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Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Is this even possible?

Suffering a bit from "Heller fatigue," I'm going to skip gun rights politics today, and ask for some help from someone less mechanically clueless than I am--that should be about all of you.

I've talked before (here and here) about my only slightly sane (at best) hankerin' for an AR pistol chambered for the .50 Beowulf (a pistol, rather than a rifle, because being paraplegic, rifles are too cumbersome for me--an SBR might work, except that my other handicap is the fact that I live in Illinois, so even if I were willing to jump through the federal hoops, I couldn't have one). Unfortunately, the only company (to my knowledge) that ever made pistol length AR upper receivers in .50 Beowulf was Bohica Tool, which is apparently out of business (the second post linked to above has a picture of an AR pistol built with one of Bohica's .50 Beowulf uppers).

Anyway, it's still something I'd like to do, and I'm hoping someone could tell me if it would be possible to have someone take a .50 Beowulf Alexander Arms upper receiver like this one, lop something like 6" off the barrel (and shorten the gas tube to the correct length), and put that on an AR pistol lower receiver. I know that work would be well beyond my abilities, but is there someone out there who is both knowledgeable enough to be able to do something like that, and crazy enough to be willing to?

Any help would be appreciated.

By the way, assuming I can get something like this done, could handguards like these be used on it?


Anonymous said...

Hey, 45-S.

Yep, it's possible. I mean, almost anything is possible with an AR. I don't think there's any such thing as a "pistol" lower receiver. You just have to put one of those extension tubes on that doesn't mate with a buttstock (I might not be describing that exactly right.) Bobbing the barrel and recrowning is something that any competent gunsmith should be able to do, but just be sure about whether that means you need to change the length of the gas system, and be sure you go short enough to be legal for a pistol configuration. Hmmm, if it does mean you need a shorter gas system, then might be some other issues, if there aren't any pistol-legal .50 Beowulf barrels around.

You might consider, if you aren't a member already, creating an account at ar15.com and asking there. Sometimes the S/N ratio can get pretty bad, and sometimes people give advice without really knowing what's what, but in that case, the other knowledgable folks will jump in with corrections -- usually.

I suspect those shorty handguards can be used. It's just a question of how much gas tube is exposed, which goes back to having a shorter gas system.

Ditto on Heller Fatigue. I have the start of post on the ruling itself, that I'm surely not going to finish today, and I said I was going to.

Hopefully, someone who knows morea about it than I will give you more/better advice.

And I think a .50 Beowulf pistol is a cool idea.

Anonymous said...

I just checked ARFCOM (ar15.com) and found 1 post on the .50 Beo in the AR 15 pistol forum. It wasn't a pistol, but it has a 12" barrel, so somebody has come close to what you're describing.

Also, ARFCOM would be good resource to find someone to do the work. The cool thing is that since it's only the complete upper that'd need smithing, you can ship it yourself.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

I appreciate the help, Jed--I'll look into that.

And I think a .50 Beowulf pistol is a cool idea.

As crazy as I am, eh?

Anonymous said...

It's possible the I'm as crazy as you, perhaps crazier. I thought the .45-70 revolver was neat.

Anyways, glad you found a couple of solutions. BTW, I might have been wrong on the "legal pistol length barrel" thing. After googling a bit, I was unable to find a max length restriction on a pistol barrel.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Thanks again, Jed.

By the way--about this:

I don't think there's any such thing as a "pistol" lower receiver.

Actually, there is--although it's really just a legal/paperwork issue, rather than any material distinction in the hardware (which illustrates the foolishness of the distinction). Anyway, if you put a short (less than 16") barrel on a standard AR-15 receiver, you've made an SBR, with all the attendant federal hoops to jump through, and the $200 fee.

If, on the other hand, it comes from the manufacturer marked "pistol," you can put as short a barrel on it as you want--just don't put a shoulder stock on it.

Ridiculous, yes--but that's how our federal firearms laws are written (and how the BATFE chooses to interpret and enforce them).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's what I meant. Also, I believe that it doesn't even have to be marked, simply "registered" (I assume that means something on the 4473?) as a pistol receiver. But I could be wrong about that too.

Or, maybe that's how it was, back when somebody first started building 'em that way, and then ATF stepped in and said you couldn't do that, because then you could make an SBR out of it. Except that the same is true of the Thompson Contender. Ever hear of anyone prosecuted for owning a Thompson Contender buttstock along with their collection of barrels?