Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn’t a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn’t Need a Stamp (Full Review)

Authors Gun Reviews Jordan Michaels Rifles Shotguns
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)

If you purchase firearms based solely on their ability to help you survive the zombie apocalypse, you might want to skip this one. But if you have a sense of humor, a love of weird firearms, and a healthy desire to Stick It to The Man, Franklin Armory’s new Reformation is exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Franklin Armory built its reputation pushing the boundaries of gun control regulations – and sticking it to The Man that is California’s DOJ. They always stay within the “four corners of the law,” as company President Jay Jacobson told me via phone, but they’ve been exploring the dark recesses of those corners since their founding over 20 years ago.

The Reformation is the next stop in that exploration, and it may be one of the most unique non-historical rifles on the market. The idea is simple. By cutting straight rather than spiraling grooves in the bore, the Reformation is neither a rifle nor a shotgun. In that amorphous category (simply a “firearm”), it escapes the regulations that govern standard long guns, including barrel length requirements.

“We were looking at the definitions in California law relating to rifles and shotguns and how it might pertain to the assault weapons ban,” Jacobson said. “It dawned on us that there might be a false dichotomy. Could there be a potential configuration that was neither smoother nor rifled? In brainstorming it, I came up with straight cut lands and grooves.”

Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
Weird, right? No spirals here.

You can find a more extended legal discussion below, but here’s the bottom line: according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Reformation can have a barrel measuring less than 16 inches without being considered an NFA Class III item. No tax stamp. No $200. No nine-month wait.

I’ve had a sample with a 7.5” barrel for the last few months, and I’ve gotta say – it’s the most fun you can have with your pants on.

Franklin Armory

Franklin Armory is currently based in Nevada, but it started in California in the ’90s. The company specializes in producing legal firearms for restrictive jurisdictions like The Golden State, and that innovative spirit has produced market-shifting offerings like the binary trigger (BFSIII). Their creativity has been spurred in part by their commitment to building products made entirely from premium American-made parts, a decision that forces them to “attack the market asymmetrically,” Jacobson said.

Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
Franklin Armory refuses to use foreign-made parts in any of its firearms.

“Everybody has lots of options for a $499 AR that has lots of foreign-made parts in it. I refuse to buy foreign-made parts and put them in our guns. Everything in our guns is 100% American-made because a country isn’t much of a country if it doesn’t have food, fuel, and firearms,” he said. “Consequently, our product does cost a little bit more. So, in order to be relevant and viable, we create products that are within four corners of the law, but that allows for marketability.”

Along with the Reformation and the BSFIII trigger, Franklin Armory offers a wide variety of AR-type rifles, including an intriguing, soon-to-be-released pistol caliber carbine they’re calling Providence.

Are We Sure This is Legal?

Right now? Yes. Franklin Armory asked the ATF to take a look at the Reformation to ensure it complies with federal firearms law, and the feds concluded the Reformation is considered neither a rifle nor a shotgun under the National Firearms Act. It isn’t a rifle because the “rifling” doesn’t impart spin on the bullet (more on that below), and it isn’t a shotgun because it can’t fire “fixed shotgun shells” (.410GA – 10GA). 

Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
I didn’t have to fill out any extra paperwork or pay for a tax stamp to take home this “firearm.”

The Reformation is considered a short-barreled shotgun under the Gun Control Act, but owning an unregistered SBS isn’t illegal under the GCA. The Reformation can, therefore, be purchased from any Federal Firearms Licensee without a $200 tax stamp or additional background checks.

Franklin Armory has published a letter written by a retired ATF Academy Instructor that summarizes the ATF’s findings. They haven’t published the ATF’s original letter because it contains proprietary information, but the summary letter includes citations of all the relevant law.

You can read the full letter here.

What You’re Getting

The Reformation comes with a hefty $1409.99 price tag along with a host of great features. So, what are you getting for all that dough? Here’s the spec sheet for the 7.5” barrel model chambered in 5.56 NATO. Franklin Armory also offers a version with an 11.5” barrel chambered in 300 Blackout that comes in black, green, or white. Opting for a “custom-tuned trigger” rather than the binary trigger bumps $320 off the price.

