The Case for the AR-15 "Pistol"


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kilibreaux
February 16, 2014, 05:19 AM
Like many, for years I thought an AR-15 pistol was a ridiculous notion.
Then I started REALLY looking at the concept...and changed my mind completely!
By simply mounting a smooth buffer tube onto an AR lower, we can mount a barrel less than 16" on the upper! Yes, the lower must be "registered" as a "pistol" (here in the Great State of California), but so what...we get to have as short a barrel as we want! For those of use who build our own lowers from 80%, there is no restriction for obvious reasons. Those who buy a lower OTC as it were can "go pistol" by opting for a STRIPPED lower which must be sold as a "pistol" since it could go either pistol or rifle.

Why a "pistol" AR-15? because it's COMPACT! Not only is it compact, it's one of the most lethal combinations of firepower available to the "home consumer" today! In a "free State" where one can legally own normal capacity magazines up to and including 100 round drums, an 11.5" AR "pistol" fitted with a 100 round drum is a VERY potent deterent! Velocity loss from 16" to 11.5" is only about 100fps on average which means this subcompact "rifle-pistol" is capable of making hits out to several hundred meters if the SHOOTER can do the job, and the round delivers in excess of 1,000 lb-ft of KE (.44 Magnum level power) x 30-100 shots!

But it gets better...enter the .300. BUILT to work efficiently from 8-9" barrels, and BUILT to handle subsonic loads at bullet weights to 240 grains, the Blackout is a formidable "pistol!"

While I'm sure someone could easily "hunt" with an AR pistol, that's really not the point. The 2A does not require that citizens "explain" their "need" to own whatever...they simply have the right to own what is equivalent to what the government has...but that's another forum. The fact is, being able to have an AR-15 that can be fitted into a computer bag...a standard size briefcase is worth taking note. As good as "traditional" handguns are, they cannot compete with a cut-down rifle.

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gunnutery
February 16, 2014, 06:49 AM
I have yet to fire a rifle in a confined space, but I'm sure someone with experience will be along to inform us that it's EXTREMELY loud, especially once it's in a shorter package. Which begins to negate it's use for home defense, unless you're going to put on electric ear muffs.

Not being legally allowed to shoulder it is also a detriment. I've read that using a single point sling can be advantageous to aiming, but have never tried it myself yet.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to owning pistol versions of rifles, I'd just rather be able to have an SBR so you could have good legal contacts on the shoulder and support hand. My state doesn't allow for the SBR process unfortunately, even if they did, I'm not in the mood to pay $200 and invasive paperwork. In the mean time, I've got other niches to fill.

They do look fun though.

atomd
February 16, 2014, 08:25 AM
Not being legally allowed to shoulder it is also a detriment. I've read that using a single point sling can be advantageous to aiming, but have never tried it myself yet.


I'd rather have an SBR too but you can actually shoulder a pistol as well, you just need to scrunch up on it. Now there's the SIG SB15 which is legal and makes it a bit easier to shoulder. If you use a KAK buffer tube and a SIG SB15 you're not going to have any issues shouldering it at all....and it's ATF approved.

Normally I wouldn't want an AR pistol but since these parts have hit the market it's making me consider it.

DT Guy
February 16, 2014, 08:53 AM
While you retain the mag capacity of an AR, you lose a great deal of a 5.56's effectiveness from a really short barrel:from around 3,082fps at 16" to about 2,172fps at 6". And of course, a bullet like a 5.56 NEEDS velocity to make it effective, as compared to, say, a .45ACP hollowpoint.

Combined with gunnutery's excellent point about noise and blast, (I'd be loathe to fire one without hearing protection ANYWHERE, much less in a closed room), and I think traditional handguns have an advantage that outweighs the mag capacity of a pistol AR.

Larry

jehu
February 16, 2014, 09:46 AM
The noise and the blast will not be a problem if the threat is iminent and you life is in danger but for home defense I'd rather have the noise and blast from a shotgun!:rolleyes:

DT Guy
February 16, 2014, 09:54 AM
So fear makes you disregard physical stimuli? That hasn't been my experience-and I'd rather not lose my hearing permanently.

Larry

jerkface11
February 16, 2014, 09:57 AM
While you retain the mag capacity of an AR, you lose a great deal of a 5.56's effectiveness from a really short barrel:from around 3,082fps at 16" to about 2,172fps at 6".

A quick look at the ballistic calculator shows that that is the amount of velocity you would lose if shooting at 275 yards.

Armor Snail
February 16, 2014, 10:03 AM
I like that one can be loaded and ready in my vehicle.

crazysccrmd
February 16, 2014, 10:38 AM
If you don't want the hassle of doing an SBR just build a pistol with a Sig brace on it. Legally a pistol, effectively an SBR if you choose to use it that way.

68wj
February 16, 2014, 11:00 AM
Been thinking about a pistol build in 6.8 SPC. With ~1350 ft/lbs from an 8" barrel @ 100 yards to a 77gr 5.56's 850 ft/lbs, I could see it being a viable hunting pistol.

W.E.G.
February 16, 2014, 11:02 AM
I've given great consideration to all the different types of weapons that I might employ in the hallway between my bedroom and my bathroom.

Rifle - NO

Shotgun - NO

Rifle or Shotgun cobbled down to smaller size - NO

Large caliber semi-automatic handgun with double-stack magazine - YES


If I needed something to hose down the hatch of an armored vehicle, I'd probably pick something else.
Like that's ever gonna happen.

mac66
February 16, 2014, 11:38 AM
Nothing illegal about shouldering an AR pistol. Holding the buffer tube to the shoulder is common and not illegal. In my state an AR pistol is as close to an SBR as we can get

Mine has a 11.5" bbl. I've used in 3 gun matches and I can carry it with my pistol carry permit. I don't typically walk around with it but I do carry it inside my car occasionally.

