M-16 Selector Switch


PDA






Brilton
April 9, 2013, 08:24 PM
Long story short, I don't intend to make my Spike's biohazard lower full auto even though I have a low shelf and it is DIAS compatible, but I want my selector switch to go to the full-auto position. Is it legal to own a full-auto selector switch that is unaltered? Again, no intent to go full auto.

If you enjoyed reading about "M-16 Selector Switch" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
zoom6zoom
April 9, 2013, 08:37 PM
Accordint to the latest ATF written opinion that I have seen, possession of any of the go fast parts with the exception of the bolt carrier, in conjunction with possession of a receiver (even a semi auto receiver), is considered intent.

I'd lose it, myself. Having the switch go into the happy position, even if it does not function, can only cause you grief if examined by the wrong person.

Brilton
April 9, 2013, 08:47 PM
But I thought the sear was the only part that is serialized? why can I buy every single part online except the sear?

MilliradianDOT
April 9, 2013, 08:55 PM
Just because it can be bought online, doesn't mean it is legal. You can buy every part you need to convert an AK to full auto online and get it shipped to your door for under fifty bucks. Buying them isn't a crime but the ATF says having them and the rifle at one time is.

Brilton
April 9, 2013, 09:09 PM
That's strange to me. Just, logically it doesn't make sense. "This part doesn't do anything illegal, but you can't have it in a rifle."

Jim K
April 9, 2013, 10:01 PM
I was unaware of that ATF ruling, but the fact is that an FA selector would have no other purpose or use except in a selective fire rifle, and it is an integral part of those rifles. In the FA position, it allows the hammer to fall as long as the trigger is held back. Without the FA hammer and auto sear, the hammer will just follow the bolt carrier down, resulting in a misfire.

To be honest, the idea of getting one's kicks by making a fake "machinegun" has never appealed to me. I think it is pretty juvenile, like the high school kids who swipe mom's parsley and pretend it is marijuana.

I know of a case where a man was held and came close to arrest for having a fake selector switch on his M1A rifle, and this seems to me in the same category. He said he had just wanted to "tweak the cops", but had things worked differently, he could have spent time in jail, never a fun place to be.

Jim

jmorris
April 9, 2013, 10:01 PM
It's not so much trying to make sense of the laws but trying not to break them.

MasterSergeantA
April 10, 2013, 01:00 AM
The standard sear is not the serialized part of the gun. A "drop-in-sear" can be the serialized part...as can a Lightning Link. But in this case, the receiver would be the serialized part if it was a registered FA gun. You can have the 'AUTO' position engraved on the receiver; I have one that came that way. But I would be cautious about taking it any further than that.

YMMV

JustinJ
April 10, 2013, 10:57 AM
Accordint to the latest ATF written opinion that I have seen, possession of any of the go fast parts with the exception of the bolt carrier, in conjunction with possession of a receiver (even a semi auto receiver), is considered intent.

Do you have a reference for this? If that's the case one who owns a semi AK would be in violation if they received an AK parts kit in the mail for a build.

MilliradianDOT
April 10, 2013, 11:32 AM
There was an article up not too long ago I think on this forum about a guy in Florida who was trying to sell a PTR91 pistol and a collapsible stock in the same lot and I think the feds set up a sting to buy it then tried to charge him with whatever they call it. "Intent to assemble" or whatever. Once again, two parts completely legal to have by themselves but when together, they ruffle some feathers. Let me see if I can find that link. I swear it was on THR that I saw it.

danthearmyman
April 10, 2013, 11:41 AM
I haven't read the rulings in a year or so, but last time I went through that stuff the possession of any sole part used in a full-auto or burst gun was not illegal. Even if said part was installed.

It only became illegal after the conglomerate of parts were assembled in a firearm that it became illegal.

On the PTR91 pistol thing. I doubt that case would go anywhere. ATF has already stated that possession of parts to convert does not itself state intent. It would be considered intent if the PTR91 pistol was incomplete (i.e. missing the parts to differentiate it from a rifle) and you had possession of the stock.

Same goes with SBR barrels. Owning the barrel unregistered isn't a crime if you don't have an incomplete, unregistered rifle it can be installed on laying around.

