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building an SBR vs buying one


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Forms and fees are exactly the same. All SBR's must be registered to be legal.

If you build one, then you will have to send your lower receiver to a shop (there's only like two I know of) that will engrave your lower to be marked as an SBR. BATFE has very specific instructions on how the receiver needs to be engraved.

If you buy a pre-assembled rifle, the engraving should be done already.

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When you buy an SBR, you use the manufacturers markings to fill out the ATF Form 4 (Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of a Firearm) - afterall, the actual manufacturer is the "Manufacturer," in this case.  You can't touch it until you get the tax stamp back - it sits in your dealer's safe.


When you build your own SBR, YOU are the "Manufacturer," and you have to fill out the ATF Form 1 (Application to Make and Register a Firearm).  You need to send the lower receiver (the "registered" part of the firearm) off for engraving with YOUR information on it, as you are the manufacturer, and that info needs to be listed on the Form 1.  While you're waiting for the tax stamp to come back, you can legally have this firearm in a pistol configuration, and shoot it.  When the tax stamp comes back approved, in your hands, you can then convert that pistol into a Short Barreled Rifle.

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ahh, so best bet is to have the lower manufacturer of the lower engrave the info on for me, go ahead and build my upper but make sure I don't have a carbine buffer tube in the house, and I can build it with the pistol tube to shoot till I get the response.

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Just build an AR pistol.  Don't own a buttstock for it, until the stamp comes back.  Have one of these two companies do the engraving for you:


Orion Arms



Ident Marking Services



Pick out/gather parts for your future SBR, get stuff inbound, but do not buy a carbine receiver extension or buttstock.  We'll guide you along as it comes together.  Build it as a pistol first, and let the paperwork run it's course.  <thumbsup>

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I'm checking with the company that is machining it to see if they can just do the engraving while its in production in the mill anyhow. If not, i'll definitely use one of these 2. The company making it is Shadow Ops Weaponry, and they make supressors too so have the experience on the goofy BATF nonsense :)


I guess I need to start hounding the AR15 boards for sale sections to look for the barrel cheap

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Not necessary, for engraving.  It's actually smarter to engrave it first, before you send in paperwork - Imagine filling out your paperwork, sending it in, getting your stamp.  You send off your lower for engraving, and they Eff it up (mis-spell something).  NOW, you're screwed.


Alot of guys send it out for engraving, get it back, THEN do the paperwork, for that very reason.


Having a stamp is not a necessity in order to get it engraved.

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