Airsoft Gun Seizure – Apparently Toys Can Be Real Guns

I didn’t report on this story when it first surfaced because I thought it was stupid, and would go away quickly.  But It didn’t.

TACOMA, Wash. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized a shipment of 30 machine guns that arrived in an ocean container at the Tacoma Seaport last October.

Officials say the shipment of M-4 automatic rifles, manifested only as “Toys and Parts,” was valued at nearly $10,000 and was shipped from a manufacturer in Taiwan.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms found that the rifles were tooled to shoot plastic balls, but replacement of internal components with original machine gun components would render the rifles capable of firing live ammunition.

“These rifles could have had far-reaching and potentially devastating ramifications if they had gotten into the hands of individuals who wanted to do harm in the American population,” said Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director, Rolando Suliveras, Jr. “This was a good interception by our officers.”

The guns will be destroyed.

Source – King5 News

Here is a news story on the incident:

[youtube width=”560″ height=”340″][/youtube]

Special agent Kelven Crenshaw has a bit of trouble with the magazine at 1:18 :lol:  I guess they only teach the operation of the m4 platform in “extra” special agent school.

Interesting info from the company who got their guns seized, AirsoftOutletNW:

Now we at Airsoft Outlet Northwest, being the rational individuals we are, went out and had a gunsmith check the true compatibility of these replicas and found the following information:

  • The WE TTI M4’s lack any sort of functional gas tube which is integral to an AR15’s operation
  • The upper receiver of an AR15 fits onto the lower of the WE TTI M4
  • The stock trigger pack in the WE TTI cannot strike the firing pin of a AR15 bolt
  • The body of the WE TTI lower is several mils thinner than an AR15 lower, and shims would be needed for any AR trigger pack to work
  • The trigger pack of an AR15 appears to be able to fit onto the lower receiver of a WE TTI M4, one of the AR15 trigger pack retaining pins is impossible to insert without major modification, and the hammer isn’t operable with the WE TTI lower.

The full article, Airsoft: An Industry Without Standard, is actually a really good read if you have the time, regardless of whether or not you are into airsoft.

The only real issue I would say may exist, is if you could put a REAL upper on an airsoft lowers and have it fire, either fully automatic or semi automatic.  The lower receiver of a M4/M-16/AR-15 is not subjected to any extreme pressures when a round is fired, so as long as the material the airsoft replica was made out of is semi rigid, it would likely hold up for a while at least.  That said, I highly doubt that any of the airsoft lowers would be able to accept a REAL upper, and fire without any modification.  Although the whole airsoft industry thrives on authenticity, it is not in their best interest to get attention like this, which is why I doubt the parts are exactly 1:1 interchangeable.

Basically, if the ATF claims these airsoft guns can be easily converted into real guns, they should just demonstrate the conversion, and put a couple of magazines through it.  There needs to be some accountability and burden of proof placed on these government organizations.


93 responses to “Airsoft Gun Seizure – Apparently Toys Can Be Real Guns”

  1. ATF = Alcohol, Tobacco, and Fuck-ups

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Hide your dog jimbo!

  2. i would say that it would be 100 times easier to just convert an AR15 to full auto.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Without a doubt!

  3. I doubt the airsoft lower has a functional buffer tube assembly. It may be able to accept a buffer tube, but the buffer retaining pin is a little important.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Actually there is a field strip video on youtube ( ) and if you check it out at 1:13 it has a spring and buffer!

      1. I am in the military and have field stripped an M-16 many times. There is much more involved then is listed here. These airsoft weapons cannot be turned into anything useful for an open fire combat with real ammunition.

        1. I agree. The problem is that these BATFE agents don’t know a damn thing about the guns they are supposed to be watching out for. So they get skittish about silly meaningless things that don’t matter and now there is a retailer who is out of $10K of inventory, and a bunch of US tax dollars wasted on a useless enterprise. This is so typical of government bureaucracy.

  4. BigWillie Avatar

    The area that would normally be the buffer tube is sometimes taken up by a battery for the gun, especially on the models without collapsible stocks.

    1. The airsoft guns in question however, need no battery and run off green gas, a combination of propane and silicone oil, or HFC134a.

  5. Ned Ryerson Avatar
    Ned Ryerson

    Well, if you think in ATF terms, it’s obvious. Cav Arms lowers are plastic, so Cav Arms must be shut down. (We must protect the people from cheap, available, and plastic guns.)

    Cav Arms sold the molds to Sabre industries, so Sabre must be raided into submission.

    Airsoft makes plastic things shaped like lower receivers, so they’re next.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Sad but true :(

  6. What a circus. I’m continually surprised at how retarded the ATF is.

  7. The ATF Agent is actually serious, I would like to see him take this airsoft rifle apart, get the necessary AR-15 upper and lower mechanics oh and you’ll probably need a new barrel to because I’m sure that one is not rifled. So put that on TV please show the people a conversion of this Airsoft Rifle that shoot’s plastic pellets being converted to a Semi Automatic AR-15 that can shoot a .223 round.
    He made me laugh when he said it can be converted…Show me then..! Please! Show the business owner your stealing from. I hope this brings him more sales. But they will probably find a way to close his business.
    Out of control and it’s sad to see. I wonder if they used the Patriot act in the seizure of this Toy Gun shipment.
    What’s next a Daisy BB gun, maybe a wrist rocket, or a nerf gun our kids play with.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Exactly. If by some fluke they could make enough AR-15/m-16 parts fit (through machining or not) in order to fire the gun, the person pulling the trigger better be doing it from behind a wall with a string, because it will explode into a million pieces. There is no way an airsoft barrel can handle ~55000psi

    2. mrmeval Avatar

      Federal law has no prohibition on making your own semi-auto lower lower or firearm for your own use. The only limitation is state law.

