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franklin armory providence non-semi-automatic semi-auto
courtesy mfr

Given the current climate, particularly in certain states, a firearm design that launches one round per trigger pull, yet isn’t a semi-automatic, might be a really good thing. Franklin Armory has surveyed the political landscape and has come up with a new prototype action.

They’re calling it the Providence and claim that while it fires one round per trigger pull, it isn’t a semi-auto. Beyond that, they’re not saying much, but we’d imagine the traffic around their SHOT Show booth next week will be heavy.

Here’s their brief press release:

Minden, NV, January 17, 2018– Innovative firearms manufacturer, Franklin Armory®, has successfully created a new prototype… Franklin Armory® presents providence® a whole new action type that fires one round every time the trigger is pulled, but this action is not semiautomatic.

Come by SHOT Show booth #20365 and see the safest, quietest, cleanest, non-semiautomatic ever designed.

Jay Jacobson – “Providence® was inspired by the demand for a non-semiautomatic carbine in international markets. In my opinion, what we created was the safest, quietest, and cleanest running design ever conceived.”

Stop by SHOT Show booth 20365 to find out more!

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        • I thought the definition of a compliance rifle was one that had changed cosmetic features and didnt change the functioning of the rifle.

          This changes the functioning of the rifle but has the pistol grip, removable mag, adjustable buttock and so forth.

          The only thing it would COMPLY with is a rule,against semi-automatics.

          Looks cool to me.

        • This is like when Ronnie Barret saw that CA had a law against civilian .50 caliber rifles, so he designed the .416 Barrett with a CA-legal caliber and a higher ballistic coefficient that made it more powerful at anything above 1000 yards. He made a mockery of their laws.

      • Our cousins in UK, AU, and possibly CA, need reliable rifles that are legal withing their countries. They don’t have the freedom we do. Innovation such as this is to help them regain that freedom

        • Totally agree, coming from AU myself, without innovation like this we’d have barely any fun at all!

    • Bet this is some kind of bolt action done some fancy way but maybe not.

      To not qualify as a semi-automatic, the reload must be done manually in some way. Any intervention by mechanics using the bullet being fired as the energy to accomplish it is a semi automatic.

      Thus they must be doing it like a bolt action somehow. And since you can’t use the mechanics of the bullet it would have to be manual. Maybe it’s some wind up mechanism. Or even Battery operated. And that may have other limits as I can think off the top of my head a way to make that setup become automatic without much trouble.

      • More than likely some kind of a pump action. Many countries also don’t allow semi-autos but will accept a pump action, at least for now.

      • I thought I had read somewhere that the recoil kicks back the bolt and sets it up so tapping a button finished cycling the action. That would be an odd procedure to follow — pull the trigger, pop the button, pull the trigger …

        • My guess is it’s something to that effect, but instead of it being a button you push, releasing the trigger will do it. So pull trigger to fire, hold it down and the bolt stays locked until the trigger is released, pull trigger to fire again.

      • I watched the YouTube video at half speed. When the guy pulls the trigger, the bolt moves rearward, then forward to fire, so the trigger pull (which appears very long) is cocking and firing, like a double action.

    • I know the secret… Maybe. It’s not really special or new. It’s something the English have been doing for many years. I will let you in on it:

    • Still wouldn’t fly in California because it has a pistol grip and removable magazine. But they’ll probably sell like hotcakes in the UK. Still, that trigger and the slam firing bolt won’t promote accuracy.

    • This isn’t a compliance rifle, it was designed to give individuals in other countries access to reliable rifles that otherwise would be banned. Like Australia or the UK.

      Would you rather there not be a market to people who don’t have the same liberty as we do?

    • I think the point isn’t compliance, its demonstrating to the POL’s and leftys that no matter what silly bullshit they think they’re regulations and laws will accomplish can be engineered around because human creativity is essentially infinite.

  1. Looks like 9 mm. No thanks. I will never understand the PCC thing. So dumb. Yes, I want a rifle, but with less lethality than 5.56 mm. Derp!

    • The question of lethality depends on far more variables than caliber alone. There are a variety of circumstances where 9mm can be a better choice. Also, it’s a “horses for courses” thing. It’s difficult (not impossible) to get 5.56 rounds that you can shoot indoors at an intruder and know with much certainty that the bullets won’t overpenetrate. Where my bedroom is situated, for instance, if I shoot someone who darkens my bedroom door, I am aiming at my kids’ bedrooms. I can’t risk icepicking a bad guy with 5.56. I can, however, feel very safe shooting them with a wide variety of hollow point 9mm that won’t result in over-penetration in all likelihood.

