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At what point exactly is an AR lower receiver technically considered a lower receiver?

Update:

thank you all for your responses!

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  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Any firearm, not just the AR style, is considered to be such when it is "80%" complete. What constitutes 80% complete is hashed out on a case by case basis by the BATFE. One of the defining features that's usually referenced is presence of a location for the fire control group [FCG]. Often without a place for a trigger mechanism to reside, it won't be considered a firearm.

    For the AR platform, it usually means that the FCG pocket and FCG holes are not present in the lower, but the rest of it can be formed.

    It is profoundly unwise to make and sell 80% products without a letter from BATFE certifying one's individual design as being NOT a firearm.

    And once something IS a firearm, you can't turn it back into an "80%." All you could do is destroy it, to make it not a firearm anymore. There was a company that got into trouble over a matter where their 80% had a block molded into the lower and BATFE argued that before they put that block in, they had made a gun. ATF was wrong about their manufacturing process, but it still cost a crap ton of money...

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  • 3 years ago

    If it has a serial number stamped on it - it is a 'firearm'. Even if all the parts are missing, it is still a firearm, and you could most certainly not take it into anywhere that prohibits firearms. (I can bring as many chainsaw or lawn mower mufflers into a school, bar, or even airline carry on - but - because my suppressors have a serial number that are firearms, even though the design is not much different)

    If you are talking modifying an 80 percent receiver....... I am quite sure the police and DA could wrap you up red tape for having one over 80%. Even 100%, I just don't see a jury convicting you - especially if it has no internals or upper attached.

    Next time you ask a question - add 'details'. That way we don't have to cover all the 'what if's' of your question and you get focused answers on exactly what you want.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    According to the BATFE Technical Branch, an AR lower goes from "paperweight" to "receiver" at the point where it can be proven (by Technical Branch, using their standards and measures) to have over 80 percent of the machining done to it to make a full receiver.

    Because of this, pretty much everyone who makes an "80 percent" receiver sends one to ATF Technical Branch for them to determine whether or not the product meets the criteria or not. If it meets the criteria for a receiver, usually this means the manufacturer needs to not do a machining step in order to get to 80 percent or below. If the product does NOT meet the criteria for a receiver, the it can be sold over the counter, through the mail, through interstate commerce, as nothing more than a partially machined paperweight.

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  • BBean
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    1 part=striped receiver with the serial number. You have go through same steps as buying a handgun from FFL.

    Higher than 80% complete from billet when trigger housing is completed.

    Maybe not what you wanted to hear but technically could vary from legally in the way some infer it.

    A complete functional lower receiver that is ready to connect to an upper is the definition some believe but legally the stripped receiver with serial number is the firearm.

    • C T M
      Lv 7
      3 years agoReport

      This is the best definition I have seen yet. Nicely done! Thumbs up of course.

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  • 3 years ago

    Legally when it is in it's finished shape. It's always considered a lower receiver after that because an AR basically has two receivers however one is considered a firearm while the other is not.

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