Miscellaneous > Other Guns

Pistol Braces on large format handguns.

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As many know the BATFE has decided that having a stabilizing brace on a pistol constitutes a short barreled rifle and thus is restricted and regulated under the law.

They applied this ruling Monday and owners of said weapons have 4 months to rectify the issue or face severe consequences if caught.

It is my understanding:

You can destroy the stabilizing brace and bring the weapon to rifle standards or back to normal pistol standards.  Possession of the parts after the grace period is considered constructive intent and you can face the same $250,000 fine and 10 years in club fed as you would with an illegal firearm.

Or you can take advantage of a fee free registration period of the said firearm as a SBR.

This website is where you go to register your braced pistol.

If you don't have an account, you will need to set one up.

Part of me thinks this will not hold up to any court challenge, however another part of me thinks get the registration done while I can get it without a $200 tax on each gun.

I have filled out the forms for a number of my braced handguns over the past few days, as an individual (those on my trust don't want their photos and fingerprints given to the ATF, didn't have to a few years back).  They have made the system a bit hard to do, hopefully not intentionally.  I wanted to get it done early and hopefully have my stamp and be righteous with the law as quickly as possible.

My advice is take your time, don't get frustrated, and you will figure it out. If it keeps rejecting you on a particular page for incompleteness, look for other 'buttons' around that may allow you to edit your choices and find those hidden from your initial view.

This registration is different from others I have done.  They actually need photos of the serialized part.  Hopefully that means we can forgo the normal engraving requirement.

They will need a passport photo, but you can do that with your cell phone.  They need fingerprints, I did not have them electronically available and have always mailed in a fingerprint card later when requested.  Got a message out to the experts there asking about this.  I've got fingerprint cards laying around I can immediately send in, like the normal procedure entailed. (Not sure if they changed the requirement, but you used to be able to do them yourself with a kit off amazon.)

If you try and get stuck, hit me up and maybe I can tell you how I got past the issue. 

I will try and keep you guys updated on the process.


On January 13, 2023, the Attorney General signed ATF final rule 2021R-08F, “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces,’” amending ATF’s regulations to clarify when a rifle is designed, made, and intended to be fired from the shoulder. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 31, 2023.

The rule outlines the factors ATF would consider when evaluating firearms equipped with a purported “stabilizing brace” (or other rearward attachment) to determine whether these weapons would be considered a “rifle” or “short-barreled rifle” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, or a “rifle” or “firearm” subject to regulation under the National Firearms Act. The rule’s amended definition of “rifle” clarifies that the term “designed, redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder” includes a weapon that is equipped with an accessory, component, or other rearward attachment (e.g., a “stabilizing brace”) that provides surface area that allows the weapon to be fired from the shoulder, provided other factors, as listed in the definition, indicate the weapon is designed and intended to be fired from the shoulder.

This rule does not affect “stabilizing braces” that are objectively designed and intended as a “stabilizing brace” for use by individuals with disabilities, and not for shouldering the weapon as a rifle. Such stabilizing braces are designed to conform to the arm and not as a buttstock. This rule is effective on January 31, 2023, the date it was published in the Federal Register.  If the firearm with the “stabilizing brace” is a short-barreled rifle, affected person have 120 days from the date of publication to register the firearm tax-free, which is May 31, 2023.

Other compliance options provided under the final rule are the following:

Remove the short barrel and attach a 16-inch or longer rifled barrel to the firearm,
Permanently remove and dispose of, or alter, the “stabilizing brace” such that it cannot be
Turn the firearm into your local ATF office,
Destroy the firearm,
The option to register the firearm tax-free pursuant to ATF Final Rule 2021R-08F is scheduled to be discontinued in the eForms System effective May 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

Forgot about this thread.  Unlike an estimated 85% of the stabilizing brace owning population, I did file for some tax stamps and just got about 75% approved.  Still waiting on some more. I can now legally take them to the range.  Better news is the ROs at the local ranges see the paperwork and don't mind me shooting them.  Not sure how I feel about the ranges thinking they are responsible for making sure their patrons are in full compliance with every aspect of the law.  I've never had my criminal record or had to prove I'm not a felon to shoot.  They tell me they could get in trouble if they let people shoot without the proper paperwork. SMH.

This whole affair has been disturbing as to how it has split the gun community.  I get a lot of discussion from folks that seem to imply I am a traitor for bowing down to the BATF.  Many seem to think the courts will save them from the hassle.  Others just bitch and moan, mentioning 'shall not be infringed' without offering anything constructive.  Well, I wanted a SBR in the first place and the opportunity to get some processed without paying the $200 was too good to pass up. Plus it doesn't seem like the engraving, we've had to have previously, is a requirement.

I did take the opportunity to purchase a higher end brace or two from clearance bins at some local shops.  Got to take the early examples I had bought off and upgrade for a decent price.  The SBA3's are so comfortable I might not continue the upgrade to a real stock.

Finishing up another project gun. May and try and get some pictures of that up soon.

Stay cool out there, especially those that live under this high pressure bubble with the brutal heat.


Hello Mike,

I did not even realize ATF had amended pistols into short barreled rifles. 

"This rule does not affect “stabilizing braces” that are objectively designed and intended as a “stabilizing brace” for use by individuals with disabilities, and not for shouldering the weapon as a rifle."  Who gets to define who is an individual with disabilities. 
The Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals by not having to disclose they are in fact disabled.

I unfortunately own two Sig Sauer MPX's that are now SBR's if I attach the stabilizing brace.  I missed the deadline.


I'm sorry to hear you missed the deadline.  I agree with you and the ADA, no need to force anyone to disclose personal information of that nature.  However, their lawmaking is under challenge and hopefully the courts will toss it out.  I put a lot of this at a previous presidents feet with the bump stock ban and the untruths that the administration put forth in court to justify it.  Once power is given (legally or not) it's hard to take it back.  But fine folks are working on correcting that for all of us, hoping they succeed.

This is my latest project.  Like a lot of them, would have been easier and cheaper to go buy a factory example (RE: previous titanium suppressor project, LOL)  For some reason I feel I need a 'ghost gun' with no serial number to trigger my liberal friends.   8)

Took it to the range yesterday.  Loaded and fired a single round.  Dead center of the X.  Loaded one more single in the magazine and put the bullet in the same hole, slightly bigger now.  Got brave and loaded two rounds into it.  Center X again for both rounds, slightly off first rounds.

This is where I am getting pretty excited.  This little gun has surprised me in it's accuracy and I am loving it. Liking the extended magazine.  Makes it a lot more comfortable.

Loaded 4 rounds this time into the Glock factory magazine (Only thing Glock on it).  Bang, bang, bang, click.  Wait, no hang-fire.  Eject magazine, it's empty.  Pull slide to rear and round ejects.  No primer strike.  Trigger will not reset.  Well damn.  Rack slide a few more times, trigger not resetting.  Try and take off the slide.  No luck with that either.

Expended the remaining box of ammo with another pistol and let the RO look at it.  Claims to be a Glock certified armorer.  He is at a loss.  Home today and still can't get it working.  Finally disassembled the slide to get the firing pin out, that allowed the gun to come apart.  Reassembled it and all seems fine (I know it's not).  Got a buddy who will check it out next week.  Went ahead a bought a new factory connector.  Seems like that is the cheapest and easiest fix for most Glock problems according to another Glock 'expert'.  If not that, might be the trigger bar.

Any of you guys have any ideas, I am all ears.


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