Franklin Armory XO-26b: Has Franklin Hacked the NFA?

Franklin Armory is producing a weird AR-15 they call the XO-26. It is essentially a Short Barreled Rifle with a vertical foregrip and no stock. What is especially interesting is that the BATFE don’t consider it a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) or a AOW (All Other Weapon) therefore is needs no special NFA paperwork to purchase and own. If it was classified as a pistol, like all other short barreled pistol-type AR-15s, using a forward vertical grip would be illegal. I can see other AR-15 pistol makers jumping on this BATFE ruling and producing their own quasi-pistol AR-15s.

The XO-26b has a MSRP of $1149.99.

[ Many thanks to Samopal for emailing me the link. ]



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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  • O_o

    So… What?!

    If this doesn’t prove the ridiculousness of ATF regulations, what will?

    • Woodroez

      Reflecting on jdun’s response to my comment and reading yours, Steve, has me seeing this firearm in a new light. When I posted my first comment, I was thinking about practicality, but now I wonder if the people behind this gun’s design simply made an interesting political statement.

  • Zander

    If I’m not mistaken VERY recently (in the last month or two) the ATF ruled that adding a foregrip to an AR15 or AK pattern pistol does NOT constitute an SBR or an AOW.

  • Woodroez

    I would be very interested in seeing some shooters put that through it’s paces and then make some observations on it’s accuracy and practicality.

    • jdun

      Accuracy and Practicality on these weapon does not applied. It is design for fun. If a citizen wants to buy these type of firearms, by all means do it. I will not stand in your way. It is your money and your right to buy it.

      I have a number SBR, SBS, and suppressor in my collection. I have helped many people get their first NFA stamp.

      Personally I think most gun laws are now unconstitutional. Since the 2nd amendment has been incorporated. It is only a matter of time before someone raise enough money to go to the SCOTUS to get rid of NFA.

    • Both Combat Handguns and the Book of the AR15 reviewed the 450 Bushmaster chambered variant of the XO-26. They basically got pie plate accuracy at 100 yards. The 450BM is a handful in this configuration, but it makes an awesome bear & pig gun. A 250 grain bullet at 2000FPS is devastating on any animal. In 5.56, 6.8, 300 BLK or 7.62×39, this configuration is effective for 100 to maybe 200 yards if you have a steady rest and handloaded ammo.

  • Carl

    From my review of their website it is my understanding that they can get away with this due to the fact that the overall length is beyond 26 inches.

    A change in ATF regs. would be nice though…

  • Nater

    I still hate AR and AK pistols. AK “pistols” are the reason why we can’t get steel-cored M43 from Russia. Just so some dumbass can have a useless non-rifle, non-pistol turd of a weapon. You want a short barreled rifle? Get a short barreled rifle. Pay your tax stamp and wait for approval, it’ll be a lot more rewarding at the end of the day. You’ll also have a weapon that is infinitely more useful.

    • Axel Nordberg

      No, irrational rulings are the reason you can’t buy steel core m43.

    • James

      I would love to be allowed to pay for an NFA tax stamp for an actual SBR. The state of California however has their own thoughts on that which involve charging me with a felony.

    • How about you reserve your ire for the ATF and the Congress that created asinine laws that restrict our natural human rights.

    • Bryan S.

      Funny how the ruling for the banning of steel core ammo happened before the market for these came about.

      It was about banning cheap ammo, not ammo for pistols.

  • SpudGun

    Get your thumbs ready to hide my comment – Can someone please explain this ‘fad’ for SBRs? I honestly don’t understand why so many people are so fixated on having a shorter barrel on their rifles.

    Is it because they saw some Delta Ninjas on TV? Do you they like to pretend that they have to suddenly jump out of cars or rappel down buildings with their AR-15s? Are they worried that their trenchcoats don’t fully cover the barrel when visiting the mall?

    If you’re in a line of work where you need an SBR, then surely you wouldn’t be buying a civilian version without a stock anyway.

