laser engraving touch up gone wrong

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Dolomite_Supafly
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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by Dolomite_Supafly » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:44 pm

Because it is already engraved you cannot get it engraved again by anyone, even with the same information, unless you get a variance from the ATF giving the engraver permission to do so. So the second an engraver licensed to handle NFA stuff sees a previous engraving they are going to refuse until you get a variance from the ATF allowing them to engrave.

To get the variance you need to right the ATF requesting that the shop be allowed to engrave your lower again. You must provide the information about the lower, the trust information and the name, address of the shop that is doing the engraving. You must also give a reason why the lower is to be engraved again. BTW, I was quoted 2-3 months turn around on the variance by the ATF agent I spoke to about the variance. The ATF agent said it should not be a problem but was adamant that I must have a variance before getting it engraved again.

I went through this because I was going to have my 22 suppressor engraved again but decided against it because of the time and hassle involved. My suppressor is definitely deep enough but if I were to apply several coats, to camouflage it, with Duracoat I was afraid it would obscure the information on the side because Duracoat is so thick. In the end I just decided to not camouflage it and leave it bare SS.

Also, you cannot engrave it yourself after it has been engraved. I specifically asked the ATF agent if I could engrave it myself and they said I could not. I did not ask about going deeper in my current engraving so not being able to do it myself my apply to a completely new engraving. Might be worth a call to the ATF to see if you can go deeper in the current engraving.
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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by voip-1 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:01 pm

Ident indicated that they could do a second engraving and also said they could engrave over the original but did not recommend going this route as the results usually weren't great.

Ident didn't indicate any problem with this but also admits they aren't NFA experts.

At this point I am done dealing with this. I will just leave it how it is. I have good lawyers and frankly regret even bringing it up. I've learned my lesson for next time though. It does turn my stomach that I effectively "ruined" a 230 dollar lower (+ 200 tax stamp) by having an engraving done slightly shallower than spec.

If I feel particularly guilty about it I will have ATF inspect it and if they say it is not good enough I will get it redone. If they say it is good enough I will get it in writing.

//edit

Also from what I have found doing some research of my own I can do anything I want with it right up until the tax stamp is issued for it. So, I could find out if one of the engravers like Ident can obliterate the first engraving and do a better one above it for an additional fee.

Once the tax stamp is issued then you aren't supposed to modify the identifying makers mark without a variance as you indicated.

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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by bangbangping » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:37 pm

voip-1 wrote: I have good lawyers and frankly regret even bringing it up. I've learned my lesson for next time though. It does turn my stomach that I effectively "ruined" a 230 dollar lower (+ 200 tax stamp) by having an engraving done slightly shallower than spec.
That's sort of funny. You can afford to "have good lawyers" but you're sick about about a $230 lower? That lower wouldn't buy an hour of a good lawyer's time.
If I feel particularly guilty about it I will have ATF inspect it and if they say it is not good enough I will get it redone. If they say it is good enough I will get it in writing.
They will not say it's good enough if it's not .003". Many NFA regulations have a lot of nuance and interpretation, but this isn't one of them.
...you also have to consider whether the ATF has nothing better to do than harass someone over the quality of the engraving they had done on their form-1 item
Very true, and most likely they would never hassle you. For that matter, when's the last time you even saw an ATF agent spot-checking SBRs for engraving depth?

However, that's not the likely scenario. It goes something like this:
You've been out shooting and you're driving home. A cop with a bad attitude and (not uncommon) limited NFA knowledge pulls you over for whatever reason and finds out you have it. Despite your protests he hauls you in and they call in a fed. Now...do you want to be perfectly legal and go on your way after a few hours delay, or do you want to explain to the fed that you read on the Internet that some ATF agent somewhere said your type of engraving was acceptable? I know what I want to do, and I have a double-engraved lower to prove it.

Yes, you probably have a 99.99% of getting away with the engraving you have, or even no engraving at all. But do you really want that little nagging "what if" every time you take it out? Seems to me it would take some of the pleasure out of it. I've been known to take a risk now and then, but IMO this is one not worth taking.

BTW, I know a guy with no bad intentions who got busted for an illegal SBS, and the way he got caught was something like I described. He eventually got off, but had to sell his house and give the money to the lawyer.
voip-1 wrote:At this point I am done dealing with this. I will just leave it how it is.
Whatever.
Last edited by bangbangping on Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by Dolomite_Supafly » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:38 pm

I was under the impression it was already approved. If it is not approved yet then I would get the current engraving removed/obliterated and redo it. I bet a media blast would remove it and then you could easily have it engraved again.

