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View Full Version : Legalities of side folding buffer tube on AR pistols?


Dump1567
11-06-2013, 11:26 AM
I see Brownells sells a side folding kit for AR rifles. I can't think of any reason why this would not be legal in CA on an AR pistol to make the buffer tube fold to the side. The tube isn't a stock and there's no OAL issues with a pistol. Although this won't fire with the tube folded, I think it has benefits for discreet transport.

Anything I'm missing in relations to CA of Fed law on this?
Thanks.

http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/stock-forend-parts/rifle-stocks/ar-15-m16-gen-2-folding-stock-adaptor-prod55490.aspx
http://www.brownells.com/userdocs/products/p_100011515_8.jpg

ke6guj
11-06-2013, 11:30 AM
I see no legal issues with that.

stix213
11-06-2013, 11:45 AM
Only legal issue I can think of is if you're like me running a longer than 26" overall length pistol where you can then run a forward vertical grip (beyond 26" OAL the feds don't actually classify the firearm as a pistol anymore), this could shorten it below 26" and be a possible violation. But this doesn't apply to the vast majority of AR pistols.

Eljay
11-06-2013, 5:13 PM
That's clever. I can't think of any reason why it would be illegal offhand in a normal AR pistol. But... AR pistols are still not going to fit into all that small of a space given the big pistol grip - which also sticks back behind the receiver more than you might think. So before going there I'd probably go with a minimum length barrel in a caliber that can really make use of it (300 BLK being the obvious candidate). And only then worry about the rear and try to address both the buffer tube and the pistol grip.

sharxbyte
11-06-2013, 5:41 PM
I was thinking of doing this when I build a pistol. Great minds and all that ;)

peterabbits
11-06-2013, 7:30 PM
I have one on mine and love it. I no longer have to remove the upper from the lower to fit it into the bag I use for it. I believe that Wes from 10% firearms also has one on his AR pistol that is listed on his LTC for the same reason.

BRANCHER
11-06-2013, 8:42 PM
Can the gun fire with the buffer tube folded? If not I was thinking it is like the KelTec SU16 and thus 30" does not matter.
Any input?
Thanks!

Eljay
11-06-2013, 8:50 PM
It's apparently not a good idea in terms of wear, but it will fire a round in the chamber if you pull the trigger with the tube folded.

SC_SD
11-06-2013, 11:06 PM
Anything I'm missing in relations to CA of Fed law on this?
Thanks.


No, 100% legal on a pistol.

Can the gun fire with the buffer tube folded? If not I was thinking it is like the KelTec SU16 and thus 30" does not matter.
Any input?
Thanks!

It will fire the chambered round but the force of the recoil will break a small retaining detent.

Source (http://youtu.be/_3rab8d5fHU?t=18m37s).

Also, worth noting it does not "click" shut, the only thing preventing the fold from flopping around is tension on a screw. You have to tighten the screw tight enough that the fold will stay shut, but not so tight that you can't actuate the motion. That's not too big of a deal.

Two flaws:

1.) field stripping is impacted due to the piece that goes into the BCG.
2.) the joint can affect charging, depending on how you use the charging handle. You may catch your fingers on the joint.

Otherwise, is definitely a tacticool accessory.

RP1911
11-07-2013, 7:13 AM
No, 100% legal on a pistol.



It will fire the chambered round but the force of the recoil will break a small retaining detent.

Source (http://youtu.be/_3rab8d5fHU?t=18m37s).

Also, worth noting it does not "click" shut, the only thing preventing the fold from flopping around is tension on a screw. You have to tighten the screw tight enough that the fold will stay shut, but not so tight that you can't actuate the motion. That's not too big of a deal.

Two flaws:

1.) field stripping is impacted due to the piece that goes into the BCG.
2.) the joint can affect charging, depending on how you use the charging handle. You may catch your fingers on the joint.

Otherwise, is definitely a tacticool accessory.

Maybe it can be modified with a quick release system rather than a tension screw?

12voltguy
11-07-2013, 7:20 AM
I had one
turns out these on;y work with bolts that are drilled out on end
won't work with my 5.7x28 or 9mm solid bolts,nowhere for the parts to go.
So I sold mine.

Dump1567
11-07-2013, 7:30 AM
Thanks for all the info. Looks like you also get an extra inch added to the tube length to keep your nose off the CH if you like to shoulder the tube.

stix213
11-07-2013, 11:45 AM
Can the gun fire with the buffer tube folded? If not I was thinking it is like the KelTec SU16 and thus 30" does not matter.
Any input?
Thanks!

Yes it can fire. You're not supposed to do it, and it will just be 1 round.

SC_SD
11-07-2013, 12:20 PM
Yes it can fire. You're not supposed to do it, and it will just be 1 round.

It's more than just "you're not supposda" it will break the unit, please read my reply above.

Maybe it can be modified with a quick release system rather than a tension screw?

Anything is possible if so mechanically inclined. I'm not sure how that would be done though. Preferably, the mfg. will offer a new version that comes stock with tension and locking mechanism.

stix213
11-07-2013, 2:44 PM
It's more than just "you're not supposda" it will break the unit, please read my reply above.



Anything is possible if so mechanically inclined. I'm not sure how that would be done though. Preferably, the mfg. will offer a new version that comes stock with tension and locking mechanism.

Breaking the unit is why you're not supposed to....

2nd Mass
11-07-2013, 6:47 PM
Breaking the unit is why you're not supposed to....

:rofl:

flatbedtruckin
11-12-2013, 12:04 PM
But wouldn't it be able to fire multiple rounds,folded, with a piston upper? Pistons as I recall don't need a buffer tube to run if I'm not mistaken...

a1c
11-12-2013, 1:01 PM
But wouldn't it be able to fire multiple rounds,folded, with a piston upper? Pistons as I recall don't need a buffer tube to run if I'm not mistaken...

Hmmm... Where do you think that BCG goes when you fire a round?

flatbedtruckin
11-12-2013, 9:00 PM
Was thinking if an AK could have a folding stock and fire, a piston driven AR should in theory should be able to fire multiple rounds.. Anyone else wanna chime in..? SIG's p556 which is a piston AR pistol doesn't need a buffer tube to function and have seen some on the interweb with folding stocks (but those were sbr's)

:driving:

ke6guj
11-12-2013, 9:14 PM
Was thinking if an AK could have a folding stock and fire, a piston driven AR should in theory should be able to fire multiple rounds.. Anyone else wanna chime in..? SIG's p556 which is a piston AR pistol doesn't need a buffer tube to function and have seen some on the interweb with folding stocks (but those were sbr's)

:driving:


AKs and ARs are completely different in how they manage the recoil energy. piston vs. DI doesn't determine where the recoil spring is.

there were some ARs that had piston systems and relocated recoil springs above the bolt, that is why they can have a folding stock, but otherwise most piston ARs that you see on the market still have the the recoil spring in the buffer tube and can't be folded.

And the Sig P556 is not an AR, but is an AR-like firearm. it has the recoil spring relocated above the action.

BrokerB
11-15-2013, 12:05 PM
Yes you are way off on your mechanical works. The di and pistons only Push back the bolt and eject a round. You need a spring or energy to push the bolt back into batterywhile loading another round. A great look is an fn fal. The para models use a captured spring in the bolt carrier, while the full sized fixed stock Fals use a similar ar type spring return system that's in the stock.

saki302
11-16-2013, 6:58 AM
All piston and DI ARs still use the buffer spring to push the carrier forward.

The only exception was the ZM weapons system (later adapted by Para, but now gone), and that weird DI pistol made by Olympic in the 90s.
Some .22s can be made to work with no buffer tube as well. But notice you don't see bufferless ARs pretty much at all.

morthrane
11-16-2013, 11:47 PM
Only legal issue I can think of is if you're like me running a longer than 26" overall length pistol where you can then run a forward vertical grip (beyond 26" OAL the feds don't actually classify the firearm as a pistol anymore), this could shorten it below 26" and be a possible violation. But this doesn't apply to the vast majority of AR pistols.
Federally, OAL is measured in the full extended position... so I'm not sure how this would be a problem. But it sure seems like California Dumb A******s (DA) get really creative...

SouthCoastTargets
11-20-2013, 1:11 PM
All piston and DI ARs still use the buffer spring to push the carrier forward.

The only exception was the ZM weapons system (later adapted by Para, but now gone), and that weird DI pistol made by Olympic in the 90s.
Some .22s can be made to work with no buffer tube as well. But notice you don't see bufferless ARs pretty much at all.

WRONG: Faxon ARAK-21 upper reciever FTW, i have a folding stock on my Faxon SBR and it works great, and can be fired from the folded position

and even though he doesnt talk about it, you can see the adapter on this gun:

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