Calgunandprep.com nor the author is not an attorney and as such this article is not intended to provide legal advice. It is your responsibility to to know any and all laws that apply to your situation.
The CA DOJ got an extension on their non-assault weapon AR registration deadline, and now their registration website is active (well most of the time). That means it’s time to seriously think about what I am going to do with my AR rifles/lowers. Basically I have 3 real options (there is a 4th option of do nothing but that would make me a felon so it’s not a real option to me):
- Go Featureless
- Go Fixed Mag
Let’s take a look at each one:
Registering my AR:
Some of you might think this is the way to go. I am not one of you. This to me is only better than doing nothing in that I would not be committing a crime. Other than that this option is not very good. Want to drive to the grocery store on your way home from the range/hunting? You could be committing a crime. Want to heir your rifle to your kids? Not going to happen. Want to let your friend borrow your rifle? Forget it. Then to top it all off the government gets to put you on a list that is otherwise forbidden by federal law because you now own what they believe to be a mass murder machine. If you want to register then go for it, but it’s not for me.
This is a great option for new builds. For existing builds it might not make sense to throw away all that $$ you spent on furniture. Either way to “go featureless” you need to do away with a few things on your AR:
- pistol grip
- a flash hider (including the “hybrid ones”)
- adjustable/folding stock
- forward pistol grip (there is some debate about the AFG being legal but it’s too iffy for me)
If you remove these things then you can have a normal mag release and still be legal. The challenge is finding a way to replace the pistol grip with something that is still functional. There are a lot of different options out there that range from $20 on up, but the one I found that looks the best and is the most functional is the Thordsen Customs Gen 3 stock. I went with this route on my current (and 1st post SB880) build.
So lets think about this, most of us don’t need a forward grip, the A2 flash hider is barely better than nothing, a fixed stock is more accurate, and I can get something to make my rear pistol grip not a pistol grip. Why would I not want to go that route on all my existing AR’s?
That’s a question I am sure a lot of you are asking yourselves right now. I know I did. What I came up with were 2 reasons I didn’t want to go the featureless route:
My very 1st AR I have ever owned is very special to me. It was a “congratulations on being a daddy” gift from my wife’s uncle and grandfather. As a result it’s not only something I want to pass down to my son, but I want to keep it in it’s original configuration. I did have to swap out the mag release for a bullet button, so replacing that with a mag lock wasn’t too big a deal. I also will someday get around to building my M16A2 clone, which again requires a specific look so going featureless on that one is not an option either.
In regards to cost, on my other AR’s I had already spent money on the furniture and I just really didn’t feel like throwing away $100. Not to mention if I kept the Magpul stock, then I would have to use the stupid grip fin which I am obviously not a fan of. On top of that I would have to put a peg in the stock to keep it from moving around which is additional cash I have to spend. To me it just made more sense to go fixed mag.
As a result I ended up going with the EP Armory SB880 maglock, and the Mean Arms MA15 loader for reloading at the range. $15 per rifle for the lock, and $40 per loader which can be used across both my 5.56mm and .300 BLK AR rifles.