Differences between an AR-15 and M16?


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TheOtherOne
March 24, 2003, 01:07 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but what are the major differences and why is the government so opposed to anyone having an M16?

I was told once that the AR-15 is just a civilian version of the M16 and the only difference is that it's not full-auto. If that's true then why would .gov care if we had an M16 that happened to be semi-auto?

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mark mcj
March 24, 2003, 03:02 PM
You can have whatever you want as long as you pass the requirements and pay the taxes. ie. NFA regulations

Some of the differences between the M16 and ar15 are;

trigger group
lower receiver{cut for disconnector}
bolt carrier
flash suppressor
bay. lug

There are many varities and specs. that can differ.

Destructo6
March 24, 2003, 04:12 PM
was told once that the AR-15 is just a civilian version of the M16 and the only difference is that it's not full-auto. If that's true then why would .gov care if we had an M16 that happened to be semi-auto?

"AR-15" is the original name for the .223 rifle that eventually became the M16. "AR-15" was also the name Colt used to market a semi-only version of that design.

Over time, "AR-15" has come to mean an AR rifle that is semi-only. Conversely, "M16" has come to mean an AR rifle that is select fire.

You can buy an M16 if you can find one you can afford, it's legal where you live, and you successfully complete the paperwork.

Remember, in 1986, the registration of new automatic weapons was ceased. So, only what was registered by the cutoff date is available now as fully transferable.

Or did you just want to know the mechanical differences?

Hkmp5sd
March 24, 2003, 05:48 PM
The parts of the M16 and AR-15 are the same with the exception of the hammer, trigger, disconnector, selector and bolt carrier.

ATF recommends not having any of the M16 versions of these part installed in an AR-15 because this can result in you being charged with possession of an unregistered machinegun.

As for owning a M16 with only semi-auto AR-15 parts installed, another decision by ATF is that once a machinegun, always a machinegun. Therefore, you cannot convert a M16 into an AR-15.

Of course, ATF is not consistant. They also claim if a person owns a pre-ban AR-15 and that person removes all of the parts and sells the lower receiver only to another person, that person may not restore the receiver into a pre-ban configuration. They claim the lower is now post-ban.

Kaylee
March 24, 2003, 06:57 PM
Of course, ATF is not consistant. They also claim if a person owns a pre-ban AR-15 and that person removes all of the parts and sells the lower receiver only to another person, that person may not restore the receiver into a pre-ban configuration. They claim the lower is now post-ban.

Wow.. first I'd heard of that interpretation. Kinda pooches all the guys who bought "pre-ban" recievers, ne?
When did this come out?


-K

Steve Smith
March 24, 2003, 07:06 PM
Actually the regulation reads (paraphrase) that the rifle must have been originally built in pre-ban configuration. IOW, a "pre-ban" lower that was originally shipped and sold as a stripped lower is not allowed to have the naughty bits applied to it. However, if it was shipped and sold as a complete pre-ban, then you can then strip it and change it if you choose.

Hkmp5sd
March 24, 2003, 07:34 PM
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS
WASHINGTON, DC 20226

NOV 1 6 2001

Dear Mr. XXXXXXXXXX:

This refers to your letter of March 19, 2001, in which you ask about
the status of certain semiautomatic assault weapons which have been
altered to another configuration.

As defined in section 921(a)(30), of Title 18, United States Code
(U.S.C, the term "semiautomatic assault weapon" includes certain
named weapons and certain semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns
that have a combination of enumerated features. Title 18 U.S.C.
section 922(v)(1) prohibits manufacture, transfer, and possession of
semiautomatic assault weapons; however, section 922(v)(2) provides
that any semiautomatic assault weapon that was lawfully possessed
under Federal law on September 13, 1994, is excluded from the
prohibition.

A frame or receiver of a semiautomatic assault weapon, meets the
definition of a "firearm" in 18 U.S.C. section 921(a)(3); however, a
firearm frame or receiver alone, without the additional qualifying
features, does not meet the definition of a "semiautomatic assault
weapon" in section 921(a)(30). Therefore, a firearm frame or receiver
does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2).

We have also determined that a semiautomatic assault weapon in
knockdown (unassembled) condition consisting of a receiver and all
parts needed to assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon are
subject to regulation if the parts are segregated or packaged
together and held by a person as the parts for the assembly of a
particular firearm.

You describe an AR15 type rifle that met the definition of a
semiautomatic assault weapon and was lawfully possessed on September
13, 1994. At some subsequent time the rifle was temporarily
reassembled in a configuration such that it no longer had the
qualifying features of a semiautomatic assault weapon. You asked if
the original components could then be lawfully reinstalled on the
rifle.

Provided that the original components were held by the owner and
reinstalled on the rifle, it is our opinion that the rifle would
still qualify as an exempted semiautomatic assault weapon even though
it had been temporarily assembled in a different configuration. We
note, that mere disassembly of a semiautomatic weapon by an owner
would not remove the firearm from the definition of a semiautomatic
assault weapon nor would the reassembly constitute manufacture of a
prohibited semiautomatic assault weapon.

Your second question concerns a semiautomatic assault weapon that
also meets the exemption in section 922(v)(2). However, this firearm
was disassembled and the receiver, without other components, was
sold. Since the receiver is no longer possessed with all parts
necessary to assemble a complete semiautomatic assault weapon, it no
longer meets the definition of a semiautomatic assault weapon. The
receiver does not meet the exemption in section 922(v)(2) and
assembly of this firearm in the configuration of a semiautomatic
assault weapon would be prohibited under section 922(v)(1).

If you are interested in determining the status of a particular
receiver or semiautomatic assault weapon, you should contact the
manufacturer or importer and ask about the date that it was
manufactured and the configuration at the time of sale. It may also
be necessary to contact subsequent dealers and owners who possessed
the firearm.

We regret the delay in responding to your inquiry. If you have
further questions concerning this matter, please contact us.


Sincerely yours,

Curtis H.A. Bartlett
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch


http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5570&highlight=BATF+opinion

http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=6&t=74364&w=searchPop

Steve Smith
March 25, 2003, 11:20 AM
Hkmp5sd, thank you.

Hkmp5sd
March 25, 2003, 03:57 PM
One interesting thing, I think it was yankytrash that brought it up back on TFL, is that in 922, the AR-15 is listed by name as an assault weapon. The law lists all the requirements for a firearm to be classified as an AW in one section. Then it lists some firearms by name that are automatically assault weapons. Since ATF considers a receiever a gun, technically, any AR-15 stamped receiver legally owned on 9/13/94 is by definition a pre-ban assault weapon regardless of its configuration at that time or any time since.

444
March 25, 2003, 04:23 PM
If you can lay hands on a Bushmaster catalog, they show clear pictures of M16 parts vs. AR15 parts. The purpose is to alert you if you have any M16 parts in your AR15. Over the years, some companies have assembled semi-auto AR15s that contained some M16 parts. As I understand it, according to ATF, any machinegun parts are reasons to charge you with possesion of an unregistered machine gun. Bushmaster advises you to examine your rifle and replace any M16 parts.
Some companies, Colt in particular, have manufactured their rifles so that you can not install full auto parts (easily).

"why would .gov care if we had an M16 that happened to be semi-auto?"

Because it would have an M16 lower receiver. Even though the gun is not full auto, it contains full auto parts which ATF considers the same as possessing a machine gun.

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