Unleashing Power and Versatility With your AR Pistol
If you’re a gun enthusiast, chances are you’ve heard of the AR-15. It’s a popular firearm known for its exceptional performance and adaptability.
But have you ever considered owning an AR-15 pistol? These compact, versatile firearms offer a unique shooting experience that combines the power of an AR-15 with the maneuverability of a pistol.
In this article, we’ll explore what exactly an AR-15 pistol is, why you might want one, and we’ll even dive into our top picks for the best AR pistols available on the market today. Let’s dive in!
What’s a Pistol?
So, what exactly makes the best AR 15 pistols? It’s essentially a compact version of the AR-15 rifle. The main difference lies in its barrel length and overall size.
The best AR-15 pistols typically feature a shorter length barrel, usually less than 16 inches, and lacks a stock, making it easier to maneuver in tight spaces. It also usually includes a stabilizing brace that can be used against the shooter’s forearm, providing enhanced stability for accurate shooting.
Why Would I Want One?
The question you might be asking yourself is, why would I want an AR pistol when I could just get a rifle? Well, there are a few compelling reasons. Firstly, an AR pistol offers increased maneuverability, making it ideal for close-quarters situations.
Whether you’re navigating through tight hallways or shooting from within a vehicle, the compact size of an AR-15 pistol provides an advantage.
Additionally, owning an AR pistol may offer legal benefits in certain jurisdictions. Some states and regions have specific laws regarding the ownership of rifles versus AR 15 pistols, and an AR-15 pistol might provide you with more flexibility in those areas.
Lastly, an AR pistol is just plain fun to shoot. With the ability to customize and personalize your firearm, you can truly make it your own. It’s a platform that allows you to experiment with various accessories, a pistol grip, and optics to enhance your shooting experience.
Best AR-15 Pistols Review
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at some of the best AR pistols currently available on the market. These firearms have been selected based on their performance, build quality, and overall reputation among gun enthusiasts.
1. PSA 8.5” SOB: Power in a Compact Package [TOP OVERALL]
When it comes to compact AR pistols, the PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol is a true contender. This firearm, brought to you by Palmetto State Armory, combines power, maneuverability, and quality construction into a package that’s hard to resist. Let’s take a closer look at its key features, pros and cons, and reach a final verdict on this popular AR pistol.
The PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol boasts an 8.5-inch barrel, providing a balance between compactness and ballistic performance. The shorter length barrel enhances maneuverability without sacrificing too much velocity or accuracy.
This pistol comes equipped with a free-floating handguard, allowing for better heat dissipation and increased accuracy. It also provides ample space for attaching accessories such as lights, lasers, or foregrips, enabling customization to suit individual preferences.
The lower receiver of the PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol is precision-machined from billet aluminum, ensuring robustness and durability. The attention to detail in its construction contributes to the overall reliability of the firearm.
Maneuverability: With its compact size and shorter length barrel, the PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol excels in close-quarters situations. Whether you’re navigating tight spaces or need a firearm that can be easily stored or transported, this pistol delivers.
Versatility: The free-floating handguard and plethora of accessory attachment points allow users to customize the pistol to their liking. From optics to vertical grips, you can personalize the PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol to enhance your shooting experience.
Quality Construction: Palmetto State Armory is known for producing firearms with excellent build quality, and this pistol is no exception. The billet-machined lower receiver ensures sturdiness, and the overall fit and finish of the firearm are top-notch.
Recoil: Due to its compact size, the PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol can generate a bit more recoil compared to full-sized AR-15 rifles. This might require some additional practice and familiarity to maintain accuracy during rapid fire.
Limited Range: While the shorter barrel offers advantages in close-quarters scenarios, it does limit the effective range of the firearm. Long-distance accuracy may not be as consistent as with a rifle-length barrel.
The PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol packs a punch in a compact package. Its shorter barrel and free-floating handguard make it an excellent choice for those seeking maneuverability without sacrificing the versatility of the best AR pistol.
While it may generate more recoil and have a limited effective range, these trade-offs are expected in a pistol configuration. With its quality construction and customization options, the PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol offers a reliable and enjoyable shooting experience.
Whether you’re looking for a self defense weapon at home, a range toy, or simply want to add an AR pistol to your collection, the PSA 8.5” SOB Pistol is definitely worth considering. Its balance of power, maneuverability, and quality craftsmanship make it a solid choice for gun enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
2. Radical Firearms 10.5″: Compact Firepower for Versatile Shooting
If you’re in the market for a compact and reliable AR pistol, the Radical Firearms 10.5″ Pistol is worth a close look. Known for their quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, Radical Firearms delivers a firearm that combines power and maneuverability in a compact package.
