The Dangers of Counterfeit Law Tactical Folding Adapters

I published an article on fake Law Tactical folding adapters over three years ago. Dubbing these knockoffs as “Outlaws,” I attempted to detail the safety concerns about using them in real firearms.

I thought the issue with counterfeit adapters would go away as months ticked by, and as Law Tactical released newer generations. To my knowledge, no knockoffs of the Gen 3 or Gen 3-M buffer tube folding units exist.

However, my old article still gets a lot of traffic, and in the last three months I’ve seen a spike in YouTube, blog comments, and Facebook messages about where to get the adapters, “success” stories of using the adapters (sometimes with modification), and failures / damage to firearms after using Outlaw ripoffs.

I contacted Zach Law of Law Tactical to see if they knew anything about why I was seeing a surge of activity around the fakes. I also asked if they could share some photos of failed counterfeits and damaged AR parts.

Here are my thoughts, along with some information from Law Tactical about the kinds of failures they see from these fake adapters.

Where are these coming from?

There are two ways to proactively, knowingly buy knockoff adapters. One is via eBay, and another way is from sites that sell from manufacturers in China like AliExpress. Outlaws are usually under $70 shipped. Most (every?) listing I’ve seen posts that they are for Airsoft. I think that in most cases the people who buy these know they are getting something that isn’t legitimate and is not designed for real guns. They buy and use the adapters anyway.

The other way people are getting these are at gun shows. This is where I get concerned and a little indignant. Let’s say someone has heard about the Law Tactical Folding Adapter. Maybe they’ve seen one on Facebook, or Pinterest, or heard about it from us or a friend. They know there are about $200 – $225. They probably don’t know much more.

They go to a gun show, and see an Outlaw knockoff listed at $125, maybe $150. What a deal! It says “Law Tactical” on the adapter, and is not so cheap as to spark suspicion. They buy one, install it, run 1, 10, however many rounds through it and wind up with a failure like the ones below.

This really bothers me, as it puts an unknowing consumer at an unnecessary risk, and also gives the impression that the real adapter is unsafe.

Common Issues, Courtesy of Law Tactical

#1: Failure of the locking lug

This is the most common failure of the knockoffs. It will eventually happen to all of them, even if used only on Airsoft, because of the poor quality material used for the lug. As it strips out it no longer holds the hinge together and can open during the firing cycle, allowing the bolt carrier group to come out to the rear and separate from the extension. Especially bad for left handed shooters as your face and eye are right next to the open side as it comes apart.

#2: Total Failure of the Locking lug

Same problem as #1 but a more catastrophic example, also more dangerous as pieces came flying off when this one failed. This was on an AR pistol.

#3: Blocking Finger Failure

The blocking finger portion of the button failed to hold the carrier extension, simply stripping material off of both parts and allowing the bolt carrier to come out the back of the receiver. If it were to be fired when folded it could potentially injure the user and may crack a receiver when it is struck by the unsecured gas key.

#4: Blocking finger bent and jammed

This blocking finger portion of the button on this knockoff became bent (don’t have details on how) then became jammed in the housing, no longer providing any hold on the carrier extension, causing the same safety issues as #3.


#5: Bolt Carrier Extension Failure

We have gotten several reports of the knockoff bolt carrier extensions being both over- or undersized, the majority oversized. This unit separated from the carrier during the firing cycle and jammed inside the buffer tube.

 #6: Sling Stud Failure

Sling stud threads stripped out. Sling stud separated from the adapter.

Other issues

The buffer pin that comes with the knockoff is about half the size of a real pin and they fail all the time. Many people have ordered our older pins from the Gen 2 adapter thinking that it would work with the knock off. It does not, it is also way too large and tall for the knockoffs [some readers have told me they bored the metal of the Outlaw in order to make room. Don’t do this!!! — SBS].

Here’s a cracked BCG:
This is the inside of the same cracked BCG as above

What you can do to avoid knockoffs

As of this writing, the best thing to insure you are getting a legit Law Tactical Folding Adapter is to buy a Generation 3-M version. These are not being ripped off as far as I know.

When people ask you about your adapter, please warn them that fakes exist, and that they are dangerous.

However, there are legit used adapters on the market, so buyers need to educate themselves on how to spot fakes. Please refer to my original Outlaw adapter article to see the differences.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

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