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Pistol or Rifle?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Nick1911, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. Nick1911

    Nick1911 Well-Known Member

    I was wondering where the cutoff is and a pistol becomes a SBR? I was thinking of a pistol like a semi-auto Mac-10. Would it still be clasified as a pistol if it had a folding stock attached?

  2. redneckrepairs

    redneckrepairs Well-Known Member

    The cutoff on barrel is 16" and if its below that with a stock its not called a pistol , its called a felony . ( assuming you have not done the paperwork , form 1 i think but dont remember for shure ) to make a sbr . )
  3. Nick1911

    Nick1911 Well-Known Member

    16", I understand that, but could something with less then a 16" barrel be made and registered as a pistol?

    What's the difference between SBR and a pistol in legal terms?
  4. Just_a_dude_with_a_gun

    Just_a_dude_with_a_gun Well-Known Member

    Yes, under 16" with a pistol grip is a pistol. BUT add a stock, fixed, folding collapsing or otherwise, and it becomes a short barreled rifle.
  5. Yakko

    Yakko Well-Known Member

    If it has a stock, folding or fixed, it is a SBR. Basically it boiles down to if you can put it against your shoulder it falls under the NFA.

    An example would be the Bushmaster Carbon 15 Pistol, it has no stock and is therefore legal, even though it is based on a rifle/carbine design. If you add a stock you immediately cross the NFA line.
  6. Nick1911

    Nick1911 Well-Known Member


    The weapon in question is a prototype I'm considering building - I figured I'd have to file NFA paperwork for it. For those interested, it is based on the Aries FMG, only semi-automatic.
  7. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    With a stock and under 16" barrel it's an SBR.

    If it was built with no stock, it might be a pistol (and the stock cannot just be taken off, it must have NEVER had a stock, ever).

    Even without a stock, you have to be careful that it's not an AOW(Any Other Weapon) which is also an NFA weapon and requires a tax stamp from the ATF. I might be wrong, but I believe that if you add a vertical foregrip to a pistol, it becomes an AOW.

    For example(as far as I understand) you can make an AR15 pistol with a brand new stripped receiver, no stock and a railed forearm with say an 11" barrel. However, if you attach one of those vertical grips to the forearm, you now made an AOW.
  8. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

    Pistol with no stock and any length barrel = pistol.

    Pistol with a stock and a < 16" barrel = SBR.

    Pistol with a stock and a < 26" OAL = SBR.

    Pistol with a stock and a 16+" barrel and a 26+" OAL = rifle.
  9. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    You are correct.
  10. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

    For what it's worth, an SBR can have a stock (or none at all) and a vertical foregrip (or none at all).
  11. Glock_10mm

    Glock_10mm Well-Known Member

    For some visual examples of how they differ:



    OA AR-15


    EA Kitty Kat


    Just like the guys above said:
    Basically if it has a stock to begin it is a rifle. If it does not originally have a stock (foldable/detachable, etc) it is a pistol. If it is a rifle, then you have to sbr it if it is under 16". If you are building this from the ground up and dont want an sbr but do want a stock, you will need to either permanently add a fake/real suppressor, or meet 16" barrel/26"OAL. (If you permanently add a real suppressor you will need a form for it).

    Also, the picture of the V51 pistol could be either a v51 pistol or a v51 sbr, but if it is the pistol and you add a stock it becomes and illegal weapon.

    From what I know (which is limited in this area) a pistol cannot become a rifle, but a rifle when properly certified can become a pistol configuration, but is not deemed a pistol. Where this gets complicated that I dont really understand is the carbines like for a glock (I think it remains a pistol, but it has a stock, so go figure on this one):
    If anyone can correct me on this please let me know as I'm interested. to find out how this exsists. (It is not legal in California)

    PS - figure you know this if you are building but:

    SBR or Suppressor = $200 tax for each
    AOW = $5 tax
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2006
  12. Nick1911

    Nick1911 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the clarification.

    It appears that this falls under the SBR category, so it looks like I'll need to get a form 1 approved for that.

