Our MG42 Builds and The ATF - (Long Post)

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Our MG42 Builds and The ATF - (Long Post)

Postby 762x51 » Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:50 am

Gentlemen,

I have been reading with interest all of the information being posted here regarding semi-auto MG42 builds and the fact that there has been no ATF classification letter published here, or anywhere else, for a semi-auto MG42.

From what I have been able to determine, BRP Corp. has the only ATF classification letter for a semi-auto MG42.
I have obtained a copy, from Brian at BRP, of their letter and it is posted below.

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This letter is interesting in that it is not nearly as detailed as other ATF classification letters that I have seen, it doesn’t have the ATF’s normal preamble regarding machine guns, nor does it address 18 U.S.C. 922(r) which it should. Also, this is the first classification letter, that I have seen, which uses pictures to describe the weapon.

The 2nd letter, to Vector regarding their semi-automatic RPD, is in the format that the other letters I have seen follow. These letters normally follow this format:

A) Basic description of the submittal
B) Boilerplate machine gun definition preamble
C) The actual detailed description of the submitted sample
D) A discussion regarding US vs Foreign parts count - 27 C.F.R Part 478.39
E) Their “classification” of the weapon.
    1) The “not a machine gun" statement
    2) It’s a firearm as described in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3)
    3) It complies with 18 U.S.C. 922(r)
F) Note regarding assembly (That the classification is for a weapon as described)
G) Any other notes regarding the submission
H) Closing and signature

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From BRP Corp.’s letter you can determine that:
The receiver appears to be all newly made with no de-milled sections used
The bolt has been modified
The “firing mechanism” has been modified
There is a “hardened block” in it somewhere

That’s all that can be determined other than the ATF’s statement on page 4 “Any modifications to the prototype or any deviation in the manner in which the receiver is constructed could change our classification”

So, where does this leave us? Well, for one thing, we cannot point to the BRP letter as justification for our builds because BRP’s submission was for a weapon constructed from all new receiver sections. The question of 18 U.S.C. 922(r) compliance is left open with no determination in BRP’s letter.

Because we really do need a letter that classifies a weapon that is built the way most of us are building ours, I have started (see 3rd letter) by requesting a classification of a fire control group using US made FN-FAL hammer-trigger-sear and also for mounting the gripstick using a push pin for the front mounting. I have been informed (by phone) that I’ll have to submit a sample before I can get a classification. I really thought that the ATF would classify this change with only a letter but it appears that they, the ATF, will no longer make determinations from letters alone. I’ll post their reply when I receive it.

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I hope this post will get us discussing how the “ultimate SA MG42” should be made and one of us will take the time to submit a complete weapon for classification.
We need to come up with a configuration that all of us can live with, that will be in compliance, and be the easiest for us to build.

Here are some of my suggestions:

1) Receiver – Built from de-milled receiver sections with no newly manufactured sections needed.
2) Bolt block – There needs to be a substantial block welded in place and I can almost guarantee that the ½ inch “stud” that everyone seems to
be using will not pass ATFs muster.
3) Grip stick mounting – I like the push pin mount as it looks stronger and overcomes the dust cover operating rod problem.
4) Fire control group – I favor FN-FAL components in lieu of AR15 components.
5) Bolt – The basic BRP design is fine but I think there is merit to having a 2-piece firing pin using the original firing pin.

Sorry for the long winded post but I hope this gets us thinking as a group regarding the direction we should all take to coming up with a really great design, getting it classified, and rest easy because we know we are doing the best we can to stay within the law.

Regards,
Orin
Last edited by 762x51 on Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:02 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby 762x51 » Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:46 am

References:

18 U.S.C. 921(a)(3)

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18 U.S.C. 922(r)

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27 C.F.R Part 478.39

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BRP Letter

Postby Abwehr » Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:57 am

Orin,

many thanks for posting the approval letter from BRP. I had requested one from Brian "many moons ago", but never received anything. I have always heard there was one, but never knew of anyone to have oa copy. You posting is much appreciated!!!!!!!

Dan@AngolaArmory

Postby Dan@AngolaArmory » Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:39 am

I own one of Brian's early '42's, that's the first time I have seen the letter as they were not included with the rifle. Hats off to Orin for securing this, but he is right, it does not apply to your builds.
FWIW,
Dan

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Postby gunslingerdoc » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:07 am

I think we can use the receiver pieces - EzFeeds letter seems to allow for such. I think it is vital that we destroy the ability to install FA parts - bolt and grip stick PRIOR to any attempts at rewelding.

We do need a classification letter. Im more than willing to submit my grip stick or build another and submit that one unless someone else wants to do it (FAL FCG). I think we can also submit a modified bolt/extension/2 piece FP. Both should meet the requirements.

As to the receiver - we need to get an SOT to do it so we dont get our non-SOT butts in a sling. I would disagree with the assertion on BRP's web site that NO parts/peices of the original receiver could be used. I think this I marketing. the receiver pieces are scrap! Period! Otherwise we wouldnt be able to order them and they wouldnt be imported.

One option might be to submit the center section of the kit with the opening modified, block installed, include a modified grip stick and bolt/extesion/2 piece FP and see if that gets us by. This way us lowly folks havent sent them a welded up receiver.

Just my thoughts....
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Postby TOM R » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:10 am

wish the pics were better quality :?
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Postby Abominog » Fri Dec 16, 2005 1:44 pm

Right on the SOT applicant. At least they would not lose their firearm.

Or, we can find somebody who will submit theirs with the knowledge that it might be lost (Orin?). Then the rest of us (maybe 20?) could promise $100 each to the submitter upon loss of the firearm. I'd be willing to chance $100 for peace of mind.


Orin, thanks for the information.
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Postby weasel » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:48 am

Orin,
Thank you for your work in this matter. Correct me if I am wrong, but if the rules are that you can build a semi auto firearm for yourself, not for sale, and you don't have to stamp any I.D. numbers on the receiver. Does this mean that everyone would have to get an approval on each weapon? All of us are building these from demilled/scrap parts and not complete FA's guns. I would think that the receiver is not a MG receiver due to the fact it started as junk and then built into a different form of firearm. This would cancel the BATF "once a machinegun always a machinegun" thinking.
I did a different type of construction on my 42 over the style that BRP did. I have never seen a BRP gun. On the gun that I built you cannot install a FA bolt into the receiver, the grip stick is welded on blocking the FA bolt. If hammer is removed there is a welded block in front of eject port which will block FA bolt. This would be very hard to return this weapon back to its FA condition.
Contact me if you need any more info on this type of build if it will help you in your quest for approval.
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Postby 762x51 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:31 pm

weasel wrote:Orin,
Correct me if I am wrong, but if the rules are that you can build a semi auto firearm for yourself, not for sale, and you don't have to stamp any I.D. numbers on the receiver. Does this mean that everyone would have to get an approval on each weapon? All of us are building these from demilled/scrap parts and not complete FA's guns.


You are correct in that you can build a gun for yourself and you don't have to mark it at all. The ATF "recommends" that at a minimum you do place a serial number on the completed weapon and you MUST put the builders name, location, and serial number on the weapon if you ever sell it. I always mark my builds, when I build them, because it makes no sense to me not to do so.

weasel wrote: I would think that the receiver is not a MG receiver due to the fact it started as junk and then built into a different form of firearm. This would cancel the BATF "once a machinegun always a machinegun" thinking.


Well, yes and no - The de-milled receiver has been removed from the NFA so the ATF does not consider it to be a machine gun.
The rub is, how was the de-milled receiver reconstructed? No one has submitted one with a narrative of the rebuild steps so the ATF doesn't have a benchmark weapon to refer to. For example: If you were to weld the receiver together, mill the grip stick slot, and then install the bolt block - You would be in violation of the GCA and NFA because you actually had a machine gun receiver when you finished welding the parts together.

The proper sequence would be to mill the gripstick opening, install the bolt block, then weld the receiver pieces together.

