Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Home Depot Lower, PART 2: Components & Tools

More or less finished.
A method to expeditiously build AR lowers in bulk with common tools from the local hardware store.  ...and I needed a legal throw-away lower that could be built when ever I visit that other part of the US that ain't Texas and just ship the upper to and from home.  AND the more AR15's in the hands of the general populace the merrier, I daresay!  I'd be pretty thrilled if an Australian biker gang or Ukrainian resistance group saw this and started mass producing these or something; or maybe Three Percenters could air drop these lowers into enemy territory such as Newyork and California - that'd be pretty dope!

Components and tools:
This particular specimen was not as cheap as I hoped.  The next one will be, but again, this was just a proof-of-concept.  Here is a quick rundown of components and tools used:

AR Upper Receiver Vice
  • Aluminum or steel bar stock.  Max Height: 1.50" Thickness: 1/8" - 1/4".  I used 1.50" x 1/8" aluminum stuff from the metal stock section at Tractor Supply.  There's probably better stuff to use, but this worked for me since I didn't need to do any additional cutting except cutting the length.
  • AR upper receiver vice fixture - $20 - This fixture is intended so you can affix your upper receiver onto it and clamp it into a vice to do some wrench work.  I used it as a drill centering tool to drill the takedown pin holes onto the side plates.  Only buy this if you don't have an AR15 drill press jig (or you don't want to spend $80 on one).  Alternatively you could just use the upper itself as a template to drill the holes onto the plates but run the risk of egging out the holes of the upper.  To avoid that, you can use 0.250" OD, 1/8" ID steel tubing inserted into the upper's takedown holes, clamp that to your sideplates, and use a 1/8" drill to drill out the pilot holes.
  • AR FCG "testing jig" - $18 - Honestly, only buy this with the above fixture if you're just trying
    Challenge accepted!
    to build a single AR15 lower receiver and don't want to spend $80 on the jig below.  Also make sure that this "FCG testing jig" has the hole for the rear takedown pin so you can align it to your sideplates.  If you already own an AR15 drilling fixture like this then you can just drill the axis-pin holes onto your sideplates (though I don't like the idea that if you mess up a hole you've ruined the whole plate).  There was an amusing disclaimer on this manufacturer's ebay page how this isn't a gun and that it can't be modified to be used in a gun - I like a challenge.  I wouldn't pay more than $20 for this thing, but even that is still way too much for my intended purpose.  I've been told that you can make an AR fcg trigger pack like this using 0.5" internal width square tubing. 
  • AR-15 Drill press Jig - $80 - If you've already been making making AR lowers from 80% paperweights then great, you should already have one of these by now.  If you're just trying to build a one-off AR15 lower receiver, I recommend just buying the two items above instead of this.
  • AR15 Template - $0 - If you're really just a cheap bastard, it would be great if someone made a 1:1 printable template that you could glue onto the sideplates to locate the holes and start drilling away.  I don't know if such a thing exists, but I think you could make one from the many blueprints of AR15s that are out there.  I will look into this later.
    Bastards jacked the price after my purchase!
  • Buffer tube QD sling adapter - $2.70 - I really should do a separate post on threaded buffer towers.  There are many out there and they can range from $20 - $60 which is going way over my intended budget, but you basically need a way to attach a threaded buffertube to your sideplates and this method was quick, dirty, and cheapest.  This buffer tube sling adapter has a cupped space to put a buffer tube lock ring (which run at $3-5).  I used two lock rings - one inside, one outside.  Use a 1.000" wood dowel or metal tube to align the upper to the buffertube (see fig.1 below).  I then drilled and tapped two screws on the back of the QD sling adapter to the AR FCG testing jig (fig. 2 below), then two more on the side of the plates into the QD sling adapter to secure it and prevent it from tilting backwards (fig. 3 below).  It's pretty solid at that point.
  • Screws and taps - Drills, taps and screws in 6-32, 8-32, and 10-32 tpi are cheap.  Specifically buttonhead, socket cap screws which should cost roughly $8 per 100 pack.  I suggest you buy 100 packs of all three sizes since they're cheap and handy for other projects, such as AK47s (just how my good buddy Mike Kalashnikov intended).  Probably go with the 1/2" or 3/4" length so you can just cut them down later if you need to.  For the taps, this is the only area where I suggest you do NOT buy Chinese.  Every Chinese tap set I've seen are made of super soft steel.  You can't go wrong with Irwin or Hanson taps, which pretty much every Home Depot and Lowe's sells.
Fig. 1 - Alignment of buffer tube to upper receiver
Fig. 2 - Buffer tube to receiver, backside
Fig. 3 - Buffer tube to receiver, sideview

