Whats a AR15 drop in auto safety sear


June 27, 2006, 01:36 AM
Saw a ad in the current shotgun news for a drop in AR15 auto safety sear.

I have a bushmaster AR, but i have no idea what that is for?

Can some enlighten me.


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June 27, 2006, 02:10 AM
Full auto M16s have slightly different sears due to being select fire.

If you drilled some holes and put some other parts in with it, that would make your gun full auto. It is fairly complex and doing the conversion is considered "making" a machine gun. There are also sears that "drop in" and are thus considered machine guns themselves.

The making route is no longer allowed since 1986 and the drop in auto sear is going to run you a ton of money and paperwork. You get ATF preapproval, pay a 200 dollar tax, etc.

June 27, 2006, 02:11 AM
Illegal and as many suspect, probably a trap. It is a conversion device to make your gun full auto, which is illegal unless you are a 02/07 manufacturer. It has been since 1986.

I would steer clear.

June 27, 2006, 02:21 AM
Absolutely do not buy this item.
If you don't know what one is, then you can not legally own it.

However, Pvt. Pyle, please enlighten me on this subject. Couldn't this be purchased as a dealer sample (obviously, if you were an NFA dealer) ?

June 27, 2006, 02:37 AM
If it has actually been made on a form 1, then yes, an SOT could buy it with a demo letter on a form 3. But trying to buy one and then register it as a post 86 sample would be a felony. If the seller could produce a form 1 then it might be safe.

Some people will tell you owning just the sear is not a crime, yet the ATF has succesfully prosecuted people for buying them.

As an SOT, we just make our own. No demo letter, no hassle.

June 27, 2006, 11:32 AM
You can legally buy and own that sear, you just can't own an AR15 if you do.

June 27, 2006, 12:24 PM
You can legally buy and own that sear, you just can't own an AR15 if you do.

No, you can not. You would be in possession of an illegal machinegun. The same thing applies to H&K trigger packs that are select fire as was covered in the legal section of Small Arms Review a few months ago.

From the ATF web page:


(M1) The types of firearms that must be registered in

Some examples of the types of firearms that must be registered are:

Machine guns;

The frames or receivers of machine guns;

Any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting weapons into machine guns;

Any part designed and intended solely and exclusively for converting a weapon into a machine gun; [B]See this part here? This means an auto sear and the mentioned trigger packs. They have already successfully prosecuted people for owning just these parts. The auto sear is designed soley for the purpose of converting the weapon to full auto.

Any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if the parts are in the possession or under the control of a person;

Silencers and any part designed and intended for fabricating a silencer;

Short-barreled rifles;

Short-barreled shotguns;

Destructive devices; and,

"Any other weapon."

A few examples of destructive devices are:

Molotov cocktails;

Anti-tank guns (over caliber .50);

Bazookas; and,


A few examples of "any other weapon" are:

H&R Handyguns;

Ithaca Auto-Burglar guns;

Cane guns; and,

Gadget-type firearms and "pen" guns which fire a projectile by the action of an explosive.

[26 U.S.C. 5845]

Then there is this:

(M17) Are parts which would convert a firearm into an NFA firearm subject to registration?

Yes. Examples:

An M-2 conversion kit (See QuestionM29);

Any part designed and intended solely and exclusively to convert a weapon into a machine gun. (See Question M1.) [B]This means that the auto sears need to be registered. Period. If they are not, they are controban.

And there is this:

(M29) What is a "conversion kit?" [Back]

A conversion kit is any part or combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun. A conversion kit is a machine gun. for purposes of the NFA. (See Question M17.)

[26 U.S.C. 5845, 27 CFR 479.11]

So someone please explain to me, and show evidence that these can be lawfully purchased and transfered to an individual without paying any taxes or being subject to the 86 ban on the manufacture and civilian possession of post 86 production machineguns and the parts to convert semi auto weapons to machineguns.

June 27, 2006, 12:39 PM
Then how could they possibly sell them if they are illegal to own??? ATF sting, I highly doubt it.

