Letter on AR Buffer Tubes on AK Pistols

Short Barrel Shepard was informed of a new ATF opinion letter making the rounds, this time focusing on installing a tube to facilitate the attachment of arm braces. The questions and their answers are found in detail, with the ATF basically holding that the installation of a tube itself is indicative of a manufactured firearm, but one with the arm brace is legal.


As the Short Barrel Shepard points out, this holding is conflicted with itself. 

This sort of makes sense, until you consider the order in which people typically attach a brace to a pistol buffer tube.

First the tube goes on the firearm, and then the brace goes on the buffer tube.

According to Curtis’s opinion, doing so in this order could be interpreted as manufacturing an SBR. Given other legislation, once an SBR is assembled, it’s an NFA item until removed from the registry. This further complicates things unnecessarily.

Is someone from the ATF watching you assemble your brace-equipped pistol? No — but this is the kind of illogical thoughtlessness that leads to more confusion instead of more clarity.

The full letter can be found here.

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Not_a_Federal_Agent

    “Is someone from the ATF watching you asemble your brace-equipped pistol?”

    Well see about that one

    • MR

      Is your smartphone, tablet, or other web-enabled device in the room with you when you assemble your brace-equipped pistol? If it is, the NSA is watching, and the NSA and ATF work for the same people (ostensibly, us).

      • nadnerbus

        Thanks for reminding me to put another dab of electrical tape over my webcam. I’ve already got a custom fit aluminum foil fedora.

  • iksnilol

    Uh, how are they going to notice the difference when it is done? It isn’t like putting the buffer tube and then the brace takes hours to do. Is there anything preventing you from putting the brace on the buffer tube before putting it on the pistol?

    • grahamandamy@gmail.com

      As a non-American, I have to say that classifying an AR without a stock as a “pistol” is ridiculous, regardless of the barrel length or whether or not it has a SIG brace fitted. Your laws are screwed up big time (but still better than the firearms laws of most countries).

      But sorry, a rifle without a stock even with a short barrel is still a rifle, regardless. It is not in any way, shape or means a pistol. Only in the twisted, infantile minds of the ATF.

      I’d love to see someone successfully try to conceal a 10.5″ or even a 7″ AR in an IWB holster……..Haha. Pistol, my fat, hairy ass!

      Anyway, the whole NFA and SBR laws defy logic and common sense and should be dropped. An SBR, while fun, is less efficient in range, velocity etc than a full size rifle, therefore a less efficient killing machine, so should not be penalized.

      • iksnilol

        Not my laws, I am not in the US. Though some of their laws are good, others are just mind-numbingly stupid. Kinda like that everywhere in the world.

      • Bill

        Bingo, sort of. The whole AR15 “pistol” nonsense is somewhat ridiculous to begin with. I’ve considered using one as a PDW when I can’t carry a REAL carbine, but bottom line, they are of dubious utility. Steve McQueen’s Mare’s Leg is the only other example of someone taking a rifle and making it into a pistol that I know of, and while they exist, and are sort of cool to play around with, it was a FICTIONAL gun. Even rifle-caliber handguns such as the XP100, Contender and BFR were obviously handguns first.

        How many Rem 700s, FALs, AKs (maybe Krinks might count, maybe), M1As have been pistolized? IF people want to go all legislative, I’d go the opposite route, and push for Artillery Lugers, stocked Buntlines and stocked contenders, Broom handle Mausers; i.e. the ability to put a stock on a handgun. Putting a stock on a mega Frame S&W 500 isn’t hard to justify at all from a sporting perspective, and push ahead from there.

      • MR

        Well, I wanted a Desert Eagle, but I didn’t want to pay $1200 or more for it (about the price they all seemed to be going for at the LGS), and I didn’t want to get stuck searching for expensive, over powered ammo. Waddayaknow, I can put together an AR pistol with common, inexpensive parts, and shoot common, inexpensive ammo out of my cartoonish oversized handgun. I suppose the difference is I always shot it like a handgun, no brace or shoulder contact. Sure, it’s a bit heavy, but I’m not competing in 3gun or clearing drug dens with it. Personal choices and freedom, that’swhat it comes down to.

    • J.T.

      Seems to me that it all comes down to intent. If you are putting the buffer tube on with the intent to use it to mount an SB15, you are fine. IF you are putting the buffer tube on just to put a buffer tube on and have no intention of putting a SB15 on it, you are constructing an SBR.

      • Bill

        After having said that we are making too much of this, I would contend that the key element is the installation of a “buffer tube” on a weapon for which there is no need for or design factor requiring a buffer tube, as in the ATF’s bullet point 1. A “buffer tube” on a weapon that doesn’t have a “buffer” is de facto evidence of intent to mount a M4 stock, unless you mount a SIG brace.

        Now I will go saw off the butt stock from my Stevens Favorite and epoxy on a “receiver extension” of PVC pipe the exact same length of the stock, or longer, while shooting video of it for Youtube and dictating a letter to the ATF technical section to my bikini-clad stenographer as to whether I can mount a SIG brace to it.