Barrel Length + Type 7.5” Full Contour
Handguard/Upper 7” FST™ M-Lok
Sights Magpul MBUS
Charging Handle Standard
Bolt Carrier Salt Bath Nitride
Bolt Material Carpenter No. 158 steel
Lower FAI™
Trigger Custom Tuned Trigger or BFSIII®
Gas System Carbine Length
Gas Block Low Profile
Muzzle Device Triumvir™
Color Black
Stock Magpul SL-K
Grip Magpul MIAD
Features Magpul M-Lok MVG Vertical Grip
Caliber 5.56 NATO
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
The BFSIII “binary trigger” fires a round on the pull and on the release. Needless to say, it’s a hoot.
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
The Reformation comes with Magpul flip-up sights…
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
… a Magpul stock…
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
… and a Magpul pistol grip.

So How Does It Shoot??

Shooting the Reformation is at first a little surreal. Those sideways-bullet holes set off mental alarm bells that are tough to ignore. Signs of a tumbling bullet usually indicate a major malfunction, but those vertical and horizontal tears are exactly what the Reformation is designed to produce.

The most obvious question and the one I was most curious to answer relates to accuracy. Because the bore has straight rather than spiraling grooves, the bullet begins to tumble almost immediately upon exiting the muzzle. (I shot a paper target at three yards with a heavy-grained 5.56 round and the bullet had already begun to tumble.) Tumbling rounds don’t tend to fly true, but the Reformation’s straight-cut grooves make the rounds fly at least… a little straight? Maybe?

Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
Bullets begin to tumble almost immediately after exiting the barrel.

I did a lot of shooting with the firearm, and I wasn’t able to replicate the 3.5” 100-yard group Franklin mentions on its website. Maybe conditions were too windy, maybe I was using different ammunition, but based on my testing, I’d put the max range of this rifle at somewhere between 50 and 75 yards.

I used four different types of ammunition to test accuracy. Franklin Armory says heavy bullets tend to fly straighter, which makes sense if you think of the bullet as less like a football and more like a knuckleball. I’m no physicist, but mass x acceleration = mathy stuff, and I couldn’t hit anything with 55g rounds. Heavy bullets are the way to go.

I mounted a red dot, set up on a bag, and shot two sets of 10-round groups from 50 yards with each cartridge. Shooting standard 5×5-shot groups didn’t seem necessary because, realistically, you’re not using this thing for precision work. I’ve posted images of the second set of 10-round groups since I managed to catch all those rounds on each target.

As you can see, the groups opened up as the bullet weight decreased. The best group by far was with the American Eagle 75g TMJ load, which posted a respectable 3-inch group at 50 yards.

  • American Eagle 75g – 3” group (50yds) | Average Velocity: 1852fps
  • Speer Gold Dot 75g – 4” group (50yds) | Average Velocity: 1860fps
  • Hornady 73g Match – 5” group (50yds) | Average Velocity: 2041fps
  • Hornady 68g Frontier – 6″ group (50yds) | Average Velocity: 2240fps
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
American Eagle 75g
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
Speer Gold Dot 75g
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
Hornady 73g Match
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
Hornady 68g Frontier

Group size with tumbling bullets increases exponentially more quickly than spinning ones at extended ranges. When I pushed the 75g American Eagle rounds out to 70 yards, that 3-inch group became a 6-inch group (discounting two insane flyers), and I could not for the life of me post a 10-shot group at 100 yards. The conditions were windy that day, which may explain the discontinuity between my results and those of Franklin Armory. If that’s the case, it’s something to keep in mind: the effect of wind increases just as quickly as distance.

Moving in, the American Eagle bullets posted a 2.8-inch group at 25 yards.

Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
Backing out to 70 yards…
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
… and moving in to 25.

Terminal Ballistics

I’d trust the Reformation to hit what I’m aiming at from 50 yards. That’s enough consistency for most self-defense situations, but how does a tumbling bullet’s terminal ballistics compare to a spinning bullet’s?

To answer this question, I put together wet packs following these instructions and took shots with both the Reformation and an AR-type rifle. The AR’s barrel measured the standard 16 inches, so this comparison isn’t exactly apples to apples (the bullet shot from the AR was traveling faster). But the simple test still provided some helpful information.

When the spinning bullet hit the wet pack, it tore a massive hole in the newspaper and fragmented. I found the largest fragment about 12 inches into the wet pack. When the tumbling bullet hit, it punched a small hole about 10 inches into the newspaper, and I recovered the bullet totally intact.

Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
The tumbling bullet punched a hole about 10″ into the wet newspaper.
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
The spinning bullet penetrated 12″, fragmented…
Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
… and left a pretty sizeable hole in its wake.

You may have predicted that the bullets would perform this way. Spinning 5.56 rounds are designed to punch through armor, churn flesh, and leave jacket and lead fragments in their wake. When these bullets aren’t spinning, they act more like a ball round from 17th-century muskets. They punch through nearly as far as spinning rounds, but the damage won’t be as devastating.

This, I think, is an even greater concern than the Reformation’s limited range. A 7.5-inch-barreled AR in civilian hands likely won’t ever be required to hit a target beyond 50 yards. But, without spin, the 5.56/.223 loses one of its biggest benefits—flesh-churning terminal ballistics.


Now, do I want to get shot with a tumbling 5.56 bullet? Heck no. If you want a firearm with a 7.5-inch barrel and you can’t wait for the $200 tax stamp to process and you don’t want to go the arm brace route, the Reformation will almost certainly get the job done as a close-quarters firearm. But are there better options? Yeah, probably. That’s why I mentioned at the top that this isn’t the gun for you if everything in your arsenal has to help you survive the apocalypse.

Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn't a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn't Need a Stamp (Full Review)
I really enjoyed working with the Reformation.

That being said, I still love the Reformation. It’s ultra-reliable, well-made, and super fun to shoot. I experienced zero malfunctions, even when I neglected to lube the gun the first time at the range, and the BSFIII (binary trigger) is an absolute blast.

Also, and I don’t think this can be understated, it’s a unique gun with a powerful philosophy behind it. If you’re tired of the same old AR’s, this is something that’s going to garner attention at the range and in the gun shop. It also represents a mindset, common among many gun owners, that takes issue with the never-ending attempts to curb Second Amendment rights. It may not be perfect or “practical,” but if you pine for the days Americans could own suppressors, machineguns, and SBR’s without the government’s say-so, the Reformation is a small taste of that liberty-loving heritage.

There are many reasons to own a gun. I think that’s a good one.

Visit Franklin Armory to learn more by clicking HERE

Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Bob August 22, 2019, 2:01 pm

    I tried reducing the bullet weight when rloading my 03 Springfield to make it faster and flatter shooting. I found that 110 grain was the lightest that was practical. There were some 50;grain “Plinker” slugs available that I tried and they were very unstable and tumbled, so Istopped atv110 grain. The plinkers were also not streamlined and I thought kind of chunky. So I stopped the experiment with them. They also made a very strange soundas they tumbled down range.


  • Willie-O August 21, 2019, 7:41 am

    A couple of points –
    (1.) I appreciate the attitude and effort behind it and any other attempt to get around meaningless firearm regulations, BUT
    (2.) this is a damned expensive toy and nothing more.
    The reality of gun-control is much more serious than most want to admit and warrants more than gadgets as a response. The NRA is in trouble and worse still, these mass shootings have altered public sentiment. Even those that have always been considered pro 2nd amendment types are turning against “assault-rifles” and high-capacity magazines. Never mind the reality that banning both will have no impact on the mentally deficient types – the ones that commit mass shootings, not Dimocraps. I’ll continue to vote, support the 2A and anything I can do as (1) individual against what has sadly become the majority.

  • RSConsulting August 20, 2019, 9:17 am

    Another interesting example of a firearm that solves a non-existent problem.

    Many states that did bumpstock bans also banned “devices that increased the firing rate”, etc. So binary triggers in my state (FL) are also “technically banned”. Which is not to say I don’t have one in my MPx, or two new ones on the shelf – Franklins of course (bought in case they hit a federal ban on them). I find they are way more ACCURATE and way less hassle than bumpstock to run with consistency and accuracy.

    I see a number of folks comments ragging on the NRA and DJT about the Bstock ban. And even as a staunch “no compromise/no surrender” type myself – I saw the ban as throwing the anti’s a bone without really hurting anyone. It’s a POS toy, that really didn’t have a huge market penetration. Made the anti’s feel like they got a win, without really giving them anything – a shiny distraction. The only problem I had with the ban, was no “buyback” or grandfathering – the confiscation of personal property without compensation. But state mag bans (like NJ), did the same thing and they are just fact – and a civil war hasn’t been started over it either.

    I have a Standard Firearms SKO Shorty – which ships as an “Other Firearm” – with pretty much means I can do anything I want with it. I’d suspect the Franklin piece falls under a similar classification. Taking away the rifling makes it a shotgun.

    What is being sold here – is essentially an expensive 5.56 “zip gun”, in AR furniture. If it was the only gun I owned in a zombie (democrat – same thing, brainless creatures that they are) apocalypse – I’d obviously shoot it. Still better off with an actual shotgun (even a pump or break-apart) and some slugs or Federal FlyteControl loads.

    Like I said initially – a solution searching for a problem. Cali folks are still better off having an older, or snuck-in, binary equipped regular AR – with the halves separated and stashed for an apocalypse – because when all laws and common sense go by the wayside, you’re still better off having something that will shoot accurately with damaging penetration.

    My $.02


    • Vic August 27, 2019, 11:05 am

      The time for overturning the Bans.. has not yet arrived… patience.

  • OldOutdoorsGuy August 20, 2019, 8:25 am

    WOW! Isn’t Freedom of the Press wonderful? This is the only country left where there are NO secrets and new ideas are thrown out there willy nilly for the Press to spin any way they wish with no reprisals whatsoever. I have no doubts that, given a few issues of the Daily Rag or a couple of rounds on the 6PM “Special Reports”, our loyal?? representatives in Congress will be chafing at the bit to drum up new legislation to ban this or put a special use tax on that or just give the Prez the go ahead to strike something off the books with an Executive Order.

    “But, what about the press? We cannot encroach on their freedoms!!” I can find not one word in either the US Constitution nor the Bill of Rights which gives the press any “freedom” to spin the truth into the lies for which they think the public will watch their comedy hour each evening ……. they don’t call it the “boob” tube for nothing.

    And what really astounds me is the bald faced bare facts involving WHO voted these political “spin meisters” in office to begin with?? WE seem to waste no time rushing to the voting polls to cast our votes for John Q. and/or Joan Screwurbackerski to head to Capitol Hill to make his or her mark in the history books while still being able to add more perks to an already totally protected and thoroughly covered “Retirement Package” which will set them up for LIFE if they can just make it through one term in office??? Mostly a 6 figure retirement pay, “free” security service, “free” transportation, “free” medical and insurance, “free” this and “free” that and the perpetual top just keeps spinning round and round …….

    And if we don’t get off of our dead asses soon and start thinking about what we are doing with our “right” to VOTE in this country, it will be too late to worry about much of any Rights to Bear or Freedom of anything! We will have left the “left” do the choosing for US, AS THEY ARE DOING NOW, ONE TINY POINT AT A TIME!!!

    The last thing I want to do is go through another election with nothing but the choice of either “BAD or WORSE” to pick from …..

    And, as THE LEGAL PIRATES take their booty and exit to stage left, you will hear a faint murmur, from somewhere behind the dark curtain, “The government, along with Elvis, ……. has left the building ….

    And Don McLean has won yet another new award with his oldies hit, “American Pie”!! Let’s hear it for the Don!!! ……yay.

  • jay August 20, 2019, 7:36 am

    Over $1400.00 buks for a new age Musket! No thanks ill keep the pistols!

  • Doug Riding August 20, 2019, 3:16 am

    I’m in the ‘buckshot’ camp… Build a cartridge that’ll hold a couple of # 1 or # 0 buckshot, and shoot 2 at once…

    Fleshettes are also a pretty good idea…

    But – the idea I like best is an AR-15 with a 10.5″, .300 BLK barrel, an arm brace, and a binary trigger…

    I can build one of those for around $ 700 …

  • Dan August 20, 2019, 2:11 am

    Normally I’d call this a “solution in search of a problem”….but it isn’t even a solution. In reality it’s just something for someone with way too much money to play with. And since this is ‘Merica there’s nothing
    wrong with that.

    • Ejharbet August 26, 2019, 4:25 pm

      Yes sir you get the i dig freedom prize!

  • Skillet August 19, 2019, 11:16 pm

    I wonder if there could be a threaded flash hider made that had enough rifling on the inside to impart some spin to the bullet- not much, but enough to stabilize it a bit. It would have to be done right for a particular bullet weight so it wouldn’t fly off into outer space somewhere.
    Lots of good ideas in the comments for experimentation!

    • Justin August 25, 2019, 2:47 am

      In my paintball days my friends and I tried spiral twisted rows of holes in a tube as an extender. It did have some improvement on making the balls fly straighter and farther than just the smoothbore barrels did to them.

  • Spin'n Marty August 19, 2019, 9:07 pm

    “…it’s the most fun you can have with your pants on.”
    This is my rifle, this is my gun.
    Now we have a third option. My drill sargent would be having fits right about now.

  • VeteranGunsmith August 19, 2019, 7:39 pm

    The original reason for rifling was to allow for black powder residue in muskets and yes, the rifling was straight in the beginning. The twist was done to stabilize projectiles in the late 1700’s. Since smokeless powder does not create fouling (build up of powder residue) to a degree that would cause difficulty in reloading like they experienced in the days of the musket, and later muzzle loading rifles, these straight grooves today serve no purpose other than to skirt the regulations. Since there is no twist they are not rifling grooves, and since there are grooves this is not a smoothbore shotgun like weapon.

    Considering it’s minute of man accuracy at short ranges, this is only good as a PDW, and it fits neither definition of rifle or shotgun hence the label of firearm is correct. This is actually a weapon that exists between classifications, so BATFE had no other class to give to it. If this trend continues, you can bet these will be a separate class and the regulations will make them hard to get. It was just at this time the thing is not like any existing class of weapons. If BATFE wanted they could have called it an AOW and got the tax applied accordingly as AOW literally means Any Other Weapon. Time will tell how successful this thing is and the concept has yet to prove popular in a way that translates numbers in private individual hands.

    Like the shockwave, and the Remington counterpart, that also recently got classified as firearms, it all depends on how many are made and purchased – and if they start showing up in the hands of criminals.

  • CA August 19, 2019, 5:40 pm

    Remember Bump-Stocks also received an approval letter from “Big Brother” and are now illegal!

  • JCitizen August 19, 2019, 5:37 pm

    What this firearm needs is a bullet that is light in the tail and heavy in the nose. Some of the best shotgun slugs that use that design, shoot surprisingly straight, and could actually use sights. Maybe find a good long hollow based bullet, or drill it out to make it hollow; and/or put a flechet fin on the rear. There are a lot of mil-surplus flechets out there of various size to play with. Hey! You might as well have fun tinkering with it while you are at it!!

    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 9:56 pm

      Sounds like a great idea to me. Definitely worth trying.

    • Ejharbet August 26, 2019, 4:28 pm

      They are doing this.ammo will be pricey,lol

  • Bryan harris August 19, 2019, 2:08 pm

    Rectangle bullets is the way to go

  • Rouge1 August 19, 2019, 1:50 pm

    That’s privileges for you. They can be taken away on a whim. If they were rights they would be unassailable. Our courts our representatives are a joke.

  • DEFENDER August 19, 2019, 1:25 pm

    I am wondering what PCC rounds would do.
    Say 9mm FMJ
    Blow Back – cheaper than gas
    Glock and S&W Mags
    Get the cost down so “I” could afford it.

    My guess :
    More accurate.
    Less penetration.
    But still enough for Self Defense
    In fact solve the Over-penetration problem with Self Defense 9mm?
    Maybe the perfect Self Defense PCC – NON – SBR?

    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 2:03 pm


    • VeteranGunsmith August 19, 2019, 4:17 pm

      9mm FMJ drills nice clean holes through targets with a slight difference between entry and exit unless deflected by bone or other hard objects. Better go with JHP defense ammo if you want to limit the over penetration, and use subsonic loadings.

      • DEFENDER August 20, 2019, 9:56 am

        Considering the geometry of 9mm vs 223/556 – I would expect 9mm to Tumble less than 223.
        But still tumble “some” – so a tumbling 9mm would be less
        likely to over-penetrate?
        Also if the 9mm does Tumble – a 9mm HP would not
        act like(open up) like a true spinning HP ?

        • DEFENDER August 20, 2019, 11:00 am

          Since “Here” we are talking about basically a SBR with
          NO Rifling – ie Smooth Bore.
          So 9mm would tumble less than 223? I would expect.

  • W Clardy August 19, 2019, 12:46 pm

    If heavier bullets do better, I wonder if they’ve considered a .450 Bushmaster or .458 SOCOM chambering — you might never be able to tell if it did keyhole. 😉

    Also have to wonder if they’d be willing to sell just the barrel, for those who happen to have some uncommitted receivers waiting on round tuits.

    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 1:43 pm

      Both great ideas. You should contact them!

      (Also, lol on the Bushmaster.)

  • KEN August 19, 2019, 12:44 pm

    If buckshot were used that would be a very expensive bb gun. A larger caliber such as oo buck could be the way to go with a smooth bore. Remember no rifling so no rifle. Small caliber sabots at high velocity could work like a rpg. Would that be a reclassification or a new category? Just typing this might not be a good idea if the lefties read it.

  • Millionth Cousel August 19, 2019, 12:40 pm

    Interesting ,but I rather the firearms industry, the gun lobby, and most importantly the gun owners fight gun laws by voting gun banning whackos out of office and encouraging the expansion of gun rights.

    All it takes is a liberal news media to bring this item to the attention of a overzealous anti gun politician and it will be going the way of the bump stock.

    Another thing I will add is I can see gun ranges frowning on this.

    Skirting gun laws is great until you are all out of skirts.

    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 1:49 pm

      True. I wouldn’t count the Reformation as a substitution for getting out and doing your part.

  • Y2K August 19, 2019, 12:16 pm

    “Franklin Armory’s New “Reformation” Isn’t a Pistol or Rifle and Doesn’t Need a Stamp”

    “…and the feds concluded the Reformation is considered neither a rifle nor a shotgun under the National Firearms Act”. It isn’t a rifle because the “rifling” doesn’t impart spin on the bullet (more on that below), and it isn’t a shotgun because it can’t fire “fixed shotgun shells” (.410GA – 10GA)…”.

    “…The Reformation is considered a short-barreled shotgun under the Gun Control Act, but owning an unregistered SBS isn’t illegal under the GCA”.

    1. Why is there “pistol” in the topic heading? The comparison is rifles and shotguns.

    2. It is not considered a shotgun because it can’t fire fixed shotgun shells.

    3. It is considered a short-barreled shotgun even though it can’t fire those same fixed shells.


    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 12:53 pm

      Yeah, welcome to the wonderful world of federal firearms law.

  • jerry August 19, 2019, 12:09 pm

    News Flash! So called “rifled slugs” do not spin. The spiral grooves on the slug are for looks, but they do add some rigidity to the thin “sidewalls” if the slug. However, the structure of the slug does help it fly straighter than the musket ball. With a heavy nose and a much lighter skirt (those “sidewalls”) to provide some drag, it has been compared to a badminton shuttlecock or a “rock-in-a-sock” effect to keep it going nose-forward and prevent tumbling. There’s absolutely no reason someone can’t devise a slug shaped projectile for this firearm. Perhaps an M1 carbine 110gr slug with the base hollowed out a bit (for a .300BO version?)? A .30 cal 80 gr hollow base jacketed slug? just sayin’

  • mitchell maxberry August 19, 2019, 12:00 pm

    Simple solution ! 300 BO , sabot finned flechette, that should get good penetration,

  • Kevin McCarthy August 19, 2019, 11:42 am

    So what happens to us when this firearm becomes a political ‘hot potato’ and the President decides to ban them by Executive order like he did with bump stocks? Remember – the Vegas shooter had bump stocks fitted to rifles but he never got a chance to fire those – so the liberals, gun grabbers, press and even our President with an (R) at the end of his name banned an accessory that had never done any harm…… and the NRA and others just sat back

    • Big Al August 19, 2019, 3:04 pm

      One reason Trump could ban the bumpstocks was because it wasn’t regulated under law by the ATF.
      This gun IS regulated by the ATF, therefore Trump would have major issues trying an outright ban on it.

  • DZ August 19, 2019, 11:28 am

    is the lower compatible with other uppers?

    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 11:55 am

      Yep, sure is.

  • Paul E Zoba August 19, 2019, 10:40 am

    Since this avoided the laws and isn’t a rifle, why not full auto?

    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 11:57 am

      Again, I’m not a lawyer, but I think it’s still subject to the machine gun portion of the NFA. The straight-cut lands and grooves only exempt it from the barrel length requirement.

    • Big Al August 19, 2019, 3:10 pm

      Because the lower is regulated by law under the ATF.
      And it only avoided CERTAIN laws, NOT ALL of them. That lower is STILL subject to sale under the standard laws.
      You can buy just a lower, ya’know? But you still have to do the paperwork.

