Question re machine gun not a rifle


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Lee Roder
November 7, 2011, 06:14 PM
Quick M1 carbine type question. Finally got a "machine gun" (Norrell disconnector lever and all the "parts") which can be installed into any USGI M1 carbine. Not being much of a history buff, I really want to chop the barrel, which I believe I can freely do since, once installed, the trigger housing parts magically tranform said carbine into something more dreadful than a "rifle", i.e. it is not subject to any restriction on barrel length at all. No Form 1, no $200 check, no stamp, nadda. But, say, after a few hours at 750 rounds per minute, I really really need to replace my shortened barrel. Ordinarily easy enough on ye olde carbine, BUT, if I remove the trigger housing while unscrewing the barrel from that "rifle" to install a new barrel, have I "inadvertently" created an unregistered SBR (I have many other "M1" carbines)? I know that only the ATF can tell me the answer (can they?), but just seeking opinions here. Perhaps this issue has arisen before and my google foo is temporarily farked and I just overlook something obvious. Been known to happen, even here, but I did search
TIA

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il_10
November 7, 2011, 07:00 PM
Negative. According to the ATF the parts that you have, specifically the serialized part, is the machine gun. The m1 carbine is never the machine gun, and isn't transformed into a machine gun once you drop in the full auto parts, so you would still need to SBR the rifle.

Telekinesis
November 7, 2011, 07:13 PM
+1 to il 10. Unless your M1 is really an M2 or M3 receiver (select fire) and the receiver is the registered part, only the trigger group constitutes the machine gun. Cutting the barrel down below 16" will make the rifle an SBR.

zignal_zero
November 7, 2011, 07:23 PM
Really? Are you sure that there isn't an exception for a "host weapon" because during the ass ban of 94-04 I was told that if drop a RRL or RDIAS into an AR, you were no longer subject to the feature limit and that as long as the RRL/RDIAS was installed the rifle could NOT be consider a postban SAW because it was a mg host. Was this information incorrect? And if not, how could his "host" be any different?

TexasRifleman
November 7, 2011, 08:21 PM
Are you sure that there isn't an exception for a "host weapon"

This. It is pretty commonly known in the NFA world that the host takes on the attributes of an NFA firearm while the part is installed. The reason is that though the fun parts are "firearms" as defined by the NFA they are not firearms under GCA. Under GCA a gun that goes multi-bang is a machine-gun, no matter how it got that way. So while the fun parts are in a Title 1 firearm, it's not a Title 1 firearm anymore because it can't be since it goes multi-bang which isn't allowed in a Title 1 firearm :)

http://www.rmgo.org/bardwell-faq-on-nfa-weapons/machine-gun-sears-and-conversion-parts

Unfortunately, ATF says that it returns to Title 1 states immediately upon removal of the registered part. Now, none of this is law really, just ATF's interpretation. My gut says you would be fine for the short period performing a repair but I would want it in a written opinion.

I run into this with a RLL now and then. When the RLL is in my AR, the AR itself is a machine gun and I can put short barrels etc on it without an additional tax stamp.

The moment the RLL comes out, the short barrel has to come off too. If I put the RLL in my AR receiver that has an actual SBR tax stamp of it's own then the RLL can come and go without changing anything.



Now, in this case you are talking about a repair to the host gun. For this I think you really will need to send a letter to NFA Branch and ask them your very specific question, and keep a copy of their response.

Some folks will put the serial number of the host on the Form 4, what some call "marrying". This ties the pieces together and might make all this easier, but I don't know if that's something the OP wants to do.

From the Bardwell archives:

NFA Branch desires that folks who install sears into guns where the sear is not very accessible, HK guns in particular, tell them the make, model and serial number of the gun into which the sear is installed, and put this information on the Form 4. This makes it easier on anyone inspecting the gun, as they do not have to open the gun up to see the sear, if they know that gun is the one with the sear in it. This is called "marrying" the sear to the gun. It is especially useful when the host semi-auto has been modified so as to make it potentially illegal without the sear, like putting a shoulder stock on an HK SP-89 pistol, or cutting the barrel of an HK-94 to less than 16 inches. You may "divorce" the two, but don't do that if the host gun will end up an unregistered short barreled rifle, or other unregistered NFA weapon. This marriage info is in box 4(h) on the Form 4, so anyone who looks at the paperwork can see the sear is in that gun; local law enforcement, for instance.

Lee Roder
November 7, 2011, 10:12 PM
Thanks, that helps a lot

Jim K
November 8, 2011, 01:42 PM
I wouldn't shorten the barrel on a GI carbine even if the M2 kit is installed. Those carbines are just too valuable to cut up and, as others note, if you remove the kit then the carbine becomes an unregistered SBR.

Jim

zignal_zero
November 11, 2011, 02:09 AM
NFA regulations "stack"

A 14" M1 Carbine + MG requires the registered MG and the registration of an SBR.

they don't always "stack" sometimes they over-ride eachother. i just bought a machine gun that has a shoulder stock and a 6" barrel. this would definitely qualify it as a SBR, but i am only required to get one stamp. MG trumps SBR. think about it - that would mean EVERY M11 is a two stamper, which simply is not the case.

edit to add - there are situations where you need two stamps, like a sbr with a suppressor. in that case, they would "stack". however, a mg with a short barrel is a one stamp gun.

Lee Roder
November 11, 2011, 09:42 AM
NFA regulations "stack"

A 14" M1 Carbine + MG requires the registered MG and the registration of an SBR.

Hmmm .... that's not my understanding, obviously, while the parts are all together anyway. I thought TexasRifleman's post explained it pretty clearly, but I'm open minded, do you have a reference? The more info I have, the more clearly I can pose my issue to the BATF.

TexasRifleman
November 12, 2011, 05:32 PM
NFA regulations "stack"

A 14" M1 Carbine + MG requires the registered MG and the registration of an SBR.

What are you basing this claim on? It goes against what pretty much every NFA firearm owner believes to be the case.

Sam Cade
November 12, 2011, 07:52 PM
What are you basing this claim on?

He made it up.

CleverNickname
November 12, 2011, 11:03 PM
Constructive possession works for you in this instance. If you have a registered machine gun conversion part and a short barreled firearm that would need to be registered if it weren't the host gun for the MG conversion part, then temporarily removing it for cleaning or whatever won't be a problem. What would be a problem is if you had two host guns and if one or more of them were unregistered short-barrel guns.

Carl N. Brown
November 12, 2011, 11:14 PM
As I understand it...

Machine gun with silencer: transfer of registration of the machinegun requires a Form 4 with the serial number of the machinegun; transfer of registration of the silencer requires a Form 4 with the serial number of the silencer.

Machinegun kit (T17 or T18 conversion kit for carbine; drop-in-auto-sear conversion for M16) in a shortbarrel rifle: transfer of registration of the machinegun conversion parts requires a Form 4 with the serial number of the DIAS or conversion kit; transfer of registration of the SBR requires a Form 4 with the serial number of the SBR.

A short barrel machinegun (eg MP5) will have only one serial number and one Form 4.

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