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AR Pistol - 16" barrel, but not 26" OAL? Hypotheticals

Discussion in 'Firearm Laws & Legal' started by The Heretic, May 11, 2016.

  1. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    So if I bought an AR pistol, put an upper on it with a 16" barrel, but because of the buffer tube, the OAL length is less than 26", it is still a pistol right?

    If I put a collapsible stock on it where the buttstock is in the fully collapsed position and that makes it less than 26", is it then a rifle, but an SBR? Or is it a pistol with a buttstock?

    What if I put a "blade" or arm brace on it and it is less than 26"? That is a pistol right? If I put it to my shoulder then that is an illegal act even though I didn't change the configuration? At that point, is it a pistol with a buttstock or an SBR? Probably still a pistol right?

    I think I know the answer to each question, these are just hypotheticals to illustrate how convoluted our laws are, and how easy it would be to catch a person out when they really meant to be law abiding. I got to thinking about this after the thread on "firearm" shorty shotguns (barrels less than 18" and a pistol grip) that were not a "sawed off shotgun", because although the barrel is less than 18" the OAL is 26"+, but you can't do the same to a shotgun after it is manufactured.

    I am not trying to start a political thread, just want to illustrate that a person needs to know all the little intricacies and loopholes and tricks and traps and gotchas. You also need to know the history of a firearm - e.g., you need to know that an AR pistol was manufactured that way, not modified from a rifle to be a pistol and therefore legally an SBR - even though they are mechanically and dimensionally the same exact thing.

    And yes, this is not entirely hypothetical as someday I want to get an AR pistol and be able to convert back and forth between a rifle and a pistol configuration. I know that I will be safe as long as I don't put a rifle buttstock on the AR with a barrel shorter than 16".
     
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Shoulder rifles and not pistols.

    I think that covers all of the questions.
     
  3. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The one question I am not sure on:

    If an AR rifle with a 16" barrel, is than 25" with a "collapsible" buttstock in the fully collapsed position, the most forward position - looks like this:

    1459700_01_colt_ar_15_a_2_mdl_6520_collap_640.jpg

    would it be an SBR regardless of the stock position?

    I am guessing that with a 16" barrel this isn't possible, but just say it is.

    Or is an AOW?

    What is it?
     
  4. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    For example, the FN PS90 is just barely 26" long with an 18" barrel (includes the flash hider which isn't removable - the barrel is actually about 11 or 12" long).

    Cut it down to 16.5 inches and the barrel is a legal length, but the rifle is less than 26" long. What does the ATF call that? An SBR? AOW?
     
  5. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    "overall" is a bit misleading as a flash hider or comp if not pinned does not count towards overall, If you want to get technical I don't think a butt pad does either, measurement is from the farthest "hard part" of the rifle to the end of the unencumbered barrel
     
  6. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    my SOT manufactured SBR has a listed length of 26" which is with the collapsing stock all the way forward, less butt pad to the end of the threads on the barrel
     
  7. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Sounds like you need to send a letter to the ATF for clarification and their response would be good insurance if you ever end up in court for it.
     
  8. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    Since it's not possible, I doubt it is an issue:s0092:
     
  9. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    Depends on state for collapsible stocks. Most measure with it fully extended, and the ATF measures it fully extended. So if the maximum length is 26" or longer OAL, and the barrel is 16" or longer, still good to go in most states.

    That aside, if it has a 16" barrel but less than 26" OAL its a SBR.

    However, pistol lower with 16" upper but under 26" OAL would be an unwieldy pistol. SBR once a stock is added, or AOW with VFG.
     
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  10. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Beat me to it.

    The stock at it's most outward position is what is measured. Same for collapsible stocks, rifle is measured with stock in its non collapsed position.
     
  11. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    Just a 16" barrel with the receivers puts you at around 24". However you measure the stock/buffer assembly seems irrelevant unless there is one that collapses to less than 2" and then you are messing with those funky chopped carriers. So seems like a mostly moot point.
     
  12. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I’ve been told that an AR pistol must have a pistol receiver extension tube.... i.e.: one that cannot accept a buttstock. Otherwise its a rifle and measured as such
     
  13. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I do not believe that is true for federal law - I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

    It is perfectly legal (federally and in many states) to take a pistol and convert it to a rifle and then back to a pistol again. So the fact that it could accept a rifle butt-stock is not relevant legally. What is relevant is its current configuration.

    You just do not ever want to be caught with the rifle butt-stock on the receiver while you have a barrel on it shorter than 16".

    However you probably don't even want to have that buttstock in your immediate possession (but not attached) unless you also have an upper with a 16" barrel nearby too - called constructive possession. Same for having a short pistol barrel with no pistol receiver.
     
  14. PDX1953

    PDX1953 Active Member

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    You've been told wrong - look at the Extar.

    AR-15 upper & lower, 11.5" barrel, vertical front grip, and it's 26.3" long. SBR? Nope - Franklin Armory product and ATF letter of approval but at $1900 they're way too stinkin' expensive. I'm building a 10.5" SBR for way less than that and it'll have a collapsible stock and a fold down vertical grip. It'll look a lot like the attached photo.

    The funny part? The Franklin Armory products are CA legal!

    Maxim SBR.jpg
     
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  15. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    that may be for an AR, but what about the case of a PS90 with a 16" barrel which would put it at 24" OAL?

    SBR? Even though the barrel is a legal length?

    I suspect yes, even though the term Short Barreled Rifle seems to refer to the barrel length alone.
     
  16. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

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    Yes, its still a SBR even if it has a 16 inch barrel, if it doesn't meet the requirement of a 16" barrel and 26" OAL, its a SBR.
     
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  17. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I think "can't readily accept a stock" is the pertinent wording. I have seen several guys claim you can use a rifle or carbine RE and do "something" so a stock is not "readily" affixable. Personally when it comes to AR pistols I want it to be clear it's a pistol. I even stamped "pistol" in the side of mine because I want the intent to be crystal clear (totally not necessary but it makes me feel better)

    Lots of guys have got away with lots of things. Personally I have to much to lose and stay well out of any questionable or gray area. So much so that I SBR'd one of my pistols after the whole Sig brace thing. I didn't want to stress out about shouldering it when that's how its fun and practical to shoot. $200 stamp and a real stock is more better. I still have a couple AR pistols, mostly because of being able to carry a loaded, concealed pistol in a vehicle
     
  18. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I was curious if it was true or not, thanks for the info above.... I dont plan on owning a pistol or sbr but I do plan on not taking build advice from the wrong folks...
    glad I asked here :)
     
  19. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I love how it's an SBR if the OAL is shorter than 26", but not an SBR if the length is over 26" and the barrel is shorter than 16" - in certain circumstances. Same with a short barreled shotgun.

    Gotta love laws and regulations and bureaucrat's interpretations. :rolleyes:
     
  20. PDX1953

    PDX1953 Active Member

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    Bud's shows a PS90 with a 16.04" barrel which makes it 26.23" long so no SBR.
    Shorter barrels are available elsewhere to SBR it.

    "....Short Barreled Rifle seems to refer to the barrel length alone" SBR is a combo of barrel length & a shoulder stock and / or vertical front grip. I have a 7.5" AR pistol with an angled front grip - no problem. Install a vertical grip? Instant SBR even w/o a buttstock.