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View Full Version : Folding Stock, Pistol Grip Mini 14 @ the range today


choprzrul
11-29-2009, 2:13 PM
So I stand up just before the "cease fire" is called out and look around at what is going on. I am on lane 1 and directly in front of the rifle rack. A guy comes walking in and puts his Mini 14 in the rack with no magazine in it and the action opened. I notice that it had a pistol grip and a folding stock. I could see the open mag well and no evidence of any altercation to the mag release.

What should I have done? I didn't know the guy and didn't feel comfortable in asking him about it, so I said nothing. I would really hate to see anyone get in a bind over their rifle, but I don't want to come off as the local range nut either.

Is there an accepted range protocol regarding just wanting to be helpful? How do I avoid a range faux pas?

gn3hz3ku1*
11-29-2009, 2:17 PM
it could be registered...

Brian_L
11-29-2009, 2:18 PM
Any idea if the folding stock was fixed in place?

Dangerpin
11-29-2009, 2:20 PM
If I felt I *had* to say something I would probably couch it in terms of admiration. "Wow, a registered assault rifle! You don't see too many of these anymore. Too bad CA law makes us put a bullet button on if we want awesome features like folding stock and pistol grip these days. I would love to be able to legally have a setup like yours." etc.

Edit: Reread my post and spotted my folding stock error. You know what I mean.

Ian
11-29-2009, 2:21 PM
i would have just asked to shoot it.

choprzrul
11-29-2009, 2:24 PM
If I felt I *had* to say something I would probably couch it in terms of admiration. "Wow, a registered assault rifle! You don't see too many of these anymore. Too bad CA law makes us put a bullet button on if we want awesome features like folding stock and pistol grip these days. I would love to be able to legally have a setup like yours." etc.

Edit: Reread my post and spotted my folding stock error. You know what I mean.

Excellent idea Dangerpin. I really wish that would have came to mind at the time.

It did occur to me at the time that it might actually be a registered AW and I think that is the biggest reason that I didn't say anything.

tomd1584
11-29-2009, 2:39 PM
I'd just mind my own business...

Maybe it was registered, maybe it wasnt....not your problem.

i know its only my opinion, but about a month ago i took a 1 day class and there was a 20 year old kid there with a mini 14 with pistol grip and collapsable stock.

He continued to tell me that since it was a "mini 14" it was legal and could do whatever he wanted to it.


If he wants to put himself in that situation then thats fine with me.

just my opinion.

Tom

BRANDON7766
11-29-2009, 2:42 PM
I personally wouldnt have said anything. If he chooses to run an illegal config then it's his choosing and he is risking getting caught. If it's registered then good for him. Either way, neither effect you, and so you should allow him the freedom to make his own choices. Now if you have taken an oath to uphold the law (being an LE etc.) then that is another thing altogether. Just my 2cp.

Rukus
11-29-2009, 2:43 PM
Taken from Dictionary.com
Altercation: –noun
a heated or angry dispute; noisy argument or controversy.

I know, I know. You meant alteration. I probably wouldnt have said anything either. You never know, it could have been a RAW. Dangerpin has a very ingenious way of addressing the issue. It's not very confrontational which is good.

Jim_KT
11-29-2009, 3:02 PM
Like others have mentioned, the mini may be a RAW. I've had a few weird looks given by people that had OLL builds when I bust out my RAWs.

sd1023x
11-29-2009, 3:10 PM
Proper range protocol would be to mind your own business.

HKROB
11-29-2009, 3:20 PM
Proper range protocol would be to mind your own business.

+1 :mnl:

Jpach
11-29-2009, 4:34 PM
I saw something similar at a local range this past summer. The guy had a mini-14 and I could tell it was likely new due to the new type front sight post. He had it in a *fixed* folder with pistol grip stock. Him and his buddy started chatting to me about my ARs and AKs and I asked if he got his mini within the past couple of years or so

He replies, "Yes" and I tell him in a nice way that in the minis current configuration, it is considered an AW due to the pistol grip. (And i already explained how my ARs and AKs legally had features due to the Bullet Button btw). He then tells me that its legal because he ordered it online and that its ok because the stock cant fold. I then refresh him on the whole SB23 features stuff and suggest to him that he switches out the stock.

