Pistol Kits: Beware or You’ll End up Afoul of the Law!

Rock Island Armory RONI 1911 TCM Pistol

As Independent Program Attorneys for Texas Law Shield, the lawyers at Walker & Byington, PLLC receive all sorts of questions about modifying firearms. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to already be in violation of the law by the time they call us.

One recent trend is the installation of a “carbine conversion kit.” Can you drop your handgun into one of these kits legally, or are you potentially violating the law? First, we have to understand what exactly is regulated, and what isn’t, before learning about how the conversions work.

What’s Regulated?

There are types of firearms that are regulated by the National Firearms Act. These regulations prohibit an individual from possessing certain types of firearms without first registering that item with the ATF and paying the appropriate tax. Commonly used handguns and rifles are not governed by the NFA; short-barreled rifles, however, are regulated. In other words, short-barreled rifles require registration with the ATF and a tax to be paid, while handguns and rifles do not. What’s the difference between a handgun, a rifle, and a short-barreled rifle?

These three firearm terms are defined under federal law in 27 CFR 478.11. A handgun is any firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand (while many of us use a second hand for safety or additional control, this is not considered to be firing with two hands). Conversely, a rifle is defined as a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder.

A short-barreled rifle is any rifle, or any weapon made from a rifle, with one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length, or the overall length of the rifle is less than 26 inches. This overall length includes any collapsible or folding stocks at full extension, and is measured from the extreme ends of the rifle. The exception is if the stock is easily detachable, in which case it is measured without the stock.

So, to determine what kind of item you have, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is it designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand? If yes, then you have a handgun. If not, go on to question 2.
  2. Is it designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder? If yes, go on to question 3.
  3. Does the barrel measure at least 16 inches in length? If not, you have a short-barreled rifle. If yes, go on to question 4.
  4. Does the item have at least an overall length of 26 inches? If not, you have a short-barreled rifle. If yes, you have a rifle.

Now that we have those definitions out of the way, let’s look at how these conversions play out.

Rifle to SBR

If you turn your rifle into a short-barreled rifle, you have committed a crime unless you received ATF approval and paid the appropriate tax. So, unless you’ve gotten your tax stamp from the ATF, don’t saw off your barrel or stock if it is shortens the overall length under 26 inches.

Handgun to SBR

If you take your handgun and turn it into an item that is designed to be fired from the shoulder, and it doesn’t meet the 16-inch-barrel-length requirement or 26-inch overall-length requirement, you have created an item that meets the definition of a short-barreled rifle. This item will need to be registered with the ATF and have a tax paid before conversion, just like the rifle to short-barreled rifle conversion.

Handgun to Rifle

This is a perfectly legal transition to make, that requires no NFA compliance or registration. You are simply moving from one non-NFA firearm to another.

Rifle to Handgun

Think this is another legal conversion? Think again! This creates a short-barreled rifle, and requires prior approval by the ATF and a tax paid. Why? Because of the pesky definition of a short-barreled rifle. It includes any weapon made from a rifle, that doesn’t meet the 26 inches overall or a 16-inch barrel length. Therefore, if you take your rifle down to handgun size, you’ve created a short-barreled rifle!

Handgun to Rifle to Handgun

We know that handgun to rifle is legal; and we just saw that taking a rifle to a handgun (which is actually an SBR) is regulated. What happens if you turn your handgun into a rifle, then back into a handgun? Nothing, it’s perfectly legal! These can seem confusing for good reason, but the ATF clarified why they have taken this stance.

Ultimately, the weapon was born into the world as a handgun; it was then modified into a rifle, and back into a handgun. Therefore, it isn’t a weapon “made from a rifle,” but is instead originally a handgun. Even if this doesn’t make sense, just remember that how a weapon is born into the world matters. If it’s born as a handgun, you can turn it into a rifle and then back into a handgun. If it’s born as a rifle, turning it into a handgun creates an NFA-regulated item.

Honorable Mention: Handgun to AOW

One final wrench to throw in the works: What happens if you add a vertical foregrip to a handgun? We know the definition of a handgun is a weapon designed to be fired with a single hand, and that a rifle is designed to be fired from the shoulder. However, this item is not designed to be fired with one hand, as it has a foregrip, and is now designed to be fired with two! It isn’t a rifle, because it isn’t designed to be fired from the shoulder either.

