ARP 040 - California Guns - Black Rifle Edition

Crazy California: AR-15 evil black rifle restrictions. What makes a regular AR-15 an Assault Rifle? Welcome to episode #040 of the AR15 Podcast.  I’m your host Jake Challand. This is THEE podcast about your favorite black rifle! This show is for you; whether you're building your first AR or you’ve been building ARs for years. There’s something we can all do to take our black rifle to the next level.

Greg Bakken: Tactical Paradise

Gregg C: California State Highway Patrol

Anthony Miller: Firearms Insider Podcast Senior Producer

Main Topic:  California AR-15s

Resources: Calguns Forum

Wiki Calguns Foundation

Wiki Calguns Foundation FAQ

Assault Weapons Flowchart

What's an assault rifle under California Law?

Firearms listed by name = Assault Rifles (BAD)

Listener Feedback:


1. 22 LR conversion perversion!! Buy a M&P15-22. No fuss or muss and ya now have TWO complete rifles instead of 1.5!!!.......Keep it simple and reliable!

2. AR give away......Let me get this straight. The guy with the most ARs is gonna WIN another FREE AR?!?! DOH. Do you work part time for Obama? Gotta be a better way to get folks NEW to ARs to listen in! Can I post some pix of my ex-wife to win? Hey she's hot......From Singapore!!!!  Whoa......You guys didn't marry a hot gal from Singapore?!?! LOL

3. Love the show. Been shooting since I was 5 with a Remington Model 68-22. Love the modern M-16A1/M-4/AR-15. Recently moved to a state I could own a proper AR. So I'm looking for my 1st. Don't want to pay the Obama premium. So I'm taking my time. I think my 1st should be a stock Colt. I especially like info for the newbie 1st time buyer.

4. IMHO....5.56 AR-15 for home defense? A 5.56 AR would be the last firearm I'd use for interior home defense. Maybe a 9mm Carbine AR. 1st Semi-auto handgun or 2nd shotgun.

DrD Below is a link to a flow chart for "assault weapons" feature restrictions in California:

Essentially, the main restrictions that affect the AR platform are:

No more than 10 rounds per mag.

No suppressors

No full-auto

No SBRs (min. 16" barrel & min. 30" overall length)

Everything else is ok, as long as you've got a bullet-button on the mag-release.  If, not, then there is an entire other set of restrictions.

You may not "drive" things in from another state if they are currently considered illegal.  If a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds enters the state, it must be fully disassembled (follower, spring, plate, and mag body) - this is considered a "magazine parts repair kit".   It may not be assembled to carry more than 10 rounds, so 'capacity restrictors' are needed if you wish to assemble it in California.

All of this may be moot as of mid-October if Governor Gerry Brown signs the pending Bills into Law.  They will make the purchase ANY semi-auto with the capacity to accept detachable magazines illegal.  "Magazine repair kits" will be illegal, as will owning any that you previously purchased when they were legal.  There will be a grace period to dispose of them, hand them into the police, a FFL, or send/sell them out of state.  That's just he tip of the iceberg.  This is the link to the bills:

If Austin is interested in how to build a California-Legal AR on a budget without sacrificing quality, feel free to pass my email address along to him.

Dixie - I got my Mossberg .22 out of layaway and went to shoot it yesterday. ( finding .22 shells is a job in its self ) I had to go to four different stores to find ammo but finally found some. For my review , my first thoughts when I got it home I question my purchase of the Mossberg .22 AR . I read the booklet it isn't anything more than a little plinkster with AR plastic around it. I took it along with me yesterday for a day of shooting along with my AR .223 and my Kahr CW45. At first we had trouble getting the magazine to go in, once we got that takin care of chambering a shell was a pain. After I got pass some of the first few problems , I shot a magazine through it. Loaded another mag a little better luck this time around , it shot better each time I shot it. My final thoughts, it's a good little plinkster, I went back and forth between my .22 and .223 it's about the same holding both guns they shoot about the same. But the differents they do have doesn't make the .22 a good substitute for the AR .223.

Myles: As soon as I heard you guys talking about California gun laws I felt that I had to fill you in on some important details.

Technically speaking you can't bring large magazines, flash hiders, etc into California. There are reams of laws saying that this is a big no no and there are more laws coming which can best be described as heinous.

However I have a friend who recently moved out of San Francisco, he owned and shot an AR-15 with a telescoping stock and full capacity 30 round magazines at ranges around that notorious city without hassle. He had the equipment to comply with the law (bullet button, 10 round mags), but never found it to be worth his while.

He is going to do a total rebuild of that rifle to celebrate his move to a free state and I will be sure to tell him about your work.

Practically speaking, enforcement of current California gun laws is impossible. In spite of its laws and reputation, as your download records suggest Cali probably has more gun enthusiasts that some states have people.