  • KestrelBike

    I’m really starting to get fed up with the atf, to the point where my normal, law-abiding self is starting to feel that they and everything they say have no legal legitimacy for myself.

    • Asdf

      Off to the ATF camps with you. How dare you question our questionably authority.

    • Want to really have your mind blown? I called two branches yesterday to try and get clarification on 922r (as it applies to a specific case I am working with), and neither branch knew what 922r was…

      • Bill

        A further example of why the tin-foil hat brigade could not be more off-base: they really have no idea of how inefficient the government is. Those “ATF camps” would have to meet standards & requirements from the EPA, Health and Human Services, Bureau of Prisons, General Services Administration, FEMA, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Homeland Security (if they aren’t in a budget closure) and probably a couple more.

        • lucusloc

          Until they don’t. The government only hold itself to its own standards when convienent, or when petty bureaucrats want to publically prove that their power is greater than some other petty bureaucrats power.You can bet that if those bureaucrats were working towards the same goal they would be happy to overlook any regulations that got in the way, and would have a ready excuse if they ever got called on it.

          • Bill

            I was riding with a fed and when they got their car gassed they had to log it on 3 different systems. One of the biggest fed agencies doesn’t have a functional e-mail system. In order to get paper for the concentration camp copy machines, because you can’t have a concentration camp without copy machines, someone will have to write a specification for the copy machine paper, and if they want to purchase it locally instead of waiting 8 months for the wrong number and size of GSA paper to show up at 3x the price of local paper, they’ll have to put it out to bid, but only if no approved minority vendors are available.

            Its hysterical when people complain about the bloated inefficiency of our government, but expect the same government to maintain a fleet of black helicopters and be ready at a moment’s notice to start herding people into gas chambers, which would require an OSHA/NIOSH approved training program to operate or be around, with the correct MSDS sheets, warning posters and compliance certificates correctly displayed.

            BTW, the helicopters are actually grey, because there is already a NSN number and cage code for matte grey helicopter paint. The only black helicopter paint that meets federal standards is too glossy for covert ops.

          • lucusloc

            Oh, I never said they would be efficient at it. They are not not exactly efficient when it comes to depriving us of our rights either, but it does not stop them from doing it well enough to cause a lot of problems for us little people. Or do you think things like eminent domain and the War on Drugs need to be bureaucratically efficient for them to be devastating? Do you think our current prison system is bureaucratically efficient? Does it matter?

          • nadnerbus

            Love it dude.

            “You only filled out those requisition forms for the Zyklon B in duplicate, not triplicate. Please resubmit and wait four to six months for processing.”

            Then it still gets rejected because it turns out Zyklon is a greenhouse gas.

          • Yellow Devil

            Well obviously the government is bloated until they want to march us off to the FEMA camps. By that time, they will get their act together.

          • n0truscotsman

            Which is why it is stupid to let them have a monopoly on force and why their intentions must always be scrutinized vigorously.

            I agree that some may be incompetent dupes (which is in every organization), but that doesn’t absolve them of responsibility either.

          • Theh do not have a monopoly on force in the USA. You are legally entitled to defend yourself and your property.

        • Pretty much. I have met some very competent field agents (mostly guys who are actually interested in firearms), and then I have met some people who took the job because they had a liberal arts degree from a crumby university and saw the allure of a cushy gubment job.
          I did an article on when the ATF inspected me and one of the agents pointed at an FN 1922 and asked “is this the…. (checks list) FN SCAR 16s?”.

          • Bill

            IIRC, the compliance guys that work on dealer’s records and stuff aren’t sworn criminal investigators, that 1811 ATF Special Agents only work on criminal cases. The DEA is set up the same way.

            In all fairness, even gun guys may not be all-knowing. I’ve come across a couple weapons I was unfamiliar with, though not as bad as the cops who had to ask a drunk to unload the SKS he was stumbling down the street with. Then there are release triggers…..

          • Patrick Mingle

            dear lord

        • Ethan

          So what does that say about US if these are the people we’re losing our rights to?

      • I’m not surprised—

      • ridgeback2011

        Want to get your mind blown even more! Im an ffl here in Florida and I called three local atf offices here in Florida to get some clarification about the Brace…none of them knew what the brace was.

    • Phil Ossiferz Stone

      When you create too many onerous laws, disgusted law-abiding people tend to throw up their hands and wonder why they should follow the law at all.

      Which is what our regulatory overlords have in mind. We are sliding into a dangerous abyss.

  • skusmc

    Finally we have an answer to the age old question of if I place a buffer tube on an AK before I put my Sig Brace on in the woods and nobody is around to see it, did I violate 5845(a)(3)?

  • harryhoffa

    As a non-american I can’t fathom all the hubbub about this, you have so much to be grateful for. what can’t you do with a 16inch ar15 with a regular butt that you can do with a 10inch with a brace?

    • cutamerc

      Making a ‘hubbub’ is the only reason we have some freedoms left and it is the only way to keep what we have.

    • Tim U

      I wouldn’t care about braces and rifle caliber pistols normally. But as an American, once a right is lost its gone forever. So I’d like to fight them on each step of the way lest they get to something I do care about.

