Shorter is Better

posted on April 14, 2014
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Every now and then, the urge hits us to reassert our individuality. While it may not be as colorful or chaotic as teenage rebellion, one example where this drive for individualism manifests itself is firearm customization. No matter if the catalyst is whimsical or out of necessity, completion will result in a great sense of accomplishment in having successfully modified a firearm to make it better suited to your wants and/or needs. With that in mind, the modular design of the AR platform serves as the perfect canvas.

While some may succumb to the workbench's siren's song desiring better aesthetics, my motivation stems from limitations resulting from my cerebral palsy. Other byproducts such as arthritis in my spine, degenerative-disk disease and rotator-cuff and chronic shoulder pain has caused me to make my ARs lighter, shorter and more-compact rifles whenever possible. No matter if you own an M4-style carbine or an NFA-registered SBR (short-barreled rifle), one means of making your rifle more compact is by installing a Law Tactical Gen 2 AR Folding Stock Adapter.

Best of all, the adapter shares the plug-and-play design of the AR in that its compatible with direct-impingement or piston-driven rifles. It also works on mil-spec and commercial receiver extensions, A1- or A2-style fixed buttstocks and on rifles chambered for 5.56 NATO or .308 Win.

Before beginning any sort of gunsmithing, confirm your rifle is empty, then reconfirm it is empty and engage the safety before removing the upper receiver from the rifle and setting it aside. Installation is easy and rather intuitive. Nonetheless, while the company provides excellent instructions (along with an excellent on its website) there are some things I feel that warrant repeating.

Remove all components from the packaging. Consult the enclosed diagram and instructions, then find the threaded flange (part #5) and apply 2 to 3 drops of the included Vibra-tite compound on the center of its threads. Set it aside, allowing it to dry for at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to installation.

The hinge mechanism must be disassembled with an Allen wrench beforehand. When loosening the castle nut, to remove the buffer tube, applying slight tension with your nondominant thumb to the back of the receiver-lock plate while backing the castle nut away will help ensure you don't lose the rear takedown-pin spring located underneath the receiver plate. Once you can see the spring protruding from the back of the receiver, slightly rotate the buffer-tube assembly clockwise to expose the spring and remove it.

Tension from your thumb will also be needed to capture the buffer-retaining pin and buffer-retaining spring while unscrewing the buffer tube and buttstock from the back of the receiver. In fact, once the pin and spring are removed, you'll need to swap them for the modified versions in the package.

Also, some aftermarket sling adapter end plates may impede the adapter's ability to fold, so I suggest using a standard AR receiver lock plate. Thankfully, the base of the hinge mechanism contains an integrated single-point sling attachment point to accommodate the change.

Enhanced ergonomics and versatility aside, if there's a downside to the Law Tactical Gen 2 AR Folding Stock Adapter, it's the gap between the rear of the bolt carrier and recoil buffer that results from installation. To remedy this, the company includes a plug-shaped carrier extension that contains a collet on one end. The part simply screws directly into the back of the carrier to fill the void.

The Law Tactical Gen 2 AR Folding Stock Adapter adds even more modularity to America's rifle by making it easier to carry and transport, enabling civilians to utilize shorter cases for standard-size carbines. Similarly, motorcycle police officers can store a short-barrelled variant in their saddle bags or in a backpack, on the floorboard or on an electric scooter like mine.


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