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6 Best AR-15 Pistols [2021 Complete & Build List]

What really sets the AR-15 platform above basically all other firearms is the fact that you can do just about anything with it.

Some Upgraded AR-15s
Some Upgraded AR-15 Rifles

Long-range precision build? Check. Battle rifle? Basically, a beefed up AR-15. Lightweight carbine? Of course!

Pistol? Yes!

Three AR-Pistols
Three AR-Pistols

Read on to learn all about the legality, best braces, complete AR-15 pistol builds, and uppers.


So, what exactly is an AR pistol? If you want the complex legal definition of a pistol Check ATF’s Website.

The short version is: An AR Pistol is an AR-15 that was built from the start to be a pistol – it also has a barrel less than 16 inches in length and does not have a stock.

AR-15 Rifle Vs. Pistol
AR-15 Rifle Vs. Pistol

Generally, an AR-15 Pistol will have a stabilizing brace instead of a stock, but that isn’t required.

**Note: The ATF is reevaluating its stance on stabilizing braces. Pew Pew Tactical is monitoring the situation and will update our readers if there are any legal changes in the future.

Those are the three major federally important points. Double check your state law before embarking on this kind of build, what federally qualifies as a “firearm” or “pistol” might be an “assault pistol” in your state.

Best Braces Overview
Best Braces Overview

Most of the components on an AR pistol are going to be quite similar to a classic AR-15 build. There are a few key differences to note:

  • Stabilizing brace: an AR pistol cannot have a stock, as it would then be classified as an SBR
  • Gas System: pistol length or carbine length
  • Pistol buffer tube instead of a rifle buffer tube
  • A vertical foregrip is only allowed when the overall length is over 26 inches

We cover it more in-depth in our AR-15 Pistol or AR-15 SBR article.

Daniel Defense MK18
Daniel Defense MK18


Lots of pistol braces are designed to be as aesthetically close to a stock as they can be, without changing their legal definition. In fact, most braces can even be shouldered much like a traditional stock can be.

But the act of shouldering it can be a murky question, legally.

ATF Meme Guy

Many manufacturers and people have concluded that it is okay to shoulder a firearm that is affixed to a stabilizing brace. While the ATF forbade this for many years, in 2017 they issued New Guidelines reversing that.

While the ATF might change their minds again someday, for now, you’re in the clear! So, ready to get your new AR pistol?

Disclaimer that this is not legal advice and you should double-check everything, especially since the laws surrounding this always seem to be in flux.  Also the installation instructions are for entertainment only.  Always have a qualified gunsmith work on your firearm.

Best AR-15 Pistols

Nearly all major manufacturers of AR-15s now offer an AR Pistol option making it easy to get a clone of your main rifle in a pistol format. 

Building your own AR-15 and AR Pistol is a lot of fun and a GREAT learning experience, but not all of us have the time or space to make that happen.

Pair of AR-15 Pistols
Pair of AR-15 Pistols

With that in mind – here are some great options you can buy right now.

1. Palmetto State Armory 10.5″

Best Budget AR-15 Pistol
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

PSA is well known for offering many configurations based on barrel length, caliber, and brace options. Come up with a combination, and they most likely have it at a shockingly low price.

PSA AR-15 Pistol Uppers
PSA AR-15 Pistol Uppers

Here’s our full review on their 7.5″ and 10.5″ uppers. Complete with our thoughts on fit/feel, reliability, shootability, accuracy, and more.

PSA 7.5 AR-15 Pistol with SB Tactical Brace
PSA 7.5″ AR-15 Pistol with SB Tactical Brace

Check out the 7.5″ in action!

Want more video?  We now have a full review from our YouTube channel.

We’re also fans of their full-sized rifles.

PSA 5.56 Uppers
PSA 5.56 Uppers

What’s your take on the PSA AR-15 pistol?

Readers' Ratings

4.84/5 (1296)

Your Rating?

2. Springfield Saint AR-15 Pistol

I personally had a chance to shoot this model at a Springfield demo. It shot very comfortably for such a short barrel and was not terribly loud.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The 7.5” barrel keeps the platform compact, but an M-LOK rail and Picatinny section means for easy accessorizing. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Saint, you’ll need to read my Full Review of the Springfield Saint Rifle.

If 5.56 NAT doesn’t do it for you, take a look at the Springfield Saint Victor — it’s an AR-10 pistol and gives you a lot more punch for the size.

Springfield Saint Pistol Kit
Springfield Saint Pistol Kit

Make sure to take a look at that review also!

3. BCM Recce 11 KMR-A Pistol

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Stepping outside of the budget end of rifles we find the BCM Recce 11 KMR-A. Quality parts and craftsmanship meets a sleek design with a classic KMR Alpha rail.

Accessorized with BCM furniture, the possibilities are endless. 

4. Sig Sauer MCX Virtus Pistol

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Sig surely contributed to the pistol craze with their SB15 stabilizing brace and the Virtus pistol has only increased the hype.

