View Full Version : Where do I find ATF rules on finishing 80%'s

February 01, 2009, 17:51
I got the following e-mail today:

A friend of mine is doing an 80% receiver but has hit a snag. The one he bought does not have the slot for the mag release. He used a jig for all the other holes but is hung up at this point. He has been told that no one else can do this for him if they don't have a manufacturer's license.

I am assuming its an AR, untill I hear otherwise

I went to ATF's website and couldnt find anything beyond that "YES a person can build their own firearms subject to certian limits"

He should be able to take it to a 'smith and wait for it to be done, correct??

If he waits for it, there is NO legal transfer of possession, and no entry in the 'smiths boundbook, correct??

Wouldnt it be the same as taking any gun in for "repair" ??

If I am wrong, please point me in the correct direction so I do NOT misguide this guy.


February 01, 2009, 18:02
i cut my own before i ruined the thing on the last step of adding small unneeded details

February 01, 2009, 19:08
Technically YOU have to do all the work. It's aluminum, cut's like
metal butter. Get over to ARFCOM and search the

February 01, 2009, 21:52
look up scrapers. enco should have em practice on alum. finish with files.

February 01, 2009, 22:56

Any smith can finish it for him but then they made it and he has to do a 4473. Check the above link under FAQ.

February 01, 2009, 23:13
From the above link:

(A6) Does the GCA prohibit anyone from making a handgun, shotgun or rifle?

With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a non-licensee provided it is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semi-automatic rifle or non-sporting shotgun from imported parts. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and approval by ATF. An application to make a machine gun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for a Federal or State agency.

[18 U.S.C. 922(o) and (r), 26 U.S.C. 5822, 27 CFR 478.39, 479.62 and 479.105]


(I2) Does a gunsmith need to enter in a permanent "bound book" record every firearm received for adjustment or repair? [Back]

[b]If a firearm is brought in for repairs and the owner waits while it is being repaired or if the gunsmith is able to return the firearm to the owner during the same business day, it is not necessary to list the firearm in the “bound book” as an "acquisition." If the gunsmith has possession of the firearm from one business day to another or longer, the firearm must be recorded as an “acquisition” and a “disposition” in the permanent "bound book" record.

As I read those two regulations, shouldnt the guy be able to take the receiver in for the cut or two, as long as he gets it back the same day??

I will check out Arfcom, thanks

February 02, 2009, 09:56
There are no regulations prohibiting him from having someone else do part of the work. I STRONGLY suggest that your friend have that work done first. And then HE should do all of the rest of the work. That way, the receiver is in an obviously unfinished state prior to the work he did.

There are NO regulations defining what consitutes a 'finished receiver'. Theoretically, an AR receiver with a single hole left undrilled would be 'unfinished'. Most people don't want to get into a contest with the ATF about this, so they leave multiple operations undone. That's where you get the name '80%'.

February 02, 2009, 10:10
Just like when someone sends me a receiver and parts kit for the build - They are the manufacturer for excise tax purposes (tax exempt). I am just the subcontractor. It is an excise issue.

Where there has been an issue in the past is when a licensed manufacturer subbed worked out to an unlicensed shop to make the receivers.

I'd recommend first putting your manufacturer markings on it. While not required, it makes having it float around easier for everyone.

Then, if the shop does not hold an FFL, you probably should be there while the work is being done.

February 02, 2009, 17:06
Thanks guys

I will pass this on