Is it a violation of the NFA?


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PocketRocket
October 17, 2012, 01:35 AM
Is it a violation to have any M-16 part in an semi-auto AR-15?

Specifically, I was offered an M-16 bolt carrier for my parts-built AR-15 upper and I need to know if it would be illegal to use it. It would be the only M-16 part in the rifle.

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TAKtical
October 17, 2012, 01:51 AM
No. Lots of people use bcg's that are rated for full auto. The bolt doesnt change the rifle to full auto. There may be some restriction if you are in cali or somewhere else with weird gun laws but I dont know anything about that.

Keaner
October 17, 2012, 01:52 AM
The ATF says no:
http://www.gandrtactical.com/images/archive/ATF%20M16%20Letter.pdf

PocketRocket
October 17, 2012, 02:22 AM
TAKtical & Keaner - Thanks for the replies.

Keaner - special thanks for the link -- you can’t get more specific than that!

HoosierQ
October 18, 2012, 04:45 PM
It is my most earnest understanding that the only difference would be the metalurgy. An M-16 bcg would have to tolerate lot's more cycles in a given period of time, be able to reciprocate many many times is a short period of time, and do both while presumably being pretty darn hot. So metalurgy and perhaps a bit more metal here or there. I don't think, from a physical configuration standpoint...how the thing is shaped...there is a difference.

Presumably a cheap or middle of the road AR-15 bcg would work in a full-auto M-16 as well...but would fail rather quickly.

Rail Driver
October 18, 2012, 04:55 PM
It is my most earnest understanding that the only difference would be the metalurgy. An M-16 bcg would have to tolerate lot's more cycles in a given period of time, be able to reciprocate many many times is a short period of time, and do both while presumably being pretty darn hot. So metalurgy and perhaps a bit more metal here or there. I don't think, from a physical configuration standpoint...how the thing is shaped...there is a difference.

Presumably a cheap or middle of the road AR-15 bcg would work in a full-auto M-16 as well...but would fail rather quickly.
HoosierQ: Incorrect. The M16 BCG has some slight differences:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v408/gotm4/carriers.jpg http://ar15barrels.com/tech/ar15carriers.jpg

PocketRocket
October 18, 2012, 06:32 PM
Rail Driver - I now have the M-16 bolt carrier in my possession and I can readily see the differences that you displayed and I also know the purpose of the changes.

You also displayed the “AR enhanced” bcg. I was unaware of it’s existence until now and I would like to know what, if any, is the benefit from it. Thanks.

Rail Driver
October 18, 2012, 06:49 PM
marginally slower cycling/lock time. Seems to be more reliable with heavier bullets (62gr+). a note - you probably won't see many SP1 style BCGs, and I have never personally seen a "half circle" style BCG - Most of the ones I've seen over the past few years have been the enhanced style. The enhanced style is definitely softer shooting in a gun with a carbine length gas system than the SP1 style BCG. I run a mid-length with an enhanced style BCG, but plan to upgrade to the F/A BCG as soon as I can divert some fun money.

Flyincedar
October 18, 2012, 08:02 PM
An AR15 BCG will work in an M16, in semi auto only. The extra metal that an AR15 BCG does not have, it actually the sear trip. Without it, you cannot trip the sear for full auto function

PocketRocket
October 18, 2012, 10:20 PM
Rail Driver - I installed the M-16 BCG then attached upper & lower together and it runs good.

I had a second AR-15 project going; this one is a AR-15 pistol. It is a new Bushmaster complete factory lower (circa 1999) and an 11” JT Distributors upper (supposedly made by FN -- barrel maker is unknown). I put a SP-1 BCG in it and it runs good. When I tried the M-16 BCG in it there was a jam after each firing caused by the case not being fully ejected.

Any insight as to why one works and the other doesn’t?

Rail Driver
October 18, 2012, 10:29 PM
Rail Driver - I installed the M-16 BCG then attached upper & lower together and it runs good.

