Saturday, May 27, 2023

Fifth Circuit Injunction Against ATF Pistol Brace Rule

On May 26th, 2023 the Firearms Policy Coalition posted that the Fifth Circuit clarified an Injunction Pending Appeal in the case against the ATF regarding pistol braces, Mock V. Garland.  They stated that the injunction applies to FPC members, Maxim Defense customers and the individual plaintiff's resident family members.  

The FPC has been working to fight the ATF ruling that most firearms using what was previously designated a pistol brace is actually a short barreled rifle.  That ruling would potentially make felons out of millions of owners of firearms that have been legal for years.  Since I don't typically give legal advice or opinion on this blog, I encourage readers to check out the FPC website for more information and to get involved, you can check out the article here:

Take Off Brace Sale
I actually saw this story in an e-mail from Rainier Arms before anything from FPC.  With the injunction in place, they are currently selling off a lot of the braces that were pulled off of pistols in their inventory.  

See the photo and link at right as an example, they are selling a take off SBA3 brace for $79.92 as of the date of this post.  Especially if you submitted Form 1 paperwork for your pistol it could be a good price on a slightly used pistol brace.  

I also recommend checking out the FPC and supporting businesses like Rainier Arms that are staying on top of gun rights and fighting to keep them.  Without those groups and the citizens that are writing their congressmen and staying active in the fight for the second amendment we would see the lose of even more of our rights.  Colorado recently buried an assault weapon ban due to massive public backlash, check out that article here:

And if you missed it, here is my previous post on the ATF ruling:

Saturday, April 22, 2023

2023 Colorado Assault Weapon Ban Defeated

On April 20th, 2023, Colorado gun owners were able to count a win in the gun rights arena.  A proposed assault weapon ban that had been gaining tracking was defeated during a session that went into the evening.  Thanks to messages and e-mails sent to local representatives and over 500 people showing up to the capitol to support gun rights, the assault weapons ban died in place.

With anti-gun legislation showing up across the country, it's important for gun owners to get involved in contacting their state and federal legislators.  This is another example of the power that the peaceful gun owning community can have on proposed legislation that is based on fear rather than real data.  In the article linked above, the " NRA encourages lawmakers to tackle the real issue of crime, instead of focusing on law-abiding gun owners."

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Supporting the Fight Against the ATF Rule on Pistol Braces

FRAC Files Federal Suit on pistol braces

Since posting a couple weeks ago about the ATF's pistol brace ruling, several organizations have started fighting back through legal action against the ATF.  See the photo to the left for one example from the Firearms Regulatory Accountability Coalition. 

I received an e-mail from Palmetto State Armory a few days ago that was sent out to each of their prior customers.  They have come out with a stripped AR-15 lower with a brace etched into the design.  They have stated that they will donate $10 to the FRAC for each of these lowers that sold.  As of February 17th, the lowers were in stock and $60, which isn't a bad price for a stripped lower, especially if it will help protect our 2nd Amendment rights.  You can pick up the lower here: Palmetto Brace-15 Lower

I would definitely consider finding a way to help support our rights.  Whether you use a pistol brace or not, every time we lose access to a firearm component it is a step down a slippery slope that could end in confiscation.  

Palmetto Brace-15 Lower

Friday, January 20, 2023

ATF Ruling on Braces 2023

On January 13, 2023 the DOJ submitted a final ruling on pistol braces providing a reversal on previous decision defining pistols with braces as still a pistol.  The new ruling will cause millions of pistols to be considered Short Barreled Rifles unless the firearm is modified with a longer barrel, the brace removed, or registered as a Short Barrel Rifle (SBR).

While the average gun owner has 120 days to make the modifications, or register the firearm as an SBR, there have been significant concerns that this is potential first step towards a national firearms registry.

While this blog has generally steered away from the politics of the anti second amendment agenda, it is important that gun owners are aware of this new rule change and how it may affect the firearms that in your safe.  While I do own two SBRs, it knowingly registered those to build a specific firearm.  In stark contrast, millions of gun owners have purchased firearms with pistol braces with the understanding that the ATF has recognized those guns as pistols.  

I highly suggest you stay up to date on this topic if you own braces, or even if you are just concerned with the precedent that this change will set.  Check out SilencerShop and the link below to follow their discussion of the rule change and the potential SBR registration if you choose to follow that route.

