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The following originally appeared at the Defense Firearms Blog and is reprinted here with permission.

An SBR, or short barrel rifle is a category of firearm that is regulated by the National Firearms Act or NFA. Basically speaking it’s a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16″ or smaller than 26″ overall length. Another type of firearm that is similar is the Short Barrel Shotgun, or SBS, but we’ll focus on the SBR for now . . .

In order to legally own an SBR, one must first identify what the specifications of what the SBR will be. Specifically, you will need to actually identify what firearm you will turn into an SBR in order to register the serial number and the actual overall length of the firearm, make, model, caliber, etc. As an example, if you own an AR rifle (a rifle with a barrel 16″ or greater) and you want to shorten the barrel, you will need to have a serial number and decide how short you want the barrel.

For example, let’s say you want to change your barrel from 16″ to 10″, you will need to first measure the overall length. The overall length should include the size of the stock fully extended (for those that have adjustable stocks). Additionally, you will measure the length of the actual barrel tip and not include the flash hider, suppressor. The reason for this is that the flash suppressor is NOT considered a part of the barrel unless it is welded and pinned to the barrel.

Once you measure the entire length of the firearm, let’s say it’s 30″ for arguments sake, you will then subtract 6″ from that measurement (16″ minus 10″ equals 6″). Take away the 6″ measurement from 30″ and you have 24″ as your new “desired” length of what you will want when your SBR is legally assembled. Remember, you CANNOT legally assemble the SBR and take these measurements, and you CANNOT legally be in possession of all the materials to assemble an SBR until you have your approval from the BATFE, doing so is called constructive possession. In lieu of measuring the actual SBR, you will have to do the math above.

Once you have your serial number, make, model, caliber and measurements of your firearm you will fill out a Form 1 ( After filling out the Form 1, you will mail it along with a check for $200 to the BATFE and wait for you tax stamp approval.

Different states have different restrictions on owning an SBR. In other words, some states simply require you to get your fingerprints and get approval from your local Police Chief/Sheriff in order to complete the Form 1. Basically, the BATFE requires you get approval from your local law enforcement in order to get approval from them. I will blog about some of the different regulations per state as all states/counties have different laws.

Once you receive your tax stamp back from the BATFE, you are good to go (return times vary, contact the NFA Branch to get an estimated timeframe). Remember, ALWAYS have copies of your tax stamp paperwork with your SBR at all times, this will save you extreme amounts of trouble.

I hope this helps, if anyone has questions or see corrections/clarifications that can be made, please let me know. Also, as a disclaimer, this article is not legal advice. To get specific information on laws and regulations regarding NFA or firearms, please contact the BATFE or legal council.

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  1. Is there any particular reason for the various state and federal regulations?

    It seems needlessly complicated. And while I won’t claim Canadian laws are less complicated (they are much, much worse), I at least only have to deal with Federal sillyness.

    • Trust us, we would much rather have a system in which some States are Texas or Arizona, and some are Massachusetts and New York, than one in which every state is California…

    • Each state in the “United States of America” has its own laws. It’s right there in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.

      That said, what’s the deal with you all’s language laws?

    • the atf has taken people to cort and then try to hide documents proveing that they commited no crime. in fack i looking to file law sute agust them, if a gun is 30 inchs it not sbr but atf says it is if the barrle is 15 inchs or less, this not the law, i got letter from atf and again they change the law, the or in the law been change to of, ? they been told once they have no power to make laws, or policys, throw they are, and it is we the free people is finding our self in cort over laws dont make sence, so what happens if i have ar riffles and pisstols, is atf going say that i going make a sbr just becuase they can be, atf is over reaching there powers and i must ask by law breaking oath of office is treason, why arnt we going after them for treason, why must they come after us, why do we not go after them, we have law on our side, we also have cort cases to sight that atf is wrong, it is time stop being sheep and becomeing wolfs and go after them for damages, and then go after them for crimes, and dose it make any diffrece how far we get once we do this others will to and wont stop, atf be flooded with law sutes to bussy worry about there own cases, they be force to stop us in some way, i dont have the money but i have all the information to take them down, but i need help i need money to take them to cort get a lawyer, and i barry them in law so deep they wont have time whipe there ass, my speeling not good becuase of add but is why i know laws so well, what i cant do what i can do is lot better then most, i got two law sutes now one agest state one agest pep boys, i dont have what will take to go after atf, throw i do know the laws, and i want to force them to comply to laws as was given and give notace we will go after them as breach of oath of office if they so try to chage the laws,

      • You are mistaken.

