Franklin Amory Providence non-semi-automatic carbine
courtesy Franklin Armory and Instagram
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Yesterday’s announcement of Franklin Armory’s new Providence non-semi-automatic carbine design prompted plenty of speculation about how it works in the comment section. Now Franklin has posted a brief video of the prototype in action.

Check it out.

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  1. Looks like the trigger draws the bolt back and releases it…? Like some kind of single shot open bolt double action only semi semi auto sort of thing.

  2. It cant fire on an open bolt, so drawing a bolt back and releasing it to fire sounds a little too close open bolt firing to me. Plus, the trigger would be a nasty amount of weight.

    • If there is no gas system or any way for the bolt to cycle, then it really wouldn’t matter what condition the bolt is in when it’s fired. So, in theory, it can fire from the open bolt.. As long as there isn’t any realistic way of it to actually cycle, then the ATF doesn’t care.

      • That would make sense, but you’d also be mistaken. If it fires upon chambering the round…ist verbotten.

        I’m guessing they have a normal hammer FCG, but the trigger cams the bolt back then releases it to go forward *before* the sear releases the hammer.

        I guess it’s slightly better than a Volcanic style lever action (same idea but without the springs, so your finger has to ‘work’ in both directions)

        • So, a thought I have as to how it might function: Given Franlin Armory’s history with binary trigger, I think this utilizes a locking bolt mechanism, double function trigger.

          I think that, watching the video, the trigger pulls the bolt back against the bolt carrier and spring, once it exceeds a draw it disengages the carrier, propelling the carrier forward, loading a round, and I assume priming the firing pin.

          Then on allowing the trigger to move forward, it resets the trigger and releases the firing pin.

          This gets around the open bolt issue by not firing from an open bolt, but technically from a closed bolt position.

          While the trigger pull weight doesn’t seem like it’s excessive, I’m guessing that there is substantial trigger pull distance by the look of how his finger is moving back to full extent after each round. If correct, then the length of a given round will be limited. Works out for pistol caliber rounds, though.

    • I’m wondering if the gas is used to work all the internals excluding the carrier. That way the trigger pull is more tolerable as you’d be moving the bolt carrier rearward but under reduced spring pressure. In that case not only does it take glock mags but it probably feels like a glock trigger as well.

      • It’s a PCC, there’s no gas, blowback only.

        Trigger draws bolt back, releases bolt and slams it home (possibly a fixed firing pin on the bolt???) and the blowback action ejects the case and feeds a new case into the chamber.

        • That is the way it looks, however it would still be a self loading rifle (semi automatic) you would just have a trigger that would operate double action only Instead of the returning bolt cocking your hammer. Maybe the trigger pull is unlocking the bolt and able to provide enough energy to load the next cartridge from the magazine upon return. The bolt movement is being shown completely independent of any gases being produced from firing a cartridge, that would rule out blowback or any other system using the gases of the spent cartridge.

    • If the trigger pull draws the bolt back and releases it than it’s not open bolt. Open bolt would mean the bolt would be locked open between trigger pulls and the trigger pull would release it.

        • You’re mistaken. That’s the effect of a semi automatic action, yes, but the definition of semi auto is mechanical. It’s only a semi auto if a portion of the energy from discharging is used to reset the firing mechanism, which is my what a revolver does.

          Or, to put it another way, if there are no internal parts that are designed to move after a round has left the barrel, it’s not a semi auto.

        • Yo, Red…….After suffering for years at the hands of Grammar Police the TTAG editors are getting their revenge. Don’t expect the button to return any time soon. Not that YOU are a grammar cop, all must pay for the sins of a few.

        • After the first shot is fired, a semi-automatic gun automatically loads the CHAMBER using the energy of the fired cartridge. Semi-autos are also known as auto-loaders.

          A typical revolver’s CHAMBERS are loaded manually by the user and the action is manually cycled by the user either by pulling the trigger or cocking the hammer, depending on the type of revolver.

          Typical revolvers do not use the energy of a fired cartridge to load the chamber of the gun or rotate the cylinder to bring the chamber in line with the barrel. Therefore, a typical revolver is not an auto-loader nor a semi-automatic gun.

    • looks like a modified revolver action to me. brilliant. pulling the trigger cycles the action and releases the firing pin. gotta love Merica!

