AWB compliant AR's


July 11, 2014, 11:20 AM
I see a lot of CA, NY, and CT owners having to alter or otherwise emasculate their AR's by a pick and choose list of what you can and can't have in combination on these guns. The legal reasoning is that these are assault rifles because they load themselves and are ready again with the pull of a trigger. So, the legislatures have carved out how they look in a restrictive view.

My take is to accept the entirely unwanted issue of making them manual action. Sidestep all their finagling, remove the gas tube, and it doesn't load itself. You have to charge it every round same as any other manual action. And that means if it doesn't meet the singular issue of being a repeater, it therefore is nothing more than a different kind of straight pull manual rifle.

If it's manual action, then the provisions of what constitutes it being an assault rifle is completely sidestepped. You can have magazines, adjustable stocks, muzzle devices, whatever. It's not an assault rifle, therefore the laws don't apply. At least what I read it becomes a moot point and the gun is legal to OC in Chipotles according to whatever local law allows. :evil:

Point being, what does your state interpret and what say you? Me, I say they can choke on the looks, they made that the issue up front. Second, it justifies all the combat charging handles and side charger uppers, it's now very justified.

And best of all, it really doesn't do all that much to ruin it. Take it out of state, reinstall the tube, and use it the way it was meant to be. Just don't forget to make it manual before you bring it back. That alone puts the whole issue back in their face - we got around them again. It's a simple way to express Civil Disobedience.

Don't forget to include your state's special provisions, but remember, they are about it being a self loader, or it's no different than a Swiss Schmidt Rubin. Unless those are illegal, too.

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July 11, 2014, 11:22 AM
Interesting take on things.

July 11, 2014, 11:26 AM
Are you suggesting this as a form of activism, suggesting it as an idea to have an AWB state compliant rifle, or just wanting to more broadly discuss AWB compliant rifles?

July 11, 2014, 11:31 AM
First of all it may not qualify if you can put the tube back on. I don't know NY law on this but you have to weld the hole shut in the barrel or some nonsense.

California is very "tools oriented". All you need is to make the magazine change require a tool. So they bury the mag release inside a housing so you have to use a tool to remove the magazine. It's silly but I think were I in a state that required the tool bit I would go that route. I think if you do go that route, you can have all else the same.

In other words, one of the other definitions these states use for "assault weapons" is a removable magazine. If force to comply (which thankfully today I am not) I think I would go the removable magazine route on my compromise rather than turning my semi-auto into a straight-pull bolt action.

Although somebody, somewhere made a pump-action AK-47!!! Took out the gas tube and replaced it somehow with a reciprocating fore end.

July 11, 2014, 11:34 AM
Rather than see it moved, I would concentrate on the issue of how acceptable it would be among AWB compliant owners.

And I do see those other issues. To me the focus is on why so many found the law acceptable and worked with it, when they could visually "diss" the law by the simple expedient of keeping all the features and eliminating the gas action.

Surveying AWB owners is more the point. Would they like to keep the features and trade off the action? It does seem to sidestep all the monkey motions and forces the issue right back into the opponents camp as another failure.

Still, I do see that as activism. Maybe we can watch this space and if it veers into the other arenas, that could decide it. Mass populism at work.

It's ultimately your call.

This actually started as a response on some other site to a request for a hunting rifle that was compliant to CT law, and the more everyone worked around it, the more it became apparent that if a manual action was being imposed, ok. Go there, legislators, and you then have to live with the unintended consequences of the law you wrote. None of the AWB provisions apply if it doesn't load itself, by the very definition in the law.

Got to ask the traditionalists, at that point, what objections would they have? It would meet their singular concept of how a hunting rifle should work. So, the oft repeated objections to the AR are immediately eliminated. Why, gee, even Jim Zumbo should be able to get behind it now. They could have their cake, and eat it, too. A 45 year old service rifle almost a Curio which has a long established and successful history which many actually used in the service. That is where the big majority coming up over fifty are at now.