Truly a top-of-the-line design, the Virtus features ambidextrous controls, two amazing finishes, and a Matchlite Duo trigger.

Lucky for me, I have been able to shoot this pistol and it truly did impress me.

5. Aero Precision Pistol

Another of our favorite makers that rank highly in our best bang-for-the-buckness is Aero Precision.

The finish is always great and their ARs perform flawlessly.

Aero M4E1 16" Build
Aero M4E1 16″ Build

We love their 16″ variant, the M4E1 (full review), and we whole-heartedly recommend their shorter pistol versions…especially the balanced 10.5″ version we’re running.

Aero AR-15 10.5" Pistol
Aero AR-15 10.5″ Pistol
at Aero Precision

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

6. PWS Diablo 7″ (Piston)

at Rainier Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Piston guns run cooler and cleaner than direct impingement guns.  But unless you’re going suppressed or short…they don’t help that much for average folks.

That’s why I was so happy to be able to test out PWS’ Diablo 7″ piston upper.  We’ve already reviewed their 16″ version with great results.

PWS MK116 Mod 2-M with Goodies
PWS MK116 Mod 2-M with Goodies

I would have never gone that short on a regular AR-15 pistol because all my buddies’ guns that short were always finicky.

PWS Diablo with Lasers and EOTechPWS Diablo with Lasers and EOTech
PWS Diablo with Lasers and EOTech

Ok…I’m not that mall ninja…the above is from a pic where we showed movement of lasers (Best AR-15 Lasers).

So far the Diablo has been working without a hiccup…with tons of different types of ammo.  Stay tuned for a full review.

7. Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW

Really anything from Daniel Defense is a solid buy, but the DDM4 PDW in .300 Blk is particularly awesome.

DDM4 300 Blk in the world
DDM4 .300 Blk

Rolling with a 7″ barrel and coming in at barely 20″ OAL, this is an incredibly small package. It comes with all of the ergos that you would want from DD and that really helps make it feel like a full-size DD rifle.

From the linear compensator to the hand stop to the PDW brace, Daniel Defense makes sure to include everything that a high-end AR pistol should have.

Johnny took it out to the range and has the full review for you, but the short version is that this is one of the best AR pistols on the market and a standard that others will be judged by.

Build Your Own AR-15 Pistol

If buying a complete gun isn’t enough fun for you, then read on for endless building options. Building an AR pistol is not too difficult with the endless internet resources and companies who have made it very consumer friendly.

Just remember, if you’ve built an AR-15 before – this is basically the same process, just with some different parts. If you want a refresher or if this is your first build, make sure to read our AR-15 Definitive Resource.

There are three major things you need to consider for a pistol build: caliber, barrel length, and brace.


You have options here. I would first determine your primary use. Is this going to be a range toy, home defense weapon, truck gun, or hog hunter?

Popular Rifle Calibers, Part I
Popular Rifle Calibers, Part I

Your main caliber choices are going to be 5.56, .300 AAC Blackout, or 9mm. But if you really wanted to go wild, 6.8 SPC and 7.62×39 are also options. We’re going to focus on the big three here.

  • 5.56: this is a great go to if you’re not exactly sure or are wanting this to be a multi-use gun. Ammo is not too expensive and finding the parts for 5.56 is easy.
  • .300 Blackout: looking for a super short barrel or wanting to suppress it? This is going to be your go-to option. .300 Blk is a larger round that was meant to be shot suppressed and can be run through a shorter barrel than 5.56. Learn all about .300 Blackout!
  • 9mm: if you own a Glock and want to be able to swap mags, this might be your option. It’s not as loud as rifle calibers and cheaper to shoot, but parts can be harder to find.
9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)
9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)

Barrel Length

Ask an AR nut the shortest barrel length 5.56 needs to burn or what length .300 is optimized at and you are sure to get into a heated argument. Here are a few of the most common barrel lengths explained.

Faxon Barrel Assortment
Faxon Barrel Assortment
  • 11.5”: this is a pretty safe bet for 5.56 because it can nearly fully burn and barrels are common. A 10” or 11” rail pairs perfectly.
  • 10.3” or 10.5”: Common among USSOCOM rifles, the 10.3 and 10.5 has been pushing its way into the civilian market as well. I personally have a 10.5” in 5.56 and love it. Yes, there are some fireballs and it is quite loud, but it is a comfortable length for me and allows for a lightweight build.
  • 9”: in .300 AAC, you will get the highest velocity making this the ideal combination. You truly get the pistol feel with this short of a barrel.
  • 5.5”: probably the most common length for 9mm, not really offered for much else, however – the Sig Sauer Rattler uses a 5.5″ barrel in .300 Blackout.

The barrel is a crucial component. If you’re going to splurge on one thing, I would choose a nice quality barrel.

Prices vary immensely and you often have options when it comes to finish and material. Here are a few manufacturers and their 10.5” pricing for general comparison.

Ballistic Advantage

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

You really can’t go wrong here. They also have just about every length/caliber combination so if you have something specific in mind this is a great place to start.