  3. I watched video but I don’t get it.

    Are they defining “semi-auto” as an “auto loader” and saying they aren’t a semi auto because the trigger pull is the action? I think most gun grabbers will define “semi-auto” as one trigger pull per round, they won’t care if it autoloads or rotated on a DA revolver.

    I still love this stuff. Nothing better than a pistol with brace shooting a drum with a bump stock into tannerite to spite the ATF.

    • California penal code says “semiautomatic” means: “A firearm where the operating mode of which uses the energy of the explosive in a fixed cartridge to extract a fired cartridge and chamber a fresh cartridge with each single pull of the trigger.”

      Technical terms and legal terms are two different things. What ever the real definition of “semiautomatic” says, this gun was designed to get around legal definition.

        • You’re going to have to translate that in to English for me. I’m don’t have twitter, facebook, etc, so I’m illiterate in internet shorthand.

      • And within a month or two of this gun’s release, the legal definition of “semiautomatic” will be changed to accommodate how it works, and we’re back where we started.

        Neat innovation, but ultimately kind of pointless as a legal workaround. Now, as an action that can be used with lower-powered rounds without worry of not having enough energy to cycle the action, I can see it’s utility. That’s why I love revolvers and lever actions. You can load 44’s down to almost-suppressed levels of quietness out of a lever-action carbine for fun plinking or training first time shooters. Being able to do that with a 9mm PCC platform would be super cool.

        • It would be good for any 9mm as the timing isn’t slaved to recoil impulse vs reciprocating mass. It also completely eliminates ejection port bark that seems to be common with all 9mm PCC’s.

  4. Sure looks like the trigger unlocks the bolt then pulls it back until it slams forward to fire the gun with spring pressure. That is going to be a real work out for your trigger finger!

    • We will see, but it cant be more than a revolver. If this thing had a wolf PCC/308 spring, 12.8oz buffer, and a weighted BCG then, ya, it would kill the trigger finger. What interests me is the type of locking/timing this thing has to keep the bolt forward on ignition.

      • Looking at the video, that would seem to be a problem. There appears to be considerable bolt bounce. I’d like to see live fire video.

        • I saw that too. This could just be a mocked up gimmick to troll anti 2nd ammendment pols and Fudds.

          I’m still interested though. It skirts California law, the action noise and muzzle blast are contemporaneous, and it completely eliminates the recoil operated ejection port “bark”. If it has a trigger pull similar to a revolver DA pull, I’m okay with that considering the benefits.

  5. But does it have a shoulder thingy that goes up?!? Ar15’s aren’t real ASSault rifle’s either. If it looks like a duck…

  6. I am just talking out loud and I usually over think things so I am probably wrong. What if the trigger activates an electrical motor that initiates the striker and then a motor ejects and loads the next round? It wouldn’t be using any of the energy from firing of the ammo to cause it to load again, would that then be able to be considered a non-semiauto?

    • I thought that in the past the ATF said crank operated firearms were acceptable, as long as the crank is manually operated. Attach a drill or other motor to the crank and it became NFA. Not sure how they would rule on your example.

  7. ok, now I get it.

    But gimmick guns are not a thing. Stopping unconstitutional infringements are a thing. So, instead of buying a gimmick gun to say fuck you to the legislators, instead donate that $$$ to organizations that actually fight for rights.

    • Well said. I have watched people stick $1k of gadgets on a single rifle, but won’t give $20 to GOA or NAGR.

      • I’ve seen people who invest thousands upon thousands in guns but won’t cough up a couple bucks to change the batteries in their smoke detector.

        • Some people count bullets and can’t afford batteries, some people can’t hear whistles and hi pitches. So a smoke detector wouldn’t help them much. Perhaps an automatic deluge system, and just drain the swamp through shear volume with attending rapid run off.

    • Organizations are great at challenging laws in court and sometimes they win. What they can’t do is stem the tide of votes and politicians who pander to them. The media, educational institutions, the immigrants both legal and illegal, the foreign countries, etc are all against Americans owning guns freely. Frankly I’m amazed we have managed to get this far.
      The question is how is it all going to come to a head and what are they planning to do to enforce a ban on it all?

  8. 18 USCS § 921(28)- The term “semiautomatic rifle” means any repeating rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.

