Modern Rifleman Weekly 1/17/16

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Previewing the New Griffin Armament Alpha

I was not sure if I was going to talk about this suppressor prior to SHOT Show, but since Griffin has openly discussed it online, I will go ahead and share what is known. Built to address widespread desire for a user serviceable rifle can, the Alpha’s baffle stack can be removed for cleaning by unscrewing Griffin’s patent pending, ratcheted end cap. Like other Griffin Armament rifle suppressors, the Alpha will attach to host guns using the company’s fantastic taper mounts.

Beyond the fact that the Alpha is user serviceable, it is also noteworthy that the silencer is the first in Griffin’s lineup to feature titanium. The tube and blast baffle of the can are made of 17-4 stainless steel, but the distal baffles are all manufactured from titanium. Thanks to these material choices, the Alpha will weigh in at a relatively svelte 14.5 ounces and Griffin is advertising performance on par with their popular Recce 7 silencer. Despite its light weight and widespread use of titanium, the Alpha is rated for use with calibers up to .300 Win Mag.

Based on what I’ve seen, I expect that the MSRP for the Alpha will be approximately the same as the Optimus’. Initial units of the suppressor will begin shipping to select retailers, like Silencer Shop, sometime next week. I’ll have photos of the Alpha following Griffin’s formal press release at SHOT Show.

Anti-Gun Groups in Michigan Want Maximum Suppression Rules for Hunting

I was tipped off on this tidbit of news early on Tuesday by both Silencer Shop and Ammoland. Apparently, gun control groups in Michigan see the writing on the wall as far as hunting with suppressors is concerned and have decided to push for ridiculous suppression limits. Currently, 37 states allow hunting with silencers and none have adopted such a provision.  As of now, no suggested limits have been published, but this is the first time I’ve seen performance limitations suggested for suppressors.

Anyone with even the slightest bit of knowledge on this subject knows suppressed rifles are still very loud. Still, they go a long way to prevent hearing loss and allow health conscious hunters to be out in the field without ear muffs or plugs that could impact situational awareness. Methinks Michigan anti-gunners need to watch fewer movies.

ATF 41F Submitted to Federal Register

As anticipated, the final version of ATF 41P (41F) has been submitted to the federal register. I’ve already covered the changes, so there should not be any surprises when this thing takes effect on 7/13. From what I’ve heard, several legal teams are gearing up to challenge the new requirements for trusts and corporations, specifically on the grounds that 26 U.S.C. 5812 (a) states the following:

A firearm shall not be transferred unless (1) the transferor of the firearm has filed with the Secretary a written application, in duplicate, for the transfer and registration of the firearm to the transferee on the application form prescribed by the Secretary; (2) any tax payable on the transfer is paid as evidenced by the proper stamp affixed to the original application form; (3) the transferee is identified in the application form in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe, except that, if such person is an individual, the identification must include his fingerprints and his photograph; (4) the transferor of the firearm is identified in the application form in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe; (5) the firearm is identified in the application form in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe; and (6) the application form shows that the Secretary has approved the transfer and the registration of the firearm to the transferee. Applications shall be denied if the transfer, receipt, or possession of the firearm would place the transferee in violation of law.

The basis for a legal challenge is that the ATF has imposed unlawful requirements on corporations and trusts that run counter to the intent of the law and are not explicitly authorized by NFA’s text. It is a compelling argument and I will keep a close eye on developments in this area.

How One “Gun Group” Pushed for ATF 41F Changes

Sometimes, we gun owners are our own worst enemies. Back in December 2009, the National Firearms Act Trade and Collectors Association headed by John Brown reached out to the ATF with concerns about the current NFA transfer process.  Within the final text of 41F, the ATF asserted the following:

The NFATCA expressed concern that persons who are prohibited by law from possessing or receiving firearms may acquire NFA firearms without undergoing a background check by establishing a trust or legal entity such as a corporation or partnership. It contended that the number of applications to acquire NFA firearms via a trust or corporation, partnership, and other legal entity had increased significantly over the years, increasing the potential for NFA firearms to be accessible to those prohibited by law from having them.

Yes, you read that correctly. A group that supposedly supports NFA firearms ownership was concerned that “the number of applications to acquire NFA firearms” had increased in recent years. Assuming that folks like Brown actually do intend to promote gun ownership, their motivations for supporting such changes are almost unfathomable. Even if they greedily want to keep prices high on things like machine guns, limiting the market for such items by imposing insurmountable regulations on potential buyers seems counterproductive. Considering that the current NFA application process has worked well to prevent criminal firearms acquisition, it would have been silly for them to advocate additional restrictions.

Regardless, it is important for firearms enthusiasts to recognize that there are some among us that would rather advance personal ambitions instead of supporting our community as a whole. In the NFATCA’s case, this seems to be the case, but it is difficult to tell what exactly their goals were. Hopefully, this proves to be a learning experience for all of us.

California Continues its Downward Spiral

Just when I thought that California’s gun laws could not get more Draconian, state Attorney General Kamala Harris and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom have stepped in to take the ridiculousness to the maximum. A few weeks ago, I discussed an upcoming ballot initiative proposed by Newsom and finalized by Harris that is not only dangerous to gun owners, but will also appear on the ballot with highly misleading text. This week, Harris paired with San Francisco Assemblyman David Chiu to introduce Assembly Bill 1663.

Under AB 1663, ALL semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines would be banned in the state. The bill aims to illegalize firearms equipped with “bullet buttons” that require a shooter use a bullet tip to release the gun’s magazine and have long been used to contend with California’s incredibly strict gun laws. Allegedly, AB 1663 has been proposed as a response the San Bernardino attacks, where terrorists not only removed their firearms’ bullet buttons, but also attempted to modify the rifles for fully-automatic function. I have no doubt that future assailants will abide by these new laws though.

If you are a gun owner in California, I am genuinely sorry that you must constantly fight this brand of absurdity. Sadly, this law and the aforementioned ballot initiative have strong chances of passing in 2016. I know if I lived in the Golden State, my bags would already be packed.

Modern Rifleman Reviews the AAC Aviator 2

This week, I took a look at AAC’s new Aviator 2 rimfire suppressor from Silencer Shop. A full-sized silencer that is also very light, I found the Aviator to be one of the best performers I’ve examined to date. Be sure to check out the complete review!

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SHOT Show Housekeeping

As most readers probably know, SHOT Show 2016 will run from Tuesday through Friday this coming week. Unfortunately, some website policy issues prevented me from coming to an agreement with NSSF representatives and I will not be attending the show this year. Even so, I will be following developments from afar and will be dedicating considerable time this week to keep up with news from the show. With all of this in mind, do not expect a regular Modern Rifleman Weekly next week.

Instead, I will be working on a list of my favorite new products from SHOT Show and plan to bring as many details as I can to readers at the end of the week. I will also be working on a new suppressor preview for 2016, so those of you who like Modern Rifleman’s suppressor coverage will want to check in later in the month for that. Thanks for your understanding and I hope we see some very interesting products this week!

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