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Silly SBR Question

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by HorseSoldier, Jul 17, 2010.

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  1. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    While I'm normally not that dim a guy, trying to sort out SBR related information seems to be like reading Greek for me.

    So if anyone can help with a pretty straightforward question: I have a Lewis Machine and Tool Monolithic Rail upper for my AR. I want to replace the 16" barrel with a 12" barrel. Since I'd be "building" a short barrel rifle by popping the two bolts and swapping barrels, would I then need to complete an ATF Form 1 prior to doing so? This whole process is probably much easier than I think it is, and just the federal felony if done wrong angle is kind of slowing me down.
     
  2. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Yes. It's the lower (the firearm) you are "building" into a SBR. I'd register multiple barrel lengths/calibers under 16" in case you want to change it around with minimal hassle.
     
  3. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Correct, you become the "manufacturer" even with something as simple as swapping out one upper for another if the resulting firearm meets an NFA definition.
     
  4. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    Thanks for the info. Will see about getting started on the paper.
     
  5. 4thPointOfContact

    4thPointOfContact Member

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    Pity those people who might be purchasing a Bushmaster/Remington ACR. Making one of those won't require any tools at all.
     
  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    btw, you CAN put the new short barrel in that upper w/o paperwork. you just have to make sure it's not in the same place (e.g. house) as the lower or it becomes 'constructive possession'. just saying, you can go play with the new barrel and upper and make sure it fits, etc, as long as you do it elsewhere and put the 16" bbl back in before you reacquaint the upper and lower
     
  7. GoingQuiet

    GoingQuiet Member

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    Don't forget engraving requirements if you are doing trust/corp on the form 1.
     
  8. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    No need to do that. As long as the gun can readily be returned to the length on the Form 1 you're good to go. There are several reports that ATF has stopped approving forms with multiple lengths/calibers listed. For instance, a length range (7-14") or caliber listed as "multi" doesn't fly anymore. No big deal. Just list it as 12".
     
  9. strambo

    strambo Member

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    .You can't do this unless you register multiple lowers and pay multiple $200 stamps. The form 1 has you put the caliber (singular, not "multi") and the barrel length and OAL.

    It isn't a big deal, this is just the primary (permanent) SBR configuration. As an example: I also have an MRP that is registered. I filled out the form 1 for the primary configuration I wanted, 10.5" barrel in 5.56 caliber. I now have the 10.5" and the original 16" barrels. I can later add a Spikes 11.5" .22 LR barrel no problem (or anything else) so long as I do not change the permanent configuration. If I do get rid of that 10.5" 5.56 barrel, I would just need to send in a form (not sure which off hand) to update the BATFE on the current, new, permanent configuration of the SBR.

    So...just put down the stats for the main short barrel you plan on getting and keeping. Anything else is a temporary change (so long as you have the original SBR barrel length/caliber)...it is a quick change barrel after all.
     
  10. CleverNickname

    CleverNickname Member

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    There is no form to update to tell the ATF about a change in a gun's configuration. Just write the NFA Branch with a letter detailing the changes.
     
  11. Aka Zero

    Aka Zero Member

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    If you are REALLY concerned about having a short barrel upper in the house, buy a pistol lower.
     
  12. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Have you had one rejected for that? At one time you could put "multi" and they would go through. I know that one has been stopped, I personally had one of those rejected.

    But, listing several calibers and lengths in small print in that tiny box has worked so far with no rejections.

    Anyone had one turned down for writing more than one thing in the box?

    There is a big question as to whether the SBR has to match exactly the description on the Form 1 anyway. Once a tax stamp is issued for the receiver, that receiver becomes an NFA firearm (SBR in this case). If your Form 1 says 10 inch barrel and later you put on a 14inch barrel you have violated no laws. ATF might be able to come after some weird administrative thing, but the law doesn't say anything other than you have to have a tax stamp for an NFA firearm. Never heard of anyone getting dinged for this, and since they provide no form to modify the Form 1 it makes you wonder. But it's ATF so you're in the Twilight Zone anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  13. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    But it's ATF so you're in the Twilight Zone anyway.

    The 1930s Congress that came up with NFA shares most of the blame for the deedle-dee-dee zone-ishness.
     
  14. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Oh very true but remember ATF interpreted those laws to mean that anyone in possession of a 14 inch shoestring was a felon. ANY 14 inch shoestring. It then took them 2 years to realize what they had done.
     
  15. Six

    Six Member

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    (Not trying to hijack the thread, but I'm assuming that in respect to barrel lengths SBS and SBR are treated the same)

    So, once a SBR/SBS always a SBR/SBS?

    I'm curious since I'd like to make my 870 a SBS, but have the option of different barrel lengths.

    If I understand what you guys are saying correctly, once a gun is registered as a SBR/SBS, you can change the barrel to any configuration you want - assuming that the original registered configuration is still available?

    For example, I could register my 870 with a 16" barrel, and also have 14" and 30" barrels and switch as I see fit without additional paperwork? Do all barrels need to be engraved?

    Thanks
     
  16. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    That has always been the conventional thinking from most people in the NFA world, but I don't know that it's ever been legally tested. It seems a sound argument.

    The receiver itself is the registered item. As long as the various configurations stay within what definition the tax stamp is issued for there doesn't seem to be any violation of any law.

    The Form 1 asks for original information on how the NFA firearm is being manufactured. It does not say that if something changes later a notification is required, nor does the law.

    If I own a Title 1 AR15 with a 20 inch barrel and I change that to a 16 inch barrel I don't need to notify anyone because the overall configuration is still that of a Title 1 firearm.

    So, why would the exact same thing not apply to NFA? Once you have a receiver properly tax stamped as an SBR, why does it matter if the configuration matches what's written on your Form 1? Remember, the Form 1 is a tax form.

    Drop in sears for example can be moved from host to host because they themselves are the firearm. The receiver itself is the firearm in the case of an SBR, the upper etc are just accessories.

    As far as I know it's never caused anyone trouble and never been to court, but like I said, it's ATF so you just never know.

    My last Form 1 was approved with "10-16 inches" in the barrel length box and "less than 30 inches" in the overall length box. I also have 4 calibers written in the box for that. But, this was approved in December of 2008 so it's slightly outdated.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  17. strambo

    strambo Member

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    I'll admit I just "heard" from multiple sources while researching NFA 6 months ago that listing "multi" for caliber, or many calibers, and multiple barrel lengths would get the form rejected now...

    Mine was approved April '10
     
  18. strambo

    strambo Member

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    I'll admit I just "heard" from multiple sources while researching NFA 6 months ago that listing "multi" for caliber, or many calibers, and multiple barrel lengths would get the form rejected now...

    Mine was approved April '10

    That's good to know. I figure I'll just always keep the 5.56 10.5" and not have to worry about that.
     
  19. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Wouldn't surprise me at all. Words like "Multi caliber" and "various lengths" are getting rejected for sure.
     
  20. rjrivero

    rjrivero Member

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    The answer is out there. You can put ANY LENGTH BARREL on a SBR if you are so inclined. You don't have to keep it in the "SBR" Configuration. If you plan on temporarily adding a longer barrel to the registered lower for sporting purposes, or WHATEVER, you now treat the gun like it was a Title 1 gun. So if I have an AR registered as an SBR, and I want to take it into a state that DOESN'T ALLOW SBR's, like Michigan, I could put a 16" or longer upper on it and take it into Michigan WIHTOUT EVEN FILING A 5320.20. As long as you leave the short upper in your home state. I don't know if it is the same RULING for SHOTGUNS, so you would have to write the ATF to get an opinion letter.

    Don't try to make sense of it, because I don't think I could understand it if I didn't see it in writing. Just be sure you know the rule before you dabble.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. rjrivero

    rjrivero Member

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    Back to Horse Soldier's original question:

    Yes, you MUST register the weapon on the NFA registry by correctly filling out a 5320.1 and remitting your appropriate tax. You must wait for the approved tax stamp to come back before you go ahead and build your SBR.

    Don't forget to have the lower engraved FIRST in compliance with the NFA.
     
  22. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    That's not what I meant really, but you are right. What I meant is that just because you have an NFA tax stamp you can't make ANOTHER type of NFA firearm out of it.

    In other words, just because it's now in the NFA registry you can't make it full auto. It's only tax stamped for an SBR.

    I've had people argue that once a firearm is in the registry they can "do whatever they want to it". That's bad ju ju.

    Also keep in mind that just because you put a 20 inch upper on an SBR'd AR it does not turn back into a Title 1 firearm. To sell that firearm requires an NFA transfer whether it has the short barrel on it or not. The only way to get it back to real Title 1 status is to have it removed from the NFA registry.
     
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