      Which they have, multiple times.

    • sianmink

      “what can’t you do with a 16inch ar15 with a regular butt that you can do with a 10inch with a brace?”
      there’s a few things, but practicality shouldn’t even be a consideration. Do short barrel rifles pose an exceptional threat to the public and police when compared to a full size carbine? Nope. The debate should end there.

      • BryanS

        No weapon poses a threat to the public or the police, only those that may wield them.

    • Ethan

      Because Constitution. That is all.

    • noguncontrol

      in car defense. in house defense, especially if your house is small.

  • dan citizen

    Am I the only person who dislikes arm braces? Look, if you want an AK pistol, learn to shoot it as is, or get the CBRS kit, if you want a compact weapon, just go with a bullpup.

    • echelon

      Simply, my reply to you would be: no.

      I need no other reason other than “I want to” to own any type of object I want, regardless of its’ usefulness or practicality. As long as I am not using said object to maim, murder or facilitate theft then it is my right to own it.

      You don’t have to like arm braces and that’s fine, but this whole thing is ludicrous.

      I don’t know of anywhere in the US where there are speed limit signs in excess of 100MPH yet many people buy and drive cars that can easily exceed them. By the ATF’s reckoning someone simply owning or modifying their car to go over the speed limit would/should constitute a crime because it shows that their intent is to break traffic laws.

      • dan citizen

        I agree completely with your point. My choice happens to not butt heads with this issue, but we must hold the line on it regardless of personal taste.

        I use the car auto reference myself often.

        • echelon

          Thank you for your courteous reply.

          I’d also like to follow up by saying that, other than for its’ use as an actual brace for disabled people, I find it sad that we’ve let our rights be eroded away to a point that we’ve basically had to accept a silly back-door work around product to simply enjoy our natural rights.

          Just reading the BATFE’s classifications for “firearms”, “pistols”, “Short Barreled Rifles”, Any Other Weapons”, etc. is just an exercise in mind numbing idiocy.

          But, seeing as how we’d much rather fight to keep a certain type of ammunition from being banned ( a symptom) rather than fight the ridiculous statutes and rules (the disease) we have the end results that we deserve at this point.

      • Don Ward

        Except, to dispute your analogy, State and Federal governments routinely regulate what kind of car you can own and drive on the streets. You can only drive a “street legal” vehicle. It has to have headlights and tail lights (including those Libby Lights if it was built after a certain year). All new cars have to have seatbelts air bags and various safety devices. You’re not allowed to drive cars that are “too fast” and exceed an arbitrary top speed or horsepower rating. Your car has to often pass emissions testing if you live in a certain geographic area. You have to have liability insurance. You have to be licensed and registered to operate a vehicle on public roadways. These are all “reasonable” limits to owning and operating an automobile.

        So using the car analogy is a bad analogy if you believe that the Second Amendment and gun ownership are absolute.

        • Vince

          Actually the car analogy is a pretty good one because you can do anything you want to a car that is going to be driven only on private property. It is when a car is taken onto public streets that the government starts regulating. You would be able to own any kind of gun you want, of any size or shape, full auto or not if guns were regulated the same way as cars, as long as they were never operated in publicly owned lands.

          • Don Ward

            But in the real world, 99.99 percent of the time that’s not the case. I don’t want to hear the anecdote “Well, I learned to drive my granddad’s Jeep on the back forty back in 1963”. Not everyone has acreage that they can drive their vehicle on. There are homeowner associations that won’t tolerate you having an unregistered “junk” vehicle on your property. And how did that vehicle magically appear on your property? That’s right, there was a title transfer. And if you didn’t drive it to your property, you had to use a trailer which had to be licensed and registered. Is it only used at race tracks? The same thing applies. And please don’t grasp at the straw of “well I built it and it has never left my property”.

            Stop using silly analogies that are easily refuted by even the densest Daily Kos/Huffington Post reader. Cars and car operators are registered and licensed in the vast majority of circumstances. Driving a car isn’t a Constitutional Right. It isn’t even a State right, so far as I know.

          • lucusloc

            Right, and owning weapons is a constitutional right. So why should it be *more* regulated? And you wholly disregard people who build cars from scratch, as well as rebuild salvaged classics. There is an entire industry of buggies, just-for-fun cars and ATVs that are not street legal, and do not have to come with any kind of title. They get to where they are supposed to go on a trailer. And yes, you can register them, and indeed you may have to to operate on some public lands, but that fact does not stop me from taking a trailer over to a friends house and giving him cash for his “sandrail” sans government involvement. The analogy works perfectly if you actually know what you are talking about.

          • Don Ward

            OK. Here’s how this argument plays out always on the Internet.

            Gun Guy: You can buy cars that have a higher top speed than most speed limits! And cars are more dangerous than guns!

            Anti-Gun Guy: Yes. And you have to register your car. Take a drivers license test. Have liability insurance. You have to transfer the title when you sell it. The government regulates what kind of car you can buy in terms of emission controls, CAFE fuel standards and safety standards. It’s only reasonable that gun owners do the same thing.

