Last year, our readers voted the SIG SAUER SB-15 Pistol Brace the best new firearm accessory of 2013. We met with SIG at the SHOT Show and presented them with a plaque to commemorate the honor. And rightly so. SIG SAUER brought the brace out of obscurity, marketed it to the public, slapped it on anything they could find and vowed to defend its legality in court if need be. But credit where credit’s due (finally). Alex Bosco is the man who invented, designed and marketed the SB-15. It began with his dream of giving back to injured veterans . . .
Alex invented the brace for wounded warriors (and others) missing a limb or otherwise incapable of holding a rifle. It attaches to the buffer tube of an AR-style pistol and straps around the user’s forearm. Bosco’s brace enables reasonably accurate one-handed shooting of America’s most popular rifle style.
We first encountered the brace through an email Bosco sent to TTAG central command during the brace’s prototyping phase. Alex asked if we wouldn’t mind posting some pictures of the prototype brace (carved out of styrofoam) and a description, in the hopes of attracting investors.
Bosco, a dedicated family man who had recently retired from the military, was down to his last few shekels. We recognized Bosco’s brace as an innovative idea and important public service: a way for disabled men and women of valor to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. We also understood its importance to differently abled Americans, who cherish their gun rights.
That post caught SIG’s eye. At the same time, Alex sent a letter to the ATF asking for clarification on the brace’s legality. When attached to an AR pistol, does the pistol become an SBR (short barreled rifle)? If the ATF deemed a brace-equipped AR pistol an National Firearms Act item, buyers would have to jump through a lot of ATF hoops, pay a hefty tax and face a long delay.
But the ATF said no. An AR pistol equipped with Alex’s bringchild is not an NFA item. Alex could sell the brace to anyone without any additional paperwork.
It’s no secret that Bosco’s brace can also be used as a shoulder stock by people with two good arms. With Bosco’s brace, all Americans are able to modify an AR-15-style pistol into what’s effectively an SBR – without additional ATF infringement on their gun rights.
In one short year, the SB-15 pistol brace has completely changed the way we look at pistol versions of modern sporting rifles. Before Bosco’s brace, AR-15-style pistols were gimmicky and not very useful. With the addition of a simple piece of molded plastic and a little Velcro, they are an extremely useful, even attractive firearm in their own right. One man single-handedly changed the way the market regards an entire class of firearms.
When SIG SAUER bought Bosco’s brace, the accessory flew off the shelves. As a result, the vet and his family are no longer short of shekels. SB Tactical’s expanding its product line to other firearms and investing in a new gun range for Austin, Texas.
During this year’s TTAG Readers’ Choice Award voting, the SB-15 brace got more votes than any other firearm accessory. This despite the fact that it wasn’t on the ballot (again, the brace was a 2013 product). Our admiration for Alex’s service to our country, our recognition of his creativity, our respect for his achievement and his product’s overwhelming popularity inspired TTAG to create our first Most Influential Personality of the Year award. Congratulations to Mr. Bosco.