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What's the legality of a shoulder stocked Ruger Charger?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by C&H, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. C&H

    C&H SW Portland Member

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    I'm thinking about planning a "plinking" backpacking trip with a few buddies this the summer, somewhere around Prineville.

    I was figuring that I would take a pistol or two, but I had an idea in the shower...

    Maybe I buy a Ruger Charger, then delete the bipod (for weight reduction), buy a lightweight barrel and add iron sites (no optic, to save space and weight), and swap the stock for a lightweight poly side/under folder.

    So I did a little searching for shoulder-stocks built for Ruger Chargers, and found nothing but forum posts declaring that shoulder stocks are illegal for pistols. And of course, I saw no shoulder stocks for Chargers.

    But... I see ads for shoulder stock conversions for various pistols, like this for Glocks. And this.

    So, do I have to add a barrel of a certain length before should-stocking? Is there a minimum or maximum length law for this type of project? Does the stock need to attach in a certain way?

    If I have to attach a 16" barrel first, then I suppose this project is a bust - no reason to buy a charger to do what I could with a 10/22.

    or/also:
    Where do I find the federal and state laws that could provide an answer?
     
  2. xjjeeper223

    xjjeeper223 Medford Active Member

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    You would Have to add a 16" barrel first if you wanted to put a stock on the charger. But then you would have a regular 10-22. The other option is to go the SBR route. I didn't pay attention to what state you are in. You can do it in Oregon but not Washington.
     
  3. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Legally register the charger as an SBR, then you can buy a standard folding stock for a normal 10/22 to put on the gun. You may choose to lighten the stock by shortening the fore-end, or you may have to open up the barrel channel, depending on what barrel you put on. Key point is first pay the 200$ tax stamp and get it properly registered as an SBR, then you can start working on it.
     
  4. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Pistols can not have stocks as it does not meet the definition of pistol.

    Minimum length for a rifle is 26" OAL with a 16"+ barrel. Any shorter and you get into NFA rules. Most of the sites that sell things like the Glock stock should say "all NFA rules apply" somewhere in the ad.

    I will post of my NFA FAQ which has links to Federal and State laws.
     
  5. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    What is the NFA and what is an NFA item?

    The NFA stands for National Firearms Act of 1934, National Firearms Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are 6 different types of NFA items:

    Machine gun, AKA Full Auto or FA for short
    Short Barreled Rifles, SBR rifles with a barrel(s) less then 16” or OAL less then 26”
    Short Barreled Shotguns, SBS shotguns with barrel(s) less then 18” or OAL less then 26”
    Suppressors, AKA Silencers
    Destructive Devices, DD things like grenades, bombs, bores over 0.50”
    Any Other Weapon, AOW this is any firearm that does not fit above. Most common are pen guns and pistol shaped shotguns (smooth bore pistol)


    Are NFA items legal?

    By Federal law NFA items are legal but require proper registration and tax. You will need to check your state laws to find out if the NFA item you want is legal in your state. Some states will allow some items but not others. Here is a link to the state laws from the ATF website: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/statelaws/

    In the rest of this post when I talk about legal definition they are based on FEDERAL law, which may not reflect your state law.


    How can you get an NFA item?

    If you want an NFA item you have 2 choices. You can either buy one or make one.

    Most popular way to get an NFA item is to buy one. The normal procedure for buying a NFA item is to find a local NFA dealer that can help you since in most cases you will have to have them transfer the item anyhow. If you are buying a used NFA item IN state no dealer is required but you will still have to fill out all the paperwork and pay the transfer tax.

    Once you have the item you want picked out and a dealer that will transfer it for you (if needed) you pay for your item. If it is an item the dealer has in stock you fill out a Form 4 (transfer of NFA item for private users). You can either do the Form 4 as a person or as an entity being a LLC or a Trust. If you fill it out as a person you will need to also get 2 sets of finger prints, 2 passport photos, and a signature from the head LEO where you live. If you use a LLC or Trust you and the dealer just need to sign. Once the Form 4 is filled out you mail it along with payment for the tax to the ATF. Wait time for the Form 4 varies but in recent times it is normally between 30 and 90 days. Once the approved Form 4 comes back you can pick up your item.

