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Due to a certain initiative that shall not be named, considering making an AR pistol, then changing it to a rifle after I move. If I get a ~18" barreled upper, for the (not bought as a rifle lower) lower I have, would I have any issues, other than perhaps a bit of unwieldiness?

My reading of the law has me thinking not, I know under 16" is considered a pistol (or SBR if stocked), but I wish to avoid that, unless I like it so much that I end up intentionally getting a shorter barrel for a pistol. Just trying to NOT shoot myself in either foot!

Thanks!
 
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When you bought it did you register it as a pistol lower? Or as other? A pistol lower cannot be made into a rifle. A rifle lower can be made into a pistol. If I remember correctly.
 
At least on Contenders, you can start with a Contender pistol, put a long barrel on it then a stock (short barrel off before the stock goes on anyways!) and later convert it back to a pistol, if I move out of state it'd become and stay a rifle probably though. I have the Contender for long range pistol LOL
 

User 1234

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“After I move...”. Do you live in Washington? If you do and are 21, why not buy a lower, then later build it into a pistol, then assemble it as a rifle? Or once it is assembled as a pistol Form 1 it into an SBR with the short upper by adding a stock?
 
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Unless it is registered it doesn’t matter what you do. This whole “once a rifle always a rifle” business is silly. If it was an “other” to start its life, you could put a brace on it and whatever length upper you want and it’s classified as a pistol. There is some arbitrary OAL where it then becomes a Firearm, not sure what length that is, don’t really care. You could also put a stock on it and an upper longer than 16” and it’s a rifle. You could swap back and forth between those configurations seemingly infinitely and it wouldn’t be an issue, but that seems like a lot of hassle instead of just owning two guns set up in two different manner.

What you don’t want to do, or at least not let the gestapo catch you do, is put an upper with a barrel less than 16” on a lower with a stock, because that SBR law they tend to be really fussy about.
 
I'm an older, long term WA denizen, looking at moving as I want to buy more semi auto rifles but do not plan to pay WA state for same, if I live elsewhere they won't have much to say about it. Might move to a NFA friendly state, mainly I like slow aimed fire, so I'd likely just enjoy some one elses' "toys" once in a while. Has to be fun, if costly!

I like longer barrels, I mainly was a bolt gun varminter when young and like good accuracy, longer barrel also means a potential for higher velocity if needed, with slower powders. And less muzzle blast if using hotter loads. (None of my loads are "super hot", I like to not stress my guns over 50k PSI for a strong bolt gun, but that's hotter than a "cat sneeze" load!)

That initiative could make it an issue, if I en-rifled it here, not doing that tho.

And agreed on the SBR, unless I decide to go through all the paperwork, and do an SBR with suppressor, not going to do that until at least after I move. Could be fun of course! But I am not wanting the free housing and bad company one would potentially get for doing that sans paperwork.
 
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From what I understand arakboss is correct. The reason being a pistol has much more stringent requirements including a mandatory waiting period, etc. Whereas, a rifle only has a NICS check. So, turning a pistol into a rifle means going from a stringent requirement firearm to a less stringent requirement firearm. Turning it back into a pistol would only mean you already went through the requirements of purchasing in the first place.

I-1639 turned any semi-auto rifle into a classification on its own which requires much more stringent requirements; more so than owning a pistol.
 

User 1234

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A lower receiver is not a semiautomatic firearm and is not a rifle so 1639 does not apply. You can build your own AR here in Washington without the 1639 hassle.

As soon as the WSP gets a procedure in place the FFL dealers will have to run receivers and frames through the pistol process, which is very similar to 1639’s semi rifle process. That has not started yet.
 
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OAL question, the answer is found only in the ATF decisions/opinions. They hold that any firearm over 26" OAL to "not be easily concealable". That's all. And its only relevant for the purpose of the Any Other Weapon class which says if a firearm is "not a pistol nor a rifle but is easily concealable; it may be an AOW; check AOW definitions for confirmation" :rolleyes:

Otherwise...
Barrel length if
Under 16" with a stock = SBR
Under 18" with a stock = SBS

Under either length without a stock, and "have never been a shotgun or rifle at first"; handgun/pistol, MAYBE AOW; refer to AOW classification page.

I'm not sure what specifics the GCA1968 gave for rifles/handguns/shotguns, as I wasn't able to find anything more specific than whats currently on the NFA pages.
 
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