      Moreover, really short barrel 5.56 guns are highly compromised. 9mm short barrel guns are not. If you’re definitely going to get into a gunfight in a field and don’t need to worry about the gun being compact nor about over-penetration and whatnot, then sure, no reason to have a 9mm carbine. Then again, if that’s where you’re certain to have your gun fight, why settle for 5.56 at all?

      • Unfortunately, any round that is likely to cause an incapacitating wound is also likely to penetrate multiple layers of sheetrock and remaining lethal. The way physics works makes it very difficult to have one without the other.

        Go check out the Box of Truth.

      • The over penetration arguement is so over played. They only have some validity if you don’t miss a shot. My 12gauge birdshot wads go through 1/2″ drywall. Where do you think the shot ends up? At HD distances it might as well be a slug. The same people making these arguements can also be found replying to topics about why it is necessary to have a 33 round mag for a glock 19 for HD, yet noone on the internet ever misses. The rules of firearm safety always apply. Know your target, and what is beyond it. Then, be prepared to deal with the consequences.

        • Bird shot is for birds bro, not defensive use. Even at close range it is an extremely ineffective stopper. It does not penetrate enough to produce an effective wound. Even when in a tight pattern the small pellets that make up a load of birdshot do not have enough energy to get deep enough to reach vital organs or the central nervous system of an attacker. Birdshot creates a grizzly looking but shallow an ineffective wound.

          By all means continue using it for defensive use if you would like to be killed by the threat you failed to stop because you loaded up with the wrong ammunition.

      • Great points. I wanted to say this because the points are valid, and because I desire to actually be different as the vast majority of replies seek to claim superior knowledge while inferring the original post was written by a gun neanderthal. That was actually a refreshing exercise.

        • K, Bro. I did not claim to use birdshot for home defense, but i have shot drywall with it. Don’t read extra words that aren’t typed. I don’t argue a point I have no experience with. I am saying I’d never want to be within 75 yards on the opposite side of a single wall blasted with birdshot and a modified choke (too close for shotgun tag). I Agree, bird shot is for birds though.

    • By far the most effective home defense option available. Less concern for over penetration than rifle, bigger bullet, bigger hole, less recoil, etc.

      • You are correct sir! Easiest gun to use for home defense and especially valuable in states where getting a pistol license is a long process.

      • You haven’t shot a lot of 9mm blowback carbines next to decently tuned ARs have you? There’s no contest, the 5.56 is absolutely lighter due to the action. Not that the 9mm is rough or anything.

    • Ever shot an SBR rifle like a 5.56? All that unburned powder turns into a massively deafening explosion when it hits the air. Put that extra noise inside a hallway and goodbye ear drums (even with ear pro). 9mm burns that powder in a much shorter barrel and this problem doesn’t manifest. There is absolutely a roll for PCC’s for home defense.

        • Some of us don’t have an extra $700-$1,500 + $200 laying around… and the current 9 month wait for approval doesn’t help. Neither does the 6-8 inches it adds to the end of the gun for those of us living in more confined abodes.

          9mm might not be as lethal as 5.56mm, but I’d still rather not be shot 5-6 times at close range by it.

          I think I’d rather take a much shorter, lighter PCC pistol, and take the money I save and sink it into ammo, range time, and good optics. If I can’t effectively protect my home and family with an AR-9 braced pistol with a 6-8″ barrel, than a 10″ barreled rifle caliber carbine pistol with an additional 8″ can hanging off the end isn’t going to much more effective. I get that for some folks living in more rural places or in larger homes, a rifle caliber makes vastly more sense. But not all of us do, and the trade offs don’t outweigh the benifits.

        • Agree with MikeH. I don’t like suppressors; no matter which ones I’ve tried on the guns of friends (and there have been quite a few) I find them unpleasant to practice with, heavy, and the gas blowback effect is terrible for my asthma.

          Plus I’d just rather not have any NFA items after seeing the enormous hassles my friends go through who do have them. Lots of ways to get fouled up, lots of money, and overall a giant PITA.

          I swapped out the barrel of my MPX for a longer barrel to use as an iron sights practice tool. It’s lighter to handle and cheaper to shoot than my two rifles. Definitely the preferred HD tool if needed.

        • If you read “get a suppressor peasant” and got pissed off…. the internet is probably not the place for you. I don’t have a suppressor, but that’s some funny stuff

    • you can shoot PCC matches with them in IDPA and USPSA as well, which is super convenient. Also quieter, cheaper, easier to suppress. Lots of reasons to like PCCs.

    • I like PCCs.

      Less loud and cheaper to feed.

      Usually a lot more compact than rifle calibers.

