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 Post subject: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 14 Mar 2010, 16:58 
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I've done a few searches on this to no avail, but if there is a relevant thread, please direct me to it.

I have an AR-15 that I like just fine, and would like to register the lower as an SBR. My intended goal, once SBR'd would be to purchase multiple short-barreled uppers in various calibers including 9mm, .223, and 5.7x28.

I've heard mixed details about this process, and I have a few questions:
- If I register the lower for the shortest barrel I'd ever conceivably get, perhaps something silly like 4", can I use ANY barrel length upper longer than 4" on that lower?
- If I fully intended to run multiple calibers on that lower, would I need to have them all listed on the form? So under "caliber" would I need to list every conceivable upper that I might ever think of using? (e.g. .223, 9mm, 5.7x28, .40S&W, 6.8SPC, .458 SOCOM, etc.) Will the ATF even allow that?
- Is there additional info I should know about this before proceeding?


Thanks,

Paul.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 14 Mar 2010, 18:17 
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I've done a few searches on this to no avail, but if there is a relevant thread, please direct me to it.

Quote:
I have an AR-15 that I like just fine, and would like to register the lower as an SBR. My intended goal, once SBR'd would be to purchase multiple short-barreled uppers in various calibers including 9mm, .223, and 5.7x28.

Lowers are actually not registered as SBR's (although you probably will use the serial number on your lower). A lower, to be part of an SBR, would have to have a short barrel on it. If your lower has a 16" barrel on it, it is no longer a SBR. Confusing, yeah, a bit. Study the regs, have a beer, pray some and maybe you'll understand them. I am still not sure I do? Hopefully some of the answers below will help.

Quote:
I've heard mixed details about this process, and I have a few questions:If I register the lower for the shortest barrel I'd ever conceivably get, perhaps something silly like 4", can I use ANY barrel length upper longer than 4" on that lower?-

Just register it for the barrel you plan to use immediately upon registering. Once it is registered as an SBR (short barrel), it make no difference what length (short or long) barrel it has.

Quote:
If I fully intended to run multiple calibers on that lower, would I need to have them all listed on the form?

No

Quote:
So under "caliber" would I need to list every conceivable upper that I might ever think of using? (e.g. .223, 9mm, 5.7x28, .40S&W, 6.8SPC, .458 SOCOM, etc.)

No

Quote:
Will the ATF even allow that?


They might, but there is no need to. The multicaliber myth has been around so long that it has a life of its own. Put .223 in box 4c and call it good.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 14 Mar 2010, 18:59 
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Thanks delta6, so just to clarify...

Isn't the lower the "registered" part of the gun since it is (as you mentioned) the only part with a serial number?

Let's say for example I decided to buy an 11.5" .223 caliber AR-15. Once I had received the approved Form 4 on it, I would be able to put a 5" barreled 5.7x28 upper on it with no legality concerns? Is that correct?

Paul.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 14 Mar 2010, 19:38 
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You need to go talk to a Class 3/SOT dealer before you start filling out any paperwork...better to talk to someone that deals with this stuff every day than do it wrong and screw it up.

If you talk to 5 different people on here, you will get 5 different answers.

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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 14 Mar 2010, 19:56 
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Paul. wrote:
Thanks delta6, so just to clarify...

Isn't the lower the "registered" part of the gun since it is (as you mentioned) the only part with a serial number?

Let's say for example I decided to buy an 11.5" .223 caliber AR-15. Once I had received the approved Form 4 on it, I would be able to put a 5" barreled 5.7x28 upper on it with no legality concerns? Is that correct?

Paul.


You need to register something. In theory, you could register the upper and every time you wanted to change the caliber, just change the barrel. Very viable on a number of rifles; you can easily place a serial number on the upper and register it. Probably not the best choice for an AR type rifle. So, registering the lower makes the most sense. But again, understand that a SBR is only a SBR, when it has a barrel shorter than 16". When your lower has a 16" barrel on it, it is no longer a SBR.

