1911 Carbine Conversion


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Gottahaveone
October 16, 2010, 04:28 PM
Has anybody had any experience with one of these units? It seems to be a fairly inexpensive way to get a .45acp carbine. My main concern from looking at the pictures would be damaging the frame rails on the host 1911. It seems that with the tall carry handle for leverage, you could put a lot more stress on the rails than you ever could with a normal 1911 slide assembly. If you have any hands on experience with one of these, please let me know what you think.

http://www.mechtechsys.com/1911.html

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ulflyer
October 16, 2010, 06:35 PM
Had one untill recently when it was stolen. The lower part of your 1911 slides and locks onto the CCU and carrying it by the handle as shown doesn't in anyway hurt the lower . It would be he same as you holding the 1911 by the frame.

Mine was a blast to shoot, accurate, and it handled my light 45 reloads easily with without any malfunction. It is heavy tho....not sure of total but it weighed more than my 6lb m1 carbine, i would guess close to 8lb.

Should you run across one with a Norinco lower serial 524581 it was stolen from me a month ago. Its been reported and listed in NICS.

bigfatdave
October 16, 2010, 07:47 PM
It seems that with the tall carry handle for leverage, you could put a lot more stress on the rails than you ever could with a normal 1911 slide assembly.

How is this stress applied, exactly?

ulflyer
October 16, 2010, 08:42 PM
There is no stress on the 1911 lower. It just hangs on the CCU rail. Thats why I say its the same as holding a 1911 by the slide.

APIT50
October 17, 2010, 01:04 AM
I enjoy mine they actually like to be fed hot ammo. Accuracy is average. I would actually get one for the glock if I were to do it all over again as hicap mags are more common than for a 1911.

husker
October 17, 2010, 01:12 AM
Do you need a FFl to purchase this product? The way i read it? NO
I HAD A DREAM! BUT TEXAS LONG HORNS WRECKED IT AGAIN!

Sam1911
October 17, 2010, 12:43 PM
Do you need a FFl to purchase this product? The way i read it? NO

No, the receiver of the handgun is still the "firearm."

There IS an important legal consideration, though.

According to the BATFE, once you assemble your handgun into the carbine configuration, you have made a RIFLE. Taking it apart again and reassembling it into a HANDGUN makes it a "firearm made from a RIFLE" -- in other words, an NFA Title II short-barreled-rifle -- and you would have to register it and pay the $200 tax BEFORE you do that.

No, it doesn't make sense. YES it is the law as the BATFE sees it.

Making a pistol into a rifle is perfectly legal. Making a rifle or shotgun into anything else is NOT legal without first registering it as a firearm "made from" one of those. This is an odd quirk of the language that made it into the National Firearms Act of 1934, and is most likely an unintended consequence, but it remains on the books and the ATF says they'll enforce it as such.

In other words, converting your 1911 into a carbine is a one-way trip!

Thompson Center fought and won a court case over this regarding their Contender handgun/rifle kits -- but that decision has been interpreted to only apply to those specific kits -- not just ANY firearm that could be converted back and forth.

If you've got a 1911 that you want to sacrifice to become a carbine -- or you're willing to legally make your 1911 a registered SBR so you can run it either way -- go ahead. Otherwise, no.

husker
October 17, 2010, 12:48 PM
Thanks Sam1911
think ill keep my 1911 just the way it is & go look at the new High Point 45acp
I HAD A DREAM! BUT TEXAS LONG HORNS WRECKED IT AGAIN!

Walkalong
October 17, 2010, 01:23 PM
I have one. It's fun. I bought a cheap frame to put on it (not the one in the old pic), and fixed it to take an A2 (?) Stock.

APIT50
October 17, 2010, 04:02 PM
the barrel in carbine configuration is 16 inches which makes it legal as a rifle and as the stock is attached to the upper it is therefore legal to change it back and forth between carbine and pistol. However, state to state rules may or may not apply.

highorder
October 17, 2010, 04:04 PM
the barrel in carbine configuration is 16 inches which makes it legal as a rifle and as the stock is attached to the upper it is therefore legal to change it back and forth between carbine and pistol. However, state to state rules may or may not apply.