            Average No Opinion Guy: Gee. That makes sense. I register my car too and I don’t want to get in a car accident with an unlicensed driver.

            Gun Guy: No. No. But you see. You can drive your car on your property without a license and… and you see you can build your own car from tubing and parts that you bought down at Skeeter’s Scrap and Chop Shop!

            And that’s when you’ve lost the argument and make yourself and the entire gun community look stupid.

            Please stop.

          • lucusloc

            That is only because you have allowed them to frame the argument for you. You have let them define what they mean when they say “car.” However, if you take the ATF definition of a firearm and apply the same definition to car, you would see that “car” does not just cover “registered, street legal automobile” but also pretty much anything that drives with wheels. Do you want to register your lawnmower? Your ATV? Your pocket bike? Your golf cart? Your restored classic custom racer? You fall into their trap because you let them define the terms. I do not buy it, and I point that out whenever the argument comes up. The ATF defines a firearm as pretty much anything that expels a projectile via explosive force. Define a “car” in the same way, then tell every golf course, mall and campground that they have to register their carts, mules and ATVs the same way you have to register a street legal automobile.

            You only lose the argument because you buy into their definition. Point out their definition is wrong and you win. *Start* by questioning their definition, preferably.

            Start this way: I can buy a totally unlicensed and unregistered ATV that can vastly exceed the posted seed limit on any public road. Should I be held to be a criminal because I could theoretically drive said ATV, unlicensed, on the public roadway in excess of the speed limit? Or should I only be held to be a criminal if I actually do that? Would it matter if I register the ATV first, and then drive recklessly on the road, or would the actual dangerous crime be exactly the same? Should we just ban ATVs because someone could abuse their use?

          • Don Ward

            If you drive a motorized lawn mower, go cart, dirt bike, ATV or whatever on the road (at least in my locale in the state of Washington) you have to get it registered and bring it up to street legal specs. If you drive an ATV on forest service land in the State of Washington (I can’t speak for certainty elsewhere) it has to meet trail requirements and you need a license to use it in addition to wearing a helmet.

            The majority of Americans still own and operate cars or are familiar enough with them to know how they work (more or less) and what is required to operate one. They’ve taken Drivers Ed, have a license, have proof of insurance and registration. When you then equate firearms ownership which (I’d wager) the majority of Americans have little to no direct familiarity and compare them with cars which are VERY regulated, what is the logical conclusion that you think people will draw?

            It’s a bad analogy. You can’t start in a make believe world where you are deconstructing someone’s already held perception when they are already “experts” in what they know. Not when you’re trying to change the minds of tens of millions.

            It’s a tough fight. Gun owners an 2nd Amendment types need to be smart and cannier than the opposition.

          • lucusloc

            I dont know where you come from, but where I come from we had a tone of people with unregistered vehicles of one type or another, and most of them never saw any use on public right of ways. It is an argument that could be understood if presented right. Like I said earlier, lots of places operate 100% unregistered vehicles if you know where too look. Present the examples right off the bat and even suburbanites can get it easily. We are simply talking about ownership, not use. Ask people if they want to be forced to register just to own a riding lawn mower, since it would fit the ATF definition of a car. And then ask them if they think that mower should have to conform to the regulations of street legal car, because it is now a “car”. They would not be allowed to own a mower that could not survive a 25 mph impact. It would be required, by law, to have a seat belt and airbags. Simply owning a mower that did not meet the requirements would be a felony. Do not let the antis define the terms, that is how you lose this argument, and how we lost many arguments in the past. The question is not “what is an SBR?” but rather “why should we define an SBR?” I think even lazy “intelectuals” can get that question if they are not already biased.

          • Bill

            That ATV had to pass a number of mandated requirements before you bought it, spark arresters being my favorite one. My ATV, chainsaw, lawn mower, weedwhacker and a huge number of other things are federally required to have spark arresters. That’s so when I’m cutting firewood I don’t set fire to your land. And how many people are in jail for removing spark arresters, arrested by the spark gestapo? I’m guessing zero.

            And speaking of ATVs, where did all those 3-wheel Hondas go? How many people got killed and maimed on them? Isn’t there a government agency that steps in when a product is prone to killing and maiming people?

          • lucusloc

            And all of those mandated items can be removed once the item is purchased without fear of legal repercussions. If we applied the same logic, every rifle would be required to be sold with a 16 inch barrel, but there would be noting illegal about modifying it to 10 inches once purchased. We can win this argument easily, if we just present it right.

          • Bill

            Um, no, they can’t. It’s just too much of a hassle to routinely enforce. And if your modified weedwhacker starts a grassfire in my pasture, you’ll hear the words “wanton and reckless negligence” during the civil trial, along with a ticket from the State Fire Marshal.

          • lucusloc

            See, last time I checked civil suites were not felonies, spark arrester laws varied from stat to state, and this is the important part: did not apply on private property. I can run a chainsaw without a spark arrester on private land, and the federal and local law enforcement can do nothing to me unless I wind up causing a fire that must be dealt with by the local fire department.

