How much smithing can i do on my gun before it gets illegal?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by 74sporty, May 2, 2011.

  1. 74sporty

    metro portland
    Active Member

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    Im a diy kinda guy and like to save my money where i can. I know stuff like blueing and sight replacement is ok, but i was considering cutting and crowning a barrel and was wondering about the laws regarding this matter. Is it legal for me to cut and crown my rifle to 16.5'' myself, not being a pro gunsmith? I saw Larry Potterfield from midway USA cut one on youtube (guy has great videos) and figured i can do it.

    What kind of work do you guys do to your guns? Build projects? Photos?:)
  2. the puma

    the puma
    Oregon City
    Active Member

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    As long as you don't make an NFA item you are fine
  3. Nwcid

    Yakima and N of Spokane
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    You can do anything you like to your own stuff. If you do the proper paperwork first you can do NFA too.

    You need a license to do work for others and charge for it.
  4. PX4WA

    Tacoma, WA
    Active Member

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    1. make sure you are 922R compliant if it's an import rifle
    2. don't make it full auto
    3. make sure OAL length and barrel length stay within guidelines...
  5. 74sporty

    metro portland
    Active Member

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    So if its my own rifle and its american made, i can chop it to my hearts content. Good to know. Looking for my hack saw now...
  6. Browning55

    Seattle-Everett Area
    Active Member

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    Yea - pretty much. I know people that have done it but felt better after checking with the "authorities" first.
  7. wichaka

    Wa State
    Well-Known Member

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    Its a common misconception that one has to have a FFL to perform gunsmith work and charge for it.

    As per 27 CFR (Code of Fed. Regulations) sec 478.11, there are two areas to look at,

    1) Definition of dealer which is;

    Dealer. Any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at
    wholesale or retail; any person engaged in the business of repairing
    firearms or of making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger
    mechanisms to firearms; or any person who is a pawnbroker. The term
    shall include any person who engages in such business or occupation on a
    part-time basis.

    2) Definition of Gunsmith is;

    Gunsmith. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to
    engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with
    the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such a term shall
    not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms or who
    occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to

    So there you have it.........kinda, sorta, roughly. If you're not in it for a livelyhood, regular biz, profit etc., one does not need to have a FFL.

    So now you may ask, what constitutes the above? Answer???? There's no dollar figure or the like so that would be up for interpretation.
    But, if you are investigated and they can show a substantial profit from gunsmithing, you'd better have a license.

    Also you can keep a firearm overnight, without the owner being around as long as you didn't receive it thru the mail.

    I've been operating for years without one, because I fall under the "occasional" side of things and they know it. I just make sure that my total income from it doesn't exceed about 5-10% of my total income for the year.

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