I pointed out that the weapon is legally no longer classified as a pistol due to the stock mounted to it ...... implying that there are ATF issues to consider, and a $200 stamp required. (BTW, I am open to and welcome correction if I am wrong; but if I am wrong, please provide relevant law/regs. I am trying my best to make this as factual and “opinion-free” as possible. Thanks.)
After I had answered in that thread, another member asked for clarification. My immediate answer was:
The Annoyed Man wrote:THIS has a rifle stock, therefore it is no longer a pistol:
That is what I was referring to. My son has the nearly identical setup, with the same stock. He had to register the lower for an SBR and get the stamp. BTW, he worked for a NFA dealer for a while and knows what he’s talking about. Only difference is, his is chambered in 5.56, with a 7” barrel.
Also, I forgot to mention that my son built his from a previously-unused stripped receiver set, so it started life as a 7” SBR. You can put one of those cute little stocks on a 16” carbine all day long, and all you’ve got is a carbine with a cool stock. Put one on a pistol lower with a barrel of less than 16” in length, and you now have a short barreled rifle (SBR) — Per the ATF. All SBRs require registration with ATF and payment of a $200 tax.
Here is what ATF has to say about it:
Can I lawfully make a pistol into a rifle without registering that firearm?
Assuming that the firearm was originally a pistol, the resulting firearm, with an attached shoulder stock, is not an NFA firearm if it has a barrel of 16 inches or more in length. Pursuant to ATF Ruling 2011-4, such rifle may later be unassembled and again configured as a pistol. Such configuration would not be considered a “weapon made from a rifle” as defined by 26 U.S.C. § 5845(a)(4).
[26 U.S.C. § 5845, 27 C.F.R. § 479.11; ATF Ruling 2011-4]
Can I lawfully make a rifle into a pistol without registering that firearm?
No. A firearm that was originally a rifle would be classified as a “weapon made from a rifle” if ; it has either a barrel less than 16 inches in length or an overall length of less than 26 inches. If an individual wishes to make an NFA firearm, s/he must first submit ATF Form 1, Application to Make and Register a Firearm, pay a $200.00 making tax, and receive approval of the application from ATF before converting the firearm.
[18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3); 26 U.S.C. §§ 5845(a)(3)-(4)]
- If the above pictured receiver was originally built into a pistol, then the firearm may be converted to a rifle of 16” or longer barrel; and it can later be converted back into a pistol.
- If the above pictured receiver was originally built into a rifle of 16” or longer barrel, then the rifle can never be converted to a pistol. HOWEVER, it can be registered as an SBR, and then the owner is free to put any length barrel on it he wants to.
- If the above pictured receiver was originally built into a pistol, and the owner attaches a rifle stock but changes nothing else, he/she has made an unlawful SBR, UNLESS the receiver has previously been registered for an SBR.
This is in reference to your email (below) in which you inquire about the legality of affixing an original or reproduction shoulder stock to a Model 1896 broomhandle semiautomatic pistol. Your email was forwarded to the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) for reply.
A rifle having a barrel of less than 16 inches in length is a firearm as that term is defined in Title 26, United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 53, § 5845(a)(3). If a pistol were possessed with an attachable shoulder stock, the combination would be a firearm as defined. Weapons of this type are subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act (NFA).
However, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has previously determined that by reason of the date of their manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics, the following when possessed with an attachable shoulder stock, are primarily collector’s items and are not likely to be used as weapons, and, therefore, are excluded from the provisions of the NFA:
Mauser, model 1896 semiautomatic pistol accompanied by original German mfd. detachable wooden holster/shoulder stocks, all semiautomatic German mfd. variations produced prior to 1940, any caliber.
Further, ATF has determined that such firearms are curios or relics as defined in Title 26, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 178, § 178.11 and, therefore, would still be subject to the Gun Control Act of 1968.
ATF has previously determined that Mauser Model 1896 pistols with reproduction stocks, which duplicate or closely approximate the originals, have also been removed from the provisions of the NFA. Copies of the Mauser pistol using frames of recent manufacture, with shoulder stocks, are still subject to the NFA.
If an individual possesses a pistol and shoulder stock combination that has not been removed from the provisions of the NFA, the combination would constitute a firearm subject to the provisions of the NFA. The fact that the stock was not attached to the pistol would have no bearing on this classification.
We trust the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us.
Firearms Technology Branch
I don’t know if this ruling also applies to pre-war Hipowers with accessory shoulder stocks.
It’s a ridiculous distinction, but don’t blame me. I didn’t write the stupid law.
The PDW stock on the above pictured weapon was designed to be shouldered. Indeed, it would be extremely impractical to use as a brace. Therefore, putting a PDW stock on an AR pistol of barrel length less than 16”, immediately converts the weapon to an SBR. If you don’t have a stamp, you risk 10 years in federal “pounding your behind” prison.
Is it worth the risk? Not for me. I like most everyone on this forum, and I respect most of your opinions, but if you put a PDW stock on a weapon that started life as a pistol, with a barrel of less than 16” - without registering said weapon as an SBR - you’re playing with fire, and my best advice would be, don’t do it.
Hopefully, the owner of the above AR with the PDW stock actually does have it registered for an SBR, and no harm no foul. But I thought it was REALLY important to make sure that other respondents in that thread understood the distinctions, so as to avoid legal troubles. That PDW stock is a nice (if, IMHO overpriced) piece of kit. I wouldn’t mind having one myself. But you can be dang sure I would never put it on a pistol without first registering it as a SBR.
I will edit this post as I find out more information. And like I said, I’m happy to be corrected, if you can provide either letter of the law, or official ATF opinion/clarification letters. I’d RATHER be wrong about all of this, but I fear that I am not.
Edited to add: it has been brought to my attention that the above PDW stock is in fact a brace, and marketed as one. Chalk it up to bad eyesight. (I am having my cataracts removed in May. ) Never the less, the above content is a caution to anyone who would go through this process to make sure and get it right.