    Again, I am mystified, can someone please answer the question – ‘I need an SBR because…’?

    • Adam

      I wouldn’t say that I “need” one, but what fun would life be if you only bought the things you need? That looks like a heck of a fun little toy to take to the range.

    • crosswiredmind

      I can see the appeal for home defense or to carry in a vehicle. It’s compact, powerful, accurate, and has a familiar manual of arms.

    • Who *needs* a book on [enter subject here]? Individual Rights are not subject to your perception of need. If someone says, “Because I want one”, that should be justification enough. This is an issue of desire. Market forces will determine (based on consumer desires) whether the product will stay on the market.

      • jdun

        That’s correct. It’s not about needs it’s about rights.

    • Mike

      Two words: Zombie Apocalypse.

      Infer all you want from that.

      • SpudGun

        Of course, how could I forget the Zombie Apocalypse, now I feel really foolish. 🙂

        No one has supplied me with a real answer to my question, fair enough you may ‘want’ one, but why do you want one? What is the motivation behind your purchase? Why is there such a demand for SBRs? Please educate me.

        @ 1 With A Bullet – Sometimes, I do think individual rights are down to perception – eg. my neighbour lost his job as a Mailman and now he ‘needs’ some weapons grade plutonium. It is my perception that he shouldn’t have it. Granted, an extreme example used for dramatic effect, but hopefully indicative nonetheless.

    • Andrew (European Correspondent)

      SBRs are no more lethal than rifles and no more concealable than pistols. If one accepts the legality, usefulness and right to own those weapons, I see no need for that same person to question an individual’s perception of his or her need for an SBR.

      That said, when working out of a vehicle, an SBR is much more handy than a longer rifle. It does not require gyrations to exit with the weapon at the ready – one simply exits the vehicle with the weapon in strong hand and ready to shoot as soon as he desires.

      A classic example of this utility that should be accepted by all shooters is the “ranch rifle.” I know of a rancher who patrols his land with a Land Rover. He has missed several shots on mountain lions or coyotes that had killed his livestock because by the time he got out of the vehicle with his weapon at the ready, the predators had disappeared. Would an SBR be a guarantee that he would have made those shots? No, but it would have given him an advantage, and they were still well within the maximum effective range of the shorter platform.

      • SpudGun

        Thank you Andrew, at last an explaination for the need of Jeep driving farm hunters to have a short barrelled rifle. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that the majority of these SBRs are being bought up by vehicle bound prarie shooters. (and wouldn’t a bullpup configuration be the best option for such scenarios?)

        Please understand, I’m not questioning the legality of owning a SBR or trying to stop anyone from making a legal purchase, I am questioning the mentality of buying one when you are not shooting coyotes from the confines of an SUV. I just want to know the reasons for someone wanting one of these pistol / rifle contraptions in the first place, as it is beyond me.

    • Herp

      What reason do we need? The second amendment is the ONLY reason we need. You’re starting to sound like a gun grabbing liberal.

      • SpudGun

        @Herp – thank you for such an informative and enlightened response. I’ve completely changed my opinion thanks to your reasoned, undogmatic and clinical appraisal.

      • SpudGun

        @Andrew

        ‘anti-private-firearm-ownership-stance’? What the hell? I ask a perfectly valid question on why people have a desire to buy an SBR when 99% of the time it’s neither warranted or useful and I get painted as the gun-grabbing devil himself. (BTW I stated categorically that I didn’t want it banned or that I’m trying to stop anyone from buying it.)

        If people find my questions so troubling that they have to resort to name calling, then I would like to apologize. I had no idea that some gunowners’ belief system was so fragile that it couldn’t withstand a single ounce of scrutiny.

        For me, a decent rifle begins and ends with the barrel. Having a shorter, more fragile barrel when you don’t need it is short sighted at best. In future, the only assumptions you should make about me is that I enjoy owning, shooting and collecting firearms and that I’m a free thinker with a strong penchant for rational thought and sane reasoning.

        Good day to you sir.

