Death of the SBR! Keep your $200!

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For those not familiar with SB Tactical they are the inventors of the Sig brace. In 2012 Alex Bosco was at a shooting range with a wounded warrior.  His friend was asked to stop shooting his AR Pistol because he could not control it well due to his disability. To address this issue Alex went to the drawing board and came up with the SB-15 in 2012. The concept of the SB Tactical brace is simple a flexible plastic cuff wraps around a shooter’s forearm and an integrated Velcro strap secures the brace in place. This device would allow those with disabilities to shoot AR style rifles. And thus SB Tactical was born.

In January 2013, exclusive sales agreements were executed with SIG SAUER, Inc. and Century Arms International for the AR (SB15) and AK (SB47) braces, respectively.

In May 2103, the first Pistol Stabilizing Braces were delivered into the marketplace.

However this was not without controversy. Due to the nature of the product the ATF had its own issues on deciding on the regulations regarding the use of the Sig brace. Many people discovered that the brace could be shouldered and as a result people brought it to the attention of the ATF by writing to them asking for clarification.

In March 2014, the ATF issued a second letter stating that “for the following reasons, we have determined that firing a pistol from the shoulder would not cause the pistol to be reclassified as an SBR: FTB classifies weapons based on their physical design characteristics. While usage/functionality of the weapon does influence the intended design, it is not the sole criterion for determining the classification of a weapon. Generally speaking, we do not classify weapons based on how an individual uses a weapon.”

In 2015 The ATF Ruled that shouldering a pistol brace would be a felony. It seemed as if even Sig Sauer was about to take the ATF to court over this decision. You can read the ATF’s open letter here!

Then in March of 2017 The ATF REVERSED this ruling. The ATF penned an open letter (which you can see below).  That will backpedal and revise the current standing of the “Arm Brace”  that are equipped on thousands of AR pistols across the country.

In a nut shell, (the TLDR) version the ATF now says it’s OK to every now and then shoulder your arm brace while you shoot your PISTOL.  That’s right you heard it here first, it’s OK to shoulder your sig brace so long as its unintentionally, accidentally, situationally,  or incidentally. Basically they key word is “Intent”

Now with that being said it DOES note that if additions, or modifications are made to the sig brace than it will count as redesigning the product to be used differently than intentionally designed.  This means that no taping up or padding your sig brace to more comfortably shoulder it.  Here is the official letter below:

The biggest reason it seemed for this decision is that the law simply would have been to difficult to enforce with only so many Agents and thousands of sig brace owners it would have taken away from the agency’s valuable resources.

As a result it seems that the SBR tax stamp is becoming more and more of a novelty item. As technology advances this law becomes more and more outdated.

The final nail in the SBR tax stamp’s coffin however comes as a result of a new product released during the 2018 shot show. SB Tactical Debuted  their SBA3. This brace allows for the use of a standard 6 position carbine buffer tube. Many people voice their concerns on past braces stating that having a 6 position buffer tube would make it a SBR. However from we can figure out is the SBA3 is under 13 inches and we believe that to be the longest elbow distance in an adult which is why the use of the SBA3 on a carbine buffer tube is allowed. The specific reasons have eluded us as this is patent pending so the details are not out yet.


As always though you CANNOT convert an existing rifle into a pistol. So running to your safe and slapping the SBA3 and a short barrel on your insta-famous rifle can lead to some SERIOUS legal trouble. DONT DO IT!

with other products like SB Tactical’s popular PDW brace as well as the restrictions that come with having an SBR, for example, the hassle involved with crossing state lines.  Its no wonder that more and more gun owners are shying away from SBRs.

It all comes down to “intent” so we are in no way saying that you should build a pistol if you “intend” to use it as a rifle.  However the question remains, who would want to Build an SBR, pay a tax and be restricted on interstate movement just so you can shoulder it “all of the time”
We imagine the guys over at ATF Tech Branch are loosing their hair pretty fast these days.
The ultimate decision is up to you.  But from what we see in the market, the wait for NFA SBR Stamps should be getting shorter and shorter.
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