You’re building a semiautomatic rifle or pistol at home, with no paperwork, no official government involvement, and perhaps with little to know experience. You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers.
Quick disclaimer: We’re not lawyers. Nothing you read below should be considered legal advice or legal counsel. Always consult an attorney if you have questions about firearm ownership and its legality.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s an 80% lower?
An 80% lower is a piece of aluminum alloy or polymer that is not quite yet considered a stripped AR-15 lower receiver or any other type of firearm under federal law. The stripped lower receiver of an AR-15 is considered the firearm. An 80% lower (as the name implies) is a stripped lower that is only 80% machined – you’ll be the one to machine the other 20% in order to make that hunk of metal a by-definition firearm. The same applies to any 80% frame. This guide covers 80% lowers in greater detail.
Is an 80% lower or 80% frame legally considered a firearm?
Under federal law, no. By no legal definition of any federal law is an 80% lower or 80% frame considered a firearm. This is because neither is incapable of functioning as a firearm. In the eyes of the law, either product is considered a hunk of metal alloy (or polymer) until you finish the machining process completely. This guide covers state and federal laws that you might want to research further, too.
Is finishing an 80% lower or 80% frame legal?
Yes. In fact, it is as long as you’re not a convicted felon or are otherwise restricted from owning a firearm for any other reason. Some states (like California) require your home-built firearm to have a serial number before you complete it. Be sure to read your local laws or consult an attorney regarding requirements of firearm ownership before you’ve machine your 80% lower, pistol or 1911 frame.
Can you ship to all 50 states?
No. Currently, we cannot ship our products to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Washington state, Washington D.C., or Rhode Island. Our Shipping and Returns Policy covers additional restrictions.
Do I need an FFL to buy/own/build my 80% lower or frame?
No. Because these units are not considered firearms, they do not need to transferred through an FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee).
Do I need a background check before buying an 80% lower or frame?
No. Some states require you to submit to a background check before fabricating your lower or frame.
What about after I machine my 80% lower or 1911 frame into a firearm?
You don’t need ATF paperwork or a background check after you’ve machined and completed your 80% lower or frame, as long as it’s for personal use and you’re not trying to sell it. Under ATF rules, no individual manufacturing a sporting-type firearm for personal use is required to have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Because of this, no FFL transfer or background check is required.
How easy is machining an 80% lower or frame?
Very easy. You need little to no mechanical or technical knowledge.
I need help with putting together my AR build.
We recommend starting with the Beginner's Guide on How to Build an AR-15. It covers additional questions you may have, and it provides a walkthrough for the parts you need to complete your first rifle or pistol.
I need help with my order, and I have more questions.
Please contact us via our Contact Form, or via phone or email by clicking here. We work hard to assist every customer and answer every question you might have, including assistance with picking parts or kits. We're available Monday to Friday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM EST, and we may have customer service chat available on some evenings and weekends.