The End of the SIG Brace?!

Will this SIG pistol need to be registered as an SBR before you can put it to your shoulder?

Will this SIG pistol need to be registered as an SBR before you can put it to your shoulder?

Rumor on the web today is that there’s trouble in SBR paradise. Shouldering the arm brace (most notably the SIG-Tac SB15–the single most significant firearms invention of the young decade) may soon make that legal AR pistol an illegal short barreled rifle .

Let’s begin with the intended use of the brace. It is an arm brace. As such, the flappy wings envelope one’s forearm and it can be strapped in place. It works like this, but it isn’t much fun to use. The SIG Brace, when used as intended, makes AR pistols far more stable, but users have a harder time reaching the gun’s controls. The use of the brace, like this, isn’t in jeopardy.

But–and this is one of those huge buts–there’s more to the story. The brace is perfectly suitable as an improvised shoulder stock. Ok. Chill out. I guarantee someone has already hit the comment button to light my ass up over the fact that I’m calling attention to the fact that people are using the SIG Brace as a stock. That’s fine. You can go on commenting, and I hope the weather is nice in whatever La-La-land you live in.

The SIG-Tac SB15 on a PWS MK107.

The SIG-Tac SB15 on a PWS MK107.

The BATFE knows that folks are doing this. I’d even bet there are BATFE agents who own AR pistols with SIG Braces. They’re that popular. The BATFE even opined about the brace in question: “Accessories such as the Sig Stability Brace have not been classified…as shoulder stocks and, therefore, using the brace improperly does not constitute a design change.” Sounds logical to me. “We [the BATFE] do not classify weapons based on how an individual uses the weapon.”

The braces on the market now are designed as arm braces, but they’re used as improvised shoulder stocks. This makes the gun much more safe, much easier to control, much more effective, and much more realistic. But it means you don’t have to register what is functionally a short barreled rifle. And that’s the rub. Uncle Sam wants you to tell him about your SBR (the registration process), and pay him a token of gratitude ($200 for a tax stamp) for allowing you to own something you should damn-well be able to legally own, regardless.

There are a lot of us out there who saw the original decision as a sure sign of good things to come.

There are a lot of us out there who saw the original decision as a sure sign of good things to come.

But now, a new opinion from the ATF

Yesterday, news spread about a letter to Eric Lemoine, owner of Black Aces Tactical–a company who had designed a shotgun that used the arm brace concept. They asked the ATF to rule on the matter. And this is what Acting Chief of the BATF’s Firearms Technology Branch Max Kingery wrote in reply: “The submitted weapon, as described and depicted above … is not a ‘firearm’ as defined by the NFA provided the SigTac SB15 pistol stabilizing brace is used as originally designed and not used as a shoulder stock. […] However, should an individual utilize the SigTac SB15 pistol stabilizing brace on the submitted sample as a shoulder stock to fire the weapon from the shoulder, this firearm would then be classified as a ‘short-barreled shotgun.’ ”

If shouldering the brace on a short shotgun suddenly makes it an NFA regulated short barreled shotgun, then it stands to reason that shouldering the brace on an AR pistol might now be construed in the same way.

So–we wait. For now, anyhow, we are all still legal shouldering our pistols. But will it last?

The letter sent to Black Aces Tactical.

The letter sent to Black Aces Tactical.

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  • woodchuckwacker666 December 2, 2017, 9:48 pm

    … I have to question why a government agency that runs guns to the Mexican cartels even has the right to pass rules about what you can or can’t do with a legal weapon with an arm brace…???

  • Ringo Lapua June 9, 2017, 11:10 pm

    Ok….I voted for and support President Trump and the Republican Party because they support (most of them) the Constitution. Please write letters to President Trump and your Congressmen urging them to radically reduce the power and jurisdiction of the ATF. Restrict their area of jurisdiction to explosives, missiles and fully automatic weapons. We have books of gun regulations in every state and should allow the state and local police forces to enforce them and NOT THE ATF.

  • Tommy Barrios July 13, 2015, 11:41 am


    • xrey May 18, 2016, 12:13 am

      Doesn’t change a thing. They get away with anything.

