how to start ar pistol build


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handgunner308
December 1, 2012, 07:13 PM
Id like to start a ar pistol build but i need to know length legality. Im looking to get a 15 inch barrel but will it make the oal illegal for minnesota? Another thing is finding the barrel and the perfect caliber for accuracy in a short barrel but enough to take down a deer. My cousin made his in 243 wsm 15 1/2 inch barrel he says the cal is perfect for a short barrel but i was thinking maybe a 270wsm will be better.

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rjrivero
December 1, 2012, 08:42 PM
This really doesn't belong in the NFA section. If you're building a pistol, then it's not an NFA firearm.

There are no federal regulations in regards to the length of either the barrel or the overall length of a pistol. You can make the barrel any length you want to.

I don't know if there are length requirements for pistols in Minnesota or not, so I'll leave that for someone who knows for sure.

handgunner308
December 1, 2012, 10:11 PM
all Thompson center encore and contenders have a max barrel length of 15 inches all manufature barrels except custom barrels can be whatever length this is for the reasoning that the rule is any LEGAL pistol has a barrel length of 15 and under. I have no idea about the OAL tho and either way were to even get a AR upper in my chambering I choose and barrel length

backbencher
December 1, 2012, 10:58 PM
Handgunner,

I always presumed T/C sold 15" bbls so if you wanted to add a stock to your pistol receiver, you'd have to buy a 2nd bbl from them - if all they sold were 16" bbls, all you'd need would be a stock.

I recently converted my 16" bbl AR pistol w/ full length buffer tube to a 16" carbine w/ collapsible stock - so the OAL of my rifle is now shorter than it was as a pistol. God bless our Congress.

If you're looking for a supersonic deer round in the AR, the .30" AAC Blackout is quite popular @ the moment. Also, 7.62x39, 6.5mm Grendel, & 6.8 Remington SPC are all contenders. Subsonic, you have .30" AAC Blackout & the .45"-.50" thumpers.

Are you sure Minnesota has a max OAL for pistols?

Nikdfish
December 1, 2012, 11:13 PM
300BLK is becoming popular for SBR/pistol upper builds. It doesn't lose that much in short barrel vs long barrel since it uses less powder than the 5.56 and tends towards faster powders (like H110). Example: a given 110 grain load that does 2390 fps out of a 16" barrel will probably do about 2170 fps from a 10" barrrel (per AAC briefing paper).

I'm doing one currently with a SS 10.5" barrel assembly from Alpha Shooting Sports. A discount code let me get barrel/gas block/gas tube for < $200 (regular price is still not bad @ $235).

My understanding is that there is no specific maximum length for a pistol barrel, at least in federal statutes. Can't say that is the case for all state statutes, but I've never heard of any. Some states may not permit AR pistols because of "assault pistol" statutes.

The main thing on an AR pistol build is to use a lower receiver that has never previously had a shoulder stock attached - i.e. use a "virgin" stripped lower (transferred as "other") or one that was sold configured as a pistol. To do otherwise is to make a pistol from a rifle, which is a big no-no.

Nick

backbencher
December 1, 2012, 11:19 PM
Nick,

Er, the trick is to use a receiver never assembled as a complete rifle or shotgun. IE, the receiver may have had a stock on it prior to your assembling it as a pistol, but not @ the same time a complete upper was installed. But best to buy a stripped receiver anyway, & get the factory certificate of virginity.

handgunner308
December 2, 2012, 05:00 AM
Either its a minnesota thing or laws must have changed everywere I heard all handguns cannot exceed past a barrel length of 15 inches if so you will need to change it over to a rifle. I understand the virgin lowers and all the main issue Im having is finding a upper in a 243wsm or 270 wsm being 15 inches barrel length with the barrel being rifled for the correct twist rate for the load. you cannot take a 308 full length barrel and chop it down to 15 inches and expect it to shoot well thats why our custom thompson center encore chambered in 308 when ordered asked for a specified twist and already had a norm for twist rate if you did not reload yourself, that gun has bullets touching at 100 yards so yes short barrels can be accurate.
Id like to get a flatter shooting round that at the same time loses little velocity in a shorter barrel while still holding accuracy and knocking down game, our 308 coming out a 15 inch barrel gets about 2300 fps so were losing at least 400-500 fps i think, at least thats what the calculator said.
my cousin has already completed his and used it when deer season opened but on his terms he was pushing it with a 15 1/2 inch barrel.
overall I just need to know what cal is best for my needs and what is the legal OAL of the handgun if any law says so in minnesota, and were to get the barrels with the right chambering and twist rates.
I understand it would need to be on a AR 10 rather a 15 for the higher powered rounds

