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Building From a Parts Kit
Weaponeer Forums : ATF letters

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  weaponeer

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  smoggle

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Posted: April 14 2005 at 12:15am | IP Logged Quote smoggle

So according to the "semi-automatic assault weapon" section you cannot put a doppeltrommel on a semi mg34 since it would have the magazine, pistol grip and flash hider. Would this also apply to the 50 round drum? I take it the BATFE does not consider a belt  a magazine. This would be interesting to know. Have you asked them in further detail on this EZ?
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  Rattatatt

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Posted: April 14 2005 at 2:18am | IP Logged Quote Rattatatt

Weaponeer,

Just have to ask.
Is this a letter you recieved earlier, or are you just now getting a response to one you sent in 2003?

Thanks for the info regardless!

Bob
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  EZFEED

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Posted: April 14 2005 at 5:45am | IP Logged Quote EZFEED

As most of you may know. I have been compiling questions (some from various individuals) in order to give the homebuilder some clear and definite answers to some of the more ellusive questions surrounding our hobby. This is one of those earlier ones that I decided to send to Weaponeer to post just because it may present a clearer answer than some others.

I do beleive that I have posted one already covering this subject that was a bit clearer, check the other letters in this section. Sometimes ATFTB might not fully understand what I have asked them and then I get a partial or incomplete response to one or more of the questions I asked and that throws off the end result. In those events I just throw them into the "BIG" pile of BATF stuff that I have at the house. Fortunately I had this one with a bunch of others that were from a certain time period that were submitted some time ago so I didn't have to dig through too much.

There is still good information in this letter. I don't remeber exactly why I filtered this one out but then maybe it was just one that I missed? This one entails a good description on exactly how a semi auto receiver can be made from a demilled MG receiver so there is some good stuff in here.   

To offer an interpretation of my own I'll break it down like this. Any semi MG replica you wish to build using portions of the original receiver must first have been detroyed or demilled ACCORIDING TO ATF SPECS FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL WEAPON. There is no exception to this rule. 

As an example, let's say you find a non-destroyed MG receiver and you think you can weld this or that up or add a rail here or there to build up a semi, perhaps even mimicking a reclassified version of the same weapon down to the exact letter,,,,,,,,,You have thought WRONG!

ANYTIME you build using parts of an original MG receiver they must first have been destroyed to render their MG status void. This means that if you are illeagaly harboring some hot closet queen that was passed down to you from grandpa, I don't care how rare or how excellent of condition she is in, you had better take a torch to her and either completely destroy her receiver or demil it according to the specific prescribed demil for that particular weapon.

It may sound crazy but this is the law. The receiver or whatever the controlled part is must be "baptized" by fire to clear it from its former classification as an MG. This is it, the only way, any others will get you a one way ticket to club Fed. Trust me, you can't fake it because a simple X-ray of the receiver will tell all and don't get stupid and think that they don't have this equipment.   

Just for the record, I hope none of you have such items in your possession. If you do you had better know the consequences of playing hide and seek with BATF. YOU WILL EVENTUALLY GET BUSTED!!!! Don't play such a foolish game. If you have such a weapon or item then contact BATF and you can voluntarily surrender it to them or possibly donate it to a museum.

Now that, that is covered, The rest of the letter describes application of 922r. Simple enough, I think we all pretty much know this set of regulations. The question is do you know when it applies? Remember that if your semi is a shoulder fired weapon, a "rifle" as defined by ATF, and also imported and foreign made then 922r will apply. This incudes all assault rifles and sub guns built into carbines with 16" minimum length barrels like the PPSH (SR41 and clones) and the Sten carbine.

Former squad automatic weapons that are magazine fed like the Bren, BAR (foreign produced versions), Madsen 46, RPK, Ultimax, DP-28, and a few others fall into an area where ATF has ruled that they are considered "rifles" so 922r will apply. The determination is up to the ATF FTB so if you have are contemplating a build and you are unsure as to whether or not the MG kit that you posess would be considered a rifle it is usually best to contact them for a formal classification of what the finished firearm would fall under. Some magazine fed weapons have been determined not to be "rifles" as defined and therefore 922r is not applicable. Contact ATF for more information.