Sorry, that's 100% incorrect.

Everyone needs to read and understand Sam's post. It's correct.

husker
October 17, 2010, 04:11 PM
The way i understand it? Its fine to put the 1911 frame on the carbine. But once you go to take it off & put it back on your 1911 your breaking the law. Am i right?
I HAD A DREAM! BUT TEXAS LONG HORNS WRECKED IT AGAIN!

highorder
October 17, 2010, 04:15 PM
The 1911 frame IS the firearm.

You can install a carbine upper on your frame, making a rifle. Legal.

Removing the carbine upper and re-installing YOUR factory slide?

Illegally making a handgun from a rifle.

Very dumb, but very clear.

ulflyer
October 17, 2010, 04:34 PM
If you take all the laws written too serioiusly, then you prob shouldn't get out of bed in the morning. On my property I do dam well what I please. Never concerned me one bit if I wanted to put my Nork back togather to shoot in my back yard. To me, its like the military sayining, "don't ask, don't tell".................What you do is of course your business. :)

husker
October 17, 2010, 04:41 PM
No ones saying that you cant do what you want on your own property. just stating the facts of the Law & how it is written
I HAD A DREAM! BUT TEXAS LONG HORNS WRECKED IT AGAIN!

Gottahaveone
October 17, 2010, 07:07 PM
In other words, converting your 1911 into a carbine is a one-way trip!

Well, while that might be about the most fouled up application of a law that I've ever heard about the feds enforcing, it's just not worth either the risk or the sacrifice of a perfectly good 1911 frame. Thanks Sam, I appreciate you educating me :)

Sam1911
October 17, 2010, 07:25 PM
Thanks Sam, I appreciate you educating me

If you want to see something darkly humorous, write a note to MechTech and ask them their opinion on the matter.

The only response I've ever seen from them was to the effect that they didn't agree with the BATFE's interpretation. :uhoh:

I think that's called "cold comfort."

Walkalong
October 17, 2010, 07:34 PM
Only good news is no one has been prosecuted for it (that I have ever heard, and I think we would), and it's not likely they will unless you already did something far worse to get them there are on your butt and are looking closely for more stuff.

bigfatdave
October 17, 2010, 08:25 PM
So the ATF gets a spidey-sense the moment you "make" a rifle from a handgun, and then can ID the frames in your safe that have been in contact with the rifle upper after you disassemble them?

Does the rifle upper microstamp the 1911 frame, or is there some shoulder thing that goes up involved?

===

And on the serious side, wasn't there a company doing something very similar with Ruger frames and a carbine upper? I might buy one of those "junk impossible to assemble" ruger .22 pistols and make it into a carbine permanently, actually.
If I had a spare frame wasting shelf space I'd consider one of the 1911->carbine conversion kits pretty strongly ... it does look like fun on a bun, I like PCC's and less-than-beautiful guns, and I like sharing mags/ammo, too.

U.S.SFC_RET
October 17, 2010, 08:31 PM
It is the law. Fair and simple.

However Your property, your land. It will be difficult for me to imagine breaking the law by reverting to a pistol.

Sam1911
October 17, 2010, 09:38 PM
And on the serious side, wasn't there a company doing something very similar with Ruger frames and a carbine upper? I might buy one of those "junk impossible to assemble" ruger .22 pistols and make it into a carbine permanently, actually.

If by "junk impossible to assemble ruger .22 pistols" you are referring to the very accurate and classic Ruger Mark I/II/III series ... the legal questions would be moot as on those guns the upper receiver (which stays attached to the barrel during disassembly) is considered the serialized firearm, not the grip frame. So a carbine-length upper with an attached butt-stock would itself be a firearm, and a rifle at that.

bigfatdave
October 17, 2010, 11:43 PM
the legal questions would be moot as on those guns the upper receiver (which stays attached to the barrel during disassembly) is considered the serialized firearm, not the grip frame.

