AR 15 Lower question

david walter

Sergeant
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Minuteman
Jul 22, 2007
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If I take the rifle upper off of a lower, and remove the rifle butt stock, is the lower an “other” even if I bought it configured as a rifle?

As in, can I assemble it into a pistol?

Like a contender carbine can be made into a contender pistol?

I’m asking because I thought I knew the answer.

Washingon State’s asinine “assault weapons” law, makes transferring a complete semi-automatic rifle trigger a 10 business day waiting period and a state-level background check on top of the FBI NICS.

I was just in a LGS, and they said if a person takes the upper off, the lower becomes an “other” and is exempt from the waiting period, and just has a NICS check.
 
Last edited:

bfoosh006

Sergeant
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Jun 13, 2007
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As I understand it,

Once a rifle... ALWAYS a rifle..... So, NO pistol from a sold as rifle lower.

I have no idea on the bottom part.

Hopefully, some one more knowledgeable on the subject, will come answer soon.
 

smokin.338

50/50 to Insanity...
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Nov 3, 2013
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Edge of Nowhere
Federal law states:

Once a Rifle always a Rifle
Pistol can become a Rifle, then back to a Pistol again
Other applies to stripped lowers, but some dealer's are still checking Pistol and/or Rifle

Real question is who is really going to know between you and your dealer... <--- there's that game too, I guess
 

FCS

Gunny Sergeant
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Jun 3, 2005
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I suggest to anybody wanting to do a pistol on a AR, get a lower that is marked pistol or just buy a pistol configured AR. Comes from mfg'er as a pistol, get logged into every FFL holders A&D book as a pistol (or should be) and there is zero gray area.
I avoid leaving any gray area, make it pretty obvious what the intent was so there is no way for the pistol build to be turned into a Federal offense.

Lowers are cheap, 10 days in big picture is nada. Lawyers are not cheap, I prefer to make it abundantly clear what the intent was.

LGS employees most probably are not really up on the rule book, NFW I'd use their advice.

I've seen the ATF letters on Contender frames for rifle & pistol. NFW I'd do that with an AR as you'll get hammered for intending to build an SBR w/o a tax stamp, especially if it was a rifle to begin with.
 

clcustom1911

"Cartman 1-2, come in"
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Oct 23, 2017
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It's threads like these which continually prove we aren't free, no matter how "common sense" we gun owners try to be.

Stupid laws written by technocrats which [are likely designed to] ensnare otherwise law abiding citizens.

Precisely why hung up my uniform, and turned in my Badge.
 

Herstal 12

I am not here to help
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Feb 18, 2019
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Never ever trust an lgs employee interpretation of the law, 99% of the time they are wrong and yes Washington state sucks more than before. Can’t wait to get the hell out of here.
 
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Tweedycarcass23jonb

Sergeant of the Hide
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Mar 5, 2017
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If you just buy the lower that way without an upper or a rifle stock installed. Than the form should be marked (Other) not a complete rifle. It cannot have the buttstock installed. It cannot have the upper installed. The Buffer tube dose not matter if it’s never had a stock installed it’s never been completed as a rifle. But by law once assembled as a rifle always a rifle as others have stated. look up how a 4473 is supposed to be filled out when buying a lower at your lgs.
 

C4N4DIAN

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Aug 16, 2019
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This is interesting. In Canada the lower is what is considered the “rifle”. You can have one lower and 10 uppers of different lenght with different stocks and from the government point of view you would only own one rifle.