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Are .50 BMG upper conversions going to be reclassified as firearms?
Gun Rights Examiner ^ | 1 August, 2011 | David Codrea

Posted on 08/02/2011 5:37:46 AM PDT by marktwain

An open letter to ATF

John R. Spencer, Chief

Firearms Technology Branch

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Dear Chief Spencer,

For some time, I’ve been hearing rumblings from sources in the firearms industry that your branch is going to classify .50 BMG upper conversions for AR-15 rifles as firearms, a departure from the past practice established by your office of considering them parts. I have since been informed this was confirmed by your office in a telephone conversation with a national firearms publication. Because this could have such profound and far-reaching effects, not only within the firearms industry, but also among private owners who have been in compliance with currently written regulations, I’m seeking to document if this is true.

Is it?

If not, I’m sorry to bother you and take you away from your busy and demanding schedule. My intent is either to confirm what I’ve been hearing or put it to bed. Please let me know so that I can share a denial with interested gun owners.

If it is true, here are some additional questions I’d like to get for-the-record answers to:

As per Federal Firearms Act. 15 U.S.C. Chapter 18, a firearm for intents and purposes of this inquiry is “Any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon,” and a firearm frame or receiver is “That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.”

(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 50; 50bmg; atf; banglist; rifle
ATF is notorious for changing law by administrative ruling. Such changes have always been more restrictive of our rights, never less restrictive.
1 posted on 08/02/2011 5:37:51 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: marktwain

I’m certain the author is referring to .50 AE rather than .50 BMG.

L


2 posted on 08/02/2011 5:39:56 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: marktwain

The Republicans need to make amends with the Tea Party and they can do that by defunding the ATF&E.They are a useless agency in search of a mission.

Though lately it seems their mission is black-marketing weapons to drug dealers and causing the deaths of American citizens.


3 posted on 08/02/2011 5:44:33 AM PDT by puppypusher (The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: marktwain

How can the upper and lower be classified as separate firearms?


4 posted on 08/02/2011 5:45:03 AM PDT by mylife (OPINIONS ~ $ 1.00 HALFBAKED ~ 50c)
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To: Lurker

I was wondering about that. Having a .50 BMG upper and a standard lower would effectively make the weapon single shot. Who wants to spend all the money on a .50 cal upper for that?


5 posted on 08/02/2011 5:45:24 AM PDT by edpc (Ruck Famadan)
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To: Lurker

No there are uppers that well turn your lower to a single shot 50BMG at the shot show there was one with a side mounted mag.

The lower is just used as a holder for the upper and to set the primer off. Ie hammer and trigger.


6 posted on 08/02/2011 5:45:47 AM PDT by riverrunner
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To: Lurker

No. He means .50BMG. .50AE is a handgun round. .50BMG is a rifle or crew served weapon round. .50BMG upper halves have been available for AR-15 rifles for years, so this is a major change in how they’d be classified.


7 posted on 08/02/2011 5:46:01 AM PDT by CarmichaelPatriot
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To: edpc

Barret and others make 50 cal single shots, the AR upper is just a bit cheaper to make and buy.


8 posted on 08/02/2011 5:48:05 AM PDT by riverrunner
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To: mylife

Why not?

I was informed that the thread adapter for my Walther P-22 pistol was a machine gun by the BATFE when they showed up at my house to confiscate it!


9 posted on 08/02/2011 5:49:17 AM PDT by catman67
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To: catman67

Want to elaborate?


10 posted on 08/02/2011 5:51:44 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: edpc
There are actually places that sell .50 BMG uppers for the AR-15, which convert it to a .50 BMG bolt action.
11 posted on 08/02/2011 5:55:05 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (When you've only heard lies your entire life, the truth sounds insane.)
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To: Lurker

Nope. .50 BMG uppers come in a variety of flavors for the AR platform. Everything from single shot to mag fed semi-autos. Much better prices than buying a full-on bolt gun chambered in .50 BMG. $2000 instead of $7000 for about the same accuracy.


12 posted on 08/02/2011 5:55:53 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (explosive bolts, ten thousand volts at a million miles an hour)
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To: CarmichaelPatriot

There is also a .50 Beowulf upper for AR-15’s...

Here’s a link to a Military Channnel documentary on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVJ2w9dVZN4&feature=related

Very cool... I want one....


13 posted on 08/02/2011 5:56:43 AM PDT by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: Lurker
I’m certain the author is referring to .50 AE rather than .50 BMG.

No, I think he is correct. A simple google search reveals this:

Tactilite T1 Complete Upper Receiver .50 BMG for AR-15 Style Low $1,781 online

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?pq=jordan+r.+risheberger&hl=en&cp=10&gs_id=30&xhr=t&q=.50+bmg+upper&qe=LjUwIG1iZyB1cA&qesig=pCR_9HkVuc1h7ut1kWpeyA&pkc=AFgZ2tnFQhoYZnaSCo40dksWLcfckZD6h4jA2ahZnYEhizyygViQxnkPRh2nGb62m1-2kj8iSG-1AbreboVBPgZaFglkrBxZaA&biw=1316&bih=551&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=17816363460823771895&sa=X&ei=PPA3TuOmLK3ViAL4lb39Dg&sqi=2&ved=0CB4Q8wIwAA

14 posted on 08/02/2011 5:59:32 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: Lurker
I’m certain the author is referring to .50 AE rather than .50 BMG.