You can also take action through the Firearms Policy Coalition.  They have set up a contact page that will let you contact your local senators and representatives.  You can find their contact form here:

 Let me know what you think of the ruling the comment section below:

Sunday, August 28, 2022

SwampFox Slide Assembly

Welcome to the third post in this series.  It's time to assemble the slide and put this gun together.  Previously we finished the Lone Wolf Lower, installed the parts kit and now we will take a SwampFox slide and put it together with a Brownells Glock completion kit.  If you want to see the other posts in the series, check them out below:

This will not be a super detailed assembly post.  If you need to know the entire process, I suggest looking up a complete build as this is my first attempt at building a Glock clone.  I chose a Swampfox Wolverine slide for a couple different reasons.  I have been running a Glock 17 MOS with an RMR for several years now and wanted to stay with a red dot option.  I also wanted to try running the red dot with the iron sights in front of the optic.  The Wolverine slide was a decent price, had the sights in front of the dot and came with a set of fiber optic suppressor height sights.  And with a discount through ExpertVoice it was a really competitive price.

With Brownells Glock parts kit laid out, I started the process of putting the slide together.  Take a look at the photo below.  It shows the firing pin, spring and extractor spring pieces lined up for assembly.

Below is the installation of the firing pin safety and spring.  The spring should be facing the top of the slide, which in this photo is down on the table.

Next, while holding the firing pin safety down, the extractor can be installed and should be held in place with the firing pin safety.

Next install the parts for the extractor spring and firing pin.  See the photo previously that showed the order of the parts, also below is the black plastic spacer pictured below.

With everything aligned and installed as shown above, insert the slide plate as picture below.  You will have to press the springs in as you move the plate, but it is a pretty easy process.

Once you have those pieces installed you just have to install the sights and put in the barrel and recoil spring just like a normal field strip and re-assembly.  I forgot to take photos of the sight assembly.  Ideally you would use a sight pusher to install the rear sight properly.  The Swampfox and some other sights come with an aluminum tool that allows you to gently tap the sight into place.  In this build I used a SilencerCO threaded barrel from Brownells and replaced the plastic recoil spring that came with the parts kit for a Lone Wolf Stainless Guide Rod.  For magazines I bought a handful of the Glock GL9 Glock magazines.  Finally, the pistol is topped with a Holosun 507c X2 to take advantage of the RMR footprint, but at a little lower price point.

Now that the pistol is all set up, the next post in this series will talk about shooting and running the gun.  And as a spoiler, there were some issues that came up...

Monday, June 20, 2022

ETS C.A.M. Universal Loader for Rifles Review

Last year I picked up an MP5k clone made by PTR Industries.  I have really been enjoying the gun, I even registered it as a Short Barreled Rifle and put a stock on it a few months after owning it.  One day I was walking through a local Murdoch's and noticed an ETS Universal Loader for rifles.  I noticed that they said it could be used for pistol caliber magazines in addition to rifle calibers.  They claimed it would work with 9mm, .223, 300 blk, 5.45x39, 7.62x39 and 308.  I figured that loading my MP5 magazines and potentially Colt SMG magazines easier would be worth the price, so I bought it to try out.

MSRP for the C.A.M loader is $30, which is pretty close to the price of a MagLULA loader, which is around $25.  I already had a MagLULA for the Colt SMG magazines and another for pistol magazines.  It works great, but you load one bullet at a time and for the Colt SMG or MP5 magazines you need a specific loader for each magazine type.  The C.A.M. loader doesn't lock onto the magazine, but it does give you the option to use one loader for most double stack rifle magazines.

First off, I typically throw all of my reloaded pistol ammo in bulk boxes, so I had to find some factory ammo sitting around to be able to strip the rounds properly.  You can single feed the rounds from a bulk box onto the loader, but you lose some of the speed of using a speed loader.  With a factory 9mm box you can run the loader length-wise and pick up 10 rounds at a time.  Once the rounds are on the loader, you use the handle to push them down into the magazine.  If you hold the magazine into the speed loader as you pick up rounds and have the handle ready to use, you can load a 30 round magazine in a matter of seconds.  

First Impressions

When I first tried this with the MP5 magazines I was expecting it to work OK, but potentially have some issues with getting the last few rounds in.  With MP5 magazines from HK and ETS I found all 30 rounds went smoothly and quickly into the magazine without an issue.  After one range session I was sold on the speed loader and picked up some plastic 9mm boxes to be able to store my reloads.

Since this was a "universal loader" I wanted to try as many other options as possible to see what worked and what didn't.  Sticking with the 9mm theme, I also loaded some Colt SMG magazines and tried out some borrowed CZ Scorpion magazines.  I then tried loading 223 into Magpul and USGI style magazines and finally loaded some 6.5 Creedmoor ammo into 308 pattern Magpul magazines.  Overall, the loader worked well with everything I tried.  I'll mention a couple quirks with the Scorpion down below and unfortunately I didn't have any 7.62x39 or 5.45x39 options to test out.

