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A brief internet search yields minimal information as to the legality of M14 receiver halves welded together from a company called “SMT&D Co” or southern machine tool & die.
Without some supporting paperwork (legitimate) it appears this auction could be a risk financially / legally to a winning bidder.
Through the years I’ve somewhat kept up speed (my opinion) on what’s what regarding welded GI receivers and I don’t remember any discussions involving SMT&D Co.
 

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Looking at it, I'm not sure how you keep the slide from popping out. They didn't weld up the cut in the slide rail for the trip bar and you can't attach the bar to keep the slide held in without the auto sear.
 

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Looking at it, I'm not sure how you keep the slide from popping out. They didn't weld up the cut in the slide rail for the trip bar and you can't attach the bar to keep the slide held in without the auto sear.
The oprod has been known to cycle normally with the connector rod removed. The empty slot is only an issue when pulling the oprod rearward manually. You need to pull it straight back.
 

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I could be wrong but, I thought that if one of these type receivers was left with either, the selector mounting lug OR the center dismount notch, then it's a no-go as far as being legal to own as a normal rifle.

AS I said, I could be mistaken but, that's what I seem to remember about these things.
 

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I could be wrong but, I thought that if one of these type receivers was left with either, the selector mounting lug OR the center dismount notch, then it's a no-go as far as being legal to own as a normal rifle.

AS I said, I could be mistaken but, that's what I seem to remember about these things.
You are correct!

REN
 

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Looking at it it has the section that is not approved for reweld.

The auction can continue, and as soon as receiver changes hands and how that is accomplished will determine how many people will get a special early morning visit. There is no way that center section is legal without paper.

Alphabet suits will let the steel change hands as they watch who gets involved.
 

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What if the buyer is a Class 3 FFL holder and keeps the rifle in the company name?
I don't think that would make a difference Kurt. Without ATF approval, it was not legally made.
I'll re-write what I wrote a few times before regarding my (personal experience) request to ATF years ago when wanting to by a single band saw cut, matching front/rear M14 receiver from an add in shotgun news. Not that it matters but at the time I had a federal collector of curios and relics license.
1989 I wrote a local ATF office including a picture of the set I wanted to buy and asked if I could cut the 3rd leg and weld it together to make a semi.
If the answer to Q1 was no, I asked if I could cut the 3rd leg, weld together and weld a bolt in to make a dummy gun. Took like 6-7 months before I got an answer.
NO I could not make a semi, it would be a federal violation of the law and considered contraband.
NO I could not weld the 2 halves together, weld a bolt in and make a dummy because it was not properly demilled per ATF specs. It would be considered contraband.
They sent me a mimeograph copy of what was considered "properly demilled". The picture showed 2 TORCH cuts on a diagonal resulting in 5 separate pieces. It also stated that each cut was required to displace 3/8th in of material.
I know I saved that reply letter, but I just can't find it.
They were dead set, hardnosed "once a machine gun, always a machinegun."

Now, that said, several of the Hahns I have seen have a single torch cut, but they passed the mustard somehow. The ugliest one was one he did that belonged to his own brother, now owned by one of our members and built into a nice vintage sniper. Pretty rough and ugly welds.
The weld on the one in this auction is quite good and leaves me to believe it was band saw cut. But without an ATF letter, I'm out for sure. Me and my friends used to refer to these non Hahn, non Pearl receivers as "10/10" ...........10 years and $10,000 fine.

Oh,, BTW, the heel of that receiver from 1989 is now a BULA/JRA/TRW receiver and built into my XM21.;)
Air gun Trigger Machine gun Gun barrel Shotgun
 

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If the rifle is still considered a Harrington Richardson M14 machine gun, why would it matter if the receiver had been cut and "repaired?" It is still the same Class 3 rifle and would be in the possession of a Class 3 firearms business. I knew several Class 3 dealers back in the day that would buy NFA firearms at will and simply keep them listed in the company name.

Just throwing out some possibilities.
 

