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Posted: 4/26/2018 12:09:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/26/2018 12:09:42 PM EDT by Old_Painless]
Hi guys I'm new to gun and gun builds so I'm not to sure on the rules and regulations of CA. I know there are a lot of stupid laws that has passed to make it harder for individuals like me to build or buy AR 15 to fit the new specifications. I was wondering what is the CA current stands on Muzzle brakes, flash hiders, and compensator. Also how do they differentiate? I was thinking of building a fixed mag AR with a Cal Catch. Would any of those be ok? Please help. Thank You.
Link Posted: 4/25/2018 11:32:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/25/2018 11:36:33 PM EDT by endermend]
If you use a mag lock, you're allowed to have a telescoping stock, pistol grips, flash hiders, and any other evil feature.

If you want a standard mag release, you can't have any of the previously stated.
I would go to Cal Guns and look for the Featureless flow chart and follow that.

In general, for featureless, I would not put a muzzle device on. You aren't loosing much and it can't be mistaken for a flash hider.

Also we have a CA sub forum : link to it

Cal guns will be a lot more help than ARFcom, because almost everyone on Calguns has to deal with CA shit...
Link Posted: 4/25/2018 11:35:24 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By endermend:
If you use a mag lock, you're allowed to have a telescoping stock, pistol grips, flash hiders, and any other evil feature.

If you want a standard mag release, you can't have any of the previously stated.
I would go to Cal Guns and look for the Featureless flow chart and follow that.

In general, for featureless, I would not put a muzzle device on. You aren't loosing much and it can't be mistaken for a flash hider.
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so with that i can get even muzzle breaks and compensators? Sorry im not to sure whats the differences between the three
Link Posted: 4/25/2018 11:39:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/25/2018 11:39:56 PM EDT by endermend]
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Originally Posted By tluu20:

so with that i can get even muzzle breaks and compensators? Sorry im not to sure whats the differences between the three
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To me, the flash hider area is extremely vague. Some people take it as whether or not the device is called a flash hider or suppressor or if the company advertise is it as such. To me and I think this is the safer route is whether the exit hole of the muzzle device is a small diameter or not. Flash hiders usually open up like on the A2 flash hider. Here's a pic



With featureless, you're only allowed muzzle breaks and compensators. NO flash hiders!

With mag lock, you can have what ever you want minus a standard mag release.
Link Posted: 4/26/2018 6:29:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/26/2018 4:23:52 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By endermend:
If you use a mag lock, you're allowed to have a telescoping stock, pistol grips, flash hiders, and any other evil feature.
View Quote
Partly correct, but partly too late.

If you start building a new gun NOW (meaning after 1/1/2017), you can not use a bullet-button style maglock. Technically those are defined as those that allow one to *attach* a magazine, but not to *detach* the magazine without the use of a tool (such as the tip of a bullet). If you already had a bullet-button rifle built up to 2016, then those can now be registered, but new builds are fully illegal (and a felony).

On the other hand, they also make maglocks which require opening the action of the gun (separating upper and lower receiver) to reload. Those can continue to be built, as can featureless guns (no pistol grip, no flash hider, no other evil feature).
Link Posted: 4/26/2018 4:30:17 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By endermend:

To me, the flash hider area is extremely vague. Some people take it as whether or not the device is called a flash hider or suppressor or if the company advertise is it as such. To me and I think this is the safer route is whether the exit hole of the muzzle device is a small diameter or not. ...
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The test the state DoJ seems to us is: If the device is sold or advertised as a flash hider, then it is definitely a flash hider.

Now conversely, one would think that a device that is called a muzzle break is not a flash hider in the legal sense. That's probably true, but I would not rely on it. Because nothing prevents a local DA from getting an expert witness to measure the brightness of the flash, and if the exhaust gases are dispersed enough to dissipate the muzzle rise or kick, then they are also likely to emit less light. What I'm saying is: even a device that's intended to and sold to primarily control the exhaust gases might reduce the visible flash enough for it to be legally problematic.

On my personal guns, the non-registered featureless guns (which are not allowed to have any evil feature) have only thread protectors or just straight unthreaded barrels. On the registered ARs, I use whatever I feel like (which happens to be a device that mostly redirects the noise forward, without affecting recoil, since I'm mostly interested in a pleasant shooting environment for myself and my friends on the line).