        I started getting into SBR’s as far back as the early 70s, and the law has ALWAYS been,

        RIFLES: 16 inch or less barrel and/or 26inch or less overall requires tax stamp.
        SHOTGUNS: 18 inch less Barrel and/or 26 inch less overall requires tax stamp.

        This has never changed and is still the law today.

        • This was not “always” law, just a law passed before “most” of our lifetimes. It is still taxing a right and Taxation is Theft.

  2. I believe a fairly common route is to build a pistol to play with while you wait on your Form 1 approval. That way you have a working, fun bangstick in the meantime. Keep in mind that as noted above, you cannot legally be in possession of the parts to make your pistol into an SBR until you have the Form 1. The most common way to do this is to purchase all the parts to build your SBR EXCEPT the buttstock. Assemble the firearm, put a pistol buffer tube on it, and you’re good to go. Remember to leave off any forward vertical grip, as well, as that will also put you afoul of the law.

      • …and on the other hand, what if you have a complete, non-SBR AR-15, and a second short-barreled upper? As I understand it, the lower is considered ‘the firearm’, so what is the upper considered legally when not assembled?

        All academic in my case, as the state I live in (WA) does not allow SBR/SBS for individuals, but I am curious.

        • Note: I am not an NFA attorney. I’m simply an amateur who’s done a lot of reading.

          My understanding to both of the above questions is that if you have all the parts to make [illegal without papers thing], it doesn’t matter what stage of assembly or dis-assembly said thing is, that’s constructive possession. However, it’s one of those situations where (1) you’d have to get caught, and (2) intent may (or may not!) come into play.

          For instance, let’s say you had a pistol (short barrel and pistol buffer) and you wanted to make it a full sized rifle (not an SBR). That means you’re changing both the buffer/stock and the barrel. In theory, you could technically break the law depending on the order you did the conversion. If you changed the barrel first, then the buffer/stock, then in the “construction” phase you’d simply have a really unwieldy rifle. If you changed the buffer/stock first, then during the time it took you to get the short barrel off the now-stocked action, you would (not technically, you would) be in possession of an illegal SBR. God help you if the ATF walked in mid-transition in the second case.

          In Sam C’s example, I think you’d be on dangerous ground, because of the “spare” stock. It would take literally single-digit minutes to swap that spare stock in place of the pistol buffer. I’d loan that spare stock to a buddy ’til your paperwork came through on the SBR.

          In rosignol’s example, we run hard into the limit of my knowledge. Popping that SBR upper onto the lower of the complete rifle is two pins and <60 seconds. However, I'm sure people who already own an AR buy/build SBR's, but how they go about it I just really don't know. Consult your gun shop/attorney.

        • Matt in FL’s reply below is correct. Having the components is all that is necessary to make this illegal. Constructive possession. You don’t have to like the law, but that is the law.

        • Does having an AR, two Magpul VFG’s, and a Glock give you ‘constructive possession’ of an AOW?

          Does having a shotgun and a hacksaw give you ‘constructive possession’ of a SBS?

          Heck even having a full auto FCG but no third hole receiver is legal.

          Constructive possession is often mis-applied to SBRs. Matt in FL, please link to any law, or related court cases if you can prove it..

        • AK: I love it when people challenge me to back up my statements, because it makes me do research, which helps turn me into the “well-read amateur” that I mentioned above.

          Here’s what I found: Intent does seem to matter. It’s not a guaranteed thing, and you could potentially get jammed up for a while even if it’s later thrown out or you’re acquitted, but it seems that you have to be shown to have done, or have intended to do something wrong.

