Quantcast

I used to know this: ar15 pistol legality

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by taliv, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    26,128
    I’m getting old.... Someone refresh my feeble memory please



    if I have an ar15 pistol lower and I put a 16“ or longer upper on it, it’s still a pistol right? Or do I have to keep it under 16”?

    it can be converted to a rifle but can’t go back to pistol again right?

    Intention is to have a long barrel pistol to comply with state “handgun carry permit”
     
    magyars4 likes this.
  2. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,444
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    I don't think that it's barrel length; I think that the OAL of less than 26" (folded or collapsed) is the key to keeping it a pistol.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
    chicharrones and taliv like this.
  3. Cemetery21

    Cemetery21 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Messages:
    510
    Location:
    MO
    I'm wondering too. tagged
     
    horsey300 and magyars4 like this.
  4. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    6,893
    Location:
    Galveston Bay is an Hour Away ©
    I remember having the same situation with my Beretta Neos with Carbine Kit. If I put on the 16" barrel, but did not install the rifle stock it was simply a pistol as a Neos frame (w/ serial number) was sold only as a pistol.

    So, a receiver that is sold as being a pistol can become a carbine (with proper barrel and proper rifle stock) and go back to being a pistol by removing the rifle stock and reinstalling the pistol grip. Leaving the 16" barrel installed, if one wishes.

    An AR using a brace? Makes me think you'd have to carry documentation proving the receiver serial number was sold as a pistol to show to those who don't know your AR is a pistol, but have the authority to give you trouble.

    This was dealt with by Thompson Center years ago. https://www.stephenhalbrook.com/thompson/

    long-barrel-neos-sticks.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  5. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    9,115
    Location:
    Middle Tn
    If it’s originally a pistol then it remains a pistol, and can be converted as you see fit provided that it never is set up as a SBR. You can go back and forth to your hearts desire, but the defensive side of me says that some CYA photos and documentation of the firearm being in pistol form before being fitted as a rifle could potentially serve a man well.
     
    magyars4 likes this.
  6. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,093
    There’s no limit to barrel length for a pistol.

    ETA: a firearm originally assembled as a pistol can always come back to a pistol configuration - even if it has been registered as an SBR and reconfigured. Said receiver can be then reconfigured by the stamp holder as a pistol, rifle, or SBR at will.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  7. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,341
    Yes. Until you add a buttstock.

    You do not

    Incorrect. A pistol may be configured as a rifle, then reconfigured as a pistol so long as it's not in an illegal configuration while doing so

    Varminterror is correct- Federal law does not set a maximum barrel length or over all length for handguns
     
    luzyfuerza, magyars4, entropy and 2 others like this.
  8. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    26,128
    cool, thanks
     
  9. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,444
    Location:
    Norra Texas
  10. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Missouri
    I will help clarify the federal law for you concerning the magic 26" OAL.

    A pistol can be any length and remain concealable. Now if you take a pistol with OAL greater than 26" you can legally put a vertical fore grip on it. The addition of the VFG changes the weapon classification according to the ATF. With the VFG and 26"+ OAL it goes from being a pistol to being classified as a "firearm" or commonly called an "other". In this configuration it can not be concealed due to the 26"+ OAL, if concealed it becomes an AOW. Another example is the Mossberg Shockwave and Remington Tac firearms. They are legal as long as they stay over 26" OAL. As soon as you conceal a Shockwave, you have created an AOW. Open carry if fine with anything classified as a "firearm".

    Also if you put a VFG on a pistol that is shorter that 26" OAL it also becomes an AOW. Angled fore grips are legal on pistols shorter than 26" OAL.

    As others have stated. If the firearms is originally built as a pistol then it can go from pistol to rifle and back to pistol. You must install a 16"+ barrel before installing a stock and then you must remove the stock first before putting a shorter barrel back on when changing it back to a pistol. Now if the gun was originally built first as a rifle then it must stay a rifle (minus SBR tax stamp).

    Hopefully I cleared up things a little bit for you. Either that you you are even more confused than before which happens anytime one tries to make sense of federal gun laws, specially NFA laws.
     
  11. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    26,128
    if that's true, then folders have some value beyond the obvious
     
  12. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,201
    Location:
    Tejas Norte
    Indeed.

    Keltec exploits that with several of their guns e.g. the CMR (rifle) which has a collapsible stock and is 23ish inches long when collapsed. I’m sure their are other examples from other companies, that was just the first that came to mind.
     
  13. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Missouri
    An AR pistol with a folding adaptor gets measured with the adaptor folded. So say you want to put a VFG on a pistol that is over 26" OAL. If it has a folding adaptor, then the OAL is measured with the adaptor in the folded position so it will never meet the 26" OAL.

    No they do not. Rifles get measured with the stock fully extended per Federal gun laws.

    Here is an example letter from the ATF concerning arm braces and folding adaptors.

    folder letter.jpg


    On measuring rifle OAL

    https://www.ammoland.com/2016/12/do-you-have-an-illegal-sbr-measure-your-gun/#axzz6OALMiGXH
     
  14. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,201
    Location:
    Tejas Norte
    Bravo, good point.

    So let me see if I can paraphrase. Taliv is right in theory but in practice the ATF applies that inconsistently across different configurations, with folders measured folded and collapsing stocks measured extended.
     
  15. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Missouri
    Correct Ed.

    None of ever said the NFA laws and federal gun laws in general ever made sense but it is what it is. The only advantage in have a folding adaptor is to make the AR shorter for storage. They will shoot with a folding adaptor folded but only once.

    And to muddy the water even more.

    If you have a brace such as the SBA3 brace or others that are adjustable, they can get you into trouble with the ATF if they extend to the point of the trigger pull (length from trigger to end of brace) is greater than 13.5" then it makes the brace a stock which now turns your pistol into an illegal SBR.

     
    magyars4 likes this.
  16. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,341
    It's not really an inconsistency. The stock is classified as a necessary part of a long arm. Therefore, it can be included in the OAL when extended.

    The brace is not a stock. It's an accessory. It's not a necessary part. This is a good thing as it gives shooters another layer of protection against the government deciding to claim braces turn handguns into rifles. Stocks are not an accessory. Accessories are not stocks. Braces, being an accessory, isn't a stock.

    Ruling that braces are accessories and therefore cannot be included in the OAL is a win for us.
     
    whm1974 and taliv like this.
  17. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Missouri
    Absolutely a win for us.

    Just remember that folders are measured folded and that you do not want to exceed 13.5" length of pull with an adjustable brace. And don't put a VFG on any pistol that is under 26" OAL ( measured from end of buffer tube to end of barrel unless the muzzle device is pinned and welded)
     
  18. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,201
    Location:
    Tejas Norte
    Wait, now I’m confused. Bravo says a folding stock rifle OAL is measured folded but a collapsing stock rifle OAL is measured when extended. Now you say that stocks in general are measured when extended.

    Which is it?
     
  19. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Missouri
    Folders when attached to a pistol are measured folded. Stocks on a rifle/SBR are always measured fully extended. In order to have a stock on an AR it must either be a rifle or a registered SBR. You can not put a stock on a pistol unless you first register it as a SBR. Yes it is confusing. But we must play the game if we want to keep our ARs legal.

    On rifles and SBRs, the stock is a necessary part in order to fire from the shoulder. Braces are considered accessories since they are NOT needed to fire the weapon because they are NOT meant to be shouldered.

    The whole deal about measuring folding adaptors folded came from a case in Connecticut where some manufacturers were trying to get around CT state laws. CT doesn't allow AR pistols but evidently allows AR's classified as a "firearm" or "other"

    Have I cleared things up or confused you more? Yes the whole NFA is messed up. My AR pistol with a 10.5" barrel is darn near the same length as my 16" carbine with it's stock collapsed. The carbine is fine with a stock since the OAL is over 26" and barrel is at least 16". My pistol must stay a pistol unless I register it as a SBR because the barrel is less than 16" even thought the OAL is over 26"
     
  20. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    4,201
    Location:
    Tejas Norte
    That did clear it up actually.

    I wasn’t thinking in terms of a folded brace. Should have been, in this context, but that’s where I went wrong.

    Thank you!
     
  21. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Missouri
    You're welcome.

    I hate to see anyone get in trouble since it is so easy to do so. I looked long and hard into all the laws years ago when I built my first AR pistol and I try to keep up on the pertaining laws to stay out of trouble.
     
    taliv likes this.
  22. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,263
    Location:
    Lehigh Valley, Pa
    WOW! The rare blue Unicorn of the Neos Carbine Kit! I'm impressed. The hunt must have been.......wait for it;......

    LEGENDARY!!!
     
  23. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,093
    In no circumstance is an owner/shooter required or expected to carry such documentation.
     
    luzyfuerza likes this.
  24. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Messages:
    6,893
    Location:
    Galveston Bay is an Hour Away ©
    I was thinking out loud of what I'd do.

    Back in my offroad motorcycle days I'd use clear box tape to attach a copy of the title to the underside of motorcycle seats for proof of ownership. On one particular outing, a police cruiser followed me down a creek side trail and the officer said he stopped me because of reports of stolen motorcycles nearby. I unbolted the seat and showed him a copy of the title, which satisfied him enough he let me be. Yep, I had my drivers license on me, too.

    So, I was thinking a little piece of paper for a firearm that someone in authority may question may work in a similar fashion.
     
    magyars4 likes this.
  25. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    5,475
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I am just glad our government was wise enough to make all these rules so logical and easy to understand.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice