Brownells Retro Rifle Coming to California Thanks to Battle Arms

These rifles are coming to California with real pistol grips and stocks. (Photo: Brownells)

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Brownells and Battle Arms Development have teamed up to make the recently-launched Retro series available in California-compliant configurations. Retro rifles are throwback guns inspired by Eugene Stoner’s early AR design work.

In order to sell Retro rifles on the California market Brownells has to further tweak these designs to comply with state gun ownership restrictions. Teaming up with Battle Arms lets them do that with a sleek and invisible mod that doesn’t alter the look and feel of their Retro series guns.

The BAD-MRB– Magazine Release Block– is a tiny lockout that prevents the magazine lever on AR-pattern firearms from working while the lower receiver is attached to an upper. In this way, the firearm has to be partially disassembled in order to reload it.

The fix is semi-permanent, in that it requires users to drill a hole in their lower receiver, but it is only visible with the receivers taken apart and it can be removed to restore the rifle’s normal function down the line.

All thanks to this lower mod, which can’t be seen from outside the rifle. (Photo: BAD)

With a hole drilled in the lower the BAD-MRB adds a retained plunger to the lower receiver that blocks the magazine release button when depressed by the upper receiver during normal use. When the upper is separated from the lower the plunger moves up and out of the way of the magazine release button and the user can swap mags normally.

Combined with quick-release takedown pins the BAD-MRB lets users quickly load and reload their AR-pattern firearms with unmodified AR-pattern magazines. Even with standard takedown pins the system works fast and doesn’t need any other proprietary or non-standard parts.

These California-compliant rifles will be sure to find nice homes in the Eureka State among collectors and regular shooters alike.

Features that make the Brownells Retro rifles stand out include: prototype- and early-style furniture, an open-prong flash hider and an ambidextrous top charging handle inside the fixed carry handle. The flagship Retro rifle has a full-length 20-inch barrel, rifle recoil assembly and slab-sided and no-fence receivers.

See Also: Battle Arms’ Star Wars Themed ARs

The 20-inch model is available in a prototype model and an early service version, in 5.56 NATO and .308 Winchester, as well as a shorter 605-style carbine.

Of course you don’t have to buy a rifle from Brownells or any of their distributors to get a gun with the Battle Arms Development MRB. Battle Arms offers MRB installation for any AR-style lower receivers at a price that’s just right.

Battle Arms will supply and install an MRB device for any compatible receivers for $75. Return shipping isn’t included in the price but it’s still a solid low price for a feature that keeps ARs looking and running just fine while complying with local and state restrictions.

To install an MRB Battle Arms needs your lower, complete with a magazine release button, spring and catch and complete 10-round magazine. Some lowers may not be compatible with the modification such as Seekins Precision lowers.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Ricky Donovan Leonard March 24, 2020, 9:13 am

    I like the idea of figuring a way to circumvent the stupidity of California gun laws. I think the Federal government should pull a lot of funds away from their state until they comply with the Constitution of the United States. They need to quit infringing on the people’s right to own firearms. Criminals don’t comply with laws that only restrict the rights of law abiding people! The Second Amendment has everything to do with an extended army of citizens and nothing to do with sporting purpose! We need to remove our politicians who are proving themselves to be domestic enemies of our Constitution and allow our citizenry to carry the military equivalent rifle of the day which is what our Founding Fathers intended! We don’t need people like TRAITOR JOE telling us he is going to take away our AR 14s! (AR 15?)

  • Mr Shifter February 21, 2020, 5:29 pm

    Seriously…….2k for a 10 round Poly Retro………….Not so seriously, you can rent a U-Haul, gas it up, pay a deposit on a rental in Arizona and maybe still have $349.00 left to buy a 30rd ATI Omni…….good grief, and you’re saying, “Thanks Battle Arms”…….for what??? For God’s sake, take the time and get on Indeed, Linkedln, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, Dice, LinkUp, ZipRecruiter to name a few and drop a resume with them…..Get that U-haul and GET OUT…..

  • sfvshooter February 21, 2020, 12:27 pm

    Here’s a thought. How about supporting fellow gun owners in CA instead of lashing out at us. Take a look at Virginia. It doesn’t take much to tilt a state against firearm owners. Gun owners in CA have it much harder and yet we keep plugging along. The gen 5 Glock you can buy for $500? We need to pay double.

    And before you say “why don’t you just leave CA” think about that comment. How easy would it be for any of you to pack up and move to another state. Getting a job? Leaving friends & family behind?

    Let’s have each others’ back instead of throwing shade.

    By the way, when we had freedom week in CA last year (regular 30 round mags were legal to purchase), we basically sold out the entire stock in the country.

    • Shan February 22, 2020, 5:20 pm

      Right on brother. I couldn’t agree more. Let’s stick together to defeat this commy scum. It’s hard living behind enemy lines but we have to RESIST.

  • died trying February 21, 2020, 11:50 am

    Seems like it would be pretty easy to defeat the pin mechanism to allow it to drop out the magazine without opening up the lower receiver.

    • sfvshooter February 21, 2020, 2:03 pm

      It works same as Hogue Freedom Fighter kit. The spring activated pin won’t allow you to engage the mag release while it’s depressed. If you use it, along with a device like the AR Maglock kingpin, it let’s you slightly separate the upper from the lower, release the mag, then push the upper down and reengage the lower. It allows you to clear type 3 malfunctions.

      Be thankful you don’t need to deal with this crap in your state.

  • Eric February 21, 2020, 9:44 am

    Presumably, you don’t own a firearms company.

    Plenty of shooters in California even now. I do not see the sense in not selling them firearms.

  • Alej February 21, 2020, 8:58 am

    “California compliant ??? ” How does one make a homosexual rifle ?

    • Peter Brown February 21, 2020, 1:11 pm

      I escaped the people’s republic of kalifornica in 1990 and have never looked back (without scorn). There was no way I could have continued to live there. Fellow firearm owners/enthusiasts felt “hunted” all the while we obeyed laws and contributed great amounts of money through our productivity. Those great amounts of money were spent on liberal/communist “feel-good” programs. Today, they’ve gone even further left with their pandering to anyone who can be enticed into a voting booth. Since escaping in ’90 I’ve refused to do business with kalif, wash, and or-e-gon. The left coast-blue states are of course included. Why contribute to their maniacal, illogical efforts to dismantle/destroy the 2nd Amendment?
      I understand that many good people remain behind enemy lines and I grieve for them. At the same time I feel that they must take control of guvamint or as I, flee the hammer and sickle. Trade with communistic states? It’s distasteful enough to have to struggle to find products not made in communist china.
      Are my views extreme? Look at the democrap lineup of presidential candidates.
      Confusion to our enemies.

  • Shawn February 21, 2020, 7:01 am

    What?…why?….Seriously?? If I owned a firearm company i would not bend to that communist state at all. Period!! Might as well weld the receivers shut and plug the barrels too!!

    • Bob February 21, 2020, 9:47 am

      Shawn, don’t you realize that this is how to keep sticking it to the left? They must lay awake at night boiling with anger every time someone comes up with a legal way to circumvent their anti-gun laws!! I love it!!

      • Nathan February 26, 2020, 7:58 pm

        Yeah…, but it’s $1800! I (because I don’t live in California) would rather spend that on a PRI Mk 12. With an astronomical price tag like that, why should Californians be happy? Why does it have to cost so much to put a mag-release stop in the lower?

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