Something interesting has happened in AR Legal Land in the last month, and it’ll make you quite happy if you’ve built (or are building) an AR 15 pistol! The ATF has reversed their decision on restricting the use of the arm braces used on AR 15 pistols and other similar weapons. The ATF has been wishy-washy on the whole situation, initially approving braces, and even approving the shouldering of said braces. They then reversed the decision and claimed shouldering a pistol brace would redesign your pistol into an SBR. Without that tax stamp, this would be a big no-no.
Earlier this year, however, they reversed their decision once more, proclaiming it to be completely A-OK to shoulder an arm brace. One of these braces is the KAK Shockwave Blade, available in our AR Pistol Kits. Designed to be braced against the arm, the KAK Shockwave brace can now serve four different purposes on your AR 15 pistol.
The Many Uses of the KAK Shockwave Blade
1. Easy Control
So what are those four uses of this nifty brace? First is obviously using the KAK Shockwave as an arm brace. Some shooters may have a particular handicap that makes shooting an AR 15 pistol difficult. Remember, you’re shooting a rifle-caliber handgun, so the ability to brace the weapon to your arm makes controlling it and firing it easier. I can speak to personal experience due to a nasty shoulder injury, that extending an AR pistol outwards can be difficult and even painful without this brace.
2. It Looks Damn Good
Second, the KAK Shockwave Blade visually makes your build complete. That buffer tube hanging off the end of your pistol just looks naked -- a KAK Shockwave Blade gives it that final, “I’m finished” tough of balance. The KAK Shockwave Blade just makes your pistol feel right, too: Even with a relatively short 7" barrel, an AR Pistol Upper will feel a little front-heavy without some sort of buffer tube device. Looks are hardly the most important factor, but it's one to consider.
3. Better Sight Picture
Third, the KAK Shockwave makes a great cheek rest. You don’t have to shoulder the actual brace, and using the KAK as a cheek rest has always been legally kosher. With the Shockwave, you can easily use the sights or an optic to ensure you get on target and it’s a helluva lot more comfortable than using a buffer tube to take a shot.
4. Yes, You CAN Shoulder it!
Lastly, the one you’ve been waiting for: If you build an AR 15 pistol with a KAK Shockwave Blade you can shoulder it -- legally! Read carefully: Building the weapon with the initial intent of purposely shouldering it is not kosher. However, if you build the pistol, and just so happen to shoulder it with an arm brace, you aren’t breaking the law. Before you hop over to the range shouldering your pistol brace, there are two conditions of this new opinion by the ATF that bear mentioning:
First, you cannot permanently affix the KAK Shockwave Blade to your AR 15 pistol. This includes utilizing Loctite to hold the brace in place. Second, you cannot modify the brace in any way, especially to make the brace easier to shoulder. That would actually constitute a redesign like the ATF’s original opinion claimed, and it’ll get you some time behind bars. Remember, at the end of the day this thing is an arm brace and not a stock. Don’t accidentally turn it into one.
The KAK Shockwave Blade is the final part of any pistol kit. It makes your AR 15 pistol complete. An arm brace makes your AR 15 pistol more functional and even makes it look better. What reason is there not to have one?DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY gun building, you likely have a lot of questions and rightfully so. It’s an area that has a lot of questions that, without the correct answers, could have some serious implications. At 80 Lowers, we are by no means providing this content on our website to serve as legal advice or legal counsel. We encourage each and every builder to perform their own research around their respective State laws as well as educating themselves on the Federal laws. When performing your own research, please be sure that you are getting your information from a reliable source.