Once you have a SBR registered any barrel length and/or caliber is fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 14 Mar 2010, 19:58 
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quietm4 wrote:
You need to go talk to a Class 3/SOT dealer before you start filling out any paperwork...better to talk to someone that deals with this stuff every day than do it wrong and screw it up.

If you talk to 5 different people on here, you will get 5 different answers.


Very good advice. Having experience on the topic makes sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 14 Mar 2010, 20:06 
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delta6 wrote:
You have to register something. In theory, you could register the upper....


Ummmmm, well actually, no...

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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 14 Mar 2010, 22:17 
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ATF no longer allows "MULTI" as a caliber choice. YES you will have to write down every conceivable choice of caliber you plan on using. Yes the lower receiver will be the part classified as the NFA item. It is meaningless whether you call it a receiver or SBR or whatever... once it is part of the registry it can be whatever the form 1 or 4 says it can be. I have "varies" on my length and it went through. I don't know about anyone else

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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 04:11 
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delta6, where did you get your info from? Everything that I have done, and read is contrary to everything you are saying. I have actually registered an AR 15 lower on a Form 1, albeit only in its original 5.56 caliber.

You don't register uppers at all, in the legal firearm world, the upper is irrelevant, it is just a part. The lower receiver of the AR 15 is what is actually the "firearm" for legal purposes. Even if it is missing the upper and you can't shoot it, the lower receiver is still considered a/the "firearm". That being said, your statement about the lower being the SBR only when it has a barrel less than 16" is incorrect. Being that it is the registered item, it is ALWAYS an SBR regardless of what upper you swap with it. Therefore, any kind of travel restrictions, safety precautions, having your Form 1 on you, etc. applies to it no matter what upper you decide to slap on it that day.

To answer the original question, yes you can register your SBR lower in multiple calibers. However, like someone stated, you can longer put multi on the Form 1. Someone has suggested the best way to do it is to get the SBR registered in one caliber first, and then write a letter to the ATF NFA department with an update/amendment to that lower with the serial number with the different calibers.

I'm hoping a dealer or SOT with working experience on this issue comes in and clarifies it even further, but the info posted above by delta6 is suspect. My sincere apology if I am in the wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 07:33 
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CGSteve wrote:
delta6, where did you get your info from? Everything that I have done, and read is contrary to everything you are saying. I have actually registered an AR 15 lower on a Form 1, albeit only in its original 5.56 caliber.

You don't register uppers at all, in the legal firearm world, the upper is irrelevant, it is just a part. The lower receiver of the AR 15 is what is actually the "firearm" for legal purposes. Even if it is missing the upper and you can't shoot it, the lower receiver is still considered a/the "firearm". That being said, your statement about the lower being the SBR only when it has a barrel less than 16" is incorrect. Being that it is the registered item, it is ALWAYS an SBR regardless of what upper you swap with it. Therefore, any kind of travel restrictions, safety precautions, having your Form 1 on you, etc. applies to it no matter what upper you decide to slap on it that day.

To answer the original question, yes you can register your SBR lower in multiple calibers. However, like someone stated, you can longer put multi on the Form 1. Someone has suggested the best way to do it is to get the SBR registered in one caliber first, and then write a letter to the ATF NFA department with an update/amendment to that lower with the serial number with the different calibers.

I'm hoping a dealer or SOT with working experience on this issue comes in and clarifies it even further, but the info posted above by delta6 is suspect. My sincere apology if I am in the wrong.


Well.....ummmmm, actually. Yes, you are correct that you register the lower receiver on an AR 15, not the upper or any other gun part.

You are incorrect about the lower always being an NFA item whether it has a <16" barreled upper on it or not. Now this is sorta counter intuitive, but it is AFT written opinion (do a NFA Board search on subguns.com for actual letters) that when a registered AR-15 lower receiver does not have a <16" barreled upper receiver on it, it ceases being a Title II (NFA) item and reverts back to being a Title I (convetional firearm) item. When you put a <16" barreled upper receiver back on the registered AR lower receiver, it becomes a Title II (NFA) item once again.