It's been over a year since I bought the loader and I am very happy with it.  It primarily gets used for the MP5 magazines and the occasional Colt SMG magazine.  With a handful of magazines, several boxes of ammo set out and just a couple minutes I can have hundreds of rounds loaded.  


I have had a couple issues.  The narrow MP5 magazines work really well, but the fatter Scorpion magazines, primarily those from Magpul can be a pain.  You have to have the Magpul Scorpion magazine lined up just right for the rounds to feed smoothly.  This isn't a major issues, especially after you try it a few times and get used to where to line up the magazine.  

The second issue I have had is with 308 sized ammo.  There are two grooves that pick up ammo, a small and a large.  The small grove works for 9mm, 223, etc and is deeper in the loader.  The larger groove is towards the outside edge and is for 308 and large case heads.  When I first bought the loader I could run 308 or 6.5 Creedmoor rounds into a Magpul AR-10 magazine with ease.  Since I don't normally use those magazines, I didn't try it again until making the YouTube video above.  When I tried it for the video, I noticed that the larger channel barely allowed the rounds to move and I couldn't get them all the way down to the magazine.  I'm not sure what caused the issue, but it looks like the bottom portion that holds the magazine in place is bent in, creating a gap too narrow to feed larger rounds.  


Overall, I've have been very happy with this loader for what I bought it for.  It has worked great for 9mm and 223 magazines.  If you are wanting to load 308 case sized ammo, I'm not sure if this will work as well for you.

Have you used this loader, or do you prefer a different one?  Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

90 Day Form 4 E-File

Tired of waiting a year to get your suppressor?  In December of 2021 the ATF opened up the e-file system for Form 4 transfers by individuals and trusts.  Claiming 90 day transfers, what does the system really look like?  Take a look at this review and the video below to hear my experience with the e-file Form 4 and my 99 day approval.

Over the past several years I have purchased several suppressors and had to wait anywhere from 4 months to just over 13 months to get the paper Form 4 approved by the ATF.  As a comparison, you have been able to build a suppressor with the Form 1 e-file process for a few years.  In fact, I have created 2 SBRs with the Form 1 process and both were within a couple days of a 30 day approval.  That's a huge difference compared to the current wait of nearly a year for paper Form 4s.  See an older video towards the bottom of this post that talks about the Form 1 process.

Around the Black Friday shopping season last year (2021) I decided to take advantage of the SilencerCO buy one get one sale to buy a second Omega 300 suppressor.  Not only would this allow me to avoid swapping a hot suppressor at the range, but I would get a free SilencerCO Octane.  I bought the suppressor through Silencer Shop and was contacted about e-file.  The ATF was claiming that the e-file system for Form 4s would be available in December of 2021.  

Silencer Shop asked if I was interested in waiting for the e-file system to come online to submit my Form 4, or if I would rather just submit the paper form and get it started.  I looked up the trends on paper Form 4 and noticed that they were running about a year from submission to approval.  The ATF was expecting and Silencer Shop was pushing a 90 day approval time frame.  I figured there may be some difficulties and a mass submission as they started, but decided that I would probably still come out ahead compared to the year long wait.

As expected there were some issues with the ATF getting the site up and then being able to keep it up and running as thousands of people submitted tax stamps.  Added on to that, there was some learning curve for Silencer Shop and my local dealer to figure out the proper way to submit the form online and have me as the customer certify it from my end.  Ultimately, it wasn't until January 27th that the dealer completed the Form 4 and it was officially in the hands of the ATF.  

As I've been through the Form 4 process a few times before, the next item of business was to sit back and wait.  Finally, on May 6th I received an e-mail from the ATF that my Form 4 was approved and a PDF of the tax stamp was attached.  About an hour later I received an e-mail from the dealer that they received confirmation that it was approved and I could come pick up my suppressor.  

All together it took 99 days for the stamp itself to be approved, or about 5 months total if you count the wait before the actual submission of the paperwork.  When I checked the trends for paper Form 4 approvals at the beginning of May, it looked like they were taking around 10+ months for approval.  So even with the two month wait, I still received approval in about half the time as I would have with a paper submission.

Overall, I was pleased with how much faster the approval took.  A couple weeks after I picked up my Omega 300 I was notified that the BOGO Octane from SilencerCO was at my dealer.  We submitted that second e-file about a week ago and I am curious how long it will take for this second suppressor to be approved.

Have you used the e-file process yet?  Are you more interested in purchasing a suppressor with the reduced wait time?  Let me know in the comment section below.