          • n0truscotsman

            You are forgetting the fact that you can buy a car while a felon or with a violent misdemeanor. And you can be under 18 also.

            They are more restricted in some ways and less so than others.

            I agree, the comparison is invalid.

        • dan citizen

          Every single car sold in the USA can exceed the highest speed limit by 50%, many modern cars can double it straight off the showroom floor.

          Toyota Sienna = 110 MPH
          Dodge Caravan = 115 MPH
          Cadillac CTS-V = 198 MPH
          Corvette ZR1 = 200 MPH
          Mustang GT = 205 MPH
          Viper = 206 MPH
          Shelby 1000 = 269 MPH

          This is akin to selling full auto weapons but requiring the owner to only squeeze off single shots.

          All modern cars have their top speed set electronically, the excuse given as to why a passenger sedan has it’s limiter set at 130 mph is “they might take it on a racetrack” So a minivan has to be able to go 45 MPH over the speed limit just in case a soccer mom decides to run a few laps on the way to day care?

          • Bill

            Um, no, any cars equipped with speed limiters are so equipped because of tires. Tires. Tire technology has to be equal to the performance level of the vehicle. No one is going to put $3,000 worth of performance tires on a Dodge Caravan so they can drive it to it’s limits.

            And you paid for that car, title fees and registration. Your more than welcome to take your Caravan to the local track, and if it passes the tech inspection and you have your SCCA license or whatever the track requires, you’re more than welcome to enjoy pulling .40 Gs on the loop. Absolutely the same as any Class 3 weapon.

            I’d never thought I’d say this: the Cadillac CTS kicks ass.

          • Don Ward

            You do realize how heavily regulated the automotive industry and cars are? It’s a poor analogy. Unless your goal is to register all guns and have every gun owner pass a test, get a license and have liability insurance before using one.

        • AlDeLarge

          “You’re not allowed to drive cars that are ‘too fast’ and exceed an arbitrary top speed or horsepower rating.”

          That’s not true, at all, and that was the point. Even if it were true, it would be impossible to enforce.

          It would be impossible for me to prove no such federal laws exist, but if they do, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding them and providing a link.

        • echelon

          No, it’s not a bad analogy at all. Actually by what you’ve written you’ve proven why we have the government we deserve. If we believe everything you’ve listed are “reasonable” limits then there’s no sense in arguing any further.

          I would only further argue that if these limits are reasonable for automobiles then nobody who supports the 2nd amendment should be up in arms about any current or future “restrictions” because, at such time or by whatever group of people think it up, they will deem it “reasonable” and so on and so forth…

      • Bill

        “I need no other reason other than “I want to””

        I heard that a lot from my kid, when she was 3 years old. I also heard it from a guy who wanted his own collection of anthrax spores, ’cause even adults may want their Mr. Wizard Biochemistry Set.

        • Ethan

          Your child’s desire to eat what she wants and Mr. Wizard’s desire to own anthrax are not Constitutionally *observed* natural rights.

          While I am a proponent of common sense, firearm ownership is an area that simply requires no justification to others. That’s what “because I want to” means – or to put it less politely “Because its none of your business” or my NSFW favorite “because F___ you”. 😛

          To demand explanation is to imply there is some criteria that must be met, or burden of proof that must be carried to satisfaction – when there is none. 🙂

        • echelon

          Sounds like your daughter was already very smart at an early age. 😉

          As long a the person does no harm to another person then why not? Maiming or murdering is already illegal. What difference does it make if the murdering is done with bare hands, a car, a hammer, a sub machinegun or anthrax? Is the murder any more or less egregious based on the method used?

  • Dirt

    How does this decision make people safer?

  • Andy

    I think SBS is spitting hairs on his last question. Part of the reason we’re all in this mess is because we’re all waiting for someone at the ATF to explicitly say “no, you’re good, what you’re doing makes us warm and fuzzy, go have fun,” so we keep asking them questions that don’t really need to be asked.

    At the end of the statement shown they say using a buffer tube on an AK pistol is okay if you’re using it to attach an arm brace. Done. Finito. Just let it be. You can use an arm buffer on an AK. But no, now he wants to get a technical ruling on the order in which things are built. I don’t want to have to say ‘I told you so’ so I’m not even going to tell you what will happen.

    I think the BATFE is an unconstitutional legislature/judiciary run by a buncha boneheads, but I think with most of this arm brace business we’re shooting ourselves in the proverbial foot.

    I should probably go find my Nomex…

    • lucusloc

      I think forcing the ATF to publicly define their rules is a brilliant thing to do. Get them to define enough contradictions and the law can be overturned entirely.

  • Bill

    As another pointed out, his final argument is REALLY splitting hairs, and one of the reasons we have way too many lawyers.

    This whole debacle reminds me of every class or training I’ve been in since kindergarten: you’re getting ready for lunch or the quit for the day, the instructor asks that obligatory “any final questions?” while shaking their head no, and some smart-ass raises their hand with some obtuse, arcane point that really didn’t need to be asked.

