Short Barrel AR-15 build

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Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by Caleb C on Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:48 am

I've been toying with the idea of building an AR-15 SBR from the ground up. Does anyone have experience. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I'm completely ignorant when it comes to building ARs and especially about registering the lower with the ATF as an SBR. I'd also be looking for some good cheap parts suppliers if you know of any.

Thanks in advance for the info.

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by Rw on Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:25 pm


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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by beltfed on Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:43 am

I built mine. I used a 7" 1-7 twist barrel from American Spirit Arms. Other than an upgraded extractor and tungsten H buffer its pretty much like any other AR.

The shorter barrels have the gas port extremely close to the chamber and use a "pistol" gas tube so the direct impingement is quite violent. A good extractor spring and H buffer are almost necessary to get it running without a hiccup.

Heres mine.




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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by jbpmidas on Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:50 am

Anyone built a pistol?

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by beltfed on Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:53 am

registering the lower with the ATF as an SBR

You need to fill out an ATF Form 1, actually two of them in duplicate. Make sure they are printed front and back because the Form 1 is two pages. You will also need to have two completed finger print cards. I get the cards from my local NFA dealer and its 15 bucks at the police station to have them completed. You will also have to attach a 2x2 passport photo to the back of each Form 1. Then have your local Chief of Police or County prosecuting Attourney sign the back of each Form1.

Before you mail off the application you should have your lower reciever engraved, search SBR engraving on google for people who can do this. The engraving should have your name, city and state and be .003 deep and 1/16th min height. I used "things remembered" in the mall for my engraving. Came out perfect and only cost 25 dollars and they did it right there in the mall in about 10 minutes.

Once you have an engraved lower reciever and are happy with the engraving you need to mail off your package. You should have 2 completed and signed Form 1s printed front and back. 1 Passport photo attached to each Form 1, I use glue sticks. and two completed finger print cards. Mail all of that to the ATF with a MO for 200 bucks and wait! Mine took about 10 weeks.


Last edited by beltfed on Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by beltfed on Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:54 am

Never built a pistol.

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by Beladran on Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:16 pm

hey man why you wanna ruin a picture by having that nasty ace Jim Beam in it???

question... what if i dont want a dedicated SBR lower? why cant my upper be the registered part?

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by sigma74216 on Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:15 pm

Beladran wrote:question... what if i dont want a dedicated SBR lower? why cant my upper be the registered part?

I believe the lower has to be registered has an SBR because it's the only part that can be either a rifle or pistol. If it's a pistol than barrel length doesn't matter but a "rifle" lower has a short barrel then it has to be registered as such.

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by sigma74216 on Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:24 pm

But may still be able to put any length upper on it i don't think you have to specify. Register it as multi caliber then you can switch between 223, 9mm or even 5.7.

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by beltfed on Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:58 pm

why cant my upper be the registered part?

Ive heard of people doing this successfully...."heard"

I "heard" that they engrave the barrel or the upper reciever. I myself dont think so, but if your serious you should contact your local ATF Field Office and ask them. If they approive of it I would get it in writing and then take that to the NFA Branch of the BATF&E in Virgina and get their approval. If they say yes then I would get that in writing and send that in with your F1.

Why would you want to register the upper as the SBR anyway?

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by crazyace85 on Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:59 pm

So could you put a stock on a pistol ar and avoid the engraving and registering process.

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by Rw on Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:02 pm

That would get you locked up for an unregistered sbr

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by Rw on Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:03 pm

beltfed wrote:
why cant my upper be the registered part?

Ive heard of people doing this successfully...."heard"

I "heard" that they engrave the barrel or the upper reciever. I myself dont think so, but if your serious you should contact your local ATF Field Office and ask them. If they approive of it I would get it in writing and then take that to the NFA Branch of the BATF&E in Virgina and get their approval. If they say yes then I would get that in writing and send that in with your F1.

Why would you want to register the upper as the SBR anyway?

The part with the serial number(lower on a ar) is whats registered.

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by beltfed on Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:37 pm

Put a stock on a "pistol" and it becomes a "rifle" because it is now shoulder fired. A rifle with a barrel less than 16" is considered a "short barreled rifle" and must be registered with the ATF as such.

Commiting this act is sure to get you 10 years of free meals.

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by Dock Rocker on Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:59 am


Q: What is the registered part of a Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) or Short Barreled Shotgun (SBS)?

While a receiver alone may be classified as a “firearm” under the Gun Control Act (GCA), SBRs and SBSs are classified in totality under the National Firearms Act (NFA). A firearm that meets the definition of a SBR consists of a rifle that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length. A SBS consists of a shotgun that has a barrel less than 18 inches in length. The serialized receiver is recorded for registration in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR).

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by jhud on Fri Sep 10, 2010 11:03 am

Well, the stamp give your permission to use any short barrel on the lower, so just stamp the lower like normal. Trust me.

I use 10" barrels, or 10.5 to be exact.
Be sure to upgrade to an H or H2 buffer, for proper operation. I noticed reduced groups after going from H to H2.

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by RDRJR on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:19 pm

[quote=
Be sure to upgrade to an H or H2 buffer, for proper operation. I noticed reduced groups after going from H to H2.[/quote]
what is an H or H2 buffer? am working on SBRing my AR got my form one back already going 10.5"

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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by VegasSMG on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:41 pm

You may indeed mark the barrel with your information on a SBR build rather than muck up your lower receiver. The letter below was written by the then acting chief of the NFA branch.

Some folks have entered "MULTI" for caliber and had their 5320.01s approved while others have had them kicked back asking to list one caliber.

Same goes with barrel length. Some people have reported listing VARIOUS and have had them approved while others have had them returned for correction to one specific length.

I think it all depends on your legal instruments examiner. I've submitted 5320.20s listing "various clubs, ranges, and locations in the state of Texas" and had it returned asking for one specific location. I'd previously submitted and received approval for FL with the same wording. Go figure. The only thing consistent with BATF is their inconsistencies.




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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by Dock Rocker on Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:06 pm

VegasSMG wrote:You may indeed mark the barrel with your information on a SBR build rather than muck up your lower receiver. The letter below was written by the then acting chief of the NFA branch.

Some folks have entered "MULTI" for caliber and had their 5320.01s approved while others have had them kicked back asking to list one caliber.

Same goes with barrel length. Some people have reported listing VARIOUS and have had them approved while others have had them returned for correction to one specific length.

I think it all depends on your legal instruments examiner. I've submitted 5320.20s listing "various clubs, ranges, and locations in the state of Texas" and had it returned asking for one specific location. I'd previously submitted and received approval for FL with the same wording. Go figure. The only thing consistent with BATF is their inconsistencies.




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Be VERY careful using ATF letters of clarification like the one listed above. If it is not addressed specifically to you (this one is not) and the situation is different (it is) it has no standing with your particular situation. There is a very stark difference between NFA rules from the NFA handbook and a letter of clarification. If you did something backed up by this letter you could not site it in a defense of your situation as the letter was not addressed to you. Like the poster says in his post, the ATF can be a bit arbitrary on how rules are applied in different situations. I would hate to find myself with an inspector that disagreed with how I engraved an upper and all I had to refute is was this letter. I am not saying that if I had a letter addressed to me that clarified a point I would not use it, but I dont so I am going to error on the side of what is said in the NFA handbook (http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5320-8/atf-p-5320-8.pdf).


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Re: Short Barrel AR-15 build

Post by beltfed on Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:17 pm

Thats what I meant by "Ive heard of people engraving barrels"

That letter up there.

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