Finishing an 80 lower

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  • Ponder_MD

    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2020
    2,697
    Maryland
    Set me straight here. What are the laws regarding help with finishing an 80 lower?

    Can a friend loan you a jig? Can that friend stand over you and coach you while you use his jig to mill out your lower?
    I am NOT asking for someone to mill out my lower for me.
     

    jcutonilli

    Active Member
    Mar 28, 2013
    2,159
    I believe the issue is whether your friend becomes a manufacturer by helping you. I seem to recall the ATF having some strict interpretations over what that meant and how that applied.
     

    aervin

    Junior Member
    May 11, 2015
    15
    ATF made a ruling that basically stipulates that you can't use the tooling from a business, whether a licensed manufacturer or not. Basically so that machines shops can't set up mills to have people come in and finish 80% lowers themselves. Thus the "manufacturer" of the receiver (you in this case) would have to own the tooling and be on your property. Haven't seen or heard anything about an individual that is not a business and just the tooling or jigs. Around the internet some people have suggested buying the jig from your friend and then selling it back to them, that gets a little dicey, but you'd still have to be on your own property when doing the work.

    Having oversight from someone I don't think has any affect.

    If you want to read the ruling I'm referencing, here you go: AFT 2015-1
     
    Last edited:

    Ponder_MD

    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2020
    2,697
    Maryland
    ATF made a ruling that basically stipulates that you can't use the tooling from a business, whether a licensed manufacturer or not. Basically so that machines shops can't set up mills to have people come in and finish 80% lowers themselves. Thus the "manufacturer" of the receiver (you in this case) would have to own the tooling and be on your property. Haven't seen or heard anything about an individual that is not a business and just the tooling or jigs. Around the internet some people have suggested buying the jig from your friend and then selling it back to them, that gets a little dicey, but you'd still have to be on your own property when doing the work.

    Having oversight from someone I don't think has any affect.

    If you want to read the ruling I'm referencing, here you go: AFT 2015-1
    This very helpful and exactly what I needed. Thanks.

    Quick question: How many lowers can you mill out with a single bit? Is it 1:1 or...?
    (No, I'm not planning on churning out lowers, it's just a question.)
     

    Ponder_MD

    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2020
    2,697
    Maryland
    Here you go:


    This is excellent.

    My intention is to visit a friend/relative for coaching assistance. He is a private individual, he does not own a "machine shop" licensed or otherwise. I am using my own tools. He is not a business. No money will change hands. It all seems perfectly legal.
     

    Kenny_FN_Powers

    Junior Member
    Apr 8, 2022
    8
    Anne Arundel County
    I'm late to the thread but responding anyway.

    Disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer but this is how I've interpreted it.

    Someone can give instructions on what you need to do but they cannot physically assist with any of the build process. The atf also says you have to use your own tools, you are not legally allowed to even use a hand file that isnt yours. So its definetly illegal to use someones jig. Theres a guy in MA who teaches how-to build classes and he got a visit from the atf not long ago making sure he knows that people must use their own tools.

    I know this is all ridiculous but its what happens when unelected beurocrats are given free range to make law.
     

    Chicken 1

    I identify as King/Emperor
    Apr 24, 2022
    429
    Montgomery county
    I'm late to the thread but responding anyway.

    Disclaimer - I'm not a lawyer but this is how I've interpreted it.

    Someone can give instructions on what you need to do but they cannot physically assist with any of the build process. The atf also says you have to use your own tools, you are not legally allowed to even use a hand file that isnt yours. So its definetly illegal to use someones jig. Theres a guy in MA who teaches how-to build classes and he got a visit from the atf not long ago making sure he knows that people must use their own tools.