    If you are buying an item from out of state or having your dealer order item the procedure is basically the same other then the wait is going to be longer. If the item is not in stock it will need to be transferred from the current owner to the NFA dealer. This usually takes 1-4 weeks.

    If you choose to build your own NFA item it is similar to doing a transfer but happens a bit different. To build a NFA item you fill out a Form 1 (making NFA item) with the description of the item you want to build. The rest of the Form 1 is filled out in the same manner and mailed just like the Form 4. You do not need a dealer involved to do a Form 1. You cannot build your item until the Form 1 comes back approved. Wait time is the same as for a Form 4.


    How much is the tax?

    For all making or transfer of NFA items the tax is $200 per item. If you do 5 items even if at the same time it is $200 per item. The only exception for this is on the transfer of AOW, which is $5. Making an AOW is still $200.


    How much and how hard is the paperwork?

    If you have a CCW in your state or at least can pass that background check you can get an NFA item.

    As for paperwork there is very little. Have you filled out a 4473 when buying a gun from a dealer? Well this is no harder. In most cases the dealer will have it filled out and all you have to do is sign. If you have to fill it out then there are electronic forms that you fill out on line and print as a PDF file. It takes about 5 minutes.


    Special note about Machine guns.

    While it is still legal to build NFA items it is illegal to build new machine guns for non-government/export use.

    The 1986 FOPA (Firearms Owners Protection Act) that went into effect May 19, 1986 ban the making of new Machine guns for public sales: THE FIREARMS OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT: A HISTORICAL AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVE

    There are 3 different kinds of machine guns:

    Transferable. These guns were made AND registered prior to May 19,1986. These are the guns on the open market and are legal for sale and use by anyone. Since there are a limited number of these guns, estimated at just under 200,000, they command a premium price. For price it is not out of line for these guns to command 10-20 times the amount of the semi auto version.

    Pre Dealer Samples. These are guns that can only be owned by dealers. These guns were also cut off in May of 1986. When a dealer gives up his SOT license (NFA Dealer) he can still legally keep these guns. Prices of these are about 75% of what transferable guns cost.

    Post Dealer Samples. These are guns made after May of 1986. Dealers only can only get these guns if they have a letter from a qualified buyer stating they want to buy or demo the gun. Cost is about the same as the semi auto version.

    When it comes to Machine guns there are also 2 types. Ones that uses registered receivers and ones that use registered parts.

    With registered receivers (RR) what you have is pretty much what you get. Some guns are more flexible then others. With a RR FAL, what you have is an FAL and that is it. If you have a RR M-16 you are stuck with an AR lower but you can swap uppers and have many calibers.

    Some have registered parts like the bolt or a sear. Some of the more common “sear guns” are the HK’s like the 91, 93, 94, ect. You can use your registered sear in any gun that it will fit in legally. So you could go out and buy a new one (or as new as you can get) and put your sear in it and fire FA, then pull it out and have a legal rifle again. Or if you buddy has a nice HK 94 that you wanted to try in FA you can legally drop your sear in it and have fun for the afternoon.


    Is it an AOW or an SBS?

    This is one of the biggest confusions about shotguns. What it is labeled will depend on how it was made. If it has EVER had a stock on it the gun has to be a SBS. If the gun has NEVER had a stock it would be an AOW, but could be made an SBS by adding a stock. Can an AOW and SBS look the same? Yes they can, but not always, so the only way to tell on some guns is to look at the NFA paperwork for the gun and see what it is labeled.