      Federal law does however allow the BATFE arbitrary powers to define any commercial product as a firearm. The law specifies their powers and they are broad. Reading just the law will not tell you if what you have crosses their arbitrary lines since they can write rules with the force of law out of thin air. So far congress has not given them power over personally crafted until they enter commerce.

      You can take a block of aluminum and happily whittle it away to a lower if you choose. The same is true for the semi auto version of the AK47 and others. There are several websites detailing the process and you can find several BATFE letters. You can never make a full auto lower as it falls under a different set of laws and new ones were flat out prohibited in ’86 you can still purchase ones made before 86 with the payment of a tax and six months of paperwork and waiting.

      I doubt congress will ever reign in the cretins at the BATFE, they keep adding letters to their acronym for every atrocity they commit.

      If the ant-some-drug laws become regulated and legal we may see a lesser need for goons like the BATFE agents. But considering past performance congress will just give them another letter, more power, more guns and less accountability.

      Government evil is easily explained by this from Jerry Pournelle

      “Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.”

      The people who ooze their way to the top are just the people who will destroy anything to keep the organization safe.

      1. USMCSooner Avatar


        If you take a piece of Aluminum and whittle it down to a functional Lower Receiver of an AR15, AK, AR10, or any other firearm, and you are doing so without being in possession of a type 7 or type 10 FFL (included in being of Class 2 SOT status) then it is illegal and the firearms will be confiscated, and you will be in violation of Federal Law. The Lower Receiver is the only part of a rifle that has a serial number and the only part that is regulated by FFL transfers.

        State law prohibits the buying and types of attachments and usage of these rifles, but has no bearing whatsoever on their manufacturing.

        Have a nice day :)

        1. everett Avatar

          The lower receiver is “normally” the serial numbered part, and is regulated on ‘most’ firearms.
          But, the cover-plate on the M2 is the regulated part, not the receiver.
          As for the building your own anything, full auto, good luck getting it to work right, unless you have the machines and skill to use them. There is no safe way to do it otherwise, and a one sot thrill, is not worth dying over.
          Can semi-auto be modified to full-auto, yes in most cases, if…
          but why do it, it will not be as good as a factory arm, by any measure, nor as safe.
          If you can put 10 rounds down range in 6 seconds with a lever-gun, you dont need full-auto any way. And yes I can, and all hit. USASOG, sense you mentioned it.

        2. mrmeval Avatar

          USMCSooner: Etu Brutus?

          “With certain exceptions a firearm may be made by a nonlicensee provided it is not for sale and the maker is not prohibited from possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from making a semiautomatic assault weapon or assembling a nonsporting semiautomatic rifle or nonsporting shotgun from imported parts. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and approval by ATF. An application to make a machinegun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for a federal or state agency. [18 U. S. C. 922( o), (r), (v), and 923, 27 CFR 178.39, 178.40, 178.41 and 179.105]”

          You can never make an NFA National Firearms Act defined weapon without substantial paperwork and approvals. You will not be able to make and own a full auto firearm unless it was made before 1986. You can apply for and pay the tax to make other NFA weapons and make them yourself. The compliance part of the ATF is a government agency and you should contact them for assistance.

          The law on importation does allow you to use imported parts IF you use enough US parts and it meets the legal definition of ‘sporting’.

          Google is your friend and the ATF is not a black operation even if their armed agents souls are. You can find the information on their website. If it’s highly technical you can write or call them.

        3. Sorry, but you are not correct. Please do some research and learn about this on the ATF website. Here is a short summary of what they have to say on this:

          Individuals manufacturing sporting-type firearms for their own use need not hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs). However, we suggest that the manufacturer at least identify the firearm with a serial number as a safeguard in the event that the firearm is lost or stolen. Also, the firearm should be identified as required in 27 CFR 478.92 if it is sold or otherwise lawfully transferred in the future.

          Have a nice day :)

    3. I disagree with saying it can be converted but even if it can they probably don’t want a criminal or any other person that can cause harm to figure out how to build a firearm if they publicized how to do it.

  8. The ATF is doing some really funky stuff these days. It seems they are harassing any business that they can who in any way caters to a clientele who like black rifles (ATI, CAV Arms etc).

    I think the ATF has decided to do everything they can to run small manufacturers and importers out of the business, and also to scare owners out of purchasing anything that looks like and evil black rifle

    Scary stuff

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Yea very scary! I like to hope that a majority of the guys that work there are good ethical people. Just like anywhere though, there are going to be some rogue agents, and also lots that are just doing what someone with more authority is telling them to do. I wish they would start picking on tobacco instead, and give alcohol, explosives and especially firearms a breather.

  9. I suggest people interested in the apparent BATFE preposterous claims peruse the clean up the BATF forums:
    Read about gross mismanagement on the part of the upper management, the blatant fraud, cronyism, retaliation, etc. etc.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Interesting site Mark, thanks for sharing it.

  10. […] Coincidentally the ATF had $10000 worth of “easily convertible” airsoft m4’s fall into their lap.   Agency to agency transfer […]

  11. Thinking It Through First…

    This is a machine gun: Seriously, it is. Build this out of the proper material and insert it into the mechanism of a certain semi-automatic rifle made with the proper model of bolt, and you will have a fully automatic weapon. The parts only last 10…

  12. Nice work. In case my trackbacks don’t work, I’ve quoted you on my post.

    Someone at ATF needs to prove it, and someone at government needs to define “readily”. I’d define it as 90 minutes, a Dremel tool, a pot of epoxy, a few bits of common plastic, and a hand drill. If it takes a machine shop to convert the receivers then that’s not fair.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Great article Drew. Thanks for the mention!

      If it takes a machine shop to convert the receivers then that’s not fair.

      Exactly! Whats next? Charging someone for possession of full auto lowers for owning some billet aluminum?

      1. If I remember right, way back in the day something similar to that was done simply because the ATF felt that there was “intent” to build a machine gun. I don’t believe that the charges stuck, but it made life hell for the guy who went through the BATFE meatgrinder just to prove his innocence, or rather, to make them prove his intent to build an illegal weapon.

        Remember when George Orwell’s “Thought Police” were just fictional? Well, what was yesterday’s fiction is today’s reality and now it is apparently illegal to have thoughts of intent.

  13. Whoever the party is that’s supposed to receive this ship has the constitutional right to contest this. The ATF SHOULD be able to prove that these toy guns can be converted into real guns. And if I were an Asian arms dealer trying to smuggle gun parts into the US, wouldn’t it be easier to bring in the internal parts rather than the plastic exterior?

    This is bullshit. I think they just didn’t want to seem like idiots for mistaking the toys for real guns so they said, “Oh well they’re still dangerous. Good work, guys, let’s get some donuts.” Dicks.

  14. A few pertinent facts might help in this discussion. First, the one part of the AR-15 that is licensed is the lower receiver. If you want to buy just a lower receiver, you go through the process of purchasing a firearm. Every other part, and I do mean EVERY other part for a semi-automatic AR-15, can be purchased through the mail (or numerous websites) with no check at all. If you can pay for it, and if you want it shipped within the USA, you can buy it online.

    So, the lower receiver gets a lot of attention from the BATF, as it should. If, in their judgment, a lower receiver can be readily adapted to hold the “real” firearm components of the AR-15, it does pose a risk.

    In the words of at least one very well respected shooter, the lower receiver of the AR-15 exists to keep the other parts from falling on the ground. It’s a nice aluminum or polymer casting with some holes drilled in exactly the right places, and some minor machining. It is not far-fetched to believe that a reasonable facsimile of an AR-15 lower receiver can be modified to produce a working firearm. It may not have a long service life, it may not be accurate or reliable, but it certainly will fire live ammunition.

  15. PS: No, I don’t work for the BATF, but in this case I do think that somebody needed to inject a few facts into the discussion. And regarding the lower receiver, look closely at an AR-15, any AR-15, and you’ll see the weapon serial number on the lower receiver. That’s the only place on the weapon that carries the serial number. And I guess that’s why it’s controlled. Everything else is made by many (I have no idea just HOW many) armament manufacturers, both in the USA and abroad.


    1. PPS: I wrote that the lower receiver is a “nice aluminum or polymer casting” and that’s not quite accurate. I believe that nowadays most AR-15 “lowers” are made from aluminum forgings, not just castings.

      I think I’m done now.


      1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
        Admin (Mike)

        Thanks for the info Wolf! I still think though that it should only be a concern if the AR-15 parts can either drop right in, or else fit with VERY MINIMAL work. And I’m talking hand tools, not expensive mills and calipers etc..

        1. Mike;

          The gunsmith who checked the compatibility of the replicas is quoted as saying: “The trigger pack of an AR15 appears to be able to fit onto the lower receiver of a WE TTI M4, one of the AR15 trigger pack retaining pins is impossible to insert without major modification, and the hammer isn’t operable with the WE TTI lower.”.

          He uses the term “major modification” which is subject to interpretation. But with that said, I’ll add a couple more comments.

          The “trigger pack” referred to (never heard that term before) is a trigger and disconnector assembly, presumably. It is held in position with one pin that is driven in from the right side of the lower receiver. The hammer and spring are held in place with one more pin, also drive in from the right side of the lower receiver. If you drill the holes for the pins in the right place, you can install these parts and you’ve got a working trigger, assuming of course that the lower receiver casting has the right dimensions to hold these components. From what I’ve seen in print, I can’t tell if this is the case or not.

          I think you can understand that putting an AR-15 together is not terribly difficult, and that the BATF thinks that this unregistered receiver is close enough to the real thing to pose a risk.

          What puzzles me is why the people who make these airsoft rifles go to such lengths to make them close enough internally to the real thing to get themselves or their dealers (in this case) in such trouble. I mean, why bother? When they designed the thing, didn’t they realize that the lower receiver is the one single part in the whole (semi-auto version) of the rifle that is really governed, and that to make a near-duplicate was going to cause a controversy?

          To go much further with this would involve getting one of these lower receivers and trying to make it a functional weapon. I have no interest in doing that (and it might just be illegal), so my participation in this conversation has come to and end.


