LooseRounds.com5.56 Timeline


Troy EM203 M203 Tri-Rail

I look at how much of my income I spend on guns and I think I should switch to a cheaper hobby. Maybe gambling, or drugs.

Fortunately I didn’t spend too much on this. I saw one used for sale, ordered it, and told Shawn that I would probably mount it for a few minutes, snap a few photos, then take it off and throw it in the parts bin. I was right.

Someone looked at the M203 Grenade Launcher and thought, “It needs more rails.” Troy Industries made this, now discontinued, tri-rail that clamps on to a M203 barrel. It would have originally come with a Troy Ind modular vertical forward grip. This used one did not include the VFG.

At first glance, this isn’t a terrible idea. When a M203 is mounted on a rifle, it becomes the main part of the rifle you hold on too with your support hand. The M203 barrel is much lower than any rail system on the rifle, making the use of lights and lasers awkward. And mounting the M203 causes you to lose the ability to mount a vertical grip or bipod.

There was one of the companies that manufactured M203 launchers made a version with a rail on the bottom of the barrel. I can’t find a picture of it at the moment. I don’t know if anyone actually ordered any. It might have just been a prototype.

The Troy EM203 would let you mount a vertical grip on your M203 barrel, and mount accessories in easy reach of that grip. If you wanted to, you could run a bipod or grippod on a rifle with a M203.

Troy designed the EM203 to hinge open for installation. Loosen two screws, and the entire thing unfolds to easily mount onto the M203 barrel.

I did not expect this and I think is a pretty nifty design. But ultimately unnecessary. They could have just as easily made it two parts that clamped together and omitted a few cuts and bolts in the design.

The best feature that the EM203 rocks are the two remote levers for unlocking the M203 barrel. When you reload the M203, you have to hit the latch on the left side of the launcher. This tri-rail has a cam and a pair of levers allowing you to open the action by hitting levers on either side of the gun.

The left side lever is easy to hit with your left hand thumb and sits in a nice location. Note that in the picture above the side sling swivel mounted on the barrel would prevent proper use of the M203 because the swivel blocks the lever to open the breach.

On the right side the lever is at the bottom and is pushed forwards. I found this a fair bit harder to hit and use. But to be fair, I wouldn’t want that lever any bigger as it might be easy to accidentally hit if it were.

When I first saw that these levers were held on by roll pins, I was concerned about the roll pins breaking. But after thinking about it, it would be better to have a roll pin break than to damage the weapon.

So why wasn’t this product a stunning success?

The M203 is a little wide. Clamping a rail system to it makes it even wider. This makes the gun a little too wide to hold well. It doesn’t show up well in photos, but when you pick it up for one moment it is an ergonomic nightmare. Moving the vertical grip so far away from the axis of the bore doesn’t help.

The biggest issue has to do with the design of the M203. A M203 barrel is aluminum, and interfaces with a dovetail like joint in the aluminum M203 receiver. It was never made to support additional weight or take additional abuse.

There are already stories of the M203 grip (pictured above), putting additional stress on M203 launchers and causing them to become unservicable. Who knows how much additional wear mountings accessories to the M203 barrel would cause? It might not be an issue. But would you want to risk it on a personally owned gun?

A M203 isn’t a precision weapon. There is a good bit of play between the barrel and the receiver. Not an issue if you are mounting a VFG or light, but it was be unsuitable for mounting an aiming device like a laser. The rainbow like trajectory of the 40mm rounds also precludes the use of a fixed laser. So, what would you really need 3 rail sections for?

I think this EM203 part is well made, but would have been better if they could have tucked the rail sections closer to the barrel. Make it a little smaller, and sleeker. Ultimately it is a niche item for a small market. I took mine off the same day I put it on, and threw it in the parts bin.

SilencerCo Octane 9 and 45

West Valley City, UT – West Valley City, UT – The Octane 9 and 45 are back by popular demand.  The Octane maintains its industry leading Click-Together Assembly (CTA), while updating the outer tube design and we have also added markings to the outside of the baffles to help with the alignment of the baffle ports for the optimal sound suppression.  This user serviceable suppressor is a versatile choice for someone looking to outfit their pistol, pistol caliber carbine, or sub gun. The Octane offers premium performance for an unbeatable new price.

The Octane 9 and 45 are full-auto rated for their designated calibers as well as 300 Blackout Subsonic. The Octane baffles are made from 17-4 Stainless Steel providing high wear resistance, and an aluminum outer tube to save weight.  This durable and effective offering will meet all your pistol caliber needs.

The Octane 9 and 45 will ship with a spring retainer and spring.  The Octane is compatible with Alpha Direct Thread Mounts and SilencerCo pistons.  The Octane 9 MSRP is $624 and the Octane 45 is $624.  The Octane 9 and 45 are shipping to distributors and dealers now. 

Griffin Armament Bushwhacker 46 Universal Suppressor

Some more noise from the Press & Propaganda machine this morning. This one actually made my eyebrow raise a little in interest.

Griffin Armament is proud to introduce the Bushwhacker® 46, a universal sound suppressor designed to maximize feature functionality, performance, and value with a vast selection of caliber compatibility.

The Bushwhacker’s durable 1.375×24 threaded 17-4 stainless steel tube chassis, is supplied with a Griffin Plan-A Taper Mount adapter, Taper Mount muzzle device, and a booster piston housing. These factory inclusions allow the Bushwhacker to quickly and easily be configured for centerfire rifle or handgun use. Its .46 caliber diameter provides end users with the most caliber flexibility possible, while retaining quality sound suppression. .450 Bushmaster, .458 socom, .45-70 Govt, and other large bore calibers are at home with the Bushwhacker 46. Additionally, .30 caliber Paladin blast shield front cap can be interfaced with the Bushwhacker 46 further improving sound performance on the Paladin with 30 caliber and lesser rounds like .308 Win, .300 BLK, and 6.5 Creedmoor.

Sound suppressors can increase in weight and reduce in internal volume, losing performance over time from carbon and copper accumulation. The Bushwhacker features Griffin Armament’s unique, patented Ratchet-lok end cap which provides the user with a robust mechanism to disassemble their suppressor easily for periodic cleaning and maintenance. This consumer demanded technology and the included tools ensure that your investment can be reset to factory weight and sound performance specifications with minor preventative maintenance.

The Bushwhacker 46 also features Griffin’s patented High Efficiency, Dual Purpose baffle technology. HEDP baffles are engineered to provide balanced sound performance on a host of popular calibers and firearms. The bushwhacker’s 6AL4V Titanium HEDP baffles provide impressive sound performance measuring 141dB with full power .450 Bushmaster, 126dB with .300 blackout subsonic, and 130dB with .45 ACP. The 17-4 Stainless tube, front cap and Titanium baffle stack give put the Bushwhacker at 16.3 ounces in its Rifle configuration and 18.1 ounces in a pistol configuration.

Additional accessory support allows the Bushwhacker to be mounted to a myriad of hosts via the 3-lug QD kit, Plan-A XL, or the 1.375×24 A2 adapter. A specialty mount was also designed and manufactured for mounting the Bushwhacker to an unmodified 1928a1 Thompson via the Cutts Compensator.

Performance, Durability, and Versatility are hallmarks of the Griffin Armament brand. These qualities are embodied in the Bushwhacker® 46 and will ensure this universal sound suppressor remains a highly demanded product for years to come.

To find out more on Griffin Armament’s entire product line, please visit their website at www.GriffinArmament.com. For attendees of the 2020 SHOT Show, Griffin Armament will be exhibiting the Bushwhacker, along with the rest of their product line at Booth #8207.

Key points – price and inclusions:
• $999 MSRP
• 1.375×24 Plan-A™ Taper Mount interface
• Booster assembly included (piston is not included)
• 5/8×24 .30 Cal Taper Mount muzzle device & shims
• Total of 3 wrenches, 2 for the rear geometry on the Plan-A™ and the tube body, and one for the pistol accessories and configuration

• Patented Ratchet-LOK™ end cap system for user serviceability
• Patented HEDP™ baffles (High efficiency dual purpose)
• Compatible with Griffin Taper Mount minimalist devices and TM Hammer Comp with included Plan-A™, and all Griffin Taper Mounts with the Plan-A™ XL (coming soon)
• 1.375×24 threaded rear interface to support alternative mounting options
• Supports 3-lug QD kit in 9mm and 10mm/.45 via 1.375×24 Booster piston housing
• Supports rifle calibers from .22 up to 45-70 Govt.
• Supports Pistol calibers up to .45 ACP
• Use of 30 cal Paladin® blast shield end cap increases sound performance on 30 caliber and lesser.

• 8.25” long x  1.5” diameter
• 17-4 Stainless Steel tube body and front cap, Black nitride finish
• 6AL4V Titanium baffles
• 16.3 oz in the Taper Mount configuration (using the included Plan A)
• 18.1oz in the Pistol configuration
• Ratings: 16”-.45-70, .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM; 9.5”-5.56; 6” .300BLK; 8” 6.8 SPC, 7.62×39; 12.5” .308Win; 20” .300WM

ATF letter regarding the Franklin Armory Reformation

December 19, 2019

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received questions from industry members and the general public regarding a new type of firearm produced by the Franklin Armory. This firearm, known as the “Reformation”, utilizes a barrel that is produced with straight lands and grooves. This design contrasts with conventional rifling, in which the barrel’s lands and grooves are spiral or twisted, and are designed to impart a spin onto the projectile.

The ATF Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) has examined the Reformation firearm for purposes of classification under the applicable provisions of the Gun Control Act (GCA) and the National Firearms Act (NFA). During this examination, FATD determined that the straight lands and grooves incorporated into the barrel design of the Reformation do not impart a spin onto a projectile when fired through the barrel. Consequently, the Reformation is not a “rifle” as that term is defined in the GCA and NFA. Moreover, because the Reformation is not chambered for shotgun shells, it is not a shotgun as defined in the NFA. Given these determinations, the Reformation is classified as a shotgun that is subject only to the provisions of the GCA (i.e., it is not a weapon subject to the provisions of the NFA).

Under the provisions of the GCA, if a Reformation firearm is equipped with a barrel that is less than 18-inches in overall length, that firearm is classified to be a short-barreled shotgun (SBS). When a Reformation is configured as a GCA/SBS, specific provisions of the GCA apply to the transfer of that firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to a non-licensee, and to the transport of that firearm by a non-licensee in interstate or foreign commerce. These provisions are:

18 U.S.C. 922(a)(4) requires that an individual wishing to transport an SBS in interstate or foreign commerce obtain approval by the Attorney General to transport the firearm.

18 U.S.C. 922(b)(4) requires authorization from the Attorney General consistent with public safety and necessity prior to the sale or delivery of an SBS to an individual by an FFL.

The Attorney General has delegated the authority for approval of requests pursuant to these sections to ATF.

The Franklin Armory Reformation is the first firearm produced and sold by an FFL that ATF has classified as a GCA/SBS. Because GCA/SBS firearms have not previously been available in the marketplace, existing federal firearm regulations do not provide a mechanism to process or approve requests from FFLs for approval to transfer a GCA/SBS to a non-licensee pursuant to section 922 (b)(4) or requests from non-licensees to transport a GCA/SBS pursuant to section 922(a)(4).

ATF is currently developing the procedures and forms to address this new type of firearm. Once promulgated, these new procedures and forms will provide the mechanism necessary for FFL holders and owners of GCA/SBS firearms to request the statutorily required approvals. Until such time, you should be aware of the following:

An FFL may lawfully sell/transfer a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to the holder of an appropriate FFL (a GCA/SBS cannot be transferred to the holder of a type 06 or type 03 FFL).

No mechanism currently exists for ATF to authorize a request from an FFL to transfer a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to a non-licensee. Therefore, until ATF is able to promulgate a procedure for processing and approving such requests, an FFL may not lawfully transfer a Reformation configured as a GCA/SBS to a non-licensee.

No mechanism currently exists for an unlicensed individual who possesses a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, to submit a request and receive approval to transport the GCA/SBS across state lines. Therefore, until ATF is able to promulgate a procedure for processing and approving such requests, the possessor or owner of a GCA/SBS, such as the Reformation, may not lawfully transport the firearm across state lines.

Any questions pertaining to this Open Letter may be sent to the Firearms Industry Programs Branch at FIPB@atf.gov or (202) 648-7190.

Curtis W. Gilbert
Acting Assistant Director
Enforcement, Programs and Services

Originally Posted By LHA-2:
Just read it again, it makes perfect sense. It isn’t a shotgun, but it’s a shotgun.

Moreover, because the Reformation is not chambered for shotgun shells, it is not a shotgun as defined in the NFA. Given these determinations, the Reformation is classified as a shotgun that is subject only to the provisions of the GCA (i.e., it is not a weapon subject to the provisions of the NFA).


Silencers and Semi-autos – A Parable

Imagine that you have a friend who is ready to buy his first AR15. Instead of following any reasonable advise, they go to a gun show and buy a random AR from one of these fly by night companies no one has ever heard of before or will hear of again.

Then they have some issues. Not being the sort to just settle, they work them out. Now your friend goes online and is is an “experienced expert” on the AR15. They go into great detail on how you have to take the gas block off and open up the gas port with a drill to get the gun to be reliable. How you need to take a file and open up the back of the mag well so that magazines will seat correctly. How there are so very many things you need to do to make an AR15 a reliable combat worthy firearm.

You try to tell them that none of that would have been necessary had they bought the right AR15 to begin with, but instead they insist that this work needs to be done to ALL AR15s.

Wouldn’t that be pretty damned infuriating? In the good ol’ days you might punch a man in the face for being so obstinately wrong, but we are more polite than that now.

There are people out there who claim that you have to use an adjustable gas block with a silencer. That all silencers cause excessive back pressure. That you need to switch buffers or change the gas system when running a silencer on an AR15.

This isn’t a matter of someone buying a cheap junky silencer to put on a cheap junky rifle, this is a matter of compatibility. Someone can buy a top of the line silencer and throw it on a semi auto and run into issues because the silencer was designed with bolt actions in mind. It might be the best silencer to put on a bolt action, but no consideration was made as to back pressure with that design. So when they throw it on a semi-auto, suddenly they have an over gassed gun. Now this expert tells everyone that every silencer will cause an over gassed gun. No, your bolt gun silencer will cause an over gassed semi-auto.

I saw a post on a forum today where someone was wanting to suppress a standard M4 configuration AR15. They said that they knew that a mid length 14.5 would be better for being silenced (WTF did that come from? Someone show me the research that says that.) This person was worried if it would even work at all, or if they would have to get an adjustable gas system and tune the buffer weights, etc.

Fortunately several people responded that they had the same setup and didn’t have to change a thing.

Yes, all guns can be tuned and improved, and that isn’t what I am talking about. I’m talking about those loud mouthed know-it-all’s, that once tried to make a soup sandwich and failed, that now claim that all sandwiches are bad.