Pre-Ban AR15 Information for those who still live under the AWB


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Apr 27, 2005
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By Geremy Chubbuck ([email protected])

Disclaimer: This list is correct to the best of my knowledge, however, I accept absolutely no responsibility for the accuracy of this information or for the consequences and/or damages occurring from any inaccuracies. I have compiled this list for the purposes of sharing information only. This is not intended to be used in any way except for personal entertainment. It is a compilation of both personal information and information submitted from others from the Internet. ALL SERIAL NUMBERS SHOULD BE VERIFIED FROM THE MANUFACTURER PRIOR TO ANY PURCHASE OR ASSEMBLY. It should be noted that it is a felony to possess a Post-Ban (newly assembled after Sept 13, 1994) assault weapon.
If any information presented here is found to be incorrect or you have additional information to contribute, please contact me via E-Mail ([email protected]) and I will update and re-issue the list.
Note: All items marked with a single asterisk (*) are taken from The year/serial numbers under Colt SP series was forwarded to me by an individual whose return address I no longer have. Double asterisk (**) under Bushmaster, a person on the internet e-mailed me that he had a lower that was shipped stripped (thus not a complete rifle) in 1991 from Bushmaster with serial #0327XX - ALWAYS CALL TO VERIFY.

Advanced Armaments
No information - Apparently machined from bar stock aluminum, lowers are marked as M-15.

American Spirit Arms (Formerly "Sun Valley Traders")
ALL lowers are Post-Ban. Began introduction of lowers and rifles in mid/late 1998. Noted as having good fit & finish. Also, reported to be manufactured by Lewis Machine & Tool.

Armalite/Eagle 800-336-0184
Slightly over S/N 30,000 was the Pre-Ban cut-off, call to verify.* (Some Eagle lowers below the 30,000 range were determined to be POST ban by BATF - call to verify) Armalite sells Eagle lowers, but sells factory complete rifles with Armalite lowers.

Made stainless steel lowers, rumored to have also made AR-15 pistols. Lower marked M16-SA. This is NOT verifiable info as it came from the Internet. Out of Business.

Bushmaster 800-998-SWAT
Below L051000 - Assembled Pre-Ban Rifles and some pre-94 lowers.**
L051001-L063000 - Mixed Pre-Ban Assembled Rifles and Pre-Sept 94 Lowers (Call to verify)
L063001 and Up - Post-Ban

Century Arms
Lower marked CIA. All are Post-Ban. Made with Olympic Arms Receivers under contract.

Colt 800-962-COLT
CC001616 and Below - Pre-Ban
CH019500 and Below - Pre-Ban
GC018500 and Below - Pre-Ban
LH011326 and Below - Pre-Ban
MH086020 and Below - Pre-Ban
NL004800 and Below - Pre-Ban
SL027246 and Below - Pre-Ban
SP360200 and Below - Pre-Ban
1963 SP00001-SP00023**
1964 SP00101
1965 SP02501
1966 SP05600
1967 SP08250
1968 SP10750
1969 SP14000-SP14653
1970 SP15001-SP15473
1971 SP16001
1972 SP19401
1973 SP24201
1974 SP32601
1975 SP43801
1976 SP55301
1977 SP67651
1978 SP83400
ST038100 and Below - Pre-Ban
TA10100 and Below - Pre-Ban
BD000134 and Below - Pre-Ban (AR-15A3 Tactical Carbine - very rare model)
MT00001 and Above - Post-Ban
BK000001and Above - Post Ban (CAR-A3)
CST000001 and Above - Post-Ban (Began Late 1997 Production)
CMH000001 and Above - Post Ban
CCH010000 and Above - Post Ban MT6700, MT6700C and MT6700CH series, 1998 production

Dalphon (360) 427-6867
All are POST ban. Cast 356-T6 Aluminum, hardcoat anodized per mil-spec A-8625

DPMS 800-578-3767
Below 10300 - Pre-Ban.
Some or all lowers are cast. Black in color. Some lowers are Stainless Steel.

Eagle Arms 309-944-6939
Now called ArmaLite. They will not give out a list, but will look up on an individual basis. Lower receiver serial numbers DO NOT begin with EA.

Essential Arms (337) 945-0185
All are Pre-Ban as they went out of business in 1993. (DPMS bought them prior to the Ban) Call DPMS Lower receiver serial numbers begin with EA. Some or all lowers are cast. Light gray coloring. It is rumored that Ruger investment casted the lowers for Essential Arms. ***Updated by Typeo1313*** Essential Arms has recently started produceing recievers again. Most if not all are marked J-15-F. Those who live in states still under the AWB should verify their receiver is compliant with their states laws.

