NY compliant AR

Muriner

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Thinking about building my first AR. The laws here are pretty restrictive on semi-autos. Basically, we are only allowed to have either "featureless" ones (No evil pistol grips, threaded barrels, etc.) or have the 10 round mag pinned and keep the evil features.

I hate both options, hence I wasn't really considering it before, but with all the stuff going on (including possible bans) I'm thinking maybe it's time.

So, what would be your preference and why?

I hate the looks of the "featureless", but it is allowed to have a detachable mag, which is arguably the whole point of having an AR for me. Most guys at my range have mags pinned, which makes the build easier, but I'm reading about issues with cleaning jams.

Any input will be much appreciated.
 

Downtown

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Not familiar with NY laws, but is a semi automatic magazine fed weapon such as a Mini14 or a Remington 7600 an option?
 
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Muriner

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Mini14 ranch is complaint. I do like the versatility of the AR platform, though...
 

Bolo

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I'll preface this by stating I am not a lawyer. SAFE has left a lot to interpretation... which means that one solution that was acceptable 6 months ago might be deemed insufficient by a downstate judge tomorrow. Other than featureless, we're in that area where there be dragons.

With that said, featureless blows and makes the rifle unacceptable for Service Rifle comps. I chose to keep all my evil features with a kinda removable mag. I use a torqued-down AR Maglock and Kingpin. While the Kingpin leaves a lot to be desired (removing it for cleaning is about a half a bitch to get back in), reloads are quick , last-round bolt hold works, and jams can be cleared pretty easily. It's easy to install and if done right, easy to back out should the law change or necessity dictates.

The key to maintaining SAFE compliance is that a magazine can't be INSERTED while the action is closed. That's a deviation from CA and the other shitty states. With a properly installed maglock, you can *force* a magazine in, but it will bend the feedlip on one side and render the magazine useless for all intents and purposes (I trashed a couple of Lancers proving that point). While this solution hasn't been tried in a court of law, I've gotten opinions of *Upstate* LE and one very liberal lawyer that it does meet the criteria.
On the other side, I have a couple of FFLs that swear by the Cross Armory stuff to "permanently" pin a mag, combined with a CompMag side-loading magazine. The one big con for that one is that the CompMag is polymer and expensive. I see the potential for it to wear out after a few hundred rounds, so I'm not going that route unless they can make one in steel.
 
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jb0311

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Mini14 ranch is complaint. I do like the versatility of the AR platform, though...
It seems like most of the "versatility" is negated by your state of residence. The benefits of an AR platform (in my opinion) is the ability have a multiple 30 round magazines and tailor the weapon to your use through the accessories. You can do without a flash hider and I personally do not use a foregrip. I have a few ARs and a few more uppers. On my primary 556 upper I only have a Hellfire break, so I can easily attach a suppressor, an eotech, and a surefire light. I don't need 5 extra pounds of tactical shit. The accessories can be done without, but without the capability to use 30 round magazines I fail to see the benefit.
 

Bolo

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Not familiar with NY laws, but is a semi automatic magazine fed weapon such as a Mini14 or a Remington 7600 an option?
7400. 7600 is a pump rifle, and my favorite fudd stick of all time.
7400s are fine... no evil features like collapsible / adjustable stock, pistol grip, vertical foregrip, heat shield or threaded barrel. Technically, if you threaded one for a brake, it would become illegal unless the brake were pinned and welded to be considered 'integral to the barrel'.
 

BCX

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CK out the Cali-Key, just picked one up. Turns the semi into a bolt. I shoot in other states so its a quick change on the BCG.
 
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houndog

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I don't know NY law at all. However, when I was in MA we had an AG who interpreted the state's AWB to include anything that "resembled" an AR, so semi-auto's that were compliant with original federal AWB were still prohibited.

However, Tavor's were not considered prohibited, which resulted in a nice bump in sales for IWI. IF New York law is similar, this might be an alternative. However, I do not know and have not read the NY Safe act.

Otherwise, I really wouldn't even bother trying to neuter an AR to comply with the law. Better to just get a pump shotgun.
 
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Muriner

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This is very useful feedback, thanks!

I agree that the versatility of the AR platform is greatly diminished here, but at least it's easy enough to swap uppers to have it in a different caliber.