Now, if you are still tracking with me and your head hasn't exploded yet, you can take a registered (as a SBR) Ar-15 lower with no upper on it, or a greater than 16" upper on it and sell it to your buddy as a conventional, non-NFA gun with no form 4 paperwork. You don't even have to notify ATF. I have argued the finer points of doing this with the NFA lawyer types on subguns.com, but it apprears that it is legal to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 09:39 
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flash-bcr wrote:
You are incorrect about the lower always being an NFA item whether it has a <16" barreled upper on it or not. Now this is sorta counter intuitive, but it is AFT written opinion (do a NFA Board search on subguns.com for actual letters) that when a registered AR-15 lower receiver does not have a <16" barreled upper receiver on it, it ceases being a Title II (NFA) item and reverts back to being a Title I (convetional firearm) item. When you put a <16" barreled upper receiver back on the registered AR lower receiver, it becomes a Title II (NFA) item once again.

Now, if you are still tracking with me and your head hasn't exploded yet, you can take a registered (as a SBR) Ar-15 lower with no upper on it, or a greater than 16" upper on it and sell it to your buddy as a conventional, non-NFA gun with no form 4 paperwork. You don't even have to notify ATF. I have argued the finer points of doing this with the NFA lawyer types on subguns.com, but it apprears that it is legal to do so.


SO, by this definition, my Uzi SBR ceases to be an SBR when I put the standard 16" carbine barrel in it? Do you have the ATF opinion on this?

The fact is the receiver is still registered with ATF as being an SBR, regardless of whether or not it has a 16" or greater barrel. I can envision all sorts of problems were one to say "I'll just put my 16" upper/barrel on my SBR and visit my relatives in Utah" and have the thought that it no longer needs the interstate-transport form approval. Or you'd spend an assload of money proving yourself correct....

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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 11:08 
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TimW wrote:
SO, by this definition, my Uzi SBR ceases to be an SBR when I put the standard 16" carbine barrel in it? Do you have the ATF opinion on this?

The fact is the receiver is still registered with ATF as being an SBR, regardless of whether or not it has a 16" or greater barrel. I can envision all sorts of problems were one to say "I'll just put my 16" upper/barrel on my SBR and visit my relatives in Utah" and have the thought that it no longer needs the interstate-transport form approval. Or you'd spend an assload of money proving yourself correct....


Here is a link to a ATF opinion letter that pretty much covers all the questions about when is it a SBR, when is it not, transport across state lines with or without a 5320.20, notification (or lack there of) when you revert a gun back to Title II status etc. I will have further comment about all of this later (gotta run out for a while) and why I would caution anyone from becoming more cavalier with regards to NFA and SBR/SBS's in particular because of 'opinion letters'...

http://www.issmc.com/atf/sbr/atf-sbr-le ... 1-2009.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 11:28 
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Flash, let's start this as a new thread topic in the Class III section.

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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 13:09 
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Yeah, let's do that because that does not sound like something the ATF would do. Not to mention, an "opinion" could be changed as easily as someone changes shoes. Like I said, the upper is irrelevant when the receiver is still registered as an SBR with the serial number with the agency and has a tax stamp to it. The criteria you are citing simply doesn't make sense.

Here's what would happen if you slapped a 16" upper on an SBR lower and sold it as a Title II firearm, the buyer would then slap a shorty upper on it, get caught on the range without paperwork, they'll run it and find it was registered to you and you'd be charged for the "illegal transfer" of a NFA weapon.

Even if it were correct, I would not take those chances testing those waters. You'd be short a lot of money, and be waiting behind bars before you prove yourself "innocent" (which may not even happen since having NFA contraband is apparently worse than murdering a child).

It's kind of like 922(r), it is about as nonsense as a law as a $3 bill but no one has been prosecuted for that alone. Would you want to find out however?


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 Post subject: Re: Can you register an AR-15 SBR in multiple calibers?
New postPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 22:25 
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Well now I'm more lost than I was initially. I was hoping some of the class III dealers would weigh in on this topic.


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