When is an SBR Manufactured?

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Mar 30, 2008
"The Gunshine State"
Does anyone have any guidance from the BATFE about when an SBR is manufactured? Is it when the stock goes on, or is there some “readily convertible” language aside from constructive possession?

I would like to put a side-folder on a Draco. Would it be possible to do the following:

1. Have an out of state smith switch the rear trunion and add a side-folding mechanism.
2. Have him ship it to my LGS as a regular pistol.
3. Apply for and receive tax stamp.
4. Obtain the desired stock.
5. Manufacture an SBR myself by attaching a stock to the side-folding mechanism.

I wouldn’t do this without a love letter from the BATFE, and I was wondering if anyone had already asked.
It's an SBR whenever you come into possession of the parts necessary to convert the Title 1 firearm into the short-barreled rifle. So, I think your plan is fine, but to be REALLY sure and to legally insulate yourself, I'd send an inquiry to ATF's tech department and get it in writing.
I think that once you have switched the trunnions and installed the side-folding part, transferring it as a pistol may be unlikely. Finding a dealer/smith who would do that could be the long pole in the tent. I would wait until I had the Form 1 in hand and then ship the Draco off to have the folder mechanism installed. I believe it can be done as a 'repair'. (You could also do it yourself. A lot of discussion of this on the AK and AR boards, if you have a strong stomach.) Until you procure and install the stock, you are probably not at risk. But there is wording in some of the ATF verbiage that discusses being 'readily converted' or something to that effect.

Having said that, as has been pointed out before, unless you are already under ATF scrutiny for another reason, you are not likely to have a problem. Get the Form done first; safest course of action.
No gunsmith should be willing to swap out a rear trunnion on AK pistol to anything that can possibly accept a stock as-is without machining required, not without it being an SBR. Now, if that arm was already a SBR with an approved F1 or F4, it wouldn't be a problem. ;)

Step ONE - fill out the BATFE forms, send them in, wait for the approved, stamped form back. At that point, proceed with anything else. UNTIL that point, don't do anything to possibly make the pistol anything BUT a pistol. :)
While agree that the advice you have gotten thus far is sage, the issue really is "What does the law say."

We know that you can have a standard AR Buffer Tube on an AR pistol. There is an ATF letter that says as much. It doesn't HAVE to be the type that CAN NOT accept a stock, just that you don't have a stock in your posession that can be readily attached.

Applying that same logic to your situation, putting on a bracket that can accept a stock *may* be okay, provided you don't also own the stock at the same time causing a "constructive possession" issue.

I do agree that PTK's warning that the ATF doesn't exactly make sense when it comes to their letters, and often the letters will disagree with each other.

Couple that with the Washington Times' recent article on the lack of methodology when it comes to the ATF making opinions, it would make sense to do NOTHING that puts you at risk. Therefore I would suggest that using LOGIC to try to interpret what the ATF calls legal vs. illegal, is an act in reading tea leaves.

The best advice is the over-riding advice thus far: Get the stamp FIRST.
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MasterSergeantA said:
rj...do you have a link to or copy of the Washington Compost article you referenced? I'd be interested in reading it.

Sorry MasterSargeantA, it was a Washington TIMES aricle, not the Washington Post as I previously referenced. My apologies. The article was discussed in a thread here on THR.
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That is an outstanding article, I've passed it on to those who may be interested. Thanks!
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