          One interpretation of this is if the parts you have can be assembled into both a legal and illegal variety, unless there is proof that you did do it illegally, the presumption is that you intended to do it the right way. The Rule of Lenity says, “In construing an ambiguous criminal statute, the court should resolve the ambiguity in favor of the defendant.”

          Two examples: First, in 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court decided United States v. Thompson-Center Arms Company in favor of T-C. The ATF’s position was that a carbine conversion kit of the Contender pistol that came with an accessory 16″ barrel and a stock consisted of a short-barreled rifle pursuant to the NFA. The Court held that the kit did not constitute an SBR, because (1) the kit contained both the stock and the rifle barrel and (2) the stock had instructions carved into it explicity telling the user to not attach the stock to the receiver when the 10-inch barrel is attached to the receiver or vice versa.

          Second, the case of Jesus Amador, who wanted to sell his H&K SP89 pistol along with the accessories he had collected for it, which included a vertical foregrip and a shoulder stock. He advertised it on Craigslist, and ended up attempting to sell it to an undercover cop. He was charged with attempting to sell an SBR over the internet. The vertical foregrip would alone necessitate the firearm being registered under the NFA as an AOW. The mere possession of the shoulder stock meant the weapon would have to be registered as a short-barreled rifle, pursuant to the NFA. Both of those registrations should have happened PRIOR to purchasing either/both of those accessories. In his ad, Mr. Amador posted a picture of the SP89 with all the accessories in a case. Most damning for Mr. Amador, other than being caught in possession of the SP89 with the shoulder stock and vertical grip is the fact that the case has a cut out for the SP89 to be placed in the case WITH the vertical foregrip, which would seem to connote, contrary to his position, that the SP89 was fitted with the foregrip at one point.

          Based on these two examples, and some other reading I did, I stand by my comments above. In Sam C’s example, an AR pistol with a “spare” shoulder stock, you could very likely be in trouble if caught because there’s no legal way to assemble all the parts on hand. The possession of a rifle barrel in addition to the “spare” shoulder stock would effectively negate the “badness” of the spare stock, unless there was proof that you had, at some point, assembled it illegally. This is one point where Mr. Amador ran afoul of the law. There was proof (sorta) that he’d done it wrong.

          On the flip side, regarding the T-C Contender, while the mere possession of all those parts does not constitute an SBR, if you assembled them the right way (shoulder stock + pistol barrel) you would, not theoretically, not technically, you would be in possession of an SBR, while they were assembled in that manner. Whether or not you got in trouble would depend on whether you got caught, maybe a little intent, maybe whether the prosecutor was having a bad day, or if you’d slept with his wife.

          Yay, long post. Thanks for the opportunity to improve my knowledge.

        • Thanks for the detailed post Matt. 🙂

          The H&K SP89 is the example that comes up most often. That was actually a Florida state law, and not in violation of any federal law.

          I think we agree, intent plays a big role and simply having the means to do something illegal is different than actually doing something illegal.

        • Not sure this holds water. I, like a lot of people, own both AR rifles and AR pistols. Not to mention I have Ruger 10/22 rifles and Ruger 10/22 charger pistols. All of these sleep in the same safe.

          Each one of these rifles could in theory be made into SBR’s by combining parts from the pistols. In fact the Charger pistols came with a warning in the owner’s manual (page 13) to not try and interchange the pistol barrel into a rifle receiver.

          You’re saying I am in violation of the law because I sure possess all of the components needed to assemble more than half a dozen SBR’s? Because the ATF says that’s not the case.

      • As long as you have the AR pistol before you buy a short barrel, they can’t say it’s constructive intent.

    • one ague that one is not a manfactur simply by putting already made parts togather,
      in fack u not, atf law says u are, atf has lot probems it not be hard take most gun control down
      2ed admement states that guns is to provent govement from enslaveing us
      it also give us the power to take back the government these arugments never used in cort do to how they sound
      sound like u want war so they never been used fack is 2ed admenment was set up to start a civel war agest the fed government u want take atf out use the words. also equal rights fack is atf allowing certen states grow pot I find odd these states are hardest on gun laws, I have wounder if atf is not traiding our rights away to grow and sell pot, facks point to it strong facks, equal rights, atf dose not have power to decied what laws to enforce they must enfoce all laws equaly there not doing this, I would aruge that atf is not competent to
      enforce any laws because they chosieing what laws o inforce in traid for harder gun control laws
      this must end we must not traid our rights away to a drug

        • Not one, not two or three, but Five morons ridicule Jay’s comment because of the obvious and purposeful bad grammar that was done to protect anonymity.
          Most certain these five idiots would be just fine with the federal gov’t imposing more gun legislation as well.