Telekinesis
April 10, 2013, 12:07 PM
Mill, that's involving SBRs, not machine guns. A pistol and a compatible stock, when added together give you a completely functional SBR, hence the charge of constructive possession. A semi auto AR receiver with a selector switch that goes to the third position is nowhere near a functioning full auto. Hell it won't even hold the disconnector back when its in the 3rd position unless you include the M16 disconnector with the tail.

To use the same analogy, you would have to include not only the 3 position selector, but the correct FA disconnector, trigger to accommodate the disconnector, auto sear, hammer, bolt, AND a receiver that was milled out to the correct dimensions with the pin hole for the auto sear. Of course the milling and pin hole can be avoided by using a DIAS, but that's another illegal part that is typically regulated as a machine gun by itself.

None of these parts are illegal to own by themselves (excepting the receiver and DIAS of course). If I recall, the ATF has some guidelines as to how many M16 parts you can use in an AR 15 and still be ok. I'm not positive as to the count, but it was more than just one part.

Jim K
April 10, 2013, 02:51 PM
It doesn't make it any better, but it is easier to understand if you realize that the NFA and FFA (combined as GCA '68) were originally tax laws and administered by a division of the IRS. Once part of the IRS, BATFE carried over all the IRS's bad practices.

One agent will arrest you for doing what another agent has assured you is legal; court decisions only apply in the jurisdiction of that court; no agent really knows the law, but all will guess at what it means; and only a formal, written, ruling from HQ has any legal effect at all or will convince an agent of anything.

Jim

Brilton
April 10, 2013, 07:11 PM
So the rule is no rule at all? Haha the efficiency of government eh?

CmdrSlander
April 10, 2013, 07:13 PM
That's strange to me. Just, logically it doesn't make sense. "This part doesn't do anything illegal, but you can't have it in a rifle."
Welcome to all gun legislation, fun isn't it... :banghead:

Brilton
April 10, 2013, 07:39 PM
Time to write some letters.

MachIVshooter
April 12, 2013, 03:05 PM
I was unaware of that ATF ruling, but the fact is that an FA selector would have no other purpose or use except in a selective fire rifle, and it is an integral part of those rifles. In the FA position, it allows the hammer to fall as long as the trigger is held back. Without the FA hammer and auto sear, the hammer will just follow the bolt carrier down, resulting in a misfire.

This.

As for owning the parts, ATF's position changes from time to time, agent to agent, but since your semi-auto receiver cannot accept the auto sear, they'd have a pretty tough time making a case for possession of MG or constructive possession.

FA parts are legal to sell, legal to own. You just can't own them at the same time you possess a receiver that can accept them. As for owning the semi-auto receiver, that's where it can get a little fuzzy. The receiver of any semi auto sold in the USA would require modification to accept FA parts (AR, AK and others), so it's not like you could just drop in a FA parts kit and rock'n'roll. I suppose they could try to get you on constructive possession, but without a modified receiver that can take the parts, it'd be like trying to go for constructive possession on someone that owns any semi-auto and a decent selection of tools that would allow FA conversion with a little bench time.

I see title I dealers and private sellers at shows all the time with AR parts galore and FA parts kits spread out on the table, yet I've never seen them harassed by attending ATF agents. The reason they are left alone is that they DO NOT have a FA receiver that can take the parts. And, of course, having said receiver would be possession of an MG with or without the FA parts to go in it.

In short, I can't imagine there being any legal problem with using a commonly available FA selector, but it'd also be pretty pointless for the reason mentioned by JimK. Your selector would move to the FA position, but the gun would be a single shot in that mode, and one that ejects a live round in between each shot.

A pistol and a compatible stock, when added together give you a completely functional SBR, hence the charge of constructive possession.

Show me a case where someone went to prison on SBR constructive possession for having a pistol and a stock that would fit it, absent any proof that the stock was actually installed on the gun.

That'd be like constructive possession for ownership of a rifle or shotgun and a hacksaw.

MasterSergeantA
April 12, 2013, 03:17 PM
None of these parts are illegal to own by themselves (excepting the receiver and DIAS of course). If I recall, the ATF has some guidelines as to how many M16 parts you can use in an AR 15 and still be ok. I'm not positive as to the count, but it was more than just one part.

The DIAS is not, in and of itself, illegal IF it was made and registered prior to 1986. They actually bring almost as much money as 'real' M-16s these days because they can be used in multiple guns.