  16. […] was thinking some more about that recent ATF airsoft seizure and came up with the following… For your information, per provisions of the Gun Control Act […]

  17. Wcnwzrd Avatar

    you know what gets me. i can go out and buy an AR-15 with a minimal of wait, heck i can buy multiple AR-15s with hardly any hassle. Within about 1 hour (each) they can be modified to fire full auto without posing a safety issue (barrel blowing. ect) and will be just as accurate if a little less reliable than one manufatured that way. Now im thinking that it would take a plethora of parts and alot more time/money to convert an AR-15 1:1 replica airsoft gun to one fire actual round, two fire them full auto and three make it safe enough so i can actually do it again. why bother. I understand gun control but not gun Naziism.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      I totally agree. If the guns can’t be “converted” by a simple swap of parts, then I really think this whole confiscation shouldn’t have happened.

  18. This is absurd. I have had experience with both airsoft guns and real guns, and can confirm that this is total crap. The barrel of an airsoft gun is slightly over 6mm (around 6.03 mm for the nice ones), so the largest round it could fit is a .22 caliber. The barrel is made of about 1-2mm thick brass or aluminum (Sometimes stainless if you want to go expensive). Even a .22 would break the barrel and rupture the gun after 1-2 shots, not to mention it would be single fire and very inaccurate because of the bull barrel.

    Now, if you WERE capable of getting your hands on a new barrel, a firing pin, a full upper receiver, and all the parts / training / know how to mod it and fix it, you may as well buy a real AR-15 and get the full auto parts yourself, putting yourself in less danger and with much less effort.

    If they have any legitimate documentation on this thing firing real cartridges in full auto, I would like to see it, ATF.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Thanks for the insight! You’re right, some proof that they could actually fire real cartridges would be nice.

    2. Whether the airsoft barrel is capable of firing .223 ammunition isn’t relevant.

      What is relevant is that, according to the gunsmith, “The upper receiver of an AR15 fits onto the lower of the WE TTI M4”. The upper receiver includes the barrel, gas tube, bolt carrier, bolt, and firing pin. If you can put the AR-15 upper receiver on the airsoft lower receiver, you’ve solved the problems you pointed out. And as I wrote, you can buy a complete AR-15 upper receiver, through the mail, with no restriction. If you don’t believe that, do a quick Google search on “AR-15 upper receiver complete” and go shopping.

      The concerns that BATF noted are legitimate, and they are based on knowledge of both the law and the weapon system.

      I will agree with you that there’s not much economic sense in modifying an airsoft rifle to accept the parts to make it fire, it would cost a lot more than just buying an AR-15 off the shelf. To do that, you would be operating within the law. What the BATF is apparently concerned with is those people who DON’T operate within the law.

      I didn’t see anything in this discussion that indicates that BATF is concerned about full-auto capability, because the basic legal AR-15 is a semi-auto rifle.

      1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
        Admin (Mike)

        I am aware of how the AR-15 platform works, I’ve built 6 of them from parts.

        Being able to put an upper on something (airsoft receiver in this case) that can not readily fire a round is useless. Having to heavily modify an airsoft receiver to be able to accept a fire control group and then calling it an illegal lower that was smuggled into the country, is bullshit.

      2. Sure you COULD buy a full AR-15 upper, spend 5 hours in a pro machine shop getting the thing to work, and then risk having the lower crack and waste all your time and money.

        If someone has the resources to get an AR-15 upper without throwing up any red flags and doing it with a false name and address, then have the capacity / resources / know-how to machine the lower so it fits properly, are also certainly capable of buying a black market AR-15, purchasing the real thing at a gun show, or stealing one. And most criminals that aren’t able to get one on the black market certainly aren’t capable of machining a airsoft lower to fit an AR-15 upper… One would need real training in gun-smithing to be able to pull something like this off.

        And dont be silly, Airsoft parts are made of a thin “Monkey Metal” or “Pot Metal” which couldn’t sustain the pressures created by the real thing anyway, which is precision machined for steel.

        1. Just like to say 1 thing: If this was a REAL, actual AR-15 lower that can snap right onto a AR upper and be ready to go, then there would be cause for concern. But, “retaining pins is impossible to insert without major modification, and the hammer isn’t operable with the WE TTI lower.”, plus the lack of a real gas tube basically means that it isn’t a real lower… Therefore, this poses no risk and everyone saying it does can shut up.

          1. FYI the gas tube is in the upper receiver and has nothing to do with the lower.

            Also, it’s been shown that the firing stresses on the lower receiver are actually relatively low and there is at least one company manufacturing very successul plastic lower receivers for the AR platform, even ones that have been used for heavy calibers, so the fact that the metal is of low quality should not impact the immediate life of the receiver. I’m sure the receiver wouldn’t exactly last for thousands of rounds, but then again, the BATFE doesn’t really care about longevity, and they have no rules around what materials the lowers are made from.

            Thus we have this issue with airsoft replicas.