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If the rifle is still considered a Harrington Richardson M14 machine gun, why would it matter if the receiver had been cut and "repaired?" It is still the same Class 3 rifle and would be in the possession of a Class 3 firearms business. I knew several Class 3 dealers back in the day that would buy NFA firearms at will and simply keep them listed in the company name.

Just throwing out some possibilities.
Excellent point, but then begs the question, if still a H&R M14 machinegun, "cut/repaired" wouldn't it still need to be registered and transferred as an NFA?
 

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First, I am not making any recommendation on this particular gun. I am somewhat familiar with the seller, being a vendor I have seen at Knob Creek many times and done business with in the past. He's a very decent fellow, whatever one thinks of this particular firearm. The only potential problem I see is the dismount notch, and no matter what ATF has said that is still an open question, given its presence does nothing to impact the function of the firearm. I understand that's how ATF views it, yet by what statutory authority?

I am sure I'll get flamed for this, but virtually all these ATF issues being discussed here are made up fantasies by the agency. Not that this fact will save you if they come a knockin', but there is no statute that describes just how de mil'd a receiver de mil has to be. It's all made up stuff, enforceable only because judges mostly are too ignorant or partisan to follow the law. Given the W.V. vs EPA decision, ATF is subject to having a lot of their arbitrary "rules" tossed. Again, not suggesting anyone here should volunteer to test that theory in court, with your net worth and your freedom on the line.

But I really am tired of the "once a machine gun, always a machine gun" trope getting brought up again. It's not true, even though ATF still says that. They are lying when they do. There is D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals precedent, going back 30+ years, where ATF was strongly admonished that they have no statutory authority to enforce that nonsense. In fact, the Judges pointed out that ATF utterly failed to produce a shred of legal authority to make that claim. It's not the law, period. They just expect you won't know that.

Here are the highlights, the critical passages from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, and I underlined a few parts:

First, the Bureau offered no reasoning supporting its once-a-machinegun-always-a-machinegun reading of the National Firearms Act. Id. at 451. Second, although the Bureau asserted in court that its rejection of the application rested on its determination that the twice reconfigured semiautomatic receiver was "potentially restorable" to being a machinegun receiver, the Bureau made no findings of fact to support that claim. Id. Third, the Bureau's position conflicted with its own enforcement manual, which allowed exclusion of a weapon from Firearms Act coverage through removal of the feature that led to its classification as a firearm under the Act. Id. at 451-52. Finally, the Bureau's reading of the Firearms Act led to the "incredible" conclusion that every semiautomatic receiver manufactured after May 19, 1986, must be considered readily restorable to being a machinegun receiver and thus a prohibited machinegun under the Gun Control Act. Id. at 452.

In support of its argument that its distinction between new and remodified semiautomatic receivers, although rejected by the merits panel, was nevertheless reasonable, the agency points out that the Firearms Act treats machineguns differently from other firearms. The agency is certainly correct that, unlike in the case of other weapons, the Firearms Act includes machinegun receivers and machinegun conversion kits as machineguns in their own right. 26 U.S.C. section 5845(b) (1994). The agency offers no convincing explanation, however, why this difference should lead to different procedures for removing machineguns as opposed to all other weapons from Firearms Act coverage. According to the agency, for weapons other than machineguns, removal of the features that led to the weapon's classification as a firearm suffices to remove the weapon from the Act's coverage. Firearms Enforcement Program, ATF Order 3310.4B Para(s) 83(e)(2). For machinegun receivers, however, removal of the features causing their classification as machineguns does not remove them from Firearms Act coverage, and thus the Gun Control Act's prohibition. Under the agency's once-a-machinegun- always-a-machinegun policy, only complete destruction can remove machinegun receivers from the Firearms Act's coverage. We can find nothing in the text of the Firearms Act to support this difference in treatment.

