Buying a gun in parts?

Buying a gun in parts?

This is a discussion on Buying a gun in parts? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Has anyone ever done this? Is it possible? Is this a potential loophole to get around the need for an FFL to ship your firearm ...

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    Member Array crusade's Avatar
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    Buying a gun in parts?

    Has anyone ever done this? Is it possible? Is this a potential loophole to get around the need for an FFL to ship your firearm to? Or do you still need one for like, say... a firing pin or something? Is it more expensive?

    The thought just ran through my head and I got curious to see if anyone has done it.


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    I have built AR-15s using parts kits.

    There is still some part of the gun, with an AR, it is the lower receiver, which is the "firearm" for the sake of legality. That part needs to be bought from an FFL, or through a private sale in accordance with applicable state laws.

    It is generally a bit cheaper for me, not in the sense that I spend less money on the rifle itself, but I build it exactly how I want it, so I don't need to pay twice for things like handguards or buttstocks that I am going to replace anyways.
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    The "lower" for a firearm is the serialized part that is the " firearm". For ARs, easy to determine ...for handguns, it's the grip section....not the slide or cylinder. Either way, an FFL (in the great majority of cases) will be required.
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    I call it my Johnny Cash gun from the song “One Piece at a Time”. Back when I first wanted a 1911 I could not afford one. I started with a frame and a copy of the U. S. Army tech manual. As I could afford them I picked up one or two parts at a time until I had everything I needed. I then assembled my first 1911, needless to say the first trip to the range I was a little apprehensive after all I had taken a bunch of parts and assembled them into a handgun. To my surprise it not only functioned but I did hit the target. Still have it and it does see some range and carry use but it is also my nightstand gun.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Only way to get around the serialized part is to buy an 80% receiver,you have to have the skills and equipment to finish machining it yourself,
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    Way cool. Thanks guys, and cool story msgt, that's almost exactly what I want to do. Have you had any reliability problems? I know people do it with ARs, but I think it'd be cool to build a revolver or 1911 or something. Even a Glock, as cheap as they are.

    Good to know that the serialized part is the regulated part. I wasn't sure if it was like the firing pin or... some certain part of the gun but that's good information. Maybe I will try it. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by crusade View Post
    Way cool. Thanks guys, and cool story msgt, that's almost exactly what I want to do. Have you had any reliability problems? I know people do it with ARs, but I think it'd be cool to build a revolver or 1911 or something. Even a Glock, as cheap as they are.

    Good to know that the serialized part is the regulated part. I wasn't sure if it was like the firing pin or... some certain part of the gun but that's good information. Maybe I will try it. :)
    Only reliability problems were caused by improper fitting of parts on my part. Building any firearm from parts is a great teaching tool as to how they work and how the individual parts interact.
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    While it would be possible to build a Cadillac from the "ground up" from a huge pile of Cadillac spare parts but, what you'll have when you're all finished won't hold a candle to a factory built Cadillac.

    It is possible to build a quality firearm from all spare parts with the exception of the frame and/or receiver but, plan on buying more than one of many of the parts.

    A gun maker like Colt - the assemblers have 100 of each part in front of them so if any given part is not a perfect fit they have 99 other ones immediately available to select from & you will not have that luxury when you are shopping for one of each part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by crusade View Post
    Has anyone ever done this? Is it possible? Is this a potential loophole to get around the need for an FFL to ship your firearm to? Or do you still need one for like, say... a firing pin or something? Is it more expensive?

    The thought just ran through my head and I got curious to see if anyone has done it.
    Being in NV firing pin, barrel, slide and springs are fair game. If you lived in NY you would have to register the thought of building a gun from scratch!
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    An AR-15 From Scratch With Billet Rifle Systems 80% Lower Receiver ? Part I - The Firearm Blog

    You can 80% bulid a ar a 10/22 and I know a 1911 . It is not a firearm per law just a hunk of metal and you build your own gun.


    That said you can order any parts you want online to your door in most states save for the part the gov consider a firearm ( usally what ever part holds the firing stuff). So a lower is a fireram part for AR and AK but the upper part is the fireram for FAL and so on.

    So you only legal option if we are talking across state line building a firearm is a 80% lower and to build it yousefl... BUT do not give it to a non FFL to build for you this is a big no no or FFL and no back ground check . You can ask someone to show you how to do it and even maybe lend you the tools but you will need to do the work yourself as a I remember and of course this does mean you can igonr Fed/state rules ..CALGUNS has a lot of info on 80% stuff as they are big in that state .. You probable cant sell it though ( unmarked gun and all) have it is yes ..

    Also you can 3d print guns now at home but most of thous save the high end metal stuff tend to be 2 shot drop guns

    This is poplare in states where people dont want to boss to know about there scary black guns .. Or like in CA one of the few ways to get a AR pistol not so much in a free state where you can just buy person to person a lower .. But it can be a fun project to build ..

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    Member Array JaxRolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crusade View Post

    Good to know that the serialized part is the regulated part. I wasn't sure if it was like the firing pin or... some certain part of the gun but that's good information. Maybe I will try it. :)
    It's not always the serialized part. For instance, a Glock has a number on the slide.
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    I know a kid who tried to send one home from the army part by part..over his tour many many years ago....he got caught and shot himself over it..........in NY its very hard and im sure it may not be legal when done
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxRolo View Post
    It's not always the serialized part. For instance, a Glock has a number on the slide.
    The slide is not the firearm...the lower/grip is. You can replace the slide without going through and FFL...you can't do the same with a lower/grip. The serial number on the slide is irrelevant...it's not the regulated part.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    Senior Member Array daffyduc's Avatar
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    The guys on the p250 boards commonly do this.

    They buy the fire control unit ( trigger assembly ) as the serialized gun. The rest is all parts.

    Now they do this because its a mr potato head gun. They want some goofy config. Most would just pay the 50 bucks for an FFL transfer.


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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I have done this several times. CA is trying everything they can to stop it, But its federal law that allows it. There are kits to build everything from flintlock pistols to revolvers. There is a company in CA that makes 80% AR lowers from polymer. [ same stuff a Glock is made of.] The attraction is there is no need for a machine shop or there specialized tools. Many have been completed with a Drimel and a hand drill. It still requires carefull measuring and drilling but they work. DR

    Lower Receivers

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