The BATFE Ruling on the Shockwave Stabilizing Brace …. Only legal if used as an arm brace

atf_brace

Last time we reported about a company trying to use a Sig Brace on a Short Barreled Shotgun. I never understood what they were thinking as there is no pistol version for a shotgun. A SBS is still a SBS or AOW.

Well another company is trying to capitalize on Sig’s success. Shockwave Technologies has made their version of a pistol AR stabilizing brace. However when submitted to the ATF, the ATF has decided that shouldering this would make the firearm a SBR. It can only be used as an arm brace, not a improvised stock.

Here are pictures of the ATF letter.

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Here is a picture of an AR pistol with the Shockwave Brace installed.

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I was hoping for more companies to make alternatives to the Sig Brace. However it seems the ATF is backtracking their ruling and changing their minds on future products of similar design.

UPDATE: Clarifications. The arm brace is legal as an arm brace. Not legal to be used as a stock …



Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • David Lowrey

    I knew it wouldn’t be long before the ATF found out how to rub their only two brain cells together and realize they got beaten at there own game.

    • Joshua

      The stock pictured is clearly not a brace. It is a stock that is held in place by screws.

      Nothing on that allows you to attach to your arm to support the rifle like the Sig can do.

      • Ken

        But you’re “supposed” to brace it against the crook of your arm like the Bushmaster Arm Pistol.

        • me ohmy

          the bushmaster LAYS alongside your arm.. not in the “crook” they sucked.. a buddy of mine had one and it was a total jam-o-matic

      • Marty Ewer

        It’s a pistol stabilizer, not a stock.

  • Sam Schifo

    When will these companies learn not to rock the boat? One of these days the ATF is going to reverse its decision on the Sig brace because of all these other poorly disguised stocks that other companies are trying to get pushed through. And I’m not a Sig fanboy or anything either; it’s just that we have a good thing going right now and I’d rather it not be ruined.

    • Marty Ewer

      We saw a need for a better pistol stabilizer for those with infirmities. We got our ATF approval for the Blade. We are now moving forward with production. We haven’t “ruined” anything for anybody. I don’t see where you’d get that.

      • dan citizen

        Tell that to my supply of cheap steel core surplus ammo… Oh wait, I can’t buy it any more.

        It’s understood that your product is nominally a stabilizer.

        It is also understood that in response to queries you must not state otherwise.

        The readers of TFB are intelligent, and many of us have been active in the sport and industry for decades, we have seen the 2 liter adapters and atkins accelerators come and go. We bought MAADI Griffins and had to grandfather street sweepers. So responding to all critics that it is “pistol stabilizer for those with infirmities” just falls a little flat.

        The “prodding the BATFE hornet nest” issue is going to come up, it always does.

    • Chris

      Their responsibility isn’t to you. You’ve heard of freedom right?

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Good job dummies… Keep working on getting that ATF reversal on SIG braces.

    • Chris

      yes, how dare they make what the perceive to be a superior less expensive option!

      Down with choice!!!!!

  • txJM

    Reading, how does it work?

    The letter says the same thing for this piece as it does for the SB15.

    • Marty Ewer

      Our Tech Branch approval says exactly what it needs to say: that the Blade pistol stabilizer is a pistol stabilizer and legal to use that way.

  • Marty Ewer

    I appreciate the write-up. However, we weren’t shot down at all. Not sure where you get that, Nicholas. On the contrary, we developed a pistol stabilizer to help those with infirmities. Tech Branch classified it as a pistol stabilizer. We are tooling up as we speak. We currently have standing orders for more than 10,000 units now. Thank you to all of our fantastic supporters, Marty, Owner, Shockwave Technologies

    P.S. I would ask you to reconsider the article’s title. Thank you.

    • JLR84

      I think the concern is that the letter specifically states that it needs to be used as originally intended, which is the opposite of what they stated with the SIG brace.

    • Nicholas Chen

      Shot down in terms of being able to shoulder it. Yes your product when used as intended may help others. However the popularity of the Sig Brace is not in its ability to help those it is intended for but as a loophole to make your pistol shoot like a SBR.

      • Yep … of course the manufacturer can’t say that or even acknowledge it.

      • Andrew

        The difference is the Sig brace is made of flexible rubber and this is made of rigid plastic. In the ATF’s eyes, flexible = not a stock…rigid = stock. Another “game changing design” by an overzealous Red Jacket reject.

    • Hi Marty, I have clarified what was said and modified the title.

      • Marty Ewer

        Many thanks and Merry Christmas Steve, Marty

        • Cheese_McQueen

          How about a TFB test on the new arm brace?

    • Nicholas Chen

      I do not condone breaking the law. But clearly people can possess and utilize this brace as intended. Who is going around to gun clubs or ranges to see if anyone shoulders this thing? It’s not like this is a law to keep people safe. It is arbitrary and discriminatory.

