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KT Ordnance Stuff

A reader emails on KTO’s troubles:

What makes his “frames” firearms instead of “non-firearms” is that he dimples them and appears to mill out the fire control group area. The ATF does not allow the dimpling of the locations for holes on the unfinished firearms frames because it takes away the need for “special tooling and knowledge”. You could finish it with a cordless drill at home that way.

15 Responses to “KT Ordnance Stuff”

  1. John Smith. Says:

    Sure you could with a very steady hand. Then you must have the tools and experience to get the parts to fit the out of round holes. Hand drills are not exactly built for precision work. The holes they make are nearly always out of round. Good for screws or bolts bad for guns…

  2. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “Sure you could with a very steady hand.”

    Fine you could finish it with a cheap drill press then. The point is that the ATF has pretty clear regulations about what constitutes a 80% receiver especially for guns like AKs, ARs, and 1911s. You can’t have holes for the trigger group and you can’t mark where the holes go. The “manufacturer” who finishes the receiver has to do all of that.

    KTO has also gotten in trouble for having 80% receiver completion “parties” as well. At those events customers show up, clamp their 80% receiver in a CNC fixture, and press a button to run KTO’s completion program. The ATF took a rather dim view of this because KTO was providing all the skill and equipment. The receiver “manufacturers” were just button monkeys.

  3. John Smith. Says:

    Jeff Kto receivers are 60% not 80%….d

  4. Robert Says:

    Couldn’t he just make a jig that snaps onto the 80% receiver, with guide holes in the jig for drilling it out? How much could that cost? With properly designed guide holes, you could do it with a hand drill.

  5. John Smith. Says:

    I would love to see that robert. A hard plastic one time use snap on. Would be awesome..

  6. TomcatsHanger Says:

    I can already finish it with a cheap drill press. And?

    I don’t know what special tooling is, but if it’s a drill press, there isn’t a raw forging of an AR15 lower out there that isn’t a problem.

  7. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “Kto receivers are 60% not 80%”

    If it doesn’t meet the definition of 80%, then it sure isn’t going to meet the definition of 60%. The point is that to be a partial receiver and it can’t have certain things on it.

    “With properly designed guide holes, you could do it with a hand drill.”

    Maybe, but a good tool might cost more than the receiver. It would be a lot easier to sell simple machining templates to locate the holes and tell people to use a basic drill press. Even then I sure as hell wouldn’t sell them both to a customer without expecting to hear from the ATF. The ATF position is that if you make it so easy to complete the firearm that a monkey could do it, then you’re the one really manufacturing the firearm.

  8. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “I can already finish it with a cheap drill press. And?”

    “And” is that you’re not allowed to mark where to drill on the part like KTO does. The ATF specifically forbids it. You have to omit the feature entirely for it to count as missing and you cannot add new markings to show where those features belong.

    To manufacture the final receiver you need to lay out and machine the final holes or cuts (depending on which receiver) yourself. This isn’t hard if you’re handy, but it is a lot harder to do well than just drilling through some dimples. I’m sure I’m not the only person who knows people that can’t even cut lumber to proper length.

  9. John Smith. Says:

    Remember when people were finishing tannery 80% frames with hacksaw blades and dremel tools…

  10. Weer'd Beard Says:

    The above argument illustrates how stupid the ATF and their pointless laws are.

    I have my doubt they or any gun controllers are even the least bit interested in the activities of violet criminals. Why bother when you can mess with peaceful people with disposable income who are attempting to navigate the confusing maze created by gun laws written by semi-literate drunks.

  11. Diomed Says:

    There’s no basis for “80% receiver” in the law. It’s a marketing tool. Insofar as the laws are concerned, it’s a firearm or it’s not. (I do know it’s a bit different where imports are concerned.)

  12. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “The above argument illustrates how stupid the ATF and their pointless laws are.”

    None of this stuff is about preventing violent crime. It’s about making sure the government gets paid the proper excise taxes on firearms if they are warranted.

  13. Pete Says:

    Its called a caliper and the CAD drawing.

    Ta-da! Special tooling and knowledge.

    Or he could just make a template that you can tape onto the metal and drill through your “supplied blueprints.”

  14. bob r Says:

    Jeff, you state “The ATF specifically forbids it.”

    Have a link or other reference to back up that claim?

  15. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “Have a link or other reference to back up that claim?”

    No, I looked into building unfinished receivers less than a year ago. Mostly because I was thinking about setting up a small home CNC mill and I thought pistols would be a neat project to do with it. When I saw this post I tried to find those links again, but didn’t have any luck.

    It varies with the gun design, but the letter I read basically listed off the significant features on the receiver and stated that a partial receiver could not have X number of them. And those that were missing had to be completely missing. You couldn’t just partially drill a bunch of holes. You couldn’t mark where the cuts went on the part either. Missing meant missing.

    Here is a link that mention KTO’s receiver BBQs though. (