MasterSergeantA
December 2, 2012, 10:18 AM
Here is the llaw:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=624.712

MachIVshooter
December 4, 2012, 12:31 PM
Either its a minnesota thing or laws must have changed everywere I heard all handguns cannot exceed past a barrel length of 15 inches if so you will need to change it over to a rifle

Maybe a MN thing, but definitely not federal. There is no minimum or maximum barrel length or OAL for handguns under federal law.

you cannot take a 308 full length barrel and chop it down to 15 inches and expect it to shoot well

Why on earth not? You can't hacksaw it an expect good results, but that has nothing to do with the length and everything to do with the muzzle. A cut down and properly crowned barrel will shoot just fine.

Barrel length has nothing to do with accuracy, provided it's long enough to stabilize the bullet (happens very quickly, generally within a couple inches for rifles).

Er, the trick is to use a receiver never assembled as a complete rifle or shotgun. IE, the receiver may have had a stock on it prior to your assembling it as a pistol, but not @ the same time a complete upper was installed.

Incorrect. The most recent ATF ruling is that as long as the receiver was originally a handgun or other, you can convert back and forth between rifle and pistol, so long as the assembled unit is never configured as an SBR or AOW.

However, if the receiver was catalogued as a rifle receiver, you cannot turn it into a handgun without SBR stamp.

In short, a handgun or virgin lower can be either a rifle or handgun, and can be converted back and forth into legal title I configurations

A rifle lower can only be a rifle lower, unless you go the form 1 route with it (in which case it's still a rifle, but not constrained to title I regs for barrel and OAL). It does not matter if an upper or barrel was ever installed or not. A rifle receiver is a rifle receiver, period.

MasterSergeantA
December 4, 2012, 02:53 PM
Incorrect. The most recent ATF ruling is that as long as the receiver was originally a handgun or other, you can convert back and forth between rifle and pistol, so long as the assembled unit is never configured as an SBR or AOW.

However, if the receiver was catalogued as a rifle receiver, you cannot turn it into a handgun without SBR stamp.

In short, a handgun or virgin lower can be either a rifle or handgun, and can be converted back and forth into legal title I configurations

A rifle lower can only be a rifle lower, unless you go the form 1 route with it (in which case it's still a rifle, but not constrained to title I regs for barrel and OAL). It does not matter if an upper or barrel was ever installed or not. A rifle receiver is a rifle receiver, period.

Also incorrect. The receiver will not be transferred as a 'rifle' or 'handgun', but merely a 'receiver'. Even with a stock already mounted, if it has no upper, it is ONLY a receiver. If you remove the stock and put a short upper on it after you buy it, you have made a handgun...which can be reconfigured as a rifle if you wish and back to pistol configuration...as many times as you like. You cannot do the same thing if you build it first as a rifle. There is no longer such a thing as a "rifle receiver". Check the 4473 for details.

http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf

And I have included the ATF ruling as well.

http://www.atf.gov/regulations-rulings/rulings/atf-rulings/atf-ruling-2011-4.pdf

MachIVshooter
December 5, 2012, 04:06 AM
There is no longer such a thing as a "rifle receiver". Check the 4473 for details.

There is if it's transferred that way, which some FFLs will do for their 18-20 YO customers, since one has to be 21 to buy anything other than a long gun from a licensed dealer.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed
manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or
deliver -
(1) any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the
licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than
eighteen years of age, and, if the firearm, or ammunition is
other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for a shotgun or
rifle, to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable
cause to believe is less than twenty-one years of age;

Bubbles
December 5, 2012, 09:14 AM
There is if it's transferred that way, which some FFLs will do for their 18-20 YO customers, since one has to be 21 to buy anything other than a long gun from a licensed dealer.
If they're transferring receivers as "long guns" (there is no option for "rifle receiver") to get around the 21 year old and over law, then ATF will eventually figure it out and slap the stuffing out of them.

Now if the FFL had an 07 he could take that receiver, put on the stock and upper, run it through his manufacturing log (FAET due and all that), and transfer the rifle.

dogtown tom
December 5, 2012, 11:52 AM
MachIVshooter Quote:
There is no longer such a thing as a "rifle receiver". Check the 4473 for details.
There is if it's transferred that way, which some FFLs will do for their 18-20 YO customers, since one has to be 21 to buy anything other than a long gun from a licensed dealer.
Which FFL's are doing this?:scrutiny:
Do you have first hand kknowledge or is this another internet tale?