  • jomo

    The author kind of makes an invalid point with the comment “first the tube goes on the firearm, and then the brace”. Most AK-pistols have a welded in plate where the stock attachment would go, requiring someone to weld in the usual AK attachment points. The SB-47 brace that was made specifically for the AK is usually attached to a fork-shaped metal structure that’s held in place by the pistol-grip squeezing it against the bottom of the receiver. You don’t have to “attach the tube first”. You can attach the whole thing at one go.

    the tube goes on the firearm, and then the brace goes on the buffer
    tube. – See more at:
    the tube goes on the firearm, and then the brace goes on the buffer
    tube. – See more at:
    the tube goes on the firearm, and then the brace goes on the buffer
    tube. – See more at:

  • Bill

    Now if I had one of those SP89s that H&K used to sell and didn’t mount an H&K side folder because that is clearly illegal, and used some of that sliding curtain rod and covered it with foam pipe insulation…….

  • BryanS

    Shall not be infringed, unless a regulatory agency does it, and then its OK to make arbitrary rules and put citizens in prison.

    That, is the real meaning of the comma in the 2nd amendment. If you look reallllly close, you can see where they wrote that.

    • lucusloc

      Not put citizens in prison. Kill them. Like Ruby Ridge and Waco and who knows how many other less noted incidents.

      • Bill

        The previous century called and wants it’s isolated incidents back.

        • echelon

          Yeah pesky incidents where governments killed millions of people like under Mao, Hitler, Stalin, etc.

          Purely isolated.

        • lucusloc

          You have seen the shenanigans our ATF has been up to recently right?

          • Bill

            Um, no? If you’re gonna trot out “Fast & Furious” you don’t know how complex running a transnational criminal investigation is; you know, the kind in which undercover agents are murdered. If it’s the SIG brace debacle, please find something that isn’t “our” fault.

          • lucusloc

            Fast & Furious was not an investigation, it was collusion with a criminal enterprise for political gain. Collusion that lead to the murder of many innocents. Murder that was easy to foresee, and arguably intended. Then you have the raids on civilian arms manufacturers such as Aeries Arms (among others), which could have easily turned into a bloodbath. And that is just the ATF. If you widen your scope you have all the patently illegal raids conducted by the DEA (whose raids sometimes actually leave bodies behind, some of which were not even the intended target), EPA, U.S Fish and Wildlife (Gibson anyone?) and other alphabet soup agencies.

            The point is this government can and does kill non-dangerous dissidents. If you pay attention you will notice that it happens all the time. It is just that, like Waco and Ruby Ridge, most people do not care because the people dying are “fringe” and are usually “convicted” of some activity the government considers a crime.

          • Bill

            Seriously? The USFWS is out to get you? Do you realize that OMGs in Alaska prefer dealing in animal parts and illegal ivory over drugs and weapons because there’s more money in it, and lesser penalties? Do you have ANY idea of the scope of wildlife crimes, here and overseas?

            Or would you rather enjoy a panda burger?

          • lucusloc

            Just because there are legitimate concerns that warrant oversight does not mean that the agency is not abusing its power. Did you read about the Gibson raid at all? Do you think it was a legitimate raid? Do you think that if an agency gets something right in its oversight it should excuse bad behavior in other areas?

          • Bill

            I don’t pass judgements based on individual incidents: the big picture – check it out. Individual incidents are adjudicated in court.

            Let’s take everyones favorite abuse of power: gun seizures during Katrina. And what happened? The System worked. The courts decided that the actions were illegal and the gun owners had redress. Is that the way a totalitarian, statist government works?

          • lucusloc

            The system only seem to work in a minority of cases, and yes, that is exactly how totalitarian states get started. The nibble away, testing the waters to see what they can get away with, and expand their powers from there. It is only with fierce opposition and constant vigilance that their advances can be held in check. All civilizations, no matter how free, are only one generation away from totalitarianism of one flavor or another. Even in your example, who was punished for the crime of deprivation of rights? Were any of the guilty parties actually punished? Do you really think any real justice was served?

          • Bill

            So we did away with slavery, gave women suffrage, are starting to allow people to marry who they want, and NOW we are closer to totalitarianism?

            A minority of cases? Do you actually read SCOTUS rulings? Or is it that the system doesn’t work exactly the way YOU want it to, because it isn’t supposed to. It’s a Constitutional Republic, read the Preamble.

          • lucusloc

            You do reed history, do you not? Yes, this country is probably the best shining light of freedom we have ever had, but we are far from perfect. Case in point, from your examples: marriage. Why, in this bastion of freedom, is the government even involved in marriage? Because of this involvement, we have people, who object to certain legally recognized unions on religious grounds, force to violate their core beliefs in order to facilitate one of those unions under threat of the loss of their livelihoods. How is that not creeping totalitarianism? Is not their right to freedom of association not being violated? Is not their right to free speech also being violated?