      If this is not too expensive it may be fun.

      I have also seen a PCC with a polymer frame that runs around 500 bucks. It is a semi though and not like this one. Does take,Glock gigglesticks though.

      Fun stuff and useful…….unless you’re storming a fortified position…which improbably won’t be doing.

    • You’d be surprised what a 115 gr bullet out of a carbine can achieve ballistically, especially compared to a .223 out of a short barrel as well.

      ALSO – EVERYTHING will over penetrate. Paul Harrell has some awesome videos showing this with shotguns, rifles, and pistols. Yes, even your handgun is going to go through walls without a problem.

    • Mark,

      Here are some advantages of pistol caliber carbines:
      1) Inexpensive ammunition
      2) More inherently accurate (much longer site radius)
      3) More accurate (three points of contact and less recoil)
      4) Common ammunition with handgun
      5) Higher muzzle velocity/energy (can be significant)
      6) Much quieter (even without suppressor)

      The muzzle velocity/energy boost can be significant, especially with .357 Magnum, 10mm Auto, and .44 Magnum. Even .40 S&W gets a nice velocity and energy boost.

      Also, you have to hear just how much that that long barrel (of a pistol caliber carbine) reduces the audible blast of the gunshot to fully appreciate it.

      The big thing, for many people, is that you get a significant increase in realized accuracy (versus a handgun) because you have three points of contact (both hands and shoulder) and almost zero recoil. That translates into the ability to shoot much faster without sacrificing accuracy.

      So, a pistol caliber carbine is somewhere between a handgun and a rifle in terms of effectiveness for self-defense. And anything that is more effective than a handgun while significantly reducing your risk of permanent hearing damage (compared to both handguns AND rifles) is a good thing.

    • There is two different kinds of work (so to speak) for a gun: military or police. In other words, some guns are good for fighting in the battlefield during war time and others are good for personal defense during peace time.

      You want to have an AR-15 with a longer barrel in 5.56 to fight people with long guns and body armor. That gun isn’t necessarily the one you want to use in your home or car. It would be better to have a smaller gun that doesn’t reach out hundreds of meters. A gun that doesn’t weigh as much, that isn’t as long, that doesn’t make as much of a boom, that doesn’t put out a lot of smoke or flash, that doesn’t require a longer barrel, that doesn’t use expensive ammo, etc. So a “long” gun that is chambered in a pistol caliber, preferably utilizing mags from an existing pistol and has an arm brace (for legal reasons).

      I would like to have a lightweight, short action, folding stock, 10 inch barrel, suppressed gun in 10mm for at home and in car use. It would be a great gun for the urban environment where unarmored criminals roam. It wouldn’t be a good gun to fight a war, but I am not in a war zone yet. I spend most of my days chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool and all shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school until a couple of guys who are up to no good start making trouble in my neighborhood.

      You think a handful 10mm hollow points aren’t going to get the job done when they are coming out of a 10 inch barrel and entering a gangster’s body? I could even go ninja like quiet with a suppressor and subsonics.

      5.56 isn’t a very good caliber especially in a shorter barrel and the AR isn’t all that reliable with a barrel shorter than 12 inches. So what is the point of getting a 12 inch AR-15 in 5.56? You would be better off getting a 10 inch 300 blackout AR-15. At that point, why not get a pistol caliber gun that folds, uses pistol mags and is much smaller?

      If the arm brace came out 10 years ago we would have a lot more pistol caliber long gun designs than we do now. People wouldn’t have so many AR-15s. Since we didn’t have a legal way outside of asking the government for permission to own a SBR, we just got a bunch of variants of the AR. Now we are starting to buy more pistol versions of long guns because of the arm brace. If Trump doesn’t take the arm brace from Americans like he did the bump fire stocks, we will get more guns like the CZ Scorpion.

  2. It’s probably something like a double action revolver mechanism. Maybe it has some kind of interrupter on the magazine that only allows loading the chamber when you depress the trigger.

    • I was thinking along the same lines – some sort of 2 stage trigger that released the bolt and then fired or required 2 separate pulls to release and fire.

      • It’s a double-action-only mechanism. A long trigger pull retracts the bolt, and releases it at the end of travel. Bolt moves forward, strips a cartridge from the magazine, chambers and fires it. Think of an open bolt mechanism, except there’s no holding the bolt open..

        There’s a video on the F.A. website. If you slow it down to half-speed, you can see the trigger is doing the work of retracting the bolt.

        The trigger pull must be awful…

        • Exactly what I guessed. Some sort of double action, straight pull bolt. This might work to some degree for relatively short pistol cartridges (i.e. 9mm) but I don’t see it being a solution for rifle rounds without some pretty spiffy engineering.

