Law Tactical Gen 3M Folding Stock Adapter creates a hinge at the junction of an AR’s action and receiver extension. Latest generation is a well-refined tool steel part that installs easily. Photo: John Sudbrink
For about three score years, shooters who wanted a folding stock were driven to one set of rifle platforms, while the free world settled on the AR and refined it to its current state. That the AR needed a receiver extension poking out the stern end to function, limiting its retraction in length, was accepted, although not always happily.
Enter Law Tactical.
The Law Tactical Gen 3M Folding Stock Adapter is one of those items that refuses to accept limitations and provides new utility to an accepted commodity. A few years ago, the firm offered a way to hinge the AR around the castle nut where the receiver extension (“buffer tube” in shooting vernacular) joins. The initial model proved the concept, while extended use pointed out some areas for refinement. Now the Law Tactical crew is on Gen 3M and the design is well refined and ready for a close look.
The Law Tactical Adapter is a high-quality machined 4140 tool steel part with a matte gray Cerakote finish. Earlier generations were aluminum (Gen 1) and aluminum and steel (Gen 2). Installation was a kitchen table, couple of minutes affair that anyone who can read directions could make it through.
Gen 3M Folding Stock Adapter turned this BCM .300 Blackout Pistol into a low-profile truck gun that can fit into even a small hydration daypack.
The hinge has adjustable tension, a unique feature that doesn’t exist on most “native” sidefolders. The shooter can opt for firm resistance and a rock-solid lock-up in either position, or flick-it quickness that leaves a hint of play upon locking into firing position. I opted for the middle: the extension resists gravity when held ejection port to the sky, but just barely, and allows a quick swipe to lock the stock firmly in place.
To unlock the hinge, the unit has a push-button release that is well protected and has enough resistance that accidental activation should be a remote possibility. In the travel position, a retractable keeper pops up to hold the bolt carrier into the action. In an emergency, the weapon could be fired as a single shot, with the most recent generation rated to handle repeated shots at a government customer’s request.
If the shooter elects the emergency fire option, he must then fold the stock into place and rack the charging handle to eject the first casing and chamber the next round, so it gains a fraction of time up front at the expense of more time for follow-up shots. The unit comes with a synthetic “tail” that plugs into the rear of the bolt carrier to take up the space between buffer and bolt tail that is added by the additional length of the hinge.
Hinge lets shooter grip AR normally and cycle charging handle without interference. Visible nut is hinge tension adjustment.
Now that the unit is all steel, the 3M has less bulk and more refined curves and edges, alleviating the high points that early users found uncomfortable. The unit is now very well blended and does not interfere materially with a high grip on the pistol grip or a vigorous stroke of the charging handle with the left hand.
The bottom of the adapter incorporates a QD swivel socket for those who like to attach a single point or the rear of a two-point at that location. I prefer using a BCM end plate with its built-in socket to get the attachment point just a little farther aft, but the adapter’s socket is not unduly in the way as located.
A precision-machined, coated part, the adapter is not inexpensive. A number of buddies have pointed out the cost and asked how much the unit helps. Like any accessory, the cost/benefit analysis is highly dependent on need. There are applications where the adapter truly solves a problem. A few examples:
- Motorcycle cops have told Law Tactical the unit lets them transport a short-barreled carbine in the saddlebags, secure and readily accessible. In many cases, the previous solution was to carry the long gun broken into upper and lower receivers, significantly less ready than with the hinge.
- The adapter can take a nine-inch or shorter barreled AR and allow it to fit within a standard daypack/book bag size case.
- A 14.5- or 16-inch carbine with the adapter can fit into more discreet transport options while remaining ready. The approximately 25-inch overall length can fit into a variety of cases and repurposed bags/boxes and draw less notice than the traditional 34- to 36-inch carbine case.
User is running 3M on his SBR, allowing a long gun on his work motorcycle.
As you go about your everyday routine, pay attention to what size bags, boxes and containers you notice. Most folks will find they tend to dismiss items in the 22-inch range because they are so common, unless one is incongruent with the setting. Items about 26 inches long tend to register with observers but quickly be dismissed if they “fit.” Over that length, the item will get pinged on by a chunk of watchers as they subconsciously see something unusual and try to place its contents.
In a similar fashion, some precision 7.62mm semi-auto users find the adapter useful to more discreetly or conveniently transport those systems. This is particularly useful for snipers trying to move into an urban hide or overwatch, where the typical giant Pelican case screams what is going on to even the casual observer.
With my BCM .300 Blackout AR pistol and the 3M installed, I headed to the range to get some data on “how long does it take?” With the AR in both hands, as in carry or retrieval, and a magazine of 125-grain Black Hills seated on an empty chamber, it took me two seconds to lock the extension into place, rack a round into the chamber, and hit an RSR 10×20-inch steel torso at 25 yards.
Doing the same from a zipped bag brought the time to 5.7 seconds if all went smoothly. Using 20-round magazines helped reduce the snag factor, as standard thirties plus an H-1 on top required a good bit of “hole” to wiggle the BCM out of.
Carrying a round in the chamber can reduce times by a half second or more, but I would be extremely cautious about doing so unless the bag/container had pretty positive control of the gun and prevented movement that would allow the safety to get wiped off.
The adapter weighs 8.7 ounces, so those with the typically overweight carbine would have to “weigh” the benefit versus the additional pull on gravity. The unit adds 1.3 inches to the length of pull, which I find helpful in general and on the AR pistol extension in particular. For those who don’t need the extra length, simply run the stock one click in.
For those who have debated grabbing a side-folding AK or some other platform as a trunk/truck gun due to the AR’s overall length issues, the Law Tactical adapter is the solution to a longstanding problem.
LAW TACTICAL LLC