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Import ban update

In an update to this post regarding the ATF randomly deciding that some gun parts can no longer be reported, the word is (via email and some message boards) that the only thing really affected by this decision is barrels. Head is upset about it and I am too. Jed isn’t happy either. This will probably only affect the prices to the extent that cheap barrels can’t be imported. The only potential good thing about this is that higher quality barrels that are made in America will probably be produced. And everyone knows the AK needs a better barrel.

The receivers and frames have been banned from import for a while if they were functioning. Per law, the frame/receiver is the part that is technically the gun. Those are typically cut for import. The only real impact will be barrel prices but that impact could be significant.

Update: There’s probably an opportunity here from some enterprising upstart to start making barrels in America.

Update 2: Over at KDT’s, reader TheFaz123 writes:

I am as upset about this as anyone, but before we get too excited, keep in mind that the biggest impact this will have is on parts kits and those who build from them (which unfortunately includes me).

The SKS falls on no ban lists, so it will continue to come in. As for the WASR, that will remain unchanged. The WASR starts out as a single-stack, AWB compliant gun made in Romania – all made there, including the receiver. Century Arms imports them, modifies the receiver to take hi-caps, adds US parts and voila, a post-ban US made rifle results.

As the rifle is importable under current law, this barrel ban will have no impact. The big loophole for us AK builders is that the barrels for the legally importable lo-cap rifles are obviously the same as the standard AK barrels. So if you import barrels for the WASR-10 on your Form 6 you should be fine.

Unfortunately this doesn’t work for the FAL or CETME since there are no lo-cap equivalents, but US-made barrels for both those rifles are more plentiful.

In the end, the biggest issue will be faced by home builders, who will likely end up with a more difficult and expensive building process.

7 Responses to “Import ban update”

  1. Heartless Libertarian Says:

    A possible bonus (albeit a minor one) for homebuilders: if you’re using a US made barrel, that counts as a US made part (one of the five the AK requires, IIRC) with the three pieces of the trigger group and the gas piston, now you don’t have to use a US made pistol grip or some other part to get in compliance.

  2. Kristopher Says:

    Screw that.

    We won’t have proper second amendment compliance until I can mail-order an MG-42 clone from Serbia without asking anyone permission for anything.

  3. TheFaz Says:

    Hey, I just came to this post from the Carnival of Cordite and see my comment in it! A small world indeed.

    Having grown up in the gun business and seeing all the ways the industry has obeyed the letter of the law while being hazy on the spirit, I have faith that there will be some creative thinking applied to this problem as well. I’d rather we not have to go through all this, but I don’t see a lot of public (or U.S. gun manufacturer) support for barrel importation.

    I’m not worried about the AK barrels, there is enough demand that someone will make them. I’m grabbing the oddball kits like the Suomi and PPSH 41 that no one will likely make barrels for but I still want to build up as semi-autos.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    I’ve got a couple romie kits that will be put together soon. Those AK guys are pretty dedicated, someone will make a barrel.

  5. TheFaz Says:

    Yeah, the AK builders are the best organized of all the builders. I used to think the guys on the FALfiles.com were impressive, but the quantum leaps we’ve seen in home AK building in the past 2 years blow them away. If you go to gunco.net you’ll see what I mean. When I build my AMD-65 last year I did it with screws on an OOW receiver since that was the only way I could build it with the tools I had. Now I’ve got a Romie kit and a 80% flat and I think I’ll be able to build and rivet it myself.

    I attribute that to the overall low cost of the build compared to others like the FAL, which brought in a lot of talented people to figure out how to do it. Obviously that will change, but hopefully not as much as we fear.

    I grabbed a Romie and a Polish underfolder though just in case since the prices hadn’t changed yet. Winters can be long up here so this will give me something to do when its too cold to go to the range. Have you been to weaponeer.net? They run some great group-buys. That’s where I got the Polish underfolder – $180 is a decent discount off the normal price.

  6. SayUncle Says:

    Thanks for the links will have to check them out.

  7. SayUncle » Barrel import ban update Says:

    […] The ATF has issued another open letter regarding the pending barrel import ban that I covered before. It concludes with: ATF recognizes that certain firearm barrels may be used to assemble either an importable or a nonimportable firearm. With this fact in mind, ATF believes that such “dual use” barrels would be eligible for importation into the United States under section 925(d)(3) for commercial purposes, provided prospective importers of such barrels make representations indicating that neither the importer nor subsequent purchasers of the barrels will use the barrels to assemble nonimportable firearms. Importers of such barrels must provide sufficient information, e.g., specific model designation(s) of the firearm(s) that the barrels will be used to assemble, in the “Specific Purpose of Importation” section of the ATF Form 6 that would enable ATF personnel to establish that the barrels sought for importation are being imported for the assembly into importable firearms. If the dual use barrels are being imported for resale to third parties, the importer must state in the “Specific Purpose of Importation” section of the ATF Form 6 that purchasers have been or will be advised that the barrels may only be used for assembly into certain importable models and must list the specific models for which the barrels will be sold. Inclusion of a model not known to be sporting may require the submission of a sample for evaluation to determine if importation of the barrels will be approved. […]