    Most of the popular “pistol” sized/shaped shotguns are AOW’s made from guns like the Mossberg’s or the Remington’s that come with pistol grips and not stocks on them. But again since a “pistol” sized/shaped shotgun CAN be made from a shotgun that has a stock on it the label would NOT be AOW if it EVER had a stock, it would have to be a SBS.

    Is one better then the other? If you want a “short” shotgun with a stock you have to have SBS. Some states do not allow all classes you may be legal to own an AOW vs SBS or the other way around. There is also only a $5 transfer on AOW vs $200 for the others.



    Her is another link that covers all the Federal firearms laws, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_01/27cfr178_01.html

    This is the link to Definitions, it is very hard to read the way it is typed. To find what you are looking for it is alphabetical order, http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2001/aprqtr/27cfr178.11.htm
     
  6. C&H

    C&H SW Portland Member

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    Thanks!

    I have my answers (and good resources - thanks Nwcid).
    Looks like this project won't happen. I'm not willing to spend to money to go the SBR route, just to spend a whole lot more money on a Charger + mods.
     
  7. Page.k

    Page.k Seattle Active Member

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    Why take a look at the links below. Whit the way things are a letter to the ATF may be best. By the looks of thing a hand gun can be a long gun and change back:paranoid:. The gun needs a barrel on it to make over the legal inches before the stock can be added. And stock has to be removed first. I have yet to find any thing saying that a hand gun barrel can't be over X. Why not have a AOW made for you to save on the taxes to be collected?


    United States v. Thompson-Center Arms Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Thompson Center Arms - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D. - United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Co.

    Deprecated Browser Error
    Review: Beretta U22 Neos Carbine Kit « Suburban Survivalist
     
  8. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    You are mostly correct.

    First things first. The Thompson ruling applies ONLY to Thompson guns. Though one would assume it should apply to all guns of a similar nature it does not.

    Second this applies ONLY to guns sold in "Kit" form. Again it would seem reasonable that it would apply to all guns of similar nature.

    Third it is the current OPINION of the ATF that a pistol turned into a "rifle" that came from other then a "Kit" form can not be made back into pistol configuration legally. I say OPINION because that is what the ATF does is enforces laws and makes opinions about the law. The only way to change that opinion to fight it in court which means you have to have a test case and $$$$$ to back it up. ATF had a habit of charging people with stuff, financially breaking them then dropping the case before it can be ruled on :(

    Fourth I do not agree with the ATF's opinion, I have not seen any place people have been charged with this. It would be pretty hard in most cases to prove a pistol had been a "rifle" then changed back. Still if caught and charged with the current opinion of the ATF it will cost you lots of $$$$.


    Here are some links about it, ATF pistol to rifle and back - Google Search
     
  9. C&H

    C&H SW Portland Member

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    Now that I better understand the law, I think I'll buy a Henry AR7 if I want to take a rifle camping.

    A charger with a light synthetic folding stock and a light barrel would still be a great backpacking gun, just not great enough to risk any legal trouble.
     
  10. JBMiller

    JBMiller Manassas, VA New Member

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    Register it as an SBR. It's only $200. Way more than $200 in fun if you do!
     
  11. C&H

    C&H SW Portland Member

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    Sure sounds like fun, but:
    Charger or 10/22....$200-$300
    Barrel.......$160
    Stock.......$150
    Sights.......$60

    So, $570-$670 plus another $200 for the tax stamp? $870 to take a charger backpacking? I think this project is shelved. :)
     
  12. JBMiller

    JBMiller Manassas, VA New Member

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  13. cwegga

    cwegga Helena, MT Active Member

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    For lightweight takedown backpacking guns that don't cost $800 you might check out some of these.

    Kel Tec SU-22
    Feather RAV-22
    Marlin Papoose
    Stevens Favorite (a bit heavier than the others)
    PackRifle

    The Marlin and Stevens you can even find for pretty cheap at gun shows if you don't mind getting older models.

    But really if for some reason you want to avoid buying a new gun:paranoid: your Charger would be a cool backpacking gun.