I had a second AR-15 project going; this one is a AR-15 pistol. It is a new Bushmaster complete factory lower (circa 1999) and an 11” JT Distributors upper (supposedly made by FN -- barrel maker is unknown). I put a SP-1 BCG in it and it runs good. When I tried the M-16 BCG in it there was a jam after each firing caused by the case not being fully ejected.

Any insight as to why one works and the other doesn’t?
As you can see from the photo, the M16 carrier is a bit longer. In your pistol, does the sere block extend above the sides of the lower receiver?

MachIVshooter
October 19, 2012, 02:12 AM
The extra metal that an AR15 BCG does not have, it actually the sear trip. Without it, you cannot trip the sear for full auto function

Unless you're running a lightning link (which requires milling on the bottom of an AR-15 BCG)

OP-

It's been pretty well addressed, but the M16 BCG in a title I AR is common and doesn't get ATF scrutiny at all. Now, if you have an M16 hammer, sear assembly and safety to go with it, you've got contructive possession (and especially if your receiver is milled for those parts to fit)

PocketRocket
October 19, 2012, 02:42 PM
Rail Driver - Correction: my bolt carrier is the “half circle” type and not the SP1 as I had indicated.

I am not familiar with the term “sear block”. I looked up the Colt parts legend and it was not listed. Anyway, I opened up the receiver and the only thing above the walls of the lower receiver is the hammer and the captured hammer spring.

Can you straighten me out on this? Thanks…..Rocket

MachIVshooter - Since I don't know what a "lightning link" is and because the lower is a "stock" 1999 Bushmaster, I'm guessing I don't have it. However, I'm curious, so can you tell me about it? Thanks.....Rocket

Rail Driver
October 19, 2012, 02:47 PM
Not all AR15's are equipped with a sere block. I wasn't sure if yours was or not.

To be honest I can't help much beyond what I've already done without detailed photos of the rig, or seeing it in person (doubt that's an option). Since your BCG is the half circle style, it's entirely possible that your lower receiver was designed for use only with that type of BCG, or that the buffer is too long, or that the buffer tube is too short. Either way, I would simply put the BCG that works in the pistol and leave it there, and put the one that works in the rifle and leave it there. There is no reason to switch back and forth.

PocketRocket
October 19, 2012, 03:06 PM
Rail Driver - I appreciate that you took the time to help and for the education on all the bolt carrier types. Maybe the next time I’m in conversation about the AR-15/M-16 I might fool someone into thinking I actually know what I’m talking about! :D

“There is no reason to switch back and forth." I’ve been in places where one’s politics is met with deadly response. Having participated in war and riots in this country, I am not so naďve as to believe that it can’t happen here. So certain parts in certain guns could be appropriate given the right (unfortunate?) time and place. No slight intended.....Rocket

Rail Driver
October 19, 2012, 03:24 PM
“There is no reason to switch back and forth." I’ve been in places where one’s politics is met with deadly response. Having participated in war and riots in this country, I am not so naďve as to believe that it can’t happen here. So certain parts in certain guns could be appropriate given the right (unfortunate?) time and place. No slight intended.....Rocket

Why would you need to switch carriers? If one of the two you have works in the pistol, but the other one doesn't, then you have no valid reason to put the non-working carrier in the pistol. I can understand wanting a backup BCG in case the one in the gun fails, but a backup that doesn't function in your firearm isn't really a backup is it?

I'm not saying there's no reason to switch from pistol to rifle and back - That's your choice and your preference - I'm assuming you only have one lower based on your comment - I wasn't implying there is no reason to switch from pistol to rifle - I was saying flat out that there's no reason to swap back and forth from one BCG to another in one gun unless one of the carriers breaks during use.

If you have two complete firearms (rifle and pistol) and both BCGs work in the rifle, but only one works in the pistol, then my advice is to stick to what works - If you want an upgrade, then it's time to do some research and find out what is compatible with your gun.

Politics, riots, war and self defense have nothing to do with what I said.

