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Franklin Armory’s Reformation – Brilliant End-Run or Spotlight on NFA Absurdity

GunLink-SHOT18_001Franklin Armory mystified the shooting community in the days leading up to SHOT Show 2018. Right around two weeks ahead of the show, the company – most well known for their binary triggers – issued a press release with photos of a weapon that, for all intents and purposes, appeared to be an NFA-regulated short barreled rifle (SBR).  However, Franklin claimed that the item shown was not a rifle (so, not an SBR) nor were they playing sneaky semantics games with a shotgun (and, thus, not an SBS).  Readers were left scratching their heads and trying to figure out how it might fit into the generic “firearm” category that might escape the purview of NFA regulations

Rumors swept the internet, along with speculation on how Franklin Armory had achieved this feat, if they had achieved it at all – many thought that the company was just trolling to generate buzz and that the new firearm, dubbed the Reformation, was just their 11.5″ SBR and that the entire campaign was a hoax.  Everyone loves a good puzzle, and the only clues in the initial release were that the Reformation sported an 11.5″ barrel, a Magpul SL stock (not a brace), that it used patented “NRS” technology, and that it required no NFA tax stamp.

Guesses at how this was done included things like the stock being pinned to make it unusable as a stock (instead, being capable of functioning only as a cheek rest), having a smooth bore (no rifling, no short-barreled rifle) – with or without guesses at special ammunition like a rifled shotgun slug, firing only on release (to skirt the definition of one round per trigger pull), and other theories.

This is not the first time that the designers at Franklin Armory were able to dance around BATFE definitions of certain classes of firearms (see the XO-26, which sports a short barrel, pistol brace, and VFG, yet is not an AOW). The company played the Reformation release close to their vest, letting the shooting community continue to guess right up through their SHOT Show announcement.   Continue reading

SHOT Show 2018 is Just Around the Corner

What will the largest firearms industry trade show bring us this year?

Welcome to Las VegasThe biggest show of its kind in the industry is just over a month away, with the 2018 iteration of SHOT Show going on from Tuesday, January 23 through Friday, January 26 in the Sands Expo center in Las Vegas.  Not only will our team be there to cover the latest and greatest firearms and gear innovations from the show floor, we will also get to share our hands-on experiences with guns and gear again during the invite-only Industry Day at the Range from Boulder City the day before the show officially opens.

Be sure to keep an eye here on the GunLink Blog, as well as the GunLink Forums for news leading up to, during, and after the show, and follow us on our social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for live updates, photos, video, and more. Sign up now for a free GunLink Forums account to join in the discussion during the event, share your opinions of what the past year of development is bringing to the industry, and to let us know what you want to see more (or less) of in our coverage.

Our week-long coverage of the much anticipated annual event is made possible in part by our coverage partners, who we thank for their involvement and support of new and evolving media platforms. We greatly appreciate their help in fostering the new environment which allows immediate access to the latest from the industry rather than having to wait for news and rumors to trickle through the traditional print timelines or wait longer still for products to hit shelves before laying eyes on them.    Continue reading

AimShot Patent Pending Quick-Detach KeyMod Accessory Gallery

Photos of the new AimShot MTKMPR 60mm, six-slot quick-detach section of picatinny rail and MTKMLM quick-detach flashlight mount – to accompany the review in the GunLink Forums Gear Review section.   Continue reading

Sunjack Solar Panel Photos

Photos of the SunJack solar panel unit and battery pack to accompany the SunJack 14W Portable Solar Charger and 8000 mAh Battery Pack review.

Repack Box Helps Get Your Ammo Organized

Years ago I was in the market for some new bling to commemorate a big move that we made out of our home state. Something that would hold up better than what I had already and something I wouldn’t worry about getting damaged, like rings that I’ve had get smashed on my hands or PM chains that are done for when they get snagged and broken. I stumbled on GI Jewelry and thought that fit the bill pretty well: subdued, US made, not too flashy, and well-made enough that they have an NSN to be issued to US military under a DLA contract.

After years of use, the necklace had lost enough ends that the ball chain got short enough that I’d had to replace it a few times using whatever ball chains I had laying around, none of which held up nearly as well as the original. I contacted GI Jewelry owner Roger to see if he could sell me some new chains, or let me know where he got the good ones. In a feat of customer service that you don’t see much these days, Roger told me that GI Jewelry has a lifetime warranty that includes the chain and he would send me some extras under warranty. Sure, chains may be cheap, but that’s pretty cool to see someone stand behind their product like that.

Anyway, while talking to Roger, he also introduced me to one of his other ventures: Repack Box. The idea is pretty simple, thus the company’s tagline, “Common Solutions to Uncommon Problems” – they are just basic, uniformly shaped boxes to hold your ammo. Roger’s website tells the story of why he came up with the boxes – to store all of the surplus ammunition that he bought, whose boxes fall apart over time – but surplus military ammo isn’t their only application. If, like us, you shoot a lot and, like us, you buy whichever ammo you find cheap at the time, you have almost certainly run into the problem of every manufacturer putting their ammo in differently sized and shaped boxes.   Continue reading

Low Profile UltiClip Offers Deep Concealment, Improved Retention

IMG_3920In their recent press release, Florida-based Ulticlip claimed that they intended to “bring concealed carry into the 21st Century.”  As far as we can tell, they’ve done a pretty good job of modernizing one of the integral components of many holsters:  the belt clip.  Check that.  Calling it a “belt clip” might not be all that accurate since the Ulticlip allows something somewhat uncommon:  CCW without a belt.

Company owner Randall Darby sent over some of his Ulticlips to check out, so we gave them a try on a few different holster types.  UltiClips are designed to work with a variety of holster designs.  Basically, if your holster has belt clips that attach by a screw or fit through a sleeve, the Ulticlip will likely work with it.  Paddle style holsters and pocket holsters without clip might be able to be cobbled up to work with the Ulticlip but, by their nature, they probably won’t work as designed.

IMG_3938We did most of our testing on our EDC IWB rigs from Alien Gear and N82 Tactical.  Our N82 testing was done on the Pro model holsters; although the Original and Original Tuckable models use a clip that fits into a leather sleeve with a notch for the rib to stick out of, the sleeve is too tight for the Ulticlip rib to fit through.  We also took the Ulticlips for a spin on a couple other styles of holsters and let some gun-buddies try them out on their holsters to get opinions.

The Ulticlip makers claim three main benefits of the upgraded belt clip:  “ultimate retention, ultimate concealment, and ultimate versatility.”  Let’s take a look at how they do in reaching these three goals.   Continue reading

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