Shadow 7D
April 12, 2013, 03:26 PM
Um
SO
Here's the thing, legally probably YES
BUT...
and here is the kicker
It will leave you open to facing hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove that it's legal to a judge...
the safe one would be to buy a switch that still engages semi in full forward, however...

Telekinesis
April 12, 2013, 06:19 PM
A pistol and a compatible stock, when added together give you a completely functional SBR, hence the charge of constructive possession.
Show me a case where someone went to prison on SBR constructive possession for having a pistol and a stock that would fit it, absent any proof that the stock was actually installed on the gun.

That'd be like constructive possession for ownership of a rifle or shotgun and a hacksaw.

I was referencing a post above mine where someone said that this had happened. I was trying to point out the difference between possessing all the parts to manufacturer a NFA weapon versus possessing only a small fraction of the parts necessary for the conversion. Logically if there is no problem possessing all of the parts, there should be no problem possessing only one.

The DIAS is not, in and of itself, illegal IF it was made and registered prior to 1986. They actually bring almost as much money as 'real' M-16s these days because they can be used in multiple guns.

Yes, I am well aware of the NFA process and how we got screwed in 1986. I just didn't mention the fact that the receivers/DIAS on form 4s are legal because this thread is about a selector switch.

OP: If you really want a selector that travels 180 degrees as opposed to the standard semi-auto 90 degrees, see if you can have a machinist extend the cut out and add a detent stop on your semi-auto selector. You will get the added movement and the selector will still be functionally semi-auto only, even if you put it on a registered M16.

hentown
April 14, 2013, 08:46 AM
I'm not going to read through all the posts to see if anybody corrected the OP's fallacious "I thought...." The sear ISN'T serialized. Only drop-in autosears are serialized, and that's not part of an M16. Why would anybody want the safety to go to what would be f.a. position? A properly-fit AR safety won't go to that position.

There's an extra hole in the M16's receiver to accommodate the NON-SERIALIZED sear pin. :cool:

Prince Yamato
April 14, 2013, 09:35 AM
Yes, you can do that with a selector. Walther's .22 ARs have 180* selectors. So long as there are no actual full auto parts in your trigger group, you are aok.

MachIVshooter
April 14, 2013, 10:40 AM
Yes, you can do that with a selector. Walther's .22 ARs have 180* selectors. So long as there are no actual full auto parts in your trigger group, you are aok.

The one that matters is the auto sear, and you couldn't install it without milling and drilling anyway.

An M16A1 trigger is identical to an AR-15 trigger, and the hammer is the same except for the 3rd sear position, which means nothing without the auto sear.

In short, there is only one part that makes the gun full auto, and you can't install it in a semi-auto AR receiver.

medalguy
April 14, 2013, 12:00 PM
From my understanding, the real thing BATFE looks at is whether a semi can be "readily converted" to a FA, not the possession of the parts to allow that to happen. If you have all the parts for an M16 but the receiver still requires clearance machining of the lower, and the average owner does not possess a Bridgeport mill and can't "readily" do the required work, then there's no violation. However, if the lower has been milled out and you also possess the parts and they simply need to be installed, then yes there's a clear violation.

MachIVshooter
April 14, 2013, 12:42 PM
From my understanding, the real thing BATFE looks at is whether a semi can be "readily converted" to a FA, not the possession of the parts to allow that to happen. If you have all the parts for an M16 but the receiver still requires clearance machining of the lower, and the average owner does not possess a Bridgeport mill and can't "readily" do the required work, then there's no violation. However, if the lower has been milled out and you also possess the parts and they simply need to be installed, then yes there's a clear violation.

That's how I've understood it. Given the number of FFL01 and private gun show vendors I see selling those parts as well as AR receivers and complete rifles at show after show (same guys), it would appear that ATF is not going after them for having FA parts and semi-auto receivers at the same time. It's not like you have to use a super-secret handshake to see the stuff, either; it's all laid out on the tables, with labels and price tags.

As such, it stands to reason that constructive possession = the FA parts plus a receiver that has been modified to accept FA parts.

Of course, regarding the AR, there's not much reason to use M16 parts other than the BCG. There's no benefit in using the more expensive (at least from what I've seen) M16 selectors, triggers and hammers. They won't improve function or durability in any way. I'd rather spend $150 on an NM trigger than an M16 group that has a useless extra sear notch, and I'd rather not have a selector that could be inadvertently moved too far and cause the rifle to malfunction.

