Pre-Ban AR-15 Barrel Length

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Clarification Please: I have a pre-ban Colt AR-15 (R6420) with 16" barrel. Considering a pre-ban flat top barrel assembly at 11.5". Does the pre-ban status exempt the sub-16" barrel from the NFA/SBR designation? As in, legal to own in MA? Much obliged, James.

flat top barrel assembly 11.5%22 pre-ban.png
 
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No. NO.

The 16 inch or greater barrel length requirement dates back to 1934 (National Firearms Act) - no AR is "grandfathered".

To install the barrel you'd like you will need to apply for a $200 tax stamp, and if approved, have your gun engraved as an SBR (short barrel rifle).

Alternately, you can install a longer muzzle device and either silver solder or blind-pin and weld it in place... get a gunsmith to do this! Separate the upper from the rifle.
 

JRT

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Not if you like your doggo. To add to @Shawnyc options you could pin and weld a muzzle device to get you over the 16 inch minimum. If suppressors are legal where you reside they can be pin and welded too.
 

jpm

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Pre-ban status is a STATE law, NFR/SBR is a FEDERAL law, the two have nothing to do with one another.
 
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Regarding 11.5", you can make it legal with a permanently attached muzzle brake, but you really ought to look at the ballistics. 5.56x45 performance takes a huge hit with shorter barrels. Even the 14.5" barrels lose effective range noticeably. If you have a pre-ban lower, you might consider a 16" barrel. Any muzzle device (other than a can, that's a different topic) is legal. Your barrel has to be at lest 16" long anyway. There are relatively effective muzzle devices that are going to add only ~1.25/1.5" and the gain in velocity and therefore effective range is considerable. YMMV but I think it's worth thinking through.
 
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