Monday, November 10, 2008

Carnaby's New Assault Weapon

As posted earlier, I sold my AR-15 in 6.8spc to fund the purchase of a new SAKO 85 Hunter in .300 WSM. To celebrate the election of our new president, I bought a new lower receiver as the basis for a new AR-15 build. It's a Mega Gator, which is the same lower I used in my last build:mega-lower
Notice the sub 3/4" three-shot group I got on Saturday with my new SAKO. That's my best 100 yard group ever. Nice rifle.

I also have a new barrel from Cardinal Armory (formerly Ko-Tonics) which is unfortunately going out of business due to a snafu with barrel chroming. I got one of their last 18" barrels and I count myself lucky.

So just remember folks: If you want an EBR but can't afford the $400-$1200+ price tag, you can always just run out and plunk down $150 on a lower receiver. Then when they inevitably "grandfather" existing EBR's, you're good to go and will be able to build a "pre-ban" when you can afford the rest of the components.

Here's a question: Will 1994-2004 "post-ban" rifles become 2009-2019 "pre-ban" rifles*, or will the new law, if such should pass, stipulate that any rifle created under the old ban is subject to the rules of the new ban? If not, then you can take your 1994-2004 "post-ban" rifle and turn it into a "pre-ban" by adding all sorts of interesting, albeit not particularly lethal features, such as that bayonet lug you've always wanted. :P

*The truth is that when the "ban" expired all EBR's became "pre-ban" rifles. And I use "ban" in scare-quotes because we all know that it didn't ban anything that would change the lethality of the rifle, but only cosmetic features that make the rifles look evil. Case in point: no blood in the streets since the "ban" expired. And yet they want to re-up the old ban. Why?


Anonymous Robb Allen said...

What the hell happened with Cardinal???? I have a 6.8 upper from them that I cling to regularly.

11/10/2008 11:11 AM  
Blogger carnaby said...

It's a sucky situation for sure. Tim had some barrels chrome lined by a supposedly reputable company. The barrels were the new 4-groove 1-11 twist design that could handle the SSA "combat loads" to get really great muzzle velocities. Unfortunately, Tim paid for the barrel-chroming up-front assuming the company would stand by their work, and then the barrels came back with the chrome slightly too thick on some of the barrels. The chrome company did not stand by their work and Tim was out all that cash. He never did have a large operating budget, never made much of a profit as he was still growing the business, and he had a couple customers raise holly hell about the whole thing. I guess the whole mess, plus the fact that the business had eaten up all his savings, really got to him and he decided he had no recourse but to fold.

It's a terrible loss for 6.8 enthusiasts, that's for sure. Tim's always been a pleasure for me to deal with, and has bent over backwards to make sure I was a satisfied customer. It's a terrible shame that he couldn't stay in business.

11/10/2008 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Robb Allen said...

Did he actually close shop? Because the web site it still up.

Man, worries me about my barrel. I got it within a year. Hasn't had any issues that I can notice, but I'm not shooting combat loads.

11/11/2008 6:20 AM  
Blogger carnaby said...

You can look it up at They have the full run-down there. What is the problem, how to look for signs if you want to shoot the high-pressure loads, etc...

11/11/2008 9:26 AM  
Anonymous CAshane said...

I'd say the answer to your question of "why?" is: "Because they can". It's amazing how many people are oblivious to the lies that are spewed fourth from the media and our politicians related to scary "assault weapons". Most people (non-shooters) here in San Diego are pretty ignorant, and when I try to explain the blatant untruths, most people tune out. It's easier for them to continue to be afraid and support another useless ban. Not sure who to attribute the quote to, but the phrase "Gun control is what politicians do instead of something" perfectly ties it up. That's how I usually end the conversation with the hoplophobes, at least it leaves something for them to ponder.

11/12/2008 4:37 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

To clear up a little-known technicality from the previous ban:

Unlike machine guns, in which a sear or receiver flat put on a Form 4 before May of '86 could be built into a firearm whenever, the ATF ruled that a stripped lower purchased before the ban took effect could not later be assembled into an "Assault Weapon".

To qualify as a "pre-ban" gun, the receiver in question had to have been built in a configuration that included two or more "evil features" on or before the date the ban took effect.

Not that I'm aware of this hair ever being split in a courtroom, but that was the word from the BATF.

11/13/2008 1:06 PM  
Blogger carnaby said...

Wait, what?!? So did that work if the end-purchaser included two or more evil features before the ban, or did those have to be included before the "weapon" was sold to the end-user? Or was it that a home-build that had evil features had to be stripped of its features that are evil?

11/13/2008 1:15 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

As long as the gun was an "assault weapon" when the ban took effect, it was grandfathered and remained a transferable, legal, pre-ban "assault weapon". It didn't matter if it had been built by an individual or a licensee.

If, however, it was just a stripped receiver when the ban took effect (ie, had never been an "assault weapon"), then assembling it as such after the ban took effect would be "manufacturing a prohibited assault weapon".

11/13/2008 1:22 PM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Good grief. Does the ATF try to discourage lawful gun ownership by making the law as obscure as possible or does this actually make sense to anyone?

11/13/2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger carnaby said...

Wait, so what if I build it into a "pre ban" weapon, and then disassemble it into a stripped receiver before the new ban? What if I built it with old parts that I got and sold face-to-face so that there are no records of the transactions?

11/13/2008 3:51 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

The BATFEIEIO is a regulatory bureaucracy that has managed to make gun ownership as easy and enjoyable as the FAA has made piloting, the NHTSA has made driving, and OSHA has made running a small business.

11/13/2008 3:55 PM  
Blogger Tam said...


"Wait, so what if I build it into a "pre ban" weapon, and then disassemble it into a stripped receiver before the new ban?"

That would have been fine, however should the issue have arisen in court, the onus would have been on you to prove that it had existed in the form of an "assault weapon" before 9/94.

My gunsmiths and the owner and I were mulling this over when Pelosi and crew took the reins back in '06, and the general consensus was to buy a bunch of stripped lowers and LRPKs, and one collapsible stock & one upper w/bayo lug and flash hider. Take a photo of each lower with the serial number visible and the upper and stock assembled on it, along with that day's paper as a sort of "proof of life", then move the stock and upper to the next lower and repeat.

Now you have a safe full of uncompleted lowers that have reasonable provenance as to their "assaultiness" prior to the ban date.

IANAL, TINLA, but it sounded okay to a couple ATF guys I've bounced it off of.

But that was the '94 ban. If there is another one, who knows what form it will take?

11/13/2008 4:02 PM  

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