It would also go to how the CMP could sell the existing AR's, but we probably agree that won't ever happen.

I'm not a big fan of Open Carry but I could get behind it in CA, NY, and CT if there were volunteers ((ie martyrs) willing to do it.

Don't see how we can untangle the politics from the gun, it's the main point I believe many buy it. Because somebody in authority says they shouldn't.

July 11, 2014, 11:47 AM
Interesting Idea. I don't know if that'd hold up in court though, should you run afoul of the law, unless as others had mentioned, you permenantly eliminate the gas system. Plus you'd make the AR a much more cumbersome rifle to operate. Lever rifles, or pump rifles are purposed designed to be manual actions, and would be much quicker to recharge than said modified AR. So it'd be more PRACTICAL to just get one of those. Here in NJ evilness:rolleyes:, is determined by certain features including, protruding pistol grip, bayo lug, collapsible stock etc. I think your manual AR could still be considered an "assault rifle" by NJ's standard.

July 11, 2014, 12:00 PM
HoosierQ is right on from what I've seen. NYS law says you have to make a permanent modification to keep it from ever being converted back into an AW, while CA says it's not an AW if it requires tools to change the configuration. I'm not sure about other states.

As for the rest of the inquiry, the Anti's really want to ban all semi-auto firearms. To them semi-auto might as well be full auto. The thing they next hate the most is any detachable box magazine, and those are particularly bad if they hold more than ten rounds. Their end goal is incrementally banning all firearms though. They know in this country that their easiest goals are to start with detachable mags and cosmetic features on semi autos. From there they'll follow the example of Australia and ban pump actions as "Riot Guns". They'll also follow the UK and try to get silly minimum bbl and overall length requirements on handguns to prevent them from being concealed. They know that's going to be difficult here, but they're in it for the long term. Likewise we have remain ever vigilant because they play dirty.

July 11, 2014, 12:14 PM
And I do see those other issues. To me the focus is on why so many found the law acceptable and worked with it, when they could visually "diss" the law by the simple expedient of keeping all the features and eliminating the gas action.

I guess I don't see value in this at all.

The MOST important thing about ARs or AKs isn't that they have a cool flash hider, or that their mags are easily replaced, or that their stocks fold. The single most compelling factor for practical users is that the rifle self-loads so you can make follow-up shots and target transitions without disturbing your grip on the rifle or your aim/stance.

Yeah, we could (if the laws allowed) make them manual repeaters and they'd still be pretty nice guns, but they would have lost the factor that is most significant for 90% of users.

Now, for varmint shooters and maybe some long range precision shooters, your solution would work ok and they might adopt it. But they'd probably be just as happy (no, more happy) with a fixed 5-shot magazine than having to manually cycle the bolt every single time.

Especially on a rifle that really isn't terribly convenient to cycle by hand.

If I've got to cycle it by hand, make it a turn-bolt, lever, or pump. Then at least I don't have to completely alter my stance for every shot.

Aside from catering to the "it really is the LOOKS that are important" crowd, I don't catch your point.

July 11, 2014, 12:20 PM
So you are suggesting this

July 11, 2014, 11:53 PM
I had no idea this was coming:

Which addresses a lot of what is under consideration.

Manually operated rifles are not “banned” or “controlled” in most states, allowing you to have detachable magazines and other “naughty” bits.
You can create a ridiculously quite subsonic build.
Hunt with an “AR” in states that ban semi-autos.
Have a familiar stroke for manual 3-gun divisions.

So Troy and Bentwood are actually making what I proposed, which is a lot of money on the table expecting a return. Demand is already there, apparently.

I'm not suggesting it for all of us, it just seems to fit better in those states that can't prevent it's use. And looks ARE a lot of what AR's are selling. First, the phrase Evil Black Rifle is bandied about as a positive on a lot of forums, and secondly, the point of a lot of the parts sold is that they are far from looking plain jane GI. They are deliberately styled in the AR version of Sophia Vergara.

