ATF Answers Questions on 80 Percent Lower Receiver Blanks

Editors Note: The video and links to resources below were added by AmmoLand News and not from the original Q&A supplied by BATFE. Builders, always perform your own research to confirm the laws that are applicable in your location.

80 Percent AR15 Lower Receivers update
80 Percent AR15 Lower Receivers update

Washington, DC – -( Thinking about acquiring or completing an 80 percent lower receiver or 3D printed blank? The ATF provided AmmoLand News these questions and answers to frequently asked questions on the topic of unfinished firearms blanks and they include important information for anyone deciding to build their own firearm.

1. Is ATF aware of the receiver blanks, commonly referred to as 80 percent lower receivers?

ATF routinely collaborates with the firearms industry and law enforcement to monitor new technologies and current manufacturing trends that could potentially impact the safety of the public.

2. What is an “80%” or “unfinished” receiver?

“80% receiver,” “80% finished,” “80% complete,” “unfinished receiver” are all terms referring to an item that some may believe has not yet reached a stage of manufacture that meets the definition of firearm frame or receiver found in the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). These are not statutory terms or terms ATF employs or endorses.

3. Are “80%” or “unfinished” lower receivers illegal? [not to be confused with upper receivers]

Receiver blanks that do not meet the definition of a “firearm” are not subject to regulation under the GCA. The ATF has long held that items such as receiver blanks, “castings” or “machined bodies” in which the fire-control cavity area is completely solid and un-machined have not reached the “stage of manufacture” which would result in the classification of a firearm per the GCA.

See comparison examples:

80 Percent Lower
80 percent Receiver Blanks Pic 1
80 Percent Receiver Blanks Pic 2
80 percent Receiver Blanks Pic 2
80 % Lower Receiver Blanks Pic 3
80 percent Receiver Blanks Pic 3

4. Are there restrictions on who can purchase a receiver blank?

The GCA does not impose restrictions on receiver blanks that do not meet the definition of a “firearm.”

5. When does a receiver need to have markings and/or serial numbers?

Receivers that meet the definition of a “firearm” must have markings, including a serial number. See 27 CFR § 478.92 (Firearm manufacturers marking requirements).

6. Can functioning firearms made from receiver blanks be traced?

ATF successfully traces crime guns to the first retail purchaser in most instances. ATF starts with the manufacturer and goes through the entire chain of distribution to find who first bought the firearm from a licensed dealer.  Because receiver blanks do not have markings or serial numbers, when firearms made from such receiver blanks are found at a crime scene, it is usually not possible to trace the firearm or determine its history, which hinders crime gun investigations jeopardizing public safety.

7. Have firearms made from unmarked receiver blanks been recovered after being used in a crime?

Yes, firearms that began as receiver blanks have been recovered after shooting incidents, from gang members, and from prohibited people after they have been used to commit crimes.

8. Are some items being marketed as non-firearm “unfinished” or “80%” receivers actually considered firearms?

Yes, in some cases, items being marketed as unfinished or “80%” receivers do meet the definition of a “firearm” as defined in the GCA. Persons who are unsure about whether an item they are planning to buy or sell is considered a firearm under the GCA should contact ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch (FTB).

9. What is ATF doing in regard to people making firearms?

There are no federal restrictions on an individual making a firearm for personal use, as long as it does not violate the GCA or National Firearms Act (NFA).

10. What is the National Firearms Act (NFA)?

The NFA imposes a tax on the making, transfer, or import of certain firearms recognized to present a greater risk to public safety. The law also requires the registration of all NFA firearms as defined in title 26 USC 5845(a):

(1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
(2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
(3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
(4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
(5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e);
(6) a machinegun;
(7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and
(8) a destructive device.
(Under the NFA the term “firearm” does not include an antique firearm or any device (other than a machinegun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the [Attorney General] finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collector’s item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.

11. Can an individual make large quantities of firearms and sell them?

If an individual is “engaged in the business” (defined below) as a manufacturer or seller of firearms then that person must obtain a federal firearms license.  In addition, manufacturers have a variety of specific responsibilities under the Gun Control Act, such as including a serial number and other markings on all firearms.

Under 18 U.S.C. 921 (a)(21)(A), the term “engaged in the business” means— as applied to a manufacturer of firearms, a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured.

12. Can anyone make firearms and sell them?

With certain exceptions, and subject to any state law that might apply, as long as an individual is not prohibited from possessing a firearm, he or she can make a firearm for personal use. If an individual wants to manufacture and sell firearms, he or she is required to obtain a license, and mark each firearm manufactured in accordance with 27 CFR 478.92. [18 U.S.C. 923(i), 26 U.S.C. 5822]

13. Who can obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL)?

ATF will approve a properly executed application if the applicant:

  • Submits fingerprint cards;
  • Submits a frontal view photograph;
  • Is 21 years of age or older;
  • Is not prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce;
  • Has not willfully violated the GCA or its regulations;
  • Has not willfully failed to disclose material information or willfully made false statements concerning material facts in connection with his application;
  • Has premises for conducting the business
  • The applicant certifies that:
    • the business to be conducted under the license is not prohibited by State or local law in the place where the licensed premises is located;
    • within 30 days after the application is approved the business will comply with the requirements of State and local law applicable to the conduct of the business;
    • the business will not be conducted under the license until the requirements of State and local law applicable to the business have been met;
    • the applicant has sent or delivered a form to the chief law enforcement officer where the premises is located notifying the officer that the applicant intends to apply for a license; and
    • secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees (“secure gun storage or safety device” is defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(34)).