They were really cool with it, the guys clearly didnt know the law 100% and they knew they didnt. We continued to chat about other stuff. Its all about how you go about it. Perhaps if you see a situation like that again, make small talk with the person about it and ask if their gun is new or not. Its also wise to have a flowchart on you.

tenbrook
11-29-2009, 4:34 PM
I would mind my own bussiness and say nothing.

choprzrul
11-29-2009, 4:41 PM
Excellent comments from one and all. There seems to be a divide between the natural human instinct to try and help camp and the mind your own business camp.

Perhaps a poll is in order?

glockwise2000
11-29-2009, 4:42 PM
I saw something similar at a local range this past summer. The guy had a mini-14 and I could tell it was likely new due to the new type front sight post. He had it in a *fixed* folder with pistol grip stock. Him and his buddy started chatting to me about my ARs and AKs and I asked if he got his mini within the past couple of years or so

He replies, "Yes" and I tell him in a nice way that in the minis current configuration, it is considered an AW due to the pistol grip. (And i already explained how my ARs and AKs legally had features due to the Bullet Button btw). He then tells me that its legal because he ordered it online and that its ok because the stock cant fold. I then refresh him on the whole SB23 features stuff and suggest to him that he switches out the stock.

They were really cool with it, the guys clearly didnt know the law 100% and they knew they didnt. We continued to chat about other stuff. Its all about how you go about it. Perhaps if you see a situation like that again, make small talk with the person about it and ask if their gun is new or not. Its also wise to have a flowchart on you.

I would have invited those guys to browse to CALGUNS.NET for further information. That would be an additional 1 member.

Cokebottle
11-29-2009, 4:56 PM
I'm with Jpach.

If the RO sees it, it's his responsibility to ensure the legality of the range operations... not the customers.

If involved in a friendly conversation with the owner, then I might bring it up, but only if I were 1000% certain that there was a violation. More than likely, I'd bring it up offhandedly, as mentioned before, about all the hoops that CA makes us jump through to have something as simple as a PG, pinning folders, etc....

But I would certainly not initiate contact. Not my job, not my business.
How hard is it to tell by looking at a gun on the rack that it's not a .22lr conversion?

223Devil
11-29-2009, 5:17 PM
I'm one of those who has a RAW Mini14 with a factory folding stock. I get weird looks all the time at the range.

Seesm
11-29-2009, 6:22 PM
If that Mini had a ceiner kit in it it would be fully legal...

3GunFunShooter
11-29-2009, 9:22 PM
I would of used Jpach's approach. We as shooters don't want some stupid,uninformed shooter getting busted. It makes all shooters look bad. I do like the approach of "Nice RAW, I wish I would of done that". We don't want the cops trolling the ranges looking for people to bust, especially a range I am a member. As a NRA, IDPA and USPSA member, I should try to inform the ones who don't know the law, or steer them to Calguns, if they don't want to listen to me. Now if they say they don't care about the law then it is on them.

PolishMike
11-29-2009, 9:24 PM
I mind my own business. That being said, I see unregistered AW's at ranges ALL the time.

Vinz
11-29-2009, 9:37 PM
I would of used Jpach's approach. We as shooters don't want some stupid,uninformed shooter getting busted. It makes all shooters look bad. I do like the approach of "Nice RAW, I wish I would of done that". We don't want the cops trolling the ranges looking for people to bust, especially a range I am a member. As a NRA, IDPA and USPSA member, I should try to inform the ones who don't know the law, or steer them to Calguns, if they don't want to listen to me. Now if they say they don't care about the law then it is on them.

I agree. I guess I am just friendly or the ranges I go to are. I don't mind someone asking questions and I don't start one until I am approched or its initiated.