    • CW2, Spec Agnt Douglas Mutschler USA(ret) August 20, 2016, 8:49 am

      I wonder how our founding fathers who stand by on our (modern/today) politicians attempting to nullify or rewrite the 2nd amendment. Did they ever state “Well our military are allowed flint lock rifles and pistols but you people who are not in an active military status must not use those military weapons but must utilize bows and arrows only.” Their intent was not with stipulation concerning types of weapons used. They were intelligent men who had to realize that innovations and newer types of weapons had to be on the horizon. Yet, did they [In the writing of the 2nd amendment] make stipulations concerning their ownership, utilization, sale, taxation [in it]….NO they did not. Their intent was for all free American citizens to have the ability to protect their families, property [that was hard worked for] and to ensure that their country was protected for all enemies both foreign and domestically instigated. When and when did those people, who were ELECTED to office, by us, and who WORK FOR US, not the other way around, get it into their heads that they have the right to change anything in the Constitution of these United States of America. It just seems to me, or at least appears to be happening , that when some people get to Washington DC that all of a sudden they seem to think they no longer are responsible TO us and appear to go about their day with an agenda that is not in step with our best interests, but to that of a foreign agency or group whos interests are contrary to the people of the U.S. and its Constitution. Why are we not allowed to view the gold in Fort Knox, KY; why are politicians going after guns and not the criminals who misuse them; why are politicians allowed to take money from companies that they could conceivably have to rule against for illegal or immoral activities like the pharmaceutical companies who pay political personalities thousands of dollars which anyone with a peanut for a brain would know that they are buying future favors for legal issues that happen at a too often level of incidence. Isn’t this an example of a conflict of interest?
      I can only speak for myself but I believe we need a newer type of government, maybe like “to the standards that our founding fathers demonstrated on a day to day example during our founding from oppression from the likes of the rulers of their day[kings and queens (I see one example today who it appears that she sees herself as a queen of our day. Attempting to IMPOSE her beliefs on us and forgetting that she works for us not the other way around.)] ; who those of our generation appear to be mirroring in Washington today.” Why go after inanimate objects and not the people who misuse them. Like firearm possession, law abiding people do not misuse them but criminals do. Why aren’t those we elected to office going after them? By making guns illegal, all the politicians are going to do is make criminals out of law abiding citizens who believe in the constitution, fought for it and live under it. What is the REAL agenda that’s driving this war against firearm ownership? GO AFTER THE CRIMINALS! DON’T MAKE MORE FROM THE INNOCENT LAW ABIDING CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES! And come clean and just do the job you were hired for; as we never elected kings and queens pushing their ideals onto us. As long as they are lawful, moral and don’t harm others mentally, physically or spiritually we can lead our own lives without your help…………………………..Thank You
      CW2, Spec Agnt Douglas Mutschler USA(ret)

    • Giovanni July 27, 2018, 6:55 pm

      No. Albeit I am a law abiding citizen the Constitution clearly reads “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This is pretty clear. Like it or not even a criminal has the same constitutional right. If you start selecting classes of people then that defeats the constitution.

      If someone is really so bad as to permanently deprive them of some rights than perhaps they should be lifers or simply executed. This would be a far better option than creating a “2nd class citizen”

      Let us be frank. The US has been using unconstitutional laws to strip peoples rights away for more than a century. Imagine the guy who doesn’t dot the proverbial “I” in his tax returns. Technically he is a criminal right? See. This whole law abiding citizen doesn’t pass the litmus test.

      The framers of the Constitution were, by English law, criminals. They know this when they framed the Constitution. They wrote the constitution to preserve the rights of EVERY citizen. Period.

  • Jordan January 16, 2015, 8:39 pm

    My thing is why are SBR’s and SBS’s even taxed. They are all rifles and technically speaking they should be protected under the 2nd amendment because its intention is to make it harder to buy a certain type of firearm. And according to the people that are trying to restrict these, “if you intend to make an illegal SBR you cannot buy this barrel,buffer, stock, braces, anything that would make them believe you may INTEND to make a SBR, it’s illegal.” So if everything is intention then why are SBRs and SBSs still illegal? If the second amendment is based on intention, like the regulators, then they shouldn’t be illegal.

  • Erik January 16, 2015, 5:48 pm

    Well it’s in the record books now! too many letters and requests.

  • Erik January 16, 2015, 5:47 pm

    Well it’s in the record books now! too many letters and requests.

