What Is An ATF Form 1?
For most gun owners, the Form 1 process entails transforming an existing AR lower receiver into a short-barreled rifle (SBR). An approved Form 1 allows you, the manufacturer of the SBR, to purchase a barrel (or complete separate upper receiver) shorter than 16 inches in length. Additionally, this form can also be used if you plan to create a short-barreled shotgun (SBS), your very own silencer, or any other weapon (AOW).
To address the common uses of ATF Form 1s, read the following breakdowns for more information.
As mentioned, the SBR option is where most firearm enthusiasts will utilize the Form 1 application. Classified as a rifle having a rifled barrel that measures less than 16 inches long, SBRs are a popular build for many gun aficionados due to the maneuverability and weight savings of a shorter host firearm. The accessibility of its needed components and its ease of assembly make the AR-15 platform a superb place for most to start.
Without getting into the ballistics, the purpose of transforming an existing AR receiver into an SBR is simple: size and weight savings. For many, having a 10” barrel on their AR-15 with a ~6” silencer means that their entire—suppressed system—is the same length as their buddy’s “off-the-shelf” AR. And, let’s be honest as well… We all want to have the coolest gun on the range.
Please note, the ATF considers any pistol with a shoulder stock as needing to be fired from the shoulder. Therefore, any pistols with a shoulder stock that is “permanently affixed” and sporting barrels less than 16 inches—or an overall length under 26 inches—are classified as SBRs.
Next on the totem pole of ATF Form 1 uses is the SBS distinction. Along the same lines as their SBR cousins, SBS configurations comprise any shotgun [with a buttstock] and a barrel that measures under 18 inches in length.
For ATF purposes, an SBS—also colloquially referred to as a sawed-off shotgun—must be intended to be fired from the shoulder, one shell per shot. Just like SBRs, modifications made to SBS items require prior ATF approval, which is where a Form 1 submission comes into play.
For you go-getters out there (a tip of the cap from Silencer Shop), designing and building your own suppressor from scratch can be an arduous task that also requires the filing of an ATF Form 1. Whether developed in your garage or in the toolshed, meeting ATF requirements is still necessary (e.g., NFA item name, the overall length of the can, engraved serial number, etc.) before you begin.
Although we highly recommend going the traditional route and purchasing from our wide array of available silencers designed by industry-leading manufacturers, developing your own can is, in fact, possible.
Any Other Weapons
Regarding AOWs, this category covers improvised firearms (i.e., zip guns) and disguised firearms. Basically, if you create a firearm that does NOT fit into the above classes, the ATF considers it an AOW, and it needs to be submitted as such. Pistols with vertical foregrips and many styles of short-barreled shotguns without a buttstock are common examples of AOWs.
Another point of note, pre-manufactured AOWs purchased through your locally licensed dealer require a $5 tax stamp, while items created by you require a $200 tax stamp.
A general word to the wise… Be extra safe when personally crafting any NFA items, and always err on the side of caution by registering your creations with the ATF via the ATF Form 1 Service that Silencer Shop now offers. Remember, the Form 1 must come back approved before you can create your NFA item. We hope this service makes your registration process as smooth as your new SBS’s barrel.
For any questions regarding our new Form 1 feature, please contact us anytime. Plus, stay tuned for our next blog post covering how to fill out an ATF Form 1 and how it works!