SHOT Show

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

2018 SHOT Show Range Day Round Up

GunLink-SHOT18_0062The GunLink team spent the day before the official opening of SHOT Show 2018 walking the grounds of the Boulder City Pistol and Rifle Club, where we were able to handle many new firearms from well known, big name manufacturers as well as new companies trying to get their name out there. While many companies had completely new weapons, it still seems that the firearm industry is leaning towards “high-end” modifications of existing platforms. Some of the offerings were fairly innovative, showcasing the fruits of lengthy R&D processes while others made small improvements on existing platforms to enhance the shooting experience.

Franklin Armory Reformation
GunLink-SHOT18_001Some of the biggest buzz at SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range surrounded Franklin Armory’s new Reformation line. Franklin kicked off the hubbub a couple of weeks ago with a mysterious press release boasting a new AR15 with an 11.5″ barrel and a Magpul SL stock. Big deal, right? We’ve all seen SBRs before. The catch was that Franklin Armory said that the Reformation was not a rifle (or a shotgun) and, despite the diminutive size coupled with a regular stock, is not subject to NFA regulations or taxes.

After picking our way through the crowd gathered around the Franklin shooting bay, we got some trigger time on the display model, outfitted with the short barrel, adjustable Magpul stock, Franklin’s BFSIII binary trigger, and magazines loaded with standard 5.56 ammo. Taken together, this blew many of the theories about how it escaped NFA purview, but the company reps wouldn’t give out any more details until tomorrow’s press conference at their booth on the show floor.

Mag-Fed Shotguns – Mossberg 590M and Remington 870DM
GunLink-SHOT18_0037
Mossberg’s domestic competitor, Remington, may have beaten Mossberg to the punch with last month’s announcement of the 870DM, an update to their popular pump-action shotgun to feed from a detachable magazine, but we think that Mossberg came out on top in the execution department with their new 590DM. Full disclosure, we are Mossberg fans out of the gate, preferring the 500 platform over the 870 in most regards.

Remington’s edge came with the announcement of a wider variety of models of the 870DM, including a Magpul equipped, camo thumb-hole, hardwood, tactical, and stubby non-NFA TAC-14 models that will accept Remington’s in-house built single-stack magazines in 3- and 6-round capacities.   Continue reading

Sticky Holsters Unveils New EDC Products for SHOT Show

20180117_181359838_iOSJust in time for SHOT Show, Sticky Holsters is unveiling a bevy of new products for Concealed Carry EDC.

We have been reviewing Sticky Holsters for years now, since we were first introduced to them by a GunLink Forum member.  Since then, we have tried out and reviewed a number of their products, including their standard holsters in a variety of sizes, as well as their Super Mag Pouch, and the custom ECR-compatible holster for Viridian’s C5L compact light and laser.

We have had great experiences with Sticky Holsters’ products over the years and are happy to have them come on board with us as a SHOT Show Coverage Partner this year. Operations Manager, Eric, sent us over some details about the latest products coming out of the Sticky Holsters shop and we’re excited to get the opportunity to see them first hand at SHOT Show next week.

Sticky’s new products aren’t necessarily directly pistol-holster related but, rather, geared more toward the EDC stuff that you might lug around if you are packing heat already, like spare mags, tourniquets, a knife, etc.

The first set of new products are their Mini Mag Sleeves and Pouches. As you saw in our review of the Super Mag Pouch (SMP), we generally used that product for double-stack pistol mags like those for the G19 and G17.  Using the SMP for single-stack mags, like those for the XDS45, was passable, but not ideal since they didn’t fill out the pouch enough and we worried about the possibility of the magazine sliding out at inopportune times.  Trying to use the SMP for tiny mags, like those for the .380 ACP Ruger LCP, was nigh impossible. This is what we wrote at the time:    Continue reading

Franklin Armory to Release new Non-NFA Short Barreled… Thing

Reformation – Redefining Firearms

Innovative firearms manufacturer, Franklin Armory, has brought another out of the box idea to the firearms industry. Known for their ground breaking American made products such as their Binary Firing System, F17 series rifles, and the XO-26, Franklin Armory has changed the industry once again. The new products are part of the Reformation line of patent pending NRS firearms, and the first SKUs in the Reformation line include a non-NFA configuration with an 11.5″ barrel and a conventional stock as depicted below:

FranklinReformation2

Having already received approval as a non-rifle from the Chief of the Firearms Technology Division, Reformation will be shipping without any onerous NFA paperwork required.

Franklin Armory President, Jay Jacobson, noted, “The patent pending technology employed in Reformation will create a whole new market segment that will not require NFA approval.”

For more discussion on the new Franklin offering, and other SHOT Show offerings, join us in the SHOT Show board of the GunLink Forums.

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

Micro-Handguns of SHOT Show 2017

Pocket-Sized Fire Power Makes it Easy to Always Have a Gun

Cowboy_DerringerDiminutive handguns are nothing new; Henry Deringer’s eponymous Philadelphia model was produced and sold from 1852 and tiny, eminently concealable firearms have been popular for at least as long.  Nihil novi sub sole; at SHOT Show 2017 a number of manufacturers showcased the continuation (and expansion) of this corner of the firearms market.

Bond Arms, the largest modern manufacturer of derringers, is probably the closest living cousin of the early models.  For just over 20 years, Bond Arms has been creating small(ish) non-repeating break-open handguns with caliber-swapable double barrels (available in everything from .22LR rimfire to .45 centerfire to .410 shotshells) reminiscent of early pocket guns like the ones that might be found in a frontier gambler’s vest pocket.  More recently, Bond added a more modern touch to their pocket gun lineup when they acquired Boberg Arms’s design for a semi-auto bullpup pistol that strips rounds rearward from the nose-down magazine before chambering them.  Although they are small and classified as derringers, neither Bond offering could realistically be called “tiny” or classified as a “micro gun,” much less a “mouse gun” when chambered in such heavy rounds as .45LC or .410.

A staple of the tiny-gun market is the lineup from well-known North American Arms (NAA) – founded in 1972 as Rocky Mountain Arm – probably best known for the mini-revolvers that they have been selling since 1990, when they acquired the design from Freedom Arms.  Available only in .22 rimfire chamberings, NAA mini revolvers are spur-triggered single action only revolvers with several models small enough that a pair of them could fit into the space occupied by a deck of cards.  Now sold in a variety of configurations (including ones that fold into their own grip, and ones that are carried in a belt buckle), if you’ve ever walked into a gun store and saw a revolver-shaped speck in the bottom of the case, chances are that it was an NAA.  In 1997, NAA entered the semi-auto market with their Guardian series to compete with Seecamp’s tiny offerings, although they don’t enjoy the same widespread recognition as the wheelguns do.

What’s New?

Now that we know some of the established players in the micro-gun game, let’s take a look at some of the new arrivals which were showcased at SHOT Show 2017.    Continue reading

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