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

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?:)
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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912 E Main St, Battle Ground, WA 98604, USA
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