        • I just got my blood test results back. Brain and eye cancer from just reading the first two sentences.

          Jesus someone remove that garbage.

      • Wow, that hurt to read? What was that? No offense, if English is not your first language, but you speak as if you are an American, saying “our rights”, and that was some of the worst English I have seen.

        Your first point about being a manufacturer, I see, but, copied from a dictionaries definition of manufacture;
        “the making of goods or wares by manual labor or by machinery, especially on a large scale:”
        “especially on large scale”, does not mean, only, on large scale. You are taking parts and combining those parts to make a complete firearm (‘goods’), you are manufacturing. I don’t think it should be worded that way, but it is and it fits the definition.

        The 2nd Amendment was NOT set up to start a civil war (I assume you meant, Revolution), but in fact to help prevent one by not allowing an oppressive government (like England was in 1700’s) to gain so much power over the free people it governs as to not allow said people a means to protest and or voice their opinions about that governing body without fear of retribution and/or prevention by force.

        Far too many people have forgotten the past, and as was said, “Those that forget the past, are doomed to repeat it.”

        Yes, we would all like to think and/or believe the US gov. would never become so bad that the free people would have to use the 2nd Amend. to start a revolution (not civil war). But, look at recent history… In the 1930’s Hitler was seen as a great leader and visionary and was even named ‘Man of the Year’ and look how that turned out? He confiscated firearms and millions died. Would the outcome have been different if the, then, great and righteous leader, not confiscated firearms? We will never know for sure but I think that the people (mostly Jews) would have had a better chance of not being slaughtered if they had a 2nd Amendment that was upheld!

        One thing you said, I very much agree with, the ATF does not have the right to interpret the laws, only enforce the laws we have. Well guess what, the Constitution and it’s Amendments ARE law and thus, the ATF or any other entity of the government should not make their own interpretations of those laws. “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”!!! Should mean you can not interpret that however you see fit. It does not say only certain firearms that are inferior to what the military uses.

        I am not going to address the marijuana issue you mention because it has no bearing on this article.

        This is all my opinion and as such may be interpreted however you like, have a nice day.

        • ‘Educated’ people laugh at the idea that a modern-day government would actually tyrannize its population and therefore consider the Second Amendment a mere anachronism.
          I need only point to the chaos and terror wrought by the hordes of hostile Islamists that have been loosed upon a disarmed European populace by their own governments.
          While these jihadist thugs rob, rape, brutalize and murder almost at will these same governments lie through their teeth and deny even the hint of a ‘problem’.
          None of them would even consider allowing their own people the basic civil right of armed self-defense.
          Tyranny can also be outsourced.

    • I’m with you. It sounds like a lot of work and a lot of invasion of privacy to reduce the effectiveness of the rifle.

      My view is that if someone wants a short-barreled rifle, the person should be able to have one. I just don’t have much desire to own one myself.

        • I never understood those, they’re the worst of both worlds. They have the poor ballistic performance of a short barrel, but the poor maneuverability of a full-length barrel.

          I do understand wanting short barrel for maneuverability, less muzzle weight, and less weight in general.

      • I’m with you guys. I don’t see the benefit of ruining a perfectly good rifle and turning it into a stocked pistol.

        • Voluntary gun registration and I get to send in my fingerprints to the man!?! Where do I sign?!! Anyone with an SBR or silencer is first on the list for confiscation. At least that will warn the rest of us.

  3. What about a short barreled shotgun? Seems more practical, especially when you factor in the close quarters nature of home defense.

  4. If Romney wins in November, maybe we can use Paul Ryan’s pro-gun attitude to push for a deregulation of SBR’s and SBS’s. It’s such a stupid and arbitrary regulation. So are mag capacity limits and assault weapon bans. We let those expire at the federal level and nothing bad happened. Lets try doing away with the barrel and overall length requirements of the NFA.

  5. Get rid of all NFA requirements and let us buy what we choose. Instead of artificially inflating prices on class 3 weapons. We should be able to buy them new now, not just be able to buy ones made before 1986. Of course I’m speaking on full-auto.

    • Well said. Aren’t firearms considered at the core a consumer product? Since when can our socialist government regulate a free economy?

      • According to the SCOTUS in Wickard v Filburn, Since the constitution was written, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, Congress has the power to “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” Which means if anything you do has the ability to affect commerce across state or international borders, or with a Native American Tribe, such as growing your own wheat in the Wickard v Filburn case, the Feds can regulate what you do.

  6. Wouldn’t a bullpup design address the issues without having to jump through the extra hoops and expense? The thought of giving 2oo bucks to the G when I don’t have to is a bit off putting.

    • Yeah, but then you run into overall-length issues. Have you seen the ridiculous barrel they had to put on the FN P90 to turn it into the PS90? Ugh.

  7. Thanks for the great discussion regarding the blog post. I see that someone reccomended owning a bullpup as a safe and quick alternative. In my opinion, bullpups are underrated and deserve a good look and a fair chance.

  8. Also a good idea to put NFA items in a special firearms trust. No CLEO signature required.
    As long as the NRA is the most powerful gun lobby GCA 68 and NFA 34 aren’t going anywhere.

  9. You are not “good to go” until you engrave the firearm. I know you found this article, but the actual process is a bit more involved than “fill out his form and measure this.” For example, decisions about whether or not to use a trust and advice on listing as many calibers and lengths as possible on the form so that you can freely modify the firearm in the future and sell the old barrel without more hoops to jump through. I trust you guys can put together a proper, step-by-step, resource for your readers.

    • Listing multiple calibers will get your form denied today. The Form 1 is to manufacture a SBR and you must list its original configuration at the time its made.

      • You sure about that multiple caliber and barrel equaling denial? Because if true you would have to register the following gun as 3 different guns and engrave it 3 times, and I just don’t think that’s true, but show me proof of the denial in the past.

        As you clearly see, this weapon comes with 3 barrels and 3 calibers. What if someone worked out optimum barrel length for all 3 barrels and had it sold that way and did the threading service on each barrel for a can while they are at it. Next question there are still more calibers available to buy and switch out too, why wouldn’t you want to list them all? There are 5 of them already and at least 3 more they are working on releasing?

  10. Ok, I read the “Part II” blog post on Defense Firearms Blog and it covers most of what I mentioned was lacking – that important information should be added to this post (it does, however, leave out the multiple caliber/length advice as of this comment).

    • Sometimes I like to go back and look at comments from previous blogs. I do apologize for not mentioning that you are required to engrave your information on the receiver prior to assembling the SBR (post approval of course). However, you are incorrect in stating that you need to list multiple calibers on the Form 1, that will get your paperwork kicked back. You need to pick one caliber and submit it, even putting “multi” on your Form 1 will not work.

  11. Derek,
    I don’t really understand your point here. Are you saying that it’s in the interests of the NRA to not change/repeal the GCA and NFA? And if so, what actions of the NRA have led you to this conclusion?

    • Remember what the NRA tried to do to Heller? McDonald? Where was the NRA when David Olafson was being persecuted? Lets go way back. The NRA didn’t provide any support to Miller, a case that was decided WITH NO OPPOSING COUNSEL.
      The NRA endorsed Harry Reid. They even supported the NFA and GCA!!!
      No thank you, make mine GOA.
      You know what victory looks like? Ordering a select-fire AK-47 through the mail from Russia and being able to open carry it in all 50 states.

        • We should be able to own and operate any vehicle, ship, aircraft or weapon the military or law enforcement have or ever have. All that stuff belongs to us, the people.

      • Other Derek says:
        October 29, 2012 at 11:36
        Remember what the NRA tried to do to Heller? McDonald? Where was the NRA when David Olafson was being persecuted? Lets go way back. The NRA didn’t provide any support to Miller, a case that was decided WITH NO OPPOSING COUNSEL.
        The NRA endorsed Harry Reid. They even supported the NFA and GCA!!!
        No thank you, make mine GOA.
        You know what victory looks like? Ordering a select-fire AK-47 through the mail from Russia and being able to open carry it in all 50 state
        Damm well said, Sir !!

  12. So let me ask this, I recently won a lawsuit which effectively and entirely restored my 2a rights. What things does the BATF deny you for? There is no record according to federal court orders of expungement and a mandate by a federal judge to remove all and any records regarding my original denial. I can pass a NCIS background and have nothing on NCIC checks. No record exists. If I apply for a tax stamp would they deny me and do you think (not asking for legal advice) (I am however asking for personal opinion not admissible in court, and further release anyone who responds to my question from any civil or criminal legal issues or responsibility) that if they did deny me that court orders would over-turn any denial. My concern is I am a law abiding citizen and I’m tired of denials for unlawful use of my records. PS, Federal judge laughed at the response I got from FBI NICS, he thought they are idiots and cant follow the most current laws. Any help is great, not expecting anything since I understand the legality of the topic, I hope the release of liability I included might help someone to answer my questions before I retain an attorney for a gun trust anyways.

    • What if you SBR a glock so you can legally attach a stock.
      In Texas, could you then legally open carry said glock in a standard OWB holster?
      No chl class, no fees, no renewing said license…


  13. Seems silly that, as Matt in FL says, having possession of parts to assemble an SBR before tax stamp is illegal. I assume we all have the chemicals to make a bomb under our sinks, yet we aren’t breaking the law. I own a gun or several and I have ammunition, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to commit crime. I have a car in the driveway and beer in the fridge, does that mean I’m guilty of a future-DUI?

  14. What if you are trying to buy a rifle from a dealer (such as daniel defense) with a 10.3 inch barrel pre installed? Would you need to buy a stamp or would you receive one with the rifle?

  15. Can anyone advise if changing the muzzle break/flash hider (MBFH) on a Centurion C39 AK47 style pistol violate any ATF rules? I ask because I am wanting to change the AR-15 style birdcage MBFH to a standard Krinkov style and my gunsmith won’t do it unless I furnish objective evidence he is not violating some ATF rule. Been to the ATF site and perused all the FAQ and drew a blank.

    • I think you stated it clearly enough, he just doesn’t want to do the job. Point one: will changing the flash suppressor result in a total overall length of the rifle so that it is in violation of the minimum required length? Point two; will changing the flash suppressor result in a total barrel length of less than 16 inches? If you are not adding or changing the buttstock so that your total overall length is below the minimum length for a non-regulated rifle/carbine, or changing it to a pistol grip only, again there should not be an issue. If the gun is already an SBR than you might need to be cautious about shortening the rifle to the point that it is less than the length specified in your earlier application and approval. Since you are dealing with a “pistol” so long as you do not add a buttstock (you can add a stabilizing stock) you don’t need to worry about changing the flash suppressor. If it is already a pistol, stamped pistol, and you aren’t adding a buttstock without the Form filed, accepted and returned, I don’t think it matters if you were to add a 30 inch barrel to it.

    • yes its smb the barrel must be over 16 inches
      its size of barrel madders
      now if u had 10 inch barrel all the other parts make smb
      u go jail until u get atf appoveal to make

    • My non-expert understanding of the law is that an overall length exceeding 26″ exempts one from the SBR tax stamp requirement regardless of the length of the barrel.
      I believe that’s why Remington and Mossberg are now allowed to make and sell shotguns with 14″ barrels.

      • “The NFA defines the term “firearm” at 26 U.S.C. 5845(a) to include “(3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of
        less than 16 inches in length;” (“short-barreled rifle”) and “(4) a weapon made from a rifle
        if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or
        barrels of less than 16 inches in length” (“weapon made from a rifle”).”


        You decide.

  16. I got two smb appoved but the way they are made Russian ak made much better, if u look at stock on ak it gose down reason for this to raise scope up with out changing anything, the ar 15 sbr better suted for lasser sight close combat but still can be used for over 100 yeards , I made two the barrels are nato the gpo
    is all the highest standreds, night vision scope laser sight all has its own use, also light
    but this light any one on other side will blinded by it, but what I found out is state police don’t know laws on sbr
    say u got part today and u had it for year Obama makes it illeagle dose it make part your part ileagle keep in mind I not a lawyer, same laws alow throws keep machinguns gov these parts, but u must prove when u taken it, if u prove you got said part befor the law then u open sue them for fause arrest wich has been done in ohio
    we have open carey law but even most police don’t know this most police don’t know the laws at all
    this can be very dangouse question is should police be responsible to know the laws they try to inforce,
    but how can u inforce a law with out knowing it, as I got two sbr I find one thing that a pistol ar is much more dangous and more easyer to control, if I take riffle butt off back of it no longer under atf control
    throw I can convert it back at any time , its lot easyer to just turn them back to pistols if I going across state lines, I convert them back when I get back home I was put off I call the ohio attrory gen office
    and all I ask was where was list of new laws on guns they refuse to even tell me they refuse to tell me anything

  17. I have a question: I was wondering, I saw a short barrel gun, Kriss Vector and I would like to get the stock attachment but it requires to get an SBR stamp. But I hated to wait for months to get it, I wonder if I can buy it as pistol and then apply for the SBR stamp after purchased? Has anyone done this before and will there be any advantange and disadvantage?


  18. Dan,

    I toyed with the idea of putting an adjustable stock on my SP89 when I lived in GA. The local police chief flat out refused to sign the form. The local Sheriff stated he would consider it, but would require a good reason for my wanting an SBR. At the time, I decided against applying and did not convert.

    I’ve moved to Kentucky and am once again contemplating the idea.

    What I am a little confused about is-what reasons can I give for wanting to convert from an SP89 to an SBR?

    My reason is that it’s simply easier to handle and shoot accurately, whereas the SP89 is legally regarded as a hand gun.

    Can you give me an idea? I have no intention of shading or sliding round the law in any way. I don’t dare to 🙂


    • Get a gun trust, and no Cleo signature is required. No reason necessary, other than ‘I want it and have the money to buy it”. 🙂

    • The CLEO sign-off requirement was just removed by ATF as part of Obama’s “executive actions”. They did that to close the “trust loophole”.

      • //The CLEO sign-off requirement was just removed by ATF as part of Obama’s “executive actions”. They did that to close the “trust loophole”.//


        Whoah…that’s interesting. I’m very surprised about that from Obama.



      • How does that close the trust loophole? Seems like it only took the CLEO out of the loop to me.

        • I just completed and sent off my Form 1 SBR application.
          The new form dated August 2017 has an extra page for ‘notification’ to the CLEO that you are submitting the application.
          According to this ‘CLEO Copy’ no action by the CLEO is ‘required’; however if he has any information that the applicant is a ‘prohibited person’ or that state law prohibits the type of firearm you’re applying to make he is given contact information to BATFE.
          I could find no basis for any ‘discretionary’ disapproval on the part of the CLEO.

  19. What if the rifle has a barrel that you will cut down? Is this constructive possession?

    I have a British Sterling 9mm with a long barrel and I want to cut it down.

  20. My GOD!!! Some of you people (you know who you are, or perhaps you don’t) are so in need of some education. IF you do not have the education to construct a complete, comprehensible sentence how, with any reasonable expectation, do you expect ANYONE to take you seriously? That’s just my 2 cents. However, due to the value of the deflated dollar it’s probably not worth that. If you are not literate (meaning that you can not read, write, or otherwise communicate effectively and/or convey an elementary thought or ideal) how can you possibly interpret anything having to do with the restrictions and statutes of any gun laws. Do you even understand what it means that, “It is unlawful to consume alcohol on these premises”? If you have half a brain, for the love of GOD please use it or keep your mouth shut. That way people would think you at least had a minimum amount of intelligence instead of running your trap and removing all doubt.

    • “or convey an elementary thought or ideal”

      1. IDEA: any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.

      2. IDEAL: existing only in the imagination; desirable or perfect but not likely to become reality.

      3. OWNED: when talking internet grammar smack bites you in the ass.

  21. So it is legal to have an SBR with both a barrel length under 16″ and an overall length under 26″?

  22. I know this posting is now 4 years old, but I just came across it the other day. Who’s gonna know what parts you have? You can assemble the SBR in the privacy of your own residence, get the ”exact” measurements needed, and then disassemble it. No big deal!!

  23. Excellent web site. Plenty of helpful information here.

    I am sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you on your effort!

  24. Hi, if I put a 12.5″ upper on my AR and the overall length is greater than 26″ I do not need a tax stamp, correct?

    • Barrel length must be greater than 16″, overall length must be greater than 26″. Both of those measurements must be present, or you have a SBR.

  25. Question being, how does one correctly fill out Form1 with the serial if you can’t own the weapon yet? How’s that work? It goes to your FFL and he holds it for about a year?? Since he’s the legal holder up to the point your tax stamp is approved?

  26. It’s time to throw tea in the harbor again!
    You want my freedom… bring your friends and sport Kevlar
    liberal scum///

  27. I hope the following copied & pasted from the ATF website assists ya’ll in understanding the fact that the article information is Flawed; it is not an either, or, equation.

    You CAN’T have any length of barrel that is Less than 16 inches on any rifle,, or Less than 18 inches on any shotgun, WITHOUT a tax stamp; regardless of the Over All Length.

    Specifically relating to rifles read and understand #3.

    If I seem pissed off it’s because this article got my hopes up that I could swap out the upper on my AR with and 10.5 inch 300 BLK barrel; I even had it already picked out and assembled in my mind. Thankfully ATF can’t arrest me for a build in my head.

    Below the Paste from the ATF:
    Which firearms are regulated under the NFA?

    (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;

    (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;

    (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;

    (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;

    (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e);

    (6) a machinegun;

    (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and

    (8) a destructive device.

    [26 U.S.C. 5845; 27 CFR 479.11]

    Last Reviewed September 23, 2016

  28. Time to update your article. They require passport photos and fingerprints from everyone on your trust. LEO only gets notification now, there is no longer a need for signoff.

    If you have a trust, EVERYONE on your trust must submit fingerprints and passport photos every time you purchase something new.

  29. Thank you for talking about the importance of having your firearm properly registered. It makes sense that remembering this can help you avoid penalties and charges. I would want to get a gun I can easily use and buy cheap ammo for.

  30. I know this is a late comment to the game here, but didn’t fully see this question asked.
    If you own (2) AR15’s that are fully assembled and you own (1) AR pistol that is fully assembled, does that make this illegal?

    If this was answered or scenario presented, I apologize for asking again.

  31. If someone had an ar15 with a barrel length less than 16″, but an overall length of more than 26″, is it considered a SBR?

  32. I am told I must engrave something on the sbr but when my approval came back, it didn’t say which # . I contacted law enforcement to blank stares what # do I have to put on my trapper mod 1892? THANKS

  33. Can someone clarify? Is an AR 15 with a barrel length of less than 16″ classified as a short barreled rifle even if the overall length is over 26″?

  34. To answer your question, YES. If barrel is less than 16 “ it is an SBR
    You can not legally have a barrel less than 16” in length regardless of overall length unless it is a pistol or SBR.

  35. Question re AOW vs SBR – I want to build an SP5K with the option of using a folding buttstock and / or a vertical foregrip. If I do a Form 1 for SBR can I use a vertical foregrip or do I need another Form 1 for AOW for the vert grip ? Also Once I have the SBR stamp could I remove the buttstock and use as a “pistol” with the vertical foregrip or is that when I’d need the Form 1 for AOW – lastly can you get a stamp for AOW and SBR on the same receiver

  36. Serious question. What if I get rid of all of my rifle stocks and replace them all with pistol braces. I would never have to worry about breaking NFA since I would never have the two things required to qualify as an SBR (the stock and the short barrel). There are several pistol braces that can serve in function like a rifle stock, albeit with less ergonomics and adjustability.

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