Defending its once-a-machinegun-always-a-machinegun policy, the Bureau also argues that Congress expected it to interpret the definition of machineguns as broadly as possible. The Senate report on the 1968 amendment to the Gun Control Act that broadened the definition of machineguns to include receivers and conversion kits, however, does not support the Bureau's argument. The report simply shows that Congress intended to treat machinegun receivers and conversion kits as machineguns in their own right and that the same standards for ready restorability and serviceableness would apply to machinegun receivers and to complete machineguns. See S. Rep. No. 90-1501 at 45-46 (1968). Indeed, we think the Bureau's broad definition of machineguns may actually be inconsistent with Congressional intent. When Congress broadened the definition of machineguns in 1968, as well as when it enacted the prohibition on machinegun possession or transfer in 1986, it left the Firearms Act's definition of semiautomatic rifles unchanged, choosing not to restrict the possession or transfer of any semiautomatics.

The Firearms Act's provision covering unserviceable firearms applies to all firearms; it does not distinguish between machineguns and other weapons, nor between complete weapons and receivers. 26 U.S.C. section 5845(h). The Bureau's insistence that machineguns, unlike all other firearms, must be destroyed in order to be removed from the Act's coverage thus cannot rest on the Act's coverage of unserviceable firearms.

Having examined the Bureau's arguments from text, structure, legislative history, and underlying policy, we find no reasonable basis for its once-a-machinegun-always-a-machinegun interpretation of the Firearms Act.


There is plenty more, but these paragraphs sum up the facts as seen by the court considered second only to SCOTUS itself. Y'all can decide for yourselves how any of this might apply to the various scenarios with M14 receivers. But to me it's pretty clear ATF is statutorily neutered on this. As the court clearly states, there is no lawful requirement as to how a machine gun receiver must be "destroyed" in order to be removed from regulation, and any converted semi auto receiver that is functionally identical to a purpose-built semi auto receiver cannot legally be distinguished from same. Above is the highest existing court interpretation of the matters, and nothing ATF says can countermand that, as the statutes exist today.
 

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First, I am not making any recommendation on this particular gun. I am somewhat familiar with the seller, being a vendor I have seen at Knob Creek many times and done business with in the past. He's a very decent fellow, whatever one thinks of this particular firearm. The only potential problem I see is the dismount notch, and no matter what ATF has said that is still an open question, given its presence does nothing to impact the function of the firearm. I understand that's how ATF views it, yet by what statutory authority?

I am sure I'll get flamed for this, but virtually all these ATF issues being discussed here are made up fantasies by the agency. Not that this fact will save you if they come a knockin', but there is no statute that describes just how de mil'd a receiver de mil has to be. It's all made up stuff, enforceable only because judges mostly are too ignorant or partisan to follow the law. Given the W.V. vs EPA decision, ATF is subject to having a lot of their arbitrary "rules" tossed. Again, not suggesting anyone here should volunteer to test that theory in court, with your net worth and your freedom on the line.

But I really am tired of the "once a machine gun, always a machine gun" trope getting brought up again. It's not true, even though ATF still says that. They are lying when they do. There is D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals precedent, going back 30+ years, where ATF was strongly admonished that they have no statutory authority to enforce that nonsense. In fact, the Judges pointed out that ATF utterly failed to produce a shred of legal authority to make that claim. It's not the law, period. They just expect you won't know that.

Here are the highlights, the critical passages from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, and I underlined a few parts:

First, the Bureau offered no reasoning supporting its once-a-machinegun-always-a-machinegun reading of the National Firearms Act. Id. at 451. Second, although the Bureau asserted in court that its rejection of the application rested on its determination that the twice reconfigured semiautomatic receiver was "potentially restorable" to being a machinegun receiver, the Bureau made no findings of fact to support that claim. Id. Third, the Bureau's position conflicted with its own enforcement manual, which allowed exclusion of a weapon from Firearms Act coverage through removal of the feature that led to its classification as a firearm under the Act. Id. at 451-52. Finally, the Bureau's reading of the Firearms Act led to the "incredible" conclusion that every semiautomatic receiver manufactured after May 19, 1986, must be considered readily restorable to being a machinegun receiver and thus a prohibited machinegun under the Gun Control Act. Id. at 452.

In support of its argument that its distinction between new and remodified semiautomatic receivers, although rejected by the merits panel, was nevertheless reasonable, the agency points out that the Firearms Act treats machineguns differently from other firearms. The agency is certainly correct that, unlike in the case of other weapons, the Firearms Act includes machinegun receivers and machinegun conversion kits as machineguns in their own right. 26 U.S.C. section 5845(b) (1994). The agency offers no convincing explanation, however, why this difference should lead to different procedures for removing machineguns as opposed to all other weapons from Firearms Act coverage. According to the agency, for weapons other than machineguns, removal of the features that led to the weapon's classification as a firearm suffices to remove the weapon from the Act's coverage. Firearms Enforcement Program, ATF Order 3310.4B Para(s) 83(e)(2). For machinegun receivers, however, removal of the features causing their classification as machineguns does not remove them from Firearms Act coverage, and thus the Gun Control Act's prohibition. Under the agency's once-a-machinegun- always-a-machinegun policy, only complete destruction can remove machinegun receivers from the Firearms Act's coverage. We can find nothing in the text of the Firearms Act to support this difference in treatment.

Defending its once-a-machinegun-always-a-machinegun policy, the Bureau also argues that Congress expected it to interpret the definition of machineguns as broadly as possible. The Senate report on the 1968 amendment to the Gun Control Act that broadened the definition of machineguns to include receivers and conversion kits, however, does not support the Bureau's argument. The report simply shows that Congress intended to treat machinegun receivers and conversion kits as machineguns in their own right and that the same standards for ready restorability and serviceableness would apply to machinegun receivers and to complete machineguns. See S. Rep. No. 90-1501 at 45-46 (1968). Indeed, we think the Bureau's broad definition of machineguns may actually be inconsistent with Congressional intent. When Congress broadened the definition of machineguns in 1968, as well as when it enacted the prohibition on machinegun possession or transfer in 1986, it left the Firearms Act's definition of semiautomatic rifles unchanged, choosing not to restrict the possession or transfer of any semiautomatics.

The Firearms Act's provision covering unserviceable firearms applies to all firearms; it does not distinguish between machineguns and other weapons, nor between complete weapons and receivers. 26 U.S.C. section 5845(h). The Bureau's insistence that machineguns, unlike all other firearms, must be destroyed in order to be removed from the Act's coverage thus cannot rest on the Act's coverage of unserviceable firearms.

Having examined the Bureau's arguments from text, structure, legislative history, and underlying policy, we find no reasonable basis for its once-a-machinegun-always-a-machinegun interpretation of the Firearms Act.


There is plenty more, but these paragraphs sum up the facts as seen by the court considered second only to SCOTUS itself. Y'all can decide for yourselves how any of this might apply to the various scenarios with M14 receivers. But to me it's pretty clear ATF is statutorily neutered on this. As the court clearly states, there is no lawful requirement as to how a machine gun receiver must be "destroyed" in order to be removed from regulation, and any converted semi auto receiver that is functionally identical to a purpose-built semi auto receiver cannot legally be distinguished from same. Above is the highest existing court interpretation of the matters, and nothing ATF says can countermand that, as the statutes exist today.
All well and good, and probably correct. I for one would not want to be the guy spending my life savings defending myself in court being the legal guinea pig. And you may not win.
 

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Thanks for posting this again Lucky. The issue is " if they come a knockin' " how much will it cost a person to take them to court to fight it all. Money? Freedom??
I just wanted to post my personal experience with AFT and what I wanted to do with a M14 demilled receiver..;)

Any idea what excuse ATF used to rescind the permission given to Hahn and Pearl?
 

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WaM14gunner and m1sniper, I agree with you. This is not a situation for the weak of heart or those without a few million in the bank who can sacrifice a big chunk of it. No one wants to volunteer for the guinea pig position. It is worth being aware of this case because one never knows what situation any of us, or someone we know, may find themselves in by chance. Knowledge is power.

I don't know the details of the Hahn and Pearl situations. And then of course there is the MKS mess. When those happened in relation to the case above (Vollmer v. Magaw) might matter, and if they knew of this case in order to use it as precedent. And we all know that ATF has a long history of being consistently inconsistent. One amusing thing the Circuit Court noted was that the agency was arguing things that were in contradiction while their formal procedures manual. Never underestimate their willingness to make false claims in order to achieve a goal. They have a well documented history of training agents to lie about the NFA registry in terms of its accuracy and reliability, for example.
 

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For anyone with interest, here is the judgement against MKS M14 receivers.

Take note of the wording about being readily restorable to fire full automatic,, this GB auction rifle appears to only need a 3rd lug welded to it and the selector parts installed.
I read that fairly thoroughly. Might have missed a bit here and there. First thing I would note is that Kelly apparently had no knowledge of Vollmer v. Magaw, which might have helped considerably. The ATF and the District Court here certainly relied on other Circuit Court precedents.

What I am not clear on is the exact configuration of the MKS receivers. Claimants state "no functional selector stud." FTB claims a selector stud is present, with as far as I can tell some welding to render it inert. It seems the argument is that it was both "designed to shoot" and "readily restorable" because the stud was sufficiently present at least to make it functional, even though parts had to be obtained to complete the conversion. So if I have that right- and I'd love to read the report and deposition on that for clarification- the mistake MKS made was in not cutting that damned selector stud completely off. Does that sound right?

Introduction of Vollmer might have ended any issue with the halved M14 receivers, given the case clearly eliminates any specific standard for "destruction." If it won't function as two separate halves, that's pretty well destroyed by any measure authorized by statute. Also, the Vollmer case takes great issue with the readily restorable interpretation. Think about it. By the example ATF created, would it be any harder to take an SAI or other "M1A" receiver, fabricate a stud, do a little welding and cutting and convert to full auto? In MKS it claims a full 8 hour day still constitutes "readily restorable" by a precedent cited. Vollmer disagrees with that. I am no attorney, and I didn't even sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. But I think this case was winnable, at least on appeal. Would have been mighty costly though and, as we have agreed above, that's a high wall to vault over.

If anyone has an opinion based on reading both rulings, (I can find the full Vollmer v. Magaw at a link if needed) then I'd like to see it. I suppose I should note that I personally know now-former ATF employee Richard Vasquez. Didn't know he was involved in the MKS case. He was Assistant Chief of the Firearms Technology Branch later in his career. Some of you may have seen him on youtube as the former agent arguing AGAINST the Bump Stock ban, as he also was involved in the approval of Slide Fire etc. He maintains he got it right the first time. He works as a consultant for the firearms industry and is really on our side from all I know. Easy guy to talk to. Might have to ask him about the MKS case next time I see him.
 

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Agree that some of the MKS info is not as clear as it could be. But when reading closely it certainly appears the agent "readily restored to fire full auto" a couple or more receivers as there are more than 1 serial numbers written about.
Based on tools mentioned used to restore, to me it:
1) Alludes to receivers that had the lug but the hole in the lug was welded closed. (Dremel tool and jewelers files) The co I mentioned (1989) where I got mine out of Canada sold them single band saw, lug hole was welded closed.
2) Alludes to receivers that had NO lug and a lug was either fabricated or possibly a lug cut from another demilled receiver and was welded on. (The need for a welder).

I am in possession of copies of some communication between Hahn and ATF from back in the day. ATF was very specific on what they wanted Hahn to do before they would approve. I do not have permission to post, but if the member who sent it to me chimes in, he may post.
I can tell you that the 1st step was to remove the 3rd lug BEFORE any welding was done. When welding together was complete, the connector notch was to be welded closed.
Hahn's Name and city/state had to be permanently marked on the receiver as the manufacturer.
Soooo, without deep pockets to fight a potential legal battle, I won't go after any welded M14 receiver with the exception of a Hahn with all the correct procedures followed. Heck, I've seen no less than 3 "supposed" Hahns come up for sale where the Hahn name and addy was electro-penciled below the wood line. I won't touch them.
2 Pics below show the marking of "good Hahns". Lugs removed, notch filled in. One of these receivers was purchased with another one (by a member) directly from Hahn back in the 90s, and IIRC came with the "approval letter".
Wood Composite material Air gun Gun accessory Metal
Grey Line Gas Auto part Rim
 
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