Zel Customs makes .50 BMG uppers for ARs.
http://www.tactilite.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=29&Itemid=29

15 posted on 08/02/2011 6:03:58 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: PapaBear3625
Bohica Arms.........

LOL

16 posted on 08/02/2011 6:09:33 AM PDT by edpc (Ruck Famadan)
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To: wolfcreek

Several years ago, I bought a Walther P-22 thread adapter on eBay for my P-22 pistol. This part, just like a thread adapter in the plumbing world, threads on the the internal barrel threads of the P-22 and provided external threads for a silencer, should you choose to purchase one.

Note that I DID NOT purchase, own or fabricate a silencer!

A few months later, I got a call from my wife at home that 2 BATFE agents were at my door to confiscate my “illegal machine gun”.

I made arrangements to meet another BATFE agent at my house that evening. He informed me that a supervisor had ruled that the part i possessed was an illegal Class III modification which was considered a silencer. I went upstairs, retrieved the firearm and brought it down. In his presence, I unscrewed the thread adapter and protective cap, put on the regular berrel nut and gave it to him.

His only response was “Thats IT???”

I said that it was what I had purchased. Since it only cost around $30.00, I wasn’t going to argue. Besides, the external threading was 1/2 x 20 (European silencer) and I really wanted 1/2 x 28 (American silencer).

I also informed him that several websites were selling the same item. I can go down to my favorite gun store and buy one now, should I choose. They have them in stock!


17 posted on 08/02/2011 6:17:15 AM PDT by catman67
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To: catman67

IIRC, the adapter they were interested in was specifically made to thread onto a standard water/soda bottle. The manufacturer, a German, claimed that the adapter was for cleaning purposes; the user would thread the adapter to a bottle of cleaning solution and then install the barrel. You could run a brush through the chamber and down into the solution, back and forth.

Of course, such bottles can also make a slightly-reduced single-shot suppressor, so the BATFE didn’t care for it.


18 posted on 08/02/2011 6:23:00 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: marktwain
It is pretty obvious that the ATF is planning to classify all firearms chambered for the .50 BMG cartridge as destructive devices (DDs) and require their registration. They need to have these upper conversions classified as firearms with a serial number requirement, otherwise civilians with legal non-firearm .50BMG uppers would have the ability to quickly snap together an unregistered DD. The ATF has been chasing unregistered M2 carbine kits, drop in AR auto-sears and slotted Uzi bolts for years.

I think that they will have a tougher time with this than the streetsweeper shotgun reclassification. The law (GCA68) specifies that firearms have with a bore greater than .50 are DDs unless exempted by administrative whim or decree as suitable for sporting purposes which was simply revoked in the case of streetsweepers.

19 posted on 08/02/2011 7:01:07 AM PDT by bruoz
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To: Lurker

Actually its the top end to replace the AR standard barrel and its a .50 BMG bolt action. Costs about $2,200.00. They are a single round feed bolt action. The AR is a modular system and many different uppers can be placed on the lower. 5.7 H&K with the rotary top mount fifty round clip is one of them. Or you can put a .22 LR upper and number of pistol rounds.

If you want one get one now. There’s no paperwork. You just walk in pay your money and walk out with it.


20 posted on 08/02/2011 7:10:26 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...
Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!
21 posted on 08/02/2011 7:36:32 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: nevergore

I thought that I wanted one until I saw the price of the ammo; 46 bucks for 20 rounds.


22 posted on 08/02/2011 8:13:10 AM PDT by mbynack (Retired USAF SMSgt)
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To: catman67

Wow! I need to purchase an AWC .22 threaded barrel for my suppressor and TPH, I wonder if this sort of thinking will prevent them from selling those barrels??

Ed


23 posted on 08/02/2011 8:48:38 AM PDT by Sir_Ed
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To: Lurker
I’m certain the author is referring to .50 AE rather than .50 BMG.

L

Nope. Regular Cal .50 BMG, 12.7x99mm. $1850.00, last I checked.

The SHTF50 is Safety Harbor Firearms, Inc. Upper Conversion Kit.

Receiver: Machined from 4130 Chromemoly Steel
Magazine: 5 Round, Single Stack Magazine. 1 Included
Muzzle Brake: 8 port steel. Threaded to muzzle.
Bolt Head: 2 lug, machined from 4340 Chromemoly Steel
Barrel: 4140 Chromemoly - 18, 22, and 29 inches long
1-15 Twist (Barrel Fluting Optional)
Scope Mount: Aluminum with Picatinney rail profile mounted on the receiver.
Bolt Body: Machined from 4130 Chromemoly tubing.
Hammer: 1 Supplied (to replace AR-15/M16 Hammer)

NO FFL is required for purchase

•Model: SHTF50-MAG
•Shipping Weight: 18lbs
•Manufactured by: Safety Harbor Firearms, Inc.

