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Rifle without a butstock. . . . okay?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Orion8472, Sep 8, 2008.

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  1. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Well-Known Member

    Is it okay to have a rifle without a butt stock?

    In other words, a pistol gripped rifle?
  2. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    As long as the barrel length stays 16 inches or over, and the overall length is more than 26 inches then it's still a rifle.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Just a pretty useless rifle!

  4. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    He didn't ask if it was a good idea I notice LOL :)

    To the OP, keep in mind that the rifle needs to have always been a rifle. You can't take a handgun and add a very long barrel and make it into a rifle. Once a handgun always a handgun.
  5. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Well-Known Member

    I was considering making a "long barreled 10/22 Charger". Taking the Charger stock and putting my 16" barreled action in it.

    I'm not sure if that would be 26" all together, though. :-/
  6. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Well-Known Member

    so long as you dont add a stock, or second pistol grip (arguably any second point of contact) you can have a pistol with aslong a barrel as you want

    with a handgun if you add a stock, you need to add a 16 inch barrel and a handgun can become a rifle

    a rifle can never become a pistol.
    a shotgun, once a stock is attached can not become an AOW
  7. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Certainly, but it's still a handgun not a rifle.

    In a bizzaro legal-land for instance; In Texas you can have a rifle unconcealed in your car. If you made a handgun with a 5 foot barrel you'd have to keep it concealed.

    Did I mention gun laws are stupid?

    True. Once you add a stock it's a rifle. And when you put the pistol barrel back on you have to take the stock off first, even if it's only for a few seconds. So sayeth the Supremes in the Contender case.

    Did I mention gun laws are stupid? :)
  8. MRIman

    MRIman Well-Known Member

    This is not correct!!!!

    It's once a RIFLE,alway a RIFLE!!!!!

    You can turn a handgun into a rifle(think Encore/Contender).

    You can add your 16" barrel,but you still need to get her to 26" OAL.
    If you put on a 20" barrel,you would be good to go!!
  9. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    As I said if you'd quote my whole post instead of just part, once you add a stock that is true. Adding a long barrel only does not make it a rifle, it's still a handgun. It's always a handgun without a stock, regardless of barrel or overall length. A handgun with a 16 inch barrel and a 26 inch overall length but no stock is still a handgun, at least according to the Thompson writings (if you can interpret that thing).

    Which of course is bizarre since doing the opposite with a rifle is illegal.

    More proof that gun laws are stupid :)

    If you want a real headache try to read the Supreme Court decision around this.......


    IANAL and all that, you may interpret it entirely differently, this is just my understanding of it.
  10. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Well-Known Member

    MRIMan, do you think the 16" barrel would be too short? I'm not sure, . . . it would be very close. I have a hunch that it would be just under the 26", unfortunately. It would depend upon where the bottom of the pistol grip measured out to.

  11. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Well-Known Member

    what hes saying, is waht i was tryign to say too

    you can take a pistol, add a 16 inch barrel and a stock (for a total of over 26") and its a "rifle" to the BATFE. when you remove those parts, it goes back to "pistol"

    a pistol CAN become a rifle ( either 26 total, with 16 barrel. or SBR it) theres a whole market for carbine conversation.

    a rifle can never become a pistol.
  12. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    From reading Thompson it appears, to me anyway (not a lawyer) that you DO have to include the shoulder stock not just the length of the barrel and overall length to make it into a rifle.

    But like I say, that's just me reading that bizarre opinion. I may be wrong but it seems to say that.
  13. WhisperFan

    WhisperFan Well-Known Member

    True - but the ATF doesn't understand that this market exists, or they think that the market is illegal ....



    A friend of mine has a full-sized Uzi pistol and he asked about making his pistol into a carbine and back to the pistol.
  14. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Oh nice. So ATF is saying Thompson applies only to Thompson?

    Wouldn't that be like saying the Heller decision only applies to Richard Heller?

    God I hate the ATF and all gun laws.....
  15. WhisperFan

    WhisperFan Well-Known Member

    As we all know, opinion letters from the ATF technical branch aren't 'laws' and they have not been appropriately considered, nor do they have any oversight. They are the opinion of the Chief of the Technology Branch (or his minion) on that day, being written to that individual.

    There are those that say that an opinion letter only really applies to the person that it is addressed to .....

    I think their position that the Thomson ruling only applies to a Thompson is really stupid and it wouldn't stand up to a challenge in court ... but that's just me.
  16. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Well-Known Member


    thank you for the letter. it helps my understanding of the laws application ( lets face it, the laws spirit, the laws wording, the laws interpretation and execution are all different concepts in the world of guns)

    i had always taken the Thompson ruling for what it was, a court precedent, now that i know the BATFE has no intention of observing the legal system we all travel ( as if we didn't already know that) i will include that Caveat in any future discussion
  17. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    But isn't that just sickening?

    If the Supreme Court rules that the sky is blue and Tech Branch sends a letter out saying they still believe it's green that to me is enough reason alone to dismantle the entire organization.
  18. WhisperFan

    WhisperFan Well-Known Member

    Lastly - if you read the letter ..... Mr Spencer says that to be legal, you must pay 200.00 and register the firearm with the NFA as "A weapon made from a rifle" He didn't say "short barreled rifle" as that is something else.
    But I have spoken to an inspector from the NFA branch and they said that that type of classification exists, but if you did a Form 1 to make it, they would send it back to you and ask for further clarification on what you wanted to make.

    If it were me, I would send it back to them with the Technology Branch letter and tell them to fight it out.

    So - it is my understanding that the following is a list of all NFA weapons:
    1. Machinegun ... Fully automatic
    2. Silencer ... Suppressed muzzleblast
    3. Destructive Device - non-sporting bore size over .500
    4. Any Other Weapon - All kinds of stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere
    5. Short Barreled Rifle - with a stock, bbl shorter than 16"
    6. Short Barreled Shotgun - with a stock, bbl shorter than 18"
    7. Weapon made from a rifle - no stock, bbl shorter than 16"
    8. Weapon made from a shotgun - no stock, bbl shorter than 18"

    If you go to the ATF website and look at their firearms identification pages you will see all these classifications .... there has been some debate on other forums as to if you can actually make #7 and #8.
  19. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Not only are they saying that, they are also saying that Thompson only applies to the handgun/rifle kits TC once sold. If you have a regular Contender or Encore and want to change it back and forth form handgun to rifle you are SOL.

    Did someone say gun laws are stupid? ;)
  20. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Well-Known Member

    I have decided to can the idea. I would have to purchase a barrel of at least 18 inches before it would work. I don't want to spend that much on this project.
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