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Can a rifle be made into a pistol legally?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by billybob, Apr 15, 2008.

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  1. billybob

    billybob Member

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    If you sawed (well...turned) the barrel to 4" and did NOT put it back in the rifle stock but modified the rifle stock to be a pistol stock, would it be legal?

    Thinking Ruger 10-22 here.

    :confused:
     
  2. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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  3. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Under the laws, a rifle cannot be made into a pistol.

    Under the laws, a pistol can be made into a rifle (and back into a pistol).


    If you want to go the rifle > short barrel route, you'll need to pony up $200 for the treasury department and get a tax stamp for a "short barreled rifle". It will never 'legally' be a pistol, but it will look the same.
     
  4. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Member

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    A rifle with a 4" barrel and a pistol stock would be a "short-barreled rifle". They are legal to make (federally) after receiving a $200 tax stamp affixed to an approved ATF Form 1.

    Ruger already makes a 10-22 Pistol:

    http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/FAFamily?type=Pistol&subtype=Rimfire Autoloading&famlst=63
     
  5. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    Isn't that the same thing you have to do for a supressor?
     
  6. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    You cannot modify an existing gun. However, I was surprised to learn that apparently it is legal to buy a brand new rifle action and ask the dealer to simply check the handgun box on the form describing the type of gun. From then on that firearm is legally a handgun and you can put a pistol grip stock on it and use a short barrel.

    But be aware it is always a pistol. Even if you convert into rifle form later the ATF will consider it a pistol.

    I assume he doesn't want to get into Class III territory, hence my response doesn't include the SBR info.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  7. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    You can. See posts 3 and 4 above.
     
  8. lonegunman

    lonegunman Member

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    You can buy any type of reciever and have it registered as a pistol and the ATF will not gripe. I was suprised to learn that also. But a rifle reciever is always a rifle, if it has a barrel less than 16 inches and an OAL of less than 26.5" (I believe) it is a Short Barrelled Rifle or SBR and must be registered as such.

    Pistols, even large ones, have barrels less than 14 inches and no front pistol grip to avoid being classified as SBR's or AOW's

    The Ruger Charger has a 9" barrel and is made as a pistol from the factory.

    Two things to remember when making an interesting homemade firearm.

    1. Most guys at gunstores do not know all the rules and regs governing this sort of thing.

    2. Most ATF agents know little or nothing about firearms. You really need to read most of the regs yourself.

    Subguns.com has a pretty good group of class 3 experts and class 2 builders who can answer most AOW/SBR/DD questions.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I don't think it works that way.

    The manufacture has to tell the ATF what the action serial number is for when they report making it.
    If Ruger makes a 10/22 reciever for a rifle, it is always a rifle.
    If they make it for the Charger pistol, it is a pistol.

    If an AR lower is for a rifle, it will always be a rifle.
    If an AR lower is a pistol lower, it says pistol on it by the serial number.

    An FFL dealer can't simply change it by checking a box.

    rcmodel
     
  10. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Respectfully, you are mistaken.

    A virgin receiver is neither handgun or rifle. Until the FFL holder signs it out, it is neutral.

    The law doesn't specify that it even has to be marked by the FFL as a pistol. It just says "a virgin receiver can be built into a rifle or pistol".

    You may be confused by some companies marking their bare receivers "Pistol", but that is their decision, and not any federal law.
     
  11. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    Naturally there will be some disagreement with this statement but I believe the Contender is another one of those "middle ground" firearms.

    As long as you do NOT assemble it with a barrel shorter than 16" while having a rifle stock on it, then you are safe. IF you take the stock off and put a pistol grip on, then you can go hog-wild.

    I site evidence as follows....


    http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/tc.html


    SCOTUS quote for those not wanting the link...

    On June 8, 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Contender pistol and carbine kit are not a short-barreled rifle under the National Firearms Act, 26 U.S.C. §5845(a)(3). This means that a consumer may possess the pistol with its 10" barrel and may use the kit parts to make a rifle with the 21" barrel, as long as the shoulder stock is not assembled onto the receiver at the same time as the 10" barrel.


