I've been seeing more people doing this lately so I thought I would make a fresh post to remind everyone to engrave your SBR before you send off paperwork (and after you check function). Doing your paperwork first not only makes it so that you now own an NFA item that you can't just ship to any old engraver but it also means that said engraver has to be perfect. They're human so this is asking a lot and humans make mistakes. A recent example is that I had a couple lowers engraved for SBR purpose and told them specifically to NOT have a period after my first initial. Of course they come back with a nice solid & deep period after my first initial on both lowers. Now, since I hadn't yet completed my form to send off this is a non-issue. Simply fill out the form with what's engraved on the lower and send off never to think about again. Had I already done paperwork I would have been stressing that that little dot could get me pinched some day down the road by someone trying to nail me down with anything and everything they could. I get that this is a slim chance but so is having to present your tax stamp in the first place and isn't that why we jump through all these hoops... peace of mind? That's a rather small issue but what if they gouge your receiver badly and now you're married to a munged up $50 hunk of metal for life. Wouldn't you rather get another $50 hunk of metal and start over for something you're about to marry to for life? Also an easy option if you haven't yet completed your form and sent it off.
To some this seems like a no-brainer but I've been seeing more and more new SBR people lately talking about doing their paperwork, getting approved and THEN looking for engraving so I thought I would post this brief reminder to those of all experiences as it's something simple that could be overlooked that could come back to bite you. I had someone point this out after my first SBR (that I lucked out on after WAY over paying to have it engraved locally once I found out I couldn't ship it to just anyone now) and it's already saved me on multiple occasions so I'm just paying it forward. Happy NFA'ing!