If someone doesn't want to be talked with you can tell.
Plus the ranges I go to, if the rifle made it past the gates, its good to go.
vinz

joelukehart
11-30-2009, 12:56 AM
I'm one of those who has a RAW Mini14 with a factory folding stock. I get weird looks all the time at the range.

They are just jealous and I am as well . I have never seen a factory folder Mini in person, only in pictures and the web. I swear, some newbies are completely ignorant of the fact that there were AR, AK, G3, FAL type rifles in CA. before 2000 and bullet buttons and top loading AR's.

wait_one
11-30-2009, 1:05 AM
I'd assume the AW type rifles I see at the range are registered....Some of the people I know who did register their ARs years ago carry a copy of the registration letter from the DOJ in the buttstock.

Ravenslair
11-30-2009, 2:09 AM
Proper range protocol would be to mind your own business.

+1

There are so many gun owners in California and many that have RAW's. Make sure you are legal and let others do the same for themselves. Please do not walk up and try to help me by explaining that my RAW may be configured illegally. The politicians have won in my opinion when someone even has to think if they should point out that a firearm may be illegal. For those that have been to free states, that thought process is about as foreign as an alien from Mars. Just my opinion.

Merc1138
11-30-2009, 2:49 AM
Is there an accepted range protocol regarding just wanting to be helpful? How do I avoid a range faux pas?

A faux pas is easily avoidable by keeping your mouth shut.

A: You are not the authorities
B: It's not your range
C: It has nothing to do with you

If you want to strike up a casual conversation and maybe mention calguns, fine. Nothing wrong with that, I've done it before. Don't start telling the man his rifle might be illegal or questioning him about it. It might be a .22lr, it might be a RAW, it could also be an unregistered assault weapon, maybe you didn't see the maglock he made for himself? In any of those instances, it's not particularly any of your business.

I've had people ask what I used to block my mags, had people ask about the ammo because they saw the box, been asked about the magpul bad on my OLL. I've never had any problem discussing any of that, but even though my configuration is legal I'd probably politely tell you to just get the hell out of my face if you wanted to attempt to start quoting PC and tell me what I can and can't do as it's none of your business really.

mydogsmonkey
11-30-2009, 4:29 AM
its completely possible thats a personal registered AW from being a law enforcement officer or military, they could get newer AWs, not having to be postban, i know cops that can do that kinda stuff

honestly, just mind your own business unless you honestly just wanna talk

3GunFunShooter
11-30-2009, 5:29 AM
I should of put in my post that it depends on the age of the guy with a gun in question. Under 30 probably not a RAW over 30 Good chance that it is a RAW. Most older shooters are better informed, being around for the CA 2000 ban and the 1994 Federal Ban. Don't get me wrong, I do not hang out at the public range looking for someone to question or even talk to. I usually sight in quickly at the 100 yard range and then move to the 300 yd range, or head to the action pistol bays, so I don't get much interaction with the general pubic shooters. My JP AR has a U-15 stock so I have people ask me about that since I have preban standard capacity mags, my Mini 14 is an ASI custom so I also get questions about that and I do enjoy talking about guns and do not mind sharing my knowledge to others. I worked at a gun store in high school in the late 1960's so I know a little about shooting.( just wish I had spent my money on guns instead of cars, women and booze, LOL) I have a lot of shooters ask me how to get into 3 gun, with a legal CA rifle, both in IDPA and USPSA, there are a lot of people who do not understand the laws. Just look at all the mag questions on Calguns.

drclark
11-30-2009, 7:26 AM
I'm in the mind your own business camp. The ONLY time I'll worry about someone else at the range is if they are shooting at or messing with my target or conducting themselves in an unsafe manner or picking up my brass.