    • Andrew (European Correspondent)

      SpudGun, I am troubled by your line of questioning. I could certainly come up with many other reasons for owning an SBR, but I picked one that I thought would appeal to your apparently anti-private-firearm-ownership stance.

      Interestingly enough, in other countries with generally more restrictive firearms laws, SBRs are bought with no more regulations and looked at with no more a jaundiced eye than standard semi-automatic rifles. In many cases, the extra barrel length of a standard rifle is neither needed nor used, and the SBR provides a lighter, more compact, easier to carry and store weapon.

      If you have nothing better to do than a) play devil’s advocate or b) spread your “justification please” attitude regarding firearm ownership – I’m not sure which is your intent, and I don’t really care – that’s fine, but perhaps the rest of us have better things to do. I certainly do. Good day.

      • Matt G.

        Spud gun is seriously trollin it up today.

    • Matt G.

      Ok. Spuds question was framed condescendingly but I’ll try and answer the question for anyone honestly curious.

      SBRs have many advantages and are very prevalent in the special operations community due to their inherent handiness over standard length barrels.

      When operating out of a vehicle, shorter barrel length is essential. Ambushes happen in a flash and the faster you get out of the car and into the fight is the difference between life and death.

      CQB operations almost require shorter barrels. Especially in places like the middle east were dwellings are more compact.

      Even when not restricted by surroundings, SBRs are lighter and by extension, much quicker and handier than full length counterparts. There is less mass to move between targets and transitions are faster.

      Add a suppressor to the equation and all of these arguments are multiplied ten fold. I have enough trouble navigating tight quarters with my 16″. When I get a suppressor in, which is pretty much required on CQB/home defense weapons, then my gun will be 7-9″ longer, Or more depending on suppressor design and caliber. That comes out to a 23-25″ equivalent barrel length, which is unusable in any kind of tight quarters. SBRs are virtually required on suppressed applications besides long distance guns.

      As to why a “civilian” needs one, there are no civilians in America. We are all citizens. The fact that some laws apply more to “Joe average” than to other American citizens (leos, military) is unconstitutional, but I don’t see that changing any rime soon. As to why Joe average wants an sbr or any other type of “restricted weapon” is because every American citizen has the responsibility to defend their nation the same as any enlisted soldier. Add in the fact that they are much more useful in home defense senarios(though I don’t advocate long guns for home defense due to their unwieldiness, but that not my decision to make for anyone but myself.) and add in the fact that many people enjoy zombie/survival/SHTF preparedness, all situations that, if it ever happens, would require plenty of miitary like tactics and tools. Add in the competition comunity were many scenarios involve close quarters, And it’s easy to see why many people want shorter, handier weapons.

      • SpudGun

        @Matt G –

        Thank you for your comments – except the trollin bit of course. 😉

        I fully understand the need for an SBR in military and CQB circles. I even except the fact that they are very handy for competition and hunting scenarios where fast target transitions and cramped terrain can be obstacles. To be fair to Andrew, he did mention this and I rather rudely brushed off his reply, which I am now feeling very sorry about. (Apologies Andrew).

        Your argument that you need one for home defense or for defending the nation from foreign attack does stretch it a bit far. And again, if you were going to get an SBR for such purposes, you’d probably pay the tax stamp and buy something a bit more purpose built. As for patrolling your house with a suppressor on your rifle – well, whatever floats your boat. The vehicle argument just doesn’t wash though – very, very few of us will find ourselves in such a position ever in our lifetimes. And if we did, there is always the folding stock or bullpup option.

        Many, many shooters on this Blog complain that it’s unfair that the BATFE restricts them from having an SBR, I just wanted to find out why so many of them needed one so badly. Most of the answers were about freedom, the second amendment and zombies, so you can understand the flippancy regarding my retorts.

        And just in case anyone missed it the first 2 times – I’m not trying to have them banned or stop anyone from buying one. Just me asking why people wanted to buy one got me branded as an anti-gun liberal with a hidden agenda, which is kind of frightening.

        I’m sorry if I’m the only dissenting voice in a sea of like minds, if people perceive that as trolling or hating, then there is not much I can do to change thier opinions.

    • Nadnerbus

      Why does the average suburban commando need an M4gery with a rail system, red dot, laser/light and all the other trimmings? I’d be willing to bet if most people are honest with themselves its mostly because it looks cool, or it is just a fun toy. I mean, I love my AR, but realistically the only reason I “need” it is because I think it looks badass and is fun to shoot. Sure, if the LA riots break out here in my middle class suburban neighborhood it will be nice to have, but c’mon, I didn’t buy it for that.

      I don’t really get the SBR craze either, but then I don’t really worry about what other people spend their hard earned money on. Aesthetics are a funny thing; one person’s garbage is another’s treasure.

      • GT

        Im sorry to say the depth of your response in the hunting reply isn’t deep enough but if you happen to hunt in the woods sometimes 100 yds wont even be your shooting distance the need or want for an sbr relates to tht its like the difference between an 91/30 and an m44 the shorter barrel is handy for dense woods where distance is compromised anyway in the area where I live this is the normal condition the shorter barrel length makes it easier to squire a target in conditions where you don’t have time to wield longer guns. Also the 7.62×39 is very efficient out of a short barrel as it is a lower velocity round anyway it loses less from being fired from a short barrel mine is very accurate at 100 to 150 yds which are the conditions im most likely to operate it in carry an sbr through dense woods and brush and then carry a full size version of the same gun through the same place and the desire for them will become apparent besides why is it a big deal to take a pistol add a stock and make it less concealable? I think tht is the reason everyone complains because adding a stock to a pistol makes it bigger and less concealable I think the compact platform is why people want them and the less concealable aspect is why it gets people worked up that they can’t do it but more compact is a handy thing to have and I believe that anyone tht carry a compact firearm at some point has difficulty moving to something larger just because it is way less convienient

    • Jeff m

      Here let me explain it to you using a variation of your plutonium analogy, why doesnt everyone have a 10 foot long barrel on their gun? Longer barrels make a more powerful gun right? Why would anyone want anything less than the longest machineable barrel out there? This is an extreme example but you get the picture, shorter is more convenient !

  • On their website they link to an ATF approval letter that they say ships with each firearm… The letter does not pertain to the XO-26 but does state specifically that you can NOT attach a vertical grip to a pistol.

    The letter also references their other pistol model (which is over 26 inches) and states that you can NOT add a vertical grip to that one either.

    • The XO-26 is a configuration. The model number is SE-SSP, just like it states in the letter.

  • Gunmart, the letter says that the addition of a vertical foregrip causes it to no longer be classified as a pistol/handgun and if the overall length is more than 26 inches, the website says it is 27a inches, then is also isnt considered an AOW per the NFA. That is probably the part of the letter they are using to justify their position.

    • Yeah, I read it again after some coffee and I think you are right.

      They should probably get a letter from ATF specifically about the XO-26 to make it more clear to potential buyers. I still would pass on the basis of questionable legality and the fact that ATF changes their minds about things whenever they feel like it.

      That is the first time I have seen an actual official ATF statement on a vertical foregrip on a pistol, and I have to say, it is down right ridiculous how vague and nuanced the ATF’s explanation is. From their wording, a good lawyer could make the case that any kind of forward stock or handguards/heatshields would constitute modifications that would make the firearm “no longer designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand”.

      The ATF needs to be disbanded.

  • robert

    GRAMMAR

    is that the BATFE don’t consider it a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) or a AOW (All Other Weapon) therefore

    should read

    is that the BATFE doesn’t consider it a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) or an AOW (All Other Weapon), therefore

  • Robert

    basically its a rifle.

    You can legally add a stock to it.

    Hey everyone, take your AR15 rifle with vertical foregrip, take off the shoulder stock, wrap some foam around the tube and shhhh, pretend it’s a pistol.

