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Process of buying / owning short barrel ar15?

Discussion in 'Free Fire Zone' started by superspud, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. superspud

    superspud Ninja

    Jul 10, 2006
    The Lone Star State
    Probably a noob question and most likely varies by state, but in general, how would I go about building a SBR or purchasing a shorter barrel for an ar15?

    Say I wanted to build my next ar with a 7" or 10.5" barrel... How could I do it?

    I'm in texas if you feel like being specific..
  2. Travclem

    Travclem Badass Member Lifetime Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    Form1 to build your own, from4 to buy a prebuilt one. The easiest thing for an NFA noob would be to find a reputable Class 3 dealer to help you through the process.

    Steps are as follows:
    -don't be a criminal
    -submit form4, fingerprints, passport photos, and $200 to the BATFE
    -Wait the grueling 6-8 months to be approved
    -go shoosting with your new SBR

  3. superspud

    superspud Ninja

    Jul 10, 2006
    The Lone Star State
    Yea Im thinking talking to my local class 3 gun store is best.

    Does the fact that I have my CHL thus have already had prints and photos already sent to the state help expedite anything? Or does it all have to be done all over again?
  4. PettyOfficer


    Nov 24, 2011
    Houston, TX
    No. CHL is state, SBR is Federal.
  5. xXGearheadXx


    Aug 3, 2011
    Knoxville TN
    If building....follow this guide.

    A couple things that may save you some trouble:

    1. Form1s must be completed on the front and back of one sheet of paper. They will be rejected if you try to submit a form1 on two sheets of paper. You need duplicate Form1s, duplicate Fingerprint cards, a single form 922, and a check.

    2. Your Chief LEO has to sign off on Form1 or Form4 individual forms. If you have a Sheriff that is less than friendly to NFA items, you can bypass him by creating a trust. (you should be able to find a Lawyer to assist you in doing this). The added benefit of the trust is that you don't have to submit fingerprint cards for each item you register.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  6. ICON_636


    Aug 8, 2012
    I'm finishing my first 10.3" SBR and would recommend the trust route. There is really no down side to it. I wrote the trust myself for free and it was approved without any corrections. However, many choose to have an attorney do it for some piece of mind. I have my wife and parents listed on the trust so they can legally posses the rifle as well. Just jot my stamp back Sunday so now I can attach my stock as soon as it arrives.
  7. boomhower


    Feb 14, 2010
    North Carolina
    The trust route is the easiest.
  8. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    There are persistent rumors that the ATF is planning to do away with the need for CLEO signatures by the end of this year, and will simply notify your CLEO of the paperwork instead. There are also rumors that the NFA division has finally hired more inspectors, and are working to reduce the wait time on paperwork.

    OP: I would suggest talking to a local dealer and purchasing a pre-built SBR. It's a good way to have a weapon with a full warranty, already set up from the factory, and no additional engraving required. If I had to do an SBR all over again, that's the exact route I would go. A Colt Commando (11.5") can be had for very close to the same price as a new Colt 6920.
  9. xXGearheadXx


    Aug 3, 2011
    Knoxville TN
    The NFA hired a dozen or so contract examiner assistants to help with the volume of paperwork their currently dealing with. I'm not sure if they got more actual examiners. It is helping.
  10. You could do like many others do and build what they consider an AR pistol, and have as short of a barrel as you want on it, and no federal paperwork required.
    The only difference in an AR pistol and an SBR is the stock.
    If you have the plain pistol buffer tube on your lower, you are good to go, as long as there are no state or
    local laws against owning one.
    As long as you have a dedicated pistol lower, you can build or buy as short of a barrel upper as you want. You can't attach
    a vertical grip to the handrail, or have any kind of shoulder stock or attachment that would act as a stock.
    Some fellows build the AR pistol lower and have the short barrel upper of their choice, and later will go through the process of registering it as an SBR, if they want.
    That way you can own and shoot a short barrel AR weapon
    without all the federal paperwork.
    It's not against the law to buy any short length AR barrel or
    short barrel upper, as long as you don't attach it to a rifle AR
    lower with a stock.
    Just be sure that you have the pistol lower built before you build or buy a short barrel upper, if you have any other AR rifles in the house. The Fed's have intent laws, but as long as you have the pistol lower, you're legal.
    As related to in an earlier post, you can go to,, where there is enough info. posted about
    AR pistols, SBR's, and NFA rules, to give you a headache.