            If it were not for government involvement in this issue we could have real freedom. Anyone could enter a legal contract that covers cohabitation and property ownership with anyone else, people could make the choice about which messages they were wiling to create for others to buy and use in various ceremonies, and no one would be compelled to do anything in particular. This set up is even compatible with many of our anti-discrimination laws. I cannot compel you to make a product with the messaging I want, but I could compel you to make blank media for me, and I can later find someone else to add the messaging or, failing that, do it myself. That would be far closer to true freedom than what we have now, where I can compel people to not only sell me a product, but force them to create the message I want, despite their objections.

            Put this another way: Say you print flyers for a living, how would you like to be legally forced to print flyers for distribution and an anti-2A rally. Flyers with the nastiest lies about gun owners. how would you like it if you know you would potentially lose your business if you refused, or even just offered them more expensive rates than the flyers for the pro-2A rally you printed flyers for the week before? Sounds like a violation of your rights does it not? that is what is happening with a lot of the court cases on marriage right now.

            Currently we have SCOTUS ruling that go either way, some towards freedom, and some toward state control. I have not compiled hard numbers, but my gut says we are right about 50-50. We are doing pretty good on the 2A front right now, but that is only because we had lost so much already. We are nowhere close to being truly free as far as 2A is concerned, we are simply much better off than most others, and better even than we were a few years ago. In other areas we are losing ground, the marriage issue being a prime example of where true freedom is being trampled in the name of some nebulous state controlled “freedom” that isn’t really free.

            I find it a sad state indeed when we laud a loss of freedom as a win for freedom.

          • noguncontrol

            Amen, and lets not forget, people are allowed to murder babies in the womb. over 50 million murdered since 1973. that makes the ww2 holocaust look like a picnic. sorry, but killing babies is not freedom, no more than slavery was. in both cases people are treated as disposable accessories or objects. if anything people have become less free because judges declared baby killing legal. and if the scotus declares no limits on marriage, which is what the liberals want. it is only going to get worse.

  • Don Ward

    I’d just like to thank the geniuses who thought it was a bright idea to do a letter writing campaign to the BATFE. Way to go morons. What did you think was going to happen when you tried this stunt? That the agency was suddenly going to throw up its hands and say “Yeah, you know, we think Short barreled rifles, green tipped ammo and untraceable 80 percent lowers are a GREAT idea. We’re closing up shop now and returning the remainder of our budget back to the general fund.”

    If you’re going toe-to-toe against the agents and attorneys of the Federal government, the media, American corporations and gun-grabbing groups, you have to play smart and not fall into obvious traps like this. Now 2nd Amendment folks are fighting on the defensive on bad ground not of our choosing. Now we have to come up with ways to sell to Congress and 90 percent of the American public why short-barreled rifles, “armor piercing ammo” and (the way things are going) untraceable lowers are a good idea.

    And before I hear someone say “Muh Second Amendment” as they’re chewing a half-masticated mouthful of Little Debbies, yeah great, the Second Amendment is awesome. Yes, I know what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote it. Are YOU going into the streets to start a rebellion to uphold it? Maybe some good old fashioned civil disobedience; blocking traffic and chaining yourselves to the desks of Congressional offices? No? Too worried about your mortgage payment? Well then, sit back down and shut up. It means that we’re going to have to play Russian Roulette yet again in the court system again and hope we make it through the entire judicial system with the end goal of squeaking by with a 5-4 decision in the Supreme Court.

    Way to go Team 2A.

    Of course maybe we could elect a President and Congress in 2016 that has the political courage and will fight for Second Amendment rights and who’ll repeal the Gun Control Act of 1968 and National Firearms Control Act of 1934…

    I almost wrote that without laughing out loud.

    • Ethan

      Don’t worry little one. Until you wake up, we will continue to fight for you.

      We will continue the string of victories long held impossible even as the words fall from your mouth telling us it can’t happen.
      We will continue to make calls, send letters, and move minds.
      We will continue to be be bold, be loud, and be so often; and more will continue to join our cause as we continue to push back the status quo in favor of the “impossible”.

      We will continue towards the future, even if it means leaving you in the past.

      • Don Ward

        You know what? Forget it. Get short-barreled rifles completely banned with your letter writing campaign. I don’t care. I have no desire to ever own one. Personally I think they are stupid. And you know what? It isn’t that big of a deal that green tipped 5.56 rounds are gone too. Most of my shooting is target and hunting. Heck. I don’t even care if 80 percent lowers are registered either because I have bought enough weapons that have needed background checks that one more or less won’t matter. And if the government ever decides to come knocking on my door, they already know I have a pile of guns.

        But when you’re done fragging your own guys politically with this letter writing stunt, please don’t go out to Chipotle afterwards and pose with the AR and SKS you’re Open Carrying. Cause that’s just downright embarrassing.

        • Ethan

          We are winning my friend. Battles may be lost, but the war is being won. Someday you’ll understand that. 🙂

    • Hank Seiter

      Yet another sheep bleating the cause of rapacious government: thus sayeth government or a government bureaucrat, therefore all is well and we must comply … or else. 1930s Germany was filled with people like Don Ward … blame the complaining citizen and not the fascist federal bureaucrats.