            1. Cavalry Arms made fusion welded polymer lowers. They screwed the pooch. The ATF compliance branch are not a bunch of cockmongering assholes but gave them plenty of leeway in fixing the screwup they’d don when farming out the molding. Couple that with the owner transfering firearms in such a manner as to cause all sorts of felonies any you end up with no Cavalry Arms. The polymer lower concept lives on though and the latest incarnation is doing it far better. Google it. :)

              I admit to being a sucker and buying one of their ‘Cav-Aid” lowers. I should sell it at the current rate of 8 times what I paid…. 1/24/2013

  19. Jacob Vetter Avatar
    Jacob Vetter

    Actually all those who say this can not be converted… think about this. Take a M4 airsoft gun, take it apart, unscrewing a couple screw… rip out the guts, go buy a .22lr ruger 10/22 and put the guts from that inside the airsoft gun(of course with modifications to the internal plastics…) slap it together, and you have youself a .22 cal m4 copy. I was about to do this. and it is cheep to do, cheep m4 airsoft gun $30.00 used ruger 10/22 from gander mountain $130. for $160.00 you can have yourself a sweet looking M4 .22 lr. dont believe me. youtube airsoft .22 lr conversion
    heres just a few…

    Dont say your right unless you know your right – Davy Crocket.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Big difference Jacob. Your talking about putting a different receiver inside the Airsoft m4 receiver. The ATF is claiming with little modification the airsoft m4 will shoot .223/5.56 which has chamber pressures of approx 55,000 – 62,000 psi. That’s NOT going to happen.

      1. It is the level of effort needed which is ridiculous considering you’d be making an insert for the airsoft. However you do not need something that can handle those pressures. What you do need is something more substantial than very thin sheetmetal. I may at some point try and fabricate a lower out of sheet metal the thickness of a good stamped AK just for giggles. ;)

    2. mrmeval Avatar

      If you bought the Ruger legally, you can bolt on almost anything you want other than items that would make it a NFA weapon.

      If you have the Ruger illegally it’s illegal no matter what you bolt on it but you will do more time if you’ve made it an NFA weapon.

  20. Hi,
    This is not bull crap. As someone said before, Anyone ( a child, illegal immigrant, convicted felon, murderer…) can order any part ( barrel, barrel shroud, but-stock, magazine setc.) to an AR-15 ( or any other rifle ) that they want in a simple online process (just like a DVD or a pack of #2 pencils) except for a lower reciever. The lower reciever is the only thing that is hard to come buy because it is heavily regulated (in fact it is the only part of a rifle considered a firearm by the authorities). So if a convicted felon (felons cant own modern firearms in the US) could get his hands on a cheap plastic facsimile of a lower reciever he could easily make an AR-15 type wearpon, whether it is fully automatic or semi-auto really does not matter in the least (unless you want to hype it up, ex: media, ATF officials, teenage kids who dont know what they are talking about). Posters so far seem to think mechanical knowledge of firearms is hard to come by or somehow regulated.

    Just repeating what was already said but somehow missed…

  21. “Big difference Jacob. Your talking about putting a different receiver inside the Airsoft m4 receiver. The ATF is claiming with little modification the airsoft m4 will shoot .223/5.56 which has chamber pressures of approx 55,000 – 62,000 psi. That’s NOT going to happen.”

    How would you know? Your assuming.

    1. Err…or maybe I missunderstood your comment…

      1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
        Admin (Mike)

        I think you might have misunderstood my comment. I was just stating the facts to Jacob, how the ATF says those airsoft guns are easily convertible to fire live ammunition by replacing some internal components with machine gun components.

        Jacob was trying to say that dremeling out the interior of an airsoft gun and fitting a 10/22 receiver and barrel inside and firing .22LR is the same thing.

  22. […] Airsoft Gun Seizure – Apparently Toys Can Be Real Guns is the article I wrote back on Feb 28th on the airsoft gun seizure in Tacoma, WA.  I thought that situation would have been cleared up by now, but apparently not. […]

  23. […] Airsoft Gun Seizure – Apparently Toys Can Be Real Guns […]

  24. Rancher Griff Avatar
    Rancher Griff

    If they do get the parts to fit and work they are going to have to use a true AR-15 upper, or they will have to do a lot of work to get a gas tube, properly chambered barrel (no one seems to remember that a barrel needs to be chambered for the round, sure a .223 bullet will fit in the barrel, but the cartridge has no chamber to go into).

    So this is all ATF bull manure.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Interesting.. thanks for the link.

  25. everett1a Avatar

    With what I gathered in the original post, I call BS.
    I can make a Lower for an M16/AR15 from a block of wood.
    Will it work? yup. Will it last? No clue. Would I try it? Nope.
    Point is, the lower is does not have to contain much pressure,
    The Upper does all that.
    And just for your info, 2 pins for the AR, 3 for the M16.
    Yup, if you git the hole where it needs to be, the parts will fit.
    You now have a full auto Ar15 receiver. Enjoy your jail time.

    Someone, way up there made a comment about the lower receiver being the only registered part of any firearm. Or something like that.
    Not true of all weapons, but is true on the AR15/M16.
    A BMG, M2 for those of us who know them, has the numbers stamped on the cheap metal cover-plate. That cover is the weapon. Leave the cover off, BATF says you dont have a weapon.
    Now dont take this to your lawyer, but it is a fact. Unless you have the cover somewhere they can find it. lol
    Anyway, BS to the BATF boys, prove it, or shut up about it, and give the toys back. Taxpayers bought you enough of your own toys, you dont need to steal these.

  26. Mark61 Avatar

    In my opinion and only my opinion, this entire post or rather the subject therein, is truly about the excesses of government and their continued assault upon we the people and being able to do so with out accountability and this is only happening because we the people “voters” allow it. now as to the actual article, In the way the article is stated and posed to us there no conceivable way to make this work without more then mere speculative modification. The posters here are responding to the evidence presented in the article and nothing further. If given to me and I cant modify it to accept and fire a chambered .233 round with quarter inch groupings without drift from 100 yards without it blowing up and killing me and injuring anyone with in shrapnel range , and further being able to do it with what is in my toolbox or garage, then it can not be done, or rather it is not any real threat nor should this have been tolerated. If you have to go out and buy a mess of tools and start filing or make your own castings or start milling your own parts then the accusations are bullshit. and you should just build one from scratch. I know this cannot be done the way they imply.