        • Presumably there’s a bunch of springs to take the weight off the pull, but it will still be long.

    • That’s called an open bolt mechanism. Those are already banded outright because they are too easy to make into machine guns.

        • Basically like one of those weirdo Colt hammers that hangs up on your bolt carrier if the hammer follows (one of Colt’s many, many dumb compliance solutions from the bad old days)

  3. I had a cap pistol that fired once with every trigger pull, totally manual, not semi auto.
    It fed 150 round belted ammo too.

  4. Maybe it has a really long trigger pull. First press fires the chambered round, continue to press (really hard) and it ratchets back the bolt and chambers a new round. Come off the trigger and the bolt slams home.

    If this is priced like their non-rifled-rifle – I assume the MSRP will be astronomical.

    • It’s going to lock the bolt back on firing, and you have to either complete a long trigger pull to release it for the next shot, or releasing the trigger resets the bolt.

  5. LMAO…..all the hate for something it is not clear what it does.

    I’m anxious to see it in more detail.

    Cause I like guns……

    • My guess is a semi-auto bolt combined with a double action trigger with an ommitted disconnector. So the pull of the trigger drops the hammer and lights the round. The blow-back action cycles a new round. But the hammer intentionally follow the bolt home on some kind of cam that secures the firing pin. The second pull is now double action which cocks the hammer and drops it on the second round. Repeat. Interesting idea.

      • I would guess something similar. Could be that firing the round cocks the hammer/striker and pulling the trigger releases the round to be chambered and fired.

        But….could be something entirely different….fun to opine.

        Kudos to them for keeping things interesting .

    • Same here, I honestly never met a firearm I didn’t like. Plenty I personally wouldn’t buy, to expensive, not my style, have something similar etc etc.This thing just makes me curious.

  6. There is some in-house mad scientist at Franklin. I may never buy something like this, but I appreciate that some nutter is coming up with innovative ways to throw a V at anti-gunners.

  7. Anti-gun states will still either ban it by name or just change their definition of “assault weapon” or “semi-automatic” to include it. Washington just defined all semi-autos as assault weapons. The definitions don’t have to make sense. These games to try to get around leftist anti-gun legislation are just masturbatory.

  8. They put up a video on their youtube channel. Looks like pulling the trigger pulls the bolt back until a sear releases the bolt and it flies home, whereupon the bolt stays shut until the next trigger pull. It could be that pulling the trigger is a bit like the first half of a bolt action rifle cycling, ejecting the spent case and pulling the bolt back. Once the sear releases the bolt, it would act like an open bolt firearm, springing forward, picking up and discharging the round, but with no reset of the bolt. Who knows, I could be completely wrong, but that would describe a non-semi with 1 shot per each successive pull.

    • Thanks…watched it….looks likemthe trigger pull is guiding the work.

      Like a disc shooter toy pistol from my childhood.

      Come to think of it….most moderns design copied a lot from toy guns…they just shoot cartridges instead of flinging plastic BBs or discs.

  9. I’m gonna guess it’s a play on their binary trigger and the bolt catch. So you pull the trigger, the gun fires and the bolt opens and locks back, then when you release the trigger it sends the bolt forward and ready to fire again.

  10. Sounds like a lot of zit-faced pajama commandos are bad-mouthing a product they have never seen, touched, or could even afford to buy – unless the steal their mama’s laundry money.

    TTAG Wussies are multiplying – how they can do this without balls is a mystery.

    [email protected]

  11. Hmmmm…. Of course Franklin Armory isn’t saying how this magic is accomplished — if they said how they wouldn’t get all this buzz in the gun media — better described as Much Ado Over Nothing.

    Remember the last version of Franklin Armory nonsense: the Reformation??

    Clearly they think there is a market for niche firearms that are more curiosity than useful.

    I don’t know what particular foolishness the kiddies at Franklin Armory are up to this time, but keep in mind that we had rifles that fired “once with each pull of the trigger” for many years before semi-automatic firearms were developed. Their new Providence is undoubtedly innovative in that it used some technique that no one else considered bothering with before, but it is still, at best, a curiosity aimed at a niche market.

  12. January 17 2018? So possum mind says hmmmmm , does the gun manufactures have insider trade tips with Government. So that’s why possum is seeing all the DA revolver sales. Hmmmmm,,, Thank you bumpstock Paddock mission acomplished.

    • Ah, thanks for the video. Now I see how it works.

