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ATF Response to Legality of Full Length Mag Tube on Benelli M4


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I recently received back a letter from the ATF's Chief of Firearms Technology in West Virginia regarding the legality under 922 r of putting a full length magazine tube on a Benelli M4, the same Benelli M4 that has the pistol grip stock. I was completely confused by all the stuff posted on the internet by everyone who has their own opinion and everyone will give you a different answer. But this shouldn't come as a surprise when you try and call your local ATF branch to talk to a Special Agent to get an answer and find out that most agents don't know what 922r is or how it applies.

 

Thankfuly I spoke to an humble agent that told me she didn't know what 922 r was and refered me to the Firearms Technology Branch in West Virginia. Upon talking with someone, who I think may have been the chief that ended up responding to my letter, his warning was that since there are many zealous new agents out there that don't know how 922 r applies, that the best thing to do was to write in and get a response in writting. And then hold onto this letter like it was made of gold. I have to stress the reason for the letter is for my own protection against law enforcement agents that do not correctly interpret the law. I know that most people think it maybe stirring up some interest by the ATF into people that want to change their M4's, but when talking with the person in the Technology branch his response was more like "I do these letters for lots of M4 owners to protect them from zealous agents."

 

This letter clearly states that there are 13 imported parts (contradicting another letter I've seen online that stated 11) and that it is legal to add a full length mag tube or extension greater than 4 rounds provided that you add three US made parts to get to the magic "No more than 10 imported parts"

 

I can't figure out how to attach the files. Everytime I click on 'Manage Attachments', it tells me "you have uploaded the maximum amount of 1 files". I have already scanned them in as PDFs so that I can share them. So if someone can give me any tips I'll attach them.

 

EDITED AFTER POST #17 SINCE I NOW HAVE THE LETTERS POSTED:

 

Please read my original request to understand the context of his responses

 

Original Request to ATF: http://i25.tinypic.com/2u7xdzn.jpg

 

ATF Response pg 1 http://i30.tinypic.com/sxhn2r.jpg

ATF Response pg 2 http://i26.tinypic.com/etwkkn.jpg

 

Here is a list of the parts that the Chief listed in the letter for quick reference.

1) Receiver

2) Barrel

3) Bolt

4) Bolt Carrier

5) Gas Piston

6) Trigger Housing

7) Trigger

8) Hammer

9) Disconnector

10) Buttstocks

11) Forearm

12) Magazine body

13) Followers

Edited by MeanGreen
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Thanks for sharing.

 

I once had a G series FAL stored at a local gunshop. For those who don't know, the G series FALs were originally manufactured as machine guns, and then were subsequently imported and 're-manufactured' by Browning into semi-auto rifles. The receivers remained machine gun receivers. Only three items on the rifles were affected, i.e. the trigger plunger was replaced with a semi-auto trigger plunger, the selector was replaced with a semi-auto selector (which was merely a full auto selector with a tab to block FA and that tab could be ground off on a concrete surface in less than five minutes lol), and the safety sear was removed. From the perspective of the BATF, once a machine gun, always a machine gun. There were 1,836 G-series and GL-series FALs imported from '59-'63 before the BATF caught on. Since these rifles were scattered across the countryside far and wide by the time they caught on, they issued an amnesty for the 1,836 rifles which included the serial #s for all the affected guns (and the guns listed by serial # remained 'legal' so long as there was no evidence of conversion to FA). So when a zealous BATF agent showed up to check the books at the gun shop where I had my G series in storage she freaked out. She was wanting to seize the rifle and take it out of town with her. I had to take a copy of the amnesty letter down to the shop (they had misplaced the one I left with the rifle).

 

So it really is a good idea to document what the real deal is.

 

I'd like to have that pdf file. Please email it to me at sukhoi_fan (a t) yahoo (d o t) com

 

TIA

Edited by Sukhoi_fan
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Thank you, MeanGreen, Sir, you just cured my headache.

 

I am a M4 owner and a long time viewer of this forum, and this thread just encouraged me to post a thank you for your valuable information.

 

Please, Sir, be kind enough to email me a copy of the PDF file as well ([email protected] yahoo.com) Thanks again.

 

With best regards,

Edited by axhoaxho
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I'm curious as to what the 13 parts he listed are. Would a "muzzle attachment" be one of them? In other words, is the choke classified as a "muzzle attachment," and would using a US-made choke lower the number?

Edited by LeoAtrox
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Here is a list of the parts that the Chief listed.

1) Receiver

2) Barrel

3) Bolt

4) Bolt Carrier

5) Gas Piston

6) Trigger Housing

7) Trigger

8) Hammer

9) Disconnector

10) Buttstocks

11) Forearm

12) Magazine body

13) Followers

 

Since I still can't figure out how to add an attachement here is the text of my letter.

 

"

Dear Chief of the ATF Firearms Technology Branch,

 

I own a Benelli M4 Super 90 Semi-automatic shotgun (model #11707) here is a link for reference to the shotgun on Benelli’s website: Had a link here

 

I also included a picture of the exact shotgun I own. Had a picture here.

 

 

It currently holds five 2”3/4 inch shells or four 3”inch shells. I wanted to add a full length U.S. made magazine tube along with a U.S. made follower. The U.S. made full length magazine tube would hold seven 2”3/4 inch shells or six 3”inch shells. I want to be within 922® compliance, which is the reason for my letter. I am not sure of the number of imported parts the Benelli M4 has. I have read that the ATF considers the M4 to have 11 imported parts. But I wanted to make sure that is correct.

 

I have three main questions, I apologize for the repetition but I just want to make sure I am complying with the law.

1. Can you list the number of imported parts that the M4 contains?

2. Is it legal to add a U.S. made full length magazine tube provided that I have no more than 10 imported parts?

3. Provided that it is legal, if I add a U.S. made full length magazine tube and a U.S. made follower would I be within compliance for maintaining my Benelli M4 within the law? If not, would adding a third U.S. made part, such as a forearm, bring me within compliance? If these 3 U.S. made parts would still not put me into compliance, what is the total number of U.S. made parts I would need to add in order to legally install a full length magazine tube that would hold seven 2”3/4 inch shells?"

 

And here is the ATF's response to question #3, the most important question.

 

"Answer: No-replacing the orgininal 4-round magazine with a US Made magazine (that is, (1) magazine body, (2) follower) would reduce the number of imported parts (as tabulated in 478.39) in your Benelli M4 shotgun to 11. You would still be required to replace at least one additional imported part with US made parts to further reduce the number of to the acceptable maximum (10). Please check to make sure that using a detachable magazine with a capacity exceeding five rounds does not violate any applicable State or local ordinances."

 

My questions to him probably could have been clearer. I was first trying to see if I could just replace two parts to be in compliance (mag tube & follower) vs. three (mag tube, follower & forearm). Looks like it has to be three which thankfully you can get. I already have a Dave's Metal works follower and will get a full length mag tube from Socom guy or Carriercomp and then a forearm from Surefire and then I'll be set.

 

I don't know if I'll be able to email the letter to everyone, I am still going to try and see if I can upload it. If not I'll try and post it on AR15.com, I am pretty sure that I can do it there and then provide everyone with the link.

Edited by MeanGreen
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Also, my letter will not protect you if you are confronted by an ATF agent or some other LE officer. The person at the Technology Branch was very clear that I should hold onto this letter addressed to me as if it were pure gold. I would say if you are really interested in protecting yourself to write them a letter clearly stating that you want to add a mag tube, follower and forearm and ask them to state whether or not it is legal, then put that letter in your safe next to your shotgun for safe keeping.

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use http://www.tinypic.com/ to temporarily host the PDFs, then link us to them.

 

I will put on my image server and relink for everyone.

Please read my original request to understand the context of his responses

 

Original Request to ATF: http://i25.tinypic.com/2u7xdzn.jpg[/url]

 

ATF Response pg 1 http://i30.tinypic.com/sxhn2r.jpg

ATF Response pg 2 http://i26.tinypic.com/etwkkn.jpg

Edited by MeanGreen
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Thanks. The best info on the subject to date. It's pretty easy to get a follower and new forearm and I just ordered them both.

 

Figure keep the receipts for all the new US pieces stapled to the ATF response and one should be able to quickly prove compliance.

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Exactly why getting your own letter from the ATF is important. I too saw that other letter from the ATF stating there were 11 imported parts on the Benelli M4 online. Now my letter says there are 13. Get it in writting and you can show you did your due diligence in trying to follow the law.

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