[18 U.S.C. 923(d)(1), 27 CFR 478.47(b)]

Under federal law, an application shall be approved if an applicant for a federal firearms license or a manufacturing license meets all of the licensing requirements and criteria.

14. How does one apply for a Federal Firearms License?

Submit ATF Form 7 (5310.12), Application for License, with the appropriate fee in accordance with the instructions on the form to ATF.

80% Receiver Build Resources:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

ATF is the federal law enforcement agency responsible for investigating violations of the federal firearms and explosives laws and regulations. More information about ATF and its programs can be found at


Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, Ammoland will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Regarding point 6: the fact it cannot be traced does not in any way jeopardize public safety! Public safety was already impacted by that point, and tracing the firearm is an effort to hold a responsible party accountable. It doesn’t “unfire” the bullet! And a trace only indicates the last purchaser on record, not the person who fired the shot.


The ATF and the FBI both need to be purged. The corruption and incompetence runs deep.

Roland T. Gunner



“[without serial numbers] it is usually not possible to trace the firearm or determine its history, which hinders crime gun investigations jeopardizing public safety.”
–That is a lie. Gun tracing does nothing inherent to promote public safety. Nor is gun tracing a helpful procedure in helping prevent crimes or solve crimes. Canadian law enforcement abandoned gun tracing and registration because they found it to be costly and pointless.




Will – 12/6/21



TEX – 12/6/21

“Abolish the ATF trash by memo if possible.”


A person with the user name “Will” makes a comment. That same person upvotes himself twice using his other two accounts (“TEX” and “FORD Will”)

Then, the same person uses his “TEX” account to respond to the comment he made using his “Will” account and he upvotes himself twice using his other two accounts (“Will” and “FORD Will”).

Quick, delete your comments, Will, TEX, FORD Will.


There they are – nice job, Will/TEX/FORD Will.

Too funny.


Add WB. The good cop / dumb cop tag team act is blatant, while projecting that game onto others.

Wild Bill

How do you know that “… the same person upvotes himself…”?
I think that is an assumption. Why don’t you ask Freddy if anyone has multiple accounts?

Wild Bill

Yep, China is setting us up for an history changing defeat and some people are only concerned with shocking readers with crude, vulgarities on an internet site. Get ready. War is coming.

Last edited 1 year ago by Wild Bill

There you go again.

Wild Bill

Don’t miss the big picture. History making events are in the making. Time wasted in insults is time wasted.


Maybe you should stop, Will.


And you Superbaby are a MORON….


Sure thing, Will.


I don’t believe that paying attention to the big picture and dicussing firearm rights are mutually exclusive. You have indicated your preference for civil conversation several times. However, your “observations” of uncivil conversation have avoided some of the most uncivil posters – one of them, a person you defend when he digs himself into a hole. Are these comments (made by individual posters to other individual posters) civil? Fucking idiot Moron Too damn stupid Pissant Son-of-a-Bitch Bastard Asshole Pussy Poofter Democrat Libral Superbaby Where do you draw the line? If you want your “observations” to be considered, don’t you think… Read more »


@WB,watch out or Frack will include you too in a downvote conspiracy against him.


Will – 12/6/21:

“@WB,watch out or Frack will include you too in a downvote conspiracy against him.”

Reply to Will/TEX/Ford Will:

Will are these accounts:

Will (@texan) – texan
TEX (@hbhtex54) – hbhtex54
FORD Will (@FORD Will) – willford

Do you frequently vote from all three accounts?

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

you can leave the willford off it aint ME! “will FORD” is me


Thanks for responding FORD Will.


TEX & his sock pups. Like a dirty ol’ dog, can’t stop lickin’ hisself!!!!!!! LMFAO!!!!!!

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r
Wild Bill

Machs nix. I am more concerned with getting the horse slobber off of the bridles, and cleaning up saddles for winter.


You sock puppets are like cats licking themselves.


having to pay to be a FFL is unconstitutional…..well anything barring or restricting firearms is unconstitutional. hell we never would of had colt , s&w or browning if these were around


Having to pay $200 NFA tax stamps really pisses me off too. TEXAS Gov Greg Abbott is dealing with that right now.

Wild Bill

Yes, no matter what else “they” say about Abbott, he is the only one clever enough to set up a near future S. Ct. fight that could potentially limit Congress’ commerce power, and free us from the NFA and GCA.
That is quite a gift to Texans and all Americans.


Like Abbott’s master plan to keep TEXAS open for kiddie sex change surgery, jail hairdressers, lockdown & destroy businesses, test the water for RED FLAG & AW bans, and do border kabuki? Get off Abbott’s jock. He’s only does the right thing under heavy pressure from real Rs, often not then. “Abbott suggested red-flag after a 2018 mass school shooting, later backed away from the idea [which is] opposed by Jack Wilson who returned fire at his church & Stephen Willeford who confronted the gunman in a 2017 shooting that left 26 parishioners dead. “If somebody wants a gun,”… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Get off Abbott’s jock for God’s sake.

Abbott-Phelan caused paralyzed special session

Abbott’s border “wall” a chain link joke

Abbott does zip to stop child mutilation

Tip of the iceberg of Abbott-Phelan VichyCon sabotage.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r
Wild Bill

FDR’s Attorney General is the schemer that came up with the plot to restrict firearms Rights by using Congress’ authority over interstate commerce as a basis for the NFA. LBJ picked up the ball and ran with it.


@WB,didn’t know that about FDR’s AG. LBJ’s bullshit is well known.

Wild Bill

Oh yes, FDR is the man that gave rule making power (with the force and effect of law) to the agencies. Thus negating Congress’ exclusive legislative authority.