Last fall I swapped sights on it (Primary Arms dot) and took it to the range. From the shoulder I was shooting 3-4" groups standing at 100 yards. When up at hunting property it is pretty easy to hit the 20" steel D target I have hung at the end of my food plot 170 yards away from standing.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v489/mac66/IMG_0482_zps4e4dac45.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mac66/media/IMG_0482_zps4e4dac45.jpg.html)

Sam1911
February 16, 2014, 12:32 PM
The very best thing about AR-15 pistols is that they can be AR-15 "SBR" carbines either by registering them or using the SIG "Who are we Kidding" brace.

Having run defensive scenarios and match stages many times with these hand-rifle setups, the failures of these as "pistols" when shot against traditional handguns are EPIC. Running them in an accuracy-weighted, timed course of fire, against a Glock or 1911 or whatever is just an exercise in embarrassment, and that says a lot about whether I'd choose one for home-defense.

However, run one like a carbine, stocked, or shouldered at least, and the picture changes quite a bit. Hits and times come a lot closer to what you might expect to achieve with a handgun, and the choice becomes more reasonable.


(Personally, after a lot of testing, I don't favor long guns of any sort over handguns at close range. I can put lots of holes where I want them a lot faster with a handgun than I can with a rifle or shotgun inside of maybe 15-20 yards. But regardless, operating an AR-15 as a pistol is just a far distant last place.)

bflee
February 16, 2014, 12:37 PM
If someone was in my house the sound would not bother me. It would be a problem for them. To me an AR pistol is useless. My 16" with collapsible stock works fine in closed spaces. I have an Xdm40 anyway for the house.

gunnutery
February 16, 2014, 05:22 PM
So, you pull up to the range with your AR pistols. The only spot left is next to local Johny "by-the-book" ATF agent. One AR pistol just has the buffer tube, the other one has a Sig strap stock; do you shoulder them?

The only reason I ask is because it's been myimpression from other discussions on THR that ATF frowns on shouldering rifle-pistols because of the current legal definitions of pistols and rifles.

benEzra
February 16, 2014, 05:26 PM
Why a "pistol" AR-15? because it's COMPACT! Not only is it compact, it's one of the most lethal combinations of firepower available to the "home consumer" today! In a "free State" where one can legally own normal capacity magazines up to and including 100 round drums, an 11.5" AR "pistol" fitted with a 100 round drum is a VERY potent deterent! Velocity loss from 16" to 11.5" is only about 100fps on average which means this subcompact "rifle-pistol" is capable of making hits out to several hundred meters if the SHOOTER can do the job, and the round delivers in excess of 1,000 lb-ft of KE (.44 Magnum level power) x 30-100 shots!
I think you'll find that a .223 drum is a fun range toy, but nothing but a hindrance in defensive style shooting, especially if you hang one off a pistol. Go shoot a USPSA or 3-gun match at your local range with a well-set-up carbine, and then shoot one with an AR pistol saddled with a nearly-5-pound drum magazine, and compare your scores. You might be surprised.

The noise and the blast will not be a problem if the threat is iminent and you life is in danger but for home defense I'd rather have the noise and blast from a shotgun!

The flash from a shorty .223 will be an issue if it flash-blinds you in dim light, so that you can't see well after the first shot. And the concussion from a shorty will be many times more intense than an unbraked 16" .223 or a shotgun.

crazysccrmd
February 16, 2014, 05:28 PM
I would still shoulder fire it. It is legal to do therefore he can do nothing about it. "Frowned upon" doesn't mean illegal, and the Sig brace is very obviously designed to be capable of shoulder fire. The ATF knows that and still approved it for use on legally defined pistols.

Sam1911
February 16, 2014, 05:30 PM
Yup. Legal, so do it.

FrankCastleThePunisher
February 16, 2014, 09:59 PM
The rubberized Sig brace is the reason I bought the Sig M400 11.5 AR pistol for car/ truck carry using 69 to 77 grain ammo. With my carry permit I'm not afraid of getting stopped by LE carrying the pistol in a bag outside my vehicle loaded with ammo. The Sig M400 pistol is still like a SBR at 28" without the $200.00 stamp.

tuj
February 17, 2014, 01:31 AM
What about RRA's pistol that uses a piston system and no buffer tube? Looks more comfortable to actually put to the shoulder.

crazysccrmd
February 18, 2014, 03:40 PM
10.5" pistol next to a standard 16" carbine. The brace is solid and works well. The pistol isn't quite finishes but it shows the size of the brace when mounted.

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i238/crazysccrmd/IMG_20140218_143846_zps3jvexkku.jpg (http://s73.photobucket.com/user/crazysccrmd/media/IMG_20140218_143846_zps3jvexkku.jpg.html)

justice06rr
February 21, 2014, 04:08 AM
I think you'll find that a .223 drum is a fun range toy, but nothing but a hindrance in defensive style shooting, especially if you hang one off a pistol. Go shoot a USPSA or 3-gun match at your local range with a well-set-up carbine, and then shoot one with an AR pistol saddled with a nearly-5-pound drum magazine, and compare your scores. You might be surprised.


We're not talking about running an AR pistol against a regular handgun here. That's just silly.

Why would you run an AR pistol on a 3-gun or USPSA anyway, when you can use a normal 16" carbine with a regular handgun (and shotgun for 3gun)? I don't even think you are allowed to use an AR or AK pistol in 3gun as your handgun or rifle. You'd need to use a regular Carbine and handgun for those events, as well as IDPA/USPSA.

husbandofaromanian
February 21, 2014, 07:02 AM
Mine is a single shot Contender pistol with an 11.5" SSK barrel and a silencer... A very compact .223 pistol because there is no hardware for semi-auto fire... Silencer eliminates fireball and makes shooting a short barrel .223 a real pleasure...

Sam1911
February 21, 2014, 07:19 AM
We're not talking about running an AR pistol against a regular handgun here. That's just silly.

Why would you run an AR pistol on a 3-gun or USPSA anyway, when you can use a normal 16" carbine with a regular handgun (and shotgun for 3gun)? I don't even think you are allowed to use an AR or AK pistol in 3gun as your handgun or rifle. You'd need to use a regular Carbine and handgun for those events, as well as IDPA/USPSA.

