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Old October 16, 2010, 03:28 PM   #1
Gottahaveone
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1911 Carbine Conversion

Has anybody had any experience with one of these units? It seems to be a fairly inexpensive way to get a .45acp carbine. My main concern from looking at the pictures would be damaging the frame rails on the host 1911. It seems that with the tall carry handle for leverage, you could put a lot more stress on the rails than you ever could with a normal 1911 slide assembly. If you have any hands on experience with one of these, please let me know what you think.

http://www.mechtechsys.com/1911.html
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Old October 16, 2010, 05:35 PM   #2
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Mechtech 1911

Had one untill recently when it was stolen. The lower part of your 1911 slides and locks onto the CCU and carrying it by the handle as shown doesn't in anyway hurt the lower . It would be he same as you holding the 1911 by the frame.

Mine was a blast to shoot, accurate, and it handled my light 45 reloads easily with without any malfunction. It is heavy tho....not sure of total but it weighed more than my 6lb m1 carbine, i would guess close to 8lb.

Should you run across one with a Norinco lower serial 524581 it was stolen from me a month ago. Its been reported and listed in NICS.
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Old October 16, 2010, 06:47 PM   #3
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It seems that with the tall carry handle for leverage, you could put a lot more stress on the rails than you ever could with a normal 1911 slide assembly.
How is this stress applied, exactly?
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Old October 16, 2010, 07:42 PM   #4
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There is no stress on the 1911 lower. It just hangs on the CCU rail. Thats why I say its the same as holding a 1911 by the slide.
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Old October 17, 2010, 12:04 AM   #5
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I enjoy mine they actually like to be fed hot ammo. Accuracy is average. I would actually get one for the glock if I were to do it all over again as hicap mags are more common than for a 1911.
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Old October 17, 2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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Do you need a FFl to purchase this product? The way i read it? NO
I HAD A DREAM! BUT TEXAS LONG HORNS WRECKED IT AGAIN!

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Old October 17, 2010, 11:43 AM   #7
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Do you need a FFl to purchase this product? The way i read it? NO
No, the receiver of the handgun is still the "firearm."

There IS an important legal consideration, though.

According to the BATFE, once you assemble your handgun into the carbine configuration, you have made a RIFLE. Taking it apart again and reassembling it into a HANDGUN makes it a "firearm made from a RIFLE" -- in other words, an NFA Title II short-barreled-rifle -- and you would have to register it and pay the $200 tax BEFORE you do that.

No, it doesn't make sense. YES it is the law as the BATFE sees it.

Making a pistol into a rifle is perfectly legal. Making a rifle or shotgun into anything else is NOT legal without first registering it as a firearm "made from" one of those. This is an odd quirk of the language that made it into the National Firearms Act of 1934, and is most likely an unintended consequence, but it remains on the books and the ATF says they'll enforce it as such.

In other words, converting your 1911 into a carbine is a one-way trip!

Thompson Center fought and won a court case over this regarding their Contender handgun/rifle kits -- but that decision has been interpreted to only apply to those specific kits -- not just ANY firearm that could be converted back and forth.

If you've got a 1911 that you want to sacrifice to become a carbine -- or you're willing to legally make your 1911 a registered SBR so you can run it either way -- go ahead. Otherwise, no.
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Old October 17, 2010, 11:48 AM   #8
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Thanks Sam1911
think ill keep my 1911 just the way it is & go look at the new High Point 45acp
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Last edited by husker; October 17, 2010 at 03:15 PM.
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Old October 17, 2010, 12:23 PM   #9
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I have one. It's fun. I bought a cheap frame to put on it (not the one in the old pic), and fixed it to take an A2 (?) Stock.
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Old October 17, 2010, 03:02 PM   #10
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the barrel in carbine configuration is 16 inches which makes it legal as a rifle and as the stock is attached to the upper it is therefore legal to change it back and forth between carbine and pistol. However, state to state rules may or may not apply.
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Old October 17, 2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
the barrel in carbine configuration is 16 inches which makes it legal as a rifle and as the stock is attached to the upper it is therefore legal to change it back and forth between carbine and pistol. However, state to state rules may or may not apply.
Sorry, that's 100% incorrect.

Everyone needs to read and understand Sam's post. It's correct.
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Old October 17, 2010, 03:11 PM   #12
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The way i understand it? Its fine to put the 1911 frame on the carbine. But once you go to take it off & put it back on your 1911 your breaking the law. Am i right?
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Old October 17, 2010, 03:15 PM   #13
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The 1911 frame IS the firearm.

