Tactical Tailor

Who Needs a SIG Brace When There’s No Stock Needed? (I Kid, I Kid)

This video by TTAG’s a Nick Leghorn is the only thing left of the Halix “No Stock Needed” which offered a chin stop to absorb the recoil of an AR-pistol. When we initially mentioned it in 2012 it was quite the spectacle. Somewhere between then and now, the NSN and its maker Halix were cast upon the trash heap of bad ideas.

Later, something much better came along. The SIG SAUER stabilizing Brace or SB15 was designed to allow the disabled to enjoy an AR Pistol and its associated recoil as much as any other Red Blooded American. I for one applaud SIG’s efforts on behalf of disabled gun owners.


I only mentioned the NSN, the most unfortunate of inventions, because another trainwreck has transpired in the form of an ATF Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch (FTISB) issued determination letter from November on the popular SB-15 stabilizing brace from SIG SAUER. Despite the fact that earlier this year the ATF issued a determination letter that stated that misusing an SB15 fitted to an AR Pistol by shouldering it akin to a rifle did not make the rifle an SBR, plenty of people have been sending in letters of their own regarding their particular pistol builds. Now, how silly is that? As a kid, I learned that if mom gave you the answer you wanted, don’t go asking dad the same question.

The question was asked again, for the umpteenth time. Of course, what do you think happened? This time, a determination letter came back that stated:

“if this device, un-modified or modified; is assembled to a pistol and used as a shoulder stock, thus designing or redesigning or making or remaking of a weapon design to be fired from the shoulder; this assembly would constitute the making of a “rifle” as defined in 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(7).”

Feel free to visit Prince Law for more info and a copy of the entire letter.

Although it’s most disconcerting that the ATF can arbitrarily change its opinion, an AR Pistol fitted with an SB15 has been the only option for those who cannot own SBRs. Unfortunately, some folks ignore the “Yes” and keep asking until they get a “No.” Now, that option has become a bit more restrictive and disabled gun owners may lose their ability to enjoy AR pistols.

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57 Responses to “Who Needs a SIG Brace When There’s No Stock Needed? (I Kid, I Kid)”

  1. Darth says:

    Good job gun owners. Continuing to seek validation from the ATF on already established approvals is never a good idea.

    But thank you for proving we are our own worst enemies. Who needs Feinstein when we have each other

    • The Stig says:

      This is great news! I can redesign or make or remake my unregistered SBR a pistol by never shouldering it! I’m never bothering with NFA paperwork again.

  2. Easy E says:

    Blue Falcons going to Blue Falcon….

  3. Joe momma says:

    Isn’t this in response to the other stabilizing stock that’s out there with a single “fin” and s strap that goes around?

    • Mike says:

      Just imagine how the world would be if you clicked the link and read the article for yourself.

    • SSD says:

      Since you can’t read, I’ll spell it out for you yet again.

      “ATF Firearms Technology Industry Services Branch (FTISB) issued determination letter from November on the popular SB-15 stabilizing brace from SIG SAUER.”

    • Joe momma says:

      Yes yes yes. I did read it once posting. I apologize. Please Continue the shaming, I deserve it!

      • Mike says:

        Don’t get angry because you have zero reading comprehension skills. The truth hurts when you know you aren’t smart.

        • joe_momma says:

          Your allegation of poor, or absent, reading comprehension would entail that I read it and did not comprehend it. I did not read it so booyah! Bring on the further shaming!

  4. Joe momma says:

    The shockwave blade brace

  5. meh... says:

    I have the original letter. I don’t know anything about anything else.

  6. Eric says:

    Yeah. Too many people thinking the earlier ATF decisions were too good to be true (I don’t blame them) so they kept asking until they got the answer they didn’t want. Nice

    • SSD says:

      I think it’s guys who ask simply so they can get a letter from ATF that says that it’s ok to use the brace as a stock. They get a thrill out of it and then share this all over the place in order to make themselves look cool.

  7. SN says:

    If BATF would post their decisions on a webpage people could download and keep a copy for themselves. Many manufacturers tell you to contact BATF and get your own ruling (even though they summarize what BATF told them), so to blame owners for doing what the companies tell them isn’t entirely fair.