So, what exactly is this Frankenfirearm? Per the ATF, it is considered an “Any Other Weapon” or AOW that must be registered with the ATF and have the appropriate tax paid.

TCM Roni Pistol Shell

Now that we are all masters on conversions, let’s look at a real-life example: the TCM Roni Pistol Shell. This conversion kit allows you to open a compartment, drop your pistol in, close the compartment, and essentially finish conversion. The overall length of the item is 22 inches with the shoulder stock extended, and the barrel is just a few inches long. If you put your pistol in this kit and close the compartment, you have created an item that meets the definition of a short-barreled rifle, and you are committing a crime if you haven’t previously registered the item with the ATF and paid the appropriate tax.

Accordingly, there is a warning on the TCM Roni Pistol Shell purchase page that a pistol, if converted, becomes a short-barreled rifle.

Compare this to the Glock Roni Civilian Pistol Carbine conversion kit, with a 16-inch barrel and 27 inches in overall length. This would be perfectly legal!

The world of firearm conversions can become convoluted and in it, you can potentially incur criminal consequences — so make sure you know what the law is before converting your firearm!  ~ by Gordon Cooper, Contributing Legal Editor for Texas Law Shield and an attorney at Walker & Byington.

Walker & Byington is a law firm of experienced criminal defense lawyers located in Houston, Texas. They specialize in weapons and firearms charges, gun crimes, DWI cases, aggravated assault cases, and moreIf you have questions about these firearms, call Walker & Byington at (281) 668-9957 or email them at

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (47)

  1. If you add a 4” pad to the shoulder as I am above avg height that would take it to 26”. would that make it legal, or the forward barrel cover could be longer, that would immediately correct SBR conditions?

  2. Agreed with J.C…. the ATF rules all depend how the firearm ‘started life’. If it began as a pistol, no prob converting to a ‘rifle’ (or back again). But a rifle can’t be converted to a ‘pistol’ without the paperwork and paying the tax.
    And BTW, can we please quit all the ‘whining’ about the laws and ‘politics’. It is what it is, and making all gun owners seem like a ‘victims’, or worse, a buncha uber-paranoid ‘nuts’ ain’t helpful or effective. But voting and contacting your rep., which actually takes a little effort, is.,less%20than%2016%20inches)%20barrel.

  3. i know this is an old post, but maybe someone can answer this question. If you have an AR Pistol with an overall length of 26+ inches and you add a vertical foregrip you create a non NFA “firearm.” Can you go back and forth from “firearm” to pistol since they are non nfa items?

  4. What if a person uses the RONI 1911 conversion but installs a 16 inch 1911 barrel? Wouldn’t that be as legal as the 16 inch Glock conversion is?

  5. This article and attached comments perfectly illustrate what we have, based on the so-called “Nation of Laws” fiasco. The “Nation of Laws,” fiasco was invented by government lawyers to persecute the people. Somewhere in la la land a legislator writes a few “suggestions on paper” and calls the suggestion a law. But it’s not a law until some neophyte judge interprets the suggestion’s meaning. To learn the true meaning of the suggestion, one must challenge the suggestion in court. Are you willing to make that challenge. The costs will be very high.

    This is the way government neophyte’s make a living, and draw six figure salaries. How else can government make criminals without first establishing laws that cannot be explained or understood, and are purposely written to make criminals out of the citizens. As a side note remember this truism, “Legislators do not write laws, only judges write laws.”

  6. They forgot to put in this article that a angled or horizontal for grip is legal just not a vertical and that comes directly from the atf. More BS that makes no sense.

    1. I had heard that, too, Jeremy. Thus, on my Kel Tec PLR16, I have installed an angled foregrip instead of a vertical or variable foregrip.

