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Verifying 922(r) Compliance on a FAL build

Also, see the main 922(r) page

Before entering into the meat of this article, I'd like to thank Calguns.net's users TheMan, Blue84s10, and thedrickel. I don't know anything about FALs, so I couldn't have created this adaptation of the AK 922(r) checklist without their help.

The United States has a lovely bit of import law, which prevents most of the more interesting rifle designs from being directly imported into the US. It prevents the direct importation of FAL rifles, and has ended up creating a market for demilitarized parts kits.

In order for a parts kit to be demilitarized, the original receiver on the weapon must be destroyed in an approved manner (usually torch-cut, with a flame hot enough to remove .25" wide sections of material). The resultant pile of parts is legally no longer a weapon, and can be sold freely throughout the United States.

In order to legally use these parts to construct a new firearm, one must ensure that no more than 10 imported parts remain in the final product. In short, you must replace a number of parts from your parts kit with American-made components.

The sum of all the check boxes in the form below will automatically add themselves up as you click and unclick them. This allows you to easily consider how you can ensure that your rifle is as 922(r) compliant as it needs to be.

Compliance Count for Non-Sporting FAL's

Please note that the as-imported configurations are compliant. This checklist becomes important whenever you wish to replace original parts on an imported rifle, or if you are building one from the ground up.
  Part FAL Available Notes
Receiver Yes Yes Parts kits don't include receivers.
Barrel Yes ???  
  Barrel extensions No N/A  
  Mounting block No N/A Doesn't exist on FALs?
Muzzle attachment Yes Yes Careful not to buy an imported muzzle brake / flash hider.
Bolt Yes ???  
Bolt carrier Yes ???  
Gas piston Yes Yes  
Trigger housing Yes ??? aka lower receiver
Operating Rod Yes ??? aka charging handle
Trigger Yes Yes  
Hammer Yes Yes  
Sear Yes Yes  
  Disconnector No N/A Apparently doesn't exist on FALs?
Buttstock Yes Yes  
Pistol grip Yes Yes  
Forearm, handguard Yes Yes
Magazine body Yes Yes See below
Magazine Follower Yes Yes See below
Magazine Floorplate Yes Yes See below


Compliance count script by tearsinraine


  • As per an ATF letter located here, magazine parts are not subject to constructive possession. If you need US-made magazine parts in order to reach 10 or fewer imported parts, then you don't have to replace parts on all of your magazines - only the ones which you intend to use with this rifle. The easiest solution is to only own US-made magazines, of course, but this is not always feasible, particularly if no US-made magazines are available for the weapon in question or, for legal reasons, you can't buy domestic full-capacity magazines to replace your old imported magazines.
  • Barrel extensions would only be there if you welded one on, and that'd make it a domestic part.
  • If you're building your FAL without a pistol grip (IE, you live in California), that's one less part you have to worry about replacing.

Disclaimer: There are no lawyers on this site. At least, none who are writing authoritatively as such. Section 922(r) is clear enough for anyone to read, but if you can't be bothered to read it for yourself, neither of us will take responsibility for your not doing so. This page is presented as a helpful refresher / worksheet, not as a replacement for your personal reading of the law.

-- SeanNewton - 17 Feb 2007

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Topic revision: r7 - 03 Jul 2012 - SeanNewton
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