Optional parts:
Technically you don't need fancy stuff like grips and triggerguards, but I used an AK47 pistol grip, which I have plenty just lying around (10-pack for $4 or 5-pack of grips with FCG for $10 at Centerfire Systems are pretty good deals).  It required the purchase of a Saiga screw-on grip mount.  The trigger guard was made from chain link fence brace, which we have a bunch of left over just lying around from our Llama fence.  They're pretty easy to bend with a bench vice and a pair of pliers.  For the magazine catch, it's just a straight hole bored through and the catch is tightened on with a nut - the magazine is NOT quick detachable at this point and I have not yet found an effective way to make a cheap and fully functional magazine catch (and I didn't want to do any complex milling with my drill press).
Quicky last minute notes and outro:
The problem with the gun in my previous video was not only the magazine backing out (mag catch not grabbing - needed to add more material to the catch for more grabby-ness), but also the inside of the AR FCG testing jig was a little too tight, which caused delayed hammer releases and sluggish/weak hammer strikes.  It may be advisable to somehow trim down the inside of the FCG testing jig or perhaps trim the cylindrical axis housing of the hammer and trigger.  Also, you will have to cut the front portion of the FCG testing jig to allow the 5.56 magazine to fit (cutting might be unnecessary for pistol caliber magazines).  I did this with a dollar store hacksaw just to see if it could be done without an electric disc-cutting tool, and indeed it is doable in less than 20 minutes.

So in the end, was this cheaper than buying an 80% lower and milling that out using a jig?  It was but not by much in this specific example, however, the real point of this exercise was to be able to construct a lower quickly, using only local hardware store material, constructed with garage/home tooling (and in bulk it would have been way cheaper in the long run using appropriate shortcuts), and for the most part that was accomplished.  You wouldn't even need the vices and jigs to do this, but you would need to have some kind of printable 1:1 sized template to locate the holes.  The buffertube tower seems like a major roadblock in accomplishing this build in that I had to purchase an actual gunpart - albeit a non-regulated part that can be ordered from Hong Kong, but I'm not aware of any country that would get you in trouble for ordering something minor like that.  As for the FCG being unavailable in your country, a group called FossCad has managed to 3d print an AR FCG (vid here) so I'm thinking that should not be a problem if you have access to a printer.

Related Links:
Home Depot Lower - Part 1 - Mostly rambling.
Fosscad downloadable 3d printed gunparts - The actual links to the 3d files themselves.
Vidya of testfire of my Home Depot lower.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Home Depot AR Lower - Part 1

Whelp, here it is.  BioMed C School has been bogging me down this past month and the difficulty is just ramping up.  So all the crazy ideas I always keep talking about are going on super-duper-hold.

This video is a little old (from summer, before the accident) but I initially had no intention to upload it since it jams in the video (it was mainly a magazine seating issue).  Since I never bothered to test fire it after fixing it (and adding an AK grip) and have nothing else to upload, I'm uploading it as a proof-of-concept thingy for now.  The upper assembly was actually brand-new at the time of filming and I had never fired a rifle caliber in so short a barrel, so the huge-ass muzzle flashes were freaking me out a bit.

The flat AR has been done hundreds of times in some form or another (see links at end of post) and I'm not offering anything new to the table.  My original intention of this was that I thought this would be useful to people such as Maryland gun owners after their 2013 "Assault Weapons" extension ban (that ultimately made the AR15 illegal to purchase after a certain date).  In 2014 I wrote a long-winded tirade about Maryland law but I never posted it because it was pretty outdated by the time I got to where I am now - it seemed at some point Marylanders found ways to acquire AR15s or clones through legal means, which is a good thing.  Here is an excerpt from my unreleased rant:
A flat metal AR lower receiver would require no complex milling, while a standard 80% AR lower requires milling or some complicated, time-consuming, and costly setup involving a jig and a drill press in addition to an already existing 80% paperweight which can only be bought online.  If I ever need to outfit a flipmode squad of hillbillies, I think it would be easier, cheaper, and quicker to cut out plates from bar stock or whatever, drill out the holes and bolt together an AR lower than to order a bunch of expensive 80% lowers and mill them out with a drill press.
I still think that part holds true, anyways.  If someone mass-produced side plates along with spacers, screws, and a buffer tower and released it as a kit, I think this would be an easier-to-assemble alternative to something such as an 80% lower or AK47 blank receiver.  Just look how cheap the Jack Squat flats are - while they are cheap, it requires some knowledge on basic welding.  Currently my specific build uses a few prefabricated parts, the most costly bit being an "AR-15 FCG testing jig" which was $30 (note: Strike Industries has no provision for a rear takedown pin, the cheaper ones do).  In the future I will show how I made my own FCG holding assembly using square tubing, but that is a post for another day.

I'll post a detailed parts list and step-by-step instructions in the next month, hopefully on Thanksgiving weekend.
Still a work in progress
Related Links:
Plywood/SheetMetal AR - Milled from wood, reinforced with sheetmetal.
Old screw-plate AR15 (mirrored from Geocities) - Really old page from the late 90's.
Orion's Hammer's Cutting AR15 - Made from plastic cutting board.
Orion's Hammer Wood AR - Milled from pinewood.
Welded Sheet Metal AR - A lower welded from sheet metal.
Jack Squat's Flat AR15 kit - A commercially available "puzzle piece" lower for less than $30

Monday, September 21, 2015

Video - Plywood AR Lower

Updated links below:
I've been watching Summer Patriot, Winter Soldier's blog for over a year and I'm glad to see he finally got it working.  This (and Orion's Hammer's wood AR) is what inspired me to do a sheet metal AR lower of my own (coming soon, I swear!).  His is a piece of plywood, milled out into a AR15 lower.  It's sandwiched between two sheets of metal to keep everything together and uses a PVC pipe as a stock.  Pretty clever.  Video below:

Because the blog is difficult to navigate, I went through and found all the relevant posts and put them in order (might be missing a few posts, but it should be easy to follow along.)

Jan 03, 2014 - Planning and initial machining, magazine fitment
Jan 04, 2014 - Machining the FCG area and upper fitment
Jan 04, 2014 - Contemplating FCG fitment
Jan 13, 2014 - Metal plate fitment and locating holes
Jan 24, 2014 - Drilling the axis holes
Jan 28, 2014 - Adding the pins and screws.
Apr 17, 2014 - Legalities and misc updates
Apr 24, 2014 - Pistol Grip
Apr 29, 2014 - AR10 and AR 15 bolt comparison
Jul 26, 2015 - Fitting the buffertube adapter block.
Aug 14, 2015 - Adding the buffertube assembly.
Aug 18, 2015 - Final pictures
Sept 19, 2015 - Final post with video

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Home on the firing range

So I moved from MCBH Hawaii to Fort Sam Houston, Texas in late August to go to Navy C-School - Bio Med - which is basically medical equipment repair.  This is great, because I can come home every weekend to visit my hometown.  On Labor Day weekend, I drove home from Fort Sam Houston to my parents house to help them tear down an old cow fence.  On Sunday while working on the fence, I heard multiple strings of rifle fire.  Didn't bother me since we live in hillbilly country so people are always shooting guns.  I have no problem with people shooting safely on their own property - we have our own 30-40 yard range with a backstop that's in the side of a hill.  We are so confident in that backstop we have a herd of valuable Mouflon sheep behind it.

I heard a burst of shots ring out followed immediately by whizzing and ricocheting noises, and dirt and rocks getting kicked up around me.  My spidey senses FMTB training kicked in and I instinctively hit the deck as soon as I realized me and my dad were being fired upon.  The volley lasted about ten shots, after which I got up and yelled "STOP SHOOTING ASSHOLE," probably the loudest I've ever yelled before.  None of us were hit by the bullets but we called the sheriff because of how stupid-dangerous it is to be shooting like that.