Personally, I want one in the .50x77mm cartridge, not for the M2 .50 BMG, but rather intended for use in the M8c spotter rifle for the M40A1 recoilless rifle. You are invited to guess why I prefer the lighter cartridge.

24 posted on 08/02/2011 9:14:40 AM PDT by archy (I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!)
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To: mbynack

One word for you......

Reload!


25 posted on 08/02/2011 10:04:16 AM PDT by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: edpc

Who wants to spend all the money on a .50 cal upper for that?


Someone who wants to shoot 50 BMG at distant targets, or who wants to be able to shoot 50 BMG when necessary in a future scenario after 50 BMG firearms have been banned and confiscated.


26 posted on 08/02/2011 10:13:30 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Government borrowing is Taxation without Representation)
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To: archy

The SHTF50 is Safety Harbor Firearms, Inc. Upper Conversion Kit.


Excellent choice. Safety Harbor is a long established company, while others selling uppers are newcomers.

I also love the “SHTF” brand name, which PERFECTLY describes it’s purpose!


27 posted on 08/02/2011 10:16:02 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Government borrowing is Taxation without Representation)
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To: archy

Thanks to everyone for the information. I have got to get me on of those!


28 posted on 08/02/2011 10:34:22 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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Bookmark


29 posted on 08/02/2011 11:37:15 AM PDT by RandallFlagg ("I can see 2012 from my house!" Jim Thompson, 7-16-2011)
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To: marktwain
ATF is notorious for changing law by administrative ruling.

ATF is notorious for getting ideas for administrative rulings by receiving bizarre questions from idiots who don't realize that if something hasn't been banned one way or another, asking if it will be all too often leads the ban-happy agency to answer "yes" and proceed to do so.

30 posted on 08/02/2011 11:45:54 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Lurker

Nope, it’s the .50 BMG upper.


31 posted on 08/02/2011 12:14:10 PM PDT by BCR #226 (02/07 SOT www.extremefirepower.com...The BS stops when the hammer drops.)
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To: catman67

I would love to know more about how the BATFE claims a thread adapter is a machine gun. Can you give some more details?


32 posted on 08/02/2011 12:15:43 PM PDT by BCR #226 (02/07 SOT www.extremefirepower.com...The BS stops when the hammer drops.)
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33 posted on 08/02/2011 12:28:38 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list.)
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To: marktwain
ATF is notorious for changing law by administrative ruling. And Obastard just loves to change the laws by fiat.
34 posted on 08/02/2011 3:45:19 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: marktwain

BTW, I believe that the ATF has already declared an upper receiver for the AR-15 that was special built to convert the rifle to a belt fed weapon to be a “firearm”. Yes, it was semi-auto only.


35 posted on 08/02/2011 3:47:54 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: archy

>>You are invited to guess why I prefer the lighter cartridge. <<

Higher muzzle velocity?


36 posted on 08/02/2011 6:33:10 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are..)
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To: BCR #226
I would love to know more about how the BATFE claims a thread adapter is a machine gun. Can you give some more details?

The thread adapter exaggeration by a couple of field agents is one thing; another is the BATFE written declaration of 2004 that the possession of a 14-inch- long shoestring constites the possession of an unregistered machinegun.:

There was enough publicity and embarassment at the BATFE that a second, overriding ruling had to be made, lest the nation be plagued with overzealous cops raiding shoestores as dealers of deadly machinegunstrings:

And that was pretty well that, until an overly officious cop at one of our neighborhood watch meetings described was describing his *zero tolerance* policy on citizen misconduct, and I happily pointed out that he was in fact an armed felon, in posession of not one but two deadly and illegal shoestrings, as well as his department-issued semiautomatic weapon. placing him in violation of federal law, since while local cops may in some instances obtain and use full-auto weapons, they cannot possess unregistered ones, particularly shoestrings which have had their serial numbers removed or never applied. Making it worse for him, we have a state law making a violation of law in the performance of his duty a state felony. And there was a reporter in the room.

He had a quick defense: I was probably making the whole thing up. Unfortunately for him, I had copies of the two letters shown above with me, which a local gun shop owner had asked for. He really didn't want to see those, and I was agreeable.

So I gave them to the reporter instead.

37 posted on 08/03/2011 3:19:43 PM PDT by archy (I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!)
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To: B4Ranch
>>You are invited to guess why I prefer the lighter cartridge. <<

Higher muzzle velocity?

Nope. Lower, with the smaller cartridge. And there's a reason why, in this case, that's desirable.

38 posted on 08/03/2011 3:22:29 PM PDT by archy (I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous!)
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To: archy

I won’t ask anymore questions.


39 posted on 08/03/2011 3:25:47 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are..)
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