      • Don Ward

        When I’m the subject of such a tirade, I prefer to be referred to with the appropriate moniker of “Sheeple”. Wake up!

  • Ethan

    Mockery has always been the trait of one in engaged in intellectual retreat. If the argument were a battlefield, mockery would be the act of dropping sword and shield and running from it.

    • Bill

      Actually, it’s called satire. Kings used to keep jesters around to give them a poke when they needed it.

    • Don Ward

      Oh really? Tell that to Johnathon Swift, Mark Twain and Bill Mauldin. Now I would never put myself in the same area code as those greats but that post was worthy of satire and derision.

  • Patrick Mingle

    I used to think BAFTE was intentionally ambiguous in order to imply illegality on certain issues they had no business ruling on. Now I am moving away from the all powerful conspiracy towards the incompetent bureaucrats who are in over their heads

  • vince

    The letter is very clear, the problem is that short barrel shepard fails at reading comprehension.

  • noguncontrol

    the aft doesnt want clarity, they want to muddle everything, so that they can put gunowners in jail.

  • Avid Fan

    As onerous and burdensome as the rules of purchasing or making a legal SBR are, there is a legal way of doing it. If you want an SBR do it their way and THEN complain to your congressman, wife, barber, bar keeper, what a pain in the it was.
    But in the meantime, do it the right way and stop complaining like your lunch money got stolen.

    • There is a legal route to purchase an SBR, except where SBRs are not legal.

    • Ethan

      Lawful, but un-Constitutional, therefore illegal. 😛
      (Makes your head spin after a while, doesn’t it?)

      • Hank Seiter

        Worst yet, Constitutional but unlawful, therefore illegal under the penalty of imprisonment or death. Thus spaketh the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT … the Constitution be damned or rendered irrelevant by black robed justices or bureaucratic fascists.

  • lucusloc

    title 36 relates to public lands, not private property. It the feds find a meth lab on your property, you will have problems, even if the meth lab was not involved in an accident. Spark arresters are another issue entirely. If an officer finds you using an unarrested engine on your own personal property, they may give you a stern warning, but will have no actual power to cite you or confiscate the item unless you actually start a fire. Any law in effect above and beyond that is a local law, and is not a federal requirement.

    • Bill

      read the last two clauses.

  • Alex

    The ATF is wrong again and it’s unconscionable how stupid they are ….how does A PISTOL Buffer tube for an AR allow for a stock? It is purposely made for pistols and does not have the keyhole design nor the diameter to allow for the attachment of a stock. A buffer tube is designed to encase the spring and buffer, it just so happens that standard buffer tubes (not pistol buffer tubes) allow for the attachment of a stock. If the buffer tube were not there a stock could be attached anyway in any number of ways (and it would be illegal unless you filed a proper form 1). So when they say,” A buffer tube is designed and intended to facilitate a shoulder stock” they are making sh*t up to suit their needs….as usual.

  • Hank Seiter

    Though we have been conditioned like sheep to blindly respect the bureaucratic fascism of a multitude of executive and legislative branch “bureaus” or “departments”, in the end whatever plenary powers are “vested” in these bureaus/departments MUST COMPORT WITH THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. That is, no branch of government, no bureau or federal department can deprive a private individual of their clearly defined constitutional rights. If this principle is rendered null and void by arbitrary unconstitutional decisions by either judges, congresscritters, or the chief executive himself, then EVERYTHING IS PERMISSIBLE when it comes to expanding the hegemony of the federal government into every aspect of our lives.

    Obviously this kind of unlimited “plenary power” was never the intention of the American founders and the constitutional architects made it quite plain that the inviolable, unalienable right to “keep and bear arms” by individual citizens (who compose “the militia”) SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. It seems to me a completely rational person would have to assume these present BATFE legal obfuscations are indeed bureaucratically arbitrary and DO NOT COMPORT WITH THE U.S. CONSTITUTION. To believe otherwise is to ultimately embrace an ever rapacious bureaucratic fascism. So why do free men continue to pussyfoot around by playing these legal games by the ground rules established by bureaucratic fascists?

    Always remember, most of what the Nazi regime did was “legal” under their twisted jurisprudence and legalisms. Should we now continue to jump down the rabbit holes made by our own fascist bureaucrats who aren’t about the business of protecting our liberties but rather further infringing upon them?

    I would much rather patriots turn the debate by insisting upon our Second Amendment “penumbral rights” than to automatically cede arbitrary authority to the likes of the BATFE by automatically consenting to their unconstitutional exercise of “plenary power” as if they share the same prescience as the Oracle of Delphi.

  • Hank Seiter

    So it takes Big Government to fill potholes? You truly are demented.

  • Hank Seiter

    Uh, where is the unalienable and uninfringeable right to own or operate a meth lab stated in the U.S. Constitution? Under the Commerce Clause I presume?

  • Bill

    Godwin’s Law in action. If you have to cite nazi Germany, you also have to cite the social and historical context that gave rise to it.

    It’s hysterical that people read this SIG arm brace debacle as some huge attack on American liberty when no one had dreamed of such a device until a couple years ago.