    • Their website says it has an 11.5″ barrel. Don’t add a stock to it without first registering it as an SBR.

  • Simon_the_Brit

    If I went to the Armoury and asked for a pistol and was given the XO-26 I’d point out that it wouldn’t fit my holster, I’d ask for a “real” pistol.

    If I went to the Armoury and asked for a rifle and was given the XO-26 I’d point out that it didn’t have a stock fitted, I’d ask for a “real” rifle.

    If the Arms storeman tried to give me an XO-26 ever again, I’d tell him to get some KY Jelly and lube up a certain part of his body, because thats where I would be shoving the XO-26.

    • jdun

      The people that going to buy this type of weapons already have a lot of firearms in their collection. In other words they already have all the pistols and rifles they needed.

      Pistol AR and AK are pretty popular. There is no shortage of gunshop building them.

  • Rev. Clint

    A store here in Northern California has one of those for sale… pretty strange weapon.

  • btr

    I’m betting SBR are now very popular because you can’t buy new MGs- so it is the closest thing to an “evil” gun most people can afford.

  • JonB

    Am I the only one that finds it funny that Franklin Armory puts a copyright label on a letter that they did not produce. You cant copyright the work of another. A lame attempt to limit the ruling to themselves and their product.

    • Really? We published the letter so that every home builder on the planet could take full advantage of what we were able to get approved. Why is that so bad?

      We simply didn’t need to have every other MFG copying what we were doing. They are free to go get their own letter. I’m sure you can understand that.

  • Flounder

    I don’t see how this is legally not an SBR… But if this is something the ATF gives ground on then why are any of us complaining!?!?!?!? We just need the ATF to make a few more huge screw ups like the Fast and furious deal and we won’t have to deal with it anymore! AND We just got permission to add foregrips to pistols! 😀

    Seriously though this will probably get reversed by the ATF or get clarified in a court when some not so intelligent person commits a crime with this gun or one very similiar to it. so we should all just chill out and give it some time. To fix itself.

  • robert

    The ATF letter tries this reasoning:

    Which FIREARM is it? In order to fall under the purview of the NFA, it must be a FIREARM under the NFA….

    Let’s analyze:

    (NOTE: This is the list of Firearms that fall under the NFA)

    U.S.Code Title 26
    § 5845. DEFINITIONS
    (a) Firearm
    The term “firearm” means
    (1) a shotgun having a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
    NOT A SHOTGUN
    (2) a weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 18 inches in length;
    NOT MADE FROM A SHOTGUN
    (3) a rifle having a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
    MAYBE – hold that thought
    (4) a weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches or a barrel or barrels of less than 16 inches in length;
    NO
    (5) any other weapon, as defined in subsection (e);
    MAYBE, BUT SEE AOW
    (6) a machinegun;
    NO
    (7) any silencer (as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code); and
    NO
    (8) a destructive device. The term “firearm” shall not include an antique firearm or any device (other than a machinegun or destructive device) which, although designed as a weapon, the Secretary finds by reason of the date of its manufacture, value, design, and other characteristics is primarily a collector’s item and is not likely to be used as a weapon.
    NO.

    LET’S LOOK AT AOW (e)
    (e) Any other weapon
    The term “any other weapon” means any weapon or device capable of being concealed on the person from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive,
    CAPABLE OF BEING CONCEALED? …NO
    a pistol or revolver having a barrel with a smooth bore designed or redesigned to fire a fixed shotgun shell,
    NO
    weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels 12 inches or more, less than 18 inches in length, from which only a single discharge can be made from either barrel without manual reloading,
    NOT A COMBO
    and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire.
    N/A
    Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores, or weapons designed, made, or intended to be fired from the shoulder and not capable of firing fixed ammunition.

    OK, IT CANNOT BE AN AOW –
    BECAUSE IT IS A “a pistol … having a rifled bore”

    SO WHAT IS IT?

    LOOKING ABOVE, NOT AN AOW< that only leaves RIFLE.

    (c) Rifle
    The term “rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger, and shall include any such weapon which may be readily restored to fire a fixed cartridge.

    BUT, IT'S CLEARLY NOT A RIFLE.

    THEREFORE:

    IT'S NOT AN NFA ITEM.

    BUT THE ATF LETTERS STATES that it is a "Firearm" under the NFA. If it is, then it needs a Tax Stamp.

    That circle cannot be squared.

    • Sometimes I get busy, and don’t have time to review these threads, but when I saw this today, I was disappointed.

      Robert, it says on the second page, “…[I]t would not be subject to the NFA/AOW classification provided it’s overall length is at least 26 inches…” How much plainer can the language be? IT IS NOT AN NFA ITEM! We have been selling them for the last year and a half and in that time have been received one periodic audit, which we passed with flying colors.

  • Alan

    An OAL > 26 inches is the legal standard for a weapon not being “readily concealable”. Any firearm that fits this description is neither a pistol or a rifle under United States firearms law, but, is instead merely a “firearm”.

    As it is, adding the VFG really won’t make this weapon any more usable vs. a standard handguard.

  • Scott

    It emphasizes the degree of ridiculousness of having an organization which is incented to complicate the rules in order present an illusion of security to Joe/Jane Taxpayer; while building a large, visible, expensive kingdom which provides unassailable lifetime employment without true accountability or enhancing the public safety (at least with respect to NFA).

    It’s becoming pretty clear to both folks who agree with government regulation of firearms and those who dont that throwing money and complexity toward the problem ain’t working. In fact, it’s demonstrably making things worse.

    At the risk of being throttled, I really wouldn’t have an issue with registering my firearms – none at all – I gotta register my kids (SSN), my car (DMV), my business (IRS), etc – with one caveat.

    That caveat is that I don’t TRUST the current incarnation of the BATFE to operate in the public’s…and by extension, my…..best interests. It is very clear that they are operating with their own set of incentives and interests, which do not align those of the people.

    If you extend this – and I do – to Congress, the state of corporate governance and the current administration – I believe, that in part, that’s why we have armies of smelly hippies parked down on Wall Street.

    People are starting to feel that maybe they have a point.

    I might have taken this a bit far, so please….fire away……..(figuratively, please).

    • SpudGun

      Whoops Scott, you appear to veering away from firearms and into the realms of politics, which is a bit of a no-no on this site. (I know, I’ve done it myself).

      Before this post gets moderated, what exactly is wrong with smelly Hippies on Wall Street anyway? It’s always great to see democracy and freedom of speech in action, isn’t it? And besides, their vegetarian burgers, painted faces and folk songs aren’t going to cost me my job, mortgage, credit cards, etc. unlike it’s usual inhabitants.

      • Erik

        You might feel differently if those smelly hippies had appropriated YOUR private property to make their ‘statements’. Free speech doesn’t extend to interfering with private enterprise, etc.

      • SpudGun

        @Erik – to be brutally honest, the only people who’ve tried to appropriate my private property lately has been the bank.

      • John N

        Odd. I don’t think I’ve heard of banks trying to take away property that they haven’t sunk a great deal of money into. But I guess once you borrow a bunch of money from the bank to buy a house and start paying a little of it back, it’s yours.

  • Scott

    Spud –

    I agree with everything you said – it was definitely a stream of conscience type of post, and I recognize that no-politics are in the by-line of this blog – so my apologies to Steve and everyone else.

    My point about the kids down on Wall, is that necessity makes strange bedfellows…..when folks who – in general – don’t generally agree with these folks outlook sympathize, that would seem to indicate that there’s a bit of a problem. It seems to go part griping.

    Again, my regrets (sort of).

    Scott

    • SpudGun

      @Scott –

      It’s all good in the hood amigo, you posted what you felt was right, which is cool but like yourself, I shouldn’t have also posted political comments. And like yourself, I also offer an apology to Steve for causing extra moderation.

