Poor Sammy – his $905 AR deal is now worthless

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- The New Year has brought new action from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), who published ATF Rul. 2015-1 on January 2, 2015.

In this new ruling, ATF reverses its longstanding position that persons who machine unfinished receivers on behalf of a customer are not required to have manufacturer’s licenses. The ruling can be found on ATF’s website here.
Courtesy of Boots

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19 Responses to Poor Sammy – his $905 AR deal is now worthless

  1. Eric Michael Terry says:

    Wow, $905 for a stripped lower? Sammys a piece of shit. My boss made me an m-4 with mil. Grade parts including barrel and coated parts for rust proofing as well as a kick ass pirate theme lower including skill and crossbones and parlay arrrr and plunder for selector switches for $500. Fuck you Sammy. You’re an asshole. Try getting a job to fund your bullshit.

    • Wirecutter says:

      He’s charging $905 for an AR kit – 80% lower, an upper and all the parts needed to complete it. And may I add that they are mil-spec parts? For that price, it should have top of the line parts and a superb trigger.

      • Eric Michael Terry says:

        My boss also builds em at $1000-$1500 but you’re easily getting a $2000-$3000 rifle. He also does the triggers himself. Mine is buttery smooth at 1.5 pounds I think? Even a complete kit at $905 is highway robbery.

        • Boots says:

          Wait a minute. A 1.5 lb trigger pull? You think?

          Pretty much only the best competition and trick shooters use anything under 2.5 lbs, much less 1.5 lbs; especially for an AR15. Depending on what your “boss” did to get a 1.5 lb pull, it could be a recipe for intermittent full auto fire of double to triple taps.

          Around 2008 a guy in Wisconsin had a single double tap at a gun range. Some prick there called either the local cops, who then called ATF. Ended up that the owner IIRC, was charged and convicted of unlawful possession (or was it transfer?) of a machine gun. And IIRC the judge refused to let the defense introduce an expert to show the rifle was a malfunctioning semi-auto, not a machine gun. That’s grounds for appeal but I don’t know if the guy could afford to pay for an appeal.

          However, the prosecutor said and the judge agreed, that the law against illegal transfer or possession of a machine gun wasn’t dependent on whether or not the firearm in question was intended to fire full auto…and that was because, the prosecutor said….the definition of a machine gun was a firearm that continually discharged shots with a single pull of the trigger. The prosecutor thus argued that the AR15 in question met the definition of a machine gun, and whether the rifle was or wasn’t mfd as a machine gun didn’t matter. All that mattered was that the rifle in question “met the definition of a machine gun”. I don’t recall if he said “at the time of the incident” or not.

          Anyway, the poor SOB was convicted.

          A good attorney would’ve told the prosecutor to prove the gun met the definition by shooting it and getting double or triple taps. I don’t think the attorney was that good. I keep saying that most (read 80%-90%) of gun lawyers don’t know shit about the 2nd Amd, guns in general, and the gun laws in the state they practice in. And probably 98% don’t know shit about NFA, GCA 68, or FOPA 86.

          So tell your boss to keep up the good work. Curious, though, that someone as skilled as you say he is would make you an AR15 with a 1.5 trigger pull. That’s something an ATF undercover agent would do to set up an unsuspecting victim for arrest, prosecution, and conviction to render another U.S. citizen ineligible to possess weapons.

          You probably have nothing to worry about though.

          • Eric Michael Terry says:

            After confirmation from my boss it is 1.5 pounds. I like a light trigger. As for the ATF…Molon Labe motherfuckers. This is the best rifle I’ve ever owned. You’ll have to rip my whole arm off to get it.

    • Boots says:

      And your boss made you that M4 using the milling machines in his machine shop business before the ATF ruling that Wirecutter is trying to tell you about, right?

  2. John the infidel says:

    He still has his garrotes.

  3. Boots says:

    My apologies to you Wirecutter if this is too long. I try but can’t stop my fingers from typing when I get on a roll. No pun intended.

    I haven’t read the entire ruling with a fine tooth comb, but offhand, it seems the ruling applies to business that receive compensation of some sort from people who use the business’ machines/tooling. Such a business who receives compensation, be it money or a pizza and beer, would require a mfg FFL.

    I didn’t see where the ruling addressed a shop owner letting their buddy, nephew, brother, etc use the machines/tooling ***free of charge*** to bring a lower to 100%.

    The best way to find out is ask ATF Tech Branch for written clarification about whether or not a shop that lets someone use their machines/tooling free of charge requires a mfg FFL.

    Writing to ATF Tech Branch is a very fine art. You need to be very specific in your questions. Like chess, you have to think ahead by carefully reviewing your questions to see if the way you asked it will somehow allow ATF wiggle room to either not provide a specific answer, provide misdirection, or to outright deny what you’re asking if you can do. In this case you want them to say Ruling 2015-1 doesn’t apply when a buddy who owns a shop lets you use his machines/tooling to complete your lower. So, you have to funnel them into giving you the answer you want; like running cows into the corral.

