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Adding a vertical foregrip to an AR "pistol"


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It is against the law to add a vertical foregrip to a "pistol" without prior approval by the ATF. If you add a vertical foregrip to a "pistol" it makes it an AOW which is a NFA weapon.

But what about an AR that is longer than 26" without a shoulder stock? Well that does not met the definition of a "rifle" or a "pistol". So what is it then? It is a "firearm" by definition and there are no laws saying it is illegal to add a vertical foregrip to a "firearm". So if an AR is at least 26" long and does not have a shoulder stock then it is considered a "firearm". And because it is a "firearm", and not a "pistol" or "rifle", a vertical foregrip can be added.

It does not matter how long or short the barrel is. The barrel can be 12" long. As long as the OAL is at least 26" and does not have a shoulder stock you can add a vertical foregrip.

I do not know the legalities of going from a "pistol" to a "firearm" and back to "pistol". I will be contacting the ATF, yet again, to determine the legalities. I am hoping it is inline with the recent "pistol" to "rifle" back to "pistol" rulling.

For those who are going to say it isn't so here is the letter.
[url="http://www.franklinarmory.com/XO-26_Letter__c_.pdf"]http://www.franklina..._Letter__c_.pdf[/url]

This is a "legal" configuration according to the ATF bewcause it is 26"+ OAL:
[img]http://www.franklinarmory.com/files/products/xo-26.gif[/img]
Thanks to Franklin Armory for the picture, clarification and hosting the ATF's letter.
[url="http://www.franklinarmory.com/index.html"]http://www.franklina....com/index.html[/url]

Dolomite
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Aren't gun laws great! The more I read the more like tax code these things sound.

[quote name='Photoguy67' timestamp='1354160947' post='852260'] The letter states it is a firearm however is not a pistol or hand gun and is not exempt from AOW. [/quote] JFC, you're hopeless. The

Sweet geezuz! Who's on third?

I was reading a thread on ARFCOM and seems that with a standard pistol buffer tube, you'd have to have an 11.5 inch barrel to reach the 26" OAL, without pinning your flash hider. I will verify when i get my 10.5 upper assembled and put a tape measure on it.

[url="http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_122/584104_PSA_10_5_Pistol_Kit___OAL_over_26_.html&page=1"]http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_122/584104_PSA_10_5_Pistol_Kit___OAL_over_26_.html&page=1[/url]
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[quote name='Photoguy67' timestamp='1352382634' post='841730']
According to the letter, it is an AOW.
[/quote]

not as long as the OAL is over 26", thats the key. They compared it to the Thompson 1927-A5

[IMG]http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv166/owensnj/ATFletter.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i680.photobucket.com/albums/vv166/owensnj/ThompsonA5.jpg[/IMG]
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[quote name='piercedan' timestamp='1352385623' post='841751']
Does an AFG fall in the same category as a VFG?
[/quote]

no that is classified as a handstop and can be put an a "pistol" without any restrictions
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  • 3 weeks later...
[quote name='piercedan' timestamp='1352385623' post='841751']
Does an AFG fall in the same category as a VFG?
[/quote]

No.A Magpul AFG or the like is fine,just dont do vertical, lots of material to reference this on the big ar forum w links and law citings.

Ive done a load of research on this and read through the oh so clear laws on definitions..it can be confusing.posted letters back from atf have to be read closely. especially when it comes to ar pistols.Me thinks the vert grip thing is crap as i would want to see the grip allowed w safety being a concern.The law seems to imply that you should be able to fire a pistol without using a stock or a support,lawyer im not but thats how i perceive it

I dont get why a rossi mini chuck connors style rifle is a pistol when it has a stock and a lever action,but you have to pay 2 bananas to put a stock on a shrunken ar.......i wish atf would focus on intl shipments and exportation of crap hadjis using to build ieds instead of what law abiding folks are into....
The russian dude is pretty funny,cool stuff to watch bet he doesnt sleep well at nite lol. rant off hope this helps Edited by Dustbuster
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[quote name='Dustbuster' timestamp='1354138282' post='852075']
[color=#b22222].The russian dude is pretty funny,cool stuff to watch bet he doesnt sleep well at nite lol. rant off hope this helps[/color]
[/quote]

care to expound?
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[quote name='Lester Weevils' timestamp='1354138653' post='852079']I'm just being silly, but ferinstance a grip with an angle of 85 degrees, or even 89 degrees, would be an angled foregrip and NOT a vertical foregrip if one gets real pedantic about it. Perhaps the ATF would not be amused, however. :)[/quote]

I assume you're right, the ATF aren't joking types. I think the exemption is for "hand stops" and the Magpul specific AFG has been classified as such. I'm not sure other manufacturers or homemade versions qualify.

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[quote name='Photoguy67' timestamp='1354158300' post='852237']
I hate to bring this up again but the letter does describe it as an AOW. I would strongly encourage you to consult an attourney before attempting construction and ask him.
[/quote]

You've said it twice and are wrong twice.

