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Thread: How to SBR Your Lower by Scottryan

  1. #1
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    How to SBR Your Lower by Scottryan

    Here is a guide to properly SBR your lower. I put this together due to the rash of “mishaps” that seem to plague people who are SBRing their lower.

    1. Live in a Free State

    2. Realize that you will be married to this lower probably for the rest of your life and you will get pennies on the dollar if you try to sell it after the SBR process.

    3. Buy a quality lower preferably from a company that will service it after it has been SBRed. Olympic Arms doesn't count and neither does any cast 1980s crap.

    4. Check all the pin holes to see if they are in spec. Trigger/hammer holes are .154” and takedown holes are .248”. The tolerances are +/- 0.001”. Anything more than that is out of spec. I don’t care what any blueprints say. You can take 100 lowers and measure them yourself. You will come up with these numbers.

    5. Measure the magazine well. A good magazine well will measure .900” at the front and back and .970” at the slot. If you are less than this, you may have magazine drop free problems.

    6. Assemble the lower with a quality LPK such as Colt or LMT. Use a quality stock with proper buffer.

    7. Find an good carbine upper of known functioning. Better yet, two or three good carbine uppers that function well.

    8. Place carbine upper and lower together and fire a minimum of 500 rounds through this combo to make sure you lower is good. Preferably use a variety of magazines.

    9. Disassemble lower.

    10. Find a good engraver. Orion Arms and Indent are good. Your local trophy shop/jewelry store is not so don’t waste your time, neither is your Dremel tool.

    11. Send lower off for engraving. You do this before you send in any paperwork to the ATF in case something happens to your lower during shipping to the engraver or damage at the engraver. You don’t want to explain to the ATF that your NFA firearm is lost in the mail. Anybody that does this backwards is a complete idiot.

    12. Get lower back and make sure everything is ok.

    13. Send in NFA paperwork

    14. Get approved NFA paperwork.

    15. Get less than 16” barrel/upper.

    16. Assemble your gun and enjoy.

    Anybody that follows these steps will not have any problems.

    See the following quick guide below for sending in the correct paperwork to the ATF:
    Last edited by scottryan; 01-13-12 at 19:57.
    "Not every thing on Earth requires an aftermarket upgrade." demigod/markm

  2. #2
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    Nice writeup. It makes sense to engrave first. I'm a complete SBR idiot, so I don't know what you should have engraved.

    Pennies on the dollar? What is your estimate on the total cost of SBR'ing a lower, sans 1000 rounds ammo?

  3. #3
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    Considering a stripped lower is $150+/-, and engraving is $50+/-, and the SBR tax is $200, you're looking at a stripped lower that you have put $400 into+/- (not to mention shipping to and from the engraver), and that you will be lucky to get $100 for on the used market. And even then you'll have your name and location from the engraving out there floating around for whoever winds up with the lower.

    I'd guesstimate $450 invested in the lower and $75 resale value.

  4. #4
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    I did not follow any of your steps except #1,3,10,13-16.

    I got lucky. In the future I will do it exactly, step by step, as you mentioned. I also suggest going the way of a trust.

    For those who don't know, take from a guy who has gone through the process...following these steps can save you loads of grief.

    Orion Arms Rocks http://www.orion-arms.com/new/

    For what its worth, I have yet to see a better quality complete lower than LMT.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glorybigs View Post
    I also suggest going the way of a trust.

    I suggest not doing a trust if your CLEO will sign off.

    The corporate route is not good if the transfer tax is raised in the future. If you dissolve your corporate organization, you will be stuck paying any future transfer taxes to get the gun to yourself.

    If you do the individual route, the gun is yours for life and no more transfer taxes will ever have to be paid for you to have it.
    "Not every thing on Earth requires an aftermarket upgrade." demigod/markm

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottryan View Post
    If you do the individual route, the gun is yours for life and no more transfer taxes will ever have to be paid for you to have it.

    I'm in the planning stage of a SBR, my question is if you go the individual route, what happens when you die ? Does it remain in your family or will it have to be redone in a new name and so on ?

    Thanks

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvician View Post
    I'm in the planning stage of a SBR, my question is if you go the individual route, what happens when you die ? Does it remain in your family or will it have to be redone in a new name and so on ?

    Thanks

    Mike

    It can transfer tax-free to an heir on a Form 5 or tax-paid to any eligible transferee.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottryan View Post
    Here is a guide to properly SBR your lower. I put this together due to the rash of “mishaps” that seem to plague people who are SBRing their lower.

    Find a good engraver. Orion Arms is good. Your local trophy shop/jewelry store is probably not so don’t waste your time, neither is your Dremel tool.

    Anybody that follow these steps will not have any problems.
    What information do I have the engraver put on the lower? My name? Location, State, City, County? I have no idea

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    Can I legally obtain a "less than 16” barrel/upper" before sending in any paperwork to ATF as long as I don't assemble it to the lower prior to ATF approval?
    Ian

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by offroad_nomad View Post
    Can I legally obtain a "less than 16” barrel/upper" before sending in any paperwork to ATF as long as I don't assemble it to the lower prior to ATF approval?
    You can buy a SBR upper & have it shipped to your residence legally, however, if it's anywhere around a non-registered lower, you are in possession of a SBR & "can" be banged by the feds for intent to manufacture a SBR. That's a felony. Your dealer cannot release a suppressor to you before your Form 4 comes back, right? It's the same concept with a short upper. So, no, you cannot legally obtain one before your stamp is returned approved. Do what you want & folks will tell you to have it shipped to or stored with someone else who doesn't own any AR's if you want to order one before your stamp comes back. Negatron. You're still in constructive possession.

    Will your hatch be forced by the feds looking for SBR's with you not already having a stamp? Prolly not, but you've asked the question on a public board that's monitored by feds. I wouldn't risk it since now you know. Complete the proper procedure first without breaking the law so you don't have that on your conscience. Don't fall into the instant gratification syndrome of wanting a SBR upper before hand, like so many do on these boards & then try to justify the felony by having it stored at another location.
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." --George Orwell--

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