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Posted: 9/6/2018 3:23:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2018 7:42:20 PM EDT by hestonk]
I've been working on this project for nearly two years now and i think it's time i share a little bit about it publicly online.

There's a long backstory about this brace and how it came to be today, with the design iterations it went through, ATF nightmare, and patenting etc, but it has been shaped by all these things to turn into something that is very functional and ATF approved.

This brace utilizes a standard carbine buffer tube, and gives a platform that allows the shooter to stabilize their AR pistol without using their shoulder, using their upper arm or bicep region. It folds up into something that is just as thin as a traditional shoulder stock, so you don't have an awkward extension sitting out for your bicep when you don't need it.

In short, it gives you a near-'shoulder fired' experience without using or touching your shoulder.

I put together a short demo video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMNzSKyjlTQ

My latest testing of the brace has the muzzle rise mitigated to something that's very close to a traditional shoulder stock, as you can see in the demo video.

This thing took me over a year to get ATF FTB approval alone, two rejections in that time and 10 months spent stuck in chief counsel, supposedly due to the controversial nature of the brace.

Anyways, this is a work in progress and you can tell it's still fairly rough around the edges. All the parts are 3D printed and this is still deep in the prototyping stage, but I plan on letting some folks in gun blogs and the likes test this out. I absolutely want to bring this to market to give all of us another great and legal option to shoot our AR pistols.

ETA: please direct any business inquiries or prototype sample requests to heston@bicepbrace.com thanks.

NEW: F.A.Q.

Open to all thoughts and suggestions, curious to see what you guys think.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 3:46:46 PM EDT
Are we not allowed to shoulder arm braces again?
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 3:49:51 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Pneumagger:
Are we not allowed to shoulder arm braces again?
View Quote
Building a shoulder fired short barrel weapon without a tax stamp has been illegal since 1934. Misusing a pistol is beyond the ATF's purview, they shouldn't have weighed in like they did.

Arm braces aren't stocks unless the manufacturer intends to use it as one...
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 3:51:18 PM EDT
Not sure if this constitutes advertising or not, but.... IBTL
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 3:53:14 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RLunyATL:

Not sure if this constitutes advertising or not, but.... IBTL
View Quote
I should be very clear, there's nothing for sale and I'm not accepting money from anyone here. This thing is a work in progress and I just wanted to share said progress.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 3:53:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RLunyATL:

Not sure if this constitutes advertising or not, but.... IBTL
View Quote
I'd like to see site admin let it run for a bit. He's clearly not to the point of selling anything yet. When it gets to that point perhaps he can become an industry member.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 3:54:27 PM EDT
looks overly complicated and expensive
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 3:57:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2018 3:58:10 PM EDT by PewPewPew1212]
Impressive! It works very well in its intended form. I would wager it could function very well if misused as well.

Just another example of the stupidity of our firearms laws.

I hope you make million$
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 4:02:17 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PewPewPew1212:
Impressive! It works very well in its intended form. I would wager it could function very well if misused as well.

Just another example of the stupidity of our firearms laws.

I hope you make million$
View Quote
The idea is that the intended/approved use is something people will actually want to use, so if we ever land ourselves back in a world where ATF is governing intent again you won't have a paperweight on the back of your AR.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 4:02:45 PM EDT
During the snapshot in time that the ATF claimed shouldering an arm brace created a shoulder stock this may have had a market? I would not expect much of a demand for a Bicep brace as things stand now.
That being said, I't looks like a well made and thought out design that would aid in stabilizing a pistol.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 5:47:26 PM EDT
Cannot state loudly enough how much I appreciate your imagination and technical prowess, however, I see no market for it. Hope I'm wrong.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 5:53:45 PM EDT
I picked up a sb arm brace back when they first came out years ago thinking this is great . 1 year later im sorry but it doesnt cut it . I got my stamp and added a proper stock . I gave my brace away its a toy . SBR wins on all platforms over any brace unless you live in a state that will not grant you SBR ownership .My friend said " you know a brace on your gun is like a flesh light.... its might fell good but its nothing like the real thing "
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 6:24:01 PM EDT
That is one massive complicated mess of moving parts. I'll stick with the SBA3 for $100.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 6:29:06 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By majorcollins:
That is one massive complicated mess of moving parts. I'll stick with the SBA3 for $100.
View Quote
Well it is a prototype. It's not like the SB-15 started out as something beautiful...

What would you suggest I change first to make it at least appear less complicated? The arm has to fold, so eliminating the pivoting points isn't really an option. Hiding some of the springs is obviously something i'd like to do in the future.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 6:32:03 PM EDT
do not want
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 7:09:05 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 94tonka:
I picked up a sb arm brace back when they first came out years ago thinking this is great . 1 year later im sorry but it doesnt cut it . I got my stamp and added a proper stock . I gave my brace away its a toy . SBR wins on all platforms over any brace unless you live in a state that will not grant you SBR ownership .My friend said " you know a brace on your gun is like a flesh light.... its might fell good but its nothing like the real thing "
View Quote
I think the thrill of having a SBR has given you an unrealistic sense of it's real life advantages.
A stock has two main functions, a cheek rest and a shoulder support. Labeling something a ''shoulder stock'' does not magically make it serve those two purposes any better than an ''arm brace'' with equal abilities. If anything, arm braces such as the SBA3 have the advantage of serving the two purposes equally well but also the ability to shoot one handed.
The only real advantage a ''shoulder stock'' has at this point is cosmetically looking a certain way for cloning purposes. Other than a cosmetic appearance, I see no advantage at all because there is none. Calling something equally purposeful a ''toy'' because it does not fit your cosmetic expectation is not fair.
I will admit, not all braces are created equal but not all stocks are created equal either.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 7:24:53 PM EDT
Big points in my book just for getting the approval. Its something in writing stating that we can brace against our bicep and its not being used like a rifle. Did they give you any measurement for how far away from the shoulder it has to be? like "no further than 5/6 the way up the arm"?

I do agree that is has way too many moving parts. It needs simplified a good bit before most people would buy it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 7:38:53 PM EDT
I'll say 2 things:

Kudos for the ingenuity

Looks like it satisfies the letter but not the spirit of the law. But look for ATF to redefine "shoulder" as "that part of the human anatomy above the elbow".
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 7:40:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2018 7:43:59 PM EDT by hestonk]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By giantpune:
Big points in my book just for getting the approval. Its something in writing stating that we can brace against our bicep and its not being used like a rifle. Did they give you any measurement for how far away from the shoulder it has to be? like "no further than 5/6 the way up the arm"?

I do agree that is has way too many moving parts. It needs simplified a good bit before most people would buy it.
View Quote
The approval was hard as all fuck to get. I had to get a former chief of FTB involved to get them to make it a priority in the last month or so of the wait. They have completely changed their SOPs within FTB too so things that were approved years ago wouldn't necessarily be approved today under the new SOPs.

They did not specify within the letter at what distance the bicep stops and the shoulder begins etc. In my correspondence I sent them several pictures of me using the brace in the sweet spot on my upper arm which is between the bicep and the top of my arm. They apparently seemed to think that, including the bicep region, is all perfectly fine.

I agree with the complexity, though again there is no getting around the key pivotal points within the design where the arm folds and the "bicep clamp" folds. Those will have to stay. I can simplify their look and their deployment though, as I have with the latest iteration - the main arm now locks itself automatically using a detent as shown in the demo video.

Edit: But i cant stress enough how much this is a PROTOTYPE and not a finished product. I would love to work with a company like SB Tactical to buff out all of the design things.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 8:14:28 PM EDT
Cool. Thanks for sharing the progress.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 8:31:49 PM EDT
Very cool OP.

Looks like a ton of development time when into it.

Its always a pleasure seeing people develop new items to use with firearms.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 10:38:06 PM EDT
OP, great idea.

Curious what your inspiration for this design was? How is it shooting the rifle with no support hand? I could see this being a great tool for our veterans and others that have loss the use of a limb. Have you consider that as a use?

Honestly doesn't look to overly complicated, but I'm sure it will change as you go through development. If be interested learning more about your design and helping anyway I can.

Id also suggest ignoring those that talk down on your invention but give no suggestions for improvement, their opinions are worthless lol.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 11:01:23 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jester123:
OP, great idea.

Curious what your inspiration for this design was? How is it shooting the rifle with no support hand? I could see this being a great tool for our veterans and others that have loss the use of a limb. Have you consider that as a use?

Honestly doesn't look to overly complicated, but I'm sure it will change as you go through development. If be interested learning more about your design and helping anyway I can.
View Quote
I haven't considered the veterans/disabled folks use honestly because SB Tactical and others seem to have that need covered. That's where the original idea for the SB-15 came from if i recall, which is very respectable. I am not looking to replicate what they've done with the forearm stuff.

Inspiration was really just around me looking for a better way to shoot an AR pistol that didn't involve shouldering it. Getting that 3rd point of contact in terms of stability and energy transfer for recoil is key in being able to have proper control over it, and you really can't do that with a cheek weld device or forearm brace that isn't up against your shoulder. There was clearly a huge gap in the market in terms of a device that would deliver that shoulder-stock-like capability without using your shoulder, and I figured the bicep was the next best place to have that point of contact.

The biggest challenge has been having that, while having something that isn't overly large and ridiculously foreign looking on an AR pistol. I think what i've built here is a good marriage between the two, combining the utility of being able to stabilize your pistol from the bicep while also having it fold up into a package that is really no bigger than a traditional shoulder stock.

I appreciate the kind words. I am taking everyone's feedback into account, one way or another.
Link Posted: 9/6/2018 11:59:40 PM EDT
I think your original design was better w/o that locking tab poking out the back of the brace boss. BATFE seemingly likes it, however.

You've got enough room in there to add a magazine holder, probably wouldn't hurt to put that in - just saw a flexible mag holder that has BATFE approval as "NotAStock".
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 12:14:50 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By backbencher:
I think your original design was better w/o that locking tab poking out the back of the brace boss. BATFE seemingly likes it, however.
View Quote
Good eye. Yes, the design for the arm lock toggle had to stay, per FTB's request. Not sure why you would care though if you are using the brace as intended.
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 11:34:07 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hestonk:

The approval was hard as all fuck to get. I had to get a former chief of FTB involved to get them to make it a priority in the last month or so of the wait. They have completely changed their SOPs within FTB too so things that were approved years ago wouldn't necessarily be approved today under the new SOPs.

They did not specify within the letter at what distance the bicep stops and the shoulder begins etc. In my correspondence I sent them several pictures of me using the brace in the sweet spot on my upper arm which is between the bicep and the top of my arm. They apparently seemed to think that, including the bicep region, is all perfectly fine.

I agree with the complexity, though again there is no getting around the key pivotal points within the design where the arm folds and the "bicep clamp" folds. Those will have to stay. I can simplify their look and their deployment though, as I have with the latest iteration - the main arm now locks itself automatically using a detent as shown in the demo video.

Edit: But i cant stress enough how much this is a PROTOTYPE and not a finished product. I would love to work with a company like SB Tactical to buff out all of the design things.
View Quote
@manticorearms
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 12:56:16 PM EDT
I have two arms, but this design actually seems like it could be better than the original brace for someone with a handicap if some straps were added considering it gives two points of contact rather than just one arming it. Not for the average shooter, but neat design and out of the box.
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 1:22:48 PM EDT
my first reaction was "wtf is that?"

but then when i saw it in use, its actually really clever.....and with some refinement, i could see it actually doing really well in the brace market........honestly, the more brace options we have the better.

keep up the good work!
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 1:23:05 PM EDT
Neat idea......but holy crap it's got a lot of little moving parts, hinges, springs, and pins.......lots of stuff to break on it. It's like the Optimus Prime of AR15 braces.
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 1:47:48 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By imq707s:
Neat idea......but holy crap it's got a lot of little moving parts, hinges, springs, and pins.......lots of stuff to break on it. It's like the Optimus Prime of AR15 braces.
View Quote
Again. It's a prototype, it's rough around the edges. Demonstrates the concept and functionality of the final design but is definitely not the final design.

But we can always make "texan over-engineering" a thing
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 2:09:21 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By imq707s:
Neat idea......but holy crap it's got a lot of little moving parts, hinges, springs, and pins.......lots of stuff to break on it. It's like the Optimus Prime of AR15 braces.
View Quote
You say that like it's a bad thing!

I look at it like a side folding Uzi stock. Use sturdy enough parts and it should hold up. It's not for everyone, but it's clever engineering.
Link Posted: 9/7/2018 6:54:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2018 10:06:39 PM EDT by hestonk]






Some not-shitty images that definitely show how rough around the edges it still is.
Link Posted: 9/8/2018 1:32:07 AM EDT
Definitely needs to be slimmed down and simplified, but its a functional prototype, and looks to have ATF approval. So plus.
Link Posted: 9/8/2018 7:59:39 PM EDT
How is it if you have a bad shoulder?
It would be a problem if you have arthritis in your shoulder.
I know old Ky long rifles had the sharp but plate that was on the arm.
Keep up the good work,
Link Posted: 9/8/2018 8:03:43 PM EDT
How is it if you have a bad shoulder?
It would be a problem if you have arthritis in your shoulder.
I know old Ky long rifles had the sharp but plate that was on the arm.
Keep up the good work,
Link Posted: 9/8/2018 8:38:31 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kychas:
How is it if you have a bad shoulder?
It would be a problem if you have arthritis in your shoulder.
I know old Ky long rifles had the sharp but plate that was on the arm.
Keep up the good work,
View Quote
Can't speak for the bad shoulder thing. The recoil is still going to travel up your arm so if it hurts you to shoulder a rifle it will probably hurt to shoot this from the upper arm.
Link Posted: 9/10/2018 6:45:08 PM EDT
OP:

Do you have a contact/website that people can go to for more information?
Link Posted: 9/10/2018 7:32:35 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By goloud:
OP:

Do you have a contact/website that people can go to for more information?
View Quote
If you PM me i can give you my email, I don't want to blast it out here for spambots. I don't have a website or anything setup beyond the youtube video and what i've posted here.
Link Posted: 9/10/2018 7:48:52 PM EDT
Are you the one with the sweet Hawaiian shirt?
Link Posted: 9/10/2018 8:00:36 PM EDT
My .02

I hate the reason it exists, our laws are stupid and this is a workaround to a problem that only exists on (legislative) paper. I don't hate you for making it, on the contrary, I wish you the best of luck. I had the same idea (concept only) (I know everone says that, but I did) but didn't personally see it as likely to succeed/find a market. I still hold that opinion, but I've been known to be wrong sometimes. I like it because it thumbs its nose at the NFA. I don't like it because I don't see it as adding any useful innovation aside from 'noncompliance' via compliance. I find it ugly (though well-executed) in the awkward way it sticks out from the weapon, and that's inherent to the design. I don't see it as adding anything in capability that I can't get with current brace options that are more aesthetically pleasing and easily adapted to off-label uses. So, I like it and dislike it at the same time, but considering utility, I don't see much use or market for it. Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/10/2018 8:16:23 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JonathanEvo9:
Are you the one with the sweet Hawaiian shirt?
View Quote
Nope, but i will tell them you thought their shirt was sweet!
Link Posted: 9/10/2018 9:50:39 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hestonk:

Can't speak for the bad shoulder thing. The recoil is still going to travel up your arm so if it hurts you to shoulder a rifle it will probably hurt to shoot this from the upper arm.
View Quote
This will be worse on a bad shoulder than properly shouldering a stock in the pocket. I decided to try out a semiauto 20ga the week before I had shoulder surgery and had no problems running it with my elbow tucked and the butt properly seated. I've more than once while dove hunting drew up to fast with a 12ga only to plant the stock more on my upper bicep and have it try to rip my arm off.
Link Posted: 9/11/2018 12:41:52 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DevJames:

This will be worse on a bad shoulder than properly shouldering a stock in the pocket. I decided to try out a semiauto 20ga the week before I had shoulder surgery and had no problems running it with my elbow tucked and the butt properly seated. I've more than once while dove hunting drew up to fast with a 12ga only to plant the stock more on my upper bicep and have it try to rip my arm off.
View Quote
Yeah, wouldn't recommend it.
Link Posted: 9/11/2018 1:59:27 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 94tonka:
I picked up a sb arm brace back when they first came out years ago thinking this is great . 1 year later im sorry but it doesnt cut it . I got my stamp and added a proper stock . I gave my brace away its a toy . SBR wins on all platforms over any brace unless you live in a state that will not grant you SBR ownership .My friend said " you know a brace on your gun is like a flesh light.... its might fell good but its nothing like the real thing "
View Quote
I completely disagree. I have 3 SBR's, but if the arm braces had been available sooner I would have 0. Practically they are just as effective, save $200/ea and avoid a lot of hassle and the humiliation of complying with NFA.

I love the innovation of the bicep brace idea and hope if further invalidates the idiotic regulation we suffer under. More options are better.
Link Posted: 9/11/2018 2:35:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/11/2018 2:38:35 PM EDT by giantpune]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Porcine83:save $200/ea and avoid a lot of hassle and the humiliation of complying with NFA.
View Quote
Not this garbage again. Everybody who has an arm brace on a pistol, an SBR tax stamp, a pinned muzzle device, a 16" integrally suppressed barrel, or a 16" barrel on a gun that doesn't benefit from that long of a barrel are all complying with the NFA, just in different ways.

If you really want to be a rebel and piss in the face of the NFA and show the man who's boss, go make you an unregistered SBR or machine gun.
Link Posted: 9/11/2018 2:46:52 PM EDT
Oh wow, this got published in TFB. https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2018/09/11/ar15-bicep-brace/

Thanks @goloud the article looks great, seriously if you guys want a sample for some testing let me know.
Link Posted: 9/11/2018 3:09:59 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hestonk:
Oh wow, this got published in TFB. https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2018/09/11/ar15-bicep-brace/

Thanks @goloud the article looks great, seriously if you guys want a sample for some testing let me know.
View Quote
Link Posted: 9/11/2018 4:35:10 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hestonk:
Oh wow, this got published in TFB. https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2018/09/11/ar15-bicep-brace/

Thanks @goloud the article looks great, seriously if you guys want a sample for some testing let me know.
View Quote
Link Posted: 9/11/2018 10:08:21 PM EDT
Sorry, but it wouldn’t sell.

A huge amount of people do the pistol thing for “the look” and that thing doesn’t have it.

A huge amount of people do the brace for a compact but unregulated long gun option, and that thing doesn’t provide it.

Looks like it would do well on the target range, but really not elsewhere.

The more innovation the better though, wouldn’t ever knock you for trying
Link Posted: 9/12/2018 7:57:57 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By giantpune:

Not this garbage again. Everybody who has an arm brace on a pistol, an SBR tax stamp, a pinned muzzle device, a 16" integrally suppressed barrel, or a 16" barrel on a gun that doesn't benefit from that long of a barrel are all complying with the NFA, just in different ways.

If you really want to be a rebel and piss in the face of the NFA and show the man who's boss, go make you an unregistered SBR or machine gun.
View Quote
Unfortunately, everyone that does that wont be talking about it here, so we cant praise them for it.
Link Posted: 9/13/2018 4:18:48 PM EDT
Some things I wanted to address after seeing stuff mentioned in various places around the internet about this:

I do find it slightly odd, maybe somewhat flattering, that there are many people discussing this as a "product" and not what it is... a prototype. Yes I've been working on it for a while and didn't want to go public with it until I had the ATF letter in hand and all that stuff sorted out. It works, it demonstrates the proof of concept, but it's not the most beautiful thing in the world. I am fully aware of that. There are way too many people assuming this is going to be the final design that goes to market.

I want to work with a company to finalize the design and bring the brace to the market. I am open to listening to any company that is interested, I'm based in Austin, TX FYI. My email is heston@bicepbrace.com feel free to reach out and start a conversation with me there. I have already had a few interested parties, but am looking for the best fit.

I have continued work on this brace through the whole "shouldering" saga because I have obtained evidence to believe ATF is going to 're-clarify' the situation. I don't want to elaborate any more than that, because I'm not out here looking to ruin anyone's fun or nitpick people who shoulder braces etc, but I am fully aware of the situation that exists today. My brace aims to give a long-term solution for the legality issues that are broadly discussed, rather than a solution that lasts a year or two tops.

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