    I have inspected and repaired and fired most small-arms and long- arms that exist associated with most military operations in the known world and it CAN NOT be done the way they imply. If it has to go through all this alteration then it poses no true threat and is absolutely useless to anyone with knowledge of improvised weaponry, or rather the fixing or repairing of any weapon in the field with what is naturally at hand or can be salvaged and re-used in the field. This is an absolute bullshit proposition. It can not be done based upon the little information contained in the article and I would like to know who the armorer / gunsmith that gave his so I know not to take anything to him or her if I could not fix or repair it myself.


    Master armorer

  27. Sullivan Avatar

    Coming from the perspective of someone who loves to make things from junk…. With a couple pages out of a gunsmithing book about the AR platform, enough time with a dremel and lots of epoxy I could hash the body of a nerf gun into a usable receiver, should we ban them too? But by this same logic you’d better ban scrap aluminum, steel, wood, sheet plastic, casting acrylics, ceramics or for that matter paper. Enough time and effort with any of those materials could create a receiver. Is it practical, hell no although it would be one interesting art project. Is it safe, that’s questionable depending on the material and how long you actually need it to last. There are no pressures on the receiver itself. The pressure is on the barrel and bolt assembly. The only thing the receiver has to handle is the weight of the upper receiver assembly and the shock of recoil.

    As others have stated, if the concern is about unregistered receivers then don’t waste our tax dollars harassing businessmen trying to run legit businesses. Do something about the M16’s that our government sold to the Mexican government that “disappeared” and started showing up being smuggled back into the US by cartels. There’s a real problem.

    1. Sullivan Avatar

      I should note that my comment about the materials that could be made into receivers was not just pulled out of the air as I have seen complete improvised firearms made out of all the materials I listed and more.

    2. Sir,
      This is exactly the point of my post. If one,no matter how experienced or inexperienced , has to go about searching and filing and casting then it is not worth the effort and one, if possessing the necessary knowledge, could and should just design and build their own “personal defense weapon.” So, this is the most bullshit post and I and others are just so sick of this government excess. what a crock.

    3. very true all you need to know is how every thing works semi/full auto and you can build anything if your really into it.

  28. mrmeval Avatar

    I have one of the last Cavalry Arms polymer receivers that will probably ever be made since the ATF put them out of business. It’s fantastically light, water proof and tough.

  29. this is the most ridicules thing the atf ever did! he is right, if you walk out your front door with that your gonna have a problem. so don’t walk out your front door with that! lol question is can you convert that in to a metal pellet bb gun?

  30. I have some experience with airsoft, paintball, and firearms (was in the military for some time and worked with full-automatic weapons). Here are three points I think everyone should consider:

    1) No one in their right mind would spend the resources and time it would take to make an airsoft or even a paintball gun fire real ammunition let alone in an automatic setting because it would take a lot of cash and patience (not to mention experience in all types of airsoft, paintball guns, and real firearms).

    2) Airsoft toys and paintball guns are not made to fire live ammunition. I don’t care what you argue. They are not made to fire live ammunition made for killing or self defense. They will break. Even if one was converted the components and parts typically found in airsoft weapons and paintball guns are not to the standard of actual firearms.

    3) It’s just not possible or practical. This process would have so many problems it would be much easier and less expensive to just buy ANY real weapon and convert it to an automatic setting. An individual with malicious intentions would likely do much greater damage investing their money and time on producing anthrax, etcetera. Heck I would be willing to bet someone with a nail gun could do more damage than someone with this supposed airsoft-real machine gun that the ATF pulled out of their ass. Even someone with a glass bottle full of piss and nails would be more of a real threat…

    I believe this act by the ATF really shows that someone in their chain of command is not thinking. A slingshot is more deadly and more realisitc… need I go on? Gasoline and matches, jelly and peanut butter, computer paper (very sharp edges)… your toothbrush…

  31. this crap pissis me off. We ran the tests and they can actualy be converted into military grade weapons MY ASS. that little shit bag mofo put the damn mag in backwards! what the hell does he know about guns! god, ATF is stupid. i play airsoft in the public park and nobody gives a shit. this ia crap

  32. Im thinking just strip the lower receiver. Buy an AR parts kit and you go a semi auto AR15.

  33. even though it keeps getting brought up everyone keeps dismissing the fact that the only thing the ATF is interested in is the receiver of the weapon. of course you cant convert an actual airsoft gun to fire real bullets of any caliber, converting the receiver to accept an upper however is a different matter. in my personal opinion the only way to really decide whether or not the ATF can classify these receivers as actual AR15s is to test how much work goes into converting it. The way i would do this is by comparing the time/effort it takes to convert the airsoft receiver to the time/effort it takes to finish up an 80% ar15 receiver. I am actually inclined to believe that the ATF is right (legally) about these being considered actual guns because i really dont see how it can possible take as much time to convert these lowers as it does to finish out an 80% ar15 lower.