Well, it sort of begs the question, does it not? If the question is indeed of making the case for an AR-15 pistol, then we have to figure out what it does well, and more importantly, what it does BETTER than something else. In other words, what circumstances would have to be present to make it the best choice for a task.

So far, about the best we can do is to fail to come up with scenarios in which it might NOT suck too bad, and certainly haven't found one in which it is the superior, or even the equal to other more traditional choices.

So we can't use it and expect to prevail in games, when a trophy is on the line. But we might use it when our LIVES are on the line? That obviously doesn't make sense.

So we come right back around to the (non-prejudicial) idea that it best fits into the category of "range toy."

Lloyd Smale
February 21, 2014, 08:03 AM
my buddy has two a 10.5 and a 7.5. they are both LOUD. I wouldnt want to start shooting one inside a home. His 10.5 will do about 2600 max with 55s and his 7.5 does 2400. So expect a little more loss then your getting from ballistic calculators. Are they fun. You bet. Just wear double ear protection and they will put a smile on your face. Are they practical. NOPE. Now if you were getting a short barreled rifle made out of one id say go for it.

tallpaul
February 21, 2014, 08:21 AM
I used to think they were worthless but I have the hots for one right now... the new sig brace helped but when I figured out that a dot sight and technique extends usable range quite a bit... and it is compact and fall under my ccw does not hurt! well that and an "extra" lower sittin around waitin for a build does not hurt!

PorkChopsMmm
February 21, 2014, 10:51 AM
I thought they were worthless, too. I built one in 300 AAC with an 8" barrel and now think it is the cats meow. I can't believe that it is so small, can pack such a punch, and be so accurate. Easy to shoulder even without the brace.

32_d3gr33s
February 21, 2014, 12:03 PM
I thought they were worthless, too. I built one in 300 AAC with an 8" barrel and now think it is the cats meow. I can't believe that it is so small, can pack such a punch, and be so accurate. Easy to shoulder even without the brace.
I see you are from west michigan. Where do you do your shooting at? I've got a 7.5 inch 5.56 pistol and an upper reciever laying around. I've been conteplating building a 300 blackout for it as well. As it sits now makes an awesome truck gun and a blast to shoot at the range...

PorkChopsMmm
February 21, 2014, 12:45 PM
I live in the country and just shoot wherever. I don't even know where a range would be around here.

300 AAC is awesome but ammo is $$. It is going to get me into reloading.

Nom de Forum
February 21, 2014, 03:08 PM
For use as a pistol it is a slow joke.

For use as a pseudo-rifle it is clumsy and saves only 5 to 8 inches of clearance space. If you need that extra 5 to 8 inches of space you would be better of having the extra 15 to 18 inches of clearance space a conventional pistol provides.

If you are thinking this pseudo-rifle is a great idea for home defense consider the following:

The best defensive strategy for inside your home is to stay put in your bedroom with a M4orgery or 18" barreled shotgun while having a telephone conversation with the police dispatcher. These weapons are less clumsy than a pseudo-rifle. Let the trouble come stand in your bedroom doorway not knowing exactly where in your dark bedroom your shot will be coming from. If you must move out of your bedroom to defend others, a pistol will be far more difficult for an intruder to deflect a grab than a rifle if he surprises you at contact range. If you are defending the outside of your home a real rifle is always the second best choice. The best choice is a claymore, command detonated from inside your home.:evil:

Lennyjoe
February 21, 2014, 03:22 PM
I built one. It is not for personal defense it is for fun. Had a bunch of left over parts, grabbed a barrel off of Gunbroker and threw it together. Haven't shot it yet though but I did put a linear compensator http://www.joeboboutfitters.com/Kaw_Valley_Precision_22cal_Linear_Comp_1_2x28_Blac_p/kvp-linear223-blk.htm) on it rather than a birdcage flash thingy mic jobber....

*Kemosabe*
February 21, 2014, 09:00 PM
Tell me if I got this right.

I built an AR-15 pistol (I keep a copy of my 4473 in the pistol grip) with a 11.5” upper.

I can put a “stock” like the one on the gun in the top of the photo of crazysccrmd's post on my pistol and it’s legal to be there and I can shoulder it like a rifle LEAGLLY???

If so, why is it not a pistol with a shoulder stock?

32_d3gr33s
February 21, 2014, 09:13 PM
Tell me if I got this right.

I built an AR-15 pistol (I keep a copy of my 4473 in the pistol grip) with a 11.5” upper.

I can put a “stock” like the one on the gun in the top of the photo of crazysccrmd's post and it’s legal to be there and I can shoulder it like a rifle LEAGLLY???

If so, why is it not a pistol with a shoulder stock?
Yes and no... You can buy the same part as in the photo. Not a similar part. That is a Sig "pistol" brace, designed to be used on pistols. It's not a stock, it's a "brace". ;)

*Kemosabe*
February 21, 2014, 11:25 PM
32_d3gr33s - "That is a Sig "pistol" brace, designed to be used on pistols. It's not a stock, it's a "brace".

I have the big picture.

Sig makes a stock for an AR-15 pistol and calls it a “brace”, then the BATFE says, “We believe you, therefore it’s not a stock.” So a stock becomes a brace by BAFE edict. That’s okay by me… thanks!

When I was a LEO a judge once remarked about the questioned contraband that a perp had, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and smells like a duck, it probably is a duck.”

I am going to buy one of those not-a-duck braces ASAP!

Thanks for your reply…..Sabe

pretzelxx
February 21, 2014, 11:31 PM
50 Beowulf pistol with a brace? Sure, why not...

MartinS
February 21, 2014, 11:32 PM
Worthless. Ludicrous. Silly. Slow joke (good one). Abomination.
But when the stars turn red and the darkness stays and the screaming starts they begin to make sense.

Sam1911
February 22, 2014, 07:29 AM
I have the big picture.
Yep. It is another erosion of the basic principles of the National Firearms Act, defining all these "special" weapons we aren't supposed to have (without registration).

