The Wide World of Unregistered Firearms

By Clint Sharp | United States

In a world where the right of the individual to own firearms — especially ones deemed “assault-style” rifles– is constantly being threatened, people are turning to less orthodox means of obtaining guns that bypass the over-the-counter registration process. These firearms are known by most as “ghost guns” as they are 100% unregistered, virtually untraceable, and as far as the State knows, nonexistent. While this seems too good to be true, it isn’t. Not only are these invisible guns cheap and easy to obtain, but they are also completely legal.

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One notable company on the frontier of this industry is Ghost Gunner. Ghost Gunner specializes in manufacturing and selling “80% lowers”. An 80% lower is the lower receiver of a firearm and makes up around 80% of the completed receiver, hence the name. The lower receiver of a firearm is perhaps the most important part for two reasons. For one, it is the part of the gun where the bullets are fed into the chamber and the part that actually fires the round toward its designated target.

The other important aspect is that this is the part of firearms that is registered by both the seller and by the government. It is where that you will find the name of whatever brand of gun that you have, i.e Colt or Smith&Wesson, as well as the unique serial number used to identify the weapon. That is what sets the the Ghost Gunner receivers apart from the rest. They do not have the registered serial number that the other guns have. After you have your receiver, all that’s left is assembling the other 20% of the gun, which includes the stock and the barrel.

Ghost Gunner even sells entire CNC milling machines so that you can make the 80% lowers in the comfort of your own home. What’s great about that is that you do not have to be a certified machinist or gun expert to do this. All you have to do is pop in a block of aluminum, do a little clicking, and the machine mills out your receiver, completely free from the prying eyes of Uncle Sam. In addition to their original AR-15 lower, Ghost Gunner also provides receivers and software for MP5, AK-47, and M1911 lowers.

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5 thoughts on “The Wide World of Unregistered Firearms”

  1. There’s another, bigger problem with this article, and it starts with the first sentence, “Individuals can easily avoid firearm registration.”

    Avoiding firearms registration is easier in the US than most media commenters think. All you have to do is live in one of the 45 or 47 or so American states that don’t have any form of firearms registration. For most people in the media (and I’m not singling out Clint here, I think his reporting on this subject is certainly better than most I have seen), their understanding of guns, how they are used and especially firearms-related laws, are colored by the bi-coastal cultural bubbles they inhabit.

    The fact is, a lot of the “common sense” firearms legislation people on the Pacific and Atlantic seaboards assume is ubiquitous simply doesn’t exist in Flyover, including registration (filling out a Federal Form 4473 is not registration). I think this is an important fact to understand, alongside the other important fact that Flyover doesn’t seem to suffer very much without, for example, California’s or New York’s enlightened gun laws.

    The AR-15 is the most popular rifle platform in the US, by a wide margin. It is the Ford F1-50 of rifles. Because the AR-15 is so modular, rifles can easily be made almost by scratch by the hobbyist. The receiver can be fabricated from metal, molded in resin or plastic, or 3D printed. Personally, I am working on a design entirely of walnut or maple, and another of extruded aluminum parts. Once the receiver is done, the rest of the components can be purchased on-line. It’s rewarding and fun.

    I found this article because you used one of my photos made available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr. The three AR-15 lower receivers pictured are among the dozen or so lower receivers I keep handy in case I have the urge to build another rifle.

  2. Clint, you need to spend some time around people knowledgeable about firearms and why an ‘80% lower’ is called an ‘80% lower’ (it’s not because it ‘makes up 80% of the gun’

      • A ‘typo’ (typographical error) generally happens when a character is miskeyed while typing. The result is usually one incorrect, missing, or extra character. I cannot see any way of interpreting what you wrote as a typo. As you haven’t fixed the typo’ I am left to believe you meant what you wrote and are being disingenuous when you call it a typo.

    • Yeah this guy doesn’t understand what’s going on at all.

      80% lower means it’s 80% machined, and 20% of the machining still has to be done

      The ghost gunner does not (so far as I am aware) mill 80% lowers from block, rather it finishes the machining from 80% to 100%

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