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View Full Version : Sawed Off Pistol Grip: The fixed mag of pistol grips


shopkeep
05-12-2006, 1:50 AM
Are sawed-off pistol grips _REALLY_ banned by regulations, or is this just another "opinion" of the DOJ much like their "opinion" on fixed mag kits.

I personally believe that sawed-off pistol grips are lawful. They DO NOT protrude conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, and they do not allow for a pistol style grasp (if you attempted to hold the weapon this way it would fall from your hands). You can fire a sawed-off grip weapon by holding it from the A2 stock much like the M-96.

Does anyone else agree with me? If you disagree please also comment.

klmmicro
05-12-2006, 3:54 AM
Are sawed-off pistol grips _REALLY_ banned by regulations, or is this just another "opinion" of the DOJ much like their "opinion" on fixed mag kits.

I personally believe that sawed-off pistol grips are lawful. They DO NOT protrude conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, and they do not allow for a pistol style grasp (if you attempted to hold the weapon this way it would fall from your hands). You can fire a sawed-off grip weapon by holding it from the A2 stock much like the M-96.

Does anyone else agree with me? If you disagree please also comment.

I agree with this comment Shopkeep. I cannot find any specific wording in the regulations that points to them being unlawful. It would appear that the DOJ is presenting an opinion, but there may be cause if all you do is saw the grip.

I have a sawed pistol grip that very closely replicates some of the "SRB" type parts, but it took some work to get it that way. When it was first cut, there was a "shelf" created. I suppose one could argue that the lip would allow the web between the thumb and first finger to rest in the manner of a "pistol grip". Taking some time, I ground this away and I really cannot see now where it could be viewed as anything other than a spring holder.

The DOJ may have taken a look and issued their opinion based on a grip that has the initial cut made, but no other modification.

DV8
05-12-2006, 5:55 AM
IMO, if you've got the PG cut down enough to where all it does is hold the spring in ala SRB and it no longer resembles a PG you should be good to go. At that point it would be hard to argue that its still a "PG that allows the shooters web of the hand blah blah blah"...

Thats just me though. Best bet would be to have someone send in photos of the modified "spring holder" and get an official letter from the DOJ. I'm surprised Bu-Bye hasnt done so already, or maybe he has and I just missed the thread. If he had a letter his sales would probably sky rocket.

klmmicro
05-12-2006, 6:13 AM
Thats just me though. Best bet would be to have someone send in photos of the modified "spring holder" and get an official letter from the DOJ. I'm surprised Bu-Bye hasnt done so already, or maybe he has and I just missed the thread. If he had a letter his sales would probably sky rocket.

That is a great idea. I am getting my digital camera back from the shop this afternoon and I will take a few pictures to mail. The cost of modifying is low as the time involved is about 10 minutes. Cost of initial parts is low, I bought three brand new PG's for $3.50 a peice.

I could see why the DOJ could have an issue the first one I cut. There was definately a protrusion on the back of the grip that had to be ground off. Pictures coming soon.

Shopkeep, do you have any pictures of a cut and trimmed spring holder that you have made?

10TH AMENDMENT
05-12-2006, 6:22 AM
Please read this:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=33749&page=2

The proposition that the DOJ has "banned" sawed off pistol grips is urban legend and it is thoroughly amazing that people continue to repeat this.

It wouldn't even matter if they said it was banned, that still wouldn't make it a "pistol grip"!

DV8
05-12-2006, 6:24 AM
Make sure you send clear pics of what it looks like before its attached. Just to emphasize how far off it is from a regular grip.

artherd
05-12-2006, 8:02 AM
Nobody will know untill someone sends an exampliar into DOJ for eval (and really, not even then, as DOJ can make illegal, and improper ruleings).
In my opinion, a sawed off pistol grip does not allow for a "pistol style grasp". I'll probally make one, but I have the $, time, and ****ty personality to fight it out in court if necessary. I would recommend anyone contemplating a sawed-off grip be similarily prepared.

shopkeep
05-12-2006, 11:05 AM
Nobody will know untill someone sends an exampliar into DOJ for eval (and really, not even then, as DOJ can make illegal, and improper ruleings).
In my opinion, a sawed off pistol grip does not allow for a "pistol style grasp". I'll probally make one, but I have the $, time, and ****ty personality to fight it out in court if necessary. I would recommend anyone contemplating a sawed-off grip be similarily prepared.

I've got my SRBs set aside for use if the memo is enforced. Although I figured we could annoy the hell out of the DOJ by starting a big thread with sawed-off grips because that seems to annoy them as much as fixed mags kits. Obviously the thread with pics of the fixed mag rifles got their attention :)!