    • TV-PressPass says:

      You guys don’t have that?

      In Canada there’s a half a dozen or so RCMP classifications and rulings that are uploaded for any gun owner to download and print.

      We assume that 90% of law enforcement we encounter isn’t going to be familiar with firearms or firearms law. So paperwork in hand is a big deal.

    • ParatrooperJJ says:

      Private letter rulings only apply to the person it’s addressed to. That’s why ATF does not make them available.

  8. PNW_Tree_Octopus says:

    First the open carry morons and now this group. Just take a neat/good thing as a neat/good thing and stfu about it.

    “But muh second amendment rights!”

    Then go to your legislators, not the Internet or starbucks.

  9. Matt says:

    Do you think Sig will be going to court over this? I also think with the new Legislative session and changes in congressional leadership that now would be a great time to lobby for NFA reform if not repeal.

  10. tazman66gt says:

    I thought that SIG was sending a copy of the letter with the brace or you could get a copy of the letter from their website? So I would say get a copy of the earlier letter and keep it with your pistol. : D

    • Sean says:

      If you trust establishment republicans to accomplish much, then you are more of an idealist than I am.

      • tazman66gt says:

        I don’t know where you got anything about congress in my post, maybe you need to click on the right comments or you just needed to make your point and didn’t care where you dropped it.

  11. Chuck says:

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think this series of asinine retardation is going to end in an amendment to curgent legislation that will eventually allow the assembly of SBRs without a stampypoo?

  12. LCSO264 says:

    I can’t say I’m surprised. As much as I think NFA is a complete mess, these “braces” just smacked of cute way of circumventing NFA/SBR. That said I really hope there is some significant NFA reform on the horizon, but I’m also not holding my breath. Even with the composition of congress changing, there are no shortage of gun-grabbers still holding elected office.

  13. Dennis says:

    A letter or email to the ATF regarding your toy might as well be a registration, so the knuckleheads ruined it for everyone for nothing…

  14. Tom says:

    Yes, all this ATF traffic is a bit silly. And now we are less well-off than we were before Christmas.

    But what I don’t understand, not being a lawyer and not having read every single thing on the interwebs about the Sig Brace, then or now, is this:
    Doesn’t the 1968 (?) NFA law state that a “rifle” is a thing “ORIGINALLY” designed or built “as a gun to be fired from the shoulder”? (paraphrasing)

    So if an AR pistol was “originally” built as a pistol, but then later a widget was added, how can that gun be “redesigned” or “remade” into a kitchen sink or anything else? The ATF frowns on us manipulating the language, so why don’t we simply read their own law??

    • Tom says:

      Nope, nevermind. Their silly law allows one to “design or redesign” and to “make or remake” a thing (actually, just a “rifle”) into another thing. Of course it does…

  15. Billy says:

    With all the publicity in rags, forums and elsewhere, I’m not so sure I’d lay the blame for a revised determination on folks writing letters to Technology Branch for an answer already provided.

    I tend to think the USE of the brace as a buttstock got the attention of Feinstein, Schumer, et al.. No doubt, these 2A cynics have BATF on speed dial, so at the touch of a button, the gun haters rang up Tech Branch and in a few terse words demanded a new determination! Thus the November letter.

  16. balais says:

    *double facepalm*

    Way to go fucktards…

    The culprit to blame here is the shitty “parents” (ATF), but the “child” in this case isn’t a victim either.

    It reminds me of the Olympic Arms chinese steel core 7.62 debacle. Some people don’t know well enough to STFU.

  17. Cowboy says:

    You get the letter from the ATF when you buy the brace. It’s in the box.

  18. Well, nobody could possibly have seen this coming.

    Shocking, I tell you, shocking.

    • PNW_Tree_Octopus says:

      I was actually talking to a good friend about this. He had been OCONUS for almost a year and I was telling him about the new peak the AR pistol has taken and how I see it imploding under its own enthusiasm.