    This means no gas system or recoil system.
    Perhaps there is a mechanism that is recapturing the energy of the falling bolt, with your first charge, like in any semi-auto you start the system but your trigger release has the bolt operating like an open-bolt?

    • The DOJ and ATF will find a way to twist the law to make “semi-automatic” apply to this rifle.

      I hope the SCOTUS hands the ATF their heads.

      • That’s been my thought all along after reading about this. If the ATF can’t designate these things without legislation, then we can expect passage of such legislation in short order.

      • Don’t count on it.

        Judges like Trumps boy Kavanaugh are lefty liberals in sheeps clothing.

        Kavanaugh sided for Planned Parenthood and against several states in his very first ruling.

        • “Kavanaugh sided for Planned Parenthood”

          Please read the actual ruling. The SC (Kavanaugh included) determined the law did not permit anyone but the US legislature to make the changes to funding. That is not the same as “siding” with PP. The case also did not permit the SC to abolish PP, or forbid Congress from writing laws that permitted PP from qualifying as a Medicaid provider.

          There is a new case just out of the 5th Circuit that permits states to determine who may be qualified as a provider. Different facts; different theory of the law.

          SC is to consider review of the DACA executive action/order abolishing the illegal Obama executive order/action establishing a citizenship path for children of illegals. The lower courts have held that the president may not overturn an illegal executive order through use of an executive order. Reporting seems to indicate SC will dodge the issue. If so, THAT will be telling.

    • “Extract” *and* “Chamber”.

      So this could, in principle, only do one of those via gas and not be semi-auto.

      • The Brits already have the workaround guns for that. Basically, a LRBHO for every shot, but regardless of whether the mag is empty.

        I’m thinking one could have a long pull trigger that drops the bolt, then continued motion fires it, or two separate triggers with the one dropping the bolt able to travel all the way rearward until firing.

  9. Since we don’t get to see when in the trigger press process the shot is actually fired, here’s my SWAG: It’s a closed bolt. The trigger first fires the round (this would make it a “typical” trigger pull to fire a shot), then the rest of the pull (very heavy) cycles the bolt.

    The energy of the round firing is not used in any way, therefore it’s not a semi-auto.

    • If this is the order (glass break at start of trigger to fire the round in the chamber which stays closed after bullet exits, then rest of trigger pull extracts and loads next round) that would be cool. The heavy part of the pull wouldn’t affect the aiming and the single action first stage could be left without cycling the action, leaving an unloaded rifle with a fired case in the chamber. This could be a great type of action!

    • I’m guessing slight variation based on Franklin’s binary triggers.
      1) pulling backwards on the trigger unlocks the bolt and pulls it back.
      2) when trigger reaches end of rearward travel, the bolt is released, and it loads a round as spring pressure pushes it forward and locks to the barrel
      3) moving the trigger forward releases the firing pin, launching the bullet, and keeping the breech locked
      Step 2 would tend to limit this action to a handgun since rifles would require twice the bolt movement, which would make trigger pull twice as heavy unless the spring pushing the bolt was half the strength, which would make the loading of the next round less reliable.

  10. One of these days inventions like this are going to make all anti-gunners go off the crazy train, rip up the constitution with their teeth and scream,

    “That’s enough of the work-arounds, compliance gadgets, and loopholes, we’re banning all guns, everything that looks like a gun, sounds like a gun, even if it isn’t a gun-gun, turn them all in now or die!”

    Then I want to watch the anti-gunners wet their pants.

  11. It will be a ghost/loophole/fully automatic/military style/ semi automatic/weapon of mass destruction. This scary machine gun would fire a gazillion exploding bullets per second and will be the preferred weapon of drug dealers and criminals and will also increase global warming. The sky is falling ! sarc

  12. I’ll be interested to read more, as long as it’s not by the guys who covered the Reformation last year. Well below the standards set forth by this site prior to that.

  13. Cool, but it will probably take about 5 minutes for states like CA, NY and NJ to make their definitions of ‘semi-automatic’ much simpler: “Any gun which fires one cartridge for every activation of the trigger and is capable of holding more than two cartridges.”

