Taking it on the Chin

I’ve shot an AR-15 pistol with a cheek weld on the buffer tube, and I didn’t find it recoiled that heavily, so I don’t think this would be as uncomfortable as it looks.  As to whether it can get around the NFA requirement, as Uncle discusses, I wouldn’t care to wager. ATF has ruled that anything that makes it “designed” to be shot by two hands is an “Any Other Weapon” (AOW), not a pistol, so foregrips on pistols make it a Title II firearm, but hand guards are fine. The risk here, as I see it, is that it would be easy for ATF to suggest that the chin stock makes the firearm such that it’s no longer “designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand.,” which is the legal definition of a pistol. If something isn’t a rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or a machine gun, it’s an AOW. It could go either way, in regards to whether it’s an AOW. The issue is “designed.” You can cheek weld a buffer tube, because the buffer tube isn’t “designed” into the gun for that purpose. But ATF also allows handguards over the barrel of a pistol, such as this. So who knows? And let’s not even get into how a pistol grip shotgun is neither a pistol, nor a shotgun, under federal law, but also can’t be an AOW.

Once you realize how much ambiguity there is in the federal statutes regulating firearms, the idea of a hostile administration who is hell bent to screw us, because, you know, he doesn’t ever have to face voters again, should scare the hell out of you.

8 Responses to “Taking it on the Chin”

  1. Gerald says:

    Is it really that hard to just get the paperwork together for a proper SBR? It seems like that would be safer in the long run.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    SBRs have a lot of annoying restrictions on transfer and transport, and I can’t own one at all. (Though, to be fair, I can’t own an AT pistol either.)

    I personally am rather hoping that the next planned target for the SAF et al. is getting the definitions of SBS, SBR, and AOW voided for vagueness. For which they AR-15 is a wonderful tool, as are the various carbine conversion kits for handguns.

  3. Sigivald says:

    Also makes me wonder why We (via the NRA) don’t get some nice Congresscritters to put up a bill to simply clarify the language?

    (I don’t suggest the things I want, like de-regulating suppressors and SBRs/SBSs, because I realize the Other Side would, with the help of ignorant media, paint that as “legalizing mafia assassination sawed-off shotguns”, sure.

    But I’d think even the Brady Campaign wouldn’t care about making the laws coherent, as long as the coherence didn’t make anything they’d ever heard about or cared about More Legal Than It Is Now.)

    • Ian Argent says:

      You can’t “clarify the language” and still maintain the difference between a SBR, a handgun, and AoW. The difference between those is a matter of (bad) semantics. I covered this about a year ago on my blog. The controlling language was intended to legislate away handguns and clumsily fixed at the last minute, and they’ve been duct-taping it ever since.

      • Sigivald says:

        Oh, I know.

        But I meant the Brady Bunch don’t care about AOWs much (apart maybe from “disguised guns”, which “we can keep as a thing”, for purposes of “just making it not crazy stupid”).

        There’s a lot of rationalization that can be done to remove things like that “pistol grip shotgun that isn’t a shotgun or a pistol or an AOW” while still leaving the stupid-but-politically-loaded SBR/SBS stuff as-is.

        That’s what I was getting at.

        (In my half-a-dream world, we’d just throw out the SBR/SBS stuff and deregulate suppressors, since the entire NFA is incoherent and doesn’t fit either its own intended rationale or plausibility*.

        I’d still keep full-auto regulation because that’s political suicide in half-a-dream world; that’s full-on dream-world stuff.

        * I mean the idea that “we need to effectively ban suppressors because they’ll use them for poaching” and “SBRs/SBSs need to be regulated because they’re almost handguns and we want to entirely ban handguns”.)

        • Ian Argent says:

          But what do you get out of removing non-disguised weapons out of AoW other than being able to put a vertical forward grip on a pistol? You certainly don’t fix the problem of whether an AR pistol is a handgun or an SBR being path-dependent on how it got there (which upper you attached first).

    • Ian Argent says:

      Since you posted a comment informing me of the ATF’s “if first a rifle, then SBR” in the post I was referring to, I guess you’re aware of it :)

  4. asdf says:

    Build an AR with an 11.5″ upper and use a standard M4 buffer tube with the stock removed. You can install the stock without tools easily enough in the privacy of your own home, but you can transport it “legally” with the stock removed to and from the range. The average cop won’t know the difference between a dedicated pistol buffer tube and an naked, unmodified m4 buffer tube. As for worries about “constructive possesion”, just make sure you have one less stock than you have rifle receivers.


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