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Upper AR, Lower FAL receivers unregistered?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by backbencher, Mar 2, 2013.

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  1. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    Gentlemen, et al:

    This came up on another forum, and I just wanted to make sure I have my facts straight. As an AR shooter, I am well aware the lower receiver is the registered item as far as the BATFE is concerned. Thus, I can order a fully equipped upper w/ bolt over the interwebs & have it delivered to my door.

    I'm not a FAL shooter, but I understand w/ the FN FAL & copies, the UPPER receiver is the registered part, & the lower receiver can be bought through the mail.

    Thus, if someone engineered an adapter, consisting of a magazine well, fire-control parts, & a buffer tube nut that married the AR upper & the FN lower, that adapter would be the legal firearm as far as the BATFE was concerned. I'm just thinking that adapter could be made out of plastic & sold as an 80% kit ; )

    Are my assumptions correct, even if my trigger geometry is bloody awful & there's a buffer tube poking my ear?

    Farmers Fight!

    backbencher
     
  2. Arp32

    Arp32 Member

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    Ignoring the difference in caliber, I'm not sure anything would be even close to aligning. Seems a bit like glueing a Caprice frame on a Corvette chassis. Or vice versa...
     
  3. Arp32

    Arp32 Member

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    Just thought of the Johnny Cash song "One piece at a time." He did get it to working with an A-Daptor Kit
     
  4. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    I think we are talking about attaching a Ranger body to a F-150 frame - definitely an adapter kit is needed, but could be plastic & made @ home. Just wanted to check the legalities.
     
  5. MoscowMike

    MoscowMike Member

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    I believe in the eyes of the law you would have manufactured a firearm whether or not you included serial numbered parts. It would be the same as using your milling machine and making an AR lower, then building the rest of the rifle on it.

    Perfectly legal under federal law, (states may differ), as long as you aren't making firearms for sale.

    Without looking at the dimensions carefully I have no idea how much of a struggle it would be to make the two work together, but I'm sure it would require significant machining and design skills. Of course everybody needs a hobby, and with enough time and money all things are possible.

    - Mike
     
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Several points to consider here...

    1) These parts are not "registered" as long as they aren't parts of NFA firearms, and you're not in some location that requires you to register firearms. They simply are the parts that federal law requires must have a serial number if made for commercial sale, and which must be sold through a federally licensed dealer if crossing state lines.

    2) You can build your own gun out of anything you want, and don't have to register it at all with anyone, so long as it doesn't cross into NFA territory.

    3) Putting parts together so they function as a firearm MAKES a firearm and thus all federal and state rules apply then to what you do with that firearm.

    4) If you made an adapter that let you couple the AR upper to the FAL lower, great. If you make it FOR SALE, you'd better be clearing that with the BATFE and if they declare that part IS the firearm, you'd better have your FFL as a manufacturer of firearms.

    5) On the other hand, there are various conversions that make non-firearms into firearms (like the Kirst conversion kits for antique cap-&-ball revolvers) which don't require the federal paperwork and licensing. You MUST get your plan verified with the powers that be, though, or you risk a very unpleasant experience.
     
  7. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    Not my intention to ever sell one. If folks did sell 'em complete w/ all the holes drilled, then clearly the adapter would be the "firearm". My thought is that such an adapter could be made largely of plastic, which would make it easier to the homebuilder than an 80% aluminum AR lower. And if you screwed up, then you've screwed up on a $10 piece of plastic & you start over on another one. Would make a damn funny looking rifle : )
     
  8. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    If that could be made to work, it'd be a nightmare of a frankenrifle to put things mildly.

    I'd personally just save my money for a 3D printer to go with the AR upper. The AR lowers people are printing seem to be getting better at an exponential rate, and I have some suspicions that someone with some know-how could probably figure out a printed 3D lower that, married to a few simple sheet metal inserts at the current failure points they are getting, could last long enough to see one through a zombie apocalypse or whatever . . .
     
  9. backbencher

    backbencher Member

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    I'm thinking a few sheet metal inserts as well; the advantage to the FAL lower is it will somewhat enclose the plastic receiver, thus easing some of the compression stresses, unlike a plastic AR lower that has to transmit the strain of firing into the buttstock - or worse, the buffer tube the stock is mounted on.
     
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