Depending on the firearm you own, there are a few different modifications that can be made. It is critical to know the rules and regulations put into place before making any changes to ensure the job gets done right. Even if the modifications you are planning on making are legal, there are additional precautions that need to be taken before making the change.
The National Firearms Act was put into place on June 26, 1934. It was this act that put certain regulations on firearms that can be used in the United States. Title I of this act was The Gun Control Act of 1968 which was put forth to regulate the guns in America, and how they were transferred to owners.
Before making any modifications to your firearm, be aware of what is legal versus what changes are illegal. The US National Firearms Act goes into detail on which modifications are acceptable, and which cannot be made. By making these illegal modifications, not only will your firearm be taken away, but you can spend time in jail because of it. Some of the most common illegal modifications that need to be avoided are:
- Rifles or shotguns with a total length under 26 inches
- Rifles with barrels less than 16 inches, or shotguns under 18 inches
- Turning your firearm into a machine gun
- Changing a firearm over .50 caliber to a fixed cartridge
All of these changes will create safety hazards for you and those around you. Don’t allow this to happen. Instead, know the gun modifications that are safe to employ.
The common modifications
There are both functional and aesthetic reasons to make modifications to your firearm. There are some that can easily be accomplished by the gun owner, while others will need the assistance of a professional. The most common reasons to make modifications to a firearm include:
- Cosmetic – this mainly focuses on the look of your firearm, but there could be some changes that will prove useful, such as changing the sights. Custom woodwork or metal engravings are both common changes.
- Caliber conversions – this is done by re-barreling or re-chambering the firearm to a different caliber.
- Accurizing – these changes will help your firearm to become a more accurate shot.
- Operating mechanism conversions – these changes range in complexity, and can be as advanced as turning a handgun into a rifle.
- Sporterizing – this will alter a military grade weapon into one that can be used for personal use.
Before making any of these changes to your firearm, assess the reasons you wish to make the change. It will be easier to know what is appropriate beforehand than trying to explain later. Be sure that your changes will modify your firearm to what you want it to be.