    That being said there are a few other points id like to make:
    1. I dont see any criminal taking the time (or knowing how) to convert these airsoft guns to real ar15s, a good indicator of this is the fact that I have of only a very small number of cases where semi-automatic weapons have been converted to fully automatic, a process which is much easier and cheaper.
    2. The ATF is wasting time and money. Even if theyre legally in the right, they wasted god knows how much money on seizing toys that would likely have never even been converted. I just feel like they could have taken a much cheaper less dick-like approach to the whole situation
    3. who the hell made this airsoft gun anyway? I know realism is a big thing for airsoft but the design seems like its probably a lot more expensive and overly complicated to make than necessary.

    please excuse any mispellings/ horribly mangled sentences as it is 5 in the morning, thanks.


  34. Ok, you Americans need to learn to shut up and stop saying ATF is wrong, especially those that think you know everything since you served in the military. In Asia, where owning guns are illegal, the local paramilitary and gangs developed a fairly efficient way of modifying airsoft guns. While the scale of modifying a airsoft rifle to a real one is small, the technique has been out there for the last 30 years. I attached an example of “modified pistols” that the Taiwanese police confiscated during a major drug trafficking raid. Taiwan is one of the major producer of airsoft rifles and here is key part: the owners and engineers from the companies that produce these airsofts were mostly former Taiwanese military weapons makers (Taiwan used to be America’s top main small arm manufacturers). I can assure you, if the Taiwanese intends to make war, these airsofts can become real in no time. ATF is definitely right about that. Americans are allowed to own guns and therefore none of you see the need to modify toys. Asians have been modifying toys to a real killer for decades, don’t ever understand airsofts!

  35. […] and Explosives (ATF) went on a ban spree a while back because, according to them and nobody else, certain Airsoft rifles could be converted into real firearms. The ATF wrote up a report on this which coincided with their report on various unicorn sightings […]

  36. Frank8492 Avatar

    The whole thing Jim is in America we Can and Do own real guns. That being said If a gang wants real machine guns then they will get REAL machine guns Illegally and not waste their time building any out of toys. ATF is wasting time and money on this when their are Real threats out there to contend with.

  37. Hi I’ve been doing some experiments with just the barrels of some of these “airsoft” guns in mention.

    Everything was done behind a sheet of 3/4″ lexan.
    the ammo used was federal lightning .22 long with the barrel secured to a standard cooey bolt action reciever.
    The result, 9 of 10 barrels failed before the projectile made it to the muzzle, the 1 outta 10 spilt the barrel and the lead hit the wood post below the target and bounced a couple of feet..
    So in hindsight the ATF argue “convertion” when they mean totall replacement of the internals of the gun.
    I’ve seen a conversion on you tube.. he took a REAL FIREARM and put it in an airsoft gun body.
    yet the dont bother with the Popular 1600 fps .22 caliber air rifles like the Talon simply because it doesnt LOOK like a real firearm. shame on them, liars

  38. realgunowner Avatar

    None of this stuff matters. If you have a lower than can even be crapily converted into accepting a real trigger, upper and buffer tube, what you have is a lower reciever for an AR-15 rifle with NO SERIAL NUMBER! that is the main problem here, and if you cant see that you need to read the law again. It doesnt matter if it wont even go boom reliably, if you can fit it together it is still a firearm with no serial number. and yes the serial number regulated part of an AR-15 rifle is the STRIPPED LOWER. you cant even buy one without a finish and no holes without having a serial number on it. so yes the ATF was right to sieze these.

    1. “None of this stuff matters” yes, it does matter. It is just another bid for power tht results of an erosion of the constitution. “you cant even buy one without a finish and no holes without having a serial number on it” yes , you can. You can buy one up to and including being 95% complete with out anyone’s permission and or serial number…and this is how it should be. It is a toy, it does matter, you cannot convert these readily, that is the key argument that has often come before the federal court, I can make home made napalm from ivory soap and kerosene and gasoline and some other stuff, knowledge compliments of improvised weaponry courses from the military , so should we stop selling soap or gas or should we seize every ivory clean person because they smell good…

  39. realgunowner “you have is a lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle with NO SERIAL NUMBER! that is the main problem here,”

    Know your Federal and state and local gun laws rules and regulations. Review them fully. Failure to review them fully is a Darwinian exercise the results of which I am not responsible for. You are responsible for your own actions. Do not eat. Not for use with crotch or other body parts and only with others body parts as allowed by all those pesky laws.

    If I use Federal law, state law or both it also implies Federal laws rules regulations, state laws rules regulations, local laws rules regulations, ordinances and anything else I’ve missed that might apply.

    I can make anything I want into a semi-automatic receiver if I am not making it as a commercial entity for commercial purposes as defined by federal law and I can or do lawfully own the material and am not lawfully restricted from making that material into a firearm. Clear as mud yes? Once I create it I can use it within the bounds of Federal and state law. Federal laws allows it’s sale with several restrictions, state law may add more restrictions and can override Federal law.

    Some of the default restrictions are as follows. You must be able to buy a semi-automatic firearm in your state of residence. That means you’re not prohibited by Federal law and can pass a NICS check. Your state cannot have prohibited you from making that particular semi-auto firearm. There may be other restrictions. Know the laws that affect you.

    I have a 1919A4 kit that will, when I have the money become a semi-auto 1919A4. I will then buy a very expensive crank which meets Federal law and court and ATF rulings and have a rather nifty if cumbersome means of spending lots of money.

    Serial numbers are something I’ve not been able to find in a few moments. Find an ATF letter or ask them. If my mind is not too rotten I believe you must serial number the firearm prior to transferring it to some other individual.

