Legality of NFA L1A1 Sporter?


January 19, 2008, 06:31 PM
I saw an interesting fully automatic FAL today being sold for $12,000. I was naturally impressed until I saw the receiver, which was stamped

L1A1 Sporter Cal 308
Receiver Made by Imbel, Brazil
Imported by CAT ST. ALB VT

I asked the fellow if it was a dealer sample, and he said no, it was fully-transferable. I was under the impression that all L1A1 Sporter marked FAL's, whether they are L1A1 or FAL, they were made post 1994 AWB.

Was this a dealer sample or Fully Auto or not legal at all?


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January 19, 2008, 07:37 PM
Possibly a registered drop-in sear? If the sear itself is the registered part, it could be put in any receiver.

January 19, 2008, 07:52 PM
I thought the receiver was the registered part on FAL's. Of course, I could be wrong.


January 19, 2008, 08:55 PM
I'm not sure myself - but I know you can get registered sears for the FNC, so I figured the same might be the case for the FAL.

January 19, 2008, 09:04 PM
It is likely a sear conversion. I have seen FALs converted from semis to NFA weapons by several companies. One such company was LaFrance Specialties which converted FALs, AKs, UZIs and HK trigger packs.

January 19, 2008, 09:15 PM
There is no such thing as a "registered drop-in sear" for a FAL.

In order for a FAL to function full-auto, the receiver must be machined to accept the auto-sear. It is not possible to simply install a sear, and make a FAL function full-auto.

There are "expedient" methods to make a FAL fire more than one shot with a single trigger pull, but those methods are all very unsafe, as they involve causing the rifle to fire without ensuring that the bolt is fully in battery. No such dangerous "conversion" has ever been registered with the ATF.

If the rifle you were looking at is registered on a Form 4, the registered part is the receiver.

If the rifle had Century markings that say "Sporter," its a post-dealer sample, or its illegal.
All the Century "Sporter" FAL models are post-86 manufacture.
There is no legal means to make a full-auto post-86 FAL receiver transferable on a Form 4.

$12K is a rip-off price for a PDS FAL, and any dealer would know that.

PDS FAL's can be had for well under $2K all the time.

Are you sure the price was not $1,200 instead of $12,000?

January 19, 2008, 09:24 PM
Yeah, $12,000. The seller told me it was fully transferable.


January 19, 2008, 11:10 PM
The only way I can see that a "Sporter" marked Century receiver could be transferable on a Form 4 would be if the Sporter receiver was used to replace a previously-registered pre-86 receiver that had been damaged, and rendered unserviceable, and had been "repaired" with that receiver with the blessing of ATF. The part of that theory that makes no sense is why would anybody use a crummy Century Sporter receiver to execute such a repair.

The whole story just doesn't hold together.

January 20, 2008, 07:54 AM
Well, it is an Imbel receiver, even if it is Century stamped.


January 21, 2008, 06:54 AM
I saw it again, yesterday, and everything described is correct, an L1a1 Sporter marked receiver, made by Imbel, imported by Century. $12,000.00


Wes Janson
January 21, 2008, 10:52 AM
The real question then would appear to be, is it in the registry?

January 21, 2008, 10:55 AM
If it is post 1986 how would that be possible? I mean, aren't L1A1 Sporter marked Imbel receivers all post 1994? Admittedly I am in foreign territory regarding NFA stuff so will defer to those who know.


January 21, 2008, 12:55 PM
The only part Imbel is the receiver.

Century took an inch kit and used an Imbel receiver then had some slobbering idiot kinda make it work.

Imbel did not import any select fire receivers unless it was on a complete rifle.
Those were imported by Springfield Armory, called the SAR-48. There were not many select fire imported and those are worth $12K.

January 21, 2008, 12:57 PM
Oh, I know that. The L1A1 sporters were thumbhole rifles built on L1A1 kits using either Argentine or, later, Imbel Kits. At least that is how I understand it.


January 21, 2008, 01:12 PM
A for sale ad a few months ago.

WTS IMBEL Receiver $250 (Post 1986 Dealer Sample)

To purchase this full-auto receiver you must be

a law enforcement AGENCY (not an individual officer)

a Title II manufacturer with an LE Demo Letter

a Class III Machinegun dealer with an LE Demo Letter.

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