Newbie AR pistol questions

T/C Encore in 450b anyone?

Moderator: MudBug

Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby Smithjdsr » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:09 am

I need some general info on AR pistols. To be honest, I was never interested in AR pistols before, but the itch to build again...

What about the ATF? I can’t take the stock off my rifle and call it a pistol, right? What about building a pistol lower and using the same upper I use on my rifle lower? Is that a legal pistol? Does the 18” barrel make it not a pistol? Does using an 80% lower change anything?

Is a 10.5” barrel any good for 450B? What about barrel length for .223/5.56/Wilde?

A pistol lower buffer tube is “normally” rounded and sort of “padded”? (Yeah, I know. Newbie questions.) If you’re using an arm brace, is that a normal buffer tube, then?

...and let me be so bold as to ask this. Does an ‘arm brace’ allow you to fire your ‘pistol’ from your shoulder?

(It’s overwhelming, my ignorance of all things black rifle related, I know. Even one answer at a time is fine...)
Last edited by Smithjdsr on Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John

“Remember; No matter where you go, there you are.” -Buckaroo Banzai
User avatar
Smithjdsr
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:04 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby Bmt85 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:44 pm

When it comes to AR pistols, you can’t turn a lower that’s has started life as a rifle into a pistol, it would then be an SBR. You start with virgin receiver or use a lower purchased already as a pistol to start. Take pics and document it. If you build a pistol, you can change over to rifle and back to a pistol whenever you want, as long as you don’t create an NFA weapon in the process. 80% receivers are the same. By federal law, it must be under 26” to be a pistol, if it’s over 26” but barrel length under 16”, it is just considered a firearm (still can’t have a stock though). A pistol can’t have a vertical foregrip (that is an AOW), but can have an angled foregrip. A firearm (over 26” with less than 16” barrel) can have a vertical foregrip.

As to receiver extensions, you can use a standard buffer tube, but it can’t readily accept a stock or that could be considered intent to make an NFA weapon. A pistol tube is easier because it won’t accept a stock from the get go, so no intent. Some pistol tubes have padding, others do not. If you want to use an arm brace, you will need an unpadded tube, and you will have to use certain ones, depending on the brace used. As of now, you can use a pistol brace and shoulder it, legally. There was a big issue with Federal law changing opinion on this, but as of now, it is legal.

That’s Federal law going off of memory, be sure to look into the laws yourself as I am not a lawyer. Also, make sure to check your state laws to make sure you are within them for a build like this.
Bmt85
 
Posts: 519
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:13 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby Bmt85 » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:19 pm

As to barrel length, a 10.5” 450B will take a good hit in the velocity department, but should still be an effective hunting rig. Should work even better if you hand load, and choose the right bullet. Quite a few choices off the top of my head.

With something like a 5.56, it could still be an ok rig, but your going to lose a lot more velocity in a 10.5” barrel, and bullet choice is going to be limited, especially when pushing the range of it. For instance, I believe the 55gr fmj and 62gr penetrators won’t frag out of the muzzle, or shortly after leaving the muzzle. The 70tsx should give you about 100yds for expansion, depending on the actual muzzle velocity. You do have a few choices for effective bullets, but you need to see actual velocities out of your barrel, and find out the minimum velocity required for the bullet to determine the effective range of the bullet. Same thing in the 450, but it won’t be as bad, even better if you handload.
Last edited by Bmt85 on Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Bmt85
 
Posts: 519
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:13 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby Smithjdsr » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:52 pm

Thank you. Yes, I’ll check local laws, but your response guides me to what even to ask about.

Someone brought up a 450B pistol over on the Iowa Whitetails chat. I’d never even thought about it. I carry a revolver while deer hunting- mostly if I need to administer a coup de grace- but what about a matching caliber? I didn’t realize, for example, that if a lower is built as the lower for a rifle, it can’t ever be converted to a pistol, but if it is built as a pistol first, it can be converted to a rifle later.

I’d stay with the shorter barrel so that there’s no question that the upper is intended to be a pistol, but I need to check how that works in Iowa, both for gun law and for game law; if a 14” is ok, maybe that, but if 11.5” is more clearly a pistol, then I’d stay with that. Also, I would use the rounded, clearly pistol-type buffer tube, perhaps with a Shockwave Blade type brace. Apparently in Iowa, they tried fiddling with definitions and ended up with a mess- so now a pistol according to the ATF is a pistol in Iowa game and gun law. And, since 450B, is one of the allowed straight walled ‘pistol’ cartridges, it’s legal in a pistol or a rifle- even an AR pistol. But, I’d want more than one choice in uppers. Too bad .44 mag doesn’t lend itself to use in the AR platform.