Frankford Arsenal
All are pre-ban. As rumor has it, Olympic Arms produced the lowers for Frankford Arsenal Call Olympic Arms and then Frankford assembled the weapon. A2 configuration lower. Frankford Arsenal went out of business in 1987. (Info from [email protected])

Hesse Arms
All AR-15’s are post ban. Manufacturing began late 1997/early 1998.

J.L.M & Sons* (603) 425-1860
SC001 thru SC250 are Pre-Ban. All others are post ban.

Knights Armament Co.
All AR-15’s are post ban, very few AR-10’s are pre-ban. No further info at this time.

Military Manufacturing (M2) (FAX 702-263-7875)
All were military/law enforcement only. Full auto lowers were standard, semi were optional. Lowers were machined form raw bar stock with improvements incorporated - 18deg magazine angle and square mag release. (See:

See "Sendra" below.

Olympic Arms 360-459-7940· 4-numbers only - very very old. Probably machined from bar stock.
· 1-letter and 4# - older receiver, but forgings. (Some are newer, POST ban castings - call to verify.)
· 2-letters & 4# - most receivers follow this pattern.
· 2#, 2 letters, 4# - the first two #'s are year of manufacture of the lower.
· 2 letters, 6# (separated 2 & 4 - e.g. SA 96 0000) - first 2 #'s are year of manufacture.
· "ICR" marked lowers are an European customer’s overrun, has an unused additional hole - all ICR lowers are post ban.
Olympic Arms Manufacturer’s Notes:
1. There were some odd variations and some custom serial numbers mixed in thru the years also. And, some receivers manufactured after the ban have the year stamp after the model name, not in the serial #. And if you don't see a year stamp on the receiver, it is not necessarily pre-ban.
2. Serial numbers that end in "D" were duplicates and one was changed using this letter.
3. Recently some serial numbers have left with one or two letters followed by FIVE numbers. The last numbers are either 5's or 0's. 99.9% of these are post-ban.
4. "Older" does not always mean pre-ban as per Corey Sattler.
5. "BL" serial number series lowers are transitional with some pre and some post ban. If you have a "BL" you’ll have to call to verify for certain.

Professional Ordinance
All are post ban (including all of the pistols).

PWA (360) 438-3983
35222 and Below - Pre-Ban (Note:Some lowers are cast not forged. Out of business) Post-ban have a year prefix in the serial number. Rumored to have only sold lowers.

Rocky Mountain Arms
Producer of AR-15 type pistols.

Post-ban receivers have a circle milled into the side of the magwell. They were originally bead-blasted to a non-glare finish. All others are pre-ban. (This is unverified info…) Also, they used to be NESARD. Rumored to have been owned by Dick Drasen (currently M&A Parts) and produced lowers only out of Barrington, Illinois. No complete guns were sold (again, unverified info).

Olympic Arms was started as Schuetzen Gun Works (SGW), Pre-ban receivers have "Stop Sign" logo.
Last edited:
Please add this info for LMT (LMT bought PWA), it will help people trying to check the Pre-Ban Status of PWA receivers:
Lewis Machine Tool Co.
1305 11th St. W., Milan, IL 61264
Phone: 1-309-787-7151
Fax: 1-309-787-7193
Email: [email protected]
I had called DPMS about A serial number 111** and the most info I got was that it was manufactured 8/20/94 left as lower reciever on 9/6/94 with A pre ban upper that the FFL dealer had put on it to sell it. The lady wasn't legally able to tell me the FFL or the buyer, even though she had that info.
I just wanted to add one item to this sticky. You often hear about people needing to prove that a receiver was assembled into a gun by the time the AWB went into effect.

The problem is that nobody defines what AWB. I'm in CT so its the only AWB that matters on NEShooters.

My motivation was that I had purchased a pre-ban AR lower that had a questionable build date. It was sold as a receiver only but was only sent from the manufacturer a month or so before the CT AWB. So while the receiver was made before the AWB, it could be argued that it was not built into a rifle before the AWB.

So I called the CT state firearms licensing group in (I believe) middletown. I spoke with a Trooper (I'll get his name and edit this post, I cant find it right now) and asked him if there was any explicit provision (there is not) about assembly into a gun, or even if there was any generally accepted interpretation that a lower needed to be built up into a gun.

He told me flat out NO, if the receiver was built before the drop dead date, it was pre-ban. There is no caveat about it being built up into a full gun.

He then offered for me to get another opinion from his sister, who was also a Trooper. She worked in the anti-gun trafficking group at Hartford Brainerd airport. I called and spoke to her, she also told me there was no requirement that the gun be built by the date of the CT AWB.

Hope this is of some value to all of you.

The lady wasn't legally able to tell me the FFL or the buyer, even though she had that info.
It would be bad business practice to disclose another customer's name to you, but I am not aware of any law that doing so would violate - are you?
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