WHAT they are shooting is none of my business. It is their responsibility to know the laws and their choice as to their level of compliance.

sytfu_RR
11-30-2009, 8:30 AM
IT depends, if I'm already talking to the guy, maybe I'll bring it up casually. However if it's some random person at another lane that I have no prior contact with, I'd mind my own business. It could be a raw, or maybe a 22lr convert, who knows, it's tough trying to tell someone that something they did is illegal when they believe they are right. I already have to deal with fud from friends who aren't calguns members and go off what they hear in the media regarding firearm laws.

cyberhh
11-30-2009, 10:25 AM
I have had multiple conversations about similar possible AW's at various ranges and I handle it a little differently.

Most people are not informed of the law. Ignorance of the law not being a valid excuse if I can help educate someone it may make the difference between a legal owner and someone who makes us all look bad. Ultimately all gun owners are seen as one group by the anti's - the more arrests that are made for illegally modified assault weapons the more ammunition the anti's have for new laws and regulations. The best defense we have is to be better educated as a whole. Those of us on Calguns take for granted our knowledge of the relevant laws and have resources easily available to make sure we are compliant, but there are many, many people in CA without knowledge of what they do not know. We should be willing to help.

That being said, there are a lot of really unfriendly people in the world who have no interest in help of any kind and do not react kindly when you attempt to educate them, for them you are better off keeping your mouth shut and moving on. No point in starting an argument.

I react like this:

"Think Globally, Act within local variable scope" - I think about Gun Owners as a whole and what I was like before I was educated, about the climate in cali and the whole second paragraph in my post (Thinking Globally), then I react based on the specific situation (local variable scope) that I find myself in.

Most of the time people are pleasantly responsive when the issue is raised. Sometimes I am wrong and we have a laugh about it, I have never had anyone react poorly when they are in the right. Generally if they are knowledgeable they are appreciative of the (albeit failed) assistance. When I received comments about my AR I always reacted respectful and assumed the other person was trying to help me out. They walked away a little more informed (and with calguns.net being mentioned over and over) and I always had a smile on my face.

When the person was ignorant it was probably a 90/10 split. 90% of the time the person is thankful for the help and puts the firearm away right away and lock it up. 10% of the time they react poorly, at which point you are better off walking away and letting what happens, happen.

Ultimately we (gun owners) catch enough flack from the anti's that we need to strive to be as informed and helpful and polite as we can be. That is how you win converts (the hearts and minds), being ignorant and rude only reinforces the "lone gunman" FUD that the anti's have about us as a whole.

I realize that this is really, really long, but I do not think that it is something to be decided on lightly.

Ravenslair
11-30-2009, 11:01 AM
The only problem with the whole age argument is law enforcement and the military. Both individuals in those categories can register new AW's. I am not opposed at all to striking up conversation at the range. It is always fun to talk guns. I am just one that does not think anyone should be making comments that someone's rifle may be illegal without first knowing a little about the person. If it comes up in conversation, great, but I see no reason to make that the ice breaker in any conversation with someone you do not know anything about. Again, just my two cents.

professorhard
11-30-2009, 11:13 AM
I'd just mind my own business...


This is probably the best way to handle the situation. Could be a pre-AWB RAW, could be a military or LEO assault weapon permit, best to just leave the guy alone and let him do his own thing.

Paradiddle
11-30-2009, 11:26 AM
I'd just mind my own business...

Maybe it was registered, maybe it wasnt....not your problem.

i know its only my opinion, but about a month ago i took a 1 day class and there was a 20 year old kid there with a mini 14 with pistol grip and collapsable stock.

He continued to tell me that since it was a "mini 14" it was legal and could do whatever he wanted to it.


If he wants to put himself in that situation then thats fine with me.

just my opinion.

Tom

I'm with Tom. When I'm at the range I'm there to enjoy myself and have some private time with my guns - not get lectured or give lectures. Unless something is grossly unsafe or someone is acting inappropriately I just shut up and shoot.

Jeff

sd1023x
11-30-2009, 11:35 AM
I have had multiple conversations about similar possible AW's at various ranges and I handle it a little differently.