We’ve used their barrels before for other builds and loved them – take a look at the Full Review.

Brownells B-TAC

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Not one of the biggest names in the barrel business, but definitely one of the cheapest. If you’re looking for a good barrel that is for a budget build – take a hard look at Brownells branded barrels.

Rainier Arms

at Rainier Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Generally, when you’re looking at pistol length barrels one thing that isn’t on your mind is long-range precision since the length of the barrel prevents the round from really stretching its legs.

However, that doesn’t mean your barrel can’t help it as much as possible. If you’re looking to get that little bit more out of your 5.56 – using a .223 Wylde barrel might be the answer.

Rainier Arms is not only one of the few makers of a pistol length barrel in .223 Wylde, they also make some of my favorite AR-15 barrels period.


Best Short Barrel
at Faxon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

This is where I purchased my barrel, partially because it happened to be on a great sale, but also because it had great reviews – two of those great reviews coming from Pew Pew Tactical.

They are manufactured in-house and have high QC standards all for outstanding prices. From Glock Barrels to Pencil Profile AR-15 Barrels we’re big fans of Faxon.

Brace Yourself

The key defining component of the AR pistol is the brace of course.

Best AR-15 & AK Pistol Braces
Best AR-15 & AK Pistol Braces

Many manufacturers have competed to produce the simplest, lightest, and most stock like designs.  We cover these more in-depth in our Best AR-15 Pistol Braces article.

SB Tactical

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The original inventors of the stabilizing brace, so you know they’re good. Today, they offer SO many options, and not even just for ARs.

HK, CZ, Sig, AK, and even Mossberg 590 and Kriss Vector Braces are designed by SB. My pick is their SOB model. It is the skeletonized model of their original design and comes in black and FDE.

KAK Shockwave

Go-To AR-15 Pistol Brace
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

If you want it to look like a stock from the side, this is a great option.

While the Shockwave is not as comfortable to shoot with because it is marketed as a “blade” it is a less-expensive and simpler alternative. 

Maxim Defense CQB Pistol BDW Brace

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Hands down one of the best pistol braces on the market, but also with a price tag to match. This is the Rolls-Royce of pistol braces. Solid, easy to use, and looks outstanding.

The only problem is that at this price, you don’t want to put this on a budget build or a truck gun. This is for serious use only. If you plan on using your AR pistol as your home defense gun, you might want to shell out the cash for this.

KAK Shockwave Buffer Tube

The un-sexy part of any brace or stock, the buffer tube. Don’t underestimate this component though – it’s important.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Generally, when you get a brace you’ll get the tube at the same time since it is always better to go with what the brace manufacturer recommends.

Check out the in-depth reviews of our favorite braces in Best AR-15 Pistol Braces.

AR-15 Pistol Optics

Over the past year, optics have most certainly become my favorite accessory and favorite thing to research.

A Couple AR-15 Optics
A Couple AR-15 Optics

They’re incredibly important and can make or break a firearm. On an AR pistol, the main considerations are size and zoom.

You need to think about how far you’re going to be shooting and what conditions.

Holosun 510C

Most Worth It Holographic Sight
at OpticsPlanet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

On the less-expensive side for a holographic option, but has a very wide sight picture which makes it comfortable to shoot with. You also have the option for a single 2 MOA dot or an entire ring. 

Aimpoint Patrol Rifle Optic

This thing runs for 3 years on a single battery and is nothing short of durable. The dot is clearer than you can imagine and makes target acquisition extremely simple, this is the gold standard for red dots. 

Need to know more? Read the Complete Review

EOTech EXPS 2-0

Best Holographic Sight

We have a Review of the EOTech EXPS 2-0 but in simple terms – this optic kicks ass. EOTech is one of the most respected names in optics and the EXPS lives up to its hype.

Trijicon ACOG

at Optics Planet

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Fixed power works well for this platform, especially with the optic that has become the symbol of rugged and functional.

Vortex PST Gen II 1-6×24

If you’re looking to take this thing out to 300 yards with ease, the Vortex PST is a great choice and all around great optic. While it will add quite a bit of weight, the 6x zoom will give you endless possibilities.

Take a look at our in-depth and hands-on review of the Vortex PST in our Best 1-6x Optics article.

And for everything else…we have our super comprehensive Best AR-15 Scopes & Optics Guide.

Accessories & Upgrades

Anything that you can put on a normal AR-15 rifle, you can put on your AR Pistol. From slings to a new High-Tech BCG, it’s all the same.

Our first stop would be a weapon mounted flashlight like the SureFire M600 Scout.

Editor's Pick
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Once you have that mounted, you’ll need a sling. Just because it is a pistol, doesn’t mean there are holsters for it. A sling is a must-have for any firearm the size and weight of an AR pistol.

Personally, I like a 1-point sling for an AR pistol – like the Magpul MS4.

Best Single-Point Sling
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Check out our complete guides for more:

The Pros and Cons

Over the past few years, AR pistols have been increasing in popularity for good reason. The ATF has yet to be crystal clear on their stance but we can’t expect too much.