Why else install a pronged flash hider with multiple sharp points? About the only relevant use would be on a gun purposed for riot duty in a prison. What an AR looks like is very much why they are sold, and it would seem that concept is exactly what is being sold with pump actions. "You can have the naughty bits."

While I wouldn't expect many outside of AWB states to indulge in a pump AR, the simple fact it can be done so easily and sidestep a lot of the law in AWB states certainly exploits exactly what is flawed in those laws. They focused on combinations of parts with self loading action, and that stakes their position to it and it alone. Eliminate self loading and the options are all there to pick and choose from, with very little lost in actual function of the gun.

As for the politics it quickly forces the anti gunners hands and that makes them look either weak or use up favors they can't afford to waste.

July 12, 2014, 12:15 AM
I see a pump action solution as a viable alternative.


A specially built lower, one that is designed to function with any standard upper, but that has a substantially reinforced bolt hold open designed to engage after every shot (most feasibly with a mechanical lever that the rearward traveling bolt carrier contacts). From there, a small cable connected to a secondary button or trigger (mounted somewhere on the hand guard or with a vertical forward grip) that allows the weak hand to operate the bolt release without having to change it's position at all. The remote bolt release button/trigger would, by some simple means, disengage the bolt release after each application, requiring the button/secondary trigger to be released before it would operate the bolt release again. So what you have is a rifle that cocks itself after each shot, but still requires manual action to chamber the next cartridge. That would not be classified as an autoloader under any existing law I'm aware of.

July 12, 2014, 07:04 AM
You mean like this?


I gather it wasn't quite neutered enough for the Brits, but maybe CA and others might like it.

July 12, 2014, 09:06 AM
If it's manual action, then the provisions of what constitutes it being an assault rifle is completely sidestepped.

That is not universally true. The Remington 7615 (or copies or duplicates thereof), a pump action rifle, is illegal in Connecticut.

See Sec. 25. Section 53-202a for the definition of an assault weapon (, where it is banned by name.

Additionally, parts from which an assault weapon can be assembled are also illegal if they are under control or possessed by the same person.

July 12, 2014, 09:56 AM
Agreed, states specifically call out certain models. But that means it's specific, not a blanket inclusion, which created the unintended consequence of excluding a type of firearm that didn't exist at the time legislation was written.

They never saw pump AR's as a possibility, they were focused on "EBR's" and what their poorly informed concept of them included. That is why laws like that are bad law.

This year the MSR/ARES rifle that accepts any AR upper is in production (supposedly,) another way to sidestep the combination portion of anti AR law. While some might find a pump AR to be a horrible concept, I view the ARES in the same light. What we appreciate, or not, tho, doesn't make a hill of beans difference to those living in AWB states. Some outfit their AR's with those ugly stocks attached to the former pistol grip location, install semi permanent magazines, even consider opening up the upper to take stripper clips. :eek: They do what they think they have to do.

It's all part of having to live with things until common sense comes back into style. If you are stuck in a state and can't move out, then at least some can own a legal AR that also visually pokes at the lawmakers intent and remains an Evil Black Rifle in appearance.

At one time lawmakers "outlawed" switchblades, eventually Spyderco came up with the hole in the blade, and later Assisted opening with a spring was devised. Both defeat the intent of the law quite well and are popular. I see pump AR's as doing the same exact thing in AWB states. The only drawback will be Case #1, the guy who suffers overzealous prosecution by the uninformed who attempt to act out their role as Gun Nazi. And it will likely be some officious zealot at a range who does it.

July 12, 2014, 10:18 AM
You mean like this?

Something like that, yeah, only what popped into my head was a design that doesn't require any action of the part of the firing hand.

Also, hard to tell from that short video, but it didn't look like they had a disconnector for that; if you held the lever down, it would be semi auto.

July 12, 2014, 10:40 AM
Honestly, (as mentioned before) I believe it's the semi auto (and magazine feeding) bit that gives 'them' the 'heebee jeebees'. Legally working around the laws while retaining the semi auto (and magazine feeding) is the best way to go IMO.

July 12, 2014, 05:55 PM
In regards to CA...

CA regulations define a detachable magazine as a magazine that can be removed without disassembling the action or using a tool, which can be a bullet or cartridge. [11 CCR 5469(a)]

This caused the creation of the "bullet button" magazine lock in 2006. Which is a device/blocking mechanism that prevents the firearm's magazine release being accessible and locks a magazine in place, but has an access point that can be utilized with a tip of a .223 bullet to release the magazine. Therefore, a "bullet button" maglock and a 10 round magazine meets the requirement of a fixed 10 round magazine.

In 2011, CA DOJ testified in Court [Haynie v Pleaston] that when a "bullet button" style maglock is properly used, it creates a fixed magazine firearm and not an assault weapon. After this, major manufacturers (Armalite, Colt, Bushmaster, S&W, LWRC, etc) started making "bullet button" maglock firearms just for the CA market.

With the rise in popularity of "bullet button" style maglocks, using other methods of compliance feel to the wayside in CA. However, those methods/compliance devices have been resurrected for use in other States that now have worse gun laws than CA.

That said, the BATFE and other States (NY, NJ, CT, MD, HI) hold the view point that "bullet button" style maglocks are not legal compliance devices and the use of such does not create a fixed magazine firearm.

July 12, 2014, 09:14 PM
When you alter your semi-automatic rifle to a single shot the anti's have won.

If I want a single shot rifle I want one purpose design for that use.

July 13, 2014, 12:27 AM
When you alter your semi-automatic rifle to a single shot the anti's have won.

If I want a single shot rifle I want one purpose design for that use.

In case you hadn't noticed, they are winning in some states. We even took a blow here, though their "assault weapon" nonsense never even made it out of the 100% democrat committee.

More importantly, AR's like what I envisioned/described and what it turns out have (at some level) already been developed are not single shots; they're the fastest manual repeaters short of semi-auto. I've seen some guys who are pretty quick with a pump or lever gun, but they wouldn't be able to run with someone who need only move a finger to release a bolt.

July 13, 2014, 09:36 AM
When you alter your semi-automatic rifle to a single shot the anti's have won.

When they "outlawed" switch blades the trade still went on, and smart engineering got around it to the point that many states now have revised their laws.

If AR's still looked like AR's in CA, NY, and CT with no external modifications, the public would look at them (with the same uninformed view) and the conclusion is that the AWB didn't really do anything about it anyway.

It discredits the Anti's when the guns don't look any different. What gives them the win is when owners have to jump thru all sorts of hoops with modifications.

Any one of us might not like a manual pump action - sure. Since none of us even own one, there's our vote. But to others who calculate what they want out of the firearm, things can and will be different. If they are a one shot at a time kind of shooter, cycling the action each time doesn't phase them. That is a large number in America, MOST of the shooters hunting or bench resting rifles did do that just 25 years ago. Self loaders were considered out of the norm. Now it's much accepted - in the younger ages of shooters.

Goes to the feature you get to pick from. If the list is made up like this, then people get to see ALL their options:

Hand cycled action >>> you can keep pistol grips, detachable mags, flash hiders, bayonet lugs, etc.

Self loading action >>> only two of the above, the rest prohibited.

We focus on the self loading aspect of the AR a lot, yes. But the AR is also a magazine fed rifle with adjustable stock, pistol grip, capable of accepting a muzzle device, with a military heritage.

Preserving all the latter in the face of the law defeats the anti's. They hate all guns anyway, pumps and some others are already banned. Forcing them to include them across the board because the AR can be hand cycled just shows their hand and makes them even more extreme. It burns up their political capital and sets them out as a fringe group.