  7. I know I am paranoid. That does not mean that they are not actually out to get us. I think what the pols and bureaucrats have in the back of their minds, perhaps not even expressed among themselves is to get as many people convicted of a crime as possible. Let me explain. One of the terms and conditions of any offer of probation or parole is a consent to a search of person, vehicle or residence at any time by any peace officer or other law enforcement officer. That covers a broad scope these days. It includes border patrol, TSA, Homeland Security (what a joke that is.) I suspect it might even be stretched to include code enforcement officers and parking enforcement ticket writers. It definitely includes parole officers and probation officers. In return for a guilty plea and five years informal probation which means you don’t have to report every week or month to the probation office, but you do give up your right against search and/or seizure, you will serve no jail time and pay no fine. Otherwise, it is max jail time and max fine with forfeiture of property and possibly if the DA can stretch the facts enough, charging your spouse. What married man wouldn’t take that deal? No charges against your wife. Your kids do not get scooped up by CPS, your house is not seized, no fine, no jail time and just a misdemeanor conviction. Versus possible jail time, possible hassle for your wife, your kids get incarcerated at juvenile hall by CPS because they don’t have enough foster homes to place them or worse yet, they get placed with that loving family who doesn’t work but takes in foster kids to earn a living and you might wind up with a felony conviction which would preclude you from owning any guns, ammunition or gun parts no voting the bastards out of office — you thought it was hard finding a good job, try finding one with a felony conviction, your credit score goes to a minus figure. Gimme the papers. Where do I sign? A complicated section in the ATF regulations that nobody can interpret? Wow! What a godsend. That means any Deputy AG who is looking to build a conviction record can with the connivance of corrupt ATF agents (oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize they were all pure as the driven snow) can charge you with a violation of a section even the ATF doesn’t know is a crime. Sure, you might get it overturned on appeal long after you have finished serving your time and spent big bucks on attorney fees for trial and appeal and trying to get your kids back. Why not, I am going to live the straight and narrow from here on out. Ever seen a house that has gotten “tossed” by the jackbooted thugs we call law enforcement? Holes punched in the walls, fluffy the cat stomped to death, every drawer in the house pulled out and the contents dumped on the floor, every bag of sugar dumped on the floor, cookie packages, pasta, all dumped on the floor. Oh, but that only happens to drug dealers. Don’t kid yourself. Once you sign that paper you are fair game every time local law enforcement wants to show up on the six o’clock news showing how tough they are on crime. Ever wonder how many convictions come from those mass arrests that you see on the six o’clock news? You never see that do you because there are so few convictions that the public would rise up about the tremendous cost involved in those follies. The pols and bureaucrats don’t want clear, precise laws. That’s not the way to control the common herd. We want laws that say what we say they do, not laws that the Joe Average, nor even Judge Learned Hand can interpret. Remember “You have to wait until we pass the bill to find out what it says”?That’s the kind of law our masters want and that’s why you see a paragraph that the common folk at ATF say, “Huh?” when you ask them what it means. I could go on, but it is time for me pick up my soap box and scamper out of here because I see someone from some unnamed letter agency lurking in the bushes.

    1. George and Left Coast Chuck..I agree completely. At 65 years old it seems like I’ve had to fight my whole adult life to try to keep a right specifically in the Constitution. Meanwhile in the hysterical press we get constantly blasted with propaganda to take away our rights, while they preach about the 1st amendment right to hold protests that turn into riots, abortion rights, black criminal lives matter, refugee rights, immigrant rights, criminals’ rights, rights to free home telephones, obamaphones, free internet, healthcare, housing, illegal aliens’ rights, mass murderers rights not to be executed—demand, demand, demand. .This week and the hysteria the press and our hollywood elite have spewed over ‘refugees’ is the perfect example. And I tip my hat to Left Coast Chuck, suffering from the policies inspired by the Socialist Utopia of Kali-fornia that has infected the whole coast.

  8. What part of the 2nd ammendment right to bear arms do you not understand? I was born free and I’ll die free! The law makers can suck my toe! Time to put an end to this absurdity!

  9. Thanks for posting this informative article. I was considering buying a conversion unit for my .45. I will now make sure that the barrel is at least 16 inches and the over all length is 26 inches,.