There is no appreciable benefit to switching from one BCG to another unless you're upgrading to a better one and are just keeping the old one as a backup - Swapping from one to another repeatedly is going to accelerate the wear on the receiver, the locking lugs and the bolt.

A non-working BCG serves no purpose at all in a gun unless you're intending to use it as a "decoy".

Perhaps there is a language barrier that caused my point to be unclear?

PocketRocket
October 19, 2012, 05:20 PM
Rail Driver - Perhaps I was the one who was unclear. I have two lowers, both Bushmasters, one of which is a registered pistol lower.

My reasoning is that I want both to be capable of using a registered drop-in auto sear to legally convert them to full auto. That can’t be done unless both can use either a M-16 bolt carrier or carrier conversion block, so there is a reason for me. Does that make it more clear for you?......Rocket

Rail Driver
October 19, 2012, 05:24 PM
That does make it more clear. With the pistol, it's anyone's guess without detailed pictures or the gun physically in my hand where I can fire it, see how the function is, and find out where it's binding up.

Good luck.

Flyincedar
October 19, 2012, 06:19 PM
You would also need to ensure that both models are low shelf to fit a DIAS, then the hard part is finding someone who will actually sell a registered one... Let alone the $12,000-$15,000 price tag

jmorris
October 19, 2012, 07:08 PM
Unless you're running a lightning link (which requires milling on the bottom of an AR-15 BCG) unless you have an SP1 carrier that it designed to work with.

SlamFire1
October 19, 2012, 07:16 PM
I fire very hot loads in my target AR's. You really have to push the 600 yard loads. I use a Tubb weight in my bolt carrier and I use the heavy bolt carrier.

The Tubb weight and the heavy bolt carrier adds a tiny bit of delay time during unlock and they both add to reliability during bolt closure.

A high carrier mass to bolt ratio is good. The AK47 has a very high carrier mass to bolt ratio, so does the HK91 rifle.

Jim K
October 19, 2012, 09:07 PM
Many DIAS's, both the unnumbered "legal" ones and the registered ones, are of very poor quallity, turned out in a hurry to make a fast buck. A very unhappy camper is the person who shells out big bucks (and perhaps takes a big chance in violating the law as well) only to find out that his DIAS is a piece of cast zinc junk that lasts only a dozen rounds.

Jim

Rail Driver
October 19, 2012, 09:09 PM
Many DIAS's, both the unnumbered "legal" ones and the registered ones, are of very poor quallity, turned out in a hurry to make a fast buck. A very unhappy camper is the person who shells out big bucks (and perhaps takes a big chance in violating the law as well) only to find out that his DIAS is a piece of cast zinc junk that lasts only a dozen rounds.

Jim
... wouldn't an un-numbered DIAS be illegal? I've never heard of a legal machine gun without a serial. Possession of an unregistered machine gun (in this country anyway) is a federal crime, not just a chance of a violation.

Flyincedar
October 19, 2012, 09:23 PM
If its not numbered, its not registered,ans not legal. If it doesnt have Form 4 paperwork, and cost in the range I mentioned before, stay away.

MachIVshooter
October 19, 2012, 10:31 PM
Since I don't know what a "lightning link" is and because the lower is a "stock" 1999 Bushmaster, I'm guessing I don't have it. However, I'm curious, so can you tell me about it? Thanks.....Rocket

The lightening link is 1.5 ounce, $10,000 piece of heavy sheet metal that probably cost a nickel or two to make.

It's a two piece unit that causes the rear catch to release the hammer when the bolt reaches full forward position. The bolt hits the tang which, using the rear takedown pin block on the upper as a pivot, draws the link backwards, pulling the catch back with it.

As for your lower; Stock AR lowers typically cannot accept M-16 FCG or a DIAS without milling. Having all the parts on hand plus a lower that can accept them = guaranteed constructive possession if you got caught.