'Most everyone knows that there is no logical basis for a law distinguishing a very bad super dangerous AR15, or Remington 870, with a 14" barrel from one with an 18" barrel, but the severity of the punishments has for a long time given an almost mystical weight to that false distinction.

Now we have AR15 "pistols" that aren't rifles. Sure. Same action and cartridge and capacity, but just a little harder to aim -- but that's not a violation of the NFA.

Then we ask if we can shoulder them, if a little awkwardly. Sure! Still not a "rifle" with a short barrel so not a violation. Uh huh, wink wink.

Then SIG asks if they can sell an "arm brace" that looks just like a butt stock and acts just like a butt stock, but "isn't"? And the ATF says, sure! Put all that together, use it EXACTLY just like an SBR -- make it indistinguishable from an SBR to the casual observer -- but it's fine. Not a rifle, wink wink.

And to take it a step farther, now drop in one of those bumpfire trigger packs (3MR) and now run off 600 rounds a minute of "simulated" full auto, from your "NOT-an-SBR."

It all leads me to think we're seeing the last days of (at least many of) the NFA restrictions. Build two rifles that look identical, and work the same way (with only minor internal technical differences in HOW) and one's perfectly legal but the other's worth a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison? That's getting ripe for a major court case.

Walkalong
February 22, 2014, 07:58 AM
I've given great consideration to all the different types of weapons that I might employ in the hallway between my bedroom and my bathroom.

Rifle - NO

Shotgun - NO

Rifle or Shotgun cobbled down to smaller size - NO

Large caliber semi-automatic handgun with double-stack magazine - YES


If I needed something to hose down the hatch of an armored vehicle, I'd probably pick something else.
Like that's ever gonna happen.
This, a large caliber pistol for confined spaces, and for me, the only choice is .45 ACP, as it hurts the ears quite a bit less than other pistol calibers and you ability to hear "well enough" recovers from it faster.

A big boom is much better than any crack from a handgun in a closed space.

The Sig brace gives folks a nearly SBR rifle if they wish. The AR pistol with just the buffer tube would be cool, but not particularity efficient IMO. Heck, I don't like noise like that in the open with muffs. I'll pass.

mr.trooper
February 22, 2014, 09:01 AM
I read an article and watched a few videos recently of people using a "cheek weld" on the buffer tubes as third point of contact on the weapon.

They were all able to get acceptable accuracy results and engagements speeds to defend yourself, and reach out well past the normal usefull range of a conventional handgun while doing so.

The 6.8 or 300 may kick too much for that, I don't know, but It doesn't seem to be an issue with 5.56.

They aren't much good at being a conventional handgun, but they can be used effectively with some specialized skill adaptation. I certainly don't poo-poo them like I used to.

VVelox
February 22, 2014, 02:36 PM
So far this thread has been about rifle calibers predominantly. I think an area that it actually holds a lot of potential is for when it comes to pistol rounds, such as 9x19mm or .45 ACP.

The recoil is easy to control with the weight of the gun, especially with the buffer shouldered. It allows greater accuracy in a shorter amount of time at longer ranges than a pistol can easily manage.

Nite Ryder
February 22, 2014, 03:42 PM
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to AR pistols. That opinion changes once you own one, especially if it's one you built yourself and build exactly what you want. I have two AR pistols, one is a early Bushmaster Carbon 15, the other is one I built from parts purchased through an online auction sight. They are fun to shoot, maybe worthless for a lot of other things, but you can not take away the fun factor. I can get the business end of one of these pistols 'on target' much faster when I'm driving my pickup down a country road that I can one of my full length AR Rifles. With a decent sighting device they are pretty accurate out to 100 yards. True, they can't beat the accuracy of one of my Encore pistols with a scope, but they can darn sure beat the fire power.

docsleepy
February 22, 2014, 04:21 PM
Sam1911: I found your post on actual trials of this concept the most useful Post for me. Thank you thank you for giving your experience.

I have considered building one of these pistols. Your post gave me pause. Can you try to explain to us exactly why you ended up being more effective with a pistol? Can you explain exactly what about it made you less effective with the A.R. pistol? Can you narrow it down to particular aspects?

Hometeached1
February 22, 2014, 04:29 PM
Yep. It is another erosion of the basic principles of the National Firearms Act, defining all these "special" weapons we aren't supposed to have (without registration).

'Most everyone knows that there is no logical basis for a law distinguishing a very bad super dangerous AR15, or Remington 870, with a 14" barrel from one with an 18" barrel, but the severity of the punishments has for a long time given an almost mystical weight to that false distinction.

Now we have AR15 "pistols" that aren't rifles. Sure. Same action and cartridge and capacity, but just a little harder to aim -- but that's not a violation of the NFA.

Then we ask if we can shoulder them, if a little awkwardly. Sure! Still not a "rifle" with a short barrel so not a violation. Uh huh, wink wink.

Then SIG asks if they can sell an "arm brace" that looks just like a butt stock and acts just like a butt stock, but "isn't"? And the ATF says, sure! Put all that together, use it EXACTLY just like an SBR -- make it indistinguishable from an SBR to the casual observer -- but it's fine. Not a rifle, wink wink.

And to take it a step farther, now drop in one of those bumpfire trigger packs (3MR) and now run off 600 rounds a minute of "simulated" full auto, from your "NOT-an-SBR."

It all leads me to think we're seeing the last days of (at least many of) the NFA restrictions. Build two rifles that look identical, and work the same way (with only minor internal technical differences in HOW) and one's perfectly legal but the other's worth a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison? That's getting ripe for a major court case.
Lets hope it's almost over, I REALLY want a 10" Uzi for a HD/around the place "rifle". I know I know...I would not care or use FA, expect for fun.

FrankCastleThePunisher
February 22, 2014, 06:00 PM
The AR pistol is probably not as good as a pistol in the house, but it sure compliments the pistol for personal defense outside the house up to 100 to 175 yards and as a truck/vehicle gun with high capacity and firepower. And it is really something to consider if you have an ccw permit

Sam1911
February 22, 2014, 06:02 PM
Sam1911: I found your post on actual trials of this concept the most useful Post for me. Thank you thank you for giving your experience.