The other cool thing about the AR is that I'll be able to build the whole thing from scratch. All my other rifles are factory with minor modifications, so I think I'll learn a lot just by building it.
 

theLBC

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i am from california and our "featureless: laws might be similar.
1. no flash hider
2. no wrap around grip
3. no telescoping stock.

imho, none of these affects long range precision shooting (although you didn't say what you wanted to do with your AR).
1. run a brake or linear muzzle device. big deal. you might prefer a brake anyway.
2. get a fin grip with a thumb shelf like the exile miad grip i use. you should not be wrapping your thumb for precision shooting anyway (jmo).
3. again, big deal. fix it at the lop that works for you.
 
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Woodland_Wolf_M81

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Are you able to try featureless vs pinned mag at your local gun range by renting? It might be good to see what is more comfortable and easier to manipulate. I've never tried handling any of those shark fin grips, so I'm not sure how awkward it might be to do a reload. I do know that a friend of mine in CA had to buy a bunch of grips until he found one that was adequately comfortable. I think he went with one that was severely angled since I think CA does not allow a normal angled pistol grip. He did have to make a few changes like add some sort of extended safety lever, so he can reach it with his extreme grip angle.

For fixed mag rifle, you may want to look into the Mean Arms loader which loads through the ejection port.

I've read about Troy's pump action rifle, but never tried it myself. Maybe another option to consider.

 
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hlee

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If I were going featureless, I’d look hard at this buttstock...

 
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houndog

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OP - I would also speak with a knowledgeable local FFL. I believe that there are a couple of work-arounds to NY law. For example, a device that enables the lower and upper to become slightly detached, without being completely disassembled. Mag. can then be detached and new mag inserted and upper and lower re-attached. My memory is that I spoke with an FFL about this and he said that if gun is configured this way it complies with SAFE Act which permits a mag to be detachable when the gun is "disassembled". However, I have not reviewed the statute itself and living in a free state don't have this problem. But again, an FFL in New York who sells AR's should be able to give you some guidance.
 
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drewthebrave

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Short version: Go featureless and don't look back.

Long version:
I'm in California, and our laws are similar (as stated above). I tried running a magazine-locked rifle in a carbine class and reloading was a nightmare. Based on that experience, I wouldn't want to think about how long it might take to clear a jam in a stressful situation. From that moment on I decided that function trumps form, and all of my ARs (with the exception of my registered AW) are featureless. I'd rather be able to reload an ugly gun quickly than have a neutered gun that "looks" normal.

My favorite featureless option is the Thordsen stock that meets the fixed stock and non-pistol grip requirements. I can comfortably support the rifle with one hand if needed, and the length of pull works for me at 5'8" and average length arms for my height. You can add spacers if more length is needed.
I have an older Exile Machine Hammerhead grip (discontinued) that is mounted on a rifle with a pinned Magpul STR stock. It falls between the fin-grip and Thordsen in comfort, and looks a little more "normal" if that matters to you. I think the Sparrow Dynamics grip looks like the most improved current version of the Hammerhead's original concept.
I also have had a few custom fin grips made from a California vendor, FinGrips.com, that fit perfectly on my grips and are available in multiple colors for style points. If you have a grip that he hasn't molded a fin for, you can send your favorite grip in and have him customize it for you. In a true SHTF WROL scenario, these would be the quickest to change back to "normal".

You can check out the Featureless thread on Calguns to get some inspiration on what looks good, but honestly you'll probably want to get hands on a few options to try them out. https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=253777

I'll try to update with some photos of my setups when I get a chance.
 
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Bolo

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I just wanna repost again...
Thanks for the Cali folks chiming in. Duly noted. NY SAFE is not the same as Cali, and at this point 80-90% of what is acceptable in Cali has been found insufficient in NY when put in front of a judge.
From the act: "...any semiautomatic firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine" frames the definition of whether it's an AW or not.
If you can insert a mag with the weapon fully assembled and it stays in place, it needs to be featureless (or pre-SAFE Act and registered as an AW). Any device that claims it can legally circumvent this should have a letter from the NYS Association of Sheriffs / NYSP or a NYS court affirming it complies with the act. Unlike other states, there is no approved devices list.
It's a matter of if it looks legal, it is... until it isn't. LE opinion letters have stopped overzealous prosecutors from proceeding a few times now.
FWIW, even some featureless items have been deemed insufficient, like a Thorsden KM stock (judge ruled it was an evil thumbhole stock) and the AR Spur (for a while, it was part of a Dark Storm Industries smear campaign that the NYSP Council affirmed did support SAFE provisions a few days later).