Most people are not informed of the law. Ignorance of the law not being a valid excuse if I can help educate someone it may make the difference between a legal owner and someone who makes us all look bad. Ultimately all gun owners are seen as one group by the anti's - the more arrests that are made for illegally modified assault weapons the more ammunition the anti's have for new laws and regulations. The best defense we have is to be better educated as a whole. Those of us on Calguns take for granted our knowledge of the relevant laws and have resources easily available to make sure we are compliant, but there are many, many people in CA without knowledge of what they do not know. We should be willing to help.

That being said, there are a lot of really unfriendly people in the world who have no interest in help of any kind and do not react kindly when you attempt to educate them, for them you are better off keeping your mouth shut and moving on. No point in starting an argument.

I react like this:

"Think Globally, Act within local variable scope" - I think about Gun Owners as a whole and what I was like before I was educated, about the climate in cali and the whole second paragraph in my post (Thinking Globally), then I react based on the specific situation (local variable scope) that I find myself in.

Most of the time people are pleasantly responsive when the issue is raised. Sometimes I am wrong and we have a laugh about it, I have never had anyone react poorly when they are in the right. Generally if they are knowledgeable they are appreciative of the (albeit failed) assistance. When I received comments about my AR I always reacted respectful and assumed the other person was trying to help me out. They walked away a little more informed (and with calguns.net being mentioned over and over) and I always had a smile on my face.

When the person was ignorant it was probably a 90/10 split. 90% of the time the person is thankful for the help and puts the firearm away right away and lock it up. 10% of the time they react poorly, at which point you are better off walking away and letting what happens, happen.

Ultimately we (gun owners) catch enough flack from the anti's that we need to strive to be as informed and helpful and polite as we can be. That is how you win converts (the hearts and minds), being ignorant and rude only reinforces the "lone gunman" FUD that the anti's have about us as a whole.

I realize that this is really, really long, but I do not think that it is something to be decided on lightly.

Are you an attorney? If not you shouldn't be dispensing legal advice. If you are, then PREACH!

Cokebottle
11-30-2009, 12:07 PM
Are you an attorney? If not you shouldn't be dispensing legal advice. If you are, then PREACH!
I would never construe anything posted on an internet forum... even from a known attorney... as "legal advice".

pratchett
11-30-2009, 12:17 PM
I would like to live in a place where people help each other, give and take advice with a smile, and generally behave kindly toward one another.

That place doesn't exist.

Most people are rude and mean, so they have two choices: to see themselves as awful (which is inconceivable), or to rationalize that they're the same as everyone else. In all likelihood, then, the fellow you saw wouldn't even be able to conceive that your motive was genuine concern for others. Psychologists call it cognitive dissonance; Dilbert calls it a paradigm shifting without a clutch.

I've learned to put my fingers in my ears and sing "LA LA LA LA" and you should, too. Hopefully you'll learn before you're as bitter as I am.

Dangerpin
11-30-2009, 12:26 PM
Seems like every town needs two ranges, one for people who want a social experience and one for those that want to be left the **** alone. I can see members of each camp represented here.

I see this in the interesting reactions to the "Nice gun, can I shoot it?" threads that have come up from time to time, too.

Anyway, just an observation.

And now back to the regularly scheduled thread. :)

sd1023x
11-30-2009, 12:29 PM
I would never construe anything posted on an internet forum... even from a known attorney... as "legal advice".

Was referring to the people who feel they must dispense legal advice to others at the range, isn't it what this thread is about?

Beelzy
11-30-2009, 12:31 PM
Like others have mentioned, the mini may be a RAW. I've had a few weird looks given by people that had OLL builds when I bust out my RAWs.


Oh yeah! especially when they see you insert a Sterling 40rd Mag. :D

ironpete
11-30-2009, 1:22 PM
The problem here is that firearms in general have an inherent amount of macheesemo (yes I've blended macho and cheesiness).

