80% Lower Receiver - what do I need to know.

willizm

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So I am going this route. I picked up an 80% Lower and an ez-jig to mill it out. I need to pick up a router but everything else I already have. The process seems pretty straight forward and there are tons of video's out there going through the process.

My question is why is it that most people don't seem to go this route to begin with? It seems like the biggest benefit is to get around the requirements for FFL but are there any local laws that I need to be aware of if I have an AR15 without it being FFL or serial numbered? What should I expect if I'm traveling to the range with it and I get pulled over? I would be transparent about it if asked of course.

I understand the limitations of having a lower made from home. I have to do the work to mill it out and I can never sell/give it away. That's fine by me. It's a cheap part anyway. Other than the effort involved in milling a lower, what else am I not thinking of that would be a hindrance on going this route?
 

Chester Copperpot

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From everything I've read, since YOU create the lower, YOU are the sole, and only, owner. Meaning, it can't be transferred to your kids/family and must be destroyed upon your death. However, it is still a legal firearm built by you and follow the same laws and regulations, just sans a serial number. Same rules apply as rifle vs pistol build.

As for why do people not do it? Unless you are an artisan with a router/drill press, the trigger and hammer pockets are going to look like smashed assholes even with an easy jig. Most people feel that that same price point of $50-70 with a serial number is more worth it than a non-serialized project/"chore".

If you get pulled over, you don't need to give any extra information other than what the cop asks and don't incriminate yourself. Don't even mention it because it's not his business and you're doing nothing wrong (other than what you were pulled over for, obviously).

http://illinoiscarry.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=40477
http://patch.com/illinois/evanston/building-out-an-80-lower-receiver-for-an-ar15_8c21dfaf
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_8_23/538223_IL_Law_regarding_80__Lowers.html

I've been looking into this myself for some time trying to figure everything out and it seems pretty cut and dry. YOU make it for YOU and still follows federal law. Nothing special about it.
 

willizm

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I get that part about being pulled over. I am going one step further in asking what I could expect if the officer saw that it had no serial. I have my Foid but would that be it? I'd just tell him that it's a firearm I made which is protected by the Gun Control act of 1968? As for it looking like a bag full of assholes I don't really care as it's the trigger pocket which is not crucial or seen anyway.
 

Chester Copperpot

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Why would it be visible in the first place is what I'm questioning. Just throw the junk in a case (even a $30 Cabela's special softy) and in your trunk. If for whatever reason he does see it, you built it and it's considered a firearm like any other firearm.

I understand thinking of every possible outcome but this exact scenario is so far beyond what would be considered rare there really isn't an answer to it. Don't make it visible like any other firearm, don't say anything to incriminate yourself/cause him to want to search you/the vehicle, and follow all existing laws as if it were any other firearm. Nothing more to it. It's just another firearm and you have your FOID and are legally able to own them.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is if it gets to the point where he's searching your car, searching the weapon specifically for a serial number for whatever reason, you probably have much larger issues than worrying about a firearm made with a router and ez-jig.
 

willizm

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Why would it be visible in the first place is what I'm questioning. Just throw the junk in a case (even a $30 Cabela's special softy) and in your trunk. If for whatever reason he does see it, you built it and it's considered a firearm like any other firearm.

I understand thinking of every possible outcome but this exact scenario is so far beyond what would be considered rare there really isn't an answer to it. Don't make it visible like any other firearm, don't say anything to incriminate yourself/cause him to want to search you/the vehicle, and follow all existing laws as if it were any other firearm. Nothing more to it. It's just another firearm and you have your FOID and are legally able to own them.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is if it gets to the point where he's searching your car, searching the weapon specifically for a serial number for whatever reason, you probably have much larger issues than worrying about a firearm made with a router and ez-jig.
It wouldn't be visible and it would be in my truck in a case. I'm speaking hypothetically. lets say the officer rear ended me and the gun miraculously popped out of the truck, out of the case and landed on the hood of his car. I'm asking what could be expected if I had my foid and he questions the lack of serial. :roflpicard:
 

wolfe

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Do you really think they are gonna go looking for serial numbers if something like a traffic stop happens? I doubt they are gonna go that far. If you have your FOID and everything else is fine you will be sent on your way.
 

Eagle

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I swear that I've heard stories of cops checking serials, even during fairly routine stops.

Maybe we need a FFL's perspective [MENTION=236]Stink Star Productions[/MENTION]
 

willizm

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I swear that I've heard stories of cops checking serials, even during fairly routine stops.

Maybe we need a FFL's perspective [MENTION=236]Stink Star Productions[/MENTION]
That's what I'm talking about :)
 

blck10th

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I swear that I've heard stories of cops checking serials, even during fairly routine stops.

Maybe we need a FFL's perspective [MENTION=236]Stink Star Productions[/MENTION]


Are you speaking of the situation of being pulled over them knowing you have a ccl and wanting to see the gun? I didn't read anything that says I have to show them my gun so they can check it. Talk about gestapo shit.

And that guy thinks I'm nuts thinking the govt would put us all on the no fly list. Eye roll!
 

Eagle

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No I'm talking about like having a small arsenal on you while say, heading to a training class or just the range and getting stopped. I swear I've heard of cops pulling everything out and checking serial numbers.
 

willizm

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Yeah I am not saying the gustopo is out to get our guns guys. I'm talking about how to articulate if needed the reason why I have a lower with no serial if in the event. Yeeesssh
 

blck10th

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No I'm talking about like having a small arsenal on you while say, heading to a training class or just the range and getting stopped. I swear I've heard of cops pulling everything out and checking serial numbers.


I wasn't doubting you. You're one of the few people I know aren't full of shit. I mean if I take the kid with me we usually have 6-8 at any given time with us.

But unless they see something giving them cause there's no reason for the search. Or am I still missing your point?
 

blck10th

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Yeah I am not saying the gustopo is out to get our guns guys. I'm talking about how to articulate if needed the reason why I have a lower with no serial if in the event. Yeeesssh


So why build it if you have to destroy it upon death? I'd rather have something I can leave to my son when I die. To each his own.

I'd contemplate building if I worked at a place that wouldn't freak the hell out about machining it. Plus the receiver is considered the "gun" and we have no gun signs all over. But again I'd want to leave it to my kid.
 

willizm

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So why build it if you have to destroy it upon death? I'd rather have something I can leave to my son when I die. To each his own.

I'd contemplate building if I worked at a place that wouldn't freak the hell out about machining it. Plus the receiver is considered the "gun" and we have no gun signs all over. But again I'd want to leave it to my kid.
You could buy extra 80% lowers and when the time comes have the kid mill his own out and swap everything over from your gun. Honestly it would be like me leaving my kid my TA and he swaps the motor. Still very much usable right?
 

blck10th

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You could buy extra 80% lowers and when the time comes have the kid mill his own out and swap everything over from your gun. Honestly it would be like me leaving my kid my TA and he swaps the motor. Still very much usable right?


I see your point
 

wolfe

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So why build it if you have to destroy it upon death? I'd rather have something I can leave to my son when I die. To each his own.

I'd contemplate building if I worked at a place that wouldn't freak the hell out about machining it. Plus the receiver is considered the "gun" and we have no gun signs all over. But again I'd want to leave it to my kid.
Who says your kid didn't machine it?
 

1quick

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Personally I see the appeal building something from nothing but aside from that it sounds like a lot of work and probably no cost savings all said and done
 

1quick

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I have about 600 each in these, the mags are more for the black one its 7.62x39 I have a cheap red dot for it that came off something else but misplaced it, the black and green one I have 650ish into



Personally I'm more of a hand gun guy myself

 

Stink Star Productions

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Didn't read whole thread yet but to the OP I have a few points of interest.

-Making your own gun from an 80% lower will likely be slightly more expensive than just buying a complete lower outright

- no serial number is needed. From what I understand you indeed can sell/ gift the firearm but at that point it will need a serial number. Selling a homemade weapon is iffy though, as the rule is that you aren't to make a profit and it can't be a "significant portion" of your income. Personally I'd stay away from even messing with that, trust me, you do t want the letter boys visiting you. I'd be comfortable stating that passing the weapon down is ok as long as it is serialized.
- all local and federal laws still apply. So obviously no NFA stuff and no machine guns. Also the "once a rifle, always a rifle" rule still applies even though there is no formal declaration of what type of firearm it will be. So basically only make a rifle and you're fine. If you want a pistol, make sure you never put a butt stock on it.