If waiting ten months and paying an extra $200 isn’t a viable option, the AR pistol might be for you. The platform is extremely versatile and has quickly become one of my favorites as the building ideas just seem so endless.

Lone Blue AR-Pistol
Lone Blue AR-Pistol

Because it is so technically similar to an AR15, you have the same pool of options when it comes to accessories.

The ATF has proven itself to be a bit of an unpredictable bureau. It can surely be unsettling to invest $1000 into something that might become illegal but you do have other options.

If you are looking to be a stamp collector eventually, you can always file a Form 1 and have fun with your AR pistol while you wait for the SBR stamp.

Need more options? Remember that the AR-15 is basically the most customizable firearm platform ever made. Browse through our AR-15 Definitive Resource and find anything you need.

How about it, did you get your stamp or build an AR Pistol? What brace did you use? Let us know in the comments!

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89 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    Drives me nuts when I see firearm's writers shouldering a pistol brace during a review. The more the ATF sees the improper use of the brace, the quicker they'll take it away from us. Stop displaying it as an SBR!!

    September 3, 2021 9:13 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Gerald W

    Nice write up well done

    June 6, 2021 2:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Can anyone recommend where I might be able to locate & purchase a few 10-round magazines for an M&P 15-22 ?

    I know that 22LR is not a real popular item with true AR enthusiasts, but for me this is a great way to enjoy an afternoon of plinking with the family (that is on a budget)

    I do prefer to acquire the ‘short’ Mag’s over the curved, longer 10 round mock mag’s. I can locate 25 and 30 round mag’s, just not the 10 round mag’s that I prefer.
    Why the heck would I (or anyone) want smaller mag’s you may ask? It’s quite simple. The smaller 10 round mag’s help to extend the family time at the range and help them learn some of loading/unloading and gun handling basics. We prefer to teach them with single shot and not rapid d fire. 10 round mag’s help us achieve these things without the beginners ever noticing.

    Also, if anyone knows why these 10 round mag’s are so hard to find, I would appreciate the insight.

    Any suggestions on where to locate the 10 round mag’s are welcomed. Thank you !

    May 12, 2021 7:56 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      R. Burt

      Google for MGSW19924. It's Smith and Wesson's part number for the mag you are looking for. Also, try just 19924, but you will get results that are not just the mag.

      May 16, 2021 5:06 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Robbins Don

    You skipped probably one of the best AR15 manufacturers in your review. Geissele AR15 pistols and rifles are tops. Even other manufacturers will use their terrific triggers. Expensive yes but worth it. My Super Duty Pistol 11.5” 5.56NATO in OD Green is amazing

    April 28, 2021 5:55 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I love it all! but im looking to build a pistol caliber dedicated .45ACP ar carbine due to the fact i live in a restrictive state. So min. barrel length of 14.5" with a comp welded and pinned on it. I have a lower/upper set and just need an affordable barrel but even at the higher end places they are out of stock. Most of them do have some shorter barrels but they are out of carbine length barrels. The BCGs are still easy to find but thats it? HELP? If i could find a decent complete upper at this point i would but.....Im looking ot spend about 150.oo to 250.00 on a properly rifled barrel for the caliber? I just dont know what that is?lol My 1st toe into these waters on my own? I own a 9mm mostly spikes tactical carbine.But purchased as a whole rifle.Thanks if u can offer any leads on the barrels or a complete upper for less then 500bucks?lol

    April 4, 2021 8:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Try Palmetto State Armory or EP Armory for complete uppers. EP will take a while to ship - they're near Austin, TX if you can get there to pick it up.

      May 4, 2021 10:24 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Floyd Hawk

    That's a monster of a scope on the PSA 7.5" upper, kinda defeats the purpose of having an ar pistol in the first place.

    March 29, 2021 5:34 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    sound awake

    3 10.5 ar pistols:
    2 chambered in 5.56
    1 chambered in 7.62x39
    the 2 5.56 uppers i got from hardened arms in 2017/2018 before they went out of business for 300 each
    the 7.62x39 upper i got in january of 2020 before the craziness hit for 225
    used braces from kak strike industries and mission first tactical
    all 3 have have a 2 moa red dot on top:
    a primary arms a vortex and a holosun
    all 3 are 10 inch steel plate capable at 300 yards with fmj ammo and mil spec triggers

    March 28, 2021 5:19 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      You still have pistols? Interested in all 3

      April 3, 2021 5:05 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    you say nothing about the maximum accuracy range. Also i tink it would be nice to know if a longer rifle barrel can be used for longer range accuracy and diversity of use

    March 21, 2021 5:37 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      David, PPT Editor

      Maximum accuracy isn't impacted by barrel length. A 1 MOA 11.5" barrel will be as accurate to the same distance that a 20" 1 MOA barrel will be. The difference is in the velocity of the bullet getting there. Longer barrel will mean more velocity and less drop at range. More velocity will also mean a longer effective range since the bullet will have more punch further out. The raw accuracy will be the same.

