What are the legality issues...


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Nolo
August 17, 2007, 12:41 AM
That concern cutting down an M1 Carbine to have only a pistol-grip and a shorter barrel?
I was just wondering, not "working" on anything in particular.

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JesseL
August 17, 2007, 12:44 AM
If you were to cut the barrel to less than 16 inches you would need to register the gun as a short barreled rifle and pay the $200 stamp.

This applies regardless of whether the gun still has a buttstock.

Neo-Luddite
August 17, 2007, 12:44 AM
If you can lawfully own a pistol, I don't see why it would be a problem. The better question--why cut it down into an enforcer--are you mad at it?:p

wdlsguy
August 17, 2007, 01:09 AM
Even with a 16 inch barrel, a rifle with an overall length under 26" (measured with the stock extended) is considered a short-barreled rifle. I would look around for one of the M1 pistols instead.

Nolo
August 17, 2007, 01:09 AM
No, I'm not mad at it, but I would have two, one that has the full stock, and one that's cut down. It's mostly just a fantasy, though.
And I thought that they called it "sawed off" if it once had a full stock on it or was capable of mounting a stock. Or is that only shotguns? Laws make soooooo much sense.
What's this M1 Pistol you are talking about?

nalioth
August 17, 2007, 01:24 AM
Iver Johnson made a model called "Enforcer". It was a M1 Carbine action pistol. You can find them if you look around.

Turning a rifle into a pistol is illegal.

Ian
August 17, 2007, 01:25 AM
Several companies (Iver Johnson, Universal, etc) made commercial M1 Carbine "pistols" at various times. Just like the current crop of AR and AK pistols, and the PLR-16. I've seen a couple at shows, but don't know much about them.

http://img44.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Enforcer.jpg

Nolo
August 17, 2007, 01:33 AM
Neato looking.

JTW Jr.
August 17, 2007, 01:56 AM
What are the legality issues...

short version :
file the proper paperwork along with fingerprints , etc , pay the $200 , get approved , do the work...voila'.. one cool registered short bll rifle ( SBR ).

Monkeybear
August 17, 2007, 01:57 AM
Turning a rifle into a pistol is illegal.

Absolutely.

Pistol into rifle? Sure! Rifle into pistol? NO!

You can put a short barrel on it and make a SBR but you can't then cut the stock into a pistol grip. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.

Nolo
August 17, 2007, 02:26 AM
I see. So I can cut down the barrel, but not the stock. Does anyone know of a good place to get one of those Enforcers?

JTW Jr.
August 17, 2007, 02:39 AM
rifled bll length can't be under 16" and the OAL not under 26" , as always dbl check with the ATF to verify :)

GarandOwner
August 17, 2007, 02:52 AM
You can do it, but you would have to register your firearm as a Short barreled rifle SBR with the ATF....of course you need law signitures and have to give them $200. My question to you is why destroy a piece of history.

GarandOwner
August 17, 2007, 02:54 AM
Side note: I heard from a friend of mine that is obsessed with M1 Carbines (has all 28 "different" configurations of them....I think its 28 but might be more) he said that they were popular with the Airborne troops in WWII to cut down the barrel and use it as a side arm for those that were not privilaged with a 1911

JTW Jr.
August 17, 2007, 02:56 AM
you can never take a rifle and re-register it as a pistol.

I have always wanted one of these :

http://www.wildwestmerchandise.com/article.htm

Monkeybear
August 17, 2007, 03:22 AM
I have always wanted one (http://www.jbcustom.com/new-mares.htm) too but damn they are expensive.

GRIZ22
August 17, 2007, 03:35 AM
Side note: I heard from a friend of mine that is obsessed with M1 Carbines (has all 28 "different" configurations of them....I think its 28 but might be more) he said that they were popular with the Airborne troops in WWII to cut down the barrel and use it as a side arm for those that were not privilaged with a 1911


I never heard of this being popular in WWII but saw it was done frequently in Vietnam. This was usually done with a M2 kit installed and a M1A1 stock to get the pistol grip. The rational most gave it was something extra to carry in a vehicle you could return fire with in case on an ambush. Blast them with a the cutdown carbine and then go your M16. My experience is they were hard to aim accurately and probably not worth the effort. I think it would be a way to destroy a nice carbine and M1A1 stock.