Defund the Tyrants at the AFT.

Country Boy


david mcrae

“Federal law does not require a homemade gun to have an identifying marker (such as a serial number), as long as it remains in the possession of the original maker. However, if the gun is subsequently sold or otherwise transferred, it should be marked prior to its disposition. The ATF suggests that all homemade firearms be marked with a serial number as a safeguard in the event the firearm is lost or stolen, but requires it if the gun is otherwise lawfully transferred in the future.”


I have NOT commented on ANY of these articles to my knowledge. MY “FORD will” is on this site only because someone had my normal handle of will FORD. SO if someone is using my info here, SORRY! BUT IT AINT ME! will FORD.

Chris C.

The BATF or any other agency that would regulat the weapons of a UNITED STATES citizen shouldn’t even have ever existed, PERIOD !! They should all be abolished and non to ever take their place ! Our Forefathers wanted the people of the United States to be armed with the same weapons as our military so the people could defend themselves, to defend against a foreign invading country and to friend against a foreign or domestic threat ! That domestic threat would be any intity that is doing harm to the people or their community/country like ANTIFA or any other… Read more »


Shall not be infringed.

Everything done is by consent. Deep State takes whatever the people let them get a way with. If the people will not let them get a way with what power it wants it uses political puppets/extorted/exploited/blackmail/coercion (just lien Epstein did) & wealth/fame.

Been that way since Babylon & Rome. Whether it’s legit or accepted. Complacency & apathy are the signs of a dying civilization.

“Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is brutal. The brutality of ignorance is such that it will make you dead while alive.”
Jaggi Vasudev


If you make an AR-15 and you build lower yourself you may keep it without a serial number.
However, if you intend to sell it or give it away to anyone, you need to mark it appropriately with your name, city, state, and a serial number.
There are some communities that have local restrictions on magazine sizes and some require items like the bullet buttons in California, so there are a few local restrictions that need to be followed.
If you build your own gun and you retain possession of it you’re not federally required to serialize it.


Cheaper right now to purchase stripped aluminum receiver already completed, unless you really want one with no markings just to piss off your local police or game warden when he says you removed the serial number. You answer No I manufactured it in accordance with ATF regulations with no markings.


Number 5 in this article states that you have to serialize the 80% complete. I thought you didn’t have to. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Buck Shot

If the for control cavity is machined including just dimples for the rider pins then it is a firearm even though it is not ready to be built with out further machine work. Take a good look at the three pictures.

MSG John Laigaie

If you keep the weapon for personal use… numbers needed. If you wish to sell the weapon….numbers, roll mark, and a license to “engage in the business of……

That said, I build ARs regularly. I mark them for my own inventory, out of sight , under the pistol grip.


This all makes me laugh. A COMPLETED AR lower IS NOT a receiver nor is it a firearm per ATFs own definition so an 80% lower cannot be one either. It is perfectly legal for ANYONE, yes anyone, to own a AR lower ONLY, completed or not. Possession of one along with any other parts, well then that muddies the water and can change the definition of possession. Federal Firearms Act. 15 U.S.C. Chapter 18. Firearm frame or receiver. That part of a firearm which (1) provides housing for the hammer, (2) the bolt or breechblock, and (3) firing mechanism, and (4)… Read more »


Photos are good, but not accurate enough to risk your future on. The ATF has a checklist for each type 80% lower that they use to determine if it is or is not a firearm. They refuse to publish these criteria which puts people in jeopardy. A manufacture is expected to submit a sample and request a letter of determination to be safe, but you won’t find that either on their website. As far as drilled or dimpled, if the holes are marked in any way, they will call it “readily convertible” and therefore a firearm.

Alex Riddell

I’m about to be in the process of building my own 80% Lower Glock 19. This is solely going to be used for home defense/self defense- never to be carried in public unless i’m at the range. If this is indeed used in an act of self defense in my home; what will happen? Could i be charged with possession of an unregistered firearm? Will they take my firearm? Some of those questions i have i think & worry about a lot. Let me know what you think, Thanks!!!


Depends on if you live in a free state.

Joseph M

I don’t know if this been asked yet or not. If it is illegal to alter a manufactured firearm to function as a full auto, yet you are able to make your own firearms for personal use, could you build a full auto since technically you are not modifying an existing firearm but actually manufacturing a completely new firearm?

William Ogline

Fully auto magic are illegal unless you possess a special licence but i think there only allowed to use them at the range plus im sure you get excessive force for unloading on a intruder with a fully auto gun


Literally none of that is true.


The ATF regulations talk about the possession of an automatic weapon. They don’t discuss how it was made. Keep in mind the cost of your legal defense.


I believe that for the same reason the value of fully automatic arms continues to rise while availability declines (same statutes and agreements) is where you will find the laws pertaining to this issue. It was decided among international binding agreements (I don’t remember exactly but believe it was a United Nations resolution) that all participating parties would, from that point forward, no longer allow fully automatic arms to be produced for private use or sales and no more of said arms would be allowed to enter public markets. This Will eventually cause the extinction of the legally owned full… Read more »


From what I have gathered, it’s not even good to use reloaded ammo in a self defense situation. The anti-gun prosecutor could make it sound like you were using hopped up ammo and were just waiting to use it on someone. They use anything they can to put you in a bad light. I was a juror in a self-defense knife stabbing. I saw first hand how the prosecutor plays dirty. I think it is best in a self-defense situation to use a normal, tame looking gun with store-bought ammo.

Brad Smith

Is illegal in the state of Michigan to finish a AR15 80% lower


How many 80% lowers, finished or not can you have in your possession?


You can own all the uncompleted 80% lowers you want it is not a firearm
And you can own all the complete 80% lowers you want so long as you can legally own a firearm


That depends on the state


I wanna know if I make a polymer80 compact pistol can I legally carry with a license? And if I were to ever have to use it would I be in trouble because it does not have a serial number?


If it has proper forms and a serial number, you may carry in accordance with Federal, State and Local laws. No serial number means you go to jail, regardless whether you used it or not. Simply being in possession of a firearm without a serial number is a violation of law.


that’s NOT true, homemade firearms do NOT require serial numbers, it is recommended in case of loss or theft, but not required


Per federal law, an individual building a firearm for personal use is not required to mark it with a serial number. Some states may have more restrictive regulations. The following is for California residents ONLY: In July, 2016, California passed AB 857 which requires all completed firearms to have a serial number applied by Jan 1, 2019. An 80% lower is not a firearm, so a serial number would only be required once the 80% lower is completed. Unfinished 80% lower receivers do not need a serial number. If you engrave a serial number of your choosing into your completed… Read more »

Craig Hardy

Come on Robert! The law is not a matter of personal opinion.

Hertha Riehle

Practical comments , I Appreciate the points , Does someone know where my business could possibly get a template ATF 5310.12 form to use ?

Wild Bill

You were just snarky to a four year old post!


You’re no one to talk, you and your pet chimp.


Can I legally finish a 80 percent lower for someone on my CNC if they physically push the the green button themselves? Would that be considered them making it themselves? its a gray area??


to my understanding, it is the same as manufacturing a suppressor…the owner must maintain possession at all times. He can stand next to you while you do the work. He cannot drop it off and come back later to pick it up. He must remain present and have the paperwork in his possession as well.


I looked into this question that you presented. Some friends and me were interested in purchasing an 80% Jig together to share for completing 80%’s receivers as individuals. Each of us only wanted limited quantities. ………. I was informed that whoever purchases that Jig is the sole owner of that Jig and any receiver that Jig produces was made by that original purchaser, even if the original purchaser sends the complete Jig tool with a friend to do their own labor while using that same Jig. ………. Technically, your CNC machine is the same as a Jig. If you own… Read more »

Wild Bill

To all the gentlemen above, After having all that you wrote it is apparent to me that the BATFE and GCA have to go. All of this is contrary to the Second Amendment. Why are we following some bureaucrat made rule rather than the Constitution? Things could not be more dictatorial if the country was run by a motorcycle gang.

Lynn Tracy

Or the wrong person ends up with it, which has had no background check, and could be a total nut job that commits another mass shooting. That us my only concern with allowing anyone that much firepower without knowing if they could pass the background check or if they have severe mental issues. That’s the only reason I understand why California is making changes, if you are allowed to legally own a gun this shouldn’t upset or irritate you at all. There has to be a starting point to keep guns out of dangerous people. We can use common sense… Read more »


Research better and stop making false statements and I might listen. 1) clips are not used in guns. Clips feed magazines. 2) not all automatic weapons are banned. A citizen can still buy one. Please research the strict guideline for purchasing one. 3) Mass shootings occurred even after the banning of newer model automatic weapons. Your statement is false. 4) if you don’t belueve “they” are after our guns, you need to wake up. 5) Research the newly “allowed” California handgun list. It is one page long. Then look up the recent list of removed guns. It is 62 pages… Read more »


Ragan didn’t outlaw automatic wepons. They were already illigal before he went into office and they still are.


Yes, Reagan did outlaw all machineguns made after 1986 when he signed the FOPA into law. Machineguns registered before 1986 are legal to transfer. It just takes lots of money and BS i.e. infringement.

John V

What does the NRA have to do with this? Your talking about people who are evil .I have the right to protect my family from this evil with the most and the best available because family,friends and myself is worth it. Wouldnt you?The laws are there already.What failed was enforcement of thses laws and the system that was aware of these evil people before they comitted this evil. Please do not make it a gun debate. Lets hold the people responsible and accountable for who and what failed.


Anyone can obtain a firearm one way or another even if banned, the 2nd Amendment was to make sure you could protect your life from evil and Government if needed, they had bad people with weapons all through History that committed horrendous murders and crimes, and that is why we have the 2nd Amendment to guarantee our Life, Liberty, and pursuit of happiness (originally written as Property, changed later to pursuit of happiness) seems they wrote property because it belongs to you. there is no other side to a God Given Right.


Guns have not changed. The means and rate in which they deliver bullets might have but guns have always been guns. What has changed in the last 50 years is boys can be girls, or boys can be lesbian girls(strait), or Q not really sure what that is. Gender identity disphoria and what have you. Your completely racist if you say something someone doesn’t like, everyone is hoarding all the money you could be making. Society has changed that what’s going on here folks. Yea were probably gonna have to make some crazy strict gun rules to abate some obvious… Read more »


Clip??? allowed to own a gun???? What part of shall not be infringed are you not getting??? Ca has done nothing but chip away at citizens gun rights from the beginning. It`s obvious you put too much faith in your govt and give your rights away freely. I bet you think Feinstein is a friend of gun owners also.


Maby you should be the government seems you know everything! But still wrong on all your ‘points’ wish people would actually know what they are saying instead of spreading their version or how they think it should be to misinform.


Unfortunatly i cannot own guns anylonger cause i made the mistake of putting a adjustable stock and flash supressor on my gun but i never got in trouble for the boxes and boxes of brand new magpull pmags they took also but i dont blame the company that sold the parts or mags i blame myself because i thought i was better than everyone and added the parts i did…. We need more responsable for actions laws stop blaming mental health and all that make the laws harder on what the person does not that persons state of whatever. Just… Read more »

Raymon Bayer

You’re very misinformed.

There’s a Farmer and law abiding citizen, (NO CRIMINAL RECORD or Police Contacts) that legally acquired both AR-15s AND suppressors but Komiforniastan’s change in State Gun Laws( that ARE ILLEGAL AND PROHIBIT INTERSTATE COMMERCE) was jailed because of HIS ATTEMPT TO REGISTER HIS AR-15 and CALDOJ used this information to search, seize his guns and arrest him.

Its Asinine that CALDOJ IGNORES all the Organized Crime and Drug Cartel Members to target this Farmer. This is what we call an ABUSE OF POLICE POWER.

These firearms are Legal in NUMEROUS States


Bro you obviously dont know what the hell your talking about, stay off this page and go do some more studying in our gun laws and stfu, idiot.


Only control I back is banning Dems & your serfs owning guns since you do 99% of the violent crime. Not that it’d work: MURDERERS DON’T OBEY LAWS.

BTW, genius, why don’t you push skateboard, car, gasoline & match control?

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r
Roland T. Gunner

Go away and dont come back.


Hey, be careful there. Most motorcycle gang members I know have infinitely more character and honor than the average stooge at the top of any federal agency. Never heard of the 50,000 bikers’ Freedom Rolls into DC and various state capitals?

Semper Fi!

Bandido J

Get it right…………CLUB.


Wait a second, that doesn’t make sense. You buy a jig and that’s not a firearm. You complete your project and don’t need the jig anymore so you gift it or sell it to another person. What is illegal about that?


All Gun Law Experts ATF is Above The Law what ever they make up is what it is all Fed Proscutors.Judges,System is in there pocket they win 98.7%!All 80% Buyers thats a RAID IN PROGRESS!Check ARES ARMOR all they wanted was his 80% sales records!THERE COMING be prepared any thing you cannot afford to loose you know what you should do i would say but do not want my 80 year old blind mother harmed or killed! My knowledge CLUB FED!LIVED IT!BEWARE THEY ARE COMING!FOR THE REAL STORY LOOK FOR THE BOOK “CANNIBAL OF THE ATF”Tells the real deal!Will be… Read more »


WILLIAM MUNCY : Perhaps you should hire a 5th grader to proofread your post before you post them?




Ha, ha, ha…I was thinking the same thing! I’m a teacher and as such will never forget the admonition once told me via a funny holiday caption, a feast on a table and an old lady with a surprised look on her face,: “Lets eat grandma” or “Let’s eat, Grandma!” Punctuation matters…


E.H. Dixon – Also funny that you post about punctuation, but do not properly punctuate your statement. There should be a comma on either side of “as such” since there is technically a pause in speech at that point. Not usually a grammar nazi, but love it when grammar nazis are incorrect.

The 6th Reich

You’re actually incorrect though, commas around “as such” are at best optional, if not wrong. Speech patterns can vary, so using “pause in speech” as your litmus is not always accurate. There are specific rules governing commas in written language, those are better guidelines.


The requirement for serial number when completing an 80% assertion is actually false. The link takes you to the supposedly relevant ATF section, BUT……the section deals with IMPORTED firearms, not owner built domestically made firearms.


I’ve been trying to find out something and I have yet to find an answer. I’m pretty sure that if you finish a 80% AR15 lower that you can not leave it to anyone, even a family member in case of your death. In other words, you finish it you’re married to it for ever. The question I have is what if both my wife and I build/finish off 80% lowers and one of us passed away, would I be able to keep the ones she made since we both used the same equipment to finish ours?


Who is to say who built what.
And if anyone has a lower with no SN on it, putting a name and SN on it as required will make it legal to hand down or sell.
Who is to say if dad or his son, or daughter built it unless someone tells the ATF?
Most “POLICE WORK” is just getting people to put a noose around their own necks with loose lips!

Bill in Lexington,NC

You are making things WAAAY too complicated. The relevant word is “intent” … you cannot make them with the intent to pass them to another person. So don’t. Just don’t. Shut up about who made what between you and your wife … because that could (wildly theoretical at the moment) be used in court to establish intent. More than that, the firearms -don’t-exist- until discovered by law enforcement. If your wife were to pass away the day before the BATFE kicks down your door, you explain that you made all of them. Every stinking one. If you are the one… Read more »

Wild Bill

@laughing Jack the deceased are the best people to blame things on. “Oh yeah, Uncle Bill gave me that before he died, Mr ATF Special Agent Man. He said I it was entirely ok. You should go talk to him about it!” The feds blame their errors on older, deader, higher up employees all the time. And then you shut up and stay shut up.


I live in California, I milled out my 80% lower but I put it together as a featureless build no flash hider changed out my bird cage for a muzzle brake fixed A2 stock and no pistol grip used a monsterman style grip made out of kydex do I still have to register it. it is not considered a assault weapon under this configuration.

Frank Morales III

I milled out my first every 80% lower – AR15 and have been enjoying it; but now, California will make it illegal unless I serialize it by next year.

The lower I milled does have identifying marks – I used a laser to put the family last name and an insignia.

Question: Can I give my milled 80% lower to my brother in Texas?


did you read the laws? you technically can not pass on a finished 80% lower whether it be passing to a kid blah blah or selling privately and so on. but then again whats the saying ‘we’re free to do as we wish as long as we dont get caught’

Craig Hardy

You most certainly can pass on a finished 80% lower to your kid. Because it’s technically a transfer, just make sure it’s engraved with a serial number if you want to be 100% legal.


Can you give it to your brother in Texas–NO As for marking a lower or any weapon there are rules for that (marking) too. Must be engraved as a laser does not dig into the metal. You must go a minimum of .003 deep on the engraving (that is three thousandths) and put your name, address to include city and state and a serial number of some makeup on it. (helps law enforcement in the return to you if stolen or lost. (No markings and it cannot be returned if found or recovered) ATF has said you may not sell… Read more »

Frank Morales III

Why the hell does the ATF such authority over our liberties. This sucks and so does California. I don’t expect a response. i am just venting out loud. ha!

Gavin Davis

CA gun laws are BS…..this sucks. not to mention the high af rent and taxes. I think CRV is a scam as well.


Are you deliberately trolling, or just obtuse ? There is a company in Ontario, Ca doing laser ‘engraving’ @ .010 depth. An 80% lower can be completed, used, and subsequently sold, as long as the weapon was made for personal use originally. iirc, it must be marked per ATF guidelines before sale. ATF has no ‘destroy when you don’t want it anymore’ rule. Also, whether or not one could give to brother in Texas – as long as the weapon is not prohibited in Texas, guns can be gifted between siblings. There is no special rule for self made weapons,… Read more »


I do not really understand the worries tell your brother to buy and $60 Anderson lower and just transfer all the parts and just trash the 80% or have your brother make his own 80% lower if you are that worried about it
i have built a few of these and very happy with them


Can you use your 80 percent receiver to make a pistol or does it have to be a long gun?


The ATF document states that once the receiver is considered a firearm then it needs to be marked with the required information as stated in 27 CFR 478.92.


The ATF also states the following:

Additionally, although markings are not required on firearms manufactured for personal use
(excluding NFA firearms), owners are recommended to conspicuously place or engrave a serial number and/ or other marks of identification to aid in investigation or recovery by State or local
law enforcement officials in the event of a theft or loss of the privately owned firearm.

This is why I didn’t go this route.

I don’t like ATF gray areas.


If you are a manufacturer, yes, they have to be marked, but one you intend to keep, no numbers needed (except when you live in a screwed up state and have a state requirement to register all semiauto rifles with detachable magazines).

Craig H.

You failed to read the part that states that those are guidelines for manufacturers.


If you build one and it is not forbiden (like a plain old AR-15 in CA) you do not need to serealize it unless you transfer it (aka sell, or give to a family member).
If you make them to sell, they need the SN, your name, city & state engraved on it, and once you reach a specified number built, (not a lot) you need an FFL to be legal.


If i complete a 80% and make it into a functional firearm would i be able to use it for when i work im a security guard and im armed but want to build a 80%er and would like to know if i can use it outside of home at work


Yes you can do anything you want legally with it at work or play

Josiah Dickens

This article states that it is illegal to make a unmarked AR and sell it without a license and Serial number but it doesn’t mention if it’s legal or illegal to give a AR you built to a sibling or friend as a gift without making a profit off of it. Anyone able to shed light?

Craig H.

Giving an unmarked AR that you made to a sibling or friend as a gift would be a transfer. Therefore, a serial number is required. The ONLY time they’re not required is for YOUR PERSONAL USE. “Additionally, although markings are not required on firearms manufactured for personal use (excluding NFA firearms), owners are recommended to conspicuously place or engrave a serial number and/ or other marks of identification to aid in investigation or recovery by State or local law enforcement officials in the event of a theft or loss of the privately owned firearm. ” As you can see,… Read more »

Tom S.

You can make as many as you want for personal use. You can give them to your children as gifts, you can leave them to a friend in your will. You can NOT build them with the INTENTION of selling them.
I do not believe that they are even required if you did sell one that you grew tired of.

Craig H.

We are talking about serial numbers. Yes, you can give weapons to others. BUT, Additional Identifying Marks “Federal law does not require a homemade gun to have an identifying marker (such as a serial number), as long as it remains in the possession of the original maker. However, if the gun is subsequently sold or otherwise transferred, it should be marked prior to its disposition. The ATF suggests that all homemade firearms be marked with a serial number as a safeguard in the event the firearm is lost or stolen, but requires it if the gun is otherwise lawfully transferred… Read more »

Jack Norton

In reading the comments I was surprised to see so many free citizens afraid of your GOD given rights. Wondering if you really know what your rights are or not. Waiting for some higher being (ATF) to look down on you in kindness and give you wisdom in your ignorance. Dave you have all kind of reasons not to try this or that or not be on this side or the other and you are right you will never have to take a stand or do what’s going to put you in a hard spot. Judging by your own words.… Read more »


you are completely right, the biggest problems is the tyrant at the door with bigger guns and popular (ignorant) opinion, educating the people of our true rights as humans and government overreach are needed. only then will people stand up and demand freedom.


Who is this God you speak of? Does he have an FFL? I need to know. I hear his sh*t is dope, though.


Jack Norton says:
February 2, 2016 at 11:59 PM

In reading the comments I was surprised to see so many free citizens afraid of your GOD given rights.

Well, a god given right does not help when they put you in jail for 10 to 15 years.


I live in CT and am interested in making an AR out of an 80% lower. CT has passed some crazy gun laws and I just want to find out if there are any restrictions on making and or owning a home made firearm out of an 80% lower. I understand that the ATF says that it is legal but I want to know if the state of CT has restricted this. I can not find out any information.


You have to comply with BOTH state and federal law — you don’t get to choose one. And it doesn’t matter if you built it yourself, or if you had it built (all or partially) by someone else.


Your best bet is to call the Special Firearms Licensing Unit and they should be able to answer your questions. I’m considering the same idea but with an AK-74, especially since most European AK manufacturers don’t stamp the lower and put the serial number on the barrel trunnion. I too want to be able to do this legally but this is all gray area because the new laws don’t expressly allow or forbid it.


I contacted the special licensing unit ad it turns out it is illegal to make an AR in this fashion, because it is “manufactured” after the ban date.

J Cartwright

Question I have: how does one prove date of manufacture? Let’s say I machined one 10 years ago, what’s to prevent the law from insuring I built it last year? Likewise, if one was manufactured today, how could it be proven that I didn’t make it 10 years ago?




No longer legal to possess an AR or copy in CT whether made by you or not unless it was registered with the state prior to the ban.


How many “home built” AR-15 rifles made by me personally using an 80% lower can I personally own (with no intent to sell or distribute)? I don’t see number anywhere on the ATF, BATFE sites.


About state laws taking precedent over Federal Law, I beg to differ on this point. Montana tried to enact a law that a resident could build and use a gun as long as it did not cross state to state. Other wise leave Montana. I have not looked lately but It has been in the courts for years. ATF told the state of Montana citizens to “Just Try It”. We are still trying to over rule ATF. I did not see anything about ATF requiring a serial number. They are just waiting to arrest some on who has constructed a… Read more »


Here in Alaska they pass the same type laws, saying that you can make anything, including silencers and full auto, legal by simply engraving “Made in Alaska” on it. A man in Fairbanks was smart enough to test those laws, and needless to say it did not end well for him. The feds simply ignored his take on things and went about their business.


The difference is that if Alaska passed such a law it is contrary to the National Firearms Act of 1934 which regulates machine guns. Completing an 80% receiver violates no federal laws, but may violate state laws. The People’s Republic of Kalifornia just passed a law stating that by a certain date all completed 80% receivers must be engraved and registered.


The definition of dealer includes a statement that someone intends to make a living or profit off of selling. Now that we know that making large amounts of money from dead babies isn’t profit, does that logic work for charging “acquisition fees” for weapons without dealer license as well?


What are the laws concerning trade or sale of an 80% lower that has been finished. I built a 80% lower .308. And I’m bored with it and want to trade it off or sell it to fund a new build. I’m in florida.



To be safe, I would remove the upper, strip the lower, and sell everything but the receiver. You won’t be out much by keeping the receiver, wouldn’t be breaking any laws, and if you got the itch for another rifle somewhere down the road you would already have a receiver to build on.


You can sell any gun you make as long as you’re not engaged in it as a business. No need to strip parts. It will need to be serialized before the sale though.

Darryl Hadfield

I’d love to see a source on that. The only reference I’ve ever seen regarding a requirement to serialize is if you’re a mfg (FFL06) or an importer. fabricating a firearm for personal use, from an “80% lower” constitutes neither.


What about states that “require” a person who makes their own firearm under the GCA to serialized it and register it?
Does the “Federal” GCA take precedent over that states Laws requiring the previously mentioned?


State laws take precedent over federal laws in every matter. Typically there are no state laws that are more lax than federal laws. If there isn’t a specific state law, federal law is the unwritten state law. More than you asked for but good information to have anytime you run into conflicting laws.


Respectfully, Jay, you are mistaken here. State laws do not “take precedence over federal laws in every matter.” In most cases, they operate side-by-side, and the more restrictive law becomes the standard that you must observe to stay out of trouble. There are areas of federal preemption, in which cases federal law completely defines the law. So, for example, if a state law said that it is OK for you to have a fully-automatic AR, in violation of the NFA, the Feds would still stick it to you.


Federal Law trumps state law every time. Its been that way since the beginning of the country. Just because your state won’t prosecute you for something, doesn’t mean the feds won’t Just look at drug laws. States can legalize drugs all they want, but that won’t stop the feds from kicking your door in and raiding you. Don’t give advice if you don’t know what in the hell you’re talking about!


Sorry but it has not been that way since the ‘beginning of the country’ .. Our country began as sovereign states and federal regulation was illegal. Abraham Lincoln fought the south over that very issue, as he wanted to place tariffs (taxes) on southern states, which was illegal without their own sovereign consent. Thus began the civil war, which contrary to indoctrinated belief, was not about slavery.


EXACTLY !! That’s why the South called it “The War of Northern Aggression”. It could also have been called the war of FEDERAL aggression – into states [sovereign rights]. The southern states and their agricultural ‘exports’ – made up most of the taxable economy – which funded 90% of the federal government. When the states declined to continue to pay these federal taxes (essentially taxation without representation), and after the federal government made other laws illegally restricting the state’s sovereignty, war resulted. Of course, there were false flags (which are always required to drag the population into the horrors of… Read more »

bill neylan

Biffula “Rocks”

Wild Bill

@Jay, That is the worst pronouncement about law that I have ever read or even heard. Where did you get that “State laws take precedence over federal laws in every matter.” stuff?


Just had 4 day meeting with ATF and per 1968 gun control act and thing classified as a firearm must be serialized This includes 80% lowers made into a firearm and this also includes 80% with drill dimples etc is classified as fire arms must be registered and serialized per 1968 gun control act There is no way to avoid it no matter what company’s tell you Any police, sheriff, trooper, fish and game, that catches anybody with a unregistered, unserialized weapon of any type manufactured after 1968 is most likely going to jail you and prosecute you. If not… Read more »

Craig H.