  • max December 26, 2014, 10:09 am
  • Blake Mims December 12, 2014, 11:48 pm

    Black aces fucked up. What they needed to do was submit their prototype sans-brace, and offer a token excuse for the buffer tube/protrusion. Then people could add the brace themselves, with after market Sig braces. Upon which they could write the atf about including the brace in their package. Ar pistols were around a while before someone thought up the arm brace, if they had been submitted together we may have got this new letter the first time, but since they were used to ar pistols they hand waived it “people are already shouldering the buffer tube, so… ah sure what the hell, as long as it’s not intended as a stock”

  • DGO December 11, 2014, 4:31 pm

    What some people don’t realize, is that not everything is either a Rifle, Pistol, Revolver or Shotgun under the Gun Control Act.
    Ask yourself this. What is a receiver classified as? A “Firearm”, right? All guns are firearms, but not all firearms are either a Rifle, Shotgun, Pistol or Revolver.
    Putting enough features on a receiver to make it shoot-able, but not enough to put it into one of the above 4 definitions is the trick. If it doesn’t fall within one of the above 4, it also doesn’t have the limitations of any of these four.
    This one is not shoulder-stocked, so it’s not a Shotgun or a Rifle. It doesn’t have a cylinder so it’s not a Revolver, and being 26″ OAL or more, (ATF’s determination for whether fired by one hand) it’s not a Hand-gun (Pistol). It’s in the fifth category, “Firearm-Other”. Since it’s not a Rifle or Shotgun, you can have a short-barrel.
    If you’d like to learn how to decipher these things, go to and take the online module on Firearm Classification.

  • Mahatma Muhjesbude November 30, 2014, 7:03 am

    I don’t know why this is a surprise to anyone. Everybody immediately ‘knew’ the ‘real’ purpose of this so called ‘armbrace’ device the day it came out. A de facto SBR.

    And we all know that BATF might be Unconstitutional–but they are not stupid.

    They are only mitigated by the ‘winds’ of political favor. Had we not done our Patriotic duty and fired the lot of them to try something different for the future this past midterm, this Sig brace, along with bump fire, and the one they really want–80% receivers–among other ‘goodies’ would have shortly gone the way of the ‘lightning link’…and anyone with a ‘paper trail’ would be receiving the proverbial Edgar Allen Poe black Raven knock…knock.. knock…but really ‘no knock’–as the ‘intrude’ upon your chamber door in the wee moments of the morning under the patriot act provisions of warrantless searching for ‘suspected’ domestic terorist activity of illegal NFA weapons.

    And the this would be deemed so by the BATF Fiat process known as Administrative policy review under the 68 GCA.

    As someone alluded to above the ATF is well versed in this stuff and likely already have plans on the table ready to go, depending upon how much political heat, or not, is at issue.

    So instead of bullshitting around like a bunch of pusilanimous pee-daddies trying to side step the inevitable in a panic attack of abject weakness, why don’t we just FIX the problem once and for all?!

    Starting first and foremost with changing the laws to FAVOR guns in the hands of the people, as opposed to the incessant obsession by government power elite to restrict and deny them.

    Those who really understood the reality always knew that The NFA of 1934 and the GCA of 68 were nothing as they seemed. There wasn’t even a need for these laws at the time! They were nothing more than an insidiously evil mechanism designed to eventually totally disarm the populate to bypass the Constitutionally protected Jeffersonian solution to tyranny. And it doesn’t matter which party or political power is the tyrant. What fun is it being a totalitarian government in complete control of everyone–if they can’t disarm them anytime they feel like it?!

    The so-called NFA and 68 GCA legislation were quietly slipped into place to wait for a time when other ‘laws’ could be designed to ‘compliment’ these Unconstitutional mandates which would effectively potentially make almost EVERYONE a criminal subject to immediate restriction and confiscation action to eventually effectively disarm the citizenry. Period. There’s no reason for Anybody, including released ex-criminals–who paid their dues to society, or people with potential emotional and psychological ‘problems’ that do not require hospitalization, to NOT be allowed firearms forever! The Constitution is ‘painfully’ clear. It doesn’t say “…Shall not be Infringed, unless you are on medication because of potentially psychological stress or you once committed a crime” It SAYS “Shall NOT be Infringed” PERIOD! Gun Control laws of any kind are the biggest breach of SCOTUS oaths to protect and preserve the Constitution and one of the greatest hoax/frauds ever perpetrated on the American people. Think about it like this. Once upon a time, there WERE NO GUN LAWS!

    There still was horrific crime, and if you got caught doing it, or you were a real whack job running amuck, you got quickly arrested and confined to eliminate the immediate danger to society and yourself. And that usually took care of things.

    There was no ‘extremely para military pro-active crime prevention on steroids that we have today, which doesn’t work at all? Or laws designating practically all human behavior potentially illegal to add insult to the death of our liberties?

    So Anybody who can’t get any part of that yet will eventually get what they deserve, and deserve what they get.

    We all should be ‘full auto’ on our new legislative ’employees’ and laying down heavy action firepower to have them start repealing these laws as soon as possible. ALL of them. Then we could save some tax money besides when there is no longer a use for the BATF.

    • joeseph Dahl July 13, 2015, 9:36 pm

      YES!!! 10000000% AGREED +1
      Please read the above and then read it again a few more times until it sinks in…..
      GET IT?

      • Cobra December 25, 2015, 12:27 pm

        1000% correct and I shall have one ,with or without arm brace,have a 870 with flip over stock (the old metal type) have NEVER shot it from the shoulder,never will…I keep the sholder stock on there because it keeps it original,…I’am sure it kicks a lot more than the “Black Aces,and that has never bothered me…

  • Rodney D. November 26, 2014, 3:17 am

    Is this stuff quality?

    Anyone actually own one?

    Are the mags good enough for competition?

    Anyone else find it off that there are no actual reviews of these?

    Detailed pics/reviews please.

  • Will Dryder November 26, 2014, 12:02 am

    Possibly the differance between the BATFE responses is; one is on its application on a Sig 556 pistol (rifled bore) and the other to this manufacturer’s shotgun (smooth bore) is the type firearm it is being attached to. The NFA covers them differently. Another ugly option as suggested is a change from prior BATFE decissions. This has happened befor e. ATF APPROVED a PRODUCT. The Patent Owner invested in full manufacture and sales. ATF then reversed its decission, directed a manufactures recall of the product and caused great financial loss. The Owner suied ATF/Dept of Justice and lost. Also lost all appeals. This was on a trigger/receiver kit for the Ruger 1022. I’ve been waiting for the same thing to happen with the “bump firetype stocks”. The NFA and all Gov laws/regulations are not written in stone and the BATFE uses great latitude interpeting them in the most restrictive ways they can get away with until taken to Court.

  • Robert November 24, 2014, 5:47 pm

    Is anyone reading that this is about shotguns? Shotguns cannot be pistols. They cannot have barrels of less than 18″ As proof when Taurus tried to bring out the 28 gauge revolver the BATF stamped a bid red NO on that one. Any Shotgun with a barrel of less than 18″ is a weapon that must be registered. Without a shoulder stock it can be done for $5.00 with a stock of any kind it must be $200 This has not been changed and will not change with a pistol brace on it since a shotgun pistol has to be registered anyway !!

    • Michael Stora November 24, 2014, 8:55 pm

      Wrong. It must also be less than 28″ in length to be an AOW. Some pistol grips will allow Mossberg or Remington PGOs to be over 26″ with 14″ barrels (the one Shockwave sells and the Knoxx).

  • Rob L November 24, 2014, 5:13 pm

    Don’t go out of your way begging for a new ruling by BATFE..It almost .sounds like you WANT them to ban it…

  • Mark November 24, 2014, 4:25 pm

    Typical fear mongering. The reason you can’t compare and construe this decision from shotgun to pistol is that each has a specific definition that can be found in either the GCA or the NFA. The definition of shotgun is much different than that of pistol. Also…the purpose of the 1934 NFA was to remove short barrel shotguns and machine guns from the wrong hands. Pistols were initially part of the NFA but we’re removed because were considered exempt due to 2nd amendment issues. This ruling is in compliance with what the ATF wants…and that is no sbs’s without registration. The way they did it is debatable but the reasoning behind it is understandable (albeit deplorable). Also…this is the third time the sig tac brace is mentioned in a letter….and each time they’ve mentioned it, they’ve never gone back on their ruling. The ATF isn’t stupid…if they wanted it banned they would simply write a letter to Sig banning it…they wouldn’t tip toe around the ruling. They’d also likely be sued and the scrutiny for recinding a previously approved product is much tighter in a court of law than if they had originally said no to sig. Saying that a product is being misused or used inappropriately is not in ATF’s jurisdiction. For that to happen a law would have to be created and that my friends is up to congress.

  • tirod November 24, 2014, 2:45 pm

    The shoulder stock isn’t that big an aid to making a rifle accurate. All it does is provide a contact point a the shoulder, the other end is held up by the non trigger hand. The sights are what make it accurate. In fact, you could just leave off the stock entirely and shoot it that way – applying the end of the buffer tube against the shoulder. If you want, you could cushion with some shotgun wad like rubber washers under a foam tube cover. And shoot it. If you just the sights and have some skill, I suspect you could even do well,

    That is exactly what future SBR owners do with it – shoot it as a pistol, and when asked to explain how much better they are when they do attach a legal stock, you get all sorts of adjectives – great, huge, etc. But, never numbers. Opinion. Not facts.

    I’m going to suggest that if anyone really wants to find out how much their stock actually helps – and how much a $200 tax stamp justifies having one – that we start getting some relevant and accurate numbers to quantify exactly just what opinion is leaving out. Shoot some targets side by side and lets really see what’s going on.

    Then we will also understand whether or not it actually makes a difference. Otherwise it’s the same as spending a lot of coin for a freefloat tube – and discovering, as I have, that it isn’t all that. In fact, in the specific use of the AR, it may not even be worth it when you consider accuracy in terms of being effective – ie surviving an encounter, vs ranking a few places higher in a square range competition. Especially since we are talking pistols/SBR’s having 10-12 inch barrels and used at distances of less than 125meters. More like, 125 inches, as in 10 feet, which is where most SERT/SWAT teams function with them – indoors.

    That may be a bit more honestly than the Uncle Sam Tax Club want’s to share, but it does go right to the heart of the issue – having a stock or brace is entirely a work of law, not function, and we are letting our Congress make the law with no idea of what they are really doing.

    If the brace gets outlawed I’m not losing anything. I figured out the AR pistol didn’t NEED a shoulder stock anyway, and frankly, see the brace sell for $80 more over the price of the GI or aftermarket stocks seems to be exactly what they are on the market to do – soak the fanboy who follows the fads. If you can shoot, it won’t really make a difference. If you can’t shoot, any gizmo to help you believe that you don’t need to practice seems to do.

  • John Stevens November 24, 2014, 1:27 pm

    Rescind NFA!!!!!

  • Jim November 24, 2014, 10:34 am

    The letter did NOT say that placing the brace on the gun made it an SBS. It said placing it on your sholder made it an SBS. So, the correct interpretation is, “It OK, unless you put it on your sholder.” And the moral of this story is, dont register it and dont put it to your sholder.

  • mark November 24, 2014, 8:28 am

    @mike – you bring up a good point that’s been missed so far in this article – Black Aces is making *pump* shotguns with sig braces. Most would argue that firing a pistol-grip shotgun is stupid with anything heavier than birdshot. Firing a pistol-grip shotgun *with one hand* and any load – is a great way to win a darwin award.

    “Pistols”, even those with “braces” – can arguably be fired with one hand. A pump gun needs both hands.

  • Mike Boone November 24, 2014, 7:35 am

    I’m wondering what Eric Lemoine expected. I wouldn’t even think of submitting a weapon like this for approval. The issue here is not the arm brace it’s the forward pistol grip! Read the reply from the ATF it’s right at the top of the letter. Once the forward pistol grip is attached it’s pretty clear that the weapon is intended to be used with two hands.
    The brace is a good tool for us who need to shoot with one hand.
    The ATF ruling is understandable, FOLLOW THE RULES!

    • evan lessuk November 24, 2014, 11:44 am

      Yep, nail on the head. A pump was never des as a pistol and forward grip is AOW. I think we should just enjoy our pistols!

    • Winston November 24, 2014, 2:03 pm

      Yeah Mike B.: Just follow ( obey without question nor debate ) any arbitrary “rules” these unelected people pull out of their Bloomberg/ GOP/ DEM/ Establishment financed political bag of tricks. Their rule s are arbitrary and made up to restrict behavior thuis by default make more law breakers. After all, Freedom Isn’t Free- the bumper stickers say it is so.

    • Winston November 24, 2014, 2:03 pm

      Yeah Mike B.: Just follow ( obey without question nor debate ) any arbitrary “rules” these unelected people pull out of their Bloomberg/ GOP/ DEM/ Establishment financed political bag of tricks. Their rule s are arbitrary and made up to restrict behavior thus by default make more law breakers. After all, Freedom Isn’t Free- the bumper stickers say it is so.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude November 30, 2014, 7:18 am

      Yup, that’s why they design rules. So that people ‘follow’ them. Problem is, Mike, What about the Rules– especially those forthcoming, that even you won’t find so ‘understandable’ to ‘follow?

  • Gary November 24, 2014, 7:13 am

    Leave it to some foolish company in this case Black Aces Tactical to push the envelope knowing full well what they are doing. It’s foolishness like this that will ruin the arm brace for everyone. There are zero shot gun pistols being sold anywhere and that is a fact. Screw balls like this that brought down the BATFE on 7n6 5.45 x 39 ammo importation. A pox on this company and it’s owner Eric Lemoine !

    • Thomas November 24, 2014, 8:49 am

      Two anti-gun comments on one article? You must be shooting for agitator of the week with DC.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude November 30, 2014, 7:43 am

      What about that little revolver pistol number called the ‘Judge’, i think? That shoots a 410 shotgun shell? And i seem to recall seeing a derringer style 410 pistol somewhere also?

      • Doug Wallace December 8, 2014, 10:23 am

        The Judge has a rifled barrel that happens to shoot shotshells, it is considered a pistol, not a shotgun.

  • Jay November 24, 2014, 7:00 am

    Personally I just don’t understand the total stupidity of our illustrious government these days! I’m so impressed that it seems only the government can find, hire with big salaries, whooping benefit packages, the ignorant and half wits among us! Although I’ve never seen the advantage to spending almost 200 bucks for a arm brace when I can accomplish the same thing with a velcro strap or in an emergency with duck tape if the need arises! Just my cheap two cents worth though!

  • Rob November 24, 2014, 6:51 am

    No, there is no problem. You obviously don’t understand the definitions the ATF uses. A shotgun must have a stock or it is not a shotgun. Without a stock a shotgun under 18″ falls into the AOW category. Which is already an NFA registered weapon. So of course you can’t add a brace to a weapon this should have already been registered and. Think that will make it ok.

    This ruling should have no effect on pistols and arm braces.

    • GARY November 24, 2014, 7:32 am

      Go to Black Aces Tactical to see what they are producing presently. I hope the ATBFE closes them down or imposes a heft fine.

      • Thomas November 24, 2014, 8:47 am

        Your comment is repulsive, and sadly typical of the leftist mindset that has invaded gun culture.

        • Michael Stora November 24, 2014, 8:49 pm

          Reread it. He was being ironic by pointing out how the previous poster was wrong (pistol shotgun is not automatically an AOW. It must also be less than 26″ in length to be an AOW). He is not really an anti.


    • Marty Ewer November 24, 2014, 11:54 am


      Actually, if you maintain an overall length over the magic 26 inches, it isn’t an AOW. Trust me, I have done A LOT of research in this area.

      Thank you,
      Marty Ewer
      Shockwave Technologies

  • Adrion November 24, 2014, 4:30 am

    people, like this author, need to stop the fear mongering for page views and ad revenue. the shotgun in question was never a pistol and was always subject to NFA. an ar/ak/etc that can be made as a pistol can use the sig brace and not be subject to NFA. while they may change the ruling at any time it is still legal to use a brace on a pistol and shouldering it as configured does not constitute a violation of NFA. stop the madness.

    • Marty Ewer November 24, 2014, 11:48 am

      Adrion, actually the 12-gauge firearm in question was always a simple Title 1 “firearm” and never subject to the purview of the NFA. Trust me, we–and our customers–have researched this subject A LOT.

      Thank you,
      Shockwave Technologies

  • Dustin November 24, 2014, 3:02 am

    Draw a line in the sand, they don’t even look down as they cross it, “patriots” scream about the tree of liberty and do nothing. Again. Still.


  • LAYGO November 23, 2014, 12:39 pm

    I think the differentiation, much like Justin says, there isn’t a ‘shotgun pistol’. If it’s short, it’s still a SBS. Where whatever minute differences make an AR Pistol vs an SBR, adding the armbrace isn’t relative to the caliber or length.

    I need to buy an arm brace soon!

