Step One: Check!!
It's always exciting to get a new rifle. It's even more fun to build it and see a vision in your head come together. I decided for my next rifle I wanted to go the SBR route (short barreled rifle). For those that don't know, having a rifle with a barrel length shorter than 16 inches requires special ATF approval. It's a fairly tedious process, but one that can be done easily with some foresight and persistence. To be done right, there is a certain order you should do things. A certain ATF form called Form 4 must be filled out and signed off on by your local chief law enforcement officer (a sheriff or chief of police in your jurisdiction). It's helpful to talk to some other shooters in your area to find out beforehand if your CLEO is gun-friendly or not (some will NOT sign ATF forms). If you are unfortunate enough to live in an area where your CLEO will not sign forms, there is still hope. You can form a legal Trust (do it with a lawyer familiar with such things) which will then allow you to fill out the forms without the signature. Form 4 must be accompanied by the required $200 fee.
Before you send in your forms, however, it's smart to go ahead and get your lower receiver engraved. Basically, the "maker" of the firearm (YOU) needs to put your name or initials and your hometown on the receiver, and this information needs to be listed on Form 4 when you send it in. But if you are registering a lower receiver, you want to make sure it is a working receiver that is in spec. You're going to be married to this lower for life essentially. So it's smart to make sure it functions correctly before you register.
When you're paperwork is approved, you've paid your stamp tax, and your receiver is engraved, you can then attach your SBR upper to your lower.
I'm going to be documenting the process on the blog as I go through it. As you can see above, I've taken delivery on the first piece of the rifle build, a complete lower receiver. I'm doing this in a little bit of an unorthodox manner. This new receiver will become my standard shooting rifle lower. The lower I have previously been using on my standard shooting rifle will get sent for engraving. I know that lower functions flawlessly and I'm confident in it's performance. When it returns to me engraved, then I'll function check it again and then send my paperwork off. And then the wait begins................
For more information on how to get SBR approval, read HERE.
See you next time.