I have considered building one of these pistols. Your post gave me pause. Can you try to explain to us exactly why you ended up being more effective with a pistol? Can you explain exactly what about it made you less effective with the A.R. pistol? Can you narrow it down to particular aspects?

Sure! Though I should preface by again saying I am not talking about building a variant that can/will be used as an SBR-like carbine, such as with the SIG brace, or even shouldering a long buffer tube. What I've tested is shooting these (and AK pistols, KelTec PLRs, etc.) AS HANDGUNS.

I practice, train, and compete with service style handguns very regularly. Most primarily that's either a 1911, an xDM, or a S&W 629. I use handguns in the role of defensive or "practical" shooting, which means dynamic courses of fire shot at high speed and at ranges of 0 to 30 yards, with multiple targets, moving targets, use of cover, and so forth.

When using the rifle-pistols this way, against a timer, they are not competitive. That means (to me) that I can't get hits on target as fast, as accurately, with them as I can with a handgun. Reasons for this?

1) Bulk, weight, balance -- they don't sit in the hand like a handgun. They're bulky and slow to get on target and to move through transitions between targets. They don't have that svelte liveliness in the hand that lets you really react smoothly and quickly to the threats.

2) Sight configuration -- They generally have rifle sights, designed to be used with the stock mounted against the face (or even optics used the same way) and breaking that situation to try to use them at arms' length as a handguns means peering at and trying to align sights that are now too far away, too small, and bouncing around as you try to hold up this most-of-a-rifle.

3) Reloads -- Holding 85% of an AR-15 at arms' length and trying to perform a fast reload is pretty clumsy compared to reloading almost any common service sidearm.

4) Carrying/draw/presentation -- Can't holster these, can't really carry them like a normal handgun so you don't have that smooth, fast 4-count draw-stroke some of us have gotten down to 1 second or faster. There are a variety of carry styles, mostly based on the problematic one-point sling concept, but that's a pretty bad compromise compared to a strong-side belt holster.

5) Pistols are faster than rifles anyway -- This one is controversial among some of my pals but it is definitely what I see. And I understand that it doesn't really speak to your question. I have run tests many times and I can say with complete confidence that I am faster at putting multiple aimed shots on multiple targets with a handgun than with a (shoulder-mounted) long gun, rifle or shotgun, on targets within about 20 yards. So, while no-one ever has suggested that an AR-15 "pistol" is as effective to use as an AR-15 carbine, I am still faster/better with a handgun than with the carbine. So it is only logical that the difference in performance would be even greater when comparing a service sidearm to an AR "pistol."

Nite Ryder
February 23, 2014, 01:14 AM
All well and good Sam! We understand what you are saying, but what happens when the target gets beyond the 20 yards you are speaking of? Yep, there is a very real possibility that your target isn't going to come as close as 20 yards to you, if they know you are there. Handguns are great in the hands of an experienced shooter, but what about the person that doesn't have that experience, the person who has never done enough practice with a handgun to get good at shooting one? Not everyone knows how to shoot a handgun, there is much more than just pointing it in the general direction of the target and pulling the trigger. Handguns certainly do have their place in a defensive situation, that is why many of us carry concealed on a daily basis. Rifles also have their place in defensive shooting, but so do short barreled weapons with a high magazine capacity like an AR pistol. No one firearm fits every situation. I suspect most of the readers of this forum have more than one gun. When you have many, and when you have a variety of what you want to shoot, I see nothing wrong with owning an AR pistol. It won't fit every need we have, but it will fit many of those needs.

32_d3gr33s
February 23, 2014, 01:34 AM
4) Carrying/draw/presentation -- Can't holster these, can't really carry them like a normal handgun so you don't have that smooth, fast 4-count draw-stroke some of us have gotten down to 1 second or faster.

Sure you can...http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i221/farfegnewgen/IMG_3835_zpsade654bb.jpg

silicosys4
February 23, 2014, 02:58 AM
A normal holstered pistol doesn't stick out a foot in front of you, pointing at whoever you are looking at. Try carrying like that in a crowded hallway...through brush...etc.

Definitely a match though... a novelty holster for a range toy gun

Sam1911
February 23, 2014, 06:51 AM
All well and good Sam! We understand what you are saying, but what happens when the target gets beyond the 20 yards you are speaking of?
Of course and with very little debate, the shouldered carbine or shotgun starts to pull ahead of the sidearm as distance increases.

As a practical matter, we all should understand that the immediate (and so, justifiable) need for firing a weapon at an attacker tends to fall off precipitously as distances climb to the double digits, but the chance always does exist.

That's shouldered weapons, though. Not true "hand-rifles."

Yep, there is a very real possibility that your target isn't going to come as close as 20 yards to you, if they know you are there. Fortunately, that works both ways. "Your target" as a citizen in peacetime USA, is very unlikely to be presenting a realistic articulable threat sufficient to justify firing a weapon at them at such distances, either. Unless you're envisioning getting into a rifle fight at distance, which very very few of us would consider a scenario likely to arise.

Now, if you're talking about shooting prairie dogs or coyotes, well, that's a different discussion.

Handguns are great in the hands of an experienced shooter, but what about the person that doesn't have that experience, the person who has never done enough practice with a handgun to get good at shooting one?Ok, what about them? Are they far more likely to be that much better at shooting a rifle or shotgun? I hear that idea a lot, but I tend to think it's more of a case of not shooting a rifle AS BADLY as they shoot the handgun. But sure, familiarity comes into it. A long time hunter with no handgunning experience will be far better at defending himself with his Win94 than with a Glock someone hands him. I get that.

And maybe the totally unschooled novice, would as well. But...