  • Justin November 21, 2014, 12:23 pm

    So I’m officially confused…Black Ace’s shotguns submission has a barrel length less than 18’’. So it’s a SBS, right…or an AOW? Regardless of the brace or stock wouldn’t it still be a SBS or AOW? There are no shotguns like pistols similar to the AR/SiG rifle type platforms (.410 doesn’t count….google “Taurus 28 Gauge Revolver” and read about the problems Taurus had with ATF). Many short shotguns have stocks that make their overall length greater than 26’’ but they are still classified SBS (12’’ and 14’’ models of Remington/Mossberg/Benelli). Even if this is a really long pistol grip does that mean I can add it to a shotgun with a 12’’ barrel and it makes it non-NFA? Did ATF screw this up or is Black Ace’s offering this as a NFA item?

    I’m not trying to answer questions, just present them for the crowd. AFT’s logic may make my head explode.

    • Matt November 23, 2014, 11:24 pm

      No, they would not be SBS or AOW without the brace.
      The weapons Black Ace is making is not a shotgun. It is a firearm. Shotguns are defined, in part, as being “designed to be fired from the shoulder.” Being that the firearm in question never had a stock attached, it was never a shotgun at all. Since it was never a shotgun, it also cannot be a SBS. Further, the definition of AOW includes, in part, “concealable on the person,” which the ATF defines as under 26″ in length due to legislative history. Since the overall length of this firearm is over 26″, it is not a AOW. Since it is not a shotgun, pistol, or AOW; it is just a firearm.
      One of the best arguments I have seen on how to square this ATF ruling with the earlier “ok to shoulder” ruling is that the brace was approved for pistols, such as an AR with no stock, and these “shotguns” are not, and never were, pistols. They are firearms.

      • Jared November 24, 2014, 1:18 pm

        I completely agree, and you worded it perfectly!! Excellent job!

        More than that, I think the leniency by the atf on this arm brace that obviously looks like, and can be used lik a stock might be due in part to the police force. They want SBR’s bad, but the legal issues associated with the constant tracking of which officer has one, and how they are being protected from public hands and such is a ridiculous pain in the neck. They approached the atf about this brace for the very purpose of removing that headache. Atf said np, and they have responded with purchases of these to be used as stocks now. It also allows police to buy them to use on the job just like their typical side arm (mainly for special teams that actually use SBR’s obviously, unless a cop wants to carry one around in his trunk).
        On that same note, the police haven’t gotten any shotguns with these stocks to speak of, nor seem to desire to. Just saying. This is just adding extra info to what Matt said though, the reasoning he gave is dead on.

      • DaveGinOly November 24, 2014, 4:19 pm

        An interesting analysis, but the ATF letter makes it plain that the proper use of the brace wouldn’t put the user in violation of the law, but its use as a stock would. The letter is clear – ATF is now classifying USER BEHAVIOR in order to make an otherwise legal firearm illegal. The agent made no mention of the technical points you raised (as correct as you may be). The ATF’s problem with a brace on a shotgun is with the use to which its owner may put it, and not merely the fact that it’s been mounted on the weapon (as it would be concerned with the mounting of a shoulder stock on an AR pistol – in this case it would be concerned with the mounting which makes an SBR of a pistol – the owner’s use of the stock would only be incidental).
        I have to ask, how much authority does the ATF have to regulate the USE of otherwise legal firearms (and not merely their configuration), parts, accessories, and ammunition?

        • Mahatma Muhjesbude November 30, 2014, 7:34 am

          I’m glad this forum topic came up. It causes people to wake up to reality. They have more ‘divine’ power than you would ever imagine, my friend. And you touched on a very profound point.
          The ‘unnatural progression’ of tyranny ‘always’ deteriorates from material/property restrictions to eventual ‘behavior modifications’.

          And remember, we are not yet stopping them from Watching every move we make?

    • anon November 24, 2014, 8:57 am

      The 14″ Mossberg 500 That ISN’T NFA!

      I get a lot of questions from customers about the “new” ATF ruling regarding pistol-grip-only (PGO) firearms with 14″ barrels that aren’t considered NFA items.

      Well, first off, let me say, it’s not a new ruling. It’s the same position that ATF has always taken regarding PGO firearms that fire a fixed shotgun shell that have NEVER had a buttstock attached to them—they’re NOT shotguns! They’re simply firearms. As such, they don’t necessarily need to have 18″+ barrels on them to remain out of the purview of the NFA.