  10. i agree with you, we call it the peter principle. it states that a person in a company will rise to a level of incompetence and there they will stay. the only problem is they will have no cost but if they decide you have done something right or wrong, well, the costs for you will be staggering. i did the studying before building my pistol and i came away with the conclusion that once a pistol always a pistol but then i am no lawyer and i certainly do not work for the BATFE, which should be abolished. the sooner the better. it has been an illegal arm of the government since it was started by interfering with the second amendment. i would like holder and those involved selling guns to criminals put away, as well as obummer!.

  11. 2 things that I believe are true, not sure on the first. 1- In order to build an AR style pistol, do you not have to buy a receiver that was manufactured from the factory as a pistol receiver and sold as such? This seems like a real ‘catch 22’ for those building the pistols. 2- Also, for those converting to short barrelled rifle or AOW, I beliefve that once that is ‘stamped’ and converted, even if taken back to its original configuration it remains a short barrelled rifle or AOW, and if sold or transferred the new owner would have to ‘stamp’ it before taking custody. The rules for making modifications to firearms imported under Clinton’s Assault Weapons ban are even more screwed up.. And the Feds in their wisdom have decided you can get a Dragonov 30 cal sniper rifle, but a .30 Carbine surplus import constitutes a ‘battle rifle’ restricted from import. What a cluster ^#%*.

    1. i believe what you are saying is true. plus once a pistol always a pistol, but how are they going to know what you have done? no sorry, i think i had to register one of the lowers as a pistol when i bought the lower. hell it has been so long ago i do not remember, but i think that is what i did. i am not a lawyer.yea, a cluster WTF! yes and imported rifles after a certain date need so many compliance parts to change them, if i remember correctly. boy it gets complicated and then they change stuff as the years go by.. we certainly need to uncomplicate the mess.

    2. The lower does not have to be solely registered as a pistol, but can also be registered as NOT A RIFLE. There’s a firearm, pistol, and rifle option for what you are purchasing on the 4473. The SBR law comes into play if you start with a rifle. All my virgin lowers have been and will be bought as non-typed so that I have the option to build whatever, law abiding of course, I want to build.

  12. I have a dilemma the website states 16″ OR 26″ in length but the atf book at 2 different gun shops States 16″ AND 26″ in length and all the law enforcement that I know says it’s 16″ and 26″ so what is it AND / OR I’m in NC.

    1. NFA34 specifies that a rifle barrel cannot be shorter than 16 inches AND the total overall length of such a rifle cannot be shorter than 26 inches. That said, the specifications are 16″ AND 26″.

    2. The inverse logic of an “or” statement is an “and” statement. So:

      To be a SBR, the weapon must have a barrel < 16" OR a overall length 16″ AND have an overall length > 26″.

      The same logic applies to shotguns, except the barrel requirement is 18″, and that a weapon that was never designed to fire from the shoulder with an overall length < 26" is an AOW. A handgun can not be a smooth bore or it is an AOW.

  13. I was on a website where they sell firearms, I won’t mention any names. I was looking at AK 47 pistols. On this website they also sold the forearm grip for that pistol. The forearm grip used velcro straps, that when loosened, opened the grip to attach to a person’s forearm, but when closed it resembles a buttstock. On this site they have a video of a guy shooting the AK47 pistol with the forearm grip attached to his forearm, in that same video he is shooting it with the forearm grip closed and not on his arm. When doing this he stated that even though it resembles a buttstock, and could be used as a buttstock, it was legal as long as he didn’t shoulder the weapon. He then proceeded to fire the weapon using the open site’s with a standard cheek weld, but the forearm grip/nonbuttsock was only inches from his shoulder. As others have stated in their comments these ridiculous, rules, laws or regulations, whatever they are, need to be done away with. The idea that well meaning, law abiding citizens, could be prosecuted for crossing such a fine line, is reason enough for them to be abolished.

  14. I work for an FFL. We have contacted the ATF specifically about the RONI conversion for a Glock pistol. We know that the customer must get a tax stamp for his/her Glock. The question we had, was that once the Glock is tax-stamped as a SBR, what ramifications (if any) are there for pulling the Glock out of the RONI and using it again as a pistol (that has been tax stamped as a SBR). The answer we got from the ATF….

