E11 from Sterling Parts kit?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by BobaFettSlave_1, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,
    I've been wanting to build a replica E11 using original 'found parts' for quite a while now, and atm I'm being offered what seems to be a real nice sterling part kit, its still a torch but the barrel shroud is still completely intact (see photo).
    parts kit.JPG
    I'm being offered this kit for $400 shipped to my door where as an alternative route for me would be to buy a really chopped up kit from Apex gun parts for about $215 by the time it gets to my door (with mag from Numrich)
    Now I know there's a few of you guys in the states that have made deactivated sterling base guns from parts kits so my first question is
    1) would I be better off getting this kit or the Apex kit
    2) just how much work is involved with putting a torch cut gun back together? What do I need to worry about legally in the process of putting it back together?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
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  2. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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  3. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The thing that always bothered me about the Unique Cane rebuild is that they inserted some sort of rod in the receiver. It does not have the detail of the bolt seen via the ejection port or the spring.
     
  4. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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    I have no idea about Unique Canes build quality, just gave some example for him to choose. One of the few good things about collecting in many parts of EU is the high quality of Sterlings
     
  5. Mara Jade's Father

    Mara Jade's Father Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I was not trying to knock their quality. Just point out that their are some accuracy issues that need to be factored to make a decision. With that said, I think the price is reasonable if you want a real sterling as a replica. I see the plain ones are out of stock but the other build ups look promising.

    I don't know if the OP has the ability to weld himself or he plans to hire someone. If the latter, I would strongly encourage him to get a price estimate to get a better idea what his total project may cost.
     
  6. deserthunter

    deserthunter Well-Known Member

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    I have one from unique canes that i am using for my snowtrooper. I am happy with it. The welds look good to me. The only thing I would change is the t -rails
     
  7. QCWolf

    QCWolf Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    knnyjay and BobaFettSlave_1 like this.
  8. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is a good thread. I've been mulling over this same kind of question myself. As one with no welding experience, any parts kit seems incredibly intimidating. There are full receiver tubes available for sale with the cutout schematics already on them, but even after cutting out the holes, some welding would be necessary.

    Is welding terribly difficult/expensive?
     
  9. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Well thats kind of why I like this kit this guys offering me. All the holes in the shroud are there so what I could do is mill the end flat, then buy a new tube with template, cut off the new tubes end at the correct length and then mate the two together. Hell it should even enable me to weld the front of the bolt to the inside of the tube even before I weld the shroud back on, which should keep me a-OK with the ATF as Id never have a complete MG tube capable of accepting a FA bolt. Theoretically speaking it'd be impossible to remove the weld without cutting the whole tube apart again so its not "readily convertable" back into a MG
     
  10. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    I would call the ATF to get exact instructions on how to make it safe. I think someone on here did that awhile back. That way you know exactly. I thought you had to have a rod welded into the barrel as well.
     
  11. JoeG

    JoeG Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've heard dealing with the ATF on matters like this can be pretty tricky. You can talk to one representative on one day and get an answer, then talk to someone else the next and get a completely different answer. Make sure you get whatever answer they give you in writing.
     
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  12. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I was going to throw a weld in the chamber or mill a few hole in the barrel
     
  13. DARKSIDE72

    DARKSIDE72 Sr Member

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    All you have to do is make sure the barrel is unable to seat a round (drilled out at the breach), and make sure the barrel can't be removed/replaced.As in cut receiver with the barrel welded in-between the two receiver half's.You can now have a fully functional "dummy gun". ATF legal.
     
  14. dday

    dday Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Or find a way to not put in the inner barrel at all.

    It's not visible once the E11 is assembled.
     
  15. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Id agree but only to a point. It's sadly not anywhere as simple as that when it comes to machine guns. I spent the night reading the ATF laws and, according to the way the law is written, It's actually the tube (aka the receiver) that's considered a machine gun. As long as the completed tube is capable of accepting a FA bolt then its very very illegal.In other words the moment that the whole tube is put back together then an illegal machinegun has been made and it's off to jail.
    That said.. My thoughts on how to proceed with this are as follows (and even then its still very much in the 'grey'). First and foremost would be to remove the firing pin from the FA bolt and fill the space with a weld/rod. This would more or less turn the FA bolt into a useless solid chunk of steel for all intensive purposes; Purely cosmetic. Then the next step (after I've cut the front off the new steel tube and cut the cocking slot, ejection port, and magazine port) would be to weld the deactivated bolt to the inside of the tube before I attach the shroud like I mentioned in my earlier post. In addition to this weld I would then add another weld through the magazine well, and possibly a 3rd weld at the back of the bolt going through the cocking tube slot. This would/should make the deactivated bolt and the back half of the tube considered as one piece of metal (more or less) all before I have a completed tube. The weld at the front of the bolt is the most important as it cant be accessed once the shroud is welded on and the only way to go about removing this weld would be to destroy the tube all over again. As for the barrel, there seems to be a few ways to go about it. It definitely needs to be destroyed in some fashion, either through a combination of filling with a welded rod or milling holes in it. Hell I might just put a wood dowel in there like some of the bapty blasters had. Though I kind of like the idea of visible lands and grooves on the finished blaster. The biggest key to this method I think is that I'll have never been in possession of a completed tube/receiver capable of taking a FA bolt or firing a round upon final assembly.

    I'm still going to try and get in touch with someone from the ATF to be sure though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  16. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You could also purchase the SA bolt and barrel, do all the welding you mentioned, and end up with a legal (I think) SA Sterling.
     
  17. RogueTrooper

    RogueTrooper Well-Known Member

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    You have posted a question and then answered it....and then in detail answered it.

    Sometimes the internet is all about you and what you are doing......go figure.....:lol

    You know what to do and what needs to get done...stop * around and get it done.;)

    Opinions are like a.s.s.holes...everyone's got one.
     
  18. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    Every once in a while this topic of owning a "real" (Sterling) E11 in the US comes up and always seems to just end up with the same means to an end which is "Gray area". It's unfortunate really, that there isn't a definitive answer to the re-assembly of these parts kits.
     
  19. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What doesn't help too is I have seen these deactivated kits come from different sellers in different configurations (meaning cuts made in one spot from seller A's kit are not even close to where the cuts on seller B's Kit are located).
     
  20. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    lol yeah. I was kinda hoping someone had gotten an official answer from the feds or had a counter argument to my idea and why it would not work. I'm a avid gun collector located in probably one of the worst states possible to be a gun owner in and I already have enough laws to worry about and make sure I don't violate on a daily basis, haha.

    The part where there arn't any in collections or the part where theres none in the archives?
    Hell, checking around the boards at the various similar builds I'd bookmarked for my own reference, I've found at least two people that, according to the way the ATF law is written, are or have been in possession of totally functional new made MG's (BIG no no). That's a headache I don't need. But at the same time, we know for a fact that a few of the original film sterling's have made it into private collections here in the states or are even still in the archives. What I'm interested in is how those have been turned into dummy guns.

    (Edit: I just realised my location still says NH, lol... No, I sadly now reside in dreded Massachusetts. )
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  21. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    I'd bet with almost certainty that they have not been......
     
  22. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    The part where there arn't any in private collections located in the US or the part where theres none in the archives?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  23. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    The part where they've been turned into dummy guns.
     
  24. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The only screenused sterlings I've ever heard of reaching private hands were dummies to begin with. (Like the ones taken to Tunisia with the cast lowers)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and FWIW, Darkside has demilled/converted more Sterlings than any of us have had hot dinners. So he does not speak from a vacuum.
     
  25. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Ahh ok.

    "Tonight Agents with the BATF and FBI along side members of the State Police raided and confiscated in excess of 30 unregistered machine guns from the Lucas Archives located on Skywalker Ranch. Authorities detained a mister George Lucas, and elderly man dressed in a plad shirt, who is thought to be in connection with the firearms. A judge has set his bail at $3,000,000,000."

    Oh my post wasnt to discredit or ignore his input in any way. It was much appreciated and Its likley what I'll do when it comes to the barrel. I was just stating that, law wise, the ATF only cares about the receiver and if it could ever be made into a MG ever again. Its about as clear as mud. The ATF has a "once a machine gun, always a machine gun" policy when it comes to receivers. They dont care about the internals. It all comes down to if it's capable of being "easily converted" back into a fireable weapon. But what defines "easily converted" in their eyes is whats not defined in writing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  26. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There are no operable firearms in the archives. All the firing weapons were rented. (Stembridge in the US, Bapty in the UK)
     
  27. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Naw, I think you're misunderstanding me. Im not saying there are 'fully functional' guns in the archives. What Im saying is there are more than likley demiled/dummy guns with fullly intact receivers from filming in the Uk in the archives. While they were considered demilled/dummy in the Uk, they may or may not technically be demilled in accordance with ATF law given the utter lack of a crystal clear definition on what is and is not a dummy gun when it comes to parts that once were machine guns
     
  28. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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    This is how a Bapty looks like - they were heavily modified not to be operable again, no trigger, the back and end butt was replaced by aluminum part etc:

    Bapty E-11 Stormtrooper Blaster 06.jpg Bapty E-11 Stormtrooper Blaster 12.jpg Bapty E-11 Stormtrooper Blaster 14.jpg Bapty E-11 Stormtrooper Blaster 20.jpg Bapty ebay 03.JPG
     
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  29. DL 44 Blaster

    DL 44 Blaster Sr Member

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    Which is why I bought one from him over 15 years ago.:D I felt even then that he was the go to man for Sterling conversions. Plus mine was only saw cut, not torched.:cool
     
  30. Treadwell

    Treadwell Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No, those were rented, too. They brought back resin weapons only, at least from what I've seen in all my years of following this stuff to an unhealthy degree. ;)
     
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  31. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    So the only issue I have with solely using DARKSIDES method of disabling the chamber of the barrel and permanently welding the barrel to the tube is when I read this answer on the ATF website
    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/what-unserviceable-firearm
    In addition, here is the NFA's definition of what qualifies as a machine gun
    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/firear...-firearms-national-firearms-act-definitions-0
    If I understand this correctly, than if a Sterling were a regular old semi-auto or bolt/lever action or what ever have you firearm, then his method would be perfectly fine. Where the problem comes from is on two fronts. A real Sterling SMG falls under two qualifications making it a NFA item. Its a Machine Gun, and it's a Short Barreled Rifle. The ATF's policy of "Once a Machine gun, always a Machine gun" is why we here in the US cannot import demiled firearms from overseas and can only get a hold of torch cut parts kits. Whats unclear is if one were to do as DARKSIDE suggested (or even my method for that matter) would the moment that the receiver is welded back together still make it a "Unserviceable NFA Firearm" under those definitions as either a MG or a SBR. Which is why the incredibly vague definition of "readily convertible" really sucks.
    It's even more confusing when I look at my own firearms collection. Take for instance my PTR-91 which is a US made semi-auto clone of the HK G3

    DSC00676x.jpg

    On the left of this photo is the full auto receiver to a HK G3 (no not mine sadly) and on right is my PTR 91. The ONLY difference between these two, and the only thing keeping the PTR from being classified as a MG, is that welded shelf that prevents one from attaching a FA trigger group (that little tab hanging out of the mag well of the G3 is just a paddle mag release. I just haven't installed one on my ptr yet). The PTR receiver still readily accepts a FA bolt carrier just fine, its just the welded shelf that in the eyes of the ATF keeps the PTR and all semi auto HKg3 clones from being machine guns.
    To me, speaking from the point of view as a machinist, it would be incredibly easy remove that welded shelf and drill a pin hole for a FA trigger group. Doing so would be horrendously illegal, but the point still stands about the lack of a definition of what is and is not considered readily convertible.
    Wiselite arms made a few ATF approved Semi auto sterling's available a few years ago before they went belly up. I haven't had the chance to see one in person yet (they've become expensive and kind of hard to find), but what I do know is that they were able to use original diameter receiver tubes and parts for their guns. They modified original FA bolts to be closed bolt semi auto some how, and this I suspect is the only way to get past the Machine gun definition... Unfortunately it looks like they were unable to use the original barrel lug on the front for their design for some reason. I suspect it may have been a forced modification due to whatever they did to the bolts

    I'm still going to try and get a answer in writing from the tech guys at the ATF on what to do once my kit shows up in the mail and I can lay out a solid idea for them to assess
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  32. DBoz

    DBoz Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with that. The ATF doesn't like to put things in writing and is purposefully vague. That allows them to interpret and reinterpret things to their own benefit. Dealing with them is like pulling teeth.
     
  33. DARKSIDE72

    DARKSIDE72 Sr Member

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    The ATF only cares about this, "readily convertible". If the receiver has to be cut AGAIN to attempt to remove a properly welded barrel which in itself is effectively destroyed, It is not readily convertible. My personal sterling went on a trip of about 4 months with the ATF and 6 different people signed off on it before it was returned to me. They even cut my scope rail off! :confused:wacko Readily convertible means can it be turned back into a functioning machine gun with average shop tools. The answer is no.
     
  34. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    If that's the case then that's wonderful. :D PM Sent
    I'm still waiting on my kit to get here but I was thinking I might even have to modify the bolt and receiver to semi auto to even be in possession of it, which would include converting the bolt, triggergroup, and welding a denial island into the receiver. All work I can do, but a massive PITA, If I don't have to do all that work and can have a moving bolt in the e-11 then that's just awesome.
     
  35. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Well here's a pile of junk

    DSC_0638.JPG

    And here she is all laid out (I polished the bolt to white while I was at work)
    Guess its time to turn this into a build thread =)

    DSC_0643.JPG
     
  36. scottjua

    scottjua Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    that barrel shroud would be perfect for a wiselite conversion...
     
  37. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    I actually thought heavily about converting it to semi and regestering it as a SBR. I have all the skills and access to tools to do it, wouldnt be all that hard. But then the MA Assault Weapons Ban came into play and the super killy folding stock is a no no. Then I thought "well hey, its a Stormie blaster anyway, i'll just pin and weld the stock folded and regester it as a pistol". But nooo, MA has a law making it so pistols cant be more than 50oz...
    So its a no go as long as I live in this craphole state =\
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  38. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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    But can you still make it as E-11? Would that be allowed?
     
  39. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    As long as its deactivated in the eyes of the ATF I can, yup.
     
  40. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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    That's perfect then
     
  41. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Not much of an update. Decided that what crackle paint was left on the sterling parts was more or less unsalvageable, and would likely get worse when welding starts so I media blasted everything to white. Missed out on a few M38/M40 scopes on ebay. Some went too high, others I stupidly overslept and missed the auction... Same for the counters.
    rsz_1dsc_0129.jpg rsz_dsc_0130.jpg rsz_dsc_0135.jpg
     
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  42. jkno

    jkno Master Member

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    Go on FISD, there are Hengstler counters and even Sherman scopes from time to time
     
  43. Strongbow

    Strongbow Well-Known Member

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    Ask 4 ATF agents a question, and you'll get 5 answers. If you want something in writing, you'll wait months. However, some things to keep in mind:

    1) the ATF rules are about what it takes to officially disable a weapon. That is, to turn it from a weapon, into a non-weapon. The reason you can buy the parts kit is because they are PARTS. Legally speaking, the "firearm" part is the serial numbered part. In the case of the Sterling, this is the receiver... so the pile of parts is NOT a firearm. And so long as you don;t build a receiver capable of actually firing, it will not be a firearm again. The "readily restored" aspect is open to a lot of interpretation, but keep in mind that most modern AR-15 receivers are one hole away from being able in install readily available full auto parts.

    The E-11 I built is actually converted from a Wise Lite carbine. It required some significant modification to get it to be more accurate. Most Sterling Semi-auto conversions involve machining the bolt and installing a bar in the receiver to prevent a full auto bolts from being installed. There is also a pad welded on the outside of the receiver to prevent a full auto trigger pack from being installed. But it you are building from a parts kit, the easiest this is to weld a plug in the barrel and then weld the barrel to the barrel trunnion in the receiver. I went a quicker route on my wise light and welded the already-existing barrel trunnion closed. I just use a wooden dowel to simulate the barrel, so it is easy for someone to verify that it is not an operable gun on inspection, but it LOOKS real. I don't troop with this prop, and I live in a state where it's not a problem anyway, but there ya go. You can also do stuff like weld the firing pin in place, not cut all the holes in the receiver to allow proper trigger interface with the bolt, etc.
     
  44. BobaFettSlave_1

    BobaFettSlave_1 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, Trust me, we're on the same page, and logically it makes sense. But since when were Gun Laws ever about logic or going after actual criminals.
    Where my question truely lies is with the situation concerning Deactivated Sterlings from Europe. Technically speaking, once completed, my and others finished dummy Sterlings really wouldn't be any different than a Deactivated sterling from Europe; at least in end product. We can't import sterlings from Europe because they still have a complete original MG receiver, regardless of the welded bolts or barrels due to the ATF's "Once a Machine Gun, always a Machine Gun" policy. So the question is.. IF the ATF would view you welding the receiver tube back together, regardless of the barrel being welded in place first, as still making a new illegal machine gun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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  45. Strongbow

    Strongbow Well-Known Member

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    That's actually a good point. I do not think I would weld all the bits back together. Once the receiver is destroyed, that machine gun no longer exists, but if you weld it back together is a way that it could be functional (or very close to functional) someone could decide to get their knickers in a twist and raise a stink as you point out. More trouble than it's worth, even if they are really wrong. I would start from a tube and add the pieces on. A number of folks offer 80% receiver tubes, and they won't run afoul of the law, so long as the builder doesn't actually try to build a machine gun!
     

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