With the undeniable success of the SB15 Sig Brace, it would not be long until adaptations and “us too” products hit the market.
The Sig Brace’s stated intended use is for those with strength or use issues in their arms that makes an AR Pistol difficult or impossible to use. Shockwave’s designers felt that the SB15 was a good idea, but some improvements were necessary – enter: the Shockwave Blade AR.
The patent-pending Blade AR pistol stabilizer incorporates a flexible stabilizing “fin,” which the user rests against the inside of their forearm when in the firing position. This stabilizes the firearm in the horizontal plane. The friction created between the user’s forearm and the fin stabilizes the firearm in the vertical plane. This provides the shooter with additional support of a firearm while it is still held and operated with one hand—without the discomfort of the competitor’s product.
Whether the user sees the Blade as a forearm brace or a shoulderable stock is subjective at best. The ATF has weighed-in with a firm “it depends.”
On a December 20th post on Shockwave Technologies website, the response from the ATF technical division appeared.
The crux of the response was this paragraph informing potential users of the product that if used as a forearm brace, the firearm would be only regulated under the Gun Control Act and treated as a pistol. If the device were shouldered, the firearm would then be under the regulations of the National Firearms Act and declared a short-barreled rifle.
Based on our evaluation, FTISB finds that the submitted forearm brace, when attached to a pistol is a “firearm” subject to the GCA provisions; however, it is not a “firearm” as defined by the NFA provided that the Blade AR Pistol Stabilizer is used as originally designed and NOT as a shoulder stock.