And, as I have suggested, it makes the AR completely comparable to the other manual action rifles, where all the advantages of the AR become the focus. I'd pick a magazine fed pump against a bolt gun for speed every day. There is a continuum across the range of firearms and each step is incremental, not slam dunk overwhelmingly dominant. Pumps aren't single shots - and AR's aren't full auto.

Full auto MG - self loading repeater - hand cycled repeater - brass cartridge single shot - muzzle loader.

Again, agreed, gun banners want to see them all gone, but where they focus and concentrate on cosmetic issues, they lose when the gun keeps all the features but is hand cycled. The public can't see the antis won if all the rifles still have magazines and flash hiders and stock things that go up. Legal is all they see.

If I lived in any of the AWB states I would definitely have a pump rather than a altered and defeated bullet button AR with alien grip mounted stock. I would be trading one kind of feature for all the rest, and my gun wouldn't look like a discard from a sci fi movie set.

July 14, 2014, 08:15 PM
The pum action Troy is a great option in these states as it is still very practical and looks 100% like a normal AR. So it would both be functional and serve as a visual illustration of how silly the AWB laws are. Could make a difference, don't see how it could hurt. Outlawing pump actions ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

July 14, 2014, 08:51 PM
HoosierQ is right on from what I've seen. NYS law says you have to make a permanent modification to keep it from ever being converted back into an AW, while CA says it's not an AW if it requires tools to change the configuration. I'm not sure about other states.

NY state for the rifle AW definition allows zero "features" on a semi automatic. Semi automatic has a definition that you would expect, but the extent that a gun that is semi today needs to be changed to be non-semi is undefined in the law. Also, the magazine needs to be "detachable". What "detachable" means is undefined at this point also, it will be up to the NY court system to decide. Unlike federal law and presumably a state like CA, NY did not give statutory authority to any state agency (including the NY state police) to make any technical judgments or further define terms.

With respect to changes to guns, the penal laws in question in NY do not mention the word "permanently". Until a few people are prosecuted we will not have case history to guide us, which suits the politicians and prosecutors just fine. Oddly enough, that may actually take some time - a few places in NY state have effectively purged nearly all legal guns, but in most of the state elected sheriffs and prosecutors are unlikely to want to touch any of the new gun laws at all. In the counties that include NYC and the metro area, or small sections of 4 upstate cities guns are already tightly controlled or were banned years ago. In the rest of the state, most people are ambivalent at worst or strong 2A supporters at best.

July 15, 2014, 03:38 AM
Seems like you could just make a neutered/altered BCG that would not cycle the action and make the weapon a straight-pull bolt gun and was just a drop in substitution for a real BCG. Don't know if that would meet the various AWB states' definitions of acceptable, but as long as you don't have a real BCG installed it's no more a "semi auto assault weapon" than an AR without .mil M16/M4 fire control parts is a machine gun. Would be nice for AR shoppers and builders -- the only extra expense would the alternate BCG and you could drop that into any pattern AR upper you wanted, use standard bolts, etc.

July 15, 2014, 08:12 AM
Guys, you're playing into the propaganda. AR DOES NOT STAND FOR ASSAULT RIFLE, IT STANDS FOR ARMALITE, THE ORIGINAL COMPANY. The anti's even have us saying assault rifle. Someone show me where in the constitution, specifically the second amendment, it talks about hunting?!

Remember to vote this November, and vote the b$@!#ts out. I've been on this earth for many years and I have never in my life seen so much discord in our country, not even in the 60's. Unless we get active politically and vote them out, in 10 years our past way of life will be just that, our past way of life.

The rifle is only a tool, like my hammer is. If I lay my hammer next to a stack of wood and nails, it doesn't pound them in by itself. My rifle doesn't shoot by itself either. Stop buying into the propaganda. We already have enough laws on the books, what we need is to enforce them, not make a "more compliant" rifle!