June 27, 2006, 03:01 PM
You know what, you must be right. None of the evidence listed above could or should prohibit them from selling them, and it isn't even remorely possible that it could be a sting of any type. I dont mean to be an ass, but people do illegal things all the time, and talk about it or publicise it.

That add has been running for over a decade in SGN, who knows. And since he is only there from 8-11 at night, we will have to wait until then to find out. But they evidence listed above from the ATf web site, and the fact they have convictions for this would not lend me to believe that this is something a freedom loving person would want to be involved with. But if you think it is cool and legal, go ahead and order one.

El Tejon
June 27, 2006, 03:08 PM
They sell because under narrow circumstances they are legal to own. As well, BATFE allows them to stay in business as this company if one of ATF's trained dogs that roll over on command.

Carl N. Brown
June 27, 2006, 03:36 PM
A lot of NFA stuff advertised is Class III Dealer or Title II
manufacturer only, and they get irritated with unlicensed

The acronym for drop in auto sear is DIAS. Buenos DIAS.

June 27, 2006, 03:47 PM
Never said I was interested in ordering one. I was talking about the legality of owning one. I have no use for such an item myself.

June 27, 2006, 03:47 PM
They sell because under narrow circumstances they are legal to own. As well, BATFE allows them to stay in business as this company if one of ATF's trained dogs that roll over on command.What are the 'narrow circumstances by which this item can be sold? I presume it has something to do with:

If it has actually been made on a form 1, then yes, an SOT could buy it with a demo letter on a form 3.
but that sentence made absolutely ZERO sense to me. Is there some layman's explanation to all this available somewhere?

June 27, 2006, 04:03 PM
Then how could they possibly sell them if they are illegal to own???

Possibly the same way illegal drugs are sold.

June 27, 2006, 04:06 PM
If it has actually been made on a form 1, then yes, an SOT could buy it with a demo letter on a form 3.

In laymens terms:

There are different forms you fill out when dealing with NFA weapons. For example, if you were to buy a suppresor from a dealer, you would fill out a form 4. A form 1 is used for the creation of a new post-86 NFA item by a licensed manufacturer (who is an SOT). An SOT is a Special Occupational Taxpayer, which means somebody who can deal in post '86 NFA items, build, and sell them to law enforcement or the military. A form 3 is what law enforcement fills out when they want to get a post-86 demo item.

I belive that is correct, but NFA laws make my brain hurt and is why it is reallly nice to have PvtPyle around. :)

Carl N. Brown
June 27, 2006, 04:08 PM
A DIAS drop in auto sear is a machinegun per se.
If it was legally made and registered on a Form 1 before May 1986
it is legal to transfer ownership on a Form 4.
But the DIAS is itself the machinegun, not the AR it is dropped into.
The DIAS is the registered NFA item, the gun it is dropped in does
not need to be on the NFA registry, bcause it is just a rifle,
and is not a machinegun itself..
But there are complications under certain circumstances.

If you read Franz Kafka and Lewis Carroll. it helps you understand NFA.

Carl N. Brown
June 27, 2006, 04:10 PM
SOT special occupational taxpayer, please use Form 3.

June 27, 2006, 04:29 PM
Carl, Kafka and Carrol, while dropping acid...

June 27, 2006, 04:54 PM
Thanks, Correia. One more question - what is a "post-86 demo item"? Is it any FA bits made after 1986, or is a subset of that class of item?

June 27, 2006, 05:00 PM
Pre 1986 items are legally ownable and can be sold (transfered through a dealer) to other regular people. Post 1986 machine guns, and things that are considered machine guns can only be sold to law enforcement agencies or the military.

Now suppresors and short barreled weapons are different. Though they are still controlled, you can still make new ones since 1986.

Carl N. Brown
June 27, 2006, 05:11 PM
post-86 demo item
Is a post 1986 machinegun that is owned by a dealer
for demonstration to law enforcment or government agencies,
A post-86 demo item can only be sold to a NFA dealer or
NFA manufacturer. It is a narrowly defined subset of NFA.