      • joe_momma says:

        Same with my circle of friends. We have just been waiting, reading updates, and seeing these new ideas to attempt to get one over on the ATF. First the shotgun deal. And then the shockwave. We figured enough questions would be asked that the ATF would start to put two and two together, take a step back, and then make a new, blanket ruling. Not an opinion letter, but an across the board ruling. Then the cease and desist letters would start to go out to you tubers with videos of shoulder firing SB stocks, agents would start patronizing gun ranges, gun ranges and dealers would be receiving letters, and so on….

  19. Billy says:

    It was only a matter of time before Executive Branch politics trumped reality from Tech Branch.

  20. mike says:

    “Get one over on the ATF”

    I keep seeing people speak with scorn about attempts to work around unjust and stupid rules. It is the height of American spirit and ingenuity to find a work-around for a problem, especially if the restriction is presented by an “authority”. Most of the people I hear complaining about people trying to get by with pistols are those who have SBRs, as if pistols are for lower life forms and the scum should just get their acts together. Aside from many places not allowing SBRs, or people within areas otherwise unable because of Chief LEOs and such, pistols have classification purpose that makes them an asset. In Virginia I can travel with it loaded, conceal it with my CHP, and take it hiking into a National Forest where rifles are restricted or prohibited. I really dislike the idea of having to pay for a tax stamp and get permission for a short barrel, having to report my movements across state lines, face great restrictions on transfer/sale on property I own, and report immediately a firearm that is lost/stolen/broken. (Yes, I know you should report that and I would, but facing legal consequences for not doing so isn’t something I appreciate)

    This pervasive “I am in a club and you are not” attitude that some with NFA items display is the reason I am fearful we’ll never see the repeal of the NFA or the Hughes Amendment, in addition to the fact that people who are bought-in to those systems don’t want to lose their investments and will even fight to keep the status quo; other enthusiasts be damned.

    I stand by the determination that a pistol is created by the way the receiver is transferred from the manufacturer, that the brace is not a stock, and that shouldering a pistol doesn’t change its designation. Not *only* because it benefits me, but because it’s logical. Until they change the definition of the brace to a stock, and until there is a ruling that a pistol/rifle/SBR/SBS/Destructive device/etc are determined by use instead of physical features, putting it on a pistol and shouldering it is something I will do.

    • Listen, everyone knows this has been a huge game being played to get around the ATF regulations regarding SBRs. I mean, honestly, time just to man up and say, “Yup, they finely realized what was really going on.”

      No point in trying to press this whole stupid, “It is a pistol, not a rifle!” line.

      • mike says:

        But it is a pistol. When I transferred the stripped lowers from the manufacturer they came to my FFL as a “firearm” and when the background check was done the check was done on a pistol. Each time. They are pistols. The only thing that will change that is a stock.

        Listen, I know what you’re saying but you’re wrong.

    • Joe momma says:

      Wow, that was harsh. And I definietly see more of the attitude you prescribed coming from those who are anti NFA-tax and “I’m not telling them what guns I have” folks. I do have many NFA items, and i would rejoice in the day o don’t have to pay $200 or $5 but I have yet to see anyone with a “keep NFA taxes alive to protect our assests!” Cause come on, $200…. Really? How much is a SB15? And to call it a work around is exactly what it is! It’s a way to comfortable shoulder a pistol. And when the ATF miscalculated thier “approval” everyone jumped on board. I highly doubt you carrying an ar pistol on a hike, and if having to deploy it you are strapping your arm up in the brace. You’re shouldering it. And by atf regulations, that’s not koshe. But they misstepped and created a niche item/marketplace. And we’ll enough should’ve been left alone. But noooo it had to be questioned. This is not an “I have an NFA and you don’t mehmehmehmehmeh”. This is a people kept pushing and pushing and like stated, it’s starting to push back.

  21. Ghostcat says:

    Before everyone starts panicking about this they need to read the follow up post at Prince Law which does a good job of putting the letter in perspective. The follow up post is here… http://blog.princelaw.com/2014/12/26/whoops-we-atf-did-it-again-arbitrary-determinations-over-the-sig-brace/

    • SSD says:

      Amazingly, there’s a link to that very article right in the article above that you just commented on. You did read it right?

      It really doesn’t matter if they didn’t make any sense in their determination letter. They issued it all the same, and it was probably reviewed by someone for legality. The most recent letters being issued regarding these types of stocks have shared similar language that if you misuse the product for other than the use it was created for, you will be in violation of the law.