I actually knew that, but had forgotten the details as I observed the similarities to the unit pictured by the OP and the prototype I'd seen elsewhere. I suppose you don't remember the same item?

If by "junk impossible to assemble ruger .22 pistols" you are referring to the very accurate and classic Ruger Mark I/II/III series

Actually, I'm referring to the helpless ninnies who take a simple mechanism like a finely designed Ruger mkIII/II/I and turn it into a pile of what they think is junk, then bring it in in a bag/box to a gunshop looking for sympathy.
Personally, I like the Ruger mk__ series enough that I own two and can't picture owning any other target pistol ... with the exception of yearning for a BuckMark-style carbine version or conversion.
I'm continually amazed by the complaints about takedown and re-assembly on the mk__ guns being "impossible" and "stupid" ... I've often offered to buy the "junk" pieces for $50, one of these days I'll get a taker within a reasonable drive/ride and have at least a parts donor if not another entire pistol.

===

Here's a thought for you ATF regulation experts ... so what if I design a replacement upper assembly for a Ruger mkIII that resembles the Mech Tech upper shown in the OP? It would be mechanically similar, using the lower's trigger group and magazine for fire control and a source of ammunition, and using an upper with a captive reciprocating internal bolt rather than a recoiling slide, we'll call the two halves the grip frame / fire control group and the barreled receiver for the sake of argument (OK, I'm lazy, I'm calling them the G/FCG and BR from here on out)

So, why is that BR unit the "gun" on a Ruger autoloading rimfire pistol (MKI/II/III) but not on the carbine conversion for a 1911 frame?
And, if I made something like the 1911 carbine unit as a non-serialized component (Ruger BR with shoulder stock and "legal" length barrel), and attached it to a non-serialized component like a Ruger mkIII's G/FCG ... would I have just made a non-serialized rifle? And since the Ruger mkIII's lower half isn't a firearm according to the ATF's regs, wouldn't I be able to swap parts around all day long, since I can't make a rifle out of a factory BR anyway?

Good thing we have these regulations from the ATF keeping us all safe, I sure hope there's nobody in my neighborhood with a pistol made from a rifle, or a 13" barrel on a rifle, or a shoulder thing that goes up!

wriggly
October 18, 2010, 03:54 AM
I had one in 45acp and the 1911. I was initially using it with the frame from a Colt Combat Commander from the late 70's, and I finally sold the colt. I picked up a Llama Max I C/F for $100 and planned on using it to make the Mech Tech a dedicated carbine, but the Llama turned out to be a real sleeper, and one of the sweetest shooting pistols I have ever owned.

I sold the Mech Tech to a manufacturer at a gun show last spring. He wanted it to put a silencer on it. The Mech Tech was accurate out to 100 yards, and was a lot of fun to shoot. I used Wilson 47D mags in it exclusively, they were 100 percent reliable. My biggest complaint was the Mech Tech is very heavy. That, and it gets pretty expensive by the time you hang all sorts of crap on it. Its a better buy to just get an AR.

I own a couple of Glocks, and it is very tempting to get another basic unit, just so I can use the 33 round magazines. But, by the time I put an optic on it, and maybe the collapsible wire stock, I will be in the lower range for an AR.

You have to remember, it will still be a pistol caliber, and it could present legal issues if you are not careful.

Sam1911
October 18, 2010, 08:06 AM
So, why is that BR unit the "gun" on a Ruger autoloading rimfire pistol (MKI/II/III) but not on the carbine conversion for a 1911 frame?


Obviously it is an arbitrary definition worked out between the manufacturer and the ATF. From a practical standpoint, the Mk I/II/III's receiver (being the tube that holds the bolt and to which the barrel attaches) comes closer to the usual definition of a firearm receiver than does the grip frame.

However, of course, most autoloading pistols don't have such a part, unless you count the slide, and the ATF went with the more substantial part, meaning the grip frame as the receiver of the gun.