  • Gen. Patton August 19, 2019, 10:10 am

    How about 5.56 balls x3 or 4 in a row? Hrmmm.

    • Gen. Patton August 19, 2019, 11:00 am

      EDIT – I meant .308 diameter.

  • Greg August 19, 2019, 9:49 am

    Perhaps some enterprising ammo maker will introduce rifled bullets for this thing, similar in concept to rifled slugs for smooth bore shotguns. Would be interesting to see if it reduced tumble.

    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 10:37 am

      I’ve wondered the same thing. I’d be very interested in seeing how those perform, though I’m not sure how they’d interact with the straight rifling.

      • Phil Damm August 19, 2019, 10:59 am

        Was thinking the exact same thing, lol. Since rifled slugs are designed to use out of a smooth bore, how would a rifled bullet come out of a barrel with straight lands and grooves?

    • capt fast August 19, 2019, 4:32 pm

      a saboted flechette would cure the tumble issue especially mounted into a .300BO cartridge. I still have some remington sabot cartridges-about a hundred I had picked up in south FL-in 30-06. they were extremely fast rounds with lots of energy back when I purchased them last century. now, they sit in the safe awaiting reload some day. there is some doubt the bullet was spun up enough to stabilize it in flight as the uhmw plastic didn’t have a great deal of grip on the bullet. inertia is not your friend in this case. I recovered some rounds from a water tank and noticed indications of radial slippage on the bullet jackets but, couldn’t quantify how much slippage there was. the recovered sabots showed no signs of friction melting where it gripped the bullet that could be definitely identified as such, but then they had a hell of a lot of heat and friction imposed on them. I was surprised they weren’t just globs of plastic.

  • David Ingram August 19, 2019, 9:19 am

    Bad timing. Just keep poking them in the eye and they will do something real stupid that we all regret.

  • Don August 19, 2019, 8:25 am

    If “smart” guys like this keep pushing the authorities, guess what?
    “They” will plug all the loop holes.
    All in all a really bad idea, JMHO.

    • Son_of_Liberty August 19, 2019, 10:40 am

      This isn’t a loophole… That word is dumb. This is compliance with applicable law.

      • Boz August 19, 2019, 12:09 pm

        Agreed. Seems as if Don has already surrendered.

    • W Clardy August 19, 2019, 12:52 pm

      Excellent point.

      Look at what happened with all the folks who kept pestering the BATF for letters on AR-style pistols, trying to push the envelope until the envelope pushed back — so now any kind of accessory intended to aid a two-handed grip is officially and explicitly banned.

  • Brian August 19, 2019, 7:46 am

    I had the same thought.

    The 300 BO may be easier to load up literal “ball” projectiles.

    CQC would be the niche but a pistol build with a brace is SO much cheaper and can be counted on for accuracy at longer distance.

    Still love to see American innovation!

  • theyWILLcomeforus August 18, 2019, 9:07 am

    People are going to say “it’s just a range toy”. Then they will wish they had it in another 41/2 years. If we don’t vote for the candidate who will recognize our GOD given rights and not flip flop because he/she doesn’t like a particular firearm or accessory. It will get banned like the bump stock. The Alphabet agencies pull the strings.

  • John Bryan August 17, 2019, 10:32 pm

    I wonder how a spherical bullet would do? Could you even get a 5.56 diameter ball properly seated in a metal cartridge? Would it be the right OAL to feed properly? Since Franklin Armory has, basically, built a short barreled, repeating musket then maybe a musket ball is the best bullet.

    • Nicholas Pela August 19, 2019, 9:11 am

      Brilliant idea! It would be a true ground breaking experiment to come up with a suitable load (can you get 5.56 balls?).

      • OFBG August 19, 2019, 5:03 pm

        I’m not sure what diameter they are, but .22 airgun ammo might work.

    • Jordan Michaels August 19, 2019, 9:42 am

      It’s a great question. I’m not sure how much more a spherical bullet would spin. My sense is that a tumbling conical bullet doesn’t spin off course quite so much, but that might not be true. Maybe there’s a physicist out there who can help us with that.

      There was talk last year of Franklin Armory developing this bullet:

      But I haven’t heard any updates on that.

    • MB August 19, 2019, 10:17 am

      Ammo shaped like a golf ball, with all the dimples would fly a lot straighter, “7.62 golf ball”

Send this to a friend