Rifles also have their place in defensive shooting, but so do short barreled weapons with a high magazine capacity like an AR pistol.Un, GRIN. If handguns are difficult for people to shoot well and usefully, AR pistols are FAR more so. They are truly a weapon of "last resort." As in, if you left your range toy sitting on the table and it's the first thing to hand when someone kicks in your door, I guess you'll have to use it. But that's about it. Otherwise, they suck pretty bad.

Again...not saying that applies necessarily to a well-set-up one with a shouldering ability, like that SIG "arm brace" stock.

No one firearm fits every situation. I suspect most of the readers of this forum have more than one gun. When you have many, and when you have a variety of what you want to shoot, I see nothing wrong with owning an AR pistol. It won't fit every need we have, but it will fit many of those needs.Especially that "range toy" need. And that's fine. No harm in range toys.

Sam1911
February 23, 2014, 06:53 AM
Sure you can...Ha ha ha! That's awesome! What a hoot!

pintler
February 23, 2014, 08:49 AM
On whether handguns or rifles (or in this case "rifles") are a better choice for a close in fight, I note that SWAT teams and the military uniformly use rifles as their primary arms even at inside the house distances. They're not doing that to disadvantage themselves :-).

I tend to shoot a pistol a lot more than rifles, and so I'm not any faster with a rifle, but I've seen enough videos of three gun guys running AR's that I don't think rifles are any slower, given equal training.

32_d3gr33s
February 23, 2014, 09:23 AM
Lol. I had some kydex laying around so I threw that together. I wouldn't ever carry like that. I would definitely need a strong pair of suspenders if I did. Too heavy so my pants start falling off after a couple steps. Couple of my buddies call it my "blaster", saying it looks like something straight out of Star Wars.

Nom de Forum
February 23, 2014, 02:30 PM
On whether handguns or rifles (or in this case "rifles") are a better choice for a close in fight, I note that SWAT teams and the military uniformly use rifles as their primary arms even at inside the house distances. They're not doing that to disadvantage themselves :-).

I tend to shoot a pistol a lot more than rifles, and so I'm not any faster with a rifle, but I've seen enough videos of three gun guys running AR's that I don't think rifles are any slower, given equal training.

SWAT Teams

Military = Individuals almost always operating within teams who only extremely rarely engage in combat as unsupported individuals.

Think of clearing the inside of your home as being more like a Viet Cong tunnel environment than a building in an urban battlefield. Arm yourself in a manner similar to the single individual soldiers operating as "Tunnel Rats". They used pistols. When your intruder takes you by surprise, and you are rolling around on the floor in a clinch, you will be glad your pistol's muzzle that is 4" from your gripping hand is easier to press against his ribs than the muzzle of your unwieldly pseudo-rifle that is 14" or more inches from your gripping hand.

It is not so much about how fast you can operate your weapon as being able to operate your weapon at very, very, close range without being prevented from doing so by being obstructed.

Sam1911
February 23, 2014, 04:37 PM
I note that SWAT teams and the military uniformly use rifles as their primary arms even at inside the house distances. They're not doing that to disadvantage themselves :-).They also, generally get very little training or practice with handguns, as compared to rifles. "Generally" being, quite a bit less than an average monthly IDPA/USPSA competitor. They MIGHT get a reasonable amount of training with the rifle, or at least practice with it if they're in a combat arms unit and deployed, and see much action. That would be military, of course. Most LEOs (including SWAT) ... it's pretty dismal.

I tend to shoot a pistol a lot more than rifles, and so I'm not any faster with a rifle, but I've seen enough videos of three gun guys running AR's that I don't think rifles are any slower, given equal training.All depends on what the exact scenario is (distances involved) and how good (well, usually it would be how BAD) they are with the rifle and the handgun. It is quite possible to be just as hopeless with one as the other. :)

*Kemosabe*
February 23, 2014, 04:47 PM
atomd: Re: Post #3 - Thanks for the heads up on the SB15

crazysccrmd: Re: Post #21 - Thanks for the visual of the SB15

By Thursday I’ll have my SB15 and I will put it on my AR-15 pistol. Then I’ll take my short barreled rifle…er stocked pistol…er -- oh, yeah… my legal braced-pistol out for a range session!

God, I love this country!!! :D:D:D

Manny
February 23, 2014, 05:16 PM
Gabe Suarez who specializies in alot of upclose & personal training and tactics has become a pretty big advocate of the AR pistol as a PDW. I've tried one of the Sigs with a single point sling and the afore-mentioned brace and find it compact, handy and capable of delivering a substantial blow, moreso than the 9mm Glock that now does home defense duty for me.

docsleepy
February 24, 2014, 10:32 AM
Sam1911 and many others: Thanks very much for your detailed input as to the strengths and weaknesses. This helped out a lot in my plans for future firearms

wally
February 24, 2014, 11:55 AM
So far, about the best we can do is to fail to come up with scenarios in which it might NOT suck too bad, and certainly haven't found one in which it is the superior, or even the equal to other more traditional choices.

With the SB-15 brace, its very close to being an SBR equal in states where an SBR is not allowed, and superior in terms of being allowed..

There is no way I'm as fast on the plate rack with any 9mm handgun as I am with my 9mm SBR or 9mm AR pistol with SB-15, despite tens of thousands more practice rounds with the various 9mm handguns.



Not being legally allowed to shoulder it is also a detriment. The Law classifies guns as shotguns, rifles, pistols, or AOW. It does not in any way address how you hold them when you shoot.

I've read that using a single point sling can be advantageous to aiming,
Before the SB-15 brace was approved that or a "crutch tip" on the buffer tube was about the best you could do.

IMHO the SB-15 and SB-47 are game changers for AR and AK pistols.


So fear makes you disregard physical stimuli? That hasn't been my experience-and I'd rather not lose my hearing permanently Not fear, but adrenaline. The only two people I know who've actually fired shots in a home defense situation both remember not hearing the gun. Ringing ears afterwards yes, but neither had any apparent long term effect on hearing. One was a 4" .38 Special, the other a 5.56 AR-15 rifle. They also remember total tunnel vision, poor coordination, and everything seemed almost slow motion. Neither could believe that they missed, although the goblin in the AR incident was found dead a few blocks away from blood loss, after crashing through the glass door he'd closed behind him after entry, to avoid being shot.