      I am glad that this ruling has not impeded your progress. Wishing you all the best.

      • echelon

        Oh trust me. There are sheriffs and other LEOs that will be the first to snitch. They live for this crap.

        Don’t forget it was a Sheriff from Colorado who initially wrote in to the ATF to clarify shouldering the Sig brace because he witnessed it at a range and wondered if any laws were broken…

        Never underestimate the Gestapo…

  • Our statements were true. I just clarified what Nick said. He never wrote it was illegal, he wrote it was not allowed to be used as we know everyone intents to use them, as pseudo stocks

  • We posted the letter. He never wrote it was illegal, he wrote it was not allowed to be used as we know everyone intents to use them, as pseudo stocks

    • Chris

      Did you interview the owner of the company? Or did you just head first with your sensationalist incorrect title?
      Now I only took Journalism in High School but I distinctly remember learning; Who, what, when, where, why, how.
      You conveniently forgot to interview the “who” of the editorial before publishing it. Like I said, in the first comment, incompetent.

  • mosinman

    more reason to be completely rid of the ATF

  • Marty Ewer

    LoopyDupe, you are correct. We have more information on the non-NFA 12-gauge firearms on our website, as we’re also the designers of the Raptor Grip M500 and Raptor Grip R870.

  • Don Ward

    I don’t understand the point of an AR “pistol” or why it has to have a “stock”.

    • Nicholas Chen

      Options. Everyone is different. Some want it for aesthetics. Some find it more comfortable.

      • Don Ward

        Perhaps I should rephrase. Why are we pretending that AR is a “pistol”?

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Well, I don’t think anyone questions the motive which is clearly $$$

    … I think there is plenty of room to question the obvious attempt at circumventing the SBR rules just to do it. Intentional or not, SIG’s brace is more cleverly designed to look/function as a brace officially.

    As where this is just poking the bear.

  • Sure a bit of clarification helps

  • spencer60

    Sorry, but to say that the ‘brace’ wasn’t ‘shot down’ is disingenuous at best.

    How many of those 10K orders do you think will last once it gets out that your ‘brace’ can only be used as a brace, and that shouldering it will make you into a felon.

    At least with the SIG brace you have an ATF letter keeping you out of jail (for now).

    • Marty Ewer

      No snake eyes here, spence. Over 2,000 additional braces were spoken for just this past weekend–after we posted our letter. I think the market is speaking loud and clear. Thank you for your concerns.

  • jamezb

    With the Sig Brace, we’ve allowed the ATF to introduce a dangerous precedent. Now they are regulating how you are allowed to HOLD a gun, ….one that is probably technically safer being held the “illegal” way. Look out kids…”NO LEFTIES” might come next!

    • raz-0

      It’s not a new precedent conceptually. The whole concealed bit in the NFA is a gray area all it’s own. There are things out there, that have been out there for a long time, that if you stick them under a trench coat, by the letter of the law should have an NFA fairy appear, wave it’s magic wand, and turn them into AOWs.

  • Don Ward

    Why are we pretending that these are “pistols” other than *wink, wink, nod, nod*, yeah, I fire this AR “pistol” one-handed?

  • jeff k

    knew this was gonna happen. that thing looks like a stock with the ability to use as an arm brace lol . not the other way around like the sig one. i applaud their efforts

  • I give it… three more months before we see a BATFE letter reversing themselves on the Sig brace itself. The writing is on the wall here, and it’s clear that manufacturers were being EXTREMELY disingenuous with how their products were really meant to be used… disregarding public protestations to the contrary.

  • Mystick

    Precisely why these laws need to be abandoned… grey areas are a bad thing. We shouldn’t have to require a lawyer to interpret the rules for actions in our everyday lives.

  • D

    The objective of this controversy is to establish that the method of use/ how one holds their weapon when fired…..can be legally controlled. Later it will move to “Tactical Shooting’ etc.

    Get it?

    Camels nose… tent…

    • Don Ward

      Actually the object is a couple firearm companies are trying to skirt a regulation (you can debate the merit of the regulation) by pretending a rifle/carbine is a “pistol”.

  • Olympic Arms round 2

  • Marty Ewer

    Thank you for the lead in, jpcmt. Yes, as I’ve mentioned in previous comments, I have been working on our company’s bumpfire chassis for some five years now–and our system is currently patent pending. It’s been quite the engineering challenge to bring our concept to fruition while ensuring we remain well clear of Jeremiah Cottle’s extensive portfolio of patents. I think that guy must file a patent application about something at least monthly. 😉

  • Nathan Tramp

    The BATFE is regulating the METHOD of shooting now? That sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen…

  • supergun

    We already knew this. The brace is to short to be used as a stock anyway. What a bunch of BS.