Also in IL you still need a valid FOID and cannot be a prohibited person as per federal rules

For anybody else that doesn't already know, the benefit is no 4473 is ever filled out so the gun basically doesn't exist to the authorities. Being gun owners in IL I know you all are already good law abiding people, but you never know when laws will change. Someday buying an AR or being in possession of one could be illegal. The authorities can't take what they don't know exists.
 

willizm

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Didn't read whole thread yet but to the OP I have a few points of interest.

-Making your own gun from an 80% lower will likely be slightly more expensive than just buying a complete lower outright

- no serial number is needed. From what I understand you indeed can sell/ gift the firearm but at that point it will need a serial number. Selling a homemade weapon is iffy though, as the rule is that you aren't to make a profit and it can't be a "significant portion" of your income. Personally I'd stay away from even messing with that, trust me, you do t want the letter boys visiting you. I'd be comfortable stating that passing the weapon down is ok as long as it is serialized.
- all local and federal laws still apply. So obviously no NFA stuff and no machine guns. Also the "once a rifle, always a rifle" rule still applies even though there is no formal declaration of what type of firearm it will be. So basically only make a rifle and you're fine. If you want a pistol, make sure you never put a butt stock on it.


Also in IL you still need a valid FOID and cannot be a prohibited person as per federal rules

For anybody else that doesn't already know, the benefit is no 4473 is ever filled out so the gun basically doesn't exist to the authorities. Being gun owners in IL I know you all are already good law abiding people, but you never know when laws will change. Someday buying an AR or being in possession of one could be illegal. The authorities can't take what they don't know exists.
It isn't cheap to mill a lower. So far I have about $300 into the lower, jig and drill bits. I still need a router which is going to be another $100. However I like the idea that the authorities can't take what they don't know exists. :)
 

Mr_Roboto

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Uh, allow me to explain 80% as I understand it. My advice is find a lawyer to ask probably and/or do your own research.

You CAN sell it. You have to put certain identifying information on it such as your name, give it an SN etc. You can not however make it with the intent of selling it. That requires a mfg license. It is also a willable item. The problem is if you make it with the intent of selling it. At that point you're a manufacturer.

You can't have someone help you make it. ATF rulings say that means even borrowing machine tools from someone to do it. That puts them in the business of making firearms. I don't know how this would work with you say using your works gear after hours just because theoretically you could be using it for anything and they're not getting compensated for it.

https://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearms-guides-importation-verification-firearms-ammunition-firearms-verification-overview

Firearms. You, as a licensed manufacturer or licensed importer of firearms, must legibly identify each firearm manufactured or imported as follows:

By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For firearms manufactured or imported on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch; and

By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped (impressed) or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain additional information. This information must be placed in a manner not susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed. For firearms manufactured or imported on and after January 30, 2002, the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of this information must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch. The additional information includes:

The model, if such designation has been made;

The caliber or gauge:

Your name (or recognized abbreviation) and also, when applicable, the name of the foreign manufacturer;

In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer maintain your place of business; and

In the case of an imported firearm, the name of the country in which it was manufactured and the city and State (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the importer maintain your place of business. For additional requirements relating to imported firearms, see Customs regulations at 19 CFR part 134.

80% Lower Receivers FAQ | 80% Arms



From the ATF:Individuals manufacturing sporting-type firearms for their own use need not hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs). However, we suggest that the manufacturer at least identify the firearm with a serial number as a safeguard in the event that the firearm is lost or stolen. Also, the firearm should be identified as required in 27 CFR 478.92 if it is sold or otherwise lawfully transferred in the future.
 

JDHedman

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When it comes to 80% lowers are there better places to get them from or are they all equal? Is it worth "buying" an easy jig?
 

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