In the United States, simple items like sound suppressors and rifles with 14.5″ barrels have been demonized because of their inclusion in the National Firearms Act of 1934. There is much debate about what, if any, public benefit can be had from this law. However, as far back as I can remember “sawed-off shotguns” and other NFA items have been portrayed as literal tools of evil by a lot of people – including some of those that generally support gun rights.
That, however, seems to be changing.
Sound suppressors are now much more common with nearly every major manufacturer offering threaded barrel options on its firearms. Even companies like SIG SAUER and Ruger are getting into the suppressor manufacturing business. For what may be the first time since the Great Depression, there is a very real chance that sound suppressors may be available to US citizens without the additional paperwork, taxes and delays imposed by the NFA.
I wonder if we are seeing a similar revolution taking place with the concept of the short barrel rifle (SBR). SBRs have been available in growing numbers, though mostly from smaller companies. FN America is now jumping into the SBR game with a pair of AR-style carbines that have barrel lengths well below the 16″ NFA requirement. With a major manufacturer like FN making SBRs, I wonder if other companies will quickly follow suit.
The first FN-15 is one of the company’s Patrol Carbines with a 10.5″ barrel. This 5.56 NATO gun has a barrel with a 1:7″ twist, button rifling and a chrome lining. It has the typical features and looks of an A2-style rifle, but one that weighs less than 6 pounds with an overall length of 26.5″ – 30″. The MSRP is $1,149.
The second rifle has a 14.5″ barrel with the same rifling and chrome lining. This gun differs from the shorter one by adding a Midwest Industries 12″ hand guard with M-LOK attachment points and eliminating the front sight base. It weighs in at a hair over 6 pounds. It also has an MSRP of $1,149.