    Ummm, we’re not sure. Great. Even the ATF has no clue about their own incompetent and senseless regulations.

  15. first i want to say that i am not a lawyer. people in these government offices look upon themselves as gods. it should be time to put those in charge along with holder and obama in jail for project gun runner and fast and furious. thousands have been killed and are still being killed.

    they make the laws so vague that they can twist them around to suit their needs, they just have to prove it in the courts which they do not pay for we do. these laws have not reduced crime they just set up innocent people for prosecution. for those seeking power it must be a wonderful job.

    now like i said i am not a lawyer. if you have parts on hand to make a rifle or a pistol does not seem to break the law yet. why? well think about those that do it for a living. they have those parts on hand all the time. once what ever is made it is what it is. it cannot be changed then without breaking the law. they just came out with a shoot gun pistol because it had no butt stock the barrel length meant nothing, or did the over all length. now if you put a butt stock on you would be breaking the law. WE NEED GET RID OF THESE LAWS AND DISBAND THE BATFE.

    THE ONLY THING DIFFERENT WITH A PISTOL AND RIFLE AR is the butt stock that can be slipped on easily.if you have AR and parts around, how can that be breaking the law? like i said i am not a lawyer. if you put that butt stock on then it is a rifle and if the barrels to short you are breaking the law. the BATFE could not decide on the forearm grip on the AR but it appears they feel it is all right now. that forearm grip can be used as a butt stock. my beliefs are that the BATFE do not even understand their own laws. they certainly do not think they have to follow the laws which is obvious with fast and furious. when called on the carpet we are the ones that have to pay for our legal cost unless we win and even then we have to pay. even when they break the law they do not. WTF!

    once a pistol always a pistol and once a rifle always a rifle. that is my understanding. now it having the parts around is breaking a law, how can anyone have extra parts for their rifles if they also have a pistol? an extra butt stock would mean you are breaking the law. of course we are the ones that have to pay to prove our innocents. second if you are the one that put together this pistol how are they going to know it was a pistol if you decide to do something else with it? there certainly is a lot of stupid F@@@ing things about these laws that were put into affect that started during prohibition, which prohibition should never have happened. our government controlling us, that does not sound like freedom to me. there are a lot of laws that need to be changed and a lot of government agencies that need to be shut down and the folks in those agencies need to find a real job.

  16. According to this article, it sounds like anyone who buys an AR15 stripped lower receiver and builds it into an AR Pistol is breaking the law. If so, many, many folks are in violation without knowing they have committed a crime. By nature of the beast, the AR lower IS a rifle, and as we all know by now, it is THE serialized part! I do not think that stamping the mag housing with “Multi Caliber” solves this dilemma, but I may be wrong.

    1. A stripped lower is catalogued and sold as “Other”. It is neither a pistol or rifle until it is completed as one or the other. Once it is built as either a pistol or rifle, then the rules as they appear in the above article apply. Many people will legally build a pistol from the lower, submit a Form 1 for a SBR and upon receipt of approval and “stamp”, put a rifle stock on it to complete the SBR.

  17. Now what about the AR style pistols. You can buy are parts separate from each other them build it as a pistol. Since it started as parts is it a pistol or short barreled rifle?

  18. plus you put yourself on a list and you are dealing with a criminal organization. we need to throw everyone out of the organization and let them find a real job. the BATFE should not exist in the first place. it was put together to fight the mafia, when in reality all we needed to do was legalize alcohol. same needs to be done with drugs right now. the problem is these organizations want more power and will do anything for it.

  19. Hey Woody, I think you should amend the article to include that: once you have the parts on hand to make an AOW or SBR, you have run afoul of the NFA. You do not have to actually assemble it! Parts on hand to make a SBR= a SBR, in the eyes of the ATF!

    1. You say, “once you have the parts on hand to make an AOW or SBR, you have run afoul of the NFA.”

      Wow, this is a scary thought. Do you know any gun owner NOT in possession of at least one vertical grip installed on an AR-15, and a handgun with a picatinny rail in his safe? Even though the parts are not intended to be an AOW or SBR, they are still the “parts on hand.” There’s no way out of this trap!!! Ignorance of the law is no excuse, says the LEO as he puts the handcuffs on.