I would avoid lasers. Find a local trophy shop and have them do it but only after they do a test piece. As long as there is not anodizing in the area to be engraved it would be easy for them to get it deep enough. I would make them make several passes.

BTW, where are you located? Might have someone else on here in the area that could give advice. I know I get mine engraved by a guy who is not licensed to handle NFA stuff. But because he does it with me present it is legal. And his engraving machine engraves aluminum .012" deep which is very, very deep and would never get obliterated with paint.

Again, if it is not approved yet remove the current engraving. You can sand it off or media blast off but get it removed somehow. And after you do get it engraved you can tape off and paint it with chalkboard paint from Walmart. It is very, very durable and looks great.
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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by Texasgunner » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:15 pm

Yep as others have stated, that's not deep enough. I own a laser engraving business and have done quite a few logos on AR receivers. If it was done with a CO2 laser as that was then it won't etch the aluminum to spec. A fiber laser (which runs at a different wavelength) will etch into just as is needed. I used my rotary engraver to do my trust info on my first lower. Ran it like five times to get it good and deep. I then Cerakoted it and it looks great.

On my new Battle Arms lower, I sent it to Ident. They use a fiber and have the capability to do the trigger area. I don't want it standing out like my other one.

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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by voip-1 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:20 pm

bangbangping wrote: That's sort of funny. You can afford to "have good lawyers" but you're sick about about a $230 lower? That lower wouldn't buy an hour of a good lawyer's time.
I don't see what is funny about it. I have access to attorneys on retainer with my company as well as the guy who did my trust (see, I was smart enough to use a real attorney and not a paper mill or quicken).

And it is not a "$230 lower". It's the $230 lower, the $200 tax stamp, the $25 FFL fee, the $40 engraving, and most importantly the time and effort of doing all of that again with a new piece.
They will not say it's good enough if it's not .003". Many NFA regulations have a lot of nuance and interpretation, but this isn't one of them.
Ok fair enough.
However, that's not the likely scenario. It goes something like this:
You've been out shooting and you're driving home. A cop with a bad attitude and (not uncommon) limited NFA knowledge pulls you over for whatever reason and finds out you have it. Despite your protests he hauls you in and they call in a fed. Now...do you want to be perfectly legal and go on your way after a few hours delay, or do you want to explain to the fed that you read on the Internet that some ATF agent somewhere said your type of engraving was acceptable? I know what I want to do, and I have a double-engraved lower to prove it.

Yes, you probably have a 99.99% of getting away with the engraving you have, or even no engraving at all. But do you really want that little nagging "what if" every time you take it out? Seems to me it would take some of the pleasure out of it. I've been known to take a risk now and then, but IMO this is one not worth taking.
I get the point you are making. In my own experience something like what you describe almost never happens. I would love to know if your friend who lost his house over an SBR actually tried to comply with the law as I am trying to do or was simply ignorant of it (unregistered SBR or didn't know he had an SBR, had other Infractions involved, etc) In my experience law enforcement only comes down like a hammer when there is a pretty good reason to do so.

Ultimately what you are arguing is that there is even a .001% chance of something bad happening, even if that was being detained for a short while then you would personally junk the lower. Fair enough and again that is your propensity for risk. I take the occasional risk in life and would put the "I didn't engrave my NFA item deeply enough" pretty low on the list. Lower than you probably.
Whatever.
You made your point quite well without having to be an ass about it.

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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by voip-1 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:29 pm

Okay so I emailed Ident and Orion about this and surprisingly Ident replied at this late hour. They said that maker's mark can be engraved multiple times on weapons and they do this all the time on imported weapons from Glock, etc that don't meet ATF requirements.

In any event after a pleasant phone conversation with Dolomite I am pretty confident I can paint over the problem area in any event.

So, off to Ident tomorrow with this piece and hopefully put this ugly business to bed.

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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by Dolomite_Supafly » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:33 pm

Can you PM me the number to Ident?
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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by RDA » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:49 pm

v6pwr wrote:Voip, have you considered seeing if the original place can redo it? If they still have the setup on the computer they can try running it through again. It might be the type of laser they have and it might not be strong enough but running multiple passes over it may work. It may take 10 passes, may even take 40 passes...but if they are willing to try on a test piece of aluminum to get it in the ballpark and see if it is deep enough. .003" isn't really that deep, about a couple sheets of paper...
No, a piece of office paper is typically about .003"-.004" (e.g., 20lb copier paper is .004"). One sheet is at least as thick as the engraving depth in question.

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Re: laser engraving touch up gone wrong

Post by voip-1 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:59 pm

Dolomite_Supafly wrote:Can you PM me the number to Ident?
Done did it.

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