    D
     
  12. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    What are the practical implications of that as far as why someone shouldn't have all their ar15 lower receivers logged as pistols?
     
  13. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    If you never encounter anyone else, none.

    If you encounter Barney Fife with your 20" HBAR AR15 with a receiver marked "Pistol", he might get confused and impound pending investigation.
     
  14. PTK

    PTK Member

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    Pistols can have any length barrel, however you are correct about only one pistol grip. In addition, pistols may not have stocks.

    Ask the NFA tech branch at the BATFE about that one, you're incorrect. If the manufacturer made it as a rifle receiver, it's a rifle. Handgun receiver, handgun. Upon making a receiver, it is logged by the manufacturer with the BATFE as either a rifle, pistol, or shotgun. If you have a "pistol" built on a receiver that the manufacturer logged as a rifle, even if the FFL marked it as a pistol on the 4473, and you do not have a $200 tax stamp for a SBR, you are in violation of Federal law.
     
  15. claytonfaulkner

    claytonfaulkner Member

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    ATFEARPistolInternetletter.gif

    first staement, secound paragraph.

    check out ar15.com, they have plenty of info on ar15 pistols and sbrs
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I agree I was mistaken, if the first question that started this thread is not relevant.

    Billybob ask about making a 10/22 rifle into a pistol.

    Since you cannot buy a "virgin" 10/22 receiver from Ruger, the only way to get one is to buy a 10/22 rifle. A FFL dealer cannot change the fact that it has a rifle serial number.

    If Billybob were to buy a 10/22 Charger pistol, he could do anything he wanted too with it, except make a smoothbore shotgun out of it..

    But that is the only way he could get a 10/22 receiver he could use for a pistol action.

    rcmodel
     
  17. Funderb

    Funderb Member

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    buy a new receiver and mark it as a handgun, the build away.
     
  18. JesseL

    JesseL Member

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    That may be the only way to get a 10/22 receiver made by Ruger, but there are alternatives.
     
  19. jfh

    jfh Member

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    Well, you can buy 10/22-type receivers from Brownells--Volquartsen 10/22 receiver.

    heh--JesseL brought up a better page, showing all the 10/22 receivers they sell.

    Jim H.
     
  20. billybob

    billybob Member

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    I am forgetting the project. I was just musing about how neat a ONE HAND pistol using the ultra reliable Ruger mag would be.

    Sort of a cheapass Walther GSP. The Walthers have short barrels yet are very accurate.

    :(
     
  21. Navy joe

    Navy joe Member

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    As for the manufacturer designating a reciever as rifle or pistol that doesn't really happen. With the OP example of a 10/22 it obviously was a rifle when it left the factory, Ruger doesn't sell bare recievers. As per the scanned letter above if you get a new reciever you can build away. I had an AR pistol, however briefly. DPMS does a great thing with a "K" suffix on their serial numbers indicating the reciever with a "K" left the factory as a stripped, never built as a complete rifle, reciever.
     
  22. The Viking

    The Viking Member

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    billybob, Ruger markets a .22 caliber pistol based on the 10/22. Check it out, might be what you are looking for :).
     
  23. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    Nodak Spud (the sales arm of DCI) is also selling 10/22 receivers now.
     
  24. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    One reason, if you are worried about registration and all, is that if you pick up 5 stripped lowers at the same time and ask me to log them as pistols then both the ATF and your local CLEO will receive the multiple handgun purchase forms, which contain the make, model, and serial number of all of the receivers, as well as your name and address.

    If you only pick up one at a time, or don't have any concerns about the registration thing, you would probably be OK having them all logged as pistols.
     
  25. revjen45

    revjen45 Member

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    When I was in gunsmithing school the bookstore had Sako actions for excellent prices. Lots of people bought them and built silhouette pistols. Naturally, they kept the receipts showing they bought an action, not a rifle.
     
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