  20. Hopefully all of this will change now that we have an American in the White House. The BATFE is the most useless agency there is. They solve very little to no crime. In fact they create quite a bit more crime than they solve. Their job is to police the law-abiding citizens. And to dissuade us from having anything that we would like related to firearms. I will say good riddance when they are gone.

  21. During the 8 months I waited for a stamp for my SBR, I wonder how many tons of illicit drugs made it through our borders? Enough to keep the crack heads and heroin addicts comfortable, I will bet.

    My SBR uses the same magazines as my Glock 17. For those in the know, tell me which one is more concealable? When you think of it that way, the SBR is actually a SAFER weapon, yet I can get a G17 anywhere with zero wait time. This is but one small example of the stupidity of of a system that shouldn’t exist in the first place. It’s counter-intuitive and solves absolutely nothing.

    No criminal cares about the laws. If somebody has lost their humanity to the point where they plot to kill innocent people, they surely are not going to worry about violating any NFA laws. Those of us who abide by the law are the ones who have to worry about the NFA laws and figure out what’s legal and what will land us in the slammer. We are the ones paying $200 to wait for 8 months for no good reason.

    1. i agree 100% . i live in MS., i live 1hr away from memphis (#2 or #3 deadliest city in the U.S.) 2/3 times a week i go to the city to visit family/friends, shop, doctor appointments etc… i have my CCW permit, i carry the USPc 45 OWB and BUG with a g19 loaded with 33rd mag .

      tell me what is the difference between a semi auto sbr vs the g19 with a 100rd c-mag ? two hands and butt stock .

      owning a military M4 with a M203 grenade launcher, 50 cal. mounted to my truck or the A10 warthog, ok i get that !

  22. Without getting into the whole violation of the second amendment portion of this discussion.

    What if you purchase a stripped lower and want to build a pistol out of it? What precautions do you need to take?

    After that, you can convert to your hearts content.

    1. i have built a pistol. you cannot make it a rifle after that, and you cannot put a butt stock on it. barrel length does not matter, caliber does not matter. you cannot put a butt stock on it ever…

    2. i’m no lawyer, but based on my readings elsewhere, i dont believe art is correct there.
      if its is a stripped lower built as a pistol first, it follows pistol rules. you can convert it to a rifle (adding longer barrel BEFORE adding a stock) and then back to a pistol (removing stock BEFORE barrel)

  23. All the other 2A comments while pointing out what has been done to our right to “Keep and Bear” the government HAS infringed and in that infringement caused us to be in this legal quandria .
    I submit that this article while unpopular in subject matter is accurate in detail to keep those that read and comprehend from landing in legal trouble that can take away ALL OF THEIR ARMS!

    1. very true sir. being a law does not make it right. it does mean if you break it you will probably have to pay the consequences. what we need to do is realize the bad laws and change them if we can. most of these laws started during prohibition. automatics should not require special licenses. which lead to giving organized crime super powers just as we have done with the war on drugs. when are we going to learn our lesson. why do we learn history, we seem to ignore it when it comes to our feelings even if we know it is not right. if we want to lower crime and start to get out of debt, we need to make all drugs illegal. the way it stands anyone that wants heroin can buy it on the corner.. this is human nature and we changed nothing except produced a bunch of criminals we house so they can learn how to be better criminals. organized crime makes so much money they can afford the best guns, so we then outlaw the guns and give criminals a better chance at plying their trade. these laws have only put the honest citizen at a disadvantage and they continue to try and make it worse for the honest citizens. maybe we and hopefully our politicians need to pull our heads out and smell the crap or should i say democrap. i am neither party but the democraps have lost any support with their anti gun agenda. it totally amazes me how people can be talked into some of the stupidest things, i guess it is partly due to their beliefs. that is one reason why we need always to separate church and state. beliefs should not control everyone. reduce government, get rid of the BATFE, and a lot of other agencies. an organization that sells guns illegally to known criminals does not deserve to exist. 1/2 the people support the other half of the government employees. we are broke and headed for the greatest depression the world has ever seen. this will set them up to start their electronic money. once that has happened the elites will have total control over everyone and the constitution will not mean much then. if they do not want you to buy something it will just be a key stroke. we have drifted so far towards communism i am not sure we change reverse things. now you know just how crazy i am, no has to listen to me. just ranting and pissed….