PocketRocket
October 19, 2012, 11:15 PM
The BATF ruled that any auto sear manufactured after November 1, 1981 was classified as a machine gun and had to be registered. I can’t speak for this current time, but at that time any documentable auto sear manufactured before that date was legal to own without any BATF paperwork.

I am unaware if there has been any changes in this ruling. Does anyone have any verifiable information to the contrary?

Rail Driver
October 19, 2012, 11:32 PM
The BATF ruled that any auto sear manufactured after November 1, 1981 was classified as a machine gun and had to be registered. I can’t speak for this current time, but at that time any documentable auto sear manufactured before that date was legal to own without any BATF paperwork.

I am unaware if there has been any changes in this ruling. Does anyone have any verifiable information to the contrary?
Uh... you're wrong. It is illegal in this nation to be in possession of a machine gun or other NFA/Class 3 firearm or device without a canceled tax stamp, regardless of when it was made.

Q: May a private citizen who owns an NFA firearm which is not registered have the firearm registered?

No. The NFA permits only manufacturers, makers, and importers to register firearms. Mere possessors may not register firearms. An unregistered NFA firearm is a contraband firearm, and it is unlawful to possess the weapon. The possessor should contact the nearest ATF office to arrange for its disposition.

[26 U.S.C. 5861(d)]
Q: What can happen to someone who has an NFA firearm which is not registered to him?

Violators may be fined not more than $250,000, and imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. In addition, any vessel, vehicle or aircraft used to transport, conceal or possess an unregistered NFA firearm is subject to seizure and forfeiture, as is the weapon itself.

[49 U.S.C. 781-788, 26 U.S.C. 5861 and 5872]
Q: What should a person do if he or she comes into possession of an unregistered NFA firearm?

Contact the nearest ATF office immediately.

PocketRocket
October 20, 2012, 01:02 PM
Rail Driver - I’m not wrong. In August 1981 I purchased a documented DIAS at the Hollywood Sportatorium in Broward County, FL. I was a homicide investigator at that time and I was not interested in losing my career and doing cop-time in prison over a felony conviction so I went to the BATF office in Miami in November 1981 to verify what I posted. The agent I spoke with was a former department squad-mate and he assured me that was the case. Note that I did this in November 1981 as I stated, “…at that time.”

I knew some of the changes that were made to the GCA in 1986, but not all the changes.

The postings you made are subsequent to those changes and that is the information I was looking for. I appreciate that, however, I find your, “Un… you're wrong” comment to be impolite.

Did I read you wrong because that is just your usual demeanor or were you trying to be arrogant?

Rail Driver
October 20, 2012, 01:08 PM
Rail Driver - I’m not wrong. In August 1981 I purchased a documented DIAS at the Hollywood Sportatorium in Broward County, FL. I was a homicide investigator at that time and I was not interested in losing my career and doing cop-time in prison over a felony conviction so I went to the BATF office in Miami in November 1981 to verify what I posted. The agent I spoke with was a former department squad-mate and he assured me that was the case. Note that I did this in November 1981 as I stated, “…at that time.”

I knew some of the changes that were made to the GCA in 1986, but not all the changes.

The postings you made are subsequent to those changes and that is the information I was looking for. I appreciate that, however, I find your, “Un… you're wrong” comment to be impolite.

Did I read you wrong because that is just your usual demeanor or were you trying to be arrogant?
I was pretty much serious. As far as regulations in 1981, yeah you MAY have been legal to own unregistered NFA items back then, but post 1986 that is NOT the case. If you are in possession NOW of an unregistered machine gun or other NFA regulated item, you are in violation of federal law, subject to 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

Your statement read like you were saying that because of the ruling in '81, you would be legal to have one now. That's what I was responding to.
I posted the supporting information including legal citations below that.

If you're interested in getting into NFA items, I think you should research the BATFE website for the relevant regulations before making any plans so that you don't get yourself into hot water with the wrong agencies.

I don't support the NFA or the GCA in any way, shape or form, but I would very much hate to see someone go to prison over a misunderstanding.

