Illicit, if not Illegal, 80% Lowers on GunBroker

Nathan S
by Nathan S

I have to hand it to the seller, they found a niche that they could exploit. In this case, a GunBroker seller was offering fully trademarked 80% Colt lower receivers. The receivers are marked in the old “A1” style using older logos.

Colt claims and has filed for trademarks on nearly all of their logos, including the prancing horse engraved on the lower receiver (link to PDF).

The seller claims the receivers were manufactured by Tactical Machining. We e-mailed Tactical Machining for comment. Their reply was:

I think what the person is referring to is that the lower receiver was manufactured and then engraved by them. The only custom engravings we perform are available on our website. I think ATF might have a mild stroke with the sear pin hole being marked as well.

Given Tactical Machining’s statement, its obvious the seller is likely committing serious trademark violations having not consulted Colt for permission to use their trademark. Further, the seller marked the location of the full auto trip sear, which per the eloquence of Tactical Machining, is dubious at the least and highly illegal at the worst.

The seller would be in quite the grey area, as the ATF defines machine guns typically as having any machining work done to accept full auto components. With the engraved (machined) marking, it could easily fall into the “already machined” category despite being only 80% at the time of engraving.

Original auction:

Nathan S
Nathan S

One of TFB's resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR's, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.

More by Nathan S

Join the conversation
2 of 33 comments
  • Joseph B Campbell Joseph B Campbell on Jan 09, 2016

    Even if not, it gives the appearance of a forgery!

  • Wolfsbane Wolfsbane on Jan 16, 2016

    This is interesting.

    People build replicas and clones of pricey unavailable muscle cars all the time. One's a that are complete down to the smallest detail.

    What's the difference with building a semi-auto clone of a fully auto, down to the markings? Just unable to actually select full auto, even though it has it engraved on the receiver.

    Since an 80% is essentially a block of metal. What's to stop anyone from engraving markings that makes it appear to be a much more pricey product replete with a serial number from one of them in the process of 20% completion just like people do with muscle cars?