Jicko
05-12-2006, 11:54 AM
I totally dig the "saw off pistol grip" idea... it is cheap, it is easy....

So.... you people think that is OK?

blacklisted
05-12-2006, 12:26 PM
I agree with 10th Amendment on this, but they DID claim they were banned (just like they claimed in this memo that fixed mag rifles with other features are currently illegal).

I think this is the source of this claim:

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/awguide.pdf

Go to page 65.

This was pre-harrott, and the "series" ban was still in full effect.

Jicko
05-12-2006, 12:51 PM
hmmm.... that Colt did have a "sawed off" pistol grip..... so now... what make a SRB(spring retaining bracket) or any other "small piece, non-grip" design OK?

:confused:

But then.... that pic is in the Cat 2 AW section... ie. before the "name" and "model" requirement is in effect....

I guess... the ONLY way to really know... is to submit pictures/item to CA-DOJ for clarification.... and state to them that a "sawed off" pistol grip DO NOT allows "pistol grasp" style holding of your rifle..... ie, there is NO pistol out there that you can stably hold with ONLY your thumb and index finger(on the trigger)....

DV8
05-12-2006, 1:25 PM
The pic of the sawed off pistol grip still shows a little lip on the back that would still allow a grip with the web of the hand below the triggers highest point. Thats probably why its no-no. Stupid yes, but we are dealing with you know who here.

If Im understanding klmiccro right, hes cut off everything on a PG so it looks like the "SRB". At that point the lip is gone. Essentially, hes made his own "SRB". If you still dont feel safe you could trim off even more till you're down to just a small tab holding in the spring. At this point, I would find it hard to find somebody you could convince that its a pistol grip.

I'll probably do the same with an extra PG I got lying around. I hope the pics get sent to the DOJ, I cant wait to see their response.

Jicko
05-12-2006, 2:18 PM
They will probably SIT on your mail for the next 6 months before giving you an answer, if ever....

And it will ask you to send the item in for investigation....

Then another 6 months went by....

And you are still sitting with nothing.....

DV8
05-12-2006, 2:33 PM
They may and they may not. The lower receiver letters didnt take that long to get responses.

I'm not going to hold my breath for them to tell me its ok or not. My rifle would have had several trips to the range by the time they respond.

shopkeep
05-12-2006, 3:16 PM
I say use a sawed off pistol grip. It conforms with state law just like our fixed magazine kits do. The fixed mag kits proved that the DOJ, despite their threats, MUST ultimately follow state law as well.

Sawed off pistol grips should be the calguns.net response to the memo if it is put into effect.

sned45
05-12-2006, 3:26 PM
didn't a dealer get in trouble for selling AR's with a sawed off grips, or was there more to it then I can remember.

shopkeep
05-12-2006, 3:30 PM
didn't a dealer get in trouble for selling AR's with a sawed off grips, or was there more to it then I can remember.

The Kasler list encompassed all the AR-15 rifles on the market back in 2000, so both sawed-off pistol grips and grip replacements became a non-issue because the recievers themselves were unlawful. The DOJ attempted to outlaw the grips as well, but ultimately the Kasler list prevented various ingenious garage gunsmiths from beating the ban years ago.

Now that we've outsmarted them again, there's no doubt at some time in the near future a ban will be inevitable. Of course then again, maybe courts will eventually get sick of this always being in court because yet another wave of "Assault Weapons" flooded the state and they'll just say SB-23 is too vague.

vonsmith
05-12-2006, 3:51 PM
Are sawed-off pistol grips _REALLY_ banned by regulations, or is this just another "opinion" of the DOJ much like their "opinion" on fixed mag kits.

I personally believe that sawed-off pistol grips are lawful. They DO NOT protrude conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, and they do not allow for a pistol style grasp (if you attempted to hold the weapon this way it would fall from your hands). You can fire a sawed-off grip weapon by holding it from the A2 stock much like the M-96.

Does anyone else agree with me? If you disagree please also comment.

I agree. First of all I think the DOJ's definition of what consitutes a "grip" is bogus. How can you call something a grip if you can't even get one finger to wrap around it?

Here's one idea before I explain why I agree with shopkeep. We could think outside the box (I like to say that.). Instead of trying to force the web of the hand higher to be above the arbitrarily assigned "imaginary line", move the "imaginary line" down. Modify the trigger group so that the top exposed part of the trigger is lower. In other words add a glue-on shroud on each side of the lower that covers the top 1/4" or so of the trigger. And then add one of the non-grip designs that has been discussed here. The trigger would still have the same pivot point and all internals. Do you really need that top 1/4"? It's just an idea.

