Tag Archives: NFA

The sound of 16 Vickers 303s

One of the scariest sounds for any of the Kaiser’s foot soldiers in the Great War had to be that of the Vickers gun, ready to rattle away in .303 all day. 

The below amazing eight-minute video is the sight and sound of 16 Vickers machine guns rocking and rolling at a recent event saluting the centenary of the disbandment of the British Army’s Machine Gun Corps. Held at the Century range at Bisley, Surrey, it was pulled off by the Vickers Machinegun Collection and Research Association. Set up as a machine gun company, the guns represented gunners from 1912 through 1968, including one team of female factory testers. 

More on the Vickers 303, and its interesting American connection, after the jump in my column at Guns.com.

“The Kaiser’s necklace, compliments of Camp Lee, Va.” showing Doughboys training with a Vickers gun and holding up one of its 250-round cloth belts. Both the 80th “Blue Ridge” Division, drawn from volunteers from Virginia and western Pennsylvania, as well as the 37th “Buckeye” Division of the Ohio National Guard trained at Camp Lee. (Photo: The Library of Virginia)

Just 5 Days Left to Get Brace Comments In

Ironically, the rule would allow you to keep this pistol, just get rid of the base, because, somehow, “the brace is what makes it dangerous”

The public comment period on a plan by the White House and federal gun regulators to crack down on the legal use of stabilizing pistol braces is closing in the coming days. 

The proposed rulemaking by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives largely bans the use of popular stabilizing braces on pistols by proffering a complicated multi-part test to determine if large-format handguns equipped with such braces could stray into being illegal short-barreled rifles.

The comment period is open until Sept. 8 and, as of Thursday morning, only had 149,960 comments listed. By comparison, almost twice as many comments were logged on the ATF’s proposed rule change on firearm frames and receivers, which ended last month.

Keep in mind that there are as many as 40 million braces in circulation right now, meaning only like 0.37 % of brace owners have taken five minutes to weigh in on the issue. My bet is that most don’t know what is coming, which could be bad for them. Like 10 years in prison kinda bad.

Submit your comments in these easy steps:

  1. Visit regulations.gov using this hyperlink
  2. Click the “Comment” button on the “Proposed Rule”
  3. Explain how it would affect you in a reasoned, polite comment that specifically says that you are opposed, or somehow in support of, the rule. 
  1. Enter your e-mail address (scroll down)
  2. Fill out the “Tell us about yourself” section
  3. Hit submit

The Pistol Brace Test is a Stone Cold Nightmare

With a 71-page proposed rule to clarify when attached stabilizing brace accessories convert pistols into illegal short-barreled rifles now open for public comment, we disastrously attempted to apply it.

In a test with a pair of unloaded large-format AR-style pistols, I sat down with my buddy Ben Philippi to honestly wade through the minefield of potential disqualifiers on proposed ATF Form 4999 to determine if a pistol/brace combos selected– which are legal now– would continue to be so should the rule goes into effect as-is.

And it didn’t work out very well.

The proposed rulemaking, “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached Stabilizing Braces” as of June 24, has 102,000 public comments.

The last day to file comments is Sept. 8.

Kafkaesque Pistol Brace Rules Released

There are between an estimated 3 and 7 million (that’s a big swing) stabilizing braces on the market right now, all of which got there after the SB15 brace was released just a decade ago. ATF has been notoriously squishy on the legality of braces, especially at the intersection of its use on a handgun to the point that it turns a pistol into an illegal short-barreled rifle or SBR. Unregistered SBRs can get you a dime in the federal hoosgow.

You sitting in the federal hoosgow, looking to trade a pack of mackerel fillet to make unwanted friends in the shower:

“What are you in for?” says the broker

“I added a plastic stock that is not a stock to my pistol and the ATF found out and, it turns out, they ruled it was a stock,” says you.

“That mack got soybean oil or water?”

“Water…”

Zipppppp

Anyway, to keep clear of just what is illegal or not, the DOJ today released a proposed rule that is so simple it has a 71-page explainer to it. It includes a new ATF form (#4999), a two-sheeter that walks you through if your pistol with a brace on it is legal, or an SBR in three easy-to-figure-out sections.

Heavier than 64 ounces and between 12 and 26 inches? Boom, just failed Section I on ATF 4999, head to Section II.

There, if you earn a maximum of three points, proceed to Section III. Have over four points, and you are out of compliance and have an extremely dangerous SBR. So dangerous it only magically becomes safe for the public to own after you pay a $200 tax and wait 10 months for the paperwork to clear. 

At Section III, you can earn a maximum of three more points to keep your brace/pistol combo legal. Four or more, which can be earned even by installing “peripheral accessories” that would show you “intend to shoulder” your pistol, such as a bipod and/or short eye relief optics, or BUIS sights and it’s an SBR even if you passed Section II.

Sounds “simple”, right?

Check out these three examples in the proposed rule. One is (barely) legal, with 3 points in both Sections II & III; the second is an SBR, with 8 and 5 points in each section, and the third is also hot with a combination of 23 points on the worksheet.

 

The thing is, the photos, to the average user, look almost identical.

It is almost as if the feds want to make it so complicated and sow so much confusion and angst over the legal use of braces that most gun owners won’t even bother in an abundance of caution.

HEYYYY-OH!

Worse, what about the average gun owner who bought one of these, legally, at their local gun store thinking it was neat or cool, then they take it to the range five years from now (the proposed rule has no grandfathering) and a picture from that trip makes it to social media and someone casually tags the ATF in it. 

Oof. 

Quiet Time with a 1909 Maxim

The first “silencer” was invented by Hiram Percy Maxim over a century ago, who marketed an entire line of these cheap little mufflers for your rifle and pistol long before the NFA was a thing.