  14. It’s all fun and games until the narrative changes. ‘Yesterday’ they wanted to ban fully automatic firearms. ‘Today’ they want to ban semiautomatic firearms “modified” to fire “at a similar rate to fully automatic fireams”. ‘Tomorrow’ there will be calls to ban all semiautomatic firearms. After that, they will push to ban firearms that “fire at a similar rate to semiautomatic firearms” i.e. pump actions, lever actions, and things like this. When talking about firearms with anti gun people that I know, I have had more than one person tell me that lever action rifles like Winchester 1873’s and 94’s should be banned after seeing cowboy action shooting videos because they are disturbed by how fast competitors can work the action.

  15. To all who are gathered here….

    Outside the US constitution (post-1868), all law regarding guns is simply legislation. That means all the gun laws, yes all of them, are susceptible to change based solely on majority opinion in one form or another. Agency rules and regulations can have the effect of law, but simple legislation can foster or negate agency rules and regulations.

    Now, we love to put our hopes in the court system (just like all the Leftists/liberals/statists) to give us what we cannot obtain through the legislature, but at the root is majority opinion expressed through voting by the people, representation by elected officials, resulting in simple legislation.

    The fault is not in our stars, but in ourselves. We are unable to muster a solid, insurmountable majority of voters who have any point of interest regarding firearm ownership. While we benefit from the random “victory” over the anti-gun mafia, overall the winds are at the backs of that same mafia. The issue underlying all anti-gun legislation (existing laws) is that the majority of voters keep returning gun-grabbing politicians to office. The voters have the power to vote politicians out of office as reward for restricting gun ownership. Why does that not happen frequently enough such that no one would publicly express an anti-gun opinion?

    Looking about, it is clear the majority of voters find that the Second Amendment is of little value to the public. Who would not trade some more immediate benefit in return for further erosion of “gun rights”? Does that demographic represent a solid, insurmountable voting block? I think not.

    Our message is, at best, maintaining the status quo of a near 50-50 split on preserving the Second Amendment as it was written. Why are we failing?

  16. No way that I’m going to go to the Shot Show, though it might be interesting. That said, re this non-semiautomatic firearm, what sort of doubletalk are we being treated to now, or might one ask what sort of baloney is being inflicted on us.

  17. It kinda looks like a double action revolver trigger attached to a gear box to operate the bolt and cycle.


  18. Can gas simply (and only) function to unlock the bolt without running afoul of the “chamber” and “extract” clause?

    If so, and no trigger finger energy is expended unlocking the bolt, I bet the trigger gets the bolt to the rear with the help of one spring that functions only to draw the bolt rearward, then disengages, and is followed by another spring that functions only to cycle the bolt forward, then disengages.

    Since there is no recoil system, these two springs can be called “non-recoil dual one-way bolt-cycling springs.”

  19. It’ll get banned anyway.
    The goal has always been to disarm the citizens into subjects.
    It’s like the sheep trying to give the wolf an excuse not to be eaten.

    You shoot the damn wolf, or whoever paid it to eat the sheep.

  20. Upon watching the video, the bolt travels back at the same speed and distance as his trigger finger. I agree with the theory that the initial pull releases the firing pin, and then the rest of the travel pulls the bolt back to load the next round. It makes further sense that this is a pistol caliber, a much longer rifle cartridge would require a much longer trigger pull.

  21. It works like a revolver in operation in that the double action trigger completes the full cycle. Pretty clever.
    And they will merely tack it onto whatever gun ban legislation the come up with. It’s easier for them to ban something with a paragraph than to innovate.

  22. While it’s not something I’d want to depend on, they could be using a battery powered electric assist so that the trigger pull is less offensive.

  23. I bet this gun lasts all of 10 seconds on the market before States like California and Massachusetts just modify their already anti-gun laws to include this as a semi-auto even though technically it is not. But what anti-gun State ever ruled honestly on any gun issue or regulation.

  24. Progressive Mayor of Providence Rhode Island, Jorge Elorza would wet his panties if he found out about a carbine named Providence.

  25. Upon firing it could operate like a blowback, extracting the spent case and cocking the hammer, but the bolt gets locked back. Trigger pull could have two stages, first stage releases the bolt, loading the next round. The second stage could release the hammer.

    This would be a different mode of operation than described in many laws that describe semiautomatic firearms, usually specifying that the rifle unloads and loads itself using energy from the shot.

    • Or maybe energy from the shot could be used to cock and lock the recoil spring, allowing the bolt to move back with less force from operation of the trigger.

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