Legality of m-2 to m-1 conversion


April 23, 2007, 01:56 PM
In brief, and only as a hypothetical question:

A friend of a friend has an m-2 carbine that is not nor can ever be legal as it was never taxed prior to -86. Obviously just having the thing is a crime and it can never be made legal.

If the m2 only parts are removed and destroyed and replaced by m-1 parts, would the weapon cease to be an illegal weapon under the NFA?
Is there any technical reason why this would be hard to do?

These seemed a handy sollution--any ideas or opinions?

(once again, hypothetical--NOT me or anyone I actually know or have knowledge of. My wife doesn't allow me to break federal laws in the house.)

Thanks in advance for ideas-

If you enjoyed reading about "Legality of m-2 to m-1 conversion" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 23, 2007, 02:08 PM
A receiver originally manufactured as an M2 will always be an M2. The only thing "your friend" could do is to remove all the parts (the legal ones) from the carbine, buy a new receiver, and reassemble a legal M1 from the parts, then dispose of the receiver.

If it were mine, I would dispose of it in a manner that it would never be found and/or never traceable back to me.

I don't like rooms where the doors lock from the outside.:D

M2 Carbine
April 23, 2007, 02:20 PM
Many/most M1 Carbines have M2 parts installed.
Some after market M1 Carbines are almost totally built with M2 parts, round bolt, trigger housing, etc.
This is legal as long as ALL the M2 parts aren't installed OR IN THE OWNER'S POSSESSION.
Even if you don't own a M1 carbine , you still have a illegal machine gun if you have ALL the M2 parts that the ATF considers a illegal gun.

Most M2 parts work fine as M1 parts and as I said are legal to own and use.

The three parts that have no function in a M1 Carbine are the disconnecter, Selector switch and spring.

In your example, if these three parts are removed from the rifle, with one other little no machining modification, the rifle will now be a functioning semi automatic.

BUT as long as the owner still has the three parts in their possession they are still breaking the law.

M2 Carbine
April 23, 2007, 02:25 PM
What cheygriz says is correct.
If the gun was MANUFACTURED as a M2 it can't ever be a M1.

But if a M1 is converted to a M2 with a "registered M2 conversion kit", when the conversion kit is removed the rifle is then a legal M1 again.

April 23, 2007, 02:27 PM
From a legal perspective; once a machine gun, always a machine gun.

A friend of mine called me up a while back all excited. A friend of his has an old Russian submachine gun he brought back from VietNam. Years ago he disposed of some internal parts thinking that would keep him out of legal trouble by making it inoperable.
They recently bought a demilled kit with the parts he disposed of. He said they had someone weld the selector or some such thing so it would be semi-auto only. He wanted me to help them put it together.

I told him I didn't want anything to do with it. For one thing it would still be a short barrel rifle. After a little research I found the once a machine gun thing and said heck no. He needs to get rid of it. I told him it may be possible to damage the receiver in such a way that it would be properly demilitarized and permanently inoperable, but he could keep it as a sovenier, but if it were me I would chop it up with a torch and throw it away. I see no good coming out of flirting with that kind of legal trouble.

M2 Carbine
April 23, 2007, 02:40 PM
Posts: 225 From a legal perspective; once a machine gun, always a machine gun.

As with many laws this is not entirely correct.
As I said above the M1 Carbine can be converted to a machine gun and converted back .

The UZI is another case. The key part to converting a semi auto UZI to full auto, then converting it back, is the use of a "slotted automatic bolt".

The "slotted UZI bolt", like the selected M2 parts, is illegal to own without being registered.

The "once a machine gun" statement is technically correct in that the gun (receiver) is actually never a machine gun. The "conversion kit" is the machine gun.:)

April 23, 2007, 03:33 PM
Thanks--I thought as much owing to the 'once a MG' nonsense. Isn't the receiver the same as a m-1 carbine in every respect? Is it just that it is marked m-2 or something?

And seriously, I don't own any of the m-1 carbine family of weapons whatsoever.

Jim K
April 23, 2007, 04:24 PM
In the case of an M2 carbine, the marking is definitive. If the receiver is marked "M2" or "MII" it was made as a machinegun and can't be unmade.

Any unregistered machinegun is contraband and illegal to possess; the only way a person coming into possession of an unregistered machinegun (or any other contraband, like a drug stash) innocently (finding it in among a deceased person's goods for example) is to call BATFE or the local police and arrange for its surrender (abandonment). Disposing of it in any other way could be considered destruction of evidence in a felony, and that itself would be a crime.