In the below short, Kevin Brittingham with Q brings in one of these relics for show and tell – a 1909 Maxim rimfire silencer, to be exact. Brittingham also discusses the history of the silencer, and why it was invented.

If you are one of the 4+ million Stabilizing Brace Owners, now is your time

Federal regulators on Friday set off the starting pistol in the race to establish what stabilizing brace makers term the largest firearm registration scheme in American history. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives scheduled its proposed 15-page “Objective Factors for Classifying Stabilizer Braces” to publish Dec. 18 in the Federal Register, the official journal of the federal government, for public inspection. Americans have two weeks to provide feedback on the plan, which could be the last chance to make their voice heard on the issue before ATF moves forward.

Written comments on the ATF proposal must be postmarked by, and electronic comments must be submitted on or before Jan. 1, 2021, by midnight Eastern time. SB Tactical is also encouraging members of the public, who are concerned about the issue, to reach out to their lawmakers in Congress as well as the White House.

More background on the brace issue in my column at Guns.com here and here.

Did you know there are 1.5 million suppressors + 638K machine guns in circulation?

As a “stamp collector” myself, I enjoy covering National Firearm Act trends. The past few years, the trend has been high. In fact, there are more of these items– suppressors, SBRs, SBSs, AOWs, machine guns and destructive devices– in legal, registered circulation, than at any time since the registry started in 1934.

The number of NFA items saw a spike last year — including a 10 percent bump in suppressors and 16 percent rise in the short-barreled rifles registered — according to new data released by federal regulators. Now in the wild are:

-2.8 million Destructive Devices (grenades, artillery, shells bigger than .50 cal, Molotovs, etc)
-1.5 million Suppressors
-638,260 Machine guns of all sorts
-345,323 SBRs
-149,866 SBSs
– 60,706 AOWs (things like pen guns)

More info on all the above in my column at Guns.com.

Now this is an AOW I could get behind

I’ve always thought that the best shooting auto-loading shotguns for the money were classic (1950s-80s) Remington 11-48s/1100/1187s.

A 1951 ad showing the then-new 870 pump side-by-side with the 11-48. Note the similarity

I have a vintage Wingmaster 1100 that has always delivered when it came to dove hunts (a September ritual in Mississippi) and once-beautiful 11-48 that has seen better days and I have since been repurposed with a shorter barrel, tac stock/furniture, and WML as a home defense gun– and will just chew through buck and slug all day.

Well, with that in mind, Eric Lemoine with Black Aces has been busy showing off a few of their hacked semi-auto AOW Shockwave builds. The 4+1 capacity vintage Remmy 1100 has been chopped down to bite-sized and tuned to run just fine with a foot-long barrel and a Shockwave grip.

“All that means for you is a $5 fee for your Form 4 and a little bit of patience,” Lemoine says.

Black Aces upgrades the piston assembly and lifter latch spring; adds new seals and does some other black magic to get these old duck guns to run short and lean for a price of $949 plus stamps– less if you have your own gun for starters, a concept that may wind up sending my beater 11-48 in for a morph.

More in my column at Guns.com

 

Springfield Armory drops 2 shorty carbines on the market

Springer is now jumping into the pool largely owned by companies like Daniel Defense and Sig by debuting a pair of factory SBRs.

Announced last week were their Saint SBR and Saint Edge SBR, with the former using a forged lower receiver, and the latter a lightened billet lower. Each has a free-float M-Lok compatible handguard and 7075 T6 aluminum flat top upper with a forward assist and M4 feed ramps as well as Bravo Company Gunfighter buttstocks and pistol grips. Overall length, due to the adjustable stock, runs between 27.5 and 30.75-inches while weight goes just over 5.5-pounds.

Prices, even with stamps included, run less than $1500, and I will definitely check them out in Dallas this week.

More in my column at Guns.com.

SHOT Show hits and misses

Made it back alive (though the flight back from Vegas was full of walking wounded) so you neither have to avenge me nor get the opportunity to split up my gear.

Here are some of the more interesting developments, though I will circle back around later in the week with a couple of tales of interesting people I met on the way.

Franklin Armory’s BFS III-equipped Revelation “firearm” seems like it would be an SBR, but it only seems that way. (Photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

So I got to check out the Reformation by Franklin Armory, and like I called it, it uses a non-rifled barrel (straight lands and grooves) with rifle ammo (.300BLK/5.56mm) to give you a non-NFA short barreled rifle (because, duh, it’s not legally a rifle!). I made contact on the range with it at close distances and it shot well but is billed with an accuracy of just 4 MOA at 100 yards, which is better than the old Brown Bess– or your typical SKS for that matter– but sill is generating a lot of hate as something as a Stormtrooper rifle. More on that in my column at Guns.com here.

Would you like to know more? (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Then there was the new Tavor TS12 shotgun, which looks like low-effort Starship Troopers cosplay but brings 15 shells of 12 to the party in a bullpup design that is just 29-inches overall (and 10 high!). Recoil impulse was…different. Meh, bullpups. More here.

Mossberg points out that their new 590M series, shown with a 20-round mag inserted above, allows for quick reloading in a smaller package than the other guys’ single-stacks. A pair of 10-round mags, standard to the shotgun, is seen to the left (Photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

The surprise of the party was Mossberg’s HUGE double stack 12 gauge mags for a dedicated series of 590 shotguns. Sure they are expensive ($100) and giant (like a loaf of french bread for the 20-rounder big) but they are still smaller than comparable single stacks from Remington and Black Aces while being similar in price to Saiga mags. More on that here.

« Older Entries