We weren't sure where the shots came from.  The deputy came and drove through the driveway across the street and our neighbor's.  He talked to some people but no one heard anything.  We originally thought the bullets came from across the street and that the projectiles traveled through the woods in the front of our property, but now we suspect that it was probably our neighbor's neighbor, or two houses down.

The gas company owns an unused, grassy lane that runs through our property.  There lies a hill between our property and the house that's two doors down.  We can see the top of their house from where we were working.  We suspect they were using that grassy lane as their own personal shooting gallery, shooting at cans at the top of the small hill.  Hopefully the shooters heard me, saw the Sheriff car and learned the error of their ways, but somehow I doubt it.

The next morning, Labor Day, I woke up with severe chest pain and difficulty breathing.  At first I thought it was pneumonia or some kind of reaction from breathing in rust or poison ivy or maybe it was really bad food poisoning from dinner last night.  I thought it would go away and I said I didn't need to see a doctor.  My parents dropped me off at my barracks later that day.  As I walked up the stairs to my room, I realized how short of breath I was and started feeling nauseous.  That's when I checked into the emergency room at Brooke Army Medical Center.  They told me it was a tension pneumothorax due to a collapsed right lung.

They inserted what seemed like a one inch tube through my ribs.  The medic inserting the tube was really leaning and putting her weight into it, trying to get it through.  It was the most painful thing ever even with morphine and local anesthesia.  The sound of watermelon being penetrated by a knife let me know it was finally in.  At least I was able to breathe better.

I spent about eight days total in the hospital.  The doc said the collapsed lung was spontaneous with no reason or any apparent trauma, but I still think it could have been an indirect result of the idiots shooting at me.  I can't do any PT or farm work.  I ended up missing the advancement exam and I missed my scheduled start date for my C-School.  The good news is the Navy gave me two weeks of free convalescent leave so I can just stay home and study for the late exam, and I can start class later.

I also have some spare time to start preliminary work on some of my super secret projects (a mystery vehicle-mounted, crew-served weapon, a SMLE No4 MK I restoration, and an AR-8mm Mauser project I like to refer to as the "Poorman's Colt LE900").  Might have to set up an ipCam to catch them shooting again, because I can still hear close range rifle fire once in a while, and it makes me nervous as hell just walking up my own damn driveway.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Who is Chris Kitaeff?

Sun Tzu once said "know thy enemy," which is why I'm subscribed to anti-Second Amendment mailing lists such "Mom's Demand Action" and "The Brady Campaign."  I like to see what goes on in the enemies side of things.  On August 10, 2015, a gentleman named "Chris J. Kitaeff" out of Scottsdale, Arizona wrote a propaganda piece titled "Scorecard: No Check, No Sale."  In the mass-email, he boldly accuses several retail giants of selling guns to criminals without background checks, without any supporting evidence.  A brief excerpt:
As a gun dealer in Arizona, I've run a lot of background checks. And I never sell a gun to someone until their check confirms they are a law-abiding citizen.

In the rare case that a background check takes longer than three days, a deadly loophole in the law gives gun dealers the choice of whether or not to make the sale.

I know where I stand on this: No gun sales without complete background checks. But at least two major gun retailers haven't made their background check policies clear.
Chris Kitaeff
Seems rather fishy.  Why would someone who owns a gun shop even help an organization that's set on destroying one's livelihood?  Well, a quick google of this Chris fellow shows he isn't exactly making a living as a gun dealer.  It's mentioned by other news sites that he allegedly owns a firearms shop named Newport Firearms (FFL# is 9-86-013-07-5J-05759 ), not to be confused with Newport Firearms club of Rhode Island.  Their phone number is (480) 371-6553 but no one picks up the phone, nor is there anything to indicate that they sell firearms.

He has owned the website since 2012 but has not done anything with it, yet.  A quick whois shows that it was last updated in June 2015, possibly to enable anonymous domain ownership.  The website itself is shown to be owned by a dummy corporation called Newport Global LLC, whose sole purpose is to squat firearms-related domains.  Him and his wife, Patricia D. Kitaeff, apparently own Newport Global LLC which has registered at least six websites including, and several other Arizona Firearms-related names.