      March 21, 2021 11:07 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Chisel head

    Like that you guys use multiple brands and companies, keeps the bias down. Nice job

    March 16, 2021 12:55 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Just purchased a PSA 11.5" Pistol kit with a PSA Stealth Lower for my first AR pistol build. My buddy has bought a couple kits from PSA and loved them. Wanted a low cost option I think this kit was on special. PSA made the buying process pretty easy. Got everything except the lower. Everything looks pretty legit! Looking forward to the build.

    March 16, 2021 5:54 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Maxim defense makes the PDX in a 5.5" 5.56. I have one with a binary. It runs excellently. It has a smaller bolt and buffer so it isn't really interchangeable but like you said about their brace, at $~2200 you are probably not going to be moving things around.

    December 23, 2020 8:44 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    The MCX has got my vote for #1 hands down, I've been running and gunning this platform for 4 years now & it's outstanding! you should have mentioned how easy it is to change calibers and barrels (less than 5 minutes to make a switch) would have loved to have had this weapon platform in Southeast Asia.

    December 7, 2020 2:02 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joe Farrell

    Are anyone one these legal in Maryland???? Please let me know. I’m interest in shooting 5.56 & 223

    November 25, 2020 4:25 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mike Ruark

      They are all legal in Maryland. The MD restrictions for rifles does not apply to pistols.. Heavy barrels, restricted types of rifles etc. Your only considerations if you build one should be that you buy a lower meant only for that pistol build, ensure you put a brace on it, and not a stock, and don't put a forward grip on it, because then MD considers it to be a rifle.

      November 30, 2020 9:28 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    You forgot to put The Q Honey badger at the TOP of the list, followed by Noveske's Ghetto Blaster.

    November 20, 2020 11:21 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    michael hall

    I completed an AR-15 pistol build, using a 4" barrel chambered in 9mm (Spikes Tatical lower, Foxtrot Mike complete upper w/ BCG). I choose to use the inserts for the magpul mags instead of the adaptor for the Glock mags. Definitely more cost effective. I have not experienced any feed issues, closes to three hundred round down range. I initially tried using a Red Dot scope, however found the pistol is not manipulated easily with this type of scope. I then installed a green dot laser, pleased with the outcome.

    September 20, 2020 12:35 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have one very similiar to the Palmetto State Armory 10.5" AR-15 Pistol, mine is 12 inches though, with the same style flash suppressor on the end. I've ran about 100 rounds through it so far, a combination of 55.6, and 22.3. To say it's a beautiful gun to shoot, is almost an understatement. It's solid, little to no recoil, and your almost disappointed when your mag is clear. I've added a scope and green dot laser to it as of recent. Great configuration, I highly recommend it.

    September 1, 2020 10:59 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    How do you leave out the DDM4V7 P ???????

    June 14, 2020 2:39 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Yup that was my first thought.

      June 25, 2020 7:12 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Really very helpful as I am trying to make up my mind selecting an upper and bcg this site answered just about every question I had thanks for putting it together

    June 13, 2020 5:34 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    What about the ddm4v7 p?

    May 26, 2020 5:08 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I just want to know the specs of the dark blue pistol, I would like to make or order one just like it. Can the specs and parts be provided?

    May 26, 2020 9:36 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ryan Matteson

    .458 socom. Now that's an AR pistol.
    7.5-8" barrel. Folding stock. Drum mag. And a can.

    Fits in my lunchbox.
    rats .300blk and .556 and 9mm ... At the same time.

    April 6, 2020 5:41 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Joe Nunzio

    I just purchased 2 AR pistols directly from Alexander Arms. I got the 6.5 Grendel and the .50 Beowulf. Looking forward to enjoying many years as the owner of these fine firearms.

    March 29, 2020 5:19 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dennis Eagleberger

    300 Black Out is the only way to go for AR Pistols. Both my 10.5's are real nice.

    March 25, 2020 3:16 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      yea but where can you buy bulk 300 ammo for a decent price??

      April 13, 2020 4:40 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Yup my thoughts exactly. No ammo no practice no good.

        June 25, 2020 7:00 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Usually I can find it averaging 30 cents of a round! (But not lately!!!)

        August 27, 2020 7:21 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Dan Westmoreland

    All this discussion and confusion just proves how great it will be when the various governments--especially the Feds extend greater control. The IRS regs will look like phone books for South Bend in comparison.

    December 4, 2019 8:12 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Brian E McLain

    Wouldn't your gun already be grandfathered in? I mean that is why machine guns cost so much. Seems like more reason to buy now. Everyone else can cry 99 tears why you have your legal pistol.

    December 2, 2019 11:35 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    My mistake above, If a barrel attached to a Pistol Lower makes the over all length Barrel tip (excluding threads) to Buffer end (excluding Pistol Brace) over 27 inches but less than a barrel length of 16 inches it becomes a Short barrel Rifle (SBR) even with a Pistol Brace and must be registered. If the Barrel installed is over 16 inches it becomes a Rifle even with a Pistol Brace. Once it has been configured into a Rifle it is illegal to use the Lower in a Pistol configuration again.

    October 10, 2019 5:59 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I've seen a lot of uncorrect comments here and hope I can help keep someone from getting in trouble. First, a Lower that has been used, designated or configured into a Rifle Lower or has had a Rifle Stock installed to the Lower can not be made into a Pistol. It has to be a stripped or 80% Lower that has never been used, designated or configured into a Rifle Lower. A Pistol has a measurement limit of 27 inches from barrel tip (excluding threads) to end of buffer (excluding Pistol Brace) You can not just put any length barrel on a Pistol Lower. If a barrel attached to a Pistol Lower is longer than 27 inches as described above but shorter than 16 inches even with a Pistol Brace it becomes a Short Barrel Rifle (SBR) which is illegal unless regestiered. If a barrel attached to a Pistol Lower is 16 inches or longer it becomes a Rifle even with the Pistol Brace installed. In either of the two configurations above in using the Pistol Lower to make a Rifle it can not legally be reconfigured back into a Pistol.

    October 10, 2019 5:50 pm
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    Actually a Pistol has a measurement limit. It cant measure more than 27" from tip of barrel excluding the threads to buffer end excluding the Pistol Brace. If it measures more than 27" it becomes a Rifle even with a Pistol Brace. If the barrel is less than 16" it becomes a SBR even with a Pistol Brace. You can not legally reconfigure it to a Pistol once it has been configured into a Rifle.

    October 10, 2019 5:36 pm
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    I already have an AR 15. Can I use the lower to build my own pistol, or do I have to buy a dedicated lower for the project?

    October 7, 2019 10:20 pm
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      I just read farther down the comments and got my answer
      Stayed up too late on FB, again.

      October 7, 2019 10:30 pm
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      David, PPT Editor

      If your current lower was already built as a rifle, then it is forever a rifle. Putting a pistol upper on it and a brace would make it an unregistered SBR. A pistol can be made into a rifle and converted back to a pistol, but a rifle is always a rifle.

      You'll want to get a new lower for your pistol build.

      October 8, 2019 10:12 am
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        David, PPt Editor Actually I think there's a catch 22 in there, from what I understand is you cant use a Lower thats been manufactured as a Pistol to reconfigure into a Rifle if it was manufactured and purchased as a Pistol. The only way you can reconfigure a Pistol Lower into a Rifle is if you purchased a Lower without a Rifle Stock by itself or a Lower with a Pistol Brace which by transfer would be designated "Other" on the 4473 fourm line 18 at which is because it hasn't been built as of time of purchase and you can use it either way.

        October 10, 2019 5:15 pm
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          Jorge R.

          Yes you ate correct James that is exactly how I registered my lower reciever as other when I built my ar pistol in 300 bo

          December 1, 2019 1:41 pm
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      You have to use a Lower that has never been used by you as a Rifle Lower, purchased as a Rifle Lower or designated by a manufacturer to be used as a Rifle Lower or used as a Rifle Lower. The only way you can use a Lower is if you by a stripped Lower that's never been used or designated to be a Rifle Lower or buy a Lower that's been built by manufacture that includes a Pistol Brace.

      October 10, 2019 5:00 pm
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        James I think you're confused! Just like some are confused on what the 2nd amendment says!

        August 27, 2020 7:17 pm
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    Jim Stoll

    Just built a PSA 10.5 in 5.56 for my first ever build. Love it. Thinking of going shorter. Maybe in a different caliber. 9 mm or .40 S&W. Should I build one from scratch or modify my existing one with a new upper? Any thoughts would be appreciated

    July 13, 2019 9:57 am
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      David, PPT Editor

      Switching to a pistol caliber is a bit harder for the lower, you can get a Stern Defense magazine adaptor and they work awesome - but then you're stuck taking that in and out each time you want to switch. I have a dedicated lower that I just keep a Stern Defense adaptor in but I'm looking to replace it with a dedicated purpose-built lower soon.

      PSA has some great pistol kits, pistol uppers, and pistol lowers. I use one of their complete uppers in 9mm and it has been outstanding! We have a complete review on the PSA PX-9 also!

      July 13, 2019 10:54 am
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      James K Brockman

      In a barrel of 7-8"
      Your might want to consider PC 10mm. The extra barrel length makes a 100 into a bear killer should you want to hike or pack it in near country or use in a camp. It would be perfect for home defense, truck gun, it not going to be an over penetrating round either. There are options to make it a piston power instead of infringement gas which would eliminate the buffer tube out the back as well making it even more compact and lower can be dedicated to your choice of mag to make a side or compact carry gun.

      July 30, 2019 7:36 pm
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      If you want to change to a different caliber, I would recommend 10.5 in 300 blackout. That way all you have to do is switch out the upper. You can still use the same magazines. Also if you like the 10.5" barrel. Its alot quieter especially with subsonic ammo. Get it from Palmetto state armory. That's where I got mine. I'm super pleased with it and got For a really good price.

      October 9, 2019 3:54 am
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    Interested commenter

    Last sentence: Browse*

    July 3, 2019 11:23 am
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    Jim Hovater

    What's ATF's rationale behind prohibiting vertical foregrips on pistols?

    April 15, 2019 4:26 am
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      It has to do with the definition that pistols are supposed to be shot with a single hand. Now arguably you can use your off hand as well but there should only be one place to grip the gun. Its dumb and it doesn't make sense but that is the reasoning.

      April 15, 2019 10:55 pm
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      Don't do it and get caught unless you got a lot of money and time!

      August 27, 2020 7:27 pm
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    Jimmy Mccoy

    Just finished my 9mm build a few days ago. Absolutely love it. With the ballistic advantage 10.5 inch barrel. I can easily hit at a hundred meters. 50 meters is sub 2 inch groups

    April 7, 2019 3:24 pm
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    Jack Casey

    Thanks for the article, I enjoyed reading this!

    April 4, 2019 1:10 am
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    Rod Harp

    Last Wednesday, 3/13/19 I built a "Righteous AR" pistol kit from Outdoorusa.com. Anderson lower, Shockwave brace, and Truglo red dot scope. I can hit 50 and 75 yards pretty good, but at 100 yards i could only make three hits on a 8 1/2 by 11 inch target. Not bad with a 7.5" barrel.

    March 18, 2019 4:12 pm
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    In the first picture, the AR pistol on the left. what is the make and model of the muzzle device. For some reason I am having a hard time finding a big blast forwarder. I love the ones that take up all the room at the end of the hand-guard but don't stick out very far.

    March 7, 2019 2:37 pm
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      David, PPT Editor

      Sorry, that pistol belonged to a co-worker of the author. We don't have a build list for it.

      March 7, 2019 2:54 pm
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      Maxim defense makes a muzzle device similar to that.

      April 15, 2019 6:47 pm
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    kyle reed

    eh howzit guys n gals, jus was wondering if anyone out there has found a way, loop hole, guarded intel, or for fucks sake gossip even, on how to politely surcumvent the extensive flourescent red tape with reguards to hawaiis civi munitins aquisitions by private citizens.....ha how dat for pc...did I use dat syntax right...? Or perhapse a place on maui dats got more than a box of 9mm on the shelf thats less than date night. Been back about a decade now and decieded to see how far my skill set had gone south.....fuckin antartica man...so if any one knows how to get some 9 on the rock please let me know, aloha and godbless, kyle

    February 28, 2019 4:29 pm
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    Jerry B.

    Glad to have found this site.
    Jerry B.

    January 18, 2019 6:38 am
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    Bought a Radical Firearms 10.5 inch barrel complete. Half inch groups at 50 yards with a Red dot. Never fails to feed or fire. Can’t ask for more than that. Very well built.

    January 9, 2019 8:36 pm
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    What weight buffer would you recommend for a 10.5" barrel shooting 55 gr 5.56?

    January 4, 2019 9:32 pm
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    William Cook

    Can you build a AR pistol using a 80 percent lower this seems to be a unanswered question ?

    December 30, 2018 7:17 am
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      Yes, absolutely. as long as you ensure to only attach a pistol buffer tube and never attach a longer upper it’s completely fine and quite easy to build a pistol up from an 80% lower.

      December 30, 2018 6:23 pm
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        Nicholas Weseman

        80 percent lowers work for both pistol and rifle builds it doesn’t matter how long the tube is

        January 3, 2019 11:40 am
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    Rusty in Bend OR

    So I bought the Springfield Saint pistol and shot happily for months, until my NFA was approved and I picked up my SilencerCo Chimera-300. I put ASR mount muzzle brakes on my .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, AR-15 rifles ... and then realized that the threads on the Saint Pistol are under the hand guard, and the diameter doesn't support any suppressor. Contacted Springfield for advice and got an immediate "Tough luck!"

    I've ordered a shorter hand-guard from Midwest Industries ... and will do my first barrel-nut replacement when it arrives. Wish me luck. That kind of work is more than I usually do in my limited gunsmithing history.

    Suggestion to Springfield ... don't cover the barrel threads on the next version of your Saint Pistol.

    December 10, 2018 7:04 am
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      Jacko' Heartz

      Thanks for sharing. Yet another reason to not buy a Springfield.

      January 23, 2019 6:00 pm
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    Bill Osten

    Anderson manufacturing s ar15?
    Have you looked at their guns?
    If so where can I look it up,,
    Look for lower , quality,
    ** They are located 25 miles from me**

    November 27, 2018 11:47 am
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    Daniel Murray

    Built my own out of a PSA 10.5" kit and Duracoated it myself in flat dark earth and used a spikes tactical lower with a CMC trigger and stryke industries/CMMG lower parts and KNS anti roll pins and custom extended take down pins and a WMD BCG in flat dark earth with a SB tactical brace

    September 16, 2018 5:19 pm
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    Info on the Lone Blue pistol pictured in the article, please.

    July 31, 2018 11:46 am
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      It’s a ghost firearms

      November 2, 2018 7:35 pm
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    I was going to build, but ended up finding and buying a package deal a few years ago. Diamondback DB15 with 7.5" barrel, Sig brace, Noveske KX5 Flash Suppressor, 50 round X-Products Drum, Red Dot. It's a pretty awesome truck gun.

    July 9, 2018 7:34 pm
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      Ben Gavie

      Where may I get this, sir and how much did it cost?

      September 17, 2018 8:44 pm
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      Thanks Mac! I picked up an AR pistol kit from them... GREAT prices!

      February 7, 2020 4:46 pm
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    Bill G

    Somehow this discussion forgot or neglected to recognize the Kel-tec PLR-16. I will take it over any of the offerings you have presented. Simple. Inexpensive. Reliable. Uses every day AR-15 mags. Compact. Other than being loud as hell, I love it!

    July 8, 2018 7:06 pm
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      Larry G

      I was unable to make my PLR-16 work reliably with my AAC M4-2000 Supressor, and ended up selling the Keltec. Also AAC claims the 9.2" barrel on the PLR-16 is too short to avoid wearing out the M4-2000 suppressor too quickly.

      February 20, 2019 10:03 pm
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    Connor H

    One thing to note in your definition section; there’s actually no requirement that an AR pistol barrel be under 16”. As long as it’s originally built as a pistol, until you put a stock on it, it remains a pistol regardless of upper. So one could have an 18” barrel pistol as long as it was originally built into pistol form. Would be pointless to do so, but just wanted to point out that the federal definition of pistol only requires that “it be designed not to be fired from the shoulder”. This comes from a detailed analysis of many ATF opinion letters on ARFcom.

    July 5, 2018 9:28 am
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      Very true, I'll edit the article so that it is more clear. Thanks for the comment!

      July 5, 2018 3:53 pm
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    How do you do a writeup on AR pistols and not talk about the SBA3 brace? It's amazing, and would definitely be my first/only recommendation unless someone's looking to save money with the Shockwave.

    July 2, 2018 9:46 am
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      We tended to like the SBM4 brace a little better. Any SB brace is a good brace, what one is perfect for you depends on what you like best!

      July 2, 2018 10:57 am
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        Dick Vanstinkle

        Since you guys liked the sbm4 brace better, you have lost all credibility for this article. Sba3=awesome, all others, besides the gearheadworks tailhook mod 1 and 2 are garbage! Good day sir.

        July 16, 2018 10:44 am
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    It is my understanding if a lower receiver is registered as a rifle or a pistol is cannot be converted to the other weapon or visa versa. Am I correct? Otherwise people could circumvent handgun laws by turning rifles into pistols.

    July 2, 2018 7:14 am
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      A pistol can become a rifle, a rifle is forever a rifle.

      If you build an AR Pistol, you can always change the barrel for a 16"+ barrel and throw on a real stock and have a "rifle" and still be able to convert that "rifle" back into a "pistol". However, if the lower was built out as a rifle to start with - it will always be a rifle, no matter what. The only way to get a sub 16" barrel on a rifle is to get an SBR stamp.

      July 2, 2018 10:58 am
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    Great article. Can't say enough about all the options for building an AR pistol. My first AR build was a 7.5" PSA upper, enhanced trigger, Aero lower, light, sling, Vortex Sparc red dot and 3 20rd PMags ... all for under $800. Not bad for a home defense/truck gun. Yeah, it barks a little when you shoot it, but it's never had a malfunction and is very accurate out to 50 yards.

    July 2, 2018 3:26 am
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    AR pistols are awesome. No need at all for an SBR. Pistols can be concealed and carried loaded in a vehicle. All good. 9mm is good to 100 yd, that is enough for me. For bigger punch, x39 is way cheaper than 300 blk and has the same ballistics.

    July 1, 2018 6:18 pm
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      You might want to revisit that thought. 300 blackout has slightly better ballistics, accuracy and distance. The whole point of the 300 was to combine the range of the 5.56 and the impact of the x39.

      July 4, 2018 5:02 pm
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        Actually the entire reason for the 300 was a good suppressed shorter distanced round, thus the 300 Whisper designation at first. You're right, the ballistics are virtually identical to 100 yards, but the 7.62 x 39 was never really "designed" to be suppressed. gderian is right in that x39 is significantly cheaper. If you're not ever going to run a suppressor, 7.62 x 39 makes more sense for ammo availability and price with the same performance. 300 is better suppressed.

        April 24, 2020 1:06 pm
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    How could you leave out the Sig Rattler in this discussion ?

    July 1, 2018 5:05 pm
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    Monte Walsh

    10.5/ parts from Axelsonusa
    Quality and a gold star business as well.
    Use the system as a very effective truck gun.

    July 1, 2018 4:18 pm