The case of the carbine is somewhat unique. There is a parts "kit" which was made up by the Army to convert M1 carbines to full auto. Those parts are the sear, slide, selector, hammer, disconnector, and disconnector lever. The round bolt and trigger guard are NOT on the list. Note that ALL six parts must be present; full auto slides and sears are commonly found on M1 carbines. IF the receiver marking was not changed, removal of the "kit" will restore the carbine to a semi-auto rifle, but POSSESSION of the complete kit is the same as possession of a machinegun and illegal if the KIT is not registered.

Prior to the ban on new registrations, a carbine full auto conversion kit could be registered; when it is, the kit is the machinegun, not the carbine on which it is installed.


M2 Carbine
April 23, 2007, 05:10 PM
Even with the "kit" that Jim listed, a totally M1 carbine can't be made select fire just by "dropping in" the M2 parts.
The trigger housing and stock needs a little work or a M2 stock and M2 trigger housing must be used.

The safest thing to do is not have a M2 Disconnector or Selector in your possession. They have no use at all on a M1 Carbine and can only get a person in trouble unless they have a legal need for them.

A M2 Carbine eats up parts. Back when I shot full auto a lot I had a large zip lock bag full of broken and worn out parts.
When Carbines were selling for $125 I'd buy complete guns for replacement parts.

April 26, 2007, 02:56 AM
"...My wife doesn't allow me to break federal laws in the house..." She let you if you're in the garage?
"...the same as a m-1 carbine in every respect..." Nope. The innards are different.

April 26, 2007, 11:59 AM
I would suspect if the carbine were restored to an M1, there would
be no reason for a ATF to pick it up for examination. You would
need to be licensed to have the parts IF YOU HAVE THEM. Used in
a crime, most likely the weapon would be examined. There are many
more M-14 without the selector switches I believe. They look evil,
so most likely will never be released for civilian use. However, the
M1A1 is made in the civilian legal form. Left in its M2 form and used
that way will get some comments and posible investigation. Another
possible solution is to apply for a license. I don't know once obtained
if each firearm is listed. I suspect if it was reported missing, that
may be another can of worms. I don't know how long records are
kept or if they are. Used as full auto will draw attention! Parts
swap may not.:D

Jim K
April 26, 2007, 04:08 PM
Just to clarify. There is no such thing in federal law as a "license" to own a machinegun or machinegun parts. There is registration required, but registration was closed in 1986 and as of today no machinegun can be registered by any private citizen. Period.

Machineguns that are already registered may continue to be owned and transferred. Transfer of a registered machinegun involves an application to BATFE (Form 4) and payment of a $200 tax. This is a transfer tax, it is NOT a license.

A license may be required by a state or local government, but the only "federal license" regarding machineguns is a license to deal in them, not a license to own or buy one.


April 26, 2007, 04:28 PM
Yes, the question would be--where did the m-2 carbine ever come from in the first place??!!! Probably five-fingered from the DOD. I'm sure glad I don't really own one or have any knowledge of one whatsoever...

Illinois permits no private NFA guns at all except AOW's. And my wife no longer lets me break federal law anywhere on our property. So much for the 'garage' loophole. Thanks, Sunray!:banghead: :( :cuss:

Carl N. Brown
May 3, 2007, 04:16 PM
If the receiver is marked "M2" it is a machinegun period.

If the receiver is marked "M1" and it does not have a complete
set of M2 fire control parts, it is not a machinegun.

How many M2 parts that might be considered "constructive
possession of a machinegun" might depend on which side of
the bed the ATF enforcement agent woke up on that morning.

If you have an M1 carbine AND a complete set of M2 fire control
parts you are in possession of a machinegun even if the M2 parts
are not installed.

Many "M2" carbines were simply M1 carbines with a conversion kit
installed. If registered before May 1986, the conversion kit was
registered in the NFA, if I recall correctly.

Some M1 carbines sold as surplus in the 1960s turned out to have
all the internal M2 parts except the selector switch.

The M2 sear was an authorized military replacement part for the M1 if
the M1 sear was not available and they have been found in surplus
M1 carbines. The carbine illustrated above has the flat top M1 bolt;
M1 and M2 will also be found with the round top bolt introduced with
the M2: it was a standard rebuild part for both M1 and M2 carbines.
Same with the magazine catch for the 30 shot magazine and the
bulky M2 stock with relief cut for the selector switch.

The magazine housing pin with the rocker arm that engages the cam
cut on the slide with the disconnector added to the fire control
group is the big no-no in a M1 carbine. That should be replaced with a
standard magazine housing pin and the rocker and selector switch
permanently "lost." Replacing the M2 hammer and disconnector with
a standard M1 hammer is a good idea.

To repeat: If a carbine stamped "M1" has too many M2 internal components
it could be considered a machinegun. If a carbine is stamped M2, the
bare, stripped receiover is a machinegun period.

If you enjoyed reading about "Legality of m-2 to m-1 conversion" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!