    A letter like that may be best written by a top shelf firearms attorney. From my short research today (less than 1 hr) it seems no attorney has done so or plans to do so.NRA, GOA, 2nd Amd Foundation, nor any other firearms association have asked ATF for a ruling about using shop machines/tooling without compensation.

    And the firearms mfg companies sure won’t ask ATF if you can build your own AR using your brother’s machine shop. And I don’t think we can count on more than, maybe half dozen members of Congress (out of all 535 of them) to ask ATF to reverse their ruling.


    One of the links in Wirecutters “Brownell’s” thread notes that ATF considers build parties ‘engaging in the business of manufacturing’. Translation: under 2015-1 and ATF’s incredibly overreach, the guy who owns the machines/tools/presses/rivet gun/etc and is sponsoring the build party is somefuckinghow ‘engaged in the business of manufacturing’. Gothefuckfigure how they got to that conclusion.

    But that just goes to show what I said before. BATF will find ANY WAY to twist, distort, misrepresent, and IGNORE their own rulings, rules, and regulations if doing so will allow them to arrest and charge you. Mind you, they don’t give a flying fuck if they win or lose at court. They know you haven’t the $50,000 to $250,000 to fight the charges. They’ll agree to drop all the charges except one. And the remaining charge will be a federal (KEY WORD) felony. If you reject the deal they’ll tell you how they’ll put you away for 10 years, you’ll never own a gun again, etc.

    Most will plead out. Once you stand before the judge and say “Guilty” you’ve forfeited your right to ever buy, own, borrow – or even handle or hold – another firearm; unless you get a presidential pardon…which is the only pardon you can get from a federal felony. And that’s why ATF will almost always drop everything except a federal felony charge.

    SOMETIMES, if the violation isn’t too serious (in their eyes) they’ll agree to some kind of misdemeanor. But WATCH CLOSELY to see if that misdemeanor carries a sentence of MORE THAN 1 year. If it does you’re prohibited from every buying, owning, borrowing – or holding or handling – another firearm. That prohibition is right there on F4473 “Have you ever been convicted of a crime where you could have been sentenced to more than one year in jail?” If your answer is YES, even for a misdemeanor, your gun owning days are over until you get a pardon.

  4. d says:

    I really cannot understand why so many people are so into the the term “mil-spec”.

    After 8.5 years active with 15 months in Iraq during the worst of OIF, I ask these nimrods how many years they have served. Almost each and everyone replies none. I then tell them to enlist, serve a tour in some God forsaken hell he in SE Asia, then come back and tell me all about the mil-spec gear and clothing you had to use.

    Most simply do not understand that mil-spec is nothing more than a term used by the DOD to procure the entire TOE for the US armed forces, and just like everything else in life, mil-spec is just a term on buying the most for the least. Most of what we have has a definite life span, add in the rigors of combat and that life span shrinks been further. Case in point. During WWII, the best tank fielded by the allies was the Soviet T-34. A heavy armed tank with only a Six Week life expectancy once it was placed on the front lines.

    • Boots says:

      Good points, d. 95-99% of guys who use the term mil spec don’t know what it means. They think it means that their lower, etc has the same dimensions as what an issue lower has (apart from the full auto parts and sear relief cut in the rear of the FCC pocket). What mil spec means is much more than that.

      When a mfg makes something for the military they not only adhere to tolerances on the prints, they also have extensive QC (quality control) procedures. These procedures specify that for every milling operation, X number of inspections must be made, and those inspections must be made using specified measuring instruments in specified ways – before the next milling operation can take place.

      For example, QC procs may state something like “Mill fire control pocket and measure per print specifications. If passed, continue to next operation.”

      What that means is no other milling procedure can take place until (1) the FCC pocket has been thoroughly inspected using the specified measuring implements (if any), (2) all measurements meet all blue print tolerances/specifications, (3) the actual measurements of the piece inspected are recorded in the appropriate place with the appropriate signature/name/date/production run/etc. It used to be that info was recorded in ink on paper. Today that info may be recorded electronically by the inspector.

      Only after 1, 2, and 3 have taken place can the next milling procedure take place, whatever that operation may be.

      I don’t know the exact mil spec procs for M16 lowers and uppers. I can read and understand all the prints, material called for, anodizing type and depth of hard coat; but I don’t know if mil-specs call for, say, milling the FCC pocket and then inspecting before milling anything else, of if the mil-specs allow the entire lower to be milled and then inspected. I doubt it’s the latter, because that’s just not efficient and certainly not military specifications that I’m familiar with.

      Anyway, mil-spec dimensions aren’t the same thing as “military specifications”.

      • Wirecutter says:

        When I see mil-spec I think ‘manufactured as cheaply as possible’.

        • Boots says:

          “Mil-spec” is strictly a marketing ploy in the recreational AR market. Virtually no one is making a true military specification AR15. I make room for possible exception of LWRC rifles. Some specops groups (SEALs and Rangers) sometimes use LWRC select fire carbines. Those carbines are made under govt contract of which military specifications is a must for the mfg process. I don’t know if LWRC’s civilian ARs are made to the full military specifications, but I’d assume not, considering the enormous time that mil-spec mfg takes.