      This new posting system means that I’m spouting my mouth off more then usual on The Firearm Blog, so I’m going to take a backseat for a while and try not to post so much.

  • Doug

    So if the buffer tube were long enough, and you supported it on your shoulder, would that then make it an SBR?

    • Matt G.

      Ar pistol buffer tubes are long enough to shoulder. But doing so in front of a federal agent would be a bad idea.

      • Andy from CT

        David Fortier threw together a 6.5 with a 12″ barrel and used the same buffer. It’s a pistol because he registered the lower as a handgun. But he never put a vertical foregrip on it in his article. He mentioned that using the Spike’s Tactical buffer tube was an important third point of contact. It’s not a stock. And no where in any legal document does it say that if you have an AR pistol in this configuration that it is against the law to have the buffer tube touching part of your body while firing it.

  • Arrkhal

    IIRC, the original provision for one of the definitions of a pistol being a less than 15″ barrel, did NOT make it into federal law? That would completely screw this thing over, if it did make it in.

    The original law included just about all pistols, and the SBR thing was more to prevent people skirting the law with pistol-sized obryez style weapons, than to prevent ownership of short rifles (though they did fully intend to ban those too, obviously). Original ban was any pistol or revolver with a barrel less than 15″, rifle with a barrel less than 16″, shotgun with a barrel less than 18″, and any pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun with an OAL under 26″.

    Thus whether something’s a “pistol” or not, more than 26″ means it cannot be Title II by length alone. I just hope I’m remembering correctly, and the 15″ barrel part didn’t make it into federal law. That would turn this into the worst loophole ever.

    The 15″ thing DID make it into PA’s copycat law. Fun fact, that copycat law is the SOLE definition of “firearm” in the ENTIRE PA state Uniform Gun Code (or whatever it’s called). It’s thus the exclusive definition of “firearm” for the purposes of having a “concealed firearm permit.” PA law EXPLICITLY allows the concealed carry of a sawed-off shotgun, on a standard permit. It also means that a standard rifle or shotgun, or huge insane pistol, is not a “firearm,” as far as that section of the law is concerned.

    Having “permits” at all is pretty crappy, but it’s still a fun fact.

  • Lance

    Dont worry itll take a bit but the ATF will nail Franklin i feel sorry for those who bought one.

    • Dude, really? Sounds like you’re rooting for that to happen. Kind of hard for them to arrest for something that they approved in writing. Worst case scenario, they could reverse their opinion. In doing so, they would have to reverse over thirty years of opinions that date back to the 1927A5 Thompson!! …not going to happen. But, if they did, just remove the grip and you are G-T-G.

      Normally I don’t get too vocal on this kind of stuff, but the above comment needed a rebuttal!

  • Andy from CT

    Anyway, make mine in 6.5 Grendel with an Aimpoint Micro, sell it without the VFG and call it a day. Oh, and place my order.

  • 032125

    BATFE rulings are ridiculous and arbitrary, and we all know it.

    What I want to know is why anyone would give up the significant advantage of a buttstock for the relatively insignificant advantage of a barrel that is only a couple of inches shorter. Were it an 11″ barrel it might be a good entry tool, but this just seems like a poor tradeoff.

    And while they are at it, if the buffer tube doesn’t qualify as a stock, why not make an overly long buffer tube? Of the lack of a stock toe is all that it takes to make it “not a stock” then I could certainly learn to prop a tube against my shoulder.

    • noob

      http://www.franklinarmory.com/PRODUCTS_XO-26B.html

      barrel is 11.5″. Is that 0.5″ too long?

    • subase

      If you consider that this weapon will be used at very close ranges indoors and at the furthest within 50 yards. Then sacrificing accuracy for indoor maneuverability and pointing speed (and conceal ability) may be worth it.

      And don’t forget the ‘push forward’ HK MP5K sling shooting arrangement used by the SAS. It works and adds that extra stability.

