How to Build a Short-Barreled Rifle (SBR)

By CTD Suzanne published on in How To

A short-barreled rifle or SBR is legally defined as a “shoulder-fired, rifle bore” firearm with a barrel of 16 inches or shorter or a firearm that overall length is less than 26 inches. An SBR is considered a Title 2 restricted firearm. It falls under the 1968 Gun Control Act of the National Firearms Act. You will also hear these Title 2 restricted items called Class 3 weapons. A suppressor is also considered a Class 3 item.

A Title 2/Class 3 item is legal to own in most states, but it must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The process of obtaining a Class 3 firearm requires paperwork, fees and a lot of patience.

This SBR is owned by CTD Ben.

This SBR is owned by CTD Ben.

Before purchasing the items that necessarty tomake  your gun an SBR, you must first fill out an Application to Make a Firearm form, called Form 1. This is your application to register your intent to build an SBR. If you already have all the pieces to make an SBR without filling out and receiving back the proper paper work, you are in violation of the Gun Control Act and could be charged with unlawful possession of a Class 3 weapon, often referred to as constructive intent.

First, consider whether you will file your paperwork as an individual, trust or corporation. If you file as an individual, the SBR only belongs to you. It requires passport photos, fingerprints, and a signature from a chief law enforcement officer. Choosing to have a trust or a corporation own the SBR, visit a lawyer who specializes in firearms law to legally set up a trust for you. A trust does not require photos, fingerprints or a signature. There will be costs associated with creating a binding trust, but it is the best route to go if you are planning on owning more than one Class 3 weapon or item.

You must mail a $200 tax fee with your Form 1 application. The fee goes towards a “tax stamp” that shows you legally own the Title 2 firearm. Form 1 is not very extensive and looks much like Form 4473 you fill out when buying a gun. Further, it comes with easy to read instructions.

Another form you must complete is the Certification of Compliance with 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(B) that proves you are either a legal citizen or resident of the United States.

After the paperwork is received by the ATF, your information will be processed through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is the same system used when you purchase a firearm.

Your short-barreled rifle’s receiver must also have your name engraved on it. There are legal requirements on the depth of the engraving, so your local trophy shop might not match those requirements. I recommend using Ident Marking Services.

A copy of your paperwork and tax stamp must be with your Class 3 weapon at all times. If you plan on crossing state lines with it, you must fill out the Application to Transport Interstate or to Temporarily Export Certain National Firearms Act (NFA) Firearms. You must have approval from the ATF before travelling with your SBR.

Add a stock, tax stamp and you would have an SBR.

Add a stock, tax stamp and you would have an SBR.

Receiving your paperwork and tax stamp is a slow process. Currently there is a 10-month waiting period before getting the okay to own an SBR. However, have patience. Owning an SBR is worth it, not only for the fun factor, but it can make an excellent home defense gun.

The

Century International Arms Zastava PAP M92 pistol is ready to build into an SBR. All you have to do is add a stock. With a stock, the gun’s 10 inch barrel makes it an SBR, but get your paperwork back from the ATF first!

Do you own an SBR? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Below is a video of me shooting an SBR for the first time.

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Comments (48)

  • SIG’s SB15 Legal Pistol Stabilizing Device

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    […] paper work and registration with the ATF. To learn more about building and owning an SBR, read “How to Build a Short-Barreled Rifle (SBR). Of course, “misuse” of the product drew questions from the gun […]

    Reply

  • Papa Mikey

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    @gossipninja…

    Things to worry about in a gunfight…

    #1. Survive the gunfight.

    #2. Everything else….

    Seriously the mindset of some people is so flawed.

    Reply

  • twr

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    When you fill out the atf form 1 for the m92, Is zastava or century considered the original manufacturer?

    Reply

  • non-electric water distiller

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    Disadvantages: Magnetic conditioners are generally
    not suitable for whole house protection, only single
    appliances. Stay on top as regularly clean
    help to avoid repairs and more efficient use of filter. Though some environmental organizations see nuclear energy as a solution to the growing climate
    change, others remain wary.

    Reply

  • JCitizen

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    Thanks Eric! Excellent! That sounds more like the more detailed route my Class 4 manufacturer buddies go. (I’ll read the link when I get more time)

    Reply

  • Eric

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    Found it:

    The ATF procedure for measuring barrel length is to measure from the closed bolt (or breech-face) to the furthermost end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device. Permanent methods of attachment include full-fusion gas or electric steel-seam welding, high-temperature (1100°F) silver soldering, or blind pinning with the pin head welded over. Barrels are measured by inserting a dowel rod into the barrel until the rod stops against the bolt or breech-face. The rod is then marked at the furthermost end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device, withdrawn from the barrel, and measured.

    http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5320-8/atf-p-5320-8-chapter-2.pdf

    Reply

  • JCitizen

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    @Eric:
    Thanks for your barrel measurement specification. [Post #35] That will be very helpful to readers here. When I was in the market, was the bad old days, when there was little information, and even when their was, the agents and other law enforcement personnel just did it by guess work. It was always a hassle arguing with officials on these kind of things; but it was the reality of that time.

    Reply

  • JCitizen

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    To add to this though; it would probably be a good idea to carry some kind of identification with you to show you are an executor, co-executor, or some kind of officer of the corporation at all times you are transporting legal NFA weapons in any jurisdiction. This will keep you covered enough that at least tort law could get you satisfaction if some CLEO gets in a pissing contest with you.

    For those of you not familiar with this GCA -’86 term CLEO = Chief Law Enforcement Official – this can be anyone from a city attorney/chief of police to the head of the state investigation division, or even a Federal Law Official.

    Reply

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