Franklin Armory's Reformation non-NFA firearm: The secret is in the rifling, or lack thereof (PHOTOS)

Franklin Armory's BFSIII equipped Libertas firearm seems like an SBR, but it only seems that way. (Photos: Chris Eger/

Franklin Armory’s BFSIII-equipped Libertas firearm seems like it would be an SBR, but it only seems that way. (Photos: Chris Eger/

The method that Nevada-based Franklin Armory was able to bring a .300 BLK non-rifle to market with both a stock and shorty barrel rests in straight-cut lands.

The AR-15 based Reformation includes an 11.5-inch barrel with a muzzle device and a Magpul MOE SL carbine stock but does not require a tax stamp as it technically is neither rifle nor shotgun.

After two weeks of buzz, Franklin Armory President Jay Jacobson on Tuesday let the cat out of the bag on how the gun works — by using a barrel with straight cut lands and grooves and a standard chamber. The resulting firearm uses rifle ammunition, but as it does not impart spin on the bullet during firing, does not meet the legal criteria of a being a rifle or shotgun in the eyes of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and escapes National Firearms Act regulation as well.

“On August 3rd of 2017, the Chief of the Firearms Technology Division confirmed that a firearm equipped with a stock and a barrel featuring straight cut lands and grooves is defined as a ‘firearm,’ and is not a rifle or a shotgun,” said Jacobson in a video statement. “Since Reformation cannot be a rifle or a shotgun, it cannot be a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun.”


The downside of not having rifling? The Reformation has 4 MOA accuracy with off the shelf ammo. Still plenty accurate at 100 yards, the gun was a hit on the range Monday with a long line of eager media and industry buyers lined up to give the new curious approach to firearm manufacturing a workout.


Franklin Armory is also working on a proprietary round that appears akin to a Nerf Vortex football that provides a projectile-based answer to bullet stabilization to optimize accuracy in the Reformation series.


Available in six models with and without the company’s BFSIII three-position binary trigger ranging from $1,679 to $2095, the company also plans both a 5.56mm variant and standalone uppers to mate with standard AR lowers. Lowers will price at $1,034.

Latest Reviews

revolver barrel loading graphic