Flyincedar
October 20, 2012, 02:51 PM
^^^^^^This. If you have that item now, and it was never put in the registry, AND you have the paperwork, you better an attorney to contact ATF for you. It wasnt grandfathered. It must have been registered, or it is now contraband

Rob62
October 20, 2012, 09:47 PM
I'm going to pile on the last couple of posts and go ditto.

Right now there is no such thing as a legal non registered, i.e. no BATFE Tax stamp, NFA item - period - no exemption's or exceptions (for us mere civilians).

If someone disagrees with this statement I would LOVE to be proven wrong, just please cite the law or BATFE ruling that would make it so.

The relevant laws have been cited.

Big boy rules apply, and what individuals choose to do with that information is up to them.

Regards,

Rob

Jim K
October 20, 2012, 10:10 PM
Pocket Rocket is correct and AFAIK there has been no change. When the DIAS was ruled to a be a machinegun, those in existence were NOT called in or made illegal. Only ones made after that date (I am not sure of the date, but I can find out if you need to know) had to be serial numbered and transferred on a Form 4/5.

BUT, those early DIAS's are legal to own ONLY if the owner does not have a semi-auto AR-15; if he does then he is in constructive possession of an unregistered machinegun (not the DIAS, but the AR-15 which can be readily made into a machinegun).

There also are a few AR-15's with DIAS's installed that were registered prior to the 1986 law. Those are registered as machineguns under the AR-15 serial number; the DIAS's are not numbered.

Jim

Rob62
October 20, 2012, 10:32 PM
Jim K - can you cite the relevant legal exception / exemption you reference ?

As you know this is a very serious issue, and I think its best that the actual laws or written policies get referenced.

Regards,
Rob

Flyincedar
October 20, 2012, 10:38 PM
Would love to see that in writing

Rail Driver
October 20, 2012, 11:03 PM
Here, let's see if we can't clear this up completely -

Yes, it is POSSIBLE to be in possession of a pre-'81 DIAS legally ONLY (and I repeat this with strong emphasis) - ONLY if you DO NOT also own or possess a semi-automatic AR-15.

See the following linked article.

http://www.titleii.com/bardwell/ar_15_auto_sear_faq.txt

It's a long read, but explains in extreme detail, citing several court cases and statutory law, exactly why it's illegal to possess a pre-'81 DIAS and a semi-auto AR-15, and further that YES it IS illegal to install and use.

The only legal way currently to have a full auto AR15 without paying the $200 tax stamp and the ungodly sum of money required for a registered DIAS, lightning link or receiver, is to go spend $350 on a SSAR15 bump fire stock. (The SSAR15 stock allows you to simulate full auto fire. The company also makes a unit for AK pattern rifles)

Rob62
October 20, 2012, 11:34 PM
Rail Driver - that is a *very interesting* read. Thanks for posting the link.

Regards,
Rob

Edited to add. The linked piece was definitely a VERY interesting read and worth loosing sleep over. I think the most relevant case talked about was near the end - US vs Cash, a good argument is made that would very likely be brought up in any future case involving prosecuting someone in possession of a "Pre '81" unregistered DIAS.

I also want to point out that BATFE ruling 84-1 is just that, a ruling, not law It does not carry the same weight of law and could at any time in the future be changed at the whim of the BATFE.

If I understand all this correctly

1. Pre '81 DIAS are legal to own, however one could not own an AR15 rifle at the same time, in essence making this piece of metal totally worthless. (Plus if it ever came down to it you would have to prove it was manufactured prior to '81)

2. Trying to use a pre '81 DIAS in *any* weapon to convert it to full auto fire would be illegal.

3. You could not legally transfer the part to anyone. The only way to get it out of your hands would be to destroy it.

4. It can never be registered as a DIAS.............because it wasn't one in.....1986 ??

.........................I think I am now more confused than ever. But its an interesting discussion none the less.

lilguy
October 21, 2012, 09:36 AM
So the question is, do you own an AR platform gun?:) Every friend of mine who shoots has one.

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