Wooden AR-15 stock patented!

Last month a Californian resident was granted a patent application for a wooden hunting style stock for the “M-16/AR-15”.

Picture 1-16
Photo from the patent

Of course as you can see in the photo the rifle is not a AR-15/M16 as the patent claims. It has a forward recoil system and only the Para USA Tactical Target Rifle (previously know as the ZM LR300) has such a system.

I cannot see how this is an original invention. All he has patented is a standard rifle stock replaces the the pistol grip. The patent system is severely messed up.

Still, I must say I like his laminated stock and handguard in the above photo. I think it looks pretty nifty.

Thanks to the ever vigilant Daniel Watters for sending me the patent info.

UPDATE: It is a patent application, not a patent, and I have been told it was not allowed.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Dom

    Does that remind anyone else of the Dragunov? I guess looks are not the point, this seems likely to be more about “scary features” – a concern anywhere, especially Commiefornia.

  • I’m no patent lawer so I could well be wrong here but…

    The patent has nothing to do with a wood stock, although claim 7 says it COULD be fashioned from wood.

    The claim seems to be a specific way of modifying M-16/AR-15 style firearms, such that they have a way to remove the hand grip and then mount a system where the hand grip was (such that now you can’t put the original hand grip back), and to that you can attach a modified shoulder stock.

    It’s a rather specific thing that has been patented and just based on a cursory read doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the patent. I mean, some patents can be taking something that already exists and just making it a bit better or taking a novel twist to it. But of course, if you think it’s a bad patent, seek a lawyer, seek prior art. I am not a lawyer, just some guy.

  • dogon1013

    Is it a Design patent, or a Utility patent? (I could not tell by the patent description)

    You can get a design patent on anything….utility is harder and has to be something new. (that’s the way it is supposed to be).

    I can see this being a design patent, to patent the design of the wooden stock and forearm. But maybe there is a utility patent on the way it mounts to the receiver.

  • B Woodman

    Any idea how strong the setup is? It looks somewhat weak at the point where the grip/stock connects to the receiver behind the trigger guard.

  • Erik

    That is excellent… especially for us out here in the PRK. Another option for us to use standard mag release configs instead of this BS bullet button stuff…

  • tg

    go back about 20 years and you will find that Springfield Armory (Genesso) offered both wood stocks and handguards.

  • Thomas

    Actually the Para Tactical Target Rifle is not the only AR pattern rifle to use a forward recoil system. True, para is one of the few that makes them but theres’s also Z-M weapons who have made them long before Para. In fact, I’ve often wondered if para bought Z-M’s design. And of course just about every dedicated .22lr upper or .22lr conversion would work with the stock also.

    • Thomas, yes I think para bought the design. It is the same gun, just different manufacturer.

  • Olympic Arms has had a forward recoil system for the AR platform for at least 15 years.

    http://www.olyarms.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=37&category_id=8&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=37

    Neither Para or Yankee Hill/ZM came up with anything new here.

    • Roughedge, interesting, I did not know that. I did not see any rifles listed that use the forward recoil system, do they exist?

  • Overload

    The Sig556 Classic, and other models, have a folding stock. Does that mean it also has a forward recoil system? What about the FN SCAR? It has a folding stock also.

    • Overload, it is a term I have only seen applied to AR-15 rifles. I suppose any rifle with a main spring forward of the bolt carrier could be called a forward recoil system.

  • Veeshir

    That’s not a patent, that’s a patent application.

  • tg

    I believe the first “spring forward” system was back in the 80’s and was called the RHINO. Don’t think it generated much interest back then. TG

  • mmathers

    I wonder how this patent application will fare since the Grant Early has been peddling his U-15 stock for YEARS now…
    http://www.californiarifles.com/

  • Yes, this is a patent application, not an issued patent.

    Regarding OA vs. ZM/ParaOrd: Robert and Brian Schuetz’s patented operating system is different from the Allan Zitta design. The Zitta design uses an extended carrier key mated to a short gas tube. The recoil spring surrounds the portion of the carrier key forward of the upper receiver. Judging from Patent #5,448,940, Schuetz’s design appears to use a conventional AR-15 carrier key and gas tube. The big tube above the handguard is not part of the gas system. Instead, it only contains the recoil spring and its guide rod.

  • Dave K

    The USPTO doesn’t check this stuff, they only search their own system and then issue, if it goes to court it will be shot down. It’s only meant to scare people into not doing it.

  • Bosko

    That’s one UGLY critter.

    If one of those fellows who shoots 3000 rounds per month uses it, the spring over the barrel doesn’t last long from the heat, unless it’s a very expensive metal.