Maj Dad
April 14, 2013, 11:07 PM
Back in the early '80s I was assembling parts to convert an M1 carbine to FA via registering a trigger housing (I seem to recall) and then '86 torpedoed it. I had an FFL at the times, and I asked an ATF agent about the parts. I can't remember if I had all 7 (or whatever the number) but he told me that I would be well advised to get rid of them, even if I didn't have all of them, because one could say I was assembling the parts to illegally convert it. I had friends back in the early '60s who would buy the little bag of parts mail order and convert their daddy's carbine without his knowledge & go shooting the swamp up. I wanted to shoot it up, too, but I unloaded the parts. Don't poke the cat... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGUFO61UrDE

mboylan
April 15, 2013, 02:25 AM
The selector switch is perfectly legal. An M15 autosear might get you in trouble. However, the AR15 and M16 receivers are so different internally that there is no way to install an M16 autosear in an AR15 without extensive milling.

jmorris
April 15, 2013, 11:28 AM
The selector switch is perfectly legal. An M15 autosear might get you in trouble. However, the AR15 and M16 receivers are so different internally that there is no way to install an M16 autosear in an AR15 without extensive milling.

Depends on the lower. For example the JARD billet AR15 lowers would only need the two holes for the autosear drilled, as they are wide open.

zoom6zoom
April 15, 2013, 08:52 PM
An M16A1 trigger is identical to an AR-15 trigger
No, it's not. The rear of the trigger is open on the M16 to allow for the sear.

Darkbob
April 16, 2013, 11:24 AM
Does anyone know if any manufacturers make a, legal non-FA, 180 deg. selector switch? I haven't seen anything like it before.

I have seen plenty of lowers that are marked for safe, fire, and full. None of the ones I've seen could actually be switched into the "full" position though.

bigdaa
April 16, 2013, 12:45 PM
It is best not to skirt the line as the grief available so far out weighs the sh*ts and giggles you would get with the "look" as to make your head spin (while incarcerated)

I can't be any more straight forward than that.

Ian
April 16, 2013, 01:31 PM
I know a fellow who got in a pissing match with the feds, and got raided by ATF. They couldn't find anything actually illegal, but seized an FAL that had a selector that would rotate all the way around. That's legal, and it's how many of the FALs out there happen to be, but they took it anyway to try to prove it was a machine gun. He wasn't convicted of anything because it clearly wasn't a machine gun, but it still became a huge headache for him. While I'm not saying everyone should run out and retrofit FAL selector levers, I don't think I would chose to put a gun into that sort of configuration without some good reason.

MasterSergeantA
April 16, 2013, 01:49 PM
Ian makes a valid point. As I have said in the past, you may beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride. ATF agents are trained to think 'confiscation' first, reasonable or otherwise. It is up to YOU to get your property back...and good luck with that.

My approach is always to keep as low a profile as possible and NOT break the law.

MachIVshooter
April 16, 2013, 03:21 PM
No, it's not. The rear of the trigger is open on the M16 to allow for the sear.

You're right. I was going off of memory, and knowing that it was the burst fire trigger that differed substantially.

It's not open for the sear, though; that lives above the selector. It is open to allow the longer tang of the M16 disconnector to be depressed when in FA mode.

http://www.quarterbore.com/images/ar15m16.gif

Burst fire trigger groups is a whole 'nother critter:

http://robrobinette.com/images/M16/M16DisconnectorTails.jpg

Carl N. Brown
April 16, 2013, 04:06 PM
Walther's .22 ARs have 180 selectors.

The .22 rimfire Colt M4 made by Walter does not have a true AR lower or fire control group, and cannot be used with true AR uppers. It is a .22 rimfire replica of an M4, so the fact the selector swings 180 from safe to fire is not important. It cannot be used with an M16 FCG.

AlexanderA
April 16, 2013, 07:23 PM
The semiautomatc Daewoo K2, as imported, had a 180 degree selector (although the receiver was not marked "auto"). This is actually considered a serious drawback, and many owners have replaced the original selector with a 90 degree aftermarket version.

If you enjoyed reading about "M-16 Selector Switch" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!