One conversion I saw I did like and found useful was cutting down the barrel and using a M1A1 stock. It was very compact and still gave you a stock to shoot it accurately. You could always shoot it with the stock folded if you were so inclined. I guess you could do this legally and register it as a SBR. It would be a lot more useful than just a pistol grip.

Hkmp5sd
August 17, 2007, 04:54 AM
You can put a short barrel on it and make a SBR but you can't then cut the stock into a pistol grip. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong.


You're wrong. A SBR doesn't have to have a shoulder stock.

Nolo
August 17, 2007, 11:06 AM
Oh, this is getting confusing. But I think it's safe to assume that you can't convert a rifle into a pistol, however ludicrous that may be.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 17, 2007, 02:01 PM
Once a rifle, it will always be a rifle in the eyes of the ATF, so if you cut down either the barrel or the stock, to where the barrel is shorter than 16" or the overall length is less than 26", it becomes a short barrelled rifle and you need to follow NFA regulations.

If it was originally built as a pistol (and has no stock), then you can modify it as a pistol, subject to the regulations that govern pistols.

Carl N. Brown
August 17, 2007, 03:24 PM
Short barrel rifles are not illegal, they just require a NFA Form I to make
and a NFA Form 4 to 'sell' (technically transfer NFA registration). AT the
federal level. Most states let the feds handle NFA regulation, but
some states do have their own regs on rifle length and shortening rifles.
Minnesota considers a folding stock rifle a "pistol" if it is under a
certain length folded. Which implies you can carry a folding stock AK
on a pistol license !?!?!

M1A1 with standard 18" barrel is shorter than 26" with the stock folded.
The ATF allows this as an exception to the 26" limit by measuring
overall length with the stock unfolded. If you remove the wire shoulder
piece, you have an illegally short rifle (repairs to the stock that might
require removing the wire shoulder piece should only be done with
the barreled action removed from the stock).

Under federal regs, if the rifle is 16" or more barrel length, and
26" or more overall, it is legally a rifle even if it has a pistol grip
stock and no shoulder stock. With the M1A1 stock and even the
standard 18" barrel, there is no way to get a pistol grip-only rifle
out of it within the 26" limit. Just removing the wire shoulder
stock would require a Form 1.

MisterPX
August 17, 2007, 03:54 PM
You talkin about an M1 carbine, or an M1A1 Thompson? ;)




OR is there an M1A1 carbine too....

Ian
August 17, 2007, 07:16 PM
The folding stock M1 carbine was designated the M1A1 by the military.

Nolo
August 17, 2007, 09:29 PM
Jeez... I'm almost wishing I hadn't started this thread. I'm more confused than when I started.

Ron James
August 17, 2007, 10:27 PM
It's not confusing at all. You can take a new action such as a Ruger 10-22 action that has never been on a rifle and make a pistol out of it. But you can't cut down a Ruger 10-22 rifle to make a pistol. If you could find a new .30 caliber carbine action that has never been on a rifle, then you can make a pistol out of it, this is how the Enforcer was made. BUT, you can not take a .30 carbine and cut it down to make a pistol out of it. You can take a new AK type Action that has never been of a rifle and made a pistol out of it, but you can not cut down a AK type rifle to make a pistol. See, not confusing at all. Now I'm not going to touch the ATF rules and Tax stamps, over all lengths and barrel lenghts. I just wanted to lay out the basis rules.:)

The Deer Hunter
August 17, 2007, 10:38 PM
Ron James' post is helpful

Trebor
August 17, 2007, 11:21 PM
There are *two* sets of laws you need to be aware of here.

The first is Federal law. Under Federal law, a "rifle" is any (rifled) firearm manufactured so that it is intended to be fired from the shoulder. Under Federal law a rifle *must* have a minimum barrel length of 16" and the overall length of the rifle must be at least 26."

