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Project: “XD” Marked M2 Carbines & ATF Status

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David Albert View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote David Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Project: “XD” Marked M2 Carbines & ATF Status
    Posted: Mar 12 2017 at 11:08am
I apologize in advance for the length of this post…It’s long for good reason, and I hope you will take the time to read it, reflect upon it, and possibly contribute your input.

I am planning to make a request to ATF to have "XD" prefix "M2" marked, Inland manufactured presentation Carbines removed from automatically being considered machine guns. I want to approach this alongside the Carbine Club, and I have asked our cooperative collector association to consider whether this is something we should pursue. I have received some initial, positive response, as well as some hesitancy, but have been given the “green light” so to speak to approach the subject among all forum and club members.

It is important to mention that this subject has apparently been approached in the very distant past (35-40 years ago). I have heard two versions of what occurred. A board administrator here indicated that a request was made to ATF by the club back then, led by one of the six original members of the club, which was flatly rejected by ATF. Another very early member told me that a decision was made by the club not to pursue it with ATF, because too many members feared attention, because they had XD Carbines in their collections. He indicated that the club wished to operate very much “under the radar,” and the prevailing members at that time did not want to potentially attract attention to themselves. A similar sentiment was initially presented to me when I recently inquired to the principal members with my renewed plan to approach ATF on this subject.

“XD” marked M2 Carbines are machine guns under the National Firearms Act. All NFA Rules Apply. Anyone who owns an M2 XD Carbine that is not registered under the NFA is technically a felon in possession of an unregistered machine gun, and subject to considerable criminal penalties. Their machine gun status is not the way they should be classified, in my opinion, and that's why I want ATF to change the rules. This is why the club should be involved in a renewed effort to potentially fix the issue, in my opinion. It benefits Carbine Club members, and the collector genre for current and future generations. Remember…we are only temporary caretakers of these pieces of history.

We likely have members that own these types of Carbines. We know they exist out there. Such members could certainly benefit from the effort, and do not need to reveal themselves. If they have held onto presentation M2 Carbines for this long, I would assume that very few people have seen them, and they are probably akin to paintings from an art heist…destined to remain underground, with some fear of being discovered. I’d like to turn this around, and potentially see the XD Carbines in a public display sometime.

Overview of Problem

M2 Carbines, and the various iterations of M1/M2 conversions, overstamps, and registered part sets are among the most confusing NFA items in the registry. At some point, ATF decided that anything marked "M2" is considered a machine gun. This makes sense on the surface, since almost all Inland M2's, and the limited Winchester manufactured M2's (Mostly M1/M2 Overstamps) were assembled into machine guns for our military. However, as further M2 production was cancelled by the government, Inland had already manufactured some M2 receivers that never got assembled into machine guns. That is the key point...they were never assembled into machine guns, and should technically not be considered such under NFA rules. The exact number is unknown, but we are probably talking about 800+ Carbines that were stamped with an "XD" serial number prefix. There are also some other prefixes that may have the same consideration. These Carbines were then presented to employees of Inland in Dayton, Ohio, some with special plaques, etc., and they were taken home without another thought as to their NFA status in 1945, because they were never considered machine guns by Inland, even though they were marked "M2."

Last year on Facebook, one of these Carbines was highlighted, and the owner was informed that their Carbine was an NFA item. It had never been registered, and ended up being turned in to ATF, and almost certainly destroyed. Its serial number was XD43. I have included a photo of it below.



Another recent example involved XD100, which was offered for sale on Gunbroker, and had coverage in a thread on this board.

http://www.uscarbinecal30.com/forum/inland-presentation-carbine-on-gunbroker_topic2748_post13668.html?KW=XD100#13668

Anyway, while I do not personally know of any other examples that are out there, I'm sure there are more. I've heard people talk about them at OGCA, and online, and there are likely more of them in my general vicinity, since I live about 35 miles from the former Inland plant location. I'd like to see these guns become saved from potential destruction.

There are many different M2 issues besides the XD issue that I want to address. Here are the different iterations of M2 NFA variations/issues that contribute to the overall confusion on the subject:

•     XD serial numbered Inland M2 receivers that were never assembled as MG's (Contraband, unless registered during 1968 Amnesty)

•     Originally marked M2's from Inland, and a potential few from Winchester (C&R)

•     M1 Receivers that were over-stamped "M2" at the factory, such as Winchester M2's (Should be C&R, but "muddy")

•     Various non-original M2 manufacturer M1's that have been overstamped "M2" as part of their non-original conversion (IBM, Rock-Ola, Saginaw, etc.) (Transferable, non-C&R)

•     Original manufacturer M1's (Inland and Winchester) that were overstamped "M2" as part of their non-original conversion (Circa 1986 conversions in prep for Hughes Amendment) (Transferable, non-C&R)

•     7-piece M2 parts sets, with serial numbers on various of the seven parts (Transferable, non-C&R)

•     Registered trigger packs (Transferable, non-C&R)

•     Registered M2 slides (Transferable, non-C&R)

•     Universal, Plainfield, and Iver Johnson manufactured, commercial M2 Carbines (Transferable, Some will soon be C&R)

•     Other commercial manufacturer M1 Carbines that were converted, some of which were overstamped "M2," and some that were not (Transferable, non-C&R)

•     Pre-May 1986 Dealer Samples (Not transferable, not C&R)

•     Post-May 1986 Dealer Samples (Not transferable, not C&R)

As you can see, it’s a crowded and confusing field when it comes to M2 Carbines, and the NFA Registry.


Approach

The way I propose we approach this project is to solicit the input of all board/Carbine Club members for information supportive of the effort. This includes solicitation of any original paperwork supportive of the effort, as well as citations of books that cover the subject. I will probably also approach Larry Ruth, who is a co-“other” author on a Thompson book published by Tracie Hill in 2009. I will present an initial draft of a letter to ATF, posted here for everyone to see and review for suggested changes, etc. I anticipate several drafts will be posted prior to the final letter. When we finish the letter, and are happy with its content, I will print and mail it to ATF. The letter will be addressed on behalf of myself, and the Carbine Club. It could also potentially include support of the National Firearms Act Trade and Collectors association (NFATCA), if they approve. I have contacted them, and they expressed interest in approaching ATF about several M2 Carbine issues.

ATF leadership is changing. We are beginning the best 2 years of opportunity. While we may not need to rush, we should not be complacent in any way. We should anticipate initial rejection, as that is customary, but we have a very good chance of resolution under the new administration. Perseverance and data is what I think will eventually result in the appropriate change. Our approach needs to be as data based as possible.

The specific request will likely be a request for a variance to ATF for XD marked Inland M2 receivers, removing them from the NFA Registry, and possibly specifically listing them on the C&R list as regular firearms.

So, I look forward to working on this, as a board project and effort that I will submit to ATF. Any thoughts you have on the subject are welcomed, and this will all be collaborative. Once I receive initial feedback, I’ll write and post a rough draft for review.

If you like this approach, please feel free to hit the "Thanks" button in the upper right hand corner.

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blackfish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 12 2017 at 5:11pm
I think the wording as to what is or is not a machine gun goes to original "design or intent", which these guns were certainly destined to become.

I have no XD so I have no dog in this fight but I do have and shoot carbines in full auto and the M2 regulations are not really that confusing, at least I don't find them so. ATF has bent over backwards for a number of years to make it clear for anybody who bothers to take the time to read. Of course, YMMV

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2017 at 10:08am
Originally posted by blackfish blackfish wrote:

I think the wording as to what is or is not a machine gun goes to original "design or intent", which these guns were certainly destined to become.

I have no XD so I have no dog in this fight but I do have and shoot carbines in full auto and the M2 regulations are not really that confusing, at least I don't find them so. ATF has bent over backwards for a number of years to make it clear for anybody who bothers to take the time to read. Of course, YMMV



blackfish,

I believe it has to do with whether the M2 marked receivers were ever assembled into machine guns. They may have been originally intended to become machine guns, but Inland did not assemble them into machine guns, nor did they record them as such, to our knowledge. Inland was operating as a manufacturer, and was subject to NFA laws and recordkeeping responsibilities.

I'm glad that the NFA rules around M2's are not confusing for you. I've owned NFA firearms for 29 years, and managed discussion forums about them, and M2 Carbines continue to confuse most who look into the many NFA iterations of this type of machine gun. I am not intending the confusion subject to be a huge debate, but if you are very clear on all the rules, perhaps you could clarify several questions that provide the most confusion.

If one owns an transferable, original M2 Carbine, is it legal to own spares of all 7 parts that have been defined together, by themselves, as machine guns? The following are further iterations of the same question...

- Does legality change if you own a transferable M2 Carbine, as well as a regular M1 Carbine that is readily able to accept the 7 spare parts that would make the M1 into an M2?

- Is legality for the previous question different if you don't own an M1 Carbine that could readily accept the M2 parts?

- Is legality different for the above if you own an M1 carbine that would not readily accept the 7 M2 parts?

- Is it different if one owns an overstamped M2, whether originally overstamped, or not, or an M1 Carbine that was legally converted to full auto?

- If one owns a commercial M2 Carbine that might have slightly different parts, is it legal to own GI spares of all 7 parts that, by themselves are considered a machine gun?

- Is it legal to own a full set of 7 spare parts if you own a transferable parts set? (7 parts - A registered parts kit with an NFA registered serial number on one of the parts)

- On all the questions above, would it be legal to own 6 out of the 7 parts that by themselves are considered a machine gun by ATF? What if the 6 parts were everything except one of the springs? (Disconnector spring, or selector lever spring)

- If one owns a registered slide, is it ok to have spare parts set of all 7 parts that are considered a machine gun by themselves? (It is assumed in this case, that one unregistered set of 7 parts is ok to own, because they are needed to work in conjunction with the slide.)

Thanks in advance for any clarification, and basis for such that you can provide. I have my own set of answers for the above, but have never seen written ATF opinions on such.

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com

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Past President, The American Thompson Association
American Society of Arms Collectors
OGCA
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IAA
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blackfish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2017 at 6:25pm
David,

Quote
If one owns an transferable, original M2 Carbine, is it legal to own spares of all 7 parts that have been defined together, by themselves, as machine guns?


No. In addition to your registered original M2 carbine (receiver), as you note, you've got a pile of spare parts, in fact another "machine gun", in fact unregistered, on your benchtop.

Quote
Does legality change if you own a transferable M2 Carbine, as well as a regular M1 Carbine that is readily able to accept the 7 spare parts that would make the M1 into an M2?


No, why should it? The M1 and M2 are irrelevent. Your pile of spares is still an unregistered "machine gun". It matters not whether those parts alone can chamber and fire a round. It's their original design and their proximity to one another that counts.

Quote
Is legality for the previous question different if you don't own an M1 Carbine that could readily accept the M2 parts?


No, see the NFA Handbook.

Quote
Is legality different for the above if you own an M1 carbine that would not readily accept the 7 M2 parts?


No, see the NFA Handbook.

Quote
4) Is it different if one owns an overstamped M2, whether originally overstamped, or not, or an M1 Carbine that was legally converted to full auto?


No, the overstamped receiver should have been the registered piece and you're once again back to your contraband pile of parts.

Quote
If one owns a commercial M2 Carbine that might have slightly different parts, is it legal to own GI spares of all 7 parts that, by themselves are considered a machine gun?


No, see the NFA Handbook.

Quote
Is it legal to own a full set of 7 spare parts if you own a transferable parts set? (7 parts - A registered parts kit with an NFA registered serial number on one of the parts)


No, absolutely nothing has changed. Your PILE-O-PARTS = CONTRABAND. See the NFA Handbook.

Quote
On all the questions above, would it be legal to own 6 out of the 7 parts that by themselves are considered a machine gun by ATF? What if the 6 parts were everything except one of the springs? (Disconnector spring, or selector lever spring)


Yes, since 6<7 there's no extra "machine gun" in the picture. See the NFA Handbook.

Quote
If one owns a registered slide, is it ok to have spare parts set of all 7 parts that are considered a machine gun by themselves? (It is assumed in this case, that one unregistered set of 7 parts is ok to own, because they are needed to work in conjunction with the slide.)


Finally something not straight out of the NFA Handbook.

Studying the NFA Handbook, my understanding of ATF's logic wrt these parts questions is that whatever part was/is "registered", it

i) must be required for the M2 configuration
and
ii) has no functional use outside the M2 configuration.

Thus, any such slide, trigger housing, stock, or buttplate registration was an error. Your slide should never have been registered. The existence of such paperwork may seem to indicate legality and things are "ok", but ATF's recent Form 1 "approval" to manufacture a new machinegun which comes to mind demonstrates such "approval" means squat in law. It was human error. Bring the error to ATF's attention and you'll be given the chance to turn in your unregistered machine gunS (slide and part set) without penalty.

Woohoo!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 20 2017 at 9:00pm
Blackfish,

I agree with your answers to the first 7 questions. Nevertheless, these are often confusing to M2 owners, and the general NFA community.

In regards to having 6 out of 7 parts, while I agree with your answer in principle, I would not recommend owning 6 of the 7, with the missing part being one of the two springs. I think this could be shaving it too close, particularly if the owner has a large firearm collection, or spare parts containing many different springs that might be able to function with the other 6 parts. I know this is a stretch, but my recommendation, based on the uniqueness of the M2 parts set NFA consideration, is for an M2 owner not to own any of the 7 as spares. Order a replacement when you need it. That's just my $.02. on that issue.

In regards to the registered slide, I see your logic. I think this is somewhat uncharted territory. I would not purchase this type of M2 conversion device.

Thank you for your input on this. I have overheard conversations, and have had many conversations myself about M2 registered parts sets and spares over the years. It is confusing to many, including NFATCA members who are quite familiar with NFA firearm regulations.

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com
NRA Life Member
Past President, The American Thompson Association
American Society of Arms Collectors
OGCA
TCA
Carbine Club
GCA
IAA
Contributing Writer, Small Arms Review Magazine
Eagle Scout, NESA
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