Wrong. Direct quote from the ATF site: “Additionally, although markings are not required on firearms manufactured for personal use (excluding NFA firearms), owners are recommended to conspicuously place or engrave a serial number and/ or other marks of identification to aid in investigation or recovery by State or local law enforcement officials in the event of a theft or loss of the privately owned firearm. ” Serial numbers are recommended, not required, and that is clearly stated in the ATF, Q&A document. The part that you missed during your 4 day meeting is an important part. Anything classified as… Read more »


Most states do not have gun registration and nor does the Federal (except NFA tax stamps). Its easier to list the short list of states that do than those that don’t.


Why would a prohibited possessor WANT anything related to the things that will help put him in jail? Even if it’s legal, and his right, it would be just dumb and a waste of money?


@ Paul Contrary to what the “know-it-all” Jon wrote, it is not a stupid question. There are many reasons why I believe owning an 80% receiver by a person prohibited from possessing firearms is a bad idea. First, state and local laws are often different regarding firearms. Example, federal laws don’t regulate antique firearms. Most state laws do. So even if federal law might not consider it a crime for a prohibited possessor to own an 80% receiver, state and local laws might. Second, there is constructive possession. Even though constructive possession generally applies to class III firearms, it might… Read more »


Well, “what you believe” and what is fact based on the ATF regulations are two different things. Just for the record …. but ya, 80% is a chunk of metal and nothing more. If law enforcement tries to slap you with some legaleez on it … chances are you were doing something else stupid, that gave them traction to bust your punk butt. Also, not only the AR platform has billets. Keep in mind DO NOT go at the 1911 billets which are the common other builds people do, unless you have a pistol permit in your town/state. Just having… Read more »


Most states don’t require pistol permits to own a pistol and such things are actually illegal by statute in some states such as Florida. The only exception in The South is NC.


Dave, I think you laid out some sound advise. “Better to avoid the barking dog, then to get bit”. Thanks.


Can a person who Is Restricted From Gun Ownershp Legally Possess An 80 percent lower If He Or She Does NOT Do Any Further Machine Work And Make It Into Firearm?


“Is a person who is restricted from owning a firearm restricted from owning an item that is not a firearm.”… What a stupid question.

MSG John Laigaie

Paul, the 80% lower, uncut, is NOT a firearm, it is just a piece of metal (or poly). If you are a “prohibited person”, you can still purchase and own one. DO NOT cut that sucker a bit or you risk the slammer.

Paloma A. Capanna
Please note that this is a link to the ATF website for the full Q&A, as well as the original photographs provided by the ATF (not Ammoland). The reason I post this comment is that having the ATF document in tact with the proper cite could assist its admissibility in the event that a defendant or defense counsel wanted to state a reliance upon a government publication. (In particular, the photographs might not otherwise be admissible, as altered by Ammoland.)


Just focus on compliance with state laws. Federal law really don’t mean nothing to us down Texas way. We know the ATF is a criminal enterprise who sole purpose is to make life hell for lawabiding citizens. Just focus on state law.

Charles Dodson

So, at the point I machine it out I have to register it?


Unless you live in a free state. Some of us don’t have to beg permission and pay a poll tax to exercise our civil rights. We feel sorry for those stuck in Repressive utopias but there is little we can do, it’s too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the …….

Wild Bill

@ ExNuke, An NFA tax on silencers and fully automatic weapons is also an unconstitutional infringement on our Civil Rights. It will only be too late to work within the system if Trump loses. In the in-between time is the time to gather food for a year per person, ammunition for a year per weapon, gather meds, make personal connections, develop secure comms, and plan.


TEX/Will/FORD Will – 12/6/21:

“There are two fools on this site that are just too damn stupid to see who upvotes/downvotes them in real time. It’s so damn easy to do but still so difficult for Frick and Frack.Stupidity on steroids!”

Reply to TEX/Will/FORD Will:

I’m an advocate for people in the private sector to be allowed to run their businesses as they see fit.

I’ve got no objection to Ammoland allowing you to use three different accounts. It’s a little surprising they let you do it, but I don’t have any objection.

It’s a source of entertainment.

Dave A

To all you guys and Gauls out there that want to get a 80% lower and make your own AR It is legal to do so but it must have a serial number and be registered per ready act 1968 Hince to all you people the way to reguister it is thru ATF Form 1 call make and reguister a firearm It is against federal and state laws to own any firearm made after 1968 law passed which states all firearms must be serial numbered and registered and it has to be registered with the federal gov that’s why the… Read more »

Craig H.

Dave: You missed the important part of the regulation concerning the sale or transfer of a an 80% lower. That is the only case where a serial number would be required for someone who privately manufactured an 80% lower . “Additionally, although markings are not required on firearms manufactured for personal use (excluding NFA firearms), owners are recommended to conspicuously place or engrave a serial number and/ or other marks of identification to aid in investigation or recovery by State or local law enforcement officials in the event of a theft or loss of the privately owned firearm. ”… Read more »


How bout instead of asking a bunch of stupid ass questions you search it online. It’s all there.


Youdumb. I did search the internet and it brought me here. Most of us aren’t lawyers and don’t have the desire to search through mountains of government mumbo-jumbo that is at times clear as mud. There are people that enjoy that kind of thing and I appreciate them translating it for me. In fact, there are people that have full time jobs to rewrite obscure mumbo-jumbo in layman’s terms. Youdumb


Try searching the ATF website for a list of criteria on a particular type lower or what the process is if you would like to make 80% lowers for sale, but want to avoid being considered a firearms manufacturer. You won’t find either on ATFs web site.


just saying