Any licensed dealer who is transferring a receiver as "long gun" to get around Federal law is committing a felony.......as are those 18-20 year olds who are receiving that firearm.

I have no tolerance for cheats, thieves, liars and crooks..........and neither should anyone else. Dealers who are transferring receivers as "long guns" are in serious violation of Federal law.

handgunner308
December 5, 2012, 02:36 PM
I will just have to contact the ATF about this seems like before the big rule was15 inch and shorter barrels for handguns now you guys are telling me I could of had a 20 inch barrel on our TC encore handgun..... and no you cannot chop down barrels and expect same accuracy at least in alot of calibers theres a specific length and twist rate for a reason chopping down the barrel gives less time to stabilize the bullet enough if the twist rate is too slow. atleast this was what I was told by custom barrel manufatures

Sam Cade
December 5, 2012, 03:07 PM
now you guys are telling me I could of had a 20 inch barrel on our TC encore handgun.....

Pistol barrels can legally be of any length. It has always been this way.

Benchrest pistol anyone?
http://accurateshooter.net/Blog/sebmax04.jpg




and no you cannot chop down barrels and expect same accuracy at least
Shorter barrels are more accurate since they are stiffer.

Loosing velocity will have a negative effect on practical long range accuracy since the bullet will drop out of supersonic flight earlier.

MachIVshooter
December 6, 2012, 01:57 AM
If they're transferring receivers as "long guns" (there is no option for "rifle receiver") to get around the 21 year old and over law, then ATF will eventually figure it out and slap the stuffing out of them.

Now if the FFL had an 07 he could take that receiver, put on the stock and upper, run it through his manufacturing log (FAET due and all that), and transfer the rifle.

We're talking fully assembled lowers, complete with stock, as they came from the manufacturer. These are not stripped receivers.

I dunno. I'm not a dealer, just an 03 collector, so I don't deal with 4473 transfers. I can only go off of what I was told by a particular 01, which was that these completed, stocked lowers were in his A&D books as rifles. As such, they could not be configured into pistols but could be sold to 18 year olds.

I never researched this particular matter, because it doesn't affect me one way or the other. I'm well past 21, and I don't buy completed lowers because I hate A2 grips and I'm not real big on standard M4 stocks.

handgunner308
December 6, 2012, 02:01 AM
I am still in disbelief when you guys tell me I can go longer than a 15 inch barrel... its baffling why I been told by everyone that It had to be 15 inches and under to be a legal handgun so really I can build a AR handgun with a full length barrel? its all too risky I will just personaly ask the ATF about this one

rjrivero
December 6, 2012, 02:08 AM
We're talking fully assembled lowers, complete with stock, as they came from the manufacturer. These are not stripped receivers.

I dunno. I'm not a dealer, just an 03 collector, so I don't deal with 4473 transfers. I can only go off of what I was told by a particular 01, which was that these completed, stocked lowers were in his A&D books as rifles. As such, they could not be configured into pistols but could be sold to 18 year olds.

I never researched this particular matter, because it doesn't affect me one way or the other. I'm well past 21, and I don't buy completed lowers because I hate A2 grips and I'm not real big on standard M4 stocks.
He's wrong. They CAN be configured as pistols. You just have to remove the stock first. They are complete lowers but they are NOT rifles. (http://www.ar15.com/media/viewFile.html?i=26635) They are LOWER RECEIVERS.

Frame or receiver. That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.

Rifle. A weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge.
A lower receiver has no "rifled bore" therefore is NOT a rifle. They are transferred on a 4473 as "other" and are only transferable to a person 21 and older. LINK HERE. (http://www.ar15.com/media/viewFile.html?i=26635)

MachIVshooter
December 6, 2012, 02:11 AM
so really I can build a AR handgun with a full length barrel?

For the last time, YES. A handgun can have a barrel of ANY length. Make it .2" for fun, or 25 feet to set some record. It'd be legal either way

its all too risky I will just personaly ask the ATF about this one

Go ahead and pester them. After all, we're paying their wages. But you will get the same answer you've been getting.

rjrivero
December 6, 2012, 02:14 AM
I am still in disbelief when you guys tell me I can go longer than a 15 inch barrel... its baffling why I been told by everyone that It had to be 15 inches and under to be a legal handgun so really I can build a AR handgun with a full length barrel? its all too risky I will just personaly ask the ATF about this one

Again I quote you title 27 479.11 (http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/479-11-meaning-terms-19674900):

Pistol. A weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having (a) a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s); and (b) a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand and at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).
There is NO mention of length requirements for pistol. It seems that the length restrictions are a Minnesota thing. Not federal.

