By Corey Sattler ([email protected])
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So you want to know if you have a pre-ban or a post-ban receiver. You are not alone! This is one of the most often asked questions I receive each day. Even dealers don't know sometimes, and they sell firearms for a living! For that matter, I have talked to people who asked their local BATF agents what the determining factors are, and the agents were giving incorrect information! So what are the determining factors? Read on my friends..

A few years ago, our government passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, more commonly known as the 1994 Crime Bill. This law 'restricts the manufacture, transfer, and possession of certain 'Semiautomatic Assault Weapons'.' (AN OXYMORON IN ITSELF, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT PREACHING TO THE CHOIR.) So what, you say, is a 'Semiautomatic Assault Weapon'? The law (Section 921 (a) (30), Title 18 U.S.C.) defines it as so:


Lot #620: Colt AR-15 A2 HBAR Sporter Semi-Automatic Rifle with Scope Lot #3066: Pre-Ban Colt Sporter Match HBAR Semi-Automatic Rifle Lot #4765: Pre-Ban Colt AR-15 SP1 Semi-Automatic Rifle.

  1. Any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as;
    • Norinco, Mitchell, Poly Technologies, Avtomat Kalashinikovs.
    • Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI, Galil.
    • Beretta Ar70 (SC-70).
    • Colt AR-15
    • Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, FNC.
    • SWD M-10, M-11, M-11-9, M-12.
    • Steyr AUG.
    • Intratec TEC-9, TEC-DC9, TEC-22.
    • Revolving cylinder shotguns, such as (or similar to) the Street Sweeper and Striker 12.
  2. Any semiautomatic rifle that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of the following features:
    • a folding or telescoping stock.
    • a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
    • a bayonet mount.
    • a flash suppressor or a threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor.
    • a grenade launcher.
  3. A semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of the following features:
    • an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip.
    • a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip or silencer.
    • a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned.
    • a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded.
    • a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
  4. A semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of the following features:
    • a folding or telescoping stock.
    • a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
    • a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds.
    • an ability to accept a detachable magazine.

Eu4 imperium universalis download. Now we all know that some of the features are already regulated by previous laws (E.G. GRENADE LAUNCHERS - THESE WERE CLASSIFIED AS 'DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES' ALREADY), and some of them make no real impact in the 'war against crime', but there they are.

Now you know what a Semiautomatic Assault Weapon (SAW) is, but how do you determine what it is you have or what you can legally buy or make? What is 'pre-ban?' What it all boils down to is when the GUN was built. Edward M. Owen, Jr., Chief of the Firearms Technology Branch of the BATF, has this to say:

'Semiautomatic pistols and rifles assembled after September 13, 1994, and possessing two or more of the features listed in [Section 921 (a) (30), Title 18 U.S.C.] are semiautomatic assault weapons as defined. The fact that the receiver may have been manufactured prior to September 13, 1994, is immaterial to classification of a weapon as a semiautomatic assault weapon. Additionally, payment or non-payment of excise tax is also immaterial to classification of a firearm as semiautomatic assault weapon.'

What he is stating is, as far as pre-ban and post-ban is concerned, the date of manufacture of the receiver has nothing to do with anything. If your SAW was built into a whole SAW, or in a complete kit form, before Sept. 13, 1994 (The Date), you are the lucky owner of a pre-ban receiver. If the gun was built after this date, or if the receiver was without all of the parts to make a SAW as of The Date, then it is post-ban. Let me give you a few examples..

  • John Q. Public bought himself an AR-15 receiver in 1988 and put it in his safe. In April 1997, he decided to build it into a rifle. Was it a gun before The Date? No.. so he has to build it into a POST-ban firearm.
  • Mary Mary Quite Contrary buys an AR-15 lower from her dealer who purchased it 7 years ago, built it into a SAW 2 weeks later, and in January '96 tore it apart to sell as components. Did she buy a pre-ban receiver? Yes.. it was a SAW before The Date.
  • Big Bob Bopper finds a respectable dealer at a gun show who is selling 'pre-ban AR pistol lowers.' The dealer says he bought them before 'the Ban' and registered them as pistol lowers, but never built them into anything. Are they pre-ban? No. Are they pistol lowers? Sure..just post-ban pistol lowers. As long as they don't have two or more 'Deadly Features' when they are built, they are legal.
  • Fred Foosball buys a complete semiautomatic assault rifle kit in August 1994, but doesn't assemble it until September 14th, 1994. Is it a legal pre-ban rifle. Yes.. it had all (and I mean ALL) of the pieces to make a complete SAW before the ban. BATF accepts this as a complete pre-ban rifle.
  • Josh the Impaler purchases a Remington 1100 on July 4, 1994 in order to celebrate Independence Day. A year later, he decides that he would like a pistol grip and folding stock added to make it a better home defense gun. Is this legal? No. The shotgun was complete before The Date, but it was not a SAW before the date, and therefore cannot be modified to a SAW after The Date.

    All of this makes for some VERY gray areas. But we all must stay within the law as best as we know how. The basic rule of thumb to use is, if you are planning to buy a pre-ban gun or receiver, make sure that the person selling it to you can prove that it was built as a SAW (or in a complete kit form) before The Date. If he or she can't do this, don't buy it!!!!

    Many people also believe that a serial number can tell you whether or not a receiver is pre- or post-ban. This is not always the case. For example, if a manufacturer's books show a serial number as being manufactured on August 23, 1994, and also lists that serial number being shipped on September 3, 1994, is this a pre-ban receiver? Well, that information alone will not tell you. If the books only show when a serial number was made and left, we still don't know how it was shipped. Was it a rifle? or a receiver only? did the dealer who purchased it build it into a SAW before The Date? These are all questions that are unanswerable with the provided information, so don't go on these facts alone!

    I trust that the foregoing has been responsive to any misconceptions you as the reader may have about pre-ban and post-ban receivers/guns/regulations. Please pass this information on to your friends, neighbors, local gunshops, etc. The more knowledge we all possess, the better off our sport (and sportsmen) will be. Until then, play nice and shoot straight!

    About the author: Mr. Sattler is the Law Enforcement Sales Manager and Archival Records Manager at Olympic Arms, Inc. in Olympia, WA and has been with the company since 1993. He is also a Reserve Deputy in a small Southwest Washington county Sheriff's Office.

    PreBy Geremy Chubbuck ([email protected])
    Excel Version

    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
    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.

    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.

    Eagle Arms Ar 15 Pre Ban Serial Numbers 2017

    4. 'Older' does not always mean pre-ban as per Corey Sattler.

    Eagle Arms Serial Number Lookup

    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.

    Eagle Arms Ar 15 Pre Ban Serial Numbers For Sale

    Rocky Mountain Arms
    Producer of AR-15 type pistols.

    Eagle Arms Ar 15 Pre Ban Serial Numbers

    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).