So, I will leave you with this:
1. to date, there have been *ZERO* cases in NY that have been successfully prosecuted under the SAFE act that cite a semi-fixed / pinned magazine as a violation. There has been one featureless. In NYC.
2. As a matter of fact, there has only been one case prosecuted outside of NYC involving an AR... and it was overturned last year, because the AG lacks the legal authority to prosecute the law (NY v. Wassell). It's up to local PD and courts, not the state.
3. Everything DSI says is a lie. They're shitty people and not to be trusted.
4. NYC is a shithole. But that's not news at this point.
 
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Muriner

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Thanks again for the thoughtful responses!

In the meantime I ended up getting two stripped lowers - I guess I can now build both options :) if still in doubt. With all the part shortages going on I settled for PSA (that's all my FFL had in stock and he sold them to me at a reasonable price). I know PSA doesn't get much love here (and probably rightfully so for what it is) but I figured it's better to have something rather than nothing and I can spend more on the upper.

Which presents me with the next dilemma, should I just get the cheapest kit from PSA, TacFire or other budget makers (I'm really settled on building the whole thing myself), so I can build something quickly. And if I screw up there won't be any hard feelings (the first one will be a pinned mag one with some ideas from this thread)? If I hate it I can always replace the upper.

On the other hand, while I won't be using it for any precision shooting, I wouldn't like a 4-5 MOA crap rifle that will need to be replaced/trashed down the road. So the buy once, cry once approach. I'm no gunsmith but I consider myself capable of using basic tools given proper directions. But quality kits seem to be hard to find right now. Any pointers in that direction will be appreciated.

In terms of specs I'm thinking 16" midlength 223 Wylde (or 5.56). I like the 6.5 G idea a lot, but I have no 6.5G ammo on hand and with the current ammo insanity I don't want to overpay. For short range .223/5.56 is perfectly fine (and I have a small stash of it)
 

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PSA generally has the reputation for making decent quality stuff, even if it is inexpensive. I wouldn't worry about a PSA stripped lower. My view (although others disagree) is that a stripped lower is one place you can save money without sacrificing performance. Same with lower parts kit. Unless you plan on very heavy use you should be ok with inexpensive kit. And accuracy is really far more dependent on the upper than the lower, so buying a cheap stripped lower and cheap parts kit isn't going to result in a 4 MOA gun, assuming you get a good quality upper.

My one recommendation would be to find a lower parts kit that doesn't include trigger or pistol grip. A good trigger is one place where paying extra is generally money well spent, and will have an effect on your ability to shoot accurately. I'd look at a LaRue MTB as a trigger that does a great job of balancing quality, performance and price.

And I'm assuming your only planning on assembling the lower. That's pretty straightforward - I've assembled a bunch myself and am not really mechanically inclined. Assembling an upper is trickier, and with the number of good quality uppers available for fairly short money, no real reason to do it.

Also, 14.5" with pinned muzzle brake or 16" is probably the way to go on barrel length. Don't have to worry about NFA and will give you decent range/velocity while still being pretty maneuverable. Your choice of mfg. really depends on your budget. I'm a big fan of LaRue (if you buy their Ultimate Upper they will include all the lower parts except stripped receiver). But there are a ton of other options. BCM is a pretty solid choice. Rock River makes a very accurate upper if you don't mind the weight of a heavy stainless barrel (look at National Match and Varmint uppers). If you're on a tight budget you might try Radical Arms or PSA. But there are a ton of other options as well.
 
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Downtown

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Houndogs advice is sound, but I'll add one caveat. Cheap parts are fine for a rifle to be used in competition or simply shot for fun. Reconsider if you intend to stake your life or others on it. I've seen so many cheap ARs go down in even medium volume training. At least one, often more, go down in every two day class I'm involved in. By going down, I mean parts actually breaking.
 
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sirhrmechanic

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Paint it pink and rainbow colors... install a Tac Sac... put unicorn stickers on it and you will be fine. It won't look scary.

On a serious note... what about just going with the platform in bolt. Then you can hang all kinds of stuff on it.


Sirhr!
 
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Muriner

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Does LaRue ship their Ultimate Upper Kits to NY? I really liked what I read about it, but then I went to their website and got a "we can't ship to you location" message asking to call to "complete the order"? As far as I know there are no state restrictions of any kind on parts (at least yet). I'll call them on Monday.
 

houndog

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Sorry, don't know if LaRue will ship to NY, although none of the parts that are included in the ultimate upper kit are considered the actual firearm, so in theory they can be shipped directly to you. Maybe the fact that they include a collapsible stock, which I suspect is a no-no in NY? (Also, no 30 round mag). I'd give them a call if you're interested and see if they can work with you. But again I don't know the details of the NY SAFE act.