Thing is - we need to get the ATF to say, in writing, that this sequence is approved.

weasel wrote:I did a different type of construction on my 42 over the style that BRP did. I have never seen a BRP gun. On the gun that I built you cannot install a FA bolt into the receiver, the grip stick is welded on blocking the FA bolt. If hammer is removed there is a welded block in front of eject port which will block FA bolt. This would be very hard to return this weapon back to its FA condition.
Contact me if you need any more info on this type of build if it will help you in your quest for approval.
Weasel


Your construction sounds like a winner, but the ATF could say it's a machine gun unless they have inspected it and classified the completed weapon as a Title 1 firearm.

Pirate and I are working together to get a completed weapon submitted for classification as soon as possible. I have a completed bolt and I hope to complete my receiver this weekend. Pirate is building the gripstick and will send it to me sometime next week and I will install my US made (FSE) FN-FAL hammer-trigger-sear in it and marry it to my receiver.

If all goes well, I should be able to send it off to the ATF either the week between Christmas and New Years or the week right after New Year.
Classification shouldn't take more than 4 to 6 weeks so I should have a letter to post, for all of us to use in our builds, in mid to late February.

Regards,
Orin
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Postby JBaum » Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:54 pm

Regardless of the merits of each justification of how and why something is or should be legal to build, if it isn't in writing from ATF, then it's all a matter of your opinion against theirs. I don't like those odds myself, considering ATFs track record for changing their determinations of what is OK and what is not. Until it's approved on paper, it isn't 100% safe to build.

Used to be you could manufacture a machine gun. That's changed.

Used to be you could import a machine gun. That's changed.

Used to be you got the whole barrel shroud as one piece. That's changed.

Used to be you could get all the barrels you wanted. That's changed.

Streetsweeper shotguns were just another shotgun. That's changed.

Used to be you could make a semi auto that was based on the MG42. Changed? that's yet to be determined.

It seems that there's a lack of trust between government and the people. They don't trust us to behave ourselves with toys, and we don't trust them because they've changed the rules of the game too many times.
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Postby 762x51 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:40 pm

Here is a list of how I see the parts count of a SA MG42 that would be in compliance with 27 C.F.R Part 478.39

As you can see, we are at the magic 10 parts by using US made hammer, trigger, sears. I would feel a lot better if we could justify another part as being "US Made".

Along those lines, I need a little help.

I know that somewhere in the FTC and Customs regulations there is a regulation regarding "Transformation" where an item made overseas can be classified as a US made part if more than 51% of it's final value is due to work done on the part in the US.

Would one of you take the time to find this regulation so I can quote it in the ATF submittal letter and then claim that the receiver, bolt carrier, and trigger housing are US made parts because their value has been increased by over 50% because of the "transformation" that occurs when we modify them to semi-automatic configuration?

Thanks,
Orin

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Last edited by 762x51 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 9:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby slowfinger » Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:48 pm

Thanks for posting Orin! we need a letter as we do not liked to be asused a criminal when building or trading MG42 semi parts! We need to protect our hobby the best we can. I believe you are on the right track with a tailer made acceptance letter from big brother.......Slowfinger

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Postby 762x51 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:15 pm

:D :D :D :D

Guys, this is really getting off and running -

One of our regular readers just called ( he want's to remain anonymous ) and told me that he would replace any part that the ATF decides to keep or destroys during their review of our submittal.

Now that's one heck of an offer and I want to thank him for his magnanimous offer!!!!!!!!!

Regards,
Orin
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Postby Pirate » Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:12 pm

The gripstick should qualify as a US made part dur to the fact it's value is increased by
adding US made parts and labor. It goes from a $20.00 part to a much more expensive one.