978.20 (e) Pistol Grip that Protrudes Conspicuously Beneath the Action of the Weapon

This term was originally defined as "any component that allows for the grasp, control, and fire of the firearm where the portion grasped is located beneath an imaginary line drawn parallel to the barrel that runs through the top of the exposed trigger" and noticed during the initial comment period (December 31, 1999 through February 28, 2000). This definition was subject to broad interpretation primarily due to the wording "any component." The definition was accordingly initially revised by replacing "any component" with "a grip that allows for a pistol style grasp." The Department believes that the concept of a "pistol style grasp" is generally understood by persons affected by the regulations. This revision: "pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon means a grip that allows for a pistol style grasp below the top of the exposed trigger" was noticed to the public during the first 15-day notice period (May 10 through May 30, 2000). Subsequent comments resulted in additional modifications. To further clarify the criteria that establishes a "pistol style grasp" and its relationship to a grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, the condition "in which the web of the trigger hand (between the thumb and index finger) can be placed below the top of the exposed portion of the trigger while firing" was added to the definition. The revision also reflects a change from "top of the exposed trigger" to "top of the exposed portion of the trigger" because as one contributor pointed out, the former would mean the upper portion of a trigger, a part of which is exposed, with the balance hidden from view in the receiver of the firearm. The final revised definition: "Pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon means a grip that allows for a pistol style grasp in which the web of the trigger hand (between the thumb and index finger) can be placed below the top of the exposed portion of the trigger while firing" was noticed during the second 15-day comment period (July 12 through July 31, 2000). Although additional comments were received, no comments were received during the second 15-day comment period that warranted additional revisions to the definition.

We should challenge the DOJ's definition of a pistol grip. In reading the above definition it seems to me that the underlined section would be properly interpreted as meaning a pistol type grasp WHICH ALSO PLACES the web of the trigger hand below the "imaginary line". It seems to me that to be a "pistol grip" it has to have both a pistol type grasp (at least one finger can wrap around the "grip" portion) AND in doing so the web of the trigger hand is below the top of the exposed portion of the trigger while firing. I don't see anything that infers that "a pistol type grasp" OR "the web of the trigger hand can be placed below the top of the exposed portion of the trigger while firing" is non-compliant. I read it as both conditions must exist to be non-compliant. This would mean most of the non-pistol grip ideas presented in this forum would be legal.

I'm not an English major. However English is my first language, I have written many technical documents, and I've had plenty of school to back it up. So what am I overlooking? The DOJ's interpretation of their own definition is so irrational I think it's indefensible.

Any lawyers on forum? Tell me why it isn't so.


=vonsmith=

gidddy169
05-12-2006, 3:58 PM
I use a sawed of pgrip on my HAR25 and I believe it is legal. Maybe a grey area but oh well. Although I havn't gotten any mags working reliably yet in it.

10TH AMENDMENT
05-12-2006, 4:48 PM
I agree with 10th Amendment on this, but they DID claim they were banned (just like they claimed in this memo that fixed mag rifles with other features are currently illegal).

I think this is the source of this claim:

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/awguide.pdf

Go to page 65.

This was pre-harrott, and the "series" ban was still in full effect.

Blacklisted:

They only were communicating through this guide that the Kasler decision swept all AR/AK "series" weapons into the Roberti-Roos "series" ban, and therefore could not be exempt from registration under SB23 by removing ANY of the offending SB23 characteristics.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/solascriptura1984/CCF05122006_00005.jpg

This is further supported by the fact that the DOJ included an illustration of an AR "series" rifle with the grip portion of the pistol grip cut off (with an illustration of a pistol grip next to where it would have been attached) in order to inform law enforement that these "series" weapons were illegal if not registered even if they were SB23 compliant.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c142/solascriptura1984/CCF05132006_00010.jpg

The DOJ's general position on what constitutes a pistol grip is that any device attached to the weapon qualifies as a "conspicuously protruding grip" if, and only if it allows for a "pistol style grasp" that places the web of the hand below the top of the exposed trigger.

This illustration of an AR "series" weapon with a cut off grip is now null and void for all "off list" AR/AK weapons.

xenophobe
05-12-2006, 5:12 PM
There was a dealer that was selling HK911's, G3's, SP89's and various FALs and other rifles with detachable mags that had their pistol grips sawed off. They did stop selling these due to DOJ intervention. I don't remember what their name was, but I do know they're no longer in business...