Anyway, an AR pistol is really just a whim right now- I’ve got to get my reloading setup going!
John

“Remember; No matter where you go, there you are.” -Buckaroo Banzai
User avatar
Smithjdsr
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:04 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby Bmt85 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:01 pm

Yeah, I know all about states making there own laws, making things convoluted. Here in Michigan, we use to have to register anything that was under 30" in its shortest operable configuration. So, an AR with no stock and a 14.5" barrel, or an AK with a side folding stock, had to be registered as a Michigan pistol. Now the laws are a little more inline with the Fed's, but still a bit messed up. I have one AR pistol that was grandfathered in after the change, so one good thing is I can legally carry it concealed or drive around with it fully loaded, ready to go in my vehicle, with a CPL. Never plan to, but good to know.

If your looking for other cartridges, there are a few available (mostly wildcats) that can be used in restricted hunting area's. If your just looking for something else to use in an AR pistol and still be effective, there are a lot of standardized options that would be better than 5.56/.223. Some cartridges you will be better off reloading for, others you really don't gain much, but reloading will help with cost per round. Warning, reloading for different cartridges can get addicting, and expensive. I'm still adding stuff to my supply, which would probably let me shoot for the next decade before having to buy anything else for reloading (not counting ammo I purchased over the years), and I've only been reloading a few years.
Bmt85
 
Posts: 519
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:13 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby ardenkent » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:53 pm

Handguns are revolvers and pistols. Pistols are not revolvers. Handguns are made for one handed operation. A handgun cannot be fired from the shoulder. A handgun cannot have a buttstock.
Long Guns :
A rifle must have a buttstock and a barrel at least 18 inches long, any less and its a Short Barreled Rifle ( SBR ).
A shotgun must have a buttstock and a barrel at least 18 inches long, any less and its a Short Barrelled Shotgun ( SBS ) aka sawed off.
SBS and SBS require special taxes and approvals under the National Firearms Act ( NFA ).
You can make a firearm manufactured as a long gun rifle into a handgun by cutting but it may not be returned to the long gun configuration without ATF approval.
Unless it was designed to be convertible as a T/C Encore or Contender and depending on the ATF ruling in effect ARs.

ATF is silent on handgun barrel length; it is not specified in the statute.
They can be 2 inch or 18 inch. So the upper receiver is of no consequence relative to handgun definitions.

To be safe, so when ATF changes its mind again, start out with being 21 or older, the legal minimum age to buy something other than a long gun
and that your FFL sells to you on the 4473 as a handgun, frame or receiver and is either :
a ) a designated by the manufacturer as a handgun or " Pistol Only " lower receiver,
or
b) a frame or receiver only.

The ATF ruling is that once a manufacturer attaches a frame or receiver to a buttstock it is a long gun.
ardenkent
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:59 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby ardenkent » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:02 pm

Let me answer your questions in your post:
Smithjdsr wrote:I need some general info on AR pistols. To be honest, I was never interested in AR pistols before, but the itch to build again...

What about the ATF? I can’t take the stock off my rifle and call it a pistol, right? You can but you can't put the rifle stock back on.

What about building a pistol lower and using the same upper I use on my rifle lower? ATF doesn't care about handgun barrel length.

Is that a legal pistol? Yes.

Does the 18” barrel make it not a pistol? Nope.

Does using an 80% lower change anything? Yes, it allows you the convertibility from rifle to pistol to rifle you want because the manufacturer of the lower never put a buttststock on and sold it as a rifle.

Is a 10.5” barrel any good for 450B? What about barrel length for .223/5.56/Wilde? Anything less than 16 inches cannot have a buttstock.

A pistol lower buffer tube is “normally” rounded and sort of “padded”? (Yeah, I know. Newbie questions.) If you’re using an arm brace, is that a normal buffer tube, then?

...and let me be so bold as to ask this. Does an ‘arm brace’ allow you to fire your ‘pistol’ from your shoulder?
Be careful about the arm brace; ATF is reconsidering the ruling they do not allow the weapon to be fired from the shoulder.

(It’s overwhelming, my ignorance of all things black rifle related, I know. Even one answer at a time is fine...)
ardenkent
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:59 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby Smithjdsr » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:51 pm

Thanks for the responses. Lots to think about. The AR pistol is a whim. It would be fun, but I’ve got to get up and running with reloading.