      Go ahead folks and keep asking the question, over and over. Don’t be surprised when you start getting answers you don’t like.

      • Maskirovka says:

        Geez. It’s like that one nerd who raises is hand in class excitedly. “HEY TEACHER TEACHER TEACHER!!! Weren’t we supposed to have a QUIZ today???”

      • Ghostcat says:

        Unfortunately the one who did not read appears to be you as the link in the article is to a previous blog posting to the one I posted.

      • g>B says:

        Violating what law exactly? What addresses the “proper” use of a firearm and how its said usage will re-define its status under law?

  22. yumabuilder says:

    I have shown the SIG letter for my brace to many individuals who say, ” This can’t be true”. Well it is the dumbA’s like that or the multitudes on the internet posting videos of them using their pistol like a SBR that ruin it for everyone. Just do a quick YouTube search.

    “Hey Big Brother BATFE look at me flaunt the rules….look at me poke my finger in your eye…I dare you to change your mind”.

    Thanks!! My family has LOVED shooting these until they were too hot to hold. Also at night when the pistol blows a huge fire ball. Thanks again all you idiots who cannot be happy the ONE reasonable guy in BATFE approved the brace.

    That right keep questioning the yes answer until it is no. Worked on your parents while growing up, right??

  23. Adam says:

    I don’t know, I think it’s pretty much bullshit, that the entirety of gun owners will let one Agency with a couple thousand employees tell us what the fuck we can do with our money, while they negligently waste what we give to them. I think if you continued to use it, no one’s going to give a fuck, unless you go shoot up the ATF with a Sig brace “pistol”. This whole thing is fucky. So if you shoulder an AR pistol’s buffer tube, are they going to say then that “makes or remakes” the pistol into a rifle because it can be shouldered? Fuckin’ stupid. I don’t think the ATF has the guts to go start taking guns and issuing fines. Everyone says MOLON LABE this and MOLON LABE that, until the ATF say “Fuck you we’re taking your toys yet again”, then the MOLON LABERS just cry about it. SMH, the day we can REALLY unite as a cohesive community, will be the day Washington shits their pants.

  24. yumabuilder says:

    My next letter to BATFE: On my next SIG brace equipped “pistol” build is it still a pistol if I put an Area Shrike belt fed upper 10.5″ barrel and a Grip Pod “hand stop” all while wearing surplus/local paint ball store multicam?

    Stop giving the BATFE and the other lefties reasons to be more controlling. Stupid is as stupid does

  25. Josh says:

    Disgusted by you people complaining about your fun being endangered!
    Stop asking to be free.
    Star being willing to pay the price of non-compliance.

    • Adam says:

      First thing I’ve read on here that makes sense. If we give them the chains to shackle us, they’re going to take advantage. I would give the ATF my guns,… muzzle first.

  26. Mike Nomad says:

    The decision is not surprising. While the continued Poking Of The Bear has now yielded the obvious, negative effect, It does create another data point in going after BATFE’s stupid and inconsistent additions to the NFA list.

    BATFE now has another problem to deal with: All of the letters they sent to individuals, approving the use of the brace.

    BATFE made a ruling and is now obligated to notify people of any change to the ruling, in a manner consistent with the original communication.

    As to the folks who may want to fight the change, there is the obvious question: How many times was BATFE asked, in writing, about the use of the brace? What changed that made it necessary to add the brace to the NFA list? The first part is easy enough via FOIA request. The second part? Good Luck.

  27. Brian says:

    Might need to triple up on the Fixodent!

  28. Brian says:

    Using while chewing tobacco could be hazardous to your gut!

  29. james says:

    I’m sure all of the new guns coming out with the sig brace has a lot to do with it too. They just need to move sbr’s off the NFA.

  30. Riceball says:

    From the sounds of it the ATF isn’t saying that the braces are now illegal or make a pistol a rifle just by having one on, I read it more as saying that if you’re intending to use it as a stock then it’s wrong. Of course this begs the question of how the ATF is going to determine whether you intend to use it as a brace or as a stock, short of actually seeing someone shoulder a brace equipped pistol there’s no way they can.