You can install a carbine upper on your frame, making a rifle. Legal.

Removing the carbine upper and re-installing YOUR factory slide?

Illegally making a handgun from a rifle.

Very dumb, but very clear.
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Old October 17, 2010, 03:34 PM   #14
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If you take all the laws written too serioiusly, then you prob shouldn't get out of bed in the morning. On my property I do dam well what I please. Never concerned me one bit if I wanted to put my Nork back togather to shoot in my back yard. To me, its like the military sayining, "don't ask, don't tell".................What you do is of course your business.
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Old October 17, 2010, 03:41 PM   #15
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No ones saying that you cant do what you want on your own property. just stating the facts of the Law & how it is written
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Old October 17, 2010, 06:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
In other words, converting your 1911 into a carbine is a one-way trip!
Well, while that might be about the most fouled up application of a law that I've ever heard about the feds enforcing, it's just not worth either the risk or the sacrifice of a perfectly good 1911 frame. Thanks Sam, I appreciate you educating me
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Old October 17, 2010, 06:25 PM   #17
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Thanks Sam, I appreciate you educating me
If you want to see something darkly humorous, write a note to MechTech and ask them their opinion on the matter.

The only response I've ever seen from them was to the effect that they didn't agree with the BATFE's interpretation.

I think that's called "cold comfort."
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Old October 17, 2010, 06:34 PM   #18
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Only good news is no one has been prosecuted for it (that I have ever heard, and I think we would), and it's not likely they will unless you already did something far worse to get them there are on your butt and are looking closely for more stuff.
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Old October 17, 2010, 07:25 PM   #19
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So the ATF gets a spidey-sense the moment you "make" a rifle from a handgun, and then can ID the frames in your safe that have been in contact with the rifle upper after you disassemble them?

Does the rifle upper microstamp the 1911 frame, or is there some shoulder thing that goes up involved?

===

And on the serious side, wasn't there a company doing something very similar with Ruger frames and a carbine upper? I might buy one of those "junk impossible to assemble" ruger .22 pistols and make it into a carbine permanently, actually.
If I had a spare frame wasting shelf space I'd consider one of the 1911->carbine conversion kits pretty strongly ... it does look like fun on a bun, I like PCC's and less-than-beautiful guns, and I like sharing mags/ammo, too.
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Old October 17, 2010, 07:31 PM   #20
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It is the law. Fair and simple.

However Your property, your land. It will be difficult for me to imagine breaking the law by reverting to a pistol.
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Old October 17, 2010, 08:38 PM   #21
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Quote:
And on the serious side, wasn't there a company doing something very similar with Ruger frames and a carbine upper? I might buy one of those "junk impossible to assemble" ruger .22 pistols and make it into a carbine permanently, actually.
If by "junk impossible to assemble ruger .22 pistols" you are referring to the very accurate and classic Ruger Mark I/II/III series ... the legal questions would be moot as on those guns the upper receiver (which stays attached to the barrel during disassembly) is considered the serialized firearm, not the grip frame. So a carbine-length upper with an attached butt-stock would itself be a firearm, and a rifle at that.
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Old October 17, 2010, 10:43 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Sam1911
the legal questions would be moot as on those guns the upper receiver (which stays attached to the barrel during disassembly) is considered the serialized firearm, not the grip frame.
I actually knew that, but had forgotten the details as I observed the similarities to the unit pictured by the OP and the prototype I'd seen elsewhere. I suppose you don't remember the same item?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1911
If by "junk impossible to assemble ruger .22 pistols" you are referring to the very accurate and classic Ruger Mark I/II/III series
Actually, I'm referring to the helpless ninnies who take a simple mechanism like a finely designed Ruger mkIII/II/I and turn it into a pile of what they think is junk, then bring it in in a bag/box to a gunshop looking for sympathy.
Personally, I like the Ruger mk__ series enough that I own two and can't picture owning any other target pistol ... with the exception of yearning for a BuckMark-style carbine version or conversion.
I'm continually amazed by the complaints about takedown and re-assembly on the mk__ guns being "impossible" and "stupid" ... I've often offered to buy the "junk" pieces for $50, one of these days I'll get a taker within a reasonable drive/ride and have at least a parts donor if not another entire pistol.