Chris Kitaeff on the right.
He owned a twitter account @chriskitaeff from 2011 until August 6, 2015 (Google Cached version here).  I wonder why he deleted his Twitter account.  Perhaps because it was obvious this guy was just a shill for the anti-gun lobby and needed to delete it to keep up the facade as a gun dealer.  You'll notice he's retweeted lots of posts by MAG/Everytown, and tweeted many of the usual typical anti-gun spiel.  He seemed particularly disturbed that Arizona is the number one gun sales state.  Seriously, how does this guy even sell guns?

What we know about this guy:
  • He's approximately 30-34 years old
  • Some sort of highspeed investor of some sort, working for Merrill Lynch
  • Has lived Orange County, CA, and also Newport, CA (hence the name Newport Firearms)
  • He only has been mentioned once in 2013, 2014, and several times in 2015, always shilling for The Brady Campaign, Moms Demand Action, or Everytown.
  • BUT he has been planning this as early as 2011, if his Twitter registration dates are of any indication.
  • The associated address "15001 N. 59TH PL., SCOTTSDALE,  AZ  85254" and several others seems to be a residential house that was recently or is currently for sale by the same realtor company.
  • He seems to be a fairly young, thin, and good looking man, a stark contrast to the typical gun-owner, suggesting he doesn't actually deal in firearms.
This isn't the first time that Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group has shilled for their cause by posing as gun owners.  In 2004, there was a (now defunct) web-blog called "Gun Guys" (not to be confused with other similarly-named firearms shops).  It basically existed to berate gunowners while posting news articles about gun violence and somehow connecting legal gunownership with criminals.  It's authors claimed they were pro-second amendment and were avid hunters who agreed with the Brady Campaign.  The website is long gone now.  I guess the group ran out of money to keep paying writers.

Another incident was the fake gunshop in New York City, of all places, where actors, pretending to be shop owners and buyers, had replica firearms for sale which were purportedly crime guns use to murder people.  The whole thing was a stunt to film this propaganda piece.

I'll try to update this post as more information comes up.  But it looks like that's all there really is to it - which is to say there is nothing more to this mystery - Chris Kitaeff is a shill and doesn't actually own a firearms business.  Which makes me wonder - how did he get a Type 7 FFL?  According to wikipedia, a Type 7 FFL is a license to manufacture firearms and ammunition and also NFA items.  Does he have to pay the yearly $2,250 ITAR fee?  Did he have to get interviewed by an ATF agent to get that FFL?  If he did, I'm really curious how that went.  Can I get a Type 7 FFL by telling the interviewing agent "I hate guns and I want to setup a fake storefront for the purposes of creating propaganda for The Brady Campaign"?  Seriously.  I've been wanting a Type 7 FFL for a while.

Related Links:
Thread on North East Shooters where I got some of my information from, so thanks to Bt74 for bringing this up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Worthless Gear: KMNW Tiberius Molle 10x10x4 Pouch

I thought I should start reviewing some of the many worthless pouches, packs and other add-on crap I've accumulated over the years since first being introduced to the MOLLE system during my training days at Fleet Marine Training Battalion.  Also I wanted an excuse to do closeups with my new 50mm Prime lens which is fun to take pictures with and makes anything mundane look amazing, I think.

Note: This isn't really a review - more of quick product overview and rant about how worthless it was for my intended purposes.
This bag has seen some shit.

 The first worthless pack I'm showcasing here is the Tiberius MOLLE 10x10x4 XTRA Large Hold All Pouch manufactured by a UK company called KMNW.  10"x10"x4" refers to the external dimensions in inches.  You can loosen the straps and expand it vertically to 15"x10"x4" making it one of the largest molle pouches I've seen available.  I ordered three of these back in 2013 in preparation for the dreaded trip to ITX at 29 Palms, CA for two and a half months.  I wanted something that I could add to my main pack and store extra soft gear like tarps, underwear, socks, coats, PT Gear, etc.