July 15, 2014, 09:43 AM
No argument about the definition of AR. But when talking guns in an AWB perspective, it's the whole point.

An "assault rifle" by definition is full auto. So says the gummint, but the anti gunners have not paid any attention to the legal definition. They key on the external features of the rifle that actually have little or nothing to do with it's ability to shoot rounds rapidly. Folding stocks, pistol grips, and bayonet lugs don't effectively increase the rate of fire at all, and therefore shouldn't have been involved whatsoever. But, that works as much to our advantage, too.

Lawmakers frequently attempt to restrict things by feature, or force inclusion of them in order to achieve a goal. If fenders and bumper are too easily dented, by golly, force the makers to have 5mph resistant ones that won't get dented. The flaw in doing that is the bumper costs $1,000 when it gets hit in a 10mph oopsie.

Same for emissions - the goal is less, right? How it's done shouldn't be limited to whatever the original maker decided was his cheapest way out based on mass production of millions of cars. The unintended consequence is that a precision built engine done right doesn't have horrible emissions - it just costs a bit more than the overall cost of doing it their way with the stuff they tacked on cheaply. We have to comply, so we are stuck adding on what they did even if it doesn't contribute whatsoever.

Same for guns. No dispute the AWB provisions are egregiously stupid. It's knee jerk reactionism to making laws that force visual compliance - across the board, semi autos and most pumps weren't even touched. It's a game of forcing the latest military weapon from being owned by the people - which is exactly how some of us determine our rights, that WE are the militia and are REQUIRED to own one. At least in one sense of it.

In the battlefield of politics, continuing to own a rifle that still looks exactly like what the troops carry is a great way of snubbing our noses.

On a one way range or in competition, maybe, not so much. But it would be entertaining to go to a 3 Gun match in an AWB state with a pump AR - at least where detachable mags are allowed. There may be a time element that is given up with a pump, with detachable mags it's not a complete loss.

Not to forget in the shotgunner portion you learn to load in advance, which brings up the next innovation - stripper clip loading ports on a non detachable magazine. If the AWB provisions say you have to leave the mag on, then figure out a way to load it. If stripper clips aren't illegal, then is it written you can't load them from the top or bottom? I haven't read that so far.

Complicated, maybe, but we are talking about getting around the provisions of the law with some other mechanical arrangement. If SIG can get a "wrist brace" attached to a pistol, it's a win for us. The buyers who would have previously considered building an SBR and paying the $200 fee and waiting are now seriously considering just building a pistol with non - stock accepting buffer tube and a "wrist brace." Saves them $200 and you effectively get the same result, right? So, if the mag can't be detachable, it doesn't mean it can't be more easily reloadable.

Here's a conversation from Feb 2014 detailing one way to speed load a NY AWB AR15:

July 15, 2014, 10:04 AM
This whole thread is interesting to a non-AR guy. Outsiders viewpoint: Why squabble and modify, spend more money on making a AR work as best as your allowed? Just because its an AR? If your limited because of the state, you lost. Change firearm systems. If round to round speed is an issue I would look at an alternate system. Pump action has already been mentioned. Added bonus IMO is more powerful rounds. Maybe because Im a hunter first, I would rather go BAR(Not the WW2) or a pump action or even a lever gun with a long ammo tube.

July 23, 2014, 03:52 PM
NY State for the rifle AW definition allows zero "features" on a semi automatic.
When this thread went up I was going to post the Troy pump someone already did but since you mention NY here you go, check out the Windham Weaponry SRC-THD (

July 23, 2014, 04:04 PM
I am not in a prohibited state but I'm starting to warm up to the idea of a pump action AR as a suppressed 300 blackout platform. It's hard to quiet a gas powered rifle but a plugged gas port and a locked bolt would be great for creating subsonic loads without having to worry if they will cycle the action. You could have a pumper that's as quiet as a bolt gun.

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