      You see, the very definition of a “shotgun” requires that it be “designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder…” Without a buttstock ever having been fitted to the PGO firearms in question, they can’t be fired from the shoulder and are therefore not shotguns. Hence, with a 14″ barrel, they can’t be considered short-barreled shotguns, as they aren’t shotguns to begin with. Read the full definition of a shotgun here.

      PGO firearms that remain longer than 26″ in overall length also can’t be defined as AOWs. That’s because the term “any other weapon” (AOW) means “any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person…” And ATF maintains that to be concealed, the firearm needs to be shorter than 26″. Read the full definition of an AOW here.

      More on the subject is available in these two letters to Len Savage—the guy who will be making a lot of these non-NFA firearms in the coming months and years:

      July 20, 2010 letter from NFA Tech Branch to Mr. Len Savage
      October 27, 2010 letter from NFA Tech Branch to Mr. Len Savage
      Page 1 of third letter
      Page 2 of third letter
      All that said, I’m not a firearms attorney. And I’m not offering legal advice here. I am simply relating things the way I understand them. Be sure you check with all the appropriate agencies.

      Now, a pistol-grip-only Mossberg 500 with a 14″ barrel and the Raptor Grip installed measures 26.5″ in overall length (measured parallel to the bore).

      • Marty Ewer November 24, 2014, 11:46 am


        I appreciate you reposting one of my blog posts here. I would just ask that anyone reposting something I’ve written, please just attribute your source.

        Many thanks,
        Marty, Shockwave Technologies

      • DaveGinOly November 24, 2014, 6:04 pm

        My earlier post was meant to be a response to “anon” and his comments about the technicalities of the ATF definitions. Just wanted to make that clear.

  • Jerry November 20, 2014, 7:34 pm

    So, taking the logical route (always dangerous when dealing with the gov), based on the statement from Max Kingery, a simple padded pistol receiver extension would also constitute “made or remade, designed or redesigned” when placed against the shoulder while firing the weapon, thus effectively “making” an illegal short barreled rifle.
    I just want to know why an SBR is regulated to begin with. It’s just complete nonsense that a weapon which has been modified to make it less powerful requires special dispensation from the federal government.

    • Mike November 21, 2014, 1:22 am

      The NFA originally was intended to tax any firearm under 26 inches in length Including pistols. The idea was that if concealable weapons were restricted with a heavy tax (200$ in the 30s was a lot of money), that organized crime would fall.

      Being that handguns were quite popular, this part of the bill was shot down. But short barreled firearms not classified as pistols were still lumped in with machineguns and supressors.

      Now of course, much like most other gun control legislation, the NFA was based not on fact, evidence and reason but misinformation, emotional response, and a sprinkling of intentional disinformation.

      • DaveGinOly November 24, 2014, 4:10 pm

        It is my understanding that when the bill was sent back to committee for revision, that not only was the tax on pistols supposed to have been removed, but that Congress had also intended the “SBR” part to be removed too, and an oversight/clerical error resulted in it not being removed, resulting in SBRs being classified as NFA Class III guns.

      • dc January 16, 2015, 4:51 pm

        the ATF already has way too much on its plate with all of the SBR paperwork they’re doing. They will leave the sig brace alone just because they don’t want to F with it and make their life harder.

    • Sean November 24, 2014, 11:23 am

      Read “if a forward grip is attached.” Any pistol with a forward grip is illegal.

      • the 2nd November 24, 2014, 12:53 pm

        WRONG, I have a letter from the ATF stating different. D o some research before you run your mouth,

    • Bob November 24, 2014, 1:52 pm

      I must disagree about the comment “we are all still legal shouldering our pistols”. You are getting away with illegally shouldering your pistols. Just wait until you get caught to see how legal it is.

      • Marty Ewer November 24, 2014, 3:54 pm

        Do a quick Google search for “Joe Bradley ATF letter.” You’ll read that there is no illegal way to fire a legal pistol.
        Marty Ewer

      • sarm1084 March 5, 2015, 12:07 pm

        So if i shoulder my Ruger SR9c is it now an NFA III SBR? I know this is the law and all but,… this is !@#$% ridiculous.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude November 30, 2014, 7:24 am

      Jerry, it is regulated because ‘they can’. And since nobody wants to stop them, they ‘get away with it’. The original NFA/GCA’s were nothing more than a totalitarian Fiat mandate slipped in place by a corrupted legislation under the people’s noses as part of a below radar ‘plan’ to eventually and inevitably virtually disarm the populate. Nonsense notwithstanding.

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