          Bravo Company Mfg (BCM) advertises “mil-spec” and they have a good reputation for their complete ARs, and their lower and upper assys. But last I knew (about 2010 maybe 2012) BCM didn’t machine their uppers or lowers. They bought them fully machined from Continental Machine (CM) in New Britain, CT. BCM had a waiver from BATF for CM to make the entire lower and apply the BCM logo and BCM supplied serial number, then ship the completed, marked and serialized, lowers to BCM.

          BCM assembled these uppers/lowers into complete rifles. Thus, BCM is in reality a parts assembler. However, with their BATF waiver and CM milling up complete lowers with BCM mfgrs markings, BCM is in the eyes of BATF a mfgr.

          Been out of the main loops for a while now. For all I know BCM is machining their own uppers/lowers now, or has subbed them out to another place instead of CM.

          One point to take away from this is that although everyone raves about BCM rifles, the heart of those rifles are nicely (read: very snug) fitted uppers and lowers, made to exacting military dimensions (not military specifications). Not to detract from BCM’s talents as builders, but one should know that while BCM gets the outward credit, a lot of the credit should also go to the shop that machined those super fitting uppers/lowers. And a properly machined receiver is the foundation to any firearm, be it a MKI Ruger or fine English dangerous game rifle in .416 Rigby.

          In the mid 2000’s Continental Machine supplied Colt with upper and lowers (lowers had the sear relief cut for FA sear) and in the late 1990s to as far as I know around 2013 they supplied RRA with uppers and lowers.

    • Eric Michael Terry says:

      Sorry all. By mil spec I meant parts that civilians cannot get and that’s all I’ll say about that. The ATF would have a field day with that rifle:)

  5. Heathen says:

    The story is from January 2015 and the ruling was January 2,2015 by Obama’s ATF.

    This is old news. And doesn’t apply to me if I decided to drill out an 80% polymer lower in my garage with a drill press. Even under this ruling I could assemble an AR for my own use.

  6. Heathen says:

    And taking in my machinists skills…the resulting lower receiver would likely be a total POS.
    Given the price of lowers now,no way am I interested in the “Ghost Gun”.

    We’re already on several lists……..BFD.

  7. Boots says:

    How to invite a visit and possible arrest and prosecution from BATF: post a video on youtube showing your AR15 firing a triple tap.

  8. Boots says:

    Here ya go:

    Natl Guard DI convicted of illegal transfer of machine gun. 2008.

    Remember I said BATF will twist, skew, misinterpret, and fabricate in EVERY WAY possible to get an arrest and/or conviction? Then read this excerpt from the article (note: the Len Savage mentioned is a firearms mfgr in GA and really knows his stuff):

    ….the rifle was seized and sent to the Firearm Technology Branch, the testing arm of the federal agency. “The examined and test fired the rifle; then declared it to be ‘just a rifle,’” Savage said. “You would think it would all be resolved at this point, this was merely the beginning.” He said the Special Agent in Charge, Jody Keeku, asked for a re-test and specified that the tests use “soft primered commercial ammunition.”

    “FTB has no standardized testing procedures, in fact it has no written procedures at all for testing firearms,” Savage said. “They had no standard to stick to, and gleefully tried again. The results this time…’a machinegun.’ ATF with a self-admitted 50 percent error rate pursued an indictment and Mr. Olofson was charged with ‘Unlawful transfer of a machinegun.’. Not possession, not even Robert Kiernicki was charged with possession (who actually possessed the rifle), though the ATF paid Mr. Kiernicki ‘an undisclosed amount of money’ to testify against Mr. Olofson at trial,” Savage said.

    And then during the trial, the prosecution told the judge it would not provide some information defense lawyers felt would clear their client, Savage continued. That included the fact that the rifle’s manufacturer, Olympic Arms, had been issued a recall notice for that very model in 1986 over an issue of guns inadvertently slipping into full automatic mode, if certain parts were worn or if certain ammunition was used.

    Now, a few years before this AR15 arrest/trial, ATF arrested a guy whose FAL double or triple tapped. Before the trial, the defendant’s attorney hired Len Savage. The attorney made a motion to the court requesting ATF bring the FAL to a range and make the rifle shoot full auto again. The motion was granted and Savage, an ATF “expert” from Tech Branch, the defendant and his lawyer, and the prosecutor were all there.

    After I forget how many dozens, maybe up to 100 rounds, the ATF tech expert could NOT get the rifle to double tap. Finally he got a double tap. ‘There’, the smug prick said, ‘It’s a machine gun’. This is on the tape. ‘No it’s not. It’s a dangerously malfunctioning semi-automatic rifle’, Savage said.

    Then, on film, the real gun expert, FFL manufacturer Len Savage, disassembled the rifle and held the worn parts up to the camera and in minute detail explained how those worn parts were causing the double tap they’d all just witnessed. Savage replaced the worn parts with new parts and the testing continued, with the ATF “expert” never able to get another double tap.

    The judge case dismissed all charges.

Play nice.