  24. Sadly it’s actually more about revenue generation than anything else. Just like any other license, fee, or tax it’s all about revenue generation. They hide behind and take hostage of the word public safety in order to generate the most revenue. Only when people in mass start to realize it, will true change occur about any “tax” that is put on actions, or commerce.

  25. I used to be interested in the kit wherein you could build a short barreled rifle out of my 1911 A2. When I saw the price of the kit, I decided that there had to be a cheaper way. First I purchased a 16 inch barrel from Sarco for around $55 plus shipping and then a clamp on vertical hand guard that is designed for a shotgun barrel and Voila, I had my ‘hand rifle’. I also purchased an AK folding stock such as used on the AMD-65 which can be modified to fit the grip of the .45. So with a little imagination and work, one can build their own plus with the 16 inch barrel, it’s legal.

  26. Back in the 70’s when I was an FFL holder, things were a bit simpler.
    A rifle could have a barrel as short as 16 inches & the overall length had to be 26 inches or more. For a shotgun the barrel had to be 18 inches or longer. The overall length also had to be 26 inches or more. Making a pistol out of a rifle action was illegal. Then in the late 60’s Remington designed a new bolt action specifically for the Remington 221 Fireball. This was legal. Then a few years later they began using that 221 Fireball action in a new 600 series of rifles. Interesting on how complicated things have gotten since then.
    I still have one of these original 221 Fireball pistols with a 4 digit serial number under 3000. The one on display at the NRA museum is about 500 more than mine.
    I’m still living by those old rules. Make things simpler for an old fart like me. 🙂


  27. Guess I missed the part of the Constitution that grants the government
    the power to limit my gun ownership in any way.

  28. Of course when one sets one’s mind to thinking about all the ramifications that can result in one becoming a criminal under the provisions of NFA34, it can be a mind boggling process. We firearms enthusiasts all recognize that nothing that can be done to modify any firearm has no real impact on crime, and it becomes ludicrously irritating to realize that NFA34 in it’s totality is a ridiculous infringement on our property rights. Really, now…..are we to believe and accept the premise that whether a piece is designed to be fired from the shoulder, from the hand, or from two hands and must also meet certain size criteria…..has any basis in practical, factual application?

    NFA34, GCA68, and the plethora of laws and policies that govern firearms just do not make any sense in the overall scheme of criminal jurisprudence. Once again, we are finding that these laws and policies do nothing to deter the criminals who will violate laws regardless of their provisions, while we law abiding gun owners must navigate through the minefield of silly laws that do nothing but encumber us in our efforts to own, use, or modify our pieces to suit our own tastes or needs. A case in point…..I own a Kel Tec PLR-16 pistol that generally requires two hands to accurately fire it, and I can legally do so by holding the pistol grip in my strong hand while supporting the piece with my other hand by holding the magazine or handguard. BUT…..If I install a vertical fore grip on the pistol’s handguard… perform the same function as when I am holding the magazine in my support hand…..I am a criminal. Go figure…..

  29. i think government has gotten to big and certainly the ATFE selling guns to known criminals illegally is outrageous. i think the gun laws should be reduced and the ATFE should be disbanded. if i am not mistaken it was started during the prohibition of alcohol. we were suppose to have learned a great lesson there and of course we did not. any prohibition does not work and never has. it just leads to organized crime supplying whatever. same thing we have done with the war on drugs. when are we going to wake up and smell the crap or just pull our heads out so we do not have to smell it??.

  30. Thanks. That helped. It was as clear as mud but it covered the ground.

    What I want to know is why I must get a permit/tax stamp before I have made a change I may decide not to make.

    1. Once you make the change or add/remove a particular part, you are subject to the NFA law. While deciding you are fine. However, once you take an action and make a change, even just to take a look or try it out, you are subject to the law. I believe that is the conditions they were trying to point out by saying you need to get the permit first. ~Dave Dolbee

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