Here is a summary from the official website:
 The Tiberius MOLLE Extra Large Hold All pouch is designed to accommodate just about anything from extra clothing, ammo or ration packs. The pouch was initially designed to be worn high on the rear of the LBV as a back pack but could just as easily be worn on the front of a chest rig for medics and also on a belt as a large "bum" bag.
Approx size 10"Hx10"Wx4"D, adjustable to 15"Hx10"Wx4D", drain holes, Internal drawcord with nylon rain cover. MOLLE attachment straps.
Sounds good so far.  However, my issue was this - and this is a problem with other large add-on packs of this class - is that it has six MOLLE attachment straps on the back (the side that is opposite of the two buckles).  The main pack issued to me by the USMC has an odd number of columns, at least on the front, which looks awkward when attached to the front of the main pack.  When attached to the side, it just adds ridiculous amounts of bulk and makes it impossible to insert your rolled sleeping mat.

Drawstring for rain resistance.
I should have researched this before purchasing, so none of these issues are the fault of the manufacturer, mind you.  As for the pack itself, my initial impression was that the material had a cheap nylon feel that I've come to associate with Chinese knockoffs of tactical accessories, but otherwise everything is held together tightly.  The MOLLE loops seem pretty strong and the stitching looks nice and tough.  It smells Chinese though - that is, it has an odd chemical odor that literally smells like the dollar store.  Not The Family Dollar or the Dollar General, but those "Everything-One-Dollar" stores.  It would probably go away if you washed it.  I never washed it, though, for fear that it would tear apart in the washer. Those fears were unwarranted, however, as it survived multiple trips, being tossed and stacked with 300 other mainpacks into the back of a truck in a haphazard manner.  In my opinion it passed a significant torture test without any tearing.
Tough enough!
But my flak vest has seven columns!
If someone makes some kind of cheap, light-weight, back-only MOLLE carrier - i.e., some type of modular backpack that just had MOLLE loops, like this awesome thing here except not as overbuilt - then I imagine this could be useful.  So far nothing exists that is cheaply available - which is too bad, because that combination would make a cool backpack for carrying a macbook and two or three textbooks.

Naughty internal view.
Not really sure what you'd use this for.  It's far too large to be used as a drop pouch, a waste pack, or an add-on to an assault pack.  If you used it as a backpack for serious storage on your load bearing vest or flak carrier, it makes it uncomfortable for long convoys, leaving you leaning forward or perhaps sitting on the edge of your seat.  If you just used it for an MRE or two, you might as well have just put a Camelback carrier on there instead.  I suppose if you wear your LBV or Flak for long periods of time while hiking, don't ride in vehicles, intend to put more than a few things in there, which indeed it is capable of, AND have an even number of molle columns, then I suppose it would be useful.  On a positive note, I should mention that it is rain resistant.   That's gotta count for something.
200-300 rounds of 7.62x39
I took one of them I had home with me on leave and used it to store ammo (which does a shitty job at that).  Pictured here it holds about 200 rounds of 7.62x39 in 20 round boxes and 2 magazines.  There is a lot of extra unused space around the 20 round boxes since the sidewalls curve due to the rounded nature of the bag.  You can gain more room by extending the straps and loosening the string.  I added a 100 round box of 12 gauge on top of that just to see.  It would probably fit more ammo if you arranged everything properly.  The other two I used for long-term storage of uniform items that I never wear.

100 round 12 Ga box for size comparison.
100 round 12 Ga box strapped down.
 If I could make changes to this product to make it overall more useful:
-Add a carry handle, either one on the top towards the back, or two on the side.
-Velcro for name tape.
-Give it seven straps instead of six?  It seems the majority of flaks and mainpacks have an odd numbers of columns.
-Metal clips for detachable carry strap to use as a purse shoulder bag.
-Internal pockets for storing loose things like coins, patches, buttons, batteries, etc.
KMNW slogan: "We're pretty OK, I guess!"
Basically, take a look at the Condor Utility Shoulder Bag and add those features.  The Condor Utility Shoulder Bag is a more useful product of equally good quality which can be centered across seven molle collumns, the only downside is that it is not as big or as expandable as the KMNW Tiberius bag and has only four molle straps with a space between them which I think makes it less durable.