===

Here's a thought for you ATF regulation experts ... so what if I design a replacement upper assembly for a Ruger mkIII that resembles the Mech Tech upper shown in the OP? It would be mechanically similar, using the lower's trigger group and magazine for fire control and a source of ammunition, and using an upper with a captive reciprocating internal bolt rather than a recoiling slide, we'll call the two halves the grip frame / fire control group and the barreled receiver for the sake of argument (OK, I'm lazy, I'm calling them the G/FCG and BR from here on out)

So, why is that BR unit the "gun" on a Ruger autoloading rimfire pistol (MKI/II/III) but not on the carbine conversion for a 1911 frame?
And, if I made something like the 1911 carbine unit as a non-serialized component (Ruger BR with shoulder stock and "legal" length barrel), and attached it to a non-serialized component like a Ruger mkIII's G/FCG ... would I have just made a non-serialized rifle? And since the Ruger mkIII's lower half isn't a firearm according to the ATF's regs, wouldn't I be able to swap parts around all day long, since I can't make a rifle out of a factory BR anyway?

Good thing we have these regulations from the ATF keeping us all safe, I sure hope there's nobody in my neighborhood with a pistol made from a rifle, or a 13" barrel on a rifle, or a shoulder thing that goes up!
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Old October 18, 2010, 02:54 AM   #23
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I had one in 45acp and the 1911. I was initially using it with the frame from a Colt Combat Commander from the late 70's, and I finally sold the colt. I picked up a Llama Max I C/F for $100 and planned on using it to make the Mech Tech a dedicated carbine, but the Llama turned out to be a real sleeper, and one of the sweetest shooting pistols I have ever owned.

I sold the Mech Tech to a manufacturer at a gun show last spring. He wanted it to put a silencer on it. The Mech Tech was accurate out to 100 yards, and was a lot of fun to shoot. I used Wilson 47D mags in it exclusively, they were 100 percent reliable. My biggest complaint was the Mech Tech is very heavy. That, and it gets pretty expensive by the time you hang all sorts of crap on it. Its a better buy to just get an AR.

I own a couple of Glocks, and it is very tempting to get another basic unit, just so I can use the 33 round magazines. But, by the time I put an optic on it, and maybe the collapsible wire stock, I will be in the lower range for an AR.

You have to remember, it will still be a pistol caliber, and it could present legal issues if you are not careful.
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Old October 18, 2010, 07:06 AM   #24
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So, why is that BR unit the "gun" on a Ruger autoloading rimfire pistol (MKI/II/III) but not on the carbine conversion for a 1911 frame?
Obviously it is an arbitrary definition worked out between the manufacturer and the ATF. From a practical standpoint, the Mk I/II/III's receiver (being the tube that holds the bolt and to which the barrel attaches) comes closer to the usual definition of a firearm receiver than does the grip frame.

However, of course, most autoloading pistols don't have such a part, unless you count the slide, and the ATF went with the more substantial part, meaning the grip frame as the receiver of the gun.

In the end, they just want one critical part they can control/track/identify as being "the" gun, even if you throw away or replace every other piece. As not all guns have the same kinds of parts, sometimes they have to get a bit silly about which bit is "THE" gun. (Look at belt-fed guns: usually the only controlled part is one sideplate of the receiver, i.e.: a 2 lb part off of a 60+ lb. gun.)

All of the silliness about the "once-a-rifle-always-a-rifle" or "why can't I order a new Mk.II barreled receiver throught he mail" are just collateral damage from the very artificial nature of these laws.
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Old October 18, 2010, 08:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wriggly
I own a couple of Glocks, and it is very tempting to get another basic unit, just so I can use the 33 round magazines. But, by the time I put an optic on it, and maybe the collapsible wire stock, I will be in the lower range for an AR.
Are you aware of the Kel Tec sub2000?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam1911
All of the silliness about the "once-a-rifle-always-a-rifle" or "why can't I order a new Mk.II barreled receiver throught he mail" are just collateral damage from the very artificial nature of these laws.
I don't see why it would be a serialized part if Mech Tech made a Ruger mkIII conversion, is there something actually regulating that or is it just by manufacturer?

It would be amusing to have a gun made out of no "firearms" as far as the clever boys at the ATF are concerned. It would also be amusing to assemble two serialized "firearms" into one boom-stick ... can I mount my Ruger mkIII upper on a serialized lower somehow?
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