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Anyone know the skinny on the Mech Tech pistol to rifle to pistol legality?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by MilesTeg, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. MilesTeg

    MilesTeg Troutdale, OR Active Member

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    I've read a couple posts online that you need to dedicate a pistol lower to the Mech Tech. This is because once you have converted the pistol to a rifle you can't, according to BATF regs, convert the lower back to a pistol. Doesn't make much sense to me but does anyone know if this is true. I have an email into Mech Tech but was hoping others might have some practical exp. on it.

    thx
     
  2. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    I have read that is true concerning the T/C frames: technically If you have a Contender or Encore pistol when you change the grip to a stock and the short bbl to over 16in you have "made" a rifle. T/C contests this non convertability with a generalized court decision from the 60's but a letter from the BATF wasn't encouraging. See: Mike Bellm Custom TCs for the letter, etc.
    It seems the important fact is how the serialed frame was originally sold on the form 4473.
    IF sold as a rifle it is illegal to fit a pistol bbl and grip.
    If sold as a pistol and you fit the bbl and stock of a rifle you have made the rifle.
    Seems a big grey area, but who knows what you do with your own stuff.
    I wouldn't be as concerned about making a rifle out of a pistol, but the converse is NOT true.
    I would always sell or buy the main parts to the mech tech conversion separately.
     
  3. MilesTeg

    MilesTeg Troutdale, OR Active Member

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    Thanks for that info on the T/C's. Gotta loves those grey areas.
     
  4. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    The ATFE has said you CAN go back and forth between pistol to rifle to pistol and it applies to the AR. I'll try and find the link and come back and add it.
     
  5. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Correct, but you still have to start with a PISTOL or virgin receiver. You can NOT start with rifle receiver and go back and forth. Lots of rules that dont make sense.
     
  6. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    That is just r3tarded.
     
  7. Biped

    Biped Beaverton Member

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    There was a similar question on a Walther forum about adding a stock to a pistol and the BATF requirements. Unfortunatly the thread died as it was deemed illigal in the US by some of the posters. For this option, you do not even dis-assemble the pistol, seems like it should be legal.
     
  8. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    It is not illegal, just required to be registered with the ATF in the NFA. It requires paperwork, time and money but is not hard many do it. A pistol with a stock is would become a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR). If you were to add a 16" barrel also then it would not be illegal nor would it require NFA issues.

    If that forum would like informed here is an FAQ with sources sited about NFA legalities, http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=365687
     
  9. Biped

    Biped Beaverton Member

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    I understand I can make it an SBR, but would want to swap it from SBR to pistol and back, which is probably not OK. Once the pistol is registered as an SBR it can no longer be a pistol, correct??
     
  10. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Define "swapping back and forth".

    It depends on what you are trying to do. It can be registered as an SBR and still be used as a pistol. Is that your question?

    With SBR if you make it back into a non-NFA configuration you can have it removed from the NFA record but you dont get a refund on the $200 tax you had to pay to make it. Sometimes people do this as a cheeper way to transfer it across state lines and dont have to go though a NFA dealer to transfer it.
     
  11. bassman2

    bassman2 SW WA Active Member

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    I've seen a tech branch letter that states that you can go from pistol to rifle and back to pistol - only in that order and only if the rifle version was a 16" barrel. No NFA needed. The thread with the letter was addressing mech tech and the Roni.
     
  12. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Correct.