    I can’t post links here because it’s not allowed. Google the following
    Making a legal semi-automatic AK47 from a parts kit
    Making a legal semi-automatic 1919A4 from a parts kit

    Now here is the squirrelly part. If you do serial number it and somehow obliterate it you’re an Instant Felon[tm] so don’t do that.

    IAMAL and I deny everything.

    1. I think you are missing the point Its not a real lower receiver it doesn’t have the same specs and doesn’t have the same moving parts and its a fuc$king toy! the lower won’t work with a real upper the toy upper is to weak to have a barrel threads taped into it that could withstand the forces of firing a bullet the bolt would not be usable so you would need a real one which would not fit and just shoot out the back anyway no part of this TOY is usable for firing real ammo. yes you may be able to make it shoot a bullet but after one it would explode so full auto which the atf says they are capable of is just to save their asses because the seized them before thinking it thru and don’t want to look stupid for seizing toys that haven’t had the orange tips painted on yet.

  40. I know exactly what happened now that I started ranting about it in my head. They seized the guns then realized shit they are toys but it was too late because too much time had passed then one of them said.” wait we can save face by saying they could be converted into full auto guns real guns” and they are all to dumb shit stupid to have a single person figure out the problem with this lie.

  41. They just wanted to have it for themselves. That is why it will be ‘destroyed’ and not used as evidence. Evidence needs to me locked away. When you ‘destroy’ it, it just needs to disappear. Like into your own closet…

  42. pollux Avatar

    And you idiots aren’t going to vote for Ron Paul in 2012?! This is exactly what he has been saying about our govt and wants to change this kind of stuff/violations of your rights, freedoms, liberties etc. This is a perfect example. People wake up! Ron Paul 2012!

  43. Mr. Meval Avatar
    Mr. Meval

    Pollux is pushing negative agitprop for barking moonbats.

    Ronulans are not frothing idiots who would insult people who might not vote for the head Ronulan. ;)

    For those that do not know Pocket Books did a background on the Romulans that was compatible with Gene Roddenberry’s vision which Paramountadog pointedly ignored later and managed to damage then of course paramountadog destroyed the franchise which JJ Abrams managed to resurrect after CBS bought the dessicated corpse.

    I’d say Ronulans are at least as honorable as Romulans though not quite as pretty.

  44. Jonathan Smith Avatar
    Jonathan Smith

    Alcohol tobacco and firearms should be a store not a government agency.

  45. Converting an existing gun to full-auto is not comparable to converting a toy into a real gun. First, full-auto fire is no more dangerous than semi-auto fire, and in all likelihood, less dangerous due to pooer accuracy. Second, firearms are traceable. Toys are not. You still need to fill out an ATF 4473 and undergo a background check to buy a rifle or handgun, and then if you illegally convert it, it can easily be traced back to the purchaser. A toy is a toy is a toy – any kid can buy them at a flea market.

    If an upper receiver can be mounted to the “toy” Lower receiver, I guaranty you that I can figure out how to make it fire. The bottom line is they screwed up in making something that can attach as a lower receiver to a barreled upper receiver. Dumb, and BATFE was right.

    1. WTF -_- Avatar

      Are you kidding me… you think that the BATFE was right? If I were the store owner I would be pretty damn pissed considering they basically stole $10K from me. Not only that but the gun smith they talked to said that it would require shims and all other manner of modifications to even fit an upper. I suspect that you would have to: shim the lower, replace the buffer tube, remove whatever kind of trigger assembly is already in the gun and put in a real trigger assembly (assuming that the pins would even line up with the ones on the lower), and do quite a bit of reinforcing to it so that it could sustain the shock of a round going off. So basically, in conclusion, the only thing that they are restricting here is the cheap aluminum stripped lower. I have a pretty high end airsoft gun and even the lower on that is made of such thin aluminum that you could bend it with your bare hands. Ya pretty scary -_- you would be better off going to a machinist and having him make you some lowers out of thick aluminum, because that would basically be a cheap version of what you could buy at any gun store.

  46. Ocean Lee Avatar
    Ocean Lee

    In my country, airsofts are legal, but firearms are not…
    If this is true, I have a “80%” firearm at home!!! LOL

    What the hell is wrong with the ATFs mind???

  47. WTF -_- Avatar

    Seriously… I challenge any gunsmith to convert an airsoft into a functional weapon. Even if it were possible I suspect it would be so god awful inaccurate that it would be virtually unusable anyway.

  48. Tyler Avatar

    Wouldn’t a live round destroy a plastic toy? And even if its metal, it would be to much work to re arrange and move stuff in order to make it a possible fire arm.

  49. Mr. Meval Avatar
    Mr. Meval

    I have a polymer lower made by Cavalry Arms. It still needs metal internals such as trigger, hammer, springs, etc and it needs the high pressure parts of upper, bolt, carrier barrel, etc. It allows the rifle to be pared down to 4 pounds empty weight. You can no longer buy those lowers from them.

  50. I just got kicked off a Facebook page for arguing with a guy who claims that he is taking the barrel from an Airsoft M4 look-a-like and is going to mate it to his AR-15A3 upper receiver and then make the shells for it in 6x45mm and use it strictly as a range toy. I told him that he was likely to blow himself up because an airsoft barrel simply isn’t stressed for such use. And this was on an AR-15 page called Black Gun Nation.