Still want this?  You should buy it NOW at 10 GBP, which is 50% cheaper than it ever was.  The company is apparently going out of business and getting rid of all their inventory.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

January SIG Brace Ruling - Don't blame the 'YouTubers', ya cunts!

Rant: I hate being blamed and shamed by armchair gunrights activists.

Original 2012 ATF letter.
Backstory of the SIG Brace for those not in the know: Several years ago, the SIG stabilizing brace was allegedly made for disabled veterans/amputees (oh, how gallant of SIG!) so they could shoot an AR15 pistol one handed by strapping to your arm and thereby stabilizing it.  As far as how practical that actually is I don't know, but I can take a good guess, and to me it sounds like the dumbest idea ever conceived in the past 10 years.  Think about it - who actually sticks their arm straight out when shooting an AR pistol? It also just happens to be in the shape of an M4 stock, but it's made of rubber so it's not like it's actually a good substitute for a stock.  The brace was approved by the ATF as long as it was used for it's intended purpose and each brace came with a copy of the letter.

But let's be honest - this was designed solely as a loophole for having a stock-looking device for AR pistols.  It looks cool though, I won't lie.  But as far as I'm aware, no disabled veteran was ever actually consulted on this.  It sucks as a stock and it's even more worthless when used for it's 'intended purpose'.  If you are already shouldering an AR pistol with just the buffer tube - that's fine.  There's nothing illegal about that any more than shouldering an ordinary pistol-pistol.

In 2014 everyone and their brother asked the ATF Tech Branch if it was okay to shoulder an AR15 pistol with a SIG brace attached, and the ATF confirmed it's legality via opinion letters which apparently hold some kind of legal authority - or does it (see last paragraph of this post)?  Lots of people continued to send this same question via mail and eventually the wrong person was working at ATF in mid-January 2015 and decided that the SIG Brace was not legal to shoulder - so the ATF did a full 180.  "Redesigned" was their exact wording.  We all knew it was going to happen, so of course it was inevitable.  Some gun owners got angry that it happened and the phrase "poking the hornet's nest" and "looking a gift horse in the mouth" was thrown around a lot.

I really hate those two phrases and they certainly have no relevance to January's letter.  There was no hornet's nest; and the earlier 'pro-shoulder' ruling was definitely no gift - government agencies don't issue 'gifts'.  I really don't get it when gunowners use the phrase 'Don't look a gift horse in the mouth' in regards to this issue -  that's the equivalent of saying "Hey, the ATF said we can shoulder it - let's not shoulder it so the ATF doesn't revoke our right to shoulder it... so we can continue to not shoulder it!"

This isn't the gunowner's fault.  This isn't the fault of people showing off videos on YouTube.  This isn't because of the flocks of people buying this for the sole purpose of using it as a shoulder stock accessory.  This isn't the fault of people sending the tech branch letters.  There are millions gunowners in the US and there's no way from keeping track of gunowners and preventing them from exercising their first amendment by writing letters, making videos, and openly discussing it on forums - and I hope it stays that way.

My point is this: If you're relying on an opinion letter from the ATF on something that is questionable at best, then you can bet that it's not going to last and you should assume it won't last.  I'm sick of all these armchair 'gun rights' activists saying "I told you so" and trying to blame and shame others after they delete their own SIG Brace videos.  No gun owner is to blame for this, and the only idiots here were those naive enough to purchase SIG products. a SIG SBR Loophole Device.

Anyways, I don't want this to be a completely worthless rant post so here is a link to a video that actually sheds some light on what exactly January's OPINION letter really means for SIG Brace owners (as opposed to pointing fingers and yelling 'The sky is falling!').  "It's either an NFA item or it isn't."

Further reading and links of interest:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Man, I got these Madsen barrels, man...

I somehow stumbled upon a box of unissued M56 Madsen SMG barrels still in the wrappers from an unwitting seller at a flea market and now I am going to sell them at slightly less than market value, $50, which I think is a fair price.  They are threaded to approximately 20mmX1.5, which is a common metric thread size.

Also, I created my own YouTube channel in hopes that one day I will be able to showcase some of my firearms abominations.  Until then, here is a video of us causing wanton destruction and unnecessary vandalism.