      1) You start with an empty chamber and a full magazine.
      2) As you pull the trigger backwards, the bolt goes backwards.
      3) When the trigger is fully rearward, the bolt is fully rearward.
      4) When the trigger is fully rearward and breaks, the bolt goes forward.
      5) When the bolt goes forward, it pushes a new round into the chamber and detonates the primer — all in one continuous motion.
      6) When you pull the trigger again, the process repeats with the additional action of ejecting the spent casing.

      Think of it as simply linearizing a revolver. Instead of the double-action trigger forcing the cylinder to rotate, the double-action trigger forces the bolt to move rearward. The only additional function is the bolt moving forward when the trigger breaks. (In the case of a revolver, the trigger break coincides with the cylinder locking in place.)

      • And with clever use of recoil gases and springs, the amount of force it takes to pull the trigger and move the bolt rearward could be amazingly low — like three pounds. Make the bolt light enough and you could probably fire one of those just as fast as a semi-auto.

        Clever use of recoil gases and springs:
        1) You could have a fairly stiff spring behind the bolt — in the same location as the buffer tube spring on an AR-15. That stiff spring would be able to move the bolt forward very fast and have enough force to strip a cartridge from the magazine and push it reliably into the chamber.
        2) You could use expanding gases (from firing) to push that stiff bolt spring — but NOT the bolt — all the way back. Think of a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun that you have to cock. In this case gases do the work of cocking the spring for you.
        3) You could use a light (3 pound) spring to pull the bolt forward. This would simply provide the resistance that you feel in the trigger and would have to overcome to pull the trigger all the way back — which also includes pulling the bolt all the way back. And this light spring would simply return the bolt forward without firing if you did not fully pull the trigger.

  13. Looks like the bolt is an “all in one” hammer and firing pin, looks like it functions similar to a D.A. revolver in many ways. Interesting however it works, but I don’t have any comply left, keltec p2k I’m sure will be easier on my wallet, but I would like to shoot one just to see how it is.

  14. I saw a 115 grain 9mm HP out of 4.5″ barrel go though: drywall & drywall & control(thin metal) panel of an electric stove & wire reinforced glass pane and ricocheted off a concrete wall & get stopped only by another concrete wall.


  15. Let me guess, the bolt is thrown back and held in place requiring the user to depress a lever so that the bolt will move forward? Or it’s a revolver carbine.

  16. I’d rather have a bolt know on the left side at the front of the receiver, no gas port in the barrel, and no gas tube from gas block to bolt. Straight pull bolt action with all the eeevil external goodness to make the pearl clutchers squirm.

  17. In NY, the definition is:

    Penal Code, Article 265:

    21. “Semiautomatic” means any repeating rifle, shotgun or pistol,
    regardless of barrel or overall length, which utilizes a portion of the
    energy of a firing cartridge or shell to extract the fired cartridge
    case or spent shell and chamber the next round, and which requires a
    separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge or shell.

  18. So it is a double action like a revolver only uses a mag instead of a cylinder. Great innovation. The mental dems would have to ban every double action revolver to ban this rifle. Maybe that’s their plan, OK that’s just being paranoid (or is it).

  19. There is a video of this gun I watched this morning. multiple cases are coming out of the ejection port and the shooter is not pumping or bolting anything.. you can’t have a windup or spring, those were illegal years ago. it looks like you may have to pull and release the trigger for each round but I can’t be sure but the shooters right hand, his trigger finger hand, was not doing anything weird like pressing a button or pulling a charging handle or running a bolt. Don’t know… hope it’s not as big and as expensive of a disappointment as the Retardation they introduced at Shot Show last year… oh yeah, that sumbitch was ‘spensive too. Would all you guys stop the constant bitching and pissing about caliber and penetration and all the other useless bullshit you engage in please?? No wonder we are losing the battle… we have bookworms arguing sectional density and ballistic performance instead of drawing a uniform line in the sand and giving more $$ to GOA.

    • From me the GOA, SAF and NRA each get dues plus $100 every year at tax refund time.

      If they want more from me they should let me opt out of all their constant snail mails filling my mail box. All that paper must cost a bunch, I mean it’s like hardly a day goes by it seems without them sending more begging envelopes just because I donate once a year.

  20. Could be interesting just from the mechanical design fascination angle. But as their guns are way up there in price, I’ll just have to be curious from afar.

  21. Considering its Franklin, they’re likely using their binary inspiration.

    Pulling the trigger back sets the bolt and cocks the hammer. Releasing it fires it.
    Almost positive that’s what’s going on here.

  22. My idea, back when I was a subject of Californistan, was to put a small spring under the bolt release. This way, after each round fired, the bolt is held back a day the shooter would be required to depress the bolt latch so the rifle will fire again. This could make any AR non-semi-automatic for $5.

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