Even without the issue of "smugglers" bringing in contraband from other states. Example; there are gun sellers in California who sell 30 round AR mags as "rebuild kits" for pre ban mags that have worn out.

What this all comes down to is if you own a firearm, even a "legal" firearm and you are stopped by some fellow with a badge your continued freedom is subject to their personal opinion. Passing ten trillion laws has the effect of making everything, not just firearms subject to the capriciousness of whatever law enforcement official you encounter. Fortunately my one encounter with law enforcement in California was with a polite fish and game officer. And in all fairness I shouldn't have been out shooting that day regardless, the weather was terrible.

I am probably getting too far into political territory here, but if it wasn't for political awareness there would probably be no semi-auto rifles in this country.

Jeremy: In response to a listener feedback on california parts restrictions for shipment

I live in the communist state of Connecticut.

Cabelas will not ship anything(AR related) anymore.

For instance look at the restrictions on magpul handguard or buisy they will not ship to connecticut

Not sure why as I spoke with them and you would think the size of cabelas they would not want to disenfranchise groups based on legislation but they do.

I could see a small gun shop would not have the resources but cabelas?

Please enter me into the bone tool givaway.

Thanks and keep up the great work.

PS Jake with all due respect, I always pictured you looking like the Museum guy from pawn stars.

But you don\'t

PPS Reed Semper Fi

James in Houston: Hey guys!  Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your show.  It was a big help when I was building my AR-15 rifle, and as I'm new to the platform, I always enjoy the tips you offer in getting the most out of it.  One of the reasons I built an AR was for hunting hogs and varmints on my family's ranch. With many hunting seasons about to open across the country, I wanted to suggest that you do an episode on hunting with your modern sporting rifle.  I'm specifically looking for recommendations for ammo, lights for hunting, etc.  I heard Barnes makes a really good round and have bought some of their VorTX ammo, but I wanted to see what y'all thought as well as far as what to use.

Also please enter me in your Otis contest.

Joel: Hey guys, I was a little late listening to your podcast this week, so it\'s probably already been responded to, but I\'d like to pitch in my two cents on Austin from California\'s parts dilemma.  I checked the shipping info for Brownells and Rainier Arms, my two favorite places to buy AR-15 parts, and Brownells said they ship to the entire lower 48, and Rainier Arms ships to all 50 states.  He must also remember that items sites may not want to send to California would be threaded barrels, pistol grips, flash hiders, collapsible stocks, or any other part Feinstein finds evil. He\'ll have to be OK with building an AR with no muzzle device, a fixed stock, and a bullet button.

Another option, which may be best for him, would be to go to and look at their Private Firearms Parts and Accessories forum.

Lastly, Austin should be prepared to pay a premium for his parts.  We all know what AR prices have been like this past year, and that was just with a THREAT of new restrictions.  Those restrictions have been passed in California, so I don't see any residents getting rid of their parts for what we in the free world would consider a reasonable price.

Randy: I have lived in Kalifornia my whole life and as of late I have built several AR 15\'s in 5.56 and 7.62X39. In regards to one of the listener feedback\'s, Brownells has everything you could need. I have bought stuff from other suppliers but nobody ships as fast or are as courteous as Brownells\' customer service and guaranty can not be beat! looking to build a 300 blackout next, then wait for ammo to be available... thank you for having a great podcast and send me some free stuff!

Garritt: Great show!

I just uploaded two photos to the flickr group as my entry for the contest. I will rate the show in iTunes as well.

The pictures are of my wife and my mom enjoying my ATI AR-15. My wife and I have been shooting together since we were first married (almost 19 years ago), and my mom and dad have been out with us a few times. As the political climate has changed recently, my whole family has been shooting much more. My 7 year old daughter loves it! She really enjoys shooting our 10/22 and Ruger Mark II pistol, but she has shot the AR as well. She is just a bit small for it yet. I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter that can\'t wait to come out with us.

I love this gun! I have wanted an AR-15 since my time in the Air Force, 20 years ago. I finally bought this one the week before the Newtown incident. Very lucky timing. The gun shoots really well. It has a Troy Alpha Rail and a Barska Tactical 1.5-4 X 20 scope and GDT 45 degree rapid transition backup iron sights. As I am in California, it is also fitted with a RaddLock bullet button system. I have shot it between 25 and 400 yards and it is a tack driver!

Mike: Topic Suggestion: PiPods

My 2 Cents:

Harris Engineering S-BRM Hinged Base 6-9 Inch Bipod

Alpha-Bravo Bipod Lock for Harris S Models

TMS QD Quick Detach Cam Lock Bipod Adapter

Otis BONE Tool and O12 Carbon Remover Giveaway: We are only half way through!!

O12 removes stubborn carbon fouling with ease BONE tool is the quick clean tool which scrapes carbon and fouling from the bolt, bolt carrier, and firing pin of your AR15.

Winner: Jeremy

Other Links: (AR-15 Build #1 Giveaway)

iTunes Review: