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Old November 24, 2017, 10:54 AM   #1
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Pistol ar laws

I was wanting to build a pistol ar 15. Was wondering if someone can clear some things up for me. As far as putting a blade arm brace on I heard you can slide the blade out on the buffer tube as long as it doesn’t exceed 13.5 inches for length of pull and it is still considered a pistol. And the other question I have is foregrip. Now I understand you can’t put a vertical foregrip on it but I saw that you can put a angled foregrip on it. These 2 question come after seeing someone posted screenshots of atf letters talking about both of these topics and was wondering if it’s true or not. Does somebody have links to goverment sites that explain these rules
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Old November 24, 2017, 03:40 PM   #2
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As far as I know, there is no publicly official stabilizing brace length limit. The length mentioned in the BATFE letter, was a response to an individual, thus not necessarily policy/legal interpretation. The Magpul AFG is not a "vertical foregrip," (per the BATFE), so it can be mounted to a pistol. As for real vertical grips, if your firearm is over 26in in length and does not have a stock, it is likely a non-NFA "firearm" rather than a pistol.
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Old November 25, 2017, 12:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ramius
As for real vertical grips, if your firearm is over 26in in length and does not have a stock, it is likely a non-NFA "firearm" rather than a pistol.
There is no legal length limit to a pistol under federal law. If you have a pistol with a barrel length over 26”, it’s still a pistol. The difference is in the presence of a vertical foregrip.

The ATF says that if you add a vertical foregrip to a pistol with a overall length less than 26” it is an NFA-regulated “Any Other Weapon” (AOW). This is because it’s now no longer a pistol since the forward grip means it’s no longer designed to be fired with just one hand (part of the federal definition of a pistol). And because it’s less than 26” in overall length the ATF says it’s designed to be concealed. Both of those things combined means it fits into the AOW category.

If you add a vertical foregrip to a pistol with an overall length greater than 26” it’s also no longer a pistol, but since it’s over 26” the ATF says it’s not designed to be concealed so it’s also not an AOW. At that point it’s just a “firearm”, similar to an AR lower or a PGO shotgun. [Edited to clarify: a lower transfers as a "receiver", but it's in the same category as this type of firearm as listed on question 16 on the 4473.]

The ATF has previously described vertical foregrips as extending 90 degrees from the axis of the barrel, and they’ve specifically said that angled foregrips like the Magpul AFG aren’t vertical foregrips. But keep in mind that the whole foregrip thing isn’t specifically mentioned in federal law, so future regulatory changes could effect it. If you want to make sure your angled foregrip doesn’t count as a vertical foregrip, make sure the manufacturer has obtained an ATF letter that explicitly says so.
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Last edited by Theohazard; November 26, 2017 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Fixed typo and added a clarification
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Old November 25, 2017, 08:17 PM   #4
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Theohazard nailed it.
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Old November 26, 2017, 04:48 AM   #5
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Nicely done, too.
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