June 27, 2006, 05:17 PM
Thanks, guys - those were the dots I wasn't yet connecting.

June 27, 2006, 05:23 PM
So to close out my understanding of the DIAS:

If it's a pre-'86 DIAS, then us'n serfs can own it if we fill out the appropriate paperwork and use a special FFL holder (SOT) to get it to us

If it's a post-'86 DIAS, then only a SOT (Class 3 FFL holder?) could possess such a thing and could not actually resell/transfer it to anyone other than another SOT type entity

Is this correct?

June 27, 2006, 05:24 PM
This is where Larry's head explodes.

There are actually two classes of pre-May 1986 machineguns. Fully transferable (which means any law abiding citizen in a free state can buy them) and pre-86 dealers samples. Those can be purchased by only by dealers but can be kept when you surrender your license.

Then as stated, everything made after May 1986 is a post 86 dealers sample. That means any dealer or SOT can purchase them. But the caviat to that is they need a demo request letter from a LEO or military unit in order for the dealer to get it transfered to them. Now as an SOT, I can build anything we want machinegun wise, but to get one that is built already, I have to get a letter.

There are some items that carry both a machinegun tax stamp and a destructive device tax stamp, like the MK-19. While the MK-19 is a DD and should be fully transferable, it is full auto so there is the machinegun tax as well. And since there are only one or two that made the registry before May 86, they are fairly spendy. The ammo will run you about $175 a shot for HEDP round, oh and they have a $200 DD tax on each one of those as well.

But back on topic, buying one of these is asking to ge sent to pound me in the 4th POC prison. They can nad have sent people to jail for owning just this piece of metal. Heck, they say the HOLE, thats right, the empty space, devoid of solid material on the H&K receiver where the swing down lower goes is a machinegun.

I am still waiting for someone to show me where any of the pieces I sited above can NOT apply to this item.....

June 27, 2006, 05:32 PM
See, told you he is handy to have around.

June 27, 2006, 05:45 PM
This is fun - I'm learning stuff (and that doesn't happen often).

If a SOT makes a post-'86 demo, do they need a letter from a LEO agency or military for that activity? Or is the letter only need to justify the transfer?

If a SOT makes a FA bit in 2006 and then goes out of business, what happens to that piece of metal? (In other words, does a post '86 dealer sample follow the same possession rules as a pre-'86 sample?)

June 27, 2006, 05:53 PM
On your first one. Yes, an SOT can make a machine gun with out a demo letter. However, he can't order in another manufacturers product with out a demo letter.

If you give up your SOT, you can't keep any post '86 items. You have to get rid of them first, or surrender them when you give up your license.

June 27, 2006, 06:28 PM
Ok I'll take a stab at trying to answer a few of these questions.

1. The demo letter is needed to transfer the gun to the SOT recieving it. This includes recieving it from an LE agency, another class 3 dealer or a Manufacture ( such has COLT's or Billy BOB's Gun shop who both have 02/07 manfacturer's liscences/ SOT's).
2. The demo letter is not needed to manufacture post 86 full auto guns by a properly liscenced manufacture of Class 3 guns such as Colt or Billy Bob's as mentioned abaove. But when they go to transfer one that they have manufactured they must have the demo letter to go to another class 3 dealer even if they are a manufacturer themselve's. As an example Colt could not tranfser a post 86 M4 to HK without the demo letter being needed.

Aslo as to the sear being advertised in SGN these are being advertised and sold as pre Nov 1981 sears. This is a new date for some to remember and I will try to sum it up quickly. Prior to November 1981 ATF had not classified these drop in sears as machine guns themselves and they were legal to buy and sell but not legal to put in your AR-15 unless it was registered on a form 1 or by a 02/07 manufacturer. Remember this is prior to the 86 Machine Gun Ban. In November 1981 BATF declared that those sears manufactured after that date were machine guns themselves and had to be registered by either making it on an approved form 1 prior to making it yourselve or registered by an 02/07 manufacturer. Since the sears that had been manufactered were legal by themselves prior to 1981 BATF said that they could still be bought and sold but if they were owned in conjunction with an Ar-15 that that was the infamous constructive possesion of a machine gun and was illegal. So yes you can own it but you can't use it to make a legal full auto machine gun. There are several drop in sears that were registered prior to the 86 but they go for around 10K dollars.

Here's a little thing that kind's of help to remember the various types of machineguns

1934-1968 All guns registered are transferable foriegn or domestic
1968-1986 U.S. built guns are tranferable.Foreign guns pre86 dealer samples. No demo letter needed and dealer can keep after he gives up liscence they bring approx. 60-70% of a transferable gun
Post 86 Foriegn or Domestic LE Dealer sample only. Need letter to transfer between dealers and Dealer must give up if liscence expires.

34 doubles to 68, 68 transposes to 86, easier to remember it that way. That was first told to me by an ATF inspector during an audit Giving credit where credit is due.

Also the ads have been around for a long time and are not an ATF sting, There is some questions as to whether they are actual pre 81 sears though. If you order one and already own an ar-15 then you have just manufactured an Illegal Machine Gun. Others on this post have mentioned that there have been rumors to whether the seller has been friendly with ATF. I do not know the seller personaly and I would reccomend that no one buys one. They can be nothing but trouble. All bubba rules apply.

A little long winded and I am sorry about that just no way around it. Hope it helps

June 27, 2006, 08:10 PM
All these replies and not one actual picture of a DIAS.

(click for larger image)

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/th.72f16aff38.jpg (http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?72f16aff38.jpg)

June 27, 2006, 08:53 PM
I nominate this as 'The Best Thread of 2006, So Far <tm>'. High S/N ratio, good info, minimum of fuss.

Thanks y'all.

June 28, 2006, 12:50 PM
Its 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if it's unregistered....

Carl N. Brown
June 29, 2006, 10:26 AM
loganoutpost --good reply. Clarity on a cloudy subject.

So owning a legal pre-Nov 81 DIAS is legal without an AR15.

But owning a legal pre-Nov 81 DIAS is illegal with a legal AR15
if the AR15 was not registered as a machinegun pre-May 86.

That makes a pre-Nov 81 DIAS about the most undesirable
thing on the market.

And for the price of a post-Nov 81 pre-May 86 registered
DIAS (per se MG), one could buy a registered West Hurley
Thonpson 1950s parts gun. Or Two.

Boris Barowski
January 2, 2010, 11:25 AM
PvtPyle (and others),

Thanks for the explanation!
I'm not from the US, but I am interested in US firearms laws, so this was very helpful to read :)


January 2, 2010, 12:02 PM
Talk about resurrected from the tombs....

As a matter of interest, have the laws regarding full autos been changed in any significant manner since this was posted?

January 2, 2010, 12:37 PM
Talk about resurrected from the tombs....

As a matter of interest, have the laws regarding full autos been changed in any significant manner since this was posted?
Unfortunately, no. Too bad, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to have a full-auto weapon in the collection, but not for the kind of money you're talking about these days.

January 2, 2010, 07:46 PM
Logan Outpost used to be our old shop in Auburn Ky we moved to Oak Grove Ky over 3 years ago. I was looking through the post before checking the date. Starting reading my post before looking at the poster names. Thought I would right something like like and then about the second paragraph remember I did a few years back.

Yes all the NFA rules still apply nothing has changed on that end.

Boris Barowski
January 2, 2010, 08:02 PM
Sorry about the resurrection :s I was browsing some articles all over THR, and I didn't look at the date. When I noticed it was too late. So, sorry about this :)

January 2, 2010, 11:47 PM
Guys, ads like that are being run for people who can legally own one. Those who have all the listed requirements Pvt. Pyle is talking about.

Just because you see something in a periodical doesn't mean it's there for everyone and anyone. Just like how they do not let people who do not have a HAZMAT license drive an tanker truck, yet they advertise equipment and even the tankers at industry shows and industry periodicals which no one needs a license to be at or see.

Are we all clear then?

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