In the end, they just want one critical part they can control/track/identify as being "the" gun, even if you throw away or replace every other piece. As not all guns have the same kinds of parts, sometimes they have to get a bit silly about which bit is "THE" gun. (Look at belt-fed guns: usually the only controlled part is one sideplate of the receiver, i.e.: a 2 lb part off of a 60+ lb. gun.)

All of the silliness about the "once-a-rifle-always-a-rifle" or "why can't I order a new Mk.II barreled receiver throught he mail" are just collateral damage from the very artificial nature of these laws.

bigfatdave
October 18, 2010, 09:50 PM
I own a couple of Glocks, and it is very tempting to get another basic unit, just so I can use the 33 round magazines. But, by the time I put an optic on it, and maybe the collapsible wire stock, I will be in the lower range for an AR.

Are you aware of the Kel Tec sub2000?

All of the silliness about the "once-a-rifle-always-a-rifle" or "why can't I order a new Mk.II barreled receiver throught he mail" are just collateral damage from the very artificial nature of these laws.
I don't see why it would be a serialized part if Mech Tech made a Ruger mkIII conversion, is there something actually regulating that or is it just by manufacturer?

It would be amusing to have a gun made out of no "firearms" as far as the clever boys at the ATF are concerned. It would also be amusing to assemble two serialized "firearms" into one boom-stick ... can I mount my Ruger mkIII upper on a serialized lower somehow?

Sam1911
October 19, 2010, 08:05 AM
I don't see why it would be a serialized part if Mech Tech made a Ruger mkIII conversion, is there something actually regulating that or is it just by manufacturer?

In the case of the Ruger, the part you'd be replacing (the barreled upper) is the firearm. The grip frame is just a part. If Ruger wants to sell a barreled upper -- THAT is a firearm, just like if they wanted to sell the receiver of a Mini-14 or the grip frame of a GP-100. If any other manufacturer wants to sell a Ruger Mk II style barreled upper, that part would be a firearm as well.

It all comes down to the specific design of the gun and what portion of it the BATFE has accepted as the serialized part. (See below.)


It would be amusing to have a gun made out of no "firearms" as far as the clever boys at the ATF are concerned. It would also be amusing to assemble two serialized "firearms" into one boom-stick ... can I mount my Ruger mkIII upper on a serialized lower somehow?

I think you're missing an important point. Federal law requires a serial number on the "firearm" -- that portion of which will be considered the "heart & soul" of the gun, so to speak. The manufacturer and the BATFE come to some agreement about which part that is. So, no, a gun can't be made for commercial sale that doesn't have some part of it seriliazed as the firearm.

As for constructing a working firearm out of two serialized parts -- yes and no, and yes.

Yes, in that some guns do have the serial number stamped on multiple parts (often european military arms are this way) but that has no bearing on US law. Only the receiver will be considered the "firearm."

No, in that no one is going to make a Ruger Mk II grip frame that is sold as a firearm by itself as such is unneccessary by law and would only add hassle and complexity. It would be like having your car titled with one VIN number and also having the frame of that car titled to you with it's own VIN number as if you owned two cars. (Two registrations, two sets of insurance, etc. :confused:)

Yes, in that in the case of NFA-registered machine guns, sometimes this does happen. Drop-in-auto-sears (DIAS) are registered as a firearm under NFA Title II. They are nothing but a small bit of metal, and must be inserted into a Title I rifle in order to work. Two serialized "firearms" working at the same time. Add a Title II registered suppressor to that gun and you could have THREE serial numbers. Odd, perhaps, but not outside the realms of logic. :)

Beyond_Perfection
December 23, 2010, 12:46 AM
If anyone asks..I never installed it. So I never broke the law....

HKGuns
December 23, 2010, 01:07 AM
Buy an HK UMP, it doesn't look as silly.