Everybody wants to one-up everybody else. I've got a more accurate/expensive/cool thingy than you. I'm a hep-(calgun)-cat and know about the flowchart...do you know about the flowchart?!? Not in the know eh?

I wouldn't personally blaze into a situation thinking I knew the score. If had already struck up a conversation I might inquire about it, I'm curious by nature. I would not however assume anything about the status of the rifle or the user.

Preaching ups the macheesemo level and detracts from whatever you were trying to say. You might even be right (in that Internet troll kind of way), but was it your point to be right or to help...be honest...no really, I mean be honest.

In the end it is about personal responsibility. Should a street racer be aware that modding/racing his car may get it confiscated? Do you enforce seatbelts if you're the driver of a vehicle? What about if you're a passenger?

If you're the helpful sort, you do what you gotta do otherwise MYOB.

-pete

stix213
11-30-2009, 1:41 PM
I wouldn't say a thing to him unless you got into a conversation about something else anyway. If you two started talking to each other, I'd ask him if the rifle was a RAW, and if it wasn't only then would I mention he is breaking the law.

If you were actually an employee of the gun range, then I might say something, but that is more of a looking out for your customers thing. Like just over a week ago I brought my Saiga in my sig pic out to the local range. I started doing a little standing up shooting out at 100 yards and an hour into it one of the range employees I had talked to a few times nicely said "Just want you to know, all those guys next to you are cops. You might not want to be showing off that rifle with that high cap mag." I pointed out that my rifle looks far more scary that it is, with my 30 rounder actually only a 10/30 in a fixed mag configuration, and is all legit. I did appreciate that he was trying to look out for his customers.

The cops were the guys with all the custom AR-15's anyway, so I knew they knew what the laws were.

akjunkie
11-30-2009, 1:48 PM
I'm one of those who has a RAW Mini14 with a factory folding stock. I get weird looks all the time at the range.

I hear ya. The "OLL Generation" seems to forget that "regular" centerfire sporting rifles were sold in California for decades before all the Bullcrap laws were put into effect.

I get couple inquiries once in awhile when I take my RAWs out to the range.

Grumpyoldretiredcop
11-30-2009, 2:00 PM
Unless you happen to work for DOJ, it's not your job to point this out. You stand a good chance of triggering a confrontation that just isn't worth it. IMHO, the best course is to mind your own business and enjoy shooting whatever you brought to the range.

Cokebottle
11-30-2009, 2:02 PM
Was referring to the people who feel they must dispense legal advice to others at the range, isn't it what this thread is about?
I view "Joe Public" with even more skepticism ;)
At least the people on the forums that we believe to be attorneys, such as the people of CGF, we have a pretty good idea that they are who/what they say they are.

bigcalidave
11-30-2009, 2:19 PM
I didn't realize that enough guys here not only didn't have a RAW but didn't even think it likely that another DID ! I'm glad I don't go to the kind of ranges you guys do. It's cool to be friendly at the range, but if someone got preachy with me, it would piss me off.

ar15barrels
11-30-2009, 2:24 PM
So I stand up just before the "cease fire" is called out and look around at what is going on. I am on lane 1 and directly in front of the rifle rack. A guy comes walking in and puts his Mini 14 in the rack with no magazine in it and the action opened. I notice that it had a pistol grip and a folding stock. I could see the open mag well and no evidence of any altercation to the mag release.

What should I have done?

Walk away.
Assume it's legal.

Just because YOU don't have a bunch of RAW's. that does not mean that other people don't.
I don't go to public ranges much because I get mauled by OLL people trying to tell me that my RAW is illegal.

badfish71
11-30-2009, 2:50 PM
^ this
Although i do go 2 public ranges and people do want to come over and check out or ask me about my stuff.. its really annoying. especially when i only have a couple of hours to shoot my stuff before i go to work. if a guy/girl has some "questionable" gear i dont care. as long as he/she doesnt point it at me im all good. im there to shoot. not check everyone else's S@#%! out. :73: