Is it legal to have a cut receiver rewelded?
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Thread: Is it legal to have a cut receiver rewelded?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Corinth, TX

    Default Is it legal to have a cut receiver rewelded?

    I've seen alot of people talking about rewelding the cut receivers on brens and DPs into a semi-automatic config, but is that really legal? I've been meaning to grab a DP or a Bren kit, but obviously the receivers are a pain in the butt to get, so I've held off until now. If this is legal, is there a gunboards sponsor that can do a full semi-auto build with a cut receiver? (I'm too cheap/poor to go buy a welding torch and the other required tools to do the job, plus I don't have the time at the moment)
    Owner, sole proprietor, and chief of cantankerousness for Sergei's Armory.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Baltimore MD


    Yes, it's legal to build your own SA BREN but care needs to be taken in the construction of the receiver. You MUST modify the receiver to an ATF approved SA configuration BEFORE completing welding. If you just reweld and then plan to make SA mods afterwards you're now in possession of an unregistered MG. Bad juju.
    SMG Guns will build on your parts kit and are working on producing a SA BREN receiver. I'll warn you in advance that it's not cheap. Go to . I'd also check on Len Savage at Historic Arms and Wise Lite.
    The problem with the rat race is that even if you win you're still a rat!

  3. #3


    EDIT: everything below is with respect to FEDERAL law. You must also follow any State and Local laws that apply to you

    Legally, that Bren receiver is a machinegun until it has been throughly destroyed following the ATF guidelines. Once destroyed properly, those pieces are scrap and legally no different that a steel bar.

    Once you start rewelding, you MUST make DAMN sure that you're building a semi-auto weapon that complies with all laws and ATF guidelines/regulations/publications. The only way to be CERTAIN that you have done so would be to send it in to them for approval of the design. This is NOT a requirement, though. You are reasonably SAFE if you exactly follow a previously approved design, which is why it is a good idea to get guidance from people "in the know". If you're breaking out on your own, "winging it" or purposely creating a new design, then you MUST know what you are doing and follow those laws/guidelines/regulations/publications and also get YOUR design approved by ATF.

    You can legally build yourself a firearm whose design is legal. You must do substantially all of the work on the reciever yourself (since that is the part that is legally a gun). If you don't have the resources to build it yourself, you can get a LICENSED MANUFACTURER to build it for you, if you can find one.

    All that said, the Bren and DP28 that you mentioned are among the most difficult of the "home builds" due to the welding and machining involved. At the other end of the spectrum are AKs & FALS (basically assembly on a complete receiver or folded flat), followed by SMGs like Stens, Suomis, PPShs (usually built from new tube receivers and/or sheetmetal) and then the re-welds like Thompson SMG, MG42, Bren, DP28, etc.

    There is a very active "home builder" forum called the Weapon's Guild that will show you all the possibilities and give you a lot of help.

    Hope I haven't scared you. I think it is a lot of fun and this is where I am currently focusing my "collecting" activities.

    Last edited by Teddydog; 04-15-2009 at 02:44 PM.

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