The Ultimate Firearms Destination for the Gun Lifestyle

Franklin Armory Releases Title 1 Firearm for California and Other Gun-Oppressed States

At RECOIL, we review every product fairly and without bias. Making a purchase through one of our links may earn us a small commission, and helps support independent gun reviews. Learn More

Franklin Armory unveiled a new Title 1 firearm called simply, the Title 1. According to the company's marketing manager, Sun Neagle, “The Franklin Armory Title 1 was created for our friends behind enemy lines where the modern sporting rifle is neutered beyond comprehension.”

Franklin Armory Title 1 Firearm

For those who are late to the game or constantly perplexed by the myriad of Draconian California laws, rulings, multiple iterations of Gunmaggedons and definitions of what is legal and what is not. There are several categories of semiautomatic firearms that may be possessed in California:

Registered “assault weapons” (their use of words, not mine): These are semiautomatic firearms defined as “assault weapons” under state law either by name or number of features. Named weapons include Uzi, Galil, etc. Whereas features are counted on a semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and possess one feature such as:

  • A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
  • A thumb-hole stock.
  • A folding or telescoping stock.
  • A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
  • A flash suppressor.
  • A forward pistol grip.

Uzis have been banned by name in California for over 30 years.

Featureless rifle:  This is a semiautomatic centerfire rifle which can accept a detachable magazine and has no pistol grip, folding stock, telescoping stock, folding stock, grenade launcher, flare launcher, flash suppressor, forward pistol grip or thumbhole stock (as if someone would actually want one of those other than an extra in the original Planet of the Apes). Basically this is a Ruger Mini-14, Springfield M1A with a muzzle brake or a neutered AR with a Kydex fin.

Springfield Armory M14

Fixed magazine rifle: In this instance, the semiautomatic centerfire rifle can have any of the evil features listed above, but the magazine must be fixed permanently in place. You either break the action open to load with stripper clips or use a tool to remove the magazine, reload it and lock it back into place.

DSI Patriotic fixed mag

The Franklin Armory Title 1 is none of these. This is a full-featured option for the discerning hunter or shooter who hails from the Golden State, although that “gold” is somewhat tarnished these days by blackouts and power outages because their government and utility companies cannot seem to grasp basic concepts like forestry management.

Franklin Armory Title 1 Firearm

Registered rifles, featureless rifles, and fixed magazine rifles will continue to have their place, but the Franklin Armory Title 1 uses a standard push-button magazine release, ships with a ten-round detachable magazine and has a 1/2 x 28-inch threaded barrel with an A2-style flash suppressor. Shooters can use their higher capacity magazines if they so desire and for all intents and purposes could slap under and over grenade launchers on it to fire off all those surplus grenades being sold at Home Depot and Tractor Supply Co.

This is not a straight-pull or bolt-action AR, nor does it use a clever bore design. It is quite simply a semiautomatic centerfire Title 1 firearm. The barrel is a 16-inch lightweight contour with a 1:7 RH twist and crowned with an A2 flash suppressor. Sporting a 15-inch FST M-Lok rail and Magpul SL pistol grip, it has no stock and was never built with a stock attached. Instead, the Franklin Armory Title 1 has a pistol-length buffer tube covered in a comfortable foam padding.

That's it. It has no stock and was never built with one. It will always be a firearm under the legal definition–until someone slaps a stock on it and turns it into a rifle.

Franklin Armory Title 1 Firearm

At this time you might be thinking, “Ho-hum, it's just a rifle without a stock.”

Again, it does not meet the legal definition of a rifle, according to 18 US Code 921:

The term “rifle” means a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of an explosive to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.

This falls into the territory of a “firearm,” which is not used whatsoever in the language of the CA Assault Weapon Ban.


If you are old enough to remember shooting an AR pistol without a brace, most shooters would form a cheek weld on the buffer tube or even shoulder that short tube to gain accuracy. You can use the Franklin Armory Title 1 in this manner or you could attach a brace to make shooting more comfortable, as a brace is not a stock. The vertical forend grip helps immensely in this regard.

Franklin Armory Title 1 Firearm with SIG Arm Brace

Another technique would be to attach a bipod to the handguard to form a stable shooting platform. These methods of shooting would be perfectly legal with the Franklin Armory Title 1.

I tried a few combinations and found the results to be satisfying. Sure, I live in a free state and can possess just about anything I can afford, but I would not feel lacking if I lived in a “ban state” and a firearm like this was all I had at my disposal for a semi-automatic long gun. While my focus on writing this piece has mostly been on the California market, if you live in a state that restricts semiautomatic rifles, this may be a workaround for you as well.

Some folks think that Franklin Armory creates these firearms to prove a point to the ATF or in this case, the California Department of Justice. This could not be further from the truth. The company has amicable relationships with both agencies and works with them to develop innovative solutions and bold new options for shooters throughout the world.

Franklin Armory Title 1 Firearm

Manufacturer: Franklin Armory
Model: Title 1
Type: Firearm
Barrel Length and Type: 16-inch Lightweight contour
Rifling Twist: 1:7 Right hand
Overall Length: 32 inches
Handguard: 15-inch FST M-LOK
Bolt Carrier: Salt Bath Nitride coated
Trigger: Franklin Armory Single Stage (4 lbs)
Gas system: Midlength
Magazine: 10-round PMag (included)
Buffer tube: Pistol length
Pistol Grip: Magpul SL
Caliber: 5.56 NATO

Enter Your E-Mail to Receieve a Free 50-Target Pack from RECOIL!

NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOIL

For years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included).

Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.

You want this. Trust Us.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the Free