Advice on AR’s “pistols” vs. rifles

I shoot and hunt. The last thing like the AR was my Army issue M16 in the 90’s can’t spend a lot and was pointed to the Palmetto State Armory. Wanting a plinking/security weapon when I’m in the back country. I’m looking for small and kinda like the “pistols “. They look like small rifles to me. The one I held had a stock just like the rifles. I’m planning to get a red dot and would like to have back up hard sights. So what are the pros & cons with the pistols? Is there a reason I should look at the 16”rs instead? What features should I look for or have available in the future? I appreciate any advice. These things have changed a bit in 30 years. Thanks fellas.

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A few things off the top of my head, which I’m sure more people will chime in on.

Legalities, all dependant on what state you live in, sometimes not legal to hunt with (not 100% sure).
Short barrel in 5.56, incomplete powder burn, large fire balls, can be finicky and not function 100%, lower velocity.

If 300 black out, then works really well, as long as it is tuned right.

The one you held probably had a brace. If it was truly a stock it might have been a SBR.

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Those short barrel issues sound like things I don’t want to deal with. Thanks.

The one I handled had a short extendable stock with velcro so it could be strapped to the arm. I didn’t care much for that.

So please let me ask, does the 4” difference in barrel length eliminate many of those problems in the 5.56 models? I’m interested in that caliber because it’s so much easier to find around here. I have made online Ammo buys but more and more complaints are turning up about deliveries never being made. Crazy days man.

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That was a brace not a stock in the eyes of the ATF.
As far as a short barrel AR, 10.5” is probably going to be ok, 8.5” is the sweet spot in 300 Blackout. That would be my choice.
I order ammo on line almost exclusively, never had an issue.

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Scooby says Ruh roh.

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OP isn’t the only one running for cover. It appears everyone is readying for new regs or a ban on braces. They don’t want to get stuck with inventory they cant sell.

In related news, my prediction is an SBR stamp will take a year + to process. This will likely kill off rifle caliber pistols. Or create millions of felons. I do wonder if they will grandfather existing braces - and impose restrictions on new firearms and ban the sale of new braces. My guess is no.

Braces are a lot more common than bump stocks. There was very little reaction to the bump stock ban but I don’t think that will be the case with braces. Personally, I think the rules about SBRs make no sense. But that is what it is.

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If you are going to get a pistol do it now! If you are hunting with it stick with 300BO. Most states wont let you hunt big game with 223/556. If you get you get a pistol from a manufacturer it will run just fine. The pros of a pistol is they compact, usually lighter than a rifle. The cons are you have reduced range and ATF is on the verge of redefining them at moment. Thats just in a nut shell. If you want to thow a stock on it then you have to get a tax stamp for an SBR. And that is a can of worms. There is nothing wrong with a 300blackout in 16". You will probably around 200 to 300fps over an 8.5".

Now if you go with 556 or 223wylde in a pistol. I wouldn’t go any shorter than 10.5 to 12" range just for ballistics purposes.

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This is a great brace but you better order one ASAP

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My concern is you buy a brace today today and in August the firearm becomes more or less “illegal” based on the wacky new ATF points system. Then you take off the expensive brace and put it in the junk drawer and are left with a marginally useful, heavy, oversized pistol. I think an RCP with no brace is a solution looking for a problem. A brace ban or restrictive regs make them useless. That’s obviously the administration’s game plan.

Alternatively, you add a stock but have to wait forever for the $200 stamp before you can legally install it. A decent stock is $200 and up. Plus the stamp. That’s $400 plus the money wasted on an unusable brace… so $600 bucks. Then add the cost of the gun itself. That’s a lot of cabbage to invest in a firearm with limited practical use. For that kind of dough you can buy another conventional pistol and carry one on each hip. Yee hah! It’s high noon and you are Gary Cooper.

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I have a 10.5" .223 Wylde (can shoot both .223 and 5.56) and it’s a fun range toy. I don’t hunt with it. My only complaint is it is obnoxiously loud compared to 16" AR’s. The other thing to consider if you’d go with 300 blackout is ammo is more expensive. In my area, 5.56 is around $0.60/round, and 300 AAC is around $1.00/round

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I have been working on getting my 300 BLK AR pistol dialed in, changed the barrel from 7.5 to 10 and ordered a brace. This morning I cancelled the $250 brace that’s been on back order for about 3 weeks.

The pistol has a Romeo 5 red dot on it and also flip up iron sights. According to the proposed number game from the ATF, this firearm as-is earns a score of 4 and thus requires a stamp. My conclusion is if an SBR stamp is required then why suffer with the limitations of a brace. A nice folder stock and a vertical grip then become a possibility.

I hate the idea of having to identify myself to a government agency to own a firearm that is really not that different from anything else in the market. I suspect the names on that list will be the first that Men In Black visit if the gun grabber lawmakers in our state and federal government prevail. But I will not intentionally ignore the law. I see my choices as: 1. Get rid of the gun, 2. Keep it and buy the stamp.

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Not so bad now with EFile. My SBR was approved in under four weeks. The $200 Tax Stamp still hurts though.

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That’s the truth!! That’s why I run a can on my short AR’s.

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Is a can that short open ended tube on the muzzle of some of things things?

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This is good stuff, what a great forum. Thanks guys. I didn’t give a lot of thought to other calibers till now. I was mainly thinking about something light and compact when I’m back in the mountains. The larger calibers are good to think about in the northern Rockies. There’s more then just methheads to consider. I wasn’t looking for hunting I have rifles that will kill anything, I just don’t want to hump em around.

You got my gears turning and there’s a bunch of articles out there that compare ballistics to barrel length. It’s just something I never thought of. Up till now I’ve always been to old timey gun guy. Only just switched from a 1911 EDC to a compact 9mm and love it. I appreciate this.

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No, it’s a slang term for a suppressor. That’s me being lazy!
As far as a muzzle device goes, with a short barrel some people prefer a “Flash Can” which will project the muzzle flash forward, won’t do much for the noise signature though.

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I agree, a 300 Blackout AR really is the sweet spot for many folks.
This is my SBR 300:

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Resplendent with tactical toast and towels… :grinning:

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What, no floral background? @TexasEskimo is not gonna like that.

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While it’s true none of those fellows is going to ring the doorbell, I’d go with a nice 12 gauge for up close and personal around the home. Perhaps something more ‘swingable’ indoors like a Shockwave or KSG.

Out in the hills… hiking or other? Nice and light. A ‘regular’ full size pistol and a few mags in a small sling bag. For zombie infested woodlands, a sling bag something like this should be adequate. The pistol is a M&P 2.0 9mm and the Sub 2000 folder uses the same mags. Guaranteed to ruin someones day if they choose to threaten you. Good luck in your search!

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I’ll have you know that is highly technical photographic composition. Not easily done.:rofl: That is delicious Italian artisan bread too. :grinning:

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