Most belt fed weapons are not considered "rifles". These would include weapons like the 1919, M2, Maxim, AAT-52, MG-34, MG-42, Vickers, Breda, Hotchkiss, and other similar ground guns or LMG's. These weapons are either impractical or too heavy to be fired from the shoulder like a regular rifle. Just because a weapon may have a stock doesn't mean it is a rifle. There is a difference between shoulder fired and shoulder supported. Such weapons are not subject to the provisions listed in 922r and would in their entirety be inapplicable. These weapons are classified as "firearms" since they do not fit the profile of rifle or pistol.

A good point I'd like to make is the fact that 9 out of 10 times you do a build you end up inadvertantly taking care of 922r compliance anyway. Either with remanufacturing certain parts to be semi specific or installing new semi parts, you usually end up knocking either the whole or a big chunk out of 922r when it applies anyway.

After determining whether or not 922r has to be followed, you may now build according to regulations. This means provisions preventing any possibility of MG specific parts interchange, firing from a closed bolt, legal O.A. length and barrel length regulations, no possibility of the finished product being readily restorable to MG status (this is a biggie with tube guns utilizing reduced I.D and standard I.D.), one shot per trigger pull, and of course 922r if applicable.

The old AW ban stuff on this letter is void now. Just skip that since it doesn't apply anymore. The rest is still valid however.

The last part details the method one can take if he wishes to have his finished sample officially reclassified as a "semiautomatic". Note that this is not required unless you intend to manufacture and sell your firearm commercially or you are a manufacturer. It is always a good idea to have your finished replica officially reclassified but as detailed in my other letter found in this section, it is not required for a firearm built for ones own personal use. If you are a novice builder and you do not fully understand the laws and regulations surrounding this hobby then you really ought to submit your finished product for review by ATF.

If you do not; be aware that your firearm will always be subject to seizure by ATF. If you and your firearm comes under the purview of ATF then you must voluntarily surrender it to them for review, you will get a receipt and if the firearm is determined to be compliant to all regulations and laws it will be returned to you usually along with a reclassification letter. If it doesn't they will seize it. If you refuse then you take a ride and they still get it but you will have, in a way, admitted to some sort of wrongdoing by your actions so then you'll get the ugly looks and maybe worse if the firearm is in blatent violation.   

 

    



Edited by EZFEED
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Posted: April 14 2005 at 5:58am | IP Logged Quote EZFEED

smoggle wrote:
So according to the "semi-automatic assault weapon" section you cannot put a doppeltrommel on a semi mg34 since it would have the magazine, pistol grip and flash hider. Would this also apply to the 50 round drum? I take it the BATFE does not consider a belt  a magazine. This would be interesting to know. Have you asked them in further detail on this EZ?

It no longer applies. You can add the doppletrommel topcover and drum to your MG-34 now with peace of mind since the ban is dead. (for now! LOL!)

As an added note, the assault drums that attach to the feedtray were never considered drums to begin with. Only the doppletrommel was considered a mag because it was an actuall magazine. The side mounted drums were merely clip on ammo cans in ATF's eyes. The belt was still the feeding device and since it wasn't spring loaded and self contained it wasn't considered a magazine.

I actually do have a written response concerning this somewhere Smoggle! "SOMEWHERE"!!!!!!!!! If I find it I'll scan it in and send it to ya!

I have a question,

WTF is up with my font size????????? I had to add a semicolon to a sentence in the above and it turned damn near 3/4 of my post into giant font?????????

I swear I didn't touch nothin!!!!!!!!!  



Edited by EZFEED
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  smoggle

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Posted: April 14 2005 at 6:06am | IP Logged Quote smoggle

Ok, I did not realize they had a shoulder supported class of weapons. I had seen where someone had to remove the flash hider portion of the Bren because of this.

So 922 (v) 1  dealt with the 94 ban, according to the letter, and thus have expired. The compliance part has not expired as this was a different law.

How long does their re-classification take of a weapon if you send it in? If found in violation do they just de-mill it and return it? Hopefully they are cognizant that you are trying to co-operate with them and don't arrest you on this matter. I think this is what makes some scared of them.

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  EZFEED

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Posted: April 15 2005 at 9:45am | IP Logged Quote EZFEED

smoggle wrote:

Ok, I did not realize they had a shoulder supported class of weapons. I had seen where someone had to remove the flash hider portion of the Bren because of this.

So 922 (v) 1  dealt with the 94 ban, according to the letter, and thus have expired. The compliance part has not expired as this was a different law.

How long does their re-classification take of a weapon if you send it in? If found in violation do they just de-mill it and return it? Hopefully they are cognizant that you are trying to co-operate with them and don't arrest you on this matter. I think this is what makes some scared of them.

They don't have a separate classes for shoulder fired and shoulder supported weapons but they do distinguish between the two. This was made evident to me on another letter that I received in the past where I elluded to the difference. I'll have to find it.

The Bren you speak of had to have it's flash hider removed/alterated to comply with 922r. This would have had to be done to all other copies and similar weapons that were available during that time. 

As I stated in my previous response, the Bren is one of those oddball shoulder supported, LMG's that ATF has classified a "rifle". Because of that and that fact that it is imported, 922r does apply.

"Firearms", "Rifles", and "Pistols" are actually separate classes. ATF gives firearms that do not fit into either the "rifle" or "pistol" category the classicfication, "Firearm".

Classification/Reclassification can take from a week to up to several months. It all depends on ATF's workload. Personal submissions will get the backburner when criminal submissions pop up.

ATF has nothing to do with demilling weapons unless they are destroying seized weapons. Insuch cases the whole weapons are destroyed and they are not cut into parts kits. ATFFTB prescribes demill specifications but it is the importers responsibility to demill them.

ATF will not return a submitted sample that has failed thier review, you will lose your kit if not just the receiver. To do so would mean that they themselves would have to break the law. Sometimes they will return a sample to the owner in order or him to make some simple corrections. ATF will usually return to you everything except the receiver of your weapons if it fails. On tube guns they keep the whole thing.

They won't arrest you for trying to build a legal semi. They will arrest you for building another exact version of a sample that you sent them that failed.    

 

 



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Posted: April 15 2005 at 11:35am | IP Logged Quote smoggle

Thanks. It is nice to have official paperwork regarding legality rather than the old "well I heard that..." This will help us stay legal.

You da man!

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Posted: April 15 2005 at 1:53pm | IP Logged Quote EZFEED

Update above.
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  MP43SNIPER

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Posted: February 24 2007 at 9:14pm | IP Logged Quote MP43SNIPER

Do we still make letters to the attention of Sterling Nixon?  What is the correct address to use?

I will need to write them a letter, because I know of a nicely cut MP44 receiver for sale (saw cut).  Because I know for a fact that IMA sold them this way several years ago, I'm wondering if this was an acceptable demil practice for this specific weapon.  Also, I need to know the "correct number and location" for the cuts to make sure that part of the demilling process was acceptable as well.  I have an older IMA torch cut (in lots of places ) receiver that I could use if I absolutely have to, but again I need to know how many cuts they want and where. 

Because I want to document the heck out of my semi MP44 build to help others, I don't want to start working or taking pictures until I have the basic foundation started and that might as well include documentation from big brother with my name on it (gulp).

Thanks for the help (don't forget about my question way up at the top lol).

Craig

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Posted: August 24 2007 at 1:18pm | IP Logged Quote MP43SNIPER

HELP!!  Still need Sterling Nixon's address to send letter.  (My rewelding jig is DONE!!!!)  Please post if you have it. 

Thanks



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