The letter [i]plainly[/i] states that a vertical forearm grip on a pistol of 26" or more changes it from a pistol to a firearm, and is NOT subject to NFA/AOW classification as long as it is not concealed on the person.

There are sub 18" barreled pistol grip shotguns that also fit this classification as "firearm" from the git go.

[img]http://shockwavetechnologies.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/RG500.11a1.jpg[/img]

The trick is that neither must have started life as a rifle or shotgun. In the same way, it's now clear that you can go back and forth from pistol to rifle to pistol, but only if it began life as a pistol. But as Dolomite suggests, it's still gray whether you can go back and forth between a pistol and a "firearm".

- OS Edited by Oh Shoot
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[quote name='Photoguy67' timestamp='1354160947' post='852260']
The letter states it is a firearm however is not a pistol or hand gun and is not exempt from AOW.
[/quote]

JFC, you're hopeless. The difference is in the 26" OAL distinction. Under that it's an AOW, over it, it's not.

That's why the Franklin gun is legal.

[img]http://www.franklinarmory.com/files/products/xo-26.gif[/img]

Try just reading the third paragraph a few times, even if you have to move your lips some. :)

- OS

Edited by Oh Shoot
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Well there's no sense trying to be logical about anything concerning the ATF, but that thompson in the picture above has an angled foregrip rather than vertical, and not only that, the angle isn't a whole lot larger than that Magpul AFG. My eye is easily fooled but looks about 45 degrees.

So it ought to be a "genuine angled foregrip" and just as legal regardless whether that stock-less thompson has an OAL of less than 26"?
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[quote name='Lester Weevils' timestamp='1354162457' post='852276']
Well there's no sense trying to be logical about anything concerning the ATF, but that thompson in the picture above has an angled foregrip rather than vertical, and not only that, the angle isn't a whole lot larger than that Magpul AFG. My eye is easily fooled but looks about 45 degrees.

So it ought to be a "genuine angled foregrip" and just as legal regardless whether that stock-less thompson has an OAL of less than 26"?
[/quote]

Can't explain the Franklin XO-26 with that particular rationale, though.

http://www.franklinarmory.com/PRODUCTS_XO-26.html

And of course, no mention by the BATF of the Thompson legality as being due to "angled" grip.

- OS
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[quote name='Oh Shoot' timestamp='1354162785' post='852280']
Can't explain the Franklin XO-26 with that particular rationale, though.

[url="http://www.franklinarmory.com/PRODUCTS_XO-26.html"]http://www.franklina...UCTS_XO-26.html[/url]

And of course, no mention by the BATF of the Thompson legality as being due to "angled" grip.

- OS
[/quote]

Thanks OS. I agree. That was my point--

Was stated "upstream" in this thread that ATF mentioned the Thompson in its ruling, as being an example of non-AOW because of its length.

HOWEVER, IF the ATF were not so easily capable of straining at gnats while greedily swallowing camels-- And in addition IF angled foregrips are legit on pistols-- THEREFORE that thompson foregrip is PLAINLY ANGLED. THEREFORE if the world made any sort of sense that thompson ought to be legal regardless of its length. THEREFORE if the ATF used the thompson as an example in its reasoning, then it was faulty reasoning and stupid to even mention the thompson in this decision! :)

Am not trying to make any legal case or "win an argument". Merely attempting to apply logic to the ATF where there is apparently no hope of finding such.

  • Like 1
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[quote name='Lester Weevils' timestamp='1354162457' post='852276']Well there's no sense trying to be logical about anything concerning the ATF, but that thompson in the picture above has an angled foregrip rather than vertical, and not only that, the angle isn't a whole lot larger than that Magpul AFG. My eye is easily fooled but looks about 45 degrees.

So it ought to be a "genuine angled foregrip" and just as legal regardless whether that stock-less thompson has an OAL of less than 26"?[/quote]

Lester,

The Thompson was the original gun that set the precedence for "firearm" classification. It's over 26" over all length, so the Thompson grip is considered "Vertical"

I would believe that Thompson grip on an under 26" pistol would still be considered vertical, mainly due to the finger groves that show its intended to be griped with a full fist .
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[quote name='Dolomite_supafly' timestamp='1354183735' post='852332']
I will clear up the pistol->firearm->pistol gray area today. Need to check on something anyways.

Dolomite
[/quote]

Any chance you could ask your guy about the magwell grips on a pistol? I'd be very grateful to get some solid info on that.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Ever jump on the pistol - firearm - pistol thing?

Can't imagine why you couldn't do it. Can't see how you would be making an illegal config any more than pistol - rifle - pistol. Not to mention it's a part that might break and fall off anyway.

FWIW, nobody on arfcom could see any other rule it would violate once BATF has gone as far to make it's ruling.

Btw, grabbed a 10.5" pistol upper at the show yesterday, and with regular carbine tube on it, it's 26.25". Didn't really plan it, but have to admit a forward grip might make it handle better than just sling tension.

- OS Edited by Oh Shoot
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