The exception is something called a "Short Barreled Rifle" or SBR. A SBR may have a barrel less then 16" in length. The manufacturer of a SBR must first apply for a special "tax stamp" to manufacture a SBR and must pay a $200 tax for every SBR they make. Every time that SBR is transfered to a new individual, another $200 "transfer tax" is paid. (I'm not sure if a SBR has to have a minimum overall length. I don't think it does, but I could be wrong).

A "pistol" is any (non smooth bore) firearm intended to be fired by being held in the hands. Pistols can have any length barrel. Pistols can NOT have a shoulder stock because the addition of a shoulder stock to a pistol creates a "Short Barrelled Rifle." (There are a few exceptions for C&R pistols, but let's not go there now).

Any firearm that is manufactured as a rifle must keep that 16" barrel length and 26" overall length, unless approval is granted to convert it into a SBR and the appropriate tax is paid. That is why you can't just buy a rifle and saw off the barrel to make the barrel shorter or saw off the stock to turn it into a pistol. The only legal way to do it is to pay the $200 tax and apply for the tax stamp.

If the receiver was manufactured to be a "rifle," even if it was never assembled, it is legally a "rifle" and can not be built up into "pistol" configuration. If the receiver was manufactured to be a "pistol," like the AR and AK pistols common now, then it can be built up as a pistol.

Additionally, it *is* legal to add a buttstock to a pistol to make it into a rifle AS LONG AS you also change the barrel so the barrel is at least 16" long. There are conversion kits for the 1911 and Glock pistols that turn them into rifles. (If you used one of those kits, but kept the original pistol barrel instead of using the 16" barrel, you would be violating the law by manufacturing a SBR).

You also have to be aware of your own STATE law. Although SBR's are legal under Federal law, not all states allow them under state law. If your state does not allow SBR's, you can't have one, even though they are legal under Federal law.

That's a simplified version of the basics. As I mentioned earlier, there are exceptions that allow C&R pistols that originally had shoulder stocks to be legal with a shoulder stock, but those exceptions are pretty narrow.

There's also another cateogry called "Any Other Weapon" or AOW. These include things like Pen Guns, and pistols with a vertical foregrip.

geekWithA.45
August 17, 2007, 11:54 PM
And why all the nonsense?

1934 National Firearms Act.

They originally wanted to treat handguns as restricted arms, (like machine guns and bazookas) subject to background checks and tax stamps, and so all the SBS/SBR stuff was put in to prevent long guns from being converted to handguns.

Handguns were pulled from the bill before passage, but all the SBR/SBS stuff was left in.

Ultimately, once it was accepted that civilian ownership of arms could be federally regulated at all, this helped pave the path for the idea that handguns and long arms could be regulated differently.

This theme was expanded upon in detail with the 1968 Gun Control Act, which invented the "nonsporting arms" classification, which was again expanded upon with the 1994 "assault weapon" ban, in which case a whole new classification of armament, the "assault weapon", was fabricated out of a whole cloth, reportedly by going through a gun catalog and selecting anything subjectively deemed to be too fearsome for civil use.

Every law since 1934 has sown the seeds for the next.

That explains why we're all a bit tetchy, perhaps beyond the point of reason, about any new element, no matter how minor, being enacted into law.

Way too many "minor" features of old laws have become the basis of the major features of new laws.

wdlsguy
August 17, 2007, 11:58 PM
The manufacturer of a SBR must first apply for a special "tax stamp" to manufacture a SBR and must pay a $200 tax for every SBR they make. Every time that SBR is transfered to a new individual, another $200 "transfer tax" is paid.
Actually, a manufacturer (with a class 2 SOT) registers newly-manufactured SBRs tax-free on a Form 2. The SBR transfers tax-free to a dealer (with a class 3 SOT) on a Form 3. The SBR transfers tax-paid ($200) to an individual on a Form 4.

Trebor
August 18, 2007, 01:52 AM
Actually, a manufacturer (with a class 2 SOT) registers newly-manufactured SBRs tax-free on a Form 2. The SBR transfers tax-free to a dealer (with a class 3 SOT) on a Form 3. The SBR transfers tax-paid ($200) to an individual on a Form 4.

I stand corrected. I think I was confusing the transfer tax and the excise tax when I wrote that.

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