Bubbles
December 6, 2012, 09:48 AM
We're talking fully assembled lowers, complete with stock, as they came from the manufacturer. These are not stripped receivers.
Doesn't matter if it's stripped or complete, without a barrel it's still a receiver and transfers as 'Other'. This is why a Type 01 can't (or shouldn't) sell a complete (but never assembled into a working firearm) AR reciever along with a complete upper on the same invoice; per ATF-TTB he has just sold a working firearm in "knockdown condition" and FAET is due.

handgunner308
December 6, 2012, 07:55 PM
can someone just answer these questions
in the state of MN can I
build a AR platform handgun of any overall length as long as there is no shoulder stock on the handgun itself and only the buffer tube shall be on? with that can the barrel be of any length I choose?
can this firearm be switched over to a full length rifle since it was first registered as a handgun?

Sam Cade
December 6, 2012, 08:14 PM
can this firearm be switched over to a full length rifle since it was first registered as a handgun?

There is no such thing as handgun registration at the federal level.


A firearm (or receiver) that was transferred into your possession as a handgun can be legally be configured a rifle at a later date.

see post #10.

handgunner308
December 6, 2012, 08:56 PM
ok so to my understanding in MN barrel can be wharevee length as long as overall length does not pass 26" and or the overall length can be of any length as long as the barrel length is under 16 inches. so either I will have a short barrel making the OAL under 26" or I will have a 15"3/4 inch barrel with any OAL. so does the OAL include the buffer tube in the measurement?

MachIVshooter
December 7, 2012, 06:13 AM
ok so to my understanding in MN barrel can be wharevee length as long as overall length does not pass 26" and or the overall length can be of any length as long as the barrel length is under 16 inches. so either I will have a short barrel making the OAL under 26" or I will have a 15"3/4 inch barrel with any OAL. so does the OAL include the buffer tube in the measurement?

This is going to be my last attempt at helping you to understand. Minnesota legal definition of handgun:

1. A handgun includes a weapon designed to be fired by the use of a single hand and with an overall length less than 26 inches, or having a barrel of a length less than 18 inches in the case of a shotgun or having a barrel of a length less than 16 inches in the case of a rifle. BB guns of .18 caliber or less are exempt.

I could not find quickly the MN definition of "Rifle", "Shotgun" or "Long gun". I am not an attorney, and I do not have the time or inclination to pour over MN statues line by line, so I'll just tell you what my interpretation is.

A handgun is as defined above. If the overall length and barrel lengh exceed the figures in the definition (which mirror Federal definition), it becomes a long gun or "other firearm", regardless of the presence of a stock. I saw nothing in the text that suggests a weapon over 26" without a stock is not legal, just that it is no longer considered a handgun.

handgunner308
December 7, 2012, 12:43 PM
well if its no longer a handgun then what is it? I have to know as it would be used for hunting and our area is shotgun HANDGUN only zone

MasterSergeantA
December 7, 2012, 01:37 PM
ok so to my understanding in MN barrel can be wharevee length as long as overall length does not pass 26" and or the overall length can be of any length as long as the barrel length is under 16 inches. so either I will have a short barrel making the OAL under 26" or I will have a 15"3/4 inch barrel with any OAL. so does the OAL include the buffer tube in the measurement?
Since an AR pistol, in most configurations, will NOT function without a buffer tube of some sort, the buffer tube is a part of the weapon design. So it would, logically, be included in the measurement of OAL.

Again, here is the law:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=624.712

You might want to decide what configuration you would like to build and then check with your local state police barracks or assistant state's attorney to see if they can interpret the statute for you. Since they will be the ones prosecuting you if you screw up, might as well start there.

MasterSergeantA
December 7, 2012, 01:43 PM
well if its no longer a handgun then what is it? I have to know as it would be used for hunting and our area is shotgun HANDGUN only zone
You might even want to try asking THESE guys:

http://www.mrra.org/ or,

http://www.mwca.org/

MachIVshooter
December 8, 2012, 04:59 AM
I have to know as it would be used for hunting and our area is shotgun HANDGUN only zone

5.56 is marginal for deer when fired from a rifle; An AR lower and carbine buffer tube is 14.5", leaving you only 11" for barrel with no flash hider. Even with a shorty pistol buffer tube, you're talking a max barrel length of 12" or 12.5". Can't say I think that would be very ethical.

If you want to handgun hunt, use a suitable handgun and cartridge.

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