Anyone who used to go to the shows in 2001/2002 remember who these guys were?

Jicko
05-12-2006, 5:20 PM
1) take a pistol grip

2) take a saw

3) saw!

4) a non-pistol-grip is born!! just a spring-retention-er (aka. poor man's SRB.... the official one feels much nicer...)

http://images17.fotki.com/v308/photos/2/26966/3318337/IMG_4986-vi.jpg

http://images1.fotki.com/v314/photos/2/26966/3318337/IMG_4989-vi.jpg

http://images16.fotki.com/v300/photos/2/26966/3318337/IMG_4994-vi.jpg

http://images14.fotki.com/v256/photos/2/26966/3318337/IMG_4996-vi.jpg

Jicko
05-12-2006, 5:22 PM
This should be OK?

http://images1.fotki.com/v310/photos/2/26966/3318337/IMG_4998-vi.jpg

http://images17.fotki.com/v309/photos/2/26966/3318337/IMG_4999-vi.jpg

If the back lip is still NOT ok, then, one can saw off another half an inch of the back of the "non-pistol-grip", then the actually lower receiver will be exposed.

I guess... all this piece of plastic need to do is to hold the "safety detent spring"....

shopkeep
05-12-2006, 5:28 PM
The DOJ must have a heart attack when they read these boards and see posts like this LOL!

10TH AMENDMENT
05-12-2006, 5:29 PM
JickoRicko:

According to the DOJ, that little piece of plastic you just created is by no means whatsoever a conspicuously protruding pistol grip that allows for a "pistol style grasp" when attached to your rifle. PERIOD!!!

If you actually remove that little piece of plastic from the rifle, you will be able to hold your hand with your fingers positioned precisely the same way that you are with the little piece of plastic attached.

The attorneys that work for the DOJ are not imbiciles. They are not going to waste their time in front of a judge or jury trying to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that that little piece of plastic constitutes a "conspicuously protruding pistol grip" that allows for a "pistol style grasp".

Jicko
05-12-2006, 5:32 PM
CA DOJ should just do their job.... list them, open up a registration period..... then.... keep updating the list once a year.... and allow more registrations....

Then they know where every AWs are in the state of CA.... (they can even ask for $100 per rifle for registration....make some $$ out of all these non-sense.... to fund more investigations into the REAL "illegal" activities)

And they can bust some of those who refused to "register" them.... as they have the DROS sheets to go back to...

*problems solved*....

(no more definition of "detachable magazine", no more definition of "pistol-grip".....)

gidddy169
05-12-2006, 5:46 PM
$100 per rifle I wont be registering screw them once again I would rather move them out of state.

Jicko
05-12-2006, 5:53 PM
$100 per rifle I wont be registering screw them once again I would rather move them out of state.

See, then they just removed 1 or more weapons voluntarily!!

Just like everything else.... it COST to live in the state of CA (*sigh*) .... just put on a ridiculous amount for registrating each rifle.... that itself will suddenly reduce many many AWs....

For those who have the money to pay for the cost of living in CA (and of owning a black rifle)... they probably have other higher stakes in their life that they won't be doing anything stupid with their weapons....

For the poor ones like me... I'll just limit myself to 1 or 2 of these.... rather than 15....

:rolleyes:

DV8
05-12-2006, 6:16 PM
Getting back on topic...

Thats what I did to my PG Jicko, but I went one step further and removed the left side of the grip (the one that doesnt hold the spring in). Voila, homemade SRB!

Doesnt look great but at least I get to swap mags now. I can still slap a real PG on when I travel to free states...

Jicko
05-12-2006, 6:18 PM
Getting back on topic...

Thats what I did to my PG Jicko, but I went one step further and removed the left side of the grip (the one that doesnt hold the spring in). Voila, homemade SRB!

Doesnt look great but at least I get to swap mags now. I can still slap a real PG on when I travel to free states...


Pics please.....

shopkeep
05-12-2006, 7:57 PM
Heck I can't seem to get either of my flash hiders off so I can get the brake on!

artherd
05-12-2006, 8:32 PM
There will need to be a standard of some point. A demarcation point at which the PG can be cut and still not "allow for a pistol style grasp."

DOJ really ought to do it's job and approve a design, with CAD plans, and let us go about our law-abiding ways.

They'll probally instead say it's a PG and you'll have to either disobey 'em (and they can be wrong) and/or force them to acknowledge it's legit through letter after letter. (the same way the entire OLL concept was born. DOJ initally told me they were illegal, and I coaxed a correct opinion out through respectful but persistant and ever refined prodding. Only took 2 years.)