Suppressors are nearly impossible to haver in California (dealers, manufacturers and law enforcement excepted). Forget about suppressors: any device intended to reduce noise is legally a no-go zone.
Link Posted: 4/26/2018 5:42:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/26/2018 5:48:02 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
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Originally Posted By treelogger:
Because nothing prevents a local DA from getting an expert witness to measure the brightness of the flash, and if the exhaust gases are dispersed enough to dissipate the muzzle rise or kick, then they are also likely to emit less light. What I'm saying is: even a device that's intended to and sold to primarily control the exhaust gases might reduce the visible flash enough for it to be legally problematic.
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Total luminosity and maybe even total irradiance would be the relevant characteristics, not "brightness", not color temperature, none of that.

If nothing else, a brakes creates two or more plumes. One from each port in addition to the plume that is directed forward. This would tend to increase total luminosity. Think of the two plasma jets coming out of the cylinder gap of a 357 or 44 magnum revolver. By themselves, the side plumes are not small.

Has Springfield Armory been illegally selling "CA-compliant" rifles with muzzle brakes for the last 20 years? I think not. They removed the military-defined "flash hider" and installed a "muzzle brake".

The military and the arms makers call that device on the M-14 and M-16 a "flash hider". If the arms makers call the device a "muzzle brake", especially if it is a functional brake, that hypothetical DA of yours is going to have a tough argument to make redefining it is a flash hider. Then the "reasonable person" criteria comes into play.

Over-reach by the DA = smack down!

By the way, what if I use a low flash powder? What if I use a high flash powder? Are heavy bullets now illegal because they reduce muzzle flash? Are long barreled rifles now illegal because they reduce muzzle flash (my AR has a 28" barrel versus your 16" barrel)?

This may make your brain explode - heavy bullet with low flash powder fired in a long barrel. BOOM!
Link Posted: 4/27/2018 12:46:09 AM EDT
WRT muzzle devices,

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/regs/fsor.pdf

I'm not sure if there is anything more recent than this discussion of the reasoning that went on back in 2000 or so. Adding to the confusion when it comes to a muzzle device, it's my understanding that there was a case involving muzzle devices that somehow took the matter off the table. One would need to dig through CalGuns and perhaps more effectively, get a real legal opinion from a competent qualified lawyer practicing in the area.

There are a couple of factors. One is that the device was designed/intended to be a flash suppressor, etc., and/or is so named, designated, etc., even if it doesn't reduce/redirect flash. So there is a potential problem if the manufacturer points out that their brake also reduces flash. Woops. Don't try that one. I was distressed not too long ago by a local sporting goods chain advertising a muzzle brake as legal for featureless use in California then they called it a flash hider in their ad copy. Yikes. This portrays the possibility that one might have a device and think it legal then get a new mfr ad copy that says something similar. A brake that reduces flash might be really popular in the other states and could wrap you up in Ca.

Now, not as a lawyer but having had experience in quality and configuration auditing, etc., the legal definition is practically impossible to actually enforce (aside from the obvious designed/intended suppressors) because it really doesn't give a technical measurement baseline or process, they say adding "perceptibly" was non-substantial and I think it was critical. Especially given the idea that the reduced flash is in respect to the shooters vision, etc. Not from the side, the front, the distance as might be from one trying to spot the flash as opposed to retaining night vision, etc. Stuck also with variables like barrel length, powder characteristics, etc.

So I think there are brakes and/or compensators which would move the flash around some but don't reduce it (maybe increase it?) and would be usable but I put a thread protector on mine. My gut feel is also that this isn't going to be a primary legal problem but might show up if there is something else going on. Also the matter may be more critical on something other than the 5.56/.223 platforms.

Note also that this older set of definitions is not necessarily current for other features.
Link Posted: 4/27/2018 1:52:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2018 12:09:41 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
"... flash suppressor means any device designed, intended, or that functions to reduce or redirect muzzle flash from the shooter’s field of vision,...”

Every muzzle brake I have ever seen actually redirects muzzle flash into the shooter's field of vision - up and/or sideways.

