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    Default Current ATF Marking requirements for NFA Items...

    I have received quite a few emails about this info, so i figured i'd post a sticky for reference.

    These are the current marking requirements that must be stamped or engraved on NFA items when they are created.
    (The requirements are found in US Code Title 27 CFR 479 and are the same if you are a importer, manufacturer of firearms for sale, or making NFA items as a non 02/07 MFR)

    simply put:
    - You must mark the newly made NFA firearm with the S/N, Model Name or Number, *your* Name, City, State and the caliber or gauge. If you used the S/N, Model and caliber from the original Title I firearm, then you're already half-way there as far as markings go ...

    - Accepted abbreviations may be used for your name (i.e., your ititials), city & state. Ex: John Q. Public, Anywhere, PA can be marked as JQ Public, ANY PA. Trust names may NOT be abbreviated

    - The S/N must be marked on the receiver or frame, and must be no less than 1/16" in height and no less than 0.003" deep.

    - The remaining information (name, city, state, model and caliber) may be placed EITHER on the receiver OR the barrel, and must be no less than 0.003" deep. There are no minimum height requirements for these markings.

    - All required markings must be in Roman letters (English) and Arabic numerals (1,2,3 ...), and be "wholly unobstructed from plain view". In other words, they may not be placed under handguards, grips, inside mag wells, etc.


    (thanks to Howard @ Subguns for his often posted "simple" version above)



    now for the ridiculous long annoying legalese version form the ATF ruling and law adjustment.

    [Code of Federal Regulations]
    [Title 27, Volume 2]
    [Revised as of April 1, 2003]
    From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
    [CITE: 27CFR479.102]
    [Page 188-189]
    TITLE 27--ALCOHOL, TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND FIREARMS
    CHAPTER II--BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES,
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
    PART 479--MACHINE GUNS, DESTRUCTIVE DEVICES, AND CERTAIN OTHER FIREARMS--Table of Contents
    Subpart G--Registration and Identification of Firearms
    Sec. 479.102 How must firearms be identified?
    (a) You, as a manufacturer, importer, or maker of a firearm, must
    legibly identify the firearm as follows:
    (1) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise
    conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped
    (impressed) or placed on the frame or receiver thereof an individual
    serial number. The serial number must be placed in a manner not
    susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered, or removed, and must
    not duplicate any serial number placed by you on any other firearm. For
    firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002,
    the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of the serial number
    must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller
    than 1/16 inch; and
    (2) By engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), or otherwise
    conspicuously placing or causing to be engraved, cast, stamped
    (impressed), or placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel thereof certain
    additional information. This information must be placed in a manner not
    susceptible of being readily obliterated, altered or removed. For
    firearms manufactured, imported, or made on and after January 30, 2002,
    the engraving, casting, or stamping (impressing) of this information
    must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch. The additional information
    includes:
    (i) The model, if such designation has been made;
    (ii) The caliber or gauge;
    (iii) Your name (or recognized abbreviation) and also, when
    applicable, the name of the foreign manufacturer or maker;
    (iv) In the case of a domestically made firearm, the city and State
    (or recognized abbreviation thereof) where you as the manufacturer
    maintain your place of business, or where you, as the maker, made the
    firearm; and
    [[Page 189]]
    (v) In the case of an imported firearm, the name of the country in
    which it was manufactured and the city and State (or recognized
    abbreviation thereof) where you as the importer maintain your place of
    business. For additional requirements relating to imported firearms, see
    Customs regulations at 19 CFR part 134.
    (b) The depth of all markings required by this section will be
    measured from the flat surface of the metal and not the peaks or ridges.
    The height of serial numbers required by paragraph (a)(1) of this
    section will be measured as the distance between the latitudinal ends of
    the character impression bottoms (bases).
    (c) The Director may authorize other means of identification upon
    receipt of a letter application from you, submitted in duplicate,
    showing that such other identification is reasonable and will not hinder
    the effective administration of this part.
    (d) In the case of a destructive device, the Director may authorize
    other means of identifying that weapon upon receipt of a letter
    application from you, submitted in duplicate, showing that engraving,
    casting, or stamping (impressing) such a weapon would be dangerous or
    impracticable.
    (e) A firearm frame or receiver that is not a component part of a
    complete weapon at the time it is sold, shipped, or otherwise disposed
    of by you must be identified as required by this section.
    (f)(1) Any part defined as a machine gun, muffler, or silencer for
    the purposes of this part that is not a component part of a complete
    firearm at the time it is sold, shipped, or otherwise disposed of by you
    must be identified as required by this section.
    (2) The Director may authorize other means of identification of
    parts defined as machine guns other than frames or receivers and parts
    defined as mufflers or silencers upon receipt of a letter application
    from you, submitted in duplicate, showing that such other identification
    is reasonable and will not hinder the effective administration of this
    part.


    as a note, the ATF NFA Handbook is available HERE, the issue is addressed in chapter 6 and 7...marking requirements are the same for both licensees and nonlicensees who manufacture a NFA firearm.

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/nfa/nfa_handbook/

    the ATF currently has this in thier regulations book under Chaper 7 "Manufacturing of NFA Firearms"

    Section 7.4 The identification of firearms.

    7.4.1 Serial numbers.
    Each manufacturer of a firearm must legibly identify it by engraving, stamping (impressing), or otherwise conspicuously placing on the firearm’s frame or receiver an individual serial number not duplicating any serial number placed by the manufacturer on any other firearm.120

    The requirement that the marking be “conspicuously” placed on the firearm means that the marking must be
    wholly unobstructed from plain view.

    For firearms manufactured on or after January 30, 2002, the serial number must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch and in a print size no smaller than 1/16 inch.

    7.4.1.1 What is an acceptable serial number?

    Alpha characters (letters), for example a name,
    are not acceptable as a serial number. A proper serial number may contain such characters or
    letters, but it must have at least one numeric character (number).

    ATF takes the view that marking “legibly” means using exclusively Roman letters (A, B, C, and so forth) and Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, and so forth).121

    Deviations from this requirement have been found to
    seriously impair ATF’s ability to trace firearms involved in crime.

    7.4.2 Additional information.

    Certain additional information must also be conspicuously placed on the frame, receiver, or barrel of the firearm by engraving, casting, stamping (impressing), that is, they must be placed in such a manner that they are wholly unobstructed from plain view.

    For firearms manufactured on or after January 30, 2002, this information must be to a minimum depth of .003 inch.
    The additional information includes:
    (1) The model, if such designation has been made;
    (2) The caliber or gauge;
    (3) The manufacturer’s name (or recognized abbreviation); and
    (4) The city and State (or recognized abbreviation) where the manufacturer maintains its place
    of business.122

    7.4.3 Measuring the depth of markings. The depth of all markings is measured from the flat surface
    of the metal and not the peaks or ridges. The height of serial numbers is measured as the distance
    between the latitudinal ends of the character impression bottoms (bases).
    Last edited by JayBell; December 18th, 2009 at 10:08 PM.
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