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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would it do to the accuracy of a rifle to cut the barrel off about 1/2?
Ruger M77 .220 Swift Tang semi varmint.
Shoots like a dream now.
No, I really do not know.
Could it be made into something like the XP or Striker?
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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First of all, the BATF would be very interested in your project and finished item. :eek:

Secondly, why ruin a good shooting rifle as is?? :confused:
 

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You'll need a $200 tax stamp BEFORE you cut the barrel. By the time you get the stamp, pay a gunsmith, and do all the footwork you are far better off buying an XP100 or Stryker or T/C.
 

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Actually you can legally do it. I have an Enfield 303 rifle that I converted to a hunting-style handgun. It has a shortened and recrowned 12" barrel and has been reworked so it can't accept a buttstock. It now wears a Pachmeyer shotgun grip. The ATF states that you can privately build a (Legal) firearm if it's soley for the builders use. It can never be sold, traded, or given to another person and must be destroyed if no longer wanted or needed. They don't specify serial numbers, but think it would be a good idea anyway. Mine is drilled and tapped and now wears a scope, but I haven't gotten to handload any good efficient loads yet. I think the ATF's major problem with guns with really short barrels is when they have buttstocks attached. HD1
 

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HUNTDADDY1 I believe you are mistaken about the conversion, if you will google "converting a rifle into a handgun" several sites come up with BATFE rulings stating this alteration is illeagal and subject to a 10 year and $10,000 fine without PRIOR approval from the BATFE and a $200 tax.
 

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All of the research I've done on this topic strongly suggests that it is ALWAYS illegal (ie, requires a tax stamp) to convert a rifle into a pistol. Specifically, if you buy an Encore rifle and then put a pistol barrel on it, you are technically breaking the law. In a worst-case scenario, the BATFE Nazis will look at the serial number on the frame to determine how the action was sold and if it started life as a rifle, you can be prosecuted for making it into a pistol. In all practicality, this law has not been tested on the Encore, although there is a Federal court ruling on the Contender that is very clear. Some guys insist on buying JUST the Encore frame, or buying it configured as a pistol, then putting a rifle barrel on it. The key being that it started out as a pistol or just a frame. I don't think that is necessary, but it's my neck, if I'm wrong.

Long story, short? Don't cut up your bolt-action rifle: Save yourself the time and concern, while spending the same money to buy a pistol. (I'm imagining a 4-foot long belch of flame out of a 220 Swift pistol! :eek: )
 

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If you are planning to do something like this, the first and most important part of the process is to avoid committing a federal felony violation. You will need clear and unambiguous written permission from the BATF to shorten the firearm below legal limits.

This permission will be in the form of a document and tax stamp from BATF allowing you to SBR the rifle and make any other modifications you have clearly described.

Just sell the rifle if you are unhappy with it and buy a Striker if that's what you want.
 

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All of the research I've done on this topic strongly suggests that it is ALWAYS illegal (ie, requires a tax stamp) to convert a rifle into a pistol. Specifically, if you buy an Encore rifle and then put a pistol barrel on it, you are technically breaking the law. In a worst-case scenario, the BATFE Nazis will look at the serial number on the frame to determine how the action was sold and if it started life as a rifle, you can be prosecuted for making it into a pistol. In all practicality, this law has not been tested on the Encore, although there is a Federal court ruling on the Contender that is very clear. Some guys insist on buying JUST the Encore frame, or buying it configured as a pistol, then putting a rifle barrel on it. The key being that it started out as a pistol or just a frame. I don't think that is necessary, but it's my neck, if I'm wrong.

Long story, short? Don't cut up your bolt-action rifle: Save yourself the time and concern, while spending the same money to buy a pistol. (I'm imagining a 4-foot long belch of flame out of a 220 Swift pistol! :eek: )
T/C got in a big legal fight with the Clinton regime and won their particular court case. ATF tried to go after them because of the ability to put a pistol barrel on a rifle frame, but T/C won the case. I forget the details but, I don't believe ATF would allow a cut down rifle in any fashion. They would consider it in the same class as a sawed off shotgun.
 

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Do they make a .220 Swift in any pistols mentioned?
Not that I'm aware of. If you want a 22 caliber pistol, why not the 223? The 22-250 and Swift would have such a muzzle flash and recoil that you'd be cooking the critter before the bullet gets there.:D
 

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The .220 Swift is a really fine rifle cartridge. It would be a miserably lousy pistol cartridge in my opinion. You would be burning way too much slow burning powder for a short barrel. A .223 pistol would probably work as well in the field and would be much more efficient. And .223 pistols are not hard to find.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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In the Tompson/Center Contender case, T/C agreed that if a frame was shipped with a handgun barrel, it could later be adapted to a carbine with a longer barrel. If shipped as a carbine, it would have notice placed in the box that it would be illegal to attach any barrel shorter than 16".

By federal law, a factory manufactured handgun may have any length barrel you desire. A rifle must have at least a 16" barrel.
 

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30-30remchester- If I can find my letter from the ATF I'll post it. I went through all of this with an ATF agent and was given the OK !!! Let me look through my stash !!! HD1
 

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Yeah, what KDub said. I have a copy of the court ruling that specifically states a T/C sold as a rifle must not have a pistol barrel installed, or it can be prosecuted as a felony. (Please note that this has never been pursued, legally, by the BATF.) The way to be safe in this matter is very simple: Don't EVER have a buttstock attached to a TC frame while a pistol barrel is installed.

Historically, these laws stem from the prohibition era when gangsters were taking very powerful repeating rifles, like the BAR, and cutting the barrel very short so they could be concealed. I don't see the BATF ever going after someone shooting a single-shot, break-action gun with a buttstock attached and barrel shorter than 16", but it's just easier to comply with the letter of the law and keep the barrels and stock/grip matched up properly.

Huntdaddy1, I would guess that you rec'd an exemption because you were converting an old military rifle, so the laws didn't apply.
 

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It is amazing to me that the courts ruled that way. Seems a clear violation of the 2nd amendment. What possible reason is there to prohibit me or anyone else from making such a conversion. Both handgun and rifle are legal, but changing one into the other is not??? Is there any logical reason for this or is it typical liberal BS? This thread has really given me a case of the screaming R.A.
 

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As stated above, this stems from the Prohibition mobsters cutting down high-powered, semi-auto rifles so they could be concealed. I wouldn't get too worked up over it.
 

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Well...here is my call on this.....

1. If you want a pistol in a rifle caliber, buy one that is made that way. There are several available.

2. If you just want to shorten the rifle then there are some rules driven by federal gun laws. For a rifle the barrel may not be shorter than 16 inches but you also must observe an overall length requirement.
 

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HUNTDADDY I hope you find the letter it should be very imformative. After reading your post I researched the BATFE rules and regs for 2 hours and can find no exemption for any reason. Once a rifle or shotgun, it can never be converted to a handgun without a $200 tax and pre approval from the feds. The Contender contraversy was a landmark case that Thompson thought they won and the BATFE thought they won. As I understand it Thompson must describe on their boxes whether it is to be used as a handgun or rifle and they warn people against installing a pistol barrel on a reciever that was sold as a rifle reciever. As to the reason the feds instatuded this laws was stated above. In the 30's with gangster, all handguns were the same, not very powerful. However with the powerful cutdown rifles and their easy concealability the police were at a deadly disadvantage.
 

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30-30Remchester - I too hope I can find my letter !!! It looks as if I'll need to frame it and hang it over the fireplace !!!!!! I looked at the ATF site and see that the "wording" has changed quite a bit from when I originally began this project several years ago. This "project gun" may have been a project too far. If I can't find my letter, this one may have to just disappear. In the future, don't listen to anything I post on this forum.....I may just be full of CRAP!!!!!!! HD1
 

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30-30Remchester - I too hope I can find my letter !!! It looks as if I'll need to frame it and hang it over the fireplace !!!!!! I looked at the ATF site and see that the "wording" has changed quite a bit from when I originally began this project several years ago. This "project gun" may have been a project too far. If I can't find my letter, this one may have to just disappear. In the future, don't listen to anything I post on this forum.....I may just be full of CRAP!!!!!!! HD1
I myself am getting at an age where I can recall something clearly, whether it really happened or not. One possible misconseption is the word "build" while you might be able to "build" a gun, it may not mean you can "convert" an existing gun. Just a SWAG (scientific wild assed guess). Anyhow a quick trip to the garage, put the reciever into a padder bench vice, then unscrew the barrel, hammer it flat enough to slip it under a sleeping snakes belly without waking him, then throw the barrel into the deepest lake you can find, burn the stock in the fireplace and you SHOULD be back to legal. Then get a surplus legal barrel and stock and you will be back in compliance. However if you can find that letter this might not be nessasary. Keep us imformed.
 
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