    Interestingly enough, it appears that these prices only apply to transfering. Correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK, it costs $200 to build and register an AOW on Form 1.
  13. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

  14. UnintendedConsequences

    UnintendedConsequences Well-Known Member

    I hate to nitpick here...

    I hate to nitpick here, but full-automatic firearms, short barreled rifles and shotguns, sound suppressors and any other weapons are NOT illegal weapons. They are, however, items that are UNLAWFUL to possess or manufacture without the proper tax stamp paper from the BATFEags and the laws to allow them to be possessed in one's state of domicile. I will not bring up the illogical NFA of 1934 and the 1968 act, the 1986 and 1989 acts and the now (THANKFULLY) sunsetted AWB (farce) of 1994 which serve no useful purpose but to harrass the otherwise sovereign and moral citizens of our nation.

    As a gunsmith and gun shop owner I get asked a lot of these same questions and I do my best to explain it in terms that are easy to understand. I may use this thread to give visual explanations to some of them that need visual cues to get it to sink in.

    I will state that you really, really, really have to be careful regarding pistols produced from receivers generally used for long guns, that is, AR-15, AR-10, AK series, FAL and such because if you don't you can get deep in a manure pile real quick. I have noticed that some manufacturers making AR-15 pistols mark the receivers, completed or stripped, with the marking "PISTOL ONLY" on the side and indicated they are for use as handguns only. You may want to use one of those receivers for a AR-15 pattern pistol rather than trust that a generic receiver will be accepted as a pistol rather than a SBR without paperwork. Trust me when I say that the BATFEags have NO sense of humor. :cuss:

    Always research something you are uncertain about because federal, state, county and municipal laws can come back to bite you if you don't know what they are beforehand. Though on Natural Rights and moral grounds I oppose any gun control dogma, I play by the rules because I don't want to be PC Bubba's down low doggy. :p
  15. armoredman

    armoredman Well-Known Member

    Ya know, in the years I have worked in prison, I have yet to meet an inmate named Bubba....guy must be "busy"....
  16. smince

    smince Member.

    Because it is only prohibited in CA, like so many other nice toys (but the weather is really nice, I hear).

    I think you are backwards. A pistol can be built on a "virgin" receiver that has never been assembled as a rifle. If a pistol is built on a rifle receiver it has to be registerd as an SBR or AOW. There are several pistols that can be made into carbines as long as the NFA rules are followed: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/wbardwel/public/nfalist/nfa_faq.txt

    One pistolsmith is building a copy of the "Mare's Leg" sawed-off lever-action rifle from the "Wanted: Dead or Alive" tv series by obtaining new receivers that have never been registerd/assembled as rifles and registering them as "pistols". The new AR pistols from Bushmaster and (I think) Olympic are marked "pistol" on them to avoid any confusion.

    The Mechtech CCU is a one piece unit that fits on a 1911 or Glock frame. It cannot be just a stock on a pistol frame as it is a one-piece unit.

    T/C Contenders are legal and can be turned into "rifles" legally (although they can be assembled as an SBR with the stock and short barrel illegally). Same is true of the various stock & 16" barrel combo's for the 1911.
  17. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Well-Known Member

    Heh heh, a semi-auto .308 pistol. I love it! :D

    Fortunately, I can get nearly the same effect by folding my Galil AR stock and emptying a few magazines... I have been known to pop off a few rounds from it one-handed, but boy, is that hunk of steel heavy! >.<
  18. MudPuppy

    MudPuppy Well-Known Member

    What's that SW76 9mm "Pistol" that is being sold that includes a 16in barrel and stock so that you can "swap it out to a carbine"?

    Saw it advertised in SGnews.

    (I always buy my virgin receivers as "pistol" just in case I want to build them thataway--you can build it into a rifle so long as you have a 16in+barrel, but not the other way around.)

    Oh, and my opinion on the matter: Gun laws are freakin' stoopid. Not in that we shouldn't have any, but that they seem to be written by drunk 8 year olds. With learning disabilities. And English isn't their first language.

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