SBR AR-15 in .22LR or SBR GSG-5 ??


January 24, 2008, 02:39 PM
I've been racking my brain for weeks now trying to figure out which way I want to go. I'm wanting a SBR .22LR for plinking with my soon to arrive supressor. (Still waiting on that tax stamp now for 9 weeks)
I'm leaning towards the GSG-5 just because I have always loved the look of an MP-5. After paying the tax, I would eventually get a collapsable stock for it too. (Financial reasons, I know I don't need the stamp for the stock)
On the other hand, I already have a RRA AR-15 that I could get SBR status for. I'd order a Spikes or Model 1 Sales 7.5" .22LR upper for it, and later I could get a short .223 upper and have a more versitle weapon to kill all those paper targets that keep sneaking up on me.
Cost on the AR-15 upper and magazines is about $100 more, not really a factor in the decision.
Which direction would you choose??

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January 24, 2008, 07:54 PM
My best advice is to get both :neener:. Although I would wait on the GSG-5 and get some first hand user reviews before dropping $500 for it. If you can hold of long enough I would get the gsg-5 but if you want happiness right now then get the AR-15 upper.

January 24, 2008, 08:09 PM
I'd go with the AR-15 upper. More versatile as you stated, while the GSG-5 is unproven. And as you stated, once the lower is a SBR, you can buy short uppers in other calibers.

People are hoping the Airsoft collapsible stocks work with the GSG. If they don't, a real MP5 stock runs $400. Another $200 for the stamp plus whatever the conversion costs. Not worth if for a gun that's main selling point is it looks like a MP5.

January 24, 2008, 08:10 PM
Put down the canned .22LR uppers and back away slowly.

January 24, 2008, 09:34 PM
I'd personally wait to see what the GSG-5 shoots like. There's a lot of interest in an SD version, which is supposedly being worked on right now.

January 24, 2008, 11:15 PM
I've heard bad things about .22LR uppers for ARs.

That being said, if you SBR the GSG, it's SBRed and there's no more head-scratching about the legality of swapping barrels and uppers, etc etc etc--it's an "as is" firearm, and thus the only SBR to mess with, rather than if you ever buy another upper+ATF whims=crime.

January 25, 2008, 12:08 PM
GSG-5 !!!! In any configaration over the AR ...

BTW , www.suchar-enterprises has confirmed that the importer has begun to ship so maybe by next week will get the first batch of allotments

January 25, 2008, 12:21 PM
You won't be able to SBR the GSG-5 without replacing parts for "sporting purposes" compliance.

January 25, 2008, 12:35 PM
You won't be able to SBR the GSG-5 without replacing parts for "sporting purposes" compliance.
That was discussed fully in the thread I started about the GSG-5.
Here's page 5 it was well discussed:

January 25, 2008, 12:45 PM
Fair enough, just thought I'd mention it. :)

January 25, 2008, 12:47 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the final say that we could SBR one of these imports?

January 25, 2008, 12:50 PM
Ask the BATFE. By my reading, I don't believe so.

January 25, 2008, 03:51 PM
You won't be able to SBR the GSG-5 without replacing parts for "sporting purposes" compliance.

As in the other thread and several before it, NFA items are not subject to 922(r). By definition, a NFA item is not a "sporting" firearm.

Yet another ATF letter stating that fact:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Washington, D.C. 20226

MAR 22, 1994


City, State

Dear Mr. XXX:

This refers to your letter of February 28, 1994, in which you inquire as to whether the making of certain National Firearm Act (NFA) weapons is prohibited by Title 18 United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 44, Section 922(r). The weapon in question is a FN/FAL type firearm having a barrel length of less than 16 inches which is assembled from an imported British L1A1 parts kit and a domestically manufactured frame or receiver.

Title 18 U.S.C., Chapter 44, Section 922(r) provides that it shall be unlawful for any person to assemble from imported parts any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun which is identical to any rifle or shotgun prohibited from importation under 18 U.S.C., Chapter 44, Section 925(d)(3), as not being particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.

However, the Bureau has previously determined that the lawful making of an NFA weapon would not violate Section 922(r), since the section only addresses the assembly of "nonsporting" firearms, and not the making of NFA weapons. Therefore, the lawful making of a short barreled rifle would not be precluded by Section 922(r).

If you decide to proceed with your project, it will be necessary for you to obtain prior approval by first submitting an ATF Form 1 (Application To Make and Register a Firearm) and paying the appropriate $200 making tax. Additional information relative to this procedure may be obtained from the following source:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
NFA Branch, Room 5300
650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20026

We trust that the foregoing was responsive to your inquiry. If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely yours,
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch

January 25, 2008, 04:53 PM
Do the AR. You can have multiple calibers that way on one tax stamp.

January 25, 2008, 05:01 PM
If you sbr an ar lower, you could have a short .22 upper and a short upper in another caliber if you wanted for the same tax stamp money...

Mac Attack
February 4, 2008, 08:38 AM
I picked up my GSG-5 on Friday and have shot it a couple of times without a single issue. Contrary to what people were saying about it being very Airsoft'ish, the GSG-5 is a well made rifle that does not use the thin aluminum or steel and plastic that are common in Airsofts. I am planning on building this into a SBR so I can take advantage of a gemtech suppressor I already have rather than buy the new gemtech GSG-5 can that will be coming out later this year.

I however can say, for me, that the GSG-5 does not give me the same accuracy as my AR15 with .22 LR conversion unit. Some people have stated that AR conversion units are not very accurate. Well My Colt AR w/ conversion unit provides exceptional accuracy and other than feeding problems when dirty, it goes bang everytime.

If you are looking for a fun gun that is different and cool looking, then I say go for the GSG-5. However, I think a AR with conversion unit is a better set up since you don't have to change uppers and optics...etc. It also gives you the same trigger ergonomics but at a fraction of the cost. If on the other hand you are looking for a rifle that will shoot pinhole size groups then get a Ruger 10/22 or bolt action.

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