Also, I handled a Ruger Ranch Rifle 22” in 450B today. Oh, man. Once reloading is a reality, that has GOT to be my next acquisition. (Also, they need to pay teachers more. :lol: :lol: :roll: )
John

“Remember; No matter where you go, there you are.” -Buckaroo Banzai
User avatar
Smithjdsr
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:04 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby Bmt85 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:40 pm

ardenkent wrote:Handguns are revolvers and pistols. Pistols are not revolvers. Handguns are made for one handed operation. A handgun cannot be fired from the shoulder. A handgun cannot have a buttstock.
Long Guns :
A rifle must have a buttstock and a barrel at least 18 inches long, any less and its a Short Barreled Rifle ( SBR ). 16"
A shotgun must have a buttstock and a barrel at least 18 inches long, any less and its a Short Barrelled Shotgun ( SBS ) aka sawed off.
SBS and SBS require special taxes and approvals under the National Firearms Act ( NFA ). SBR and SBS
You can make a firearm manufactured as a long gun rifle into a handgun by cutting but it may not be returned to the long gun configuration without ATF approval.
Unless it was designed to be convertible as a T/C Encore or Contender and depending on the ATF ruling in effect ARs. If I take an AR rifle (16" barrel with a buttstock), remove the buttstock and chop the barrel down, that constitutes an SBR. That goes for most rifles. If you take a rifle, remove the shoulder stock, put a pistol grip, and barrel is still over 16", then you should be good. Maybe not if your under 26", at that point, it could still constitute an SBR. I believe there are some exceptions, but it won't be with anything and everything. Also, a pistol can be converted to a rifle and then back to a pistol at anytime (as long as you don't make an NFA firearm in the process), without ATF permission.

ATF is silent on handgun barrel length; it is not specified in the statute.
They can be 2 inch or 18 inch. So the upper receiver is of no consequence relative to handgun definitions.

To be safe, so when ATF changes its mind again, start out with being 21 or older, the legal minimum age to buy something other than a long gun
and that your FFL sells to you on the 4473 as a handgun, frame or receiver and is either :
a ) a designated by the manufacturer as a handgun or " Pistol Only " lower receiver,
or
b) a frame or receiver only.
A virgin receiver whether it says pistol or not, can be transferred for a build. Also most dealers will only transfer as a "firearm", they won't specify pistol. You can still do build off of that. Just don't let it be transferred as a rifle. I heard you can still get it changed over, but then it's a process. Just document what's been done.

The ATF ruling is that once a manufacturer attaches a frame or receiver to a buttstock it is a long gun.


Just a little clarification.
Bmt85
 
Posts: 519
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:13 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Re: Newbie AR pistol questions

Postby Bmt85 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:58 pm

ardenkent wrote:Let me answer your questions in your post:
Smithjdsr wrote:I need some general info on AR pistols. To be honest, I was never interested in AR pistols before, but the itch to build again...

What about the ATF? I can’t take the stock off my rifle and call it a pistol, right? You can but you can't put the rifle stock back on.

What about building a pistol lower and using the same upper I use on my rifle lower? ATF doesn't care about handgun barrel length.

Is that a legal pistol? Yes.

Does the 18” barrel make it not a pistol? Nope.

Does using an 80% lower change anything? Yes, it allows you the convertibility from rifle to pistol to rifle you want because the manufacturer of the lower never put a buttststock on and sold it as a rifle.

Is a 10.5” barrel any good for 450B? What about barrel length for .223/5.56/Wilde? Anything less than 16 inches cannot have a buttstock.

A pistol lower buffer tube is “normally” rounded and sort of “padded”? (Yeah, I know. Newbie questions.) If you’re using an arm brace, is that a normal buffer tube, then?

...and let me be so bold as to ask this. Does an ‘arm brace’ allow you to fire your ‘pistol’ from your shoulder?
Be careful about the arm brace; ATF is reconsidering the ruling they do not allow the weapon to be fired from the shoulder.

(It’s overwhelming, my ignorance of all things black rifle related, I know. Even one answer at a time is fine...)


-Removing the stock/buttstock so it isn't meant to be shouldered, doesn't make it a pistol. You can also put the stock back on whenever.
-You use a pistol lower (built without a buttstock) and slap any upper you want on it, but after 26" it might be considered a "firearm". Can't remember if that's Federal or Michigan law.
-80% receceiver doesn't change anything. Also, if you put a stock on the original build, it's a rifle and can't be a pistol.
Bmt85
 
Posts: 519
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:13 am
Location: S.E. Michigan

Next

Return to Pistols

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest