SBR Build as Individual - Step by Step

SBR Build as Individual - Step by Step

This is a discussion on SBR Build as Individual - Step by Step within the Reference & "How To" Forum forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have decided to build a SBR, and thought I would pass along my knowledge of the process. I am still in the early stages, ...

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Thread: SBR Build as Individual - Step by Step

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    SBR Build as Individual - Step by Step

    I have decided to build a SBR, and thought I would pass along my knowledge of the process. I am still in the early stages, but will continue to update this thread as I progress. I will also try to post some pictures of pertinent things - like how to fill out the forms.
    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine


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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    So you want to build a short barreled rifle (SBR)? While to process may seem intimidating, it is relatively simple. This is intended as a guide to help you through the process from start to finish.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Nothing in this publication should be construed as legal advice. SBRs may not be legal in your jurisdiction. You are responsible to check your state and local laws. If you are in doubt, contact a firearms attorney and/or the ATF.

    1. The first step in the process is the easiest, deciding that you want to build a SBR. While completing all of the necessary tasks to legally own a SBR may seem easy enough (and generally is), there are some inconveniences involved (e.g., getting fingerprints done, meeting with your CLEO, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting for your tax stamp to come back).


    2. After you decide that you want to build a SBR, you should check your state and local laws to make sure you will be able to complete your build. If you have no idea where to start, try a firearms forum. There are many state-specific forums in which you will be able to post a question and get specific references to state and local laws (e.g., PA §6106 says…). Keep in mind that you should still read the laws for yourself, and that you are ultimately responsible for knowing and following the law.

    Here is a link to the ATF's listing of NFA laws by state:

    http://www.atf.gov/publications/fire...ion/index.html

    Here is a link to a chart that shows which NFA items are legal in your state. Click on your state on the interactive map to see the chart:

    http://www.precisionweapons.com/cart...strictions.asp

    3. Next, you need to buy a receiver. For most builds, this will be the lower receiver (you can make SBRs out of 10/22s and other rifles that do not consist of an upper and lower receiver). You should buy a well-made receiver from a trusted manufacturer.

    Keep in mind that your tax stamp (more on this below) is attached to this specific receiver. If you buy a cheap receiver (a substandard polymer receiver, for example), and it breaks anytime after you send in the Form 1, you will have to start the process all over again (From what I have been able to find in researching for this, the ATF does not allow for the replacement of broken receivers, even after the tax stamp is approved; if it breaks, ever, it is “game over” for that gun)…. Do yourself a favor and buy a quality receiver the first time.


    4. Once you get your receiver, it is time to start collecting all of the necessary paperwork. You will need the following forms/items:

    2 ATF Form 1 - http://www.atf.gov/files/forms/downl...f-f-5320-1.pdf

    1 ATF Certification of Compliance - http://www.atf.gov/files/forms/downl...-f-5330-20.pdf

    2 FBI Fingerprint Cards – it is easiest to order them from the ATF, since they put the necessary information on them (you still have to fill out your portion). You can order the fingerprint cards here.
    Distribution Center Order Form | ATF

    2 passport-sized photos of yourself

    1 $200 personal check or money order – made payable to the Department of Justice
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    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

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    Senior Member Array xsigma40cal's Avatar
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    Ive been considering this myself. But as far as the actual building, are there any technical changes you need to make to the bolt/carrier group and buffer spring? I figure maybe with the gas port being closer to the receiver, this would entail higher pressure, calling for atleast a stiffer spring.
    The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.--->Herbert Spencer

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    Member Array Drgnfly's Avatar
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    I will be doing this once I move :)

    What is your build going to be? Caliber ? Parts ?

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsigma40cal View Post
    Ive been considering this myself. But as far as the actual building, are there any technical changes you need to make to the bolt/carrier group and buffer spring? I figure maybe with the gas port being closer to the receiver, this would entail higher pressure, calling for atleast a stiffer spring.
    From what I have been finding in researching for this, it depends on the length of the barrel and caliber. HotGuns would be the one on here to ask for specifics. He is an NFA guru.
    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    It is going to be a PSA lower, Spikes Tactical enhanced LPK, Magpul MOE 6 position stock, PSA 8.5" 300 BLK upper. I am going to save up for a suppressor for it too, but this build has sapped my available funds.
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    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

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    Member Array Drgnfly's Avatar
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    Very awesome. I'll be doing a 300 build as well :)
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    I will be editing this post to add pictures. It may take a couple of days to get them all on.

    5. Next, you begin filling out both copies of your ATF Form 1.

    Section 1:
    Check box a, indicating “tax paid.”



    Section 2:

    check the box indicating that you are an individual



    Section 3

    Leave box 3a blank

    In box 3b, print or type your full name and mailing address
    *if you put a PO Box in line 3b, you must also list your street address in box 3c

    In box 3d, list the county in which you reside

    In box 3e, list your phone number (with area code)



    Section 4:

    In box a, list the name and location of the manufacturer of your lower. If you completed an 80% lower, your name and address go in this section.



    In box b, print or type “short barreled rifle”



    In box c, list the specific caliber of the upper that will primarily be used on the gun. “Multi” is no longer acceptable (at least this is what I have been told). You can still temporarily swap uppers, but you must notify the ATF if you are going to primarily use another caliber/length upper.

    In box d, list the model of your receiver. Mine is a PA-15

    List the barrel length in box e. Measure only the barrel; do not count attachments (flash hiders, compensators, muzzle brakes), unless they are permanently attached.

    In box f, list the overall length of the firearm. DO NOT assemble the firearm to get this measurement. Several methods can be used to get the overall length. You can measure the separate components and add the measurements to get the total. You can have a local class III dealer measure something comparable for you. There are also some overall length calculators online that you could use, if you trust them.

    List the firearm’s serial number in box g. If your lower already has a serial number, you will list it. If you are building from an 80% lower, you will have to create a serial number and have it engraved on your lower (more on engraving later)



    In box h, Print or type your full name, city of residence, and state of residence. This will have to be engraved on your lower as well (more on this later)



    In box i, list the reason you want the firearm. “All lawful purposes” is a commonly used phrase in this section. I have heard of “zombies” being used and approved, but it doesn’t seem prudent to risk the paperwork being delayed or denied.



    In box j, you will check the box for “no,” unless you have a receiver that was an NFA receiver and was deactivated (if you bought it new, or made it from an 80% lower, you do not have a receiver that qualifies).


    Leave sections 5 & 6 blank


    Sign in section 7. You will need original signatures on each of your Form 1. You CANNOT photocopy a signed form and submit it, unless you want your paperwork to be rejected.


    Skip section 8


    Put the date in section 9


    Section 10

    -you should answer all of the questions by checking the box for “no.” If you are unable to able to do so, you will not be able to own a SBR.



    Section 11

    -you should answer all of the questions by checking the box for “no.” If you are unable to do so, you will not be able to own a SBR.



    Section 12

    Affix your passport sized (2”X2”) photograph here. You will need one original photograph affixed to each of your Form 1.


    Section 13

    This is where your Chief Law Enforcement Officer will sign certifying that the firearm that you are making is legal to own and that you seem intent only on using the firearm for lawful purposes.

    There are several people who can sign in this section:

    Chief of Police for your town
    Sheriff for your county
    Head of the State Police for your state
    Your District Attorney/Prosecutor
    Attorney General for your state
    Some County Judges
    Possibly a few other CLEOs (According to the Form 1; ask a firearms attorney or the ATF)

    If you are unable to get any of these people to sign this section, you cannot own an SBR as an individual.

    You will probably have to make an appointment and meet with your CLEO in person for an interview. He will probably ask you why you want to own such a weapon. If you are cordial and have a decent, polite explanation, your chances of him/her signing are decent. If you are confrontational (e.g., “None of your business; just sign the form cop!”), you will most wind up having to pay an attorney to make a trust for you (around $600 in my area), or take a gamble on one of the quick trust packets (not advisable, since if it is wrong, you can be arrested and have your weapons seized if your tax stamp is approved) then registering the SBR under the trust (you still have to pay the $200 tax under a trust).

    Once you get the CLEO’s signature on each of your Form 1, you are done with these forms. Put them in a safe place until you are done with the rest of your paperwork.
    Last edited by Badey; August 27th, 2013 at 02:15 PM.
    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

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    Senior Member Array beni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsigma40cal View Post
    Ive been considering this myself. But as far as the actual building, are there any technical changes you need to make to the bolt/carrier group and buffer spring? I figure maybe with the gas port being closer to the receiver, this would entail higher pressure, calling for atleast a stiffer spring.
    From what I've researched it depends. For example my SBR will have a standard Carbine length gas system. Most SBR uppers in the 10.5" to 14.5" range will have carbine length gas systems. Much of the need to swap out buffers or buffer springs comes from shooting the gun suppressed. From my understanding the heavier buffers should help a gun with cycling reliably due the the increased back pressure caused by the suppressor.

    As mentioned before there are members on the forum that can probably answer your questions better. Jonconsiglio, Munch520, and Hotguns are a the main ones that come to mind. If you post your questions in the defensive rifle forum you will more than likely get an answer from one of them.

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    Senior Member Array beni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badey View Post
    I have decided to build a SBR, and thought I would pass along my knowledge of the process. I am still in the early stages, but will continue to update this thread as I progress. I will also try to post some pictures of pertinent things - like how to fill out the forms.
    cool write up. I just sent my Form 1 for an SBR in last week. I'm hoping that the NFA branch is able to get more manpower to help bring the wait times back down to something better than 6-9 months.

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    VIP Member Array pittypat21's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. If I were to build a SBR I'd definitely go with a carbine length gas system. There's really no need to go shorter, in my opinion.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
    -General James Mattis, USMC

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    Good article.

    Fact of the matter is, SBR's can be pretty persnickety when it comes to function. Most of the ones that I build have pistol length gas systems and have excellent reliability. Even that is no guarantee of function though.
    Some times it takes a lighter or heavier buffer spring, sometimes it takes a lighter of heavier buffer there really is no set rule.

    Shooting suppressed is a completely different animal. Some guns don't function well without a suppressor, add one to it and the backpressure makes it very reliable. Take the can off and not so much.
    Others function well by themselves and not so good with a can, there are a lot of variables there.

    The only way to know it to try what you have. If it is less than perfect you'll have to tinker with it. In a lot of cases a simple switch of ammo cures the problems, other times you have to go the spring/buffer route.

    Once you find a good reliable load that works, you stick with it. That's how it is with SBR's.
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