Or ship to a friend in a free state and he ships to you? FFL definitely does not need to be involved in shipment/transfer, and as long as you assemble the parts in a way that complies with the SAFE act I would think you are acting lawfully.
 
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Im2bent

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Hi folks kali chiming in here don't know why the other kali guys don't know this but here we came up with a beautiful work around. The mag is locked therefore have all the features you want. The rear pin is replaced with a special keyed offset pin. You push it and it releases the upper from the lower about 1/4 inch. This unlocks the mag release. This qualifies as taking the rifle apart to release the mag. You snap the upper back down and it locks you then put a mag in as normal tada...
 
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candyx

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Are you able to try featureless vs pinned mag at your local gun range by renting? It might be good to see what is more comfortable and easier to manipulate. I've never tried handling any of those shark fin grips, so I'm not sure how awkward it might be to do a reload. I do know that a friend of mine in CA had to buy a bunch of grips until he found one that was adequately comfortable. I think he went with one that was severely angled since I think CA does not allow a normal angled pistol grip. He did have to make a few changes like add some sort of extended safety lever, so he can reach it with his extreme grip angle.

For fixed mag rifle, you may want to look into the Mean Arms loader which loads through the ejection port.

I've read about Troy's pump action rifle, but never tried it myself. Maybe another option to consider.

Should of made the pump handle close at the rear with a very short stroke so it could possible act as an bump fire.
 

houndog

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Im2bent - That's kind of what I was thinking of - see post #14. But I'm not sure if that works in NY.
 

Muriner

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Based on your insightful comments (many thanks to all of you, especially @houndog ) I ended up ordering from RRA (Predator pursuit 16" mid length upper as well as their lower kit with a Varmint 2 stage trigger). Since their barrel comes non-threaded it actually allows for the featureless build (we have stricter rules than those in CA). So I decided go featureless first and I have more rookie questions for you.

@hlee , I do like the looks of that Hera Arms stock. I also saw some nice builds on the Calguns forum @drewthebrave mentioned. Have you tried it? If so do you like it? Many folks like Thordsen, but I hear cheek weld complaints as well. @drewthebrave is yours Gen 2 or 3?

Also, the kit I ordered does not have buffer tube (I assume I need carbine length)/spring/buffer/nut, so I need to order them separately ideally as a kit, so I don't buy wrong stuff. Is it important to match manufacturers or any decent quality set will do? Any insight from folks who have built using the Hera stock will be appreciated.
 

drewthebrave

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@hlee , I do like the looks of that Hera Arms stock. I also saw some nice builds on the Calguns forum @drewthebrave mentioned. Have you tried it? If so do you like it? Many folks like Thordsen, but I hear cheek weld complaints as well. @drewthebrave is yours Gen 2 or 3?
I have a Gen 2 Thordsen on my 18" Grendel build and my brother has the Gen 3 on his JP 14.5" 9mm. We both added the CAA buffer tube covers so that the cheek weld is similar to a basic carbine stock. It's much more comfortable than bare aluminum, and you can get a riser if you want, though you won't need one for standard height red dots or optics.

To me the Gen 2 has an ideal length of pull (I'm 5'8" with average length arms) and the two versions handle equally well. Can't go wrong with either, honestly.
 

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Greg Langelius *

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Arizona, good place for me...
I built my16" AR on a Stag 3G barrel (no muzzle device), and a Thordsen stock. It worked, but at the additional cost of replacing the A2 buffer system and stock with a Carbine buffer. Since I had the stock installed by a gunsmith, there was the cost of the work and the parts.

I considered the episode and the accompanying posturing and harassment by my state's government and concluded that I wanted to build more AR's, and that doing it in NY was an exercise in masochism. Not even considering the onerous taxation aspect, I determined that it would be submission to totalitarian Bullshit to continue in my current path.

When the governor openly informed NY gun owners that they were not wanted in NY state, and should move out; I rejoiced that for once, my Governor was making perfect sense.

A year later, I was living in Arizona. A year after that, my NY home was sold, at about a $40,000 loss.

I considered that, on the balance, the transaction was a positive one, that freedom does indeed have a cost and that the cost was reasonable at twice the price, and commenced to build another five AR's. BTW, AZ is a Constitutional Carry state.

I continue to be a happy man, far happier than I would have been in NY state. Money once paid is beyond either our reach or our lamentation. It's just gone, and there will likely always be more coming along. That's just life.

And if you want to talk about Covid... Those of us here in AZ openly laugh at the NY Governor's audacity exhibited in his demand that persons entering HIS state from AZ should be subjected to a 14 day quarantine. My zip code is currently listed as having had zero cases and zero fatalities from Covid since we started keeping these statistics back in March (?)

The man is literally the pot calling the kettle black. You need a new government in NY State, but unfortunately you'll never get it.

Now you know why I currently reside in AZ.

Greg
 
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YF12A

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Virginia, especially Northern VA, seems to be heading the way of New York as well. Luckily, I'll be retiring in the near future and plan on moving to Winchester VA where the politics are completely different. And if VA does go anti gun, West VA is just a couple of miles away from Winchester.
 

brianf

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I'll preface this by stating I am not a lawyer. SAFE has left a lot to interpretation... which means that one solution that was acceptable 6 months ago might be deemed insufficient by a downstate judge tomorrow. Other than featureless, we're in that area where there be dragons.

With that said, featureless blows and makes the rifle unacceptable for Service Rifle comps. I chose to keep all my evil features with a kinda removable mag. I use a torqued-down AR Maglock and Kingpin. While the Kingpin leaves a lot to be desired (removing it for cleaning is about a half a bitch to get back in), reloads are quick , last-round bolt hold works, and jams can be cleared pretty easily. It's easy to install and if done right, easy to back out should the law change or necessity dictates.

The key to maintaining SAFE compliance is that a magazine can't be INSERTED while the action is closed. That's a deviation from CA and the other shitty states. With a properly installed maglock, you can *force* a magazine in, but it will bend the feedlip on one side and render the magazine useless for all intents and purposes (I trashed a couple of Lancers proving that point). While this solution hasn't been tried in a court of law, I've gotten opinions of *Upstate* LE and one very liberal lawyer that it does meet the criteria.
On the other side, I have a couple of FFLs that swear by the Cross Armory stuff to "permanently" pin a mag, combined with a CompMag side-loading magazine. The one big con for that one is that the CompMag is polymer and expensive. I see the potential for it to wear out after a few hundred rounds, so I'm not going that route unless they can make one in steel.

last explanation of NYS safe is the kingpin is illegal

I was going to install one

mini 14 or a socom.
 

Bolo

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last explanation of NYS safe is the kingpin is illegal

I was going to install one

mini 14 or a socom.
Do you have a new source for that? The only negative opinion on AR Mag Lock / Kingpin was based on DSI's FUD (see point 3 in my post above).
If it magically became illegal, nobody told my county Sheriff yet... he and a couple deputies I was shooting with a couple weeks ago had no problem with it.
Best part about shooting with LE? They bring their own ammo and don't mooch off of you.
 

brianf

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Do you have a new source for that? The only negative opinion on AR Mag Lock / Kingpin was based on DSI's FUD (see point 3 in my post above).
If it magically became illegal, nobody told my county Sheriff yet... he and a couple deputies I was shooting with a couple weeks ago had no problem with it.
Best part about shooting with LE? They bring their own ammo and don't mooch off of you.
ill try and find it, I was researching about 6 months ago. Was thinking of picking up a AR and bumped into it.
 

Imthatguywithquestions

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OP - I would also speak with a knowledgeable local FFL. I believe that there are a couple of work-arounds to NY law. For example, a device that enables the lower and upper to become slightly detached, without being completely disassembled. Mag. can then be detached and new mag inserted and upper and lower re-attached. My memory is that I spoke with an FFL about this and he said that if gun is configured this way it complies with SAFE Act which permits a mag to be detachable when the gun is "disassembled". However, I have not reviewed the statute itself and living in a free state don't have this problem. But again, an FFL in New York who sells AR's should be able to give you some guidance.
That used to be the case. I believe that is not legal anymore.
 

Muriner

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I ended up getting Thordsen gen 3 and BCM carbine buffer tube (standard weight, now I'm thinking maybe I should have ordered H). So once the upper comes I can start putting together a featureless build. With the manufacturing backlog it might take months before the upper gets here.
 

Muriner

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I don't know much of anything about this, just saw this on instagram the other day, figured I would pass it along. Looks like an interesting concept if you decide to pin a 10 rounder. Scroll down the page for videos.

https://www.meanarms.com/products/detail/ma-loader-for-ar15
It's funny you mentioned that. I literally just saw it at my range and it works great. Just as fast as a normal mag change according to the guy who has it. I wonder how long it lasts before it gets banned.