All but one of my rifles has a plain muzzle (no muzzle device at all).
Link Posted: 4/27/2018 2:14:04 PM EDT
I had completely forgotten that the DoJ definition includes the words "from the shooters field of vision". Which makes sense, but only if you know about guns: Many people think that flash hiders are intended to hide the flash from opposing forces on the battlefield (so the shooter doesn't give his position away), but that's mostly wrong; the real purpose is so at nighttime the shooter himself is not blinded and doesn't lose his night night vision. But that means that a muzzle break that redirects the gases (including unburnt powder) upwards or perhaps sideways is actually a "flash enhancer".

Clearly, this area is legally tricky, as it is difficult to exactly define what "flash hider" means. And since I don't want to use my precious money to get into a tussle with an over-eager DA ...

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Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
All but one of my rifles has a plain muzzle (no muzzle device at all).
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... I completely agree with this attitude: Only put things that might be construed as a flash hider on registered AWs, where they are clearly allowed. I have thread protectors on the non-registered ones.
Link Posted: 4/27/2018 8:39:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/27/2018 8:40:49 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
I used quotation marks because the text is from the CA OAG's definition of flash hider.
Link Posted: 4/28/2018 5:15:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/9/2018 10:14:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By treelogger:
Partly correct, but partly too late.

If you start building a new gun NOW (meaning after 1/1/2017), you can not use a bullet-button style maglock. Technically those are defined as those that allow one to *attach* a magazine, but not to *detach* the magazine without the use of a tool (such as the tip of a bullet). If you already had a bullet-button rifle built up to 2016, then those can now be registered, but new builds are fully illegal (and a felony).

On the other hand, they also make maglocks which require opening the action of the gun (separating upper and lower receiver) to reload. Those can continue to be built, as can featureless guns (no pistol grip, no flash hider, no other evil feature).
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Originally Posted By treelogger:
Originally Posted By endermend:
If you use a mag lock, you're allowed to have a telescoping stock, pistol grips, flash hiders, and any other evil feature.
Partly correct, but partly too late.

If you start building a new gun NOW (meaning after 1/1/2017), you can not use a bullet-button style maglock. Technically those are defined as those that allow one to *attach* a magazine, but not to *detach* the magazine without the use of a tool (such as the tip of a bullet). If you already had a bullet-button rifle built up to 2016, then those can now be registered, but new builds are fully illegal (and a felony).

On the other hand, they also make maglocks which require opening the action of the gun (separating upper and lower receiver) to reload. Those can continue to be built, as can featureless guns (no pistol grip, no flash hider, no other evil feature).
You are also partly correct. If i understand this bullshit correctly, New builds ARE NOT 'fully illegal and are NOT a felony. They must be built with the new type maglocks that require splitting the upper and lower to load.
Yes? No?
Link Posted: 5/26/2018 1:46:35 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By a79flhrider:
You are also partly correct. If i understand this bullshit correctly, New builds ARE NOT 'fully illegal and are NOT a felony. They must be built with the new type maglocks that require splitting the upper and lower to load.
Yes? No?
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Originally Posted By a79flhrider:
Originally Posted By treelogger:
Originally Posted By endermend:
If you use a mag lock, you're allowed to have a telescoping stock, pistol grips, flash hiders, and any other evil feature.
Partly correct, but partly too late.

If you start building a new gun NOW (meaning after 1/1/2017), you can not use a bullet-button style maglock. Technically those are defined as those that allow one to *attach* a magazine, but not to *detach* the magazine without the use of a tool (such as the tip of a bullet). If you already had a bullet-button rifle built up to 2016, then those can now be registered, but new builds are fully illegal (and a felony).

On the other hand, they also make maglocks which require opening the action of the gun (separating upper and lower receiver) to reload. Those can continue to be built, as can featureless guns (no pistol grip, no flash hider, no other evil feature).
You are also partly correct. If i understand this bullshit correctly, New builds ARE NOT 'fully illegal and are NOT a felony. They must be built with the new type maglocks that require splitting the upper and lower to load.
Yes? No?
No. As pointed out, they can be either featureless or require disassembly of the action. New bullet button builds are not legal.
Link Posted: 6/30/2018 3:28:43 AM EDT
Definitions.

https://govt.westlaw.com/calregs/Document/I00A3AC3242EF4DA59B868E70908F9614?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default)
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