GCBurner
December 23, 2010, 01:18 AM
Mech Tech says this in their FAQ:
Q) Do I need an FFL (Federal Firearms License) to purchase this product? A) No. The CCU is not a firearm and will not fire without a pistol lower in place. The CCU is simply an accessory such as a scope or grips. For State and local laws you are advised to become aware of them relative to where you live. As far as Mech-Tech is aware, the CCU in and of itself is legal in all States. We do know that in the case of California the combination of the CCU and a pistol lower becomes illegal under current law. If and when Mech-Tech becomes aware of any other special circumstances such as California, we will publish this information. Again, the customer has the responsibility to determine the legality of the combination in their circumstance.

highorder
December 23, 2010, 09:18 AM
Mech Tech says this in their FAQ:
Q) Do I need an FFL (Federal Firearms License) to purchase this product? A) No. The CCU is not a firearm and will not fire without a pistol lower in place. The CCU is simply an accessory such as a scope or grips. For State and local laws you are advised to become aware of them relative to where you live. As far as Mech-Tech is aware, the CCU in and of itself is legal in all States. We do know that in the case of California the combination of the CCU and a pistol lower becomes illegal under current law. If and when Mech-Tech becomes aware of any other special circumstances such as California, we will publish this information. Again, the customer has the responsibility to determine the legality of the combination in their circumstance.

Yep, I agree with all that.

NONE of it speaks to NFA laws... except that last part. How beautifully obtuse.

GCBurner
December 23, 2010, 10:24 AM
In place of a separate upper, Numrich sells a 16" barrel for the Model 1911, along with a flat wood stock that attaches in place of the mainspring housing on the grip. http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Detail.aspx?pid=588350&catid=12245 They have a caution that it's okay to put on the barrel and stock together, or just the barrel by itself, making a long barreled pistol, but NOT to attach the stock by itself, because that would constitute a Short Barreled Rifle under the NFA. I don't recall any mention of not being able to switch back and forth running afoul of the laws.
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/images/catalog/588350.jpg

There were a few people who converted a Walther P-38 into something similar during the heyday of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., trying to duplicate the gun with attachable barrel extension, stock, suppressor, and scope sight used in the TV show.
http://www.theunclegun.com/imgs%20gallery/P-38%20UNCLE%20GUN%20CARBINE%203.JPG

mcdonl
December 23, 2010, 01:42 PM
If it were me I would just buy a $224 Hi-Point TS series carbine and leave the 1911 alone.... wait... I am me and I DID do that. :)

Flfiremedic
December 23, 2010, 02:33 PM
Do they make one for GLOCKS? Link?

mcdonl
December 23, 2010, 02:36 PM
Do they make one for GLOCKS? Link?

The OP's link has a link for pricing, the glock is shown there.

Sam1911
December 24, 2010, 06:15 AM
They have a caution that it's okay to put on the barrel and stock together, or just the barrel by itself, making a long barreled pistol, but NOT to attach the stock by itself, because that would constitute a Short Barreled Rifle under the NFA. I don't recall any mention of not being able to switch back and forth running afoul of the laws.


And similarly to MechTech, they're not going to say it is legal, either -- and will politely decline to come to your trial should the ATF decide that you are the man of the hour.

KosmicKrunch
December 24, 2010, 06:40 AM
I have one of the old Taylor conversions. It included a drop in 16 1/4" barrel, the rear grip drop in to attach the stock, the stock and the 50 round magazine drum. I got it back in the 80's. Never used it yet. I think the total cost back then was like $150 or so. I had also bought a series 70 Colt Giv't model to make the change out, just never got around to it. It is tuck away somewhere in the shop somewhere. I should dig it out and complete the change out.

KosmicKrunch
December 24, 2010, 06:52 AM
GC Burner: The Collectors Armory (the company that makes Non firing replicas) made or makes those Man fron Uncle set ups on a P-38. It would shoot special brass with a CAP in the front. It would fire full and semi. I always wondered if the added accessories (stock & brace, scope, fake supressor and barrel (would have to find a real P-38 rifle barrel) would fit a real P-38. That would be a really cool conversion. I actually see the sets on GB in the non-firing replica section quite often.

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