Sam1911
February 24, 2014, 11:58 AM
With the SB-15 brace, its very close to being an SBR equal in states where an SBR is not allowed.
Yes, and they're really the saving grace for these "pistols." As they say, from 'zero' to 'hero.'

There is no way I'm as fast on the plate rack with any 9mm handgun as I am with my 9mm SBR or 9mm AR pistol with SB-15, despite tens of thousands more practice rounds with the various 9mm handguns.Really? That's AMAZING! Wow.

Nom de Forum
February 24, 2014, 01:24 PM
.......There is no way I'm as fast on the plate rack with any 9mm handgun as I am with my 9mm SBR or 9mm AR pistol with SB-15, despite tens of thousands more practice rounds with the various 9mm handguns.

For a plate rack scenario you have definitely got your weapon choices figured out. Probably the same choices are best for a stationary defensive position in your home. If moving in your home to defend or move people to a stationary defensive position have a pistol. You may find the support hand you need for shooting fast and accurately with your SBR or pseudo-rifle occupied holding on to someone you are defending/moving. You also may find yourself struggling for weapon retention when your assailant uses both of his hands to grab that long steel lever sticking out from your hand to beat your brains out.

wally
February 24, 2014, 04:39 PM
You also may find yourself struggling for weapon retention when your assailant uses both of his hands to grab that long steel lever sticking out from your hand to beat your brains out.

Single point sling on an AR pistol has way better weapon retention than any handgun will have if you let it turn into a wrestling match.

However for my home defense needs I'll have my everyday carry pistol at hand as I go for the 12 ga.

Different strokes...

tallpaul
February 24, 2014, 04:57 PM
Well I sold some extra toys here and have a 7.5 inch flat top upper en route along with the ace pistol buffer tube assembly... the virgin lower awaits...

This has been a hankerin for several months. I may not be able to wear in a regular holster but I am big enough to maybe even conceal this with the right sling system,,, and the right coat :)

Nom de Forum
February 24, 2014, 05:27 PM
[QUOTE]Single point sling on an AR pistol has way better weapon retention than any handgun will have if you let it turn into a wrestling match.


With a pistol it has far less of a chance of becoming a wrestling match. A pistol held at close ready next to your body is difficult for your assailant to see, let alone grab, and much easier to retain control of prior to a contact range shot to your assailants body at the moment of first clinch.


Different strokes...

Fine, pick whatever makes you comfortable, but these "stokes" are not a trivial choice to be made based on what a person finds most pleasurable or tacti-cool.

Casefull
February 24, 2014, 09:43 PM
My truck gun is an ar pistol chambered in 7.62 x39 with a 10 inch barrel. It is loaded with 25 rounds and a red dot and flip up rear sight. I have it for the unlikely scenario of a carload of gangbangers where I am alone and outgunned. It would penetrate doors and windows a lot better than my handguns. I scoped it to see how accurate it could be and it shoots 1 to 2 moa at 100 yds. with brass ammo. Makes a compact weapon with lots of firepower.

justice06rr
February 24, 2014, 10:50 PM
Well, it sort of begs the question, does it not? If the question is indeed of making the case for an AR-15 pistol, then we have to figure out what it does well, and more importantly, what it does BETTER than something else. In other words, what circumstances would have to be present to make it the best choice for a task.

So far, about the best we can do is to fail to come up with scenarios in which it might NOT suck too bad, and certainly haven't found one in which it is the superior, or even the equal to other more traditional choices.

So we can't use it and expect to prevail in games, when a trophy is on the line. But we might use it when our LIVES are on the line? That obviously doesn't make sense.

So we come right back around to the (non-prejudicial) idea that it best fits into the category of "range toy."

What does the AR Pistol do better? lets see:
- higher capacity
- more lethal caliber
- more accurate with longer sight radius
- quicker target acquisition with a red dot sight
- can be used for both short and long range engagements when necessary

Life is not a game. I don't attend IDPA or 3gun for fun, I do it for training so that in real life I can use what I have learned. Many people I know do the same. The trophy is not the goal--its just an added perk.

I've never considered any of my firearms as range toys; they are all defensive/offensive weapons. It just so happens they can also be cool toys, if you want to look at it that way.

And please, we all know its better to hold an AR pistol with 2 hands not just one, to be more accurate and balanced. Same way with a traditional handgun.

As with anything, proper training and techique trumps all whether you are using a rifle, shotgun, handgun, AR pistol, or a sword....

henschman
February 24, 2014, 11:16 PM
Yes, I see the chief advantages of a short carbine/SB-15'd AR pistol over a pistol caliber handgun as being increased lethality, greater ability to defeat body armor, and extended range. Advantages over a standard carbine/rifle would be concealability and ease of use in vehicles and close quarters. Definitely a niche weapon, but I'd say it has it's place. In a discussion on another forum, some of us decided it would be a great choice for somebody who wants to pack rifle firepower in motorcycle luggage or something similar.

kilibreaux
February 25, 2014, 02:12 AM
I'm glad to see such a lively discussion about AR pistols...clearly the concept has a lot of interest.

I just received a 7.5" 5.56x45 upper I picked up on Gunbroker for $275. I snapped it onto one of my many lowers and WOW...OH YEAH!

People can say what they want, but a cut-down AR-15 in a backpack is BAD NEWS any way you slice it.

Having said that, I also took delivery of a .300 Blackout 8" which obviously throws a bullet twice that of the 5.56. In a legal pistol configuration that's a hellacious amount of delivered energy.

An AR pistol still has a buffer tube which means "cheek weld."

An AR pistol has the SAME intrinsic accuracy of a 20" barrel - actually BETTER because short barrels have more uniform "whip" compared to long.

I've personally use my AR pistol in .300 to "ring" and 8" steel plate at 200 meters and that - to ME, is proof of concept.

Obviously one isn't going to carry an AR ON THEIR PERSON for concealed carry, but one CAN carry an AR pistol in a gym bag with ease...and that is some serious firepower....

DRYHUMOR
February 25, 2014, 05:44 AM
I've been thinking about a brace.... but I haven't gotten one yet. Seems like that's on my buy list......

I shoot this one from the waist. If I make the effort on the trigger control, it's quite accurate.

http://dryhumor.smugmug.com/photos/i-cXcSbNQ/0/L/i-cXcSbNQ-L.jpg

tuj
February 25, 2014, 06:34 AM
An AR pistol has the SAME intrinsic accuracy of a 20" barrel - actually BETTER because short barrels have more uniform "whip" compared to long.

I know about barrel whip, but I'm not sure I believe this. You'd have to test both guns from a mechanical rest, and even then, I'm going to say the longer barrel is going to be more accurate. If it was true what you are saying, then why don't the benchrest guys use shorter barrels? Sight radius isn't an issue since they are using scopes. Velocity isn't a major issue since the target is 100 yards away. So if the shorter barrel was *inherently* more accurate, I think you'd see them in competition. But instead you tend to see barrels around 20".

tuj
February 25, 2014, 06:40 AM
BTW, what do you guys think about RRA's LAR-PDS pistol that does away with the buffer tube? Has anyone shot one?

http://rockriverarms.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=441

wally
February 25, 2014, 09:45 AM
BTW, what do you guys think about RRA's LAR-PDS pistol that does away with the buffer tube?

If you want to make an SBR with a folding stock I think it'd be a trick setup. As a pistol the lack of a buffer tube eliminates the use of the SB-15, so all the negatives mentioned in this thread would be magnified.

To me an AR pistol without the SB-15 is marginal, with the SB-15 its still a pistol but with nearly all the virtues of an SBR.

I built an AR pistol while waiting for my SBR stamp so I could have any functional issues resolved before it arrived.

goon
February 25, 2014, 10:48 PM
So what configurations are you gents using on your AR pistols?
PSA has lowers on sale for $59 pretty often and AR pistols seem like something that some guys try out then move on from, so I may be interested in trying this out at some point if I could do it on the cheap.

What barrel lengths are you guys using?
Buffer tubes?
Sights?
Pics would also probably help if you have one. Just trying to get some ideas.

wally
February 25, 2014, 11:05 PM
So what configurations are you gents using on your AR pistols?
9mm with 5.5" barrel, fake suppressor, 9" free-float tube. The fake suppressor is basically a thread protector and keeps the gases in front of my hand when shooting unsuppressed. Buffer tube is whatever I could find "on-sale" and in stock, using a 9mm buffer.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=194767&d=1392136581

I built it as a pistol while waiting for the stamp so any issues could be worked out before I add the stock to make an SBR, tried the SB-15 after I saw one at a gun show. Its way better with the SB-15 than without.

crazysccrmd
February 25, 2014, 11:07 PM
Mine is built with a PSA blem lower, PSA pistol build kit, aero precision upper, PTAC bcg, 10.5" barrel and YHM free float.

The barrel I found here https://www.customar15.net/shop/barrels/10-5in-hbar-barrel-wylde-chamber/ for cheap and took the risk to buy it. At 25m after zeroing my iron sights it put 10rds into a 3/4" group. At 100m iron sights shot a 10rd 2.5" group which would tighten up if I used a target with a well defined bullseye. At some point I will throw a scope on it for fun and see how tight I can get it.

goon
February 25, 2014, 11:57 PM
Yeah, I handled a SIG with one of the SIG braces on it. An actual SIG sales rep visiting the LGS was showing it to me. He handed it to me, then strapped it to my forearm. At that point, unstrapped it and put it to my shoulder...

He was very quick to point out that this was not the proper way to use the SIG brace.

I'm thinking I may want to try a 5.56 with around a 10" to 11" barrel. Still not sure if the AR pistol would serve my needs any better than a 14.5" M-4 clone with a permanently attached flash hider bringing it to 16"... but this thread and some other discussions have me wondering if an AR pistol isn't worth trying out.

32_d3gr33s
February 26, 2014, 12:47 AM
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i221/farfegnewgen/DC90A920-E1F2-42C1-8021-E8EBA7468B9E_zpszwl5wt30.jpg

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i221/farfegnewgen/AC5F5036-7C03-4700-8C99-40EA4A026355_zpskc1mo9j8.jpg

32_d3gr33s
February 26, 2014, 01:11 AM
I dont have much video of me shooting it yet, but this is the first time i took it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLvJ0kY4FoA&feature=youtu.be

PoserHoser
February 28, 2014, 03:15 PM
I know about barrel whip, but I'm not sure I believe this. You'd have to test both guns from a mechanical rest, and even then, I'm going to say the longer barrel is going to be more accurate. If it was true what you are saying, then why don't the benchrest guys use shorter barrels? Sight radius isn't an issue since they are using scopes. Velocity isn't a major issue since the target is 100 yards away. So if the shorter barrel was *inherently* more accurate, I think you'd see them in competition. But instead you tend to see barrels around 20".
I belive it has more to do with the added velocity and flatter trajectory.

CoalTrain49
February 28, 2014, 04:26 PM
While you retain the mag capacity of an AR, you lose a great deal of a 5.56's effectiveness from a really short barrel:from around 3,082fps at 16" to about 2,172fps at 6". And of course, a bullet like a 5.56 NEEDS velocity to make it effective, as compared to, say, a .45ACP hollowpoint.

Combined with gunnutery's excellent point about noise and blast, (I'd be loathe to fire one without hearing protection ANYWHERE, much less in a closed room), and I think traditional handguns have an advantage that outweighs the mag capacity of a pistol AR.

Larry

I guess one can build and use any number configurations with short barrels and call them pistols. Personally I believe the advantage of any "rifle" is it's range and .223/5.56 has always been a rifle caliber. I think of home defense (inside the home) as trench warfare or CQB. The weapon that nailed that category down was designed 103 years ago in the form of a 1911.

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