      Seems to me, better to have one these ‘pistols’ in a rifle calibre, than a pistol in a pistol calibre. (even if you do have a optic on it’s slide and are using a ‘sling as stock’ with it too)

      Main issue is muzzle blast indoors.

  • JC

    I think this is quite an interesting weapon. However, I have always wondered how easy it is to accurately shoot a stockless AR. By the way, I am glad to see that the new comment system is sparking so much debate…

  • me

    sooo…. consensus is the sbr fad is because of the mall ninjas?

    not that I disagree with people’s rights to have them, but no ‘operator’ would buy from civi stock..

  • Mark

    The SBR to a civilian is quite useful in the high volume training circles, due to its light weight and closer point of balance. Spend 8 hours on a range doing drills and you’ll see quickly the benefits to a short barrel.

    If you’re running suppressed, it feels more like a standard carbine in terms of handling and weight.

    If you believe in pistols or shotguns for home defense, an SBR offers maneuverability closer to a pistol than a rifle or shotgun, which is easier to aim and manipulate under duress.

    They are available in pistol calibers, offering better external and terminal ballistic performance than a standard pistol in addition to my last point.

    Like any other pistol or rifle, they do fill specific roles, and it’s always nice to have the right tool for the right job.

  • John Doe

    I don’t see the point of making SBRs illegal. Less accurate than a rifle, less concealable than a rifle, it’s not like people will be committing serious crimes with them with any degree of practicality. They’re fun, and impractical, what’s to hate?

  • JT

    Pretty cool, but I’m wondering when they’ll make a system like this where someone can use in the the European PDW-Style mode where you push the gun forward on a sling and use the tension running through the sling to stabilize the gun. I thought that was what he was going to do in the video before he rested his cheek on the buffer.

    Actually, this is similar to what the Japanese use to do back in the 15 and 1600’s. Instead of steadying the gun on their shoulders, they would steady it on their cheek.

    • Cymond

      The XO-26 should accept standard AR-style retaining plates. A single-point sling plate costs about $20 from several companies such as the Magpul ASAP or IKH SLAP.

  • jamieb

    What is the atf saving us from ? What undesirable act does a stock induce?

    • Fluffy

      It induces Americans actually being good at aiming.

  • The original law included just about all pistols, and the SBR thing was more to prevent people skirting the law with pistol-sized obryez style weapons, than to prevent ownership of short rifles (though they did fully intend to ban those too, obviously). Original ban was any pistol or revolver with a barrel less than 15″, rifle with a barrel less than 16″, shotgun with a barrel less than 18″, and any pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun with an OAL under 26″.Just so some dumbass can have a useless non-rifle, non-pistol turd of a weapon. You want a short barreled rifle?

  • We were not making a political statement, though I thought it was interesting to produce this firearm in California. Chief Spencer, ATF-FTB, is a patriot. He is a retired Army Colonel and truly is a “gun guy.” At the recent NFA-TCA conference, he called the slide fire stock “pretty cool” and approved it’s use after watching Youtube videos.

    As far as the practicality of these weapons, I would recommend that you try one out before you condemn it. The addition of a forward vertical grip really soaks up recoil and steadies the weapon. Our stock trigger single stage system is pretty well thought out too.

    I use it deer hunting in short range situations. (e.g. no more than 200 yards, preferably 100 yards or less.) The 7.62×39 variant will do anything that a 30-30 will do, and cost less to buy training ammo. The 450 BM is fantastic on bear an pig. The 5.56 NATO is good for home defense.

    If you are lucky enough to live in a state where SBRs are easy to get, then God Bless ya. Out here in Ca, we do not have that as a common luxury.

  • Doc Montana

    I am very happy with my Franklin Armory SBR, but not its lack of online info. There seems to be much excitement about the tangents FA takes on guns including the CSW and the topic of this article.

    I love the form factor of my Franklin. Its like a piece of art that shoots But since there is so little available online about their carbines, especially the M4-SBR-L, I posted some pics of the rifle in its own blog. Enjoy.

    http://franklinarmory.blogspot.com