Can You Put A Pistol Brace On A Rifle?

Rifle stocks tend to have a weight and heft to them. It’s not unheard of that people came to dislike the stock brace on a rifle. On the other hand, a pistol brace offers the same type of stability without being bulky and offering more adjustments.

While it’s legal to use pistol braces on AR Pistols according to NFA, there are some states out there that deem them illegal. So, is it legal to put a pistol brace on a rifle? Let’s find out.

The Loophole

There is a workaround for the whole legality battle of pistol stabilizing braces and the weapons in talk. AR pistols are smaller-sized weapons that do almost everything a rifle is doing. But they are lighter, cheaper, and easier to use.

Adding a brace makes it more stable and makes it a two-hand usable weapon. Thus defeating the point of being a “pistol”. Don’t worry, you won’t go to jail for putting up a brace on your AR pistol. Not yet, at least.

The main loophole is, that if your rifle’s barrel is under 16 inches and it wears a brace, it will fall under SBR standing for short barrel rifles. It will not be considered a pistol anymore nor it’s capable of calling itself a rifle. If you want the full rulebook, then you can always check out the ruling here.

Now that we are clear about what’s legal and what’s not, let’s see what other rules I need to keep in mind before registering my weapon as SBR.

Do I Have To Register My Braced Firearm As An SBR?

That depends on various things. For example, if you have a barrel over 16 inches and 26 or longer overall length, then it doesn’t fall under NFA and you don’t need to register it.

But if you have an AR pistol or a rifle with a shorter barrel than 16 inches with an overall length shorter than 26 inches, then you will need to register it as a SBR. Or you can do something else such as,

  • Removing the brace in a way that cannot be reattached.
  • Use a barrel longer than 16 inches.
  • Register it as an SBR.
  • Visit your local ATF office to clear up the confusion.
  • Dispose of the weapon.

You and I are not above the ATF, if they deem our weapon as illegal, it’s illegal. That’s it, there is no room for argument here.

If I Register The Weapon, Do I Need To Pay The $200 Tax?

According to the rule published on Jan 31, 2023, and had a deadline of 120 days. If you registered in between then, you probably didn’t pay the tax. But if you are reading this post later, and now wondering if you need to pay for it, well, you do.

What’s The Process Time Of Registering?

According to ATF, it’s not possible to state a fixed timeline. They said they are trying their best to make sure the process goes smoothly and fast. But they can only do so much. So, be patient if you just turned in your form.

I Recently Ordered A Braced Firearm, What Am I Supposed To Do?

You will need to refuse the package and send it back to the manufacturer. Or you will need to turn to your local ATF office and get the brace removed to register it as a bracelet’s weapon. Or you can fill up the form on paper to register the weapon as a braced firearm. Up to you.

I’m A Disabled Person, Can I Own A Braced Firearm Without Registering?

Unfortunately, no. The answer is no for everybody. Unless you register the firearm to comply with the rules implemented by the NFA, you legally cannot possess the weapon. If you do, you will be in legal trouble.

My State Doesn’t Allow Sbr, What Am I Supposed To Do?

Move out. No, it’s not a joke. ATF clearly stated they are not going to express anything over the state’s legal values. If you are thinking that ATF will take care of the SBR ban on your behalf you, have a fat chance!

Does A Buffer Tube Count As A Brace?

As a buffer tube is necessary for the gun to operate, ATF deemed a buffer tube as a necessity. Not a luxury or accessory, a buffer tube is completely legal and will not be counted as a brace.

Will My Gunsmith Work On My Sbr?

If your SBR is legal and registered under ATF and your state has no bans on the SBR, then your gunsmith will be more than happy to work on your SBR. But if your weapon isn’t registered or there is a ban on SBR in the state you are living in, then you have no chance of getting your gun worked on.


So, what did we learn today? We can use a pistol brace on a rifle if it’s under 26” of length and registered as a short barrel rifle. If it isn’t registered as such and is longer then it’s a rifle and will be excluded in the new brace rule implemented by them.

So, if you own a short-barrel rifle, you should get a pistol brace. If you don’t, then stick to AR stocks/braces, not pistol braces. Nobody wants a lawsuit against them for owning a gun. I will suggest you not mess with the legal team as well.

Hope that helped you out a bit. If so, I’m glad. I will once again say to read the ATF rules and regulations before deciding on a new gun. You don’t want your gun to be confiscated. That’s all for now, I will see you at the next one. Take care and have fun.

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