Yes, You Can Have a Short-Barreled Rifle (SBR)

Most people don’t realize that it’s legal to own an SBR in most states. While these items are NFA controlled, and a little more time-taking to buy, owning one is not as difficult as you might think. For our build of the week this week, we’ve featured a short barreled rifle from Instagram user @LeadslingersNW that is made from solid, quality parts - showcasing reliability without breaking the bank - and features a splash of pink Cerakote, lending a bright twist to a quality SBR build.  

Legally Purchasing an SBR

In states where it’s legal, purchasing an SBR is easier than a lot of people realize. It’s important to research where you live because laws vary state to state and in some places even county to county.

In states where you can legally own an SBR, you have the option to build or buy an SBR with a different form necessary for each. If you’re choosing to buy an SBR you will have to fill out a Form 4 (Transfer) and go through the same waiting process you would if you were buying a suppressor. If you choose to build an SBR, which can be done even by putting a stock on an AR-pistol lower, you fill out a Form 1 (Manufacture) instead, shortening your wait time.

There are several different ways to file your Form 1 that can affect your wait time. For those who have an NFA trust, E-Filing your Form 1 is an option, and has a much faster turnaround time than sending in paper copies. At the time of this article, E-Filed Form 1s are being approved on an average of around 32 days, a significant difference from the turnaround time on the 196-day average turn around on paper copies filed the same way, or the 319-day average seen for Form 4s being filed using a trust.

For those who are interested in learning more, we have a blog post dedicated to information on the ATF Form 1 and manufacturing your own SBR.


SBR rilfe Full

What Is Cerakote?

The pink pieces on this build were primarily created using a product called Cerakote. Cerakote is a ceramic-based finish that can be applied to all sorts of materials like metals, plastics, polymers, and wood. The unique formulation enhances many physical performance properties including abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness. As far as design goes, there are a lot of different colors and styles of cerakote available so the possibilities are endless. Some people choose to add splashes of color to the rifle - like the pink we see here - while others will Cerakote complicated designs across their whole gun.Rainier Arms offers Cerakoting for $85.00 per major component.

Building a High-Quality SBR

One of the most important parts of any rifle build is the basics - in this case, we can see where @LeadslingersNW started with the San Tan Tactical STT-15 receiver set and a Rainier Arms Select barrel.

The San Tan Tactical STT-15 receiver set is machined directly from a billet of 7075-T651 aerospace-grade aluminum and held to incredibly tight tolerances. It’s fully ambidextrous and finished in Mil-Spec, MIL-A-8625 Type III hard anodizing. These receivers are thoughtfully designed with an integral magazine well flare and ultra-grip texture on all the controls.

The Rainier Arms Select Barrel used on this build is made from a high-precision match blank to Rainier Arms specifications. They are chambered and crowned by hand and feature a 5-groove polygonal rifling that allows for greater accuracy and less erosion over time. The barrels are dimpled, which is a simple thing, but ensures your gas block is properly aligned. They are made in stainless steel - which ensures the longevity of use - and available in both satin or black nitride finishes. What all of this boils down to is that this is a highly accurate barrel designed for hard use and made to last at a price point that makes it accessible to anyone for the purpose of any build.


Short barrell rifle

Small Upgrades that Make a Big Difference

Some of the smallest parts on your AR are some of the most important when it comes to usability. Of these, the trigger is the most obvious upgrade. For the purpose of this build, @LeadslingersNW has installed a CMC AR-15 drop-in flat trigger. The shape of your trigger is purely a personal preference, but advocates of flat triggers appreciate having a uniform pull regardless of where their finger lands on the trigger and an increased surface area for the finger pad.

Another part that has a huge impact on a rifle’s usability is the charging handle. For this build, a Radian Weapons AR-15 Raptor Ambidextrous Charging Handle was used. This was a good match with the San Tan Tactical STT-15 receiver set which is designed so that it can be fully ambidextrous. The charging handle is an important part because of how frequently it is used, being able to smoothly and quickly charge your rifle from either side of the gun can make a huge difference in day-to-day use.

Also affecting the rifle’s regular use is the safety selector. This particular build features the Battle Arms Development BAD-ASS Professional Ambidextrous Safety Selector. You’ll notice that the pieces continue to be ambidextrous, as having a rifle that is operable from either side is an important consideration on almost any build - whether for defense or competition there is a chance that a rifle will need to be deployed with your off-hand. The BAD-ASS also allows for the user to set it as a long-throw or short-throw safety depending on the user’s preferences, so you can set your safety to rotate 60-degrees or 90-degrees without altering your lower receiver.

For those who have always wanted one, building an SBR is a fun and affordable project with endless possibilities.