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Postby drooling idiot » Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:57 pm

i think a formal letter that lists the parts to a numbered diagram is needed from the ATF before we get to far down this road.
what are you calling ...
the mag bodies ?
and operating rod ?
also for the SA receiver, it would be considered "made in USA" right? i mean i did make it in New Germany but technically its still America.


i don't recall a value added mark to determine U.S. manufacture but i do remember if its been altered to the point it no longer functions in its original configuration then its considered U.S. made. I'll look for a copy of that letter .
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Postby 36gOPFOR » Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:31 pm

Would pistol grips be considered as the grip stick or merely the plastic grip panels?

If only the grip panels then that would be relatively easy to change to a U.S. made part.

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Postby Intruder196 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:35 pm

762x51 wrote:Here is a list of how I see the parts count of a SA MG42 that would be in compliance with 27 C.F.R Part 478.39

As you can see, we are at the magic 10 parts by using US made hammer, trigger, sears. I would feel a lot better if we could justify another part as being "US Made".

Along those lines, I need a little help.

I know thet somewhere in the FTC and Customs regulations there is a regulation regarding "Transformation" where an item made overseas can be classified as a US made part if more than 51% of it's final value is due to work done on the part in the US.

Would one of you take the time to find this regulation so I can quote it in the ATF submittal letter and then claim that the receiver, bolt carrier, and trigger housing are US made parts because their value has been increased by over 50% because of the "transformation" that occurs when we modify them to semi-automatic configuration?

Thanks,
Orin

Image


Why isnt the disconnector listed under the US parts count?

Is a belt now considered a "magazine body"? During the AW ban period I thought that the ATF ruled that belts were not considered magazines and werent affected by the ban.

Since the receiver is considered scrap metal, wouldnt that mean if rebuilt into another configuration it should count as a US made part?

EZFEED

Postby EZFEED » Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:58 pm

762x51 wrote:Here is a list of how I see the parts count of a SA MG42 that would be in compliance with 27 C.F.R Part 478.39

As you can see, we are at the magic 10 parts by using US made hammer, trigger, sears. I would feel a lot better if we could justify another part as being "US Made".

Along those lines, I need a little help.

I know thet somewhere in the FTC and Customs regulations there is a regulation regarding "Transformation" where an item made overseas can be classified as a US made part if more than 51% of it's final value is due to work done on the part in the US.

Would one of you take the time to find this regulation so I can quote it in the ATF submittal letter and then claim that the receiver, bolt carrier, and trigger housing are US made parts because their value has been increased by over 50% because of the "transformation" that occurs when we modify them to semi-automatic configuration?

Thanks,
Orin

Image


LOL! MY MY, here's a topic that I knew I was right on and got slammed about in the past :lol:

EZFEED

Postby EZFEED » Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:59 pm

36gOPFOR wrote:Would pistol grips be considered as the grip stick or merely the plastic grip panels?

If only the grip panels then that would be relatively easy to change to a U.S. made part.


It would be the whole steel component stripped.

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Postby 762x51 » Sat Dec 17, 2005 9:38 pm

Intruder196 wrote:Why isnt the disconnector listed under the US parts count?

Is a belt now considered a "magazine body"? During the AW ban period I thought that the ATF ruled that belts were not considered magazines and werent affected by the ban.

Since the receiver is considered scrap metal, wouldnt that mean if rebuilt into another configuration it should count as a US made part?


There is no separate “Disconnector” in the FAL fire control group.

Regarding receiver – I said earlier:

Along those lines, I need a little help.

I know that somewhere in the FTC and Customs regulations there is a regulation regarding "Transformation" where an item made overseas can be classified as a US made part if more than 51% of it's final value is due to work done on the part in the US.

Would one of you take the time to find this regulation so I can quote it in the ATF submittal letter and then claim that the receiver, bolt carrier, and trigger housing are US made parts because their value has been increased by over 50% because of the "transformation" that occurs when we modify them to semi-automatic configuration?

EZFEED wrote:
LOL! MY MY, here's a topic that I knew I was right on and got slammed about in the past :lol:


Hi Patrick – Good to see you on the board – You need to come over more often..

Jump in and help us with this “project” – You have probably written the Tech. Branch more than anyone else here and really understand their ins-and-outs better than anyone.

Regards,
Orin
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