10mm upper for our 21's and it is super fun!!
Even with the fact that you can't go back and forth, I would cut the magazine release further than flush. Flush might still enable you to release the magazine with enough pressure. I would cut it far enough that it recesses into the firearm and there is no way to even get your pinky in on it to release the magazine. I have done this for SSEing Glocks and I went further than flush.
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2013, 1:41 PM
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Good idea 10%, thank you for the clarification on the mag release. Can someone point me to the law regarding "going back and forth" from pistol > rifle > pistol? I don't see it anywhere in CA Firearms Law Book. I want to make sure I understand the law correctly!
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Old 05-08-2013, 4:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryjonesrealtor View Post
Good idea 10%, thank you for the clarification on the mag release. Can someone point me to the law regarding "going back and forth" from pistol > rifle > pistol? I don't see it anywhere in CA Firearms Law Book. I want to make sure I understand the law correctly!
CA DOJ viewpoint.

Handgun -> Rifle = firearm is now a rifle and loses it's previous classification as a handgun.
Rifle -> Handgun = firearm is now a SBR (weapon made from a rifle) [PC 17170(c)]



Penal Code 17170
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:
(a) A rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(b) A rifle with an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(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.
(d) Any device that may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge which, when so restored, is a device defined in subdivisions (a) to (c), inclusive.
(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.
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Old 05-08-2013, 5:20 PM
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My MechTech Carbine has a dedicated Glock lower that is for the Carbine only. I don't switch back and forth. I run 10 round mags in a featureless 33 inch long upper with the Glock mag-locked via a less than flush mag release button.

Here is a short Thread on my Mech Tech.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=721053
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:01 AM
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Dedicated lower would certainly be ideal. Here's some good info from MechTech's forum: http://www.mechtechsys.com/forum/vie....php?f=3&t=650. I'm still not seeing the problem converting back and forth. Unlike AR pistols, the Glock lower never has a stock affixed to it. The stock is fixed to the upper. Therefore it is not possible to configure any of the parts together in a way that creates a SBR (by definition a "rifle" is designed to be fired from the shoulder). I can see where going from AR pistol > rifle > pistol would be trouble because you have the parts readily available to configure a SBR (take your AR lower w/stock attached and simply add the pistol upper to it). No bueno! But obviously there's no way to put your Glock OEM upper back on AND have a stock attached. That's my story and I'm sticking to it
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryjonesrealtor View Post
Dedicated lower would certainly be ideal. Here's some good info from MechTech's forum: http://www.mechtechsys.com/forum/vie....php?f=3&t=650. I'm still not seeing the problem converting back and forth. Unlike AR pistols, the Glock lower never has a stock affixed to it. The stock is fixed to the upper. Therefore it is not possible to configure any of the parts together in a way that creates a SBR (by definition a "rifle" is designed to be fired from the shoulder). I can see where going from AR pistol > rifle > pistol would be trouble because you have the parts readily available to configure a SBR (take your AR lower w/stock attached and simply add the pistol upper to it). No bueno! But obviously there's no way to put your Glock OEM upper back on AND have a stock attached. That's my story and I'm sticking to it
Bad Juju. In CA, converting a rifle to a pistol is illegal. It doesn't matter where the stock is/was attached. A short-barreled rifle, as defined in CA, is not required to have a stock.

I'll post the code again for you to read:


Penal Code 17170
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:
(a) A rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length.
(b) A rifle with an overall length of less than 26 inches.
(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.

Last edited by mej16489; 05-09-2013 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:32 AM
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larryjonesrealtor larryjonesrealtor is offline
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Bad juju really? No, I'm sorry but I simply disagree with your interpretation of the law. A rifle is designed to be fired from the shoulder; a pistol is designed to be fired with one hand; by definition it can't be both! So converting your Glock/1911 from MechTech upper BACK to its original configuration leaves you with not a RIFLE but a PISTOL...so by definition it CANNOT be a short barreled RIFLE! Here's some useful information from MechTech's forum:
http://www.mechtechsys.com/forum/vie....php?f=3&t=650
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryjonesrealtor View Post
Bad juju really? No, I'm sorry but I simply disagree with your interpretation of the law. A rifle is designed to be fired from the shoulder; a pistol is designed to be fired with one hand; by definition it can't be both! So converting your Glock/1911 from MechTech upper BACK to its original configuration leaves you with not a RIFLE but a PISTOL...so by definition it CANNOT be a short barreled RIFLE! Here's some useful information from MechTech's forum:
http://www.mechtechsys.com/forum/vie....php?f=3&t=650
Your definition of an SBR doesn't count. For legal purposes, the State of California has explicitly defined that (in general) any pistol made from a rifle is an SBR.

Nowhere in that thread you linked does it say or even imply that conversion back to a pistol is legal in CA.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryjonesrealtor View Post
Bad juju really? No, I'm sorry but I simply disagree with your interpretation of the law. A rifle is designed to be fired from the shoulder; a pistol is designed to be fired with one hand; by definition it can't be both! So converting your Glock/1911 from MechTech upper BACK to its original configuration leaves you with not a RIFLE but a PISTOL...so by definition it CANNOT be a short barreled RIFLE! Here's some useful information from MechTech's forum:
http://www.mechtechsys.com/forum/vie....php?f=3&t=650
You better read it again.

Quote:
(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.
Any weapon that is made from a rifle. So you have a Glock/Mechtech rifle. You then take all of the fancy items off of it and it is now below 26" OAL and less than 16" barrel, you now have a pistol/weapon that is below those items, was made from a rifle, and hence you have a SBR. CA does not say an SBR has to be a rifle. It says it only needs to be made from a rifle. Which your CA legal rifle once was a rifle and now is under the numbers.

Seems pretty clear to me.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryjonesrealtor View Post
Bad juju really? No, I'm sorry but I simply disagree with your interpretation of the law. A rifle is designed to be fired from the shoulder; a pistol is designed to be fired with one hand; by definition it can't be both! So converting your Glock/1911 from MechTech upper BACK to its original configuration leaves you with not a RIFLE but a PISTOL...so by definition it CANNOT be a short barreled RIFLE! Here's some useful information from MechTech's forum:
http://www.mechtechsys.com/forum/vie....php?f=3&t=650
Correct. It can not be both.

When you make your handgun into a rifle, it is now a rifle.
If you then take that rifle and make it into a handgun, it is legally not a handgun but a weapon made from a rifle, which is a SBR. [PC 17170(c)]
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