    I know this is all ridiculous but its what happens when unelected beurocrats are given free range to make law.
    Can you link that regulation literature I'd you have it please! ATF saying use your own tools. Ty
     

    Kenny_FN_Powers

    Junior Member
    Apr 8, 2022
    8
    Anne Arundel County
    Can you link that regulation literature I'd you have it please! ATF saying use your own tools. Ty
    I'm not sure where to find the official documentation from the atf but i did find this. I have been told by many people that tools are a no go


    Heres the summary
    • You do not need to be an FFL to complete an 80 lower receiver at home.
    • In 2015, the ATF clarified that no one else can help you build your lower.
    • FFLs, gunsmiths, and machinists can't loan you tools to build your lower.
    • Anyone who loans you tools or a shop is in violation of the Gun Control Act of 1968.
    • A gunsmith can serialize your 80% lower before or after it's completed by you.
    • Your lower must be serialized for a gunsmith to do any work (assembly or coating) to it.
    As you guys know, federal law in changing in August and I'm not sure what other garbage the atf has come up with as of now. Also i am not sure about MD law since the ban. Everything has changed as of june 1st. I know previously built must be serialized by march of next year but im not sure if its even technically legal to build anything in MD anymore(even if you already owned the unfinished 80%). I dont build my own anymore but used to be really into it. Best of luck
     

    Chicken 1

    I identify as King/Emperor
    Apr 24, 2022
    429
    Montgomery county
    I'm not sure where to find the official documentation from the atf but i did find this. I have been told by many people that tools are a no go


    Heres the summary
    • You do not need to be an FFL to complete an 80 lower receiver at home.
    • In 2015, the ATF clarified that no one else can help you build your lower.
    • FFLs, gunsmiths, and machinists can't loan you tools to build your lower.
    • Anyone who loans you tools or a shop is in violation of the Gun Control Act of 1968.
    • A gunsmith can serialize your 80% lower before or after it's completed by you.
    • Your lower must be serialized for a gunsmith to do any work (assembly or coating) to it.
    As you guys know, federal law in changing in August and I'm not sure what other garbage the atf has come up with as of now. Also i am not sure about MD law since the ban. Everything has changed as of june 1st. I know previously built must be serialized by march of next year but im not sure if its even technically legal to build anything in MD anymore(even if you already owned the unfinished 80%). I dont build my own anymore but used to be really into it. Best of luck
    That site quotes ATF laws about businesses and tries to attach those definitions to individuals...
    Well I'm no lawyer so I'll just leave this where it is.
    Thanks for the help.
     

    Boxcab

    MSI EM
    Feb 22, 2007
    7,071
    AA County
    Buy the jig for $5, sell it back when you are done. Print a receipt for each transaction. Signed and dated.



    .

    Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
     

    Sirex

    Powered by natural gas
    Oct 30, 2010
    9,135
    Westminster, MD
    Whether building a rifle from an 80% or getting a massage at a parlor, only the government would try to make it as difficult as possible to finish.
     

    Ponder_MD

    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2020
    2,697
    Maryland
    Well, it's complete. The whole thing, I mean.

    With the excellent advice provided here I managed to order all of the parts and complete assembly without any "go backs" to order more parts. The rifle is built from parts sourced almost entirely from Del-Ton except for the BCG because they were out of stock. That came from PSA. I am confident that I managed to stay within Maryland's convoluted, serpentine laws.

    The process was very educational and enjoyable. It took me far deeper into how the rifle functions than ordinary field stripping did while I was in the navy.

    I sighted it in at 50yds using M193 ball but upon getting further advice here, it might do better with a heavier bullet so I bought some 62gr and I'll try again and then again at 100 yds. The trigger is a little heavy and I'm sure that discerning users with a finely tuned palate may find it to be rude and crude but I'm very pleased with the end result.

    Thanks again for all the great advice.
     

    Ponder_MD

    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2020
    2,697
    Maryland
    @rog951 It's ok.

    Basically the answer to your question is: Yes.
    As I understand it, a lower receiver (finished or unfinished) must be serialized by next year. A couple of FFL's in the state have posted up that they will do the engraving.

    If you intend to follow this law, you do have time. You could have them serialized one or two at a time to blunt the expense. No need to post in writing what you plan to do. That's your business. :)
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,710
    Glen Burnie
    Sometimes the posts I see regarding this kind of thing are borderline ridiculous. I won't go into the many ways why some of the posts above are ridiculous, but they certainly are.
     

    Ponder_MD

    Active Member
    Mar 9, 2020
    2,697
    Maryland
    Sometimes the posts I see regarding this kind of thing are borderline ridiculous. I won't go into the many ways why some of the posts above are ridiculous, but they certainly are.
    I and rog951 are relatively new to all of this. We're just trying to stay clear laws we don't understand very well.
    You've been here a long time, you're obviously a long-timer Maryland gun owner. Maybe you could offer some clarification?
     

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