Let’s delve into the key features, pros and cons, and reach a final verdict on this popular AR pistol.
The Radical Firearms 10.5″ Pistol features a 10.5-inch barrel, striking a balance between maneuverability and ballistic performance. This length provides improved accuracy and velocity compared to shorter barrels, making it suitable for a variety of shooting applications.
Equipped with a lightweight M-LOK handguard, the Radical Firearms pistol allows for easy attachment of accessories. Whether you prefer a vertical grip, flashlight, or laser/iron sights, the M-LOK system provides versatility and customization options to enhance your shooting experience.
The Radical Firearms 10.5″ Pistol is chambered in 5.56 NATO, making it compatible with both 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington ammunition. This versatility allows shooters to choose from a wide range of loads to suit their specific needs, whether it be self-defense, target shooting, or plinking.
Compact Size: The 10.5-inch barrel of the Radical Firearms pistol offers increased maneuverability, making it ideal for close-quarters shooting and navigating tight spaces. Whether you’re using it for home defense or in a tactical environment, this compact size provides an advantage.
Lightweight Design: The use of lightweight materials in the construction of the Radical Firearms pistol ensures that it is easy to handle and carry for extended periods. This is especially beneficial for those who require a portable firearm or engage in activities like hiking or backpacking.
Versatile Platform: The M-LOK handguard of the Radical Firearms pistol allows for easy attachment of various accessories, giving shooters the freedom to customize their firearm to suit their preferences. This adaptability enhances the overall shooting experience and functionality of the pistol.
Recoil: Due to its compact size, the Radical Firearms 10.5″ Pistol may produce slightly more felt recoil compared to full-sized AR-15 rifles. This can affect follow-up shot accuracy, especially during rapid-fire sequences. Adequate training and practice are recommended to mitigate this.
Limited Effective Range: While the 10.5-inch barrel provides improved accuracy and velocity compared to shorter barrels, it does have limitations in terms of long-distance shooting. The effective range may not match that of rifles with longer barrels, so it’s important to consider your intended use and shooting requirements.
The Radical Firearms 10.5″ Pistol offers shooters a reliable and compact AR pistol option. Its balance between maneuverability and ballistic performance, combined with the lightweight design and versatile M-LOK handguard, make it a solid choice for a variety of shooting applications.
While it may generate slightly more recoil and have a limited effective range, these considerations are expected in a pistol configuration. With its quality construction and customization options, the Radical Firearms 10.5″ Pistol is well-suited for self defense at home, personal protection, or range fun.
For those seeking a compact and reliable AR pistol that offers versatility and ease of handling, the Radical Firearms 10.5″ Pistol is a strong contender. Its quality craftsmanship and attention to detail make it a firearm that you can depend on when it matters most.
3. TNW ASP: Compact and Folding Versatility
When it comes to innovative design and versatility, the TNW ASP Pistol stands out among AR pistols. With its side-folding stock and compact 10.5-inch barrel, this firearm offers a unique shooting experience. Let’s dive into its key features, pros and cons, and reach a final verdict on this intriguing AR pistol.
The TNW ASP Pistol comes equipped with a side-folding stock, providing enhanced compactness and ease of storage or transport. The ability to fold the stock makes it more convenient for those who require a compact firearm for travel or situations where space is limited.
This pistol features an ambidextrous safety selector, catering to both right-handed and left-handed shooters. It ensures ease of use and quick manipulation, regardless of your dominant hand.
The TNW ASP Pistol is designed with a crisp and responsive trigger, promoting accurate and controlled shooting. A smooth trigger pull enhances the overall shooting experience and allows for precise shot placement.
Compact and Foldable: The side-folding stock of the TNW ASP Pistol offers unparalleled compactness, making it ideal for storage in tight spaces or discreet transport. Whether you’re a traveler, backpacker, or simply someone who values compactness, this pistol excels in terms of portability.
Ambidextrous Design: The inclusion of an ambidextrous safety selector ensures that left-handed shooters are not left out. This feature enhances the accessibility and usability of the pistol for a wider range of shooters, regardless of their dominant hand.
Crisp Trigger Pull: The crisp trigger on the TNW ASP Pistol contributes to its accuracy and shooting performance. A consistent and responsive trigger enables precise shot placement, which is crucial in defensive or target shooting scenarios.
Limited Barrel Length: The 10.5-inch barrel of the TNW ASP Pistol offers excellent maneuverability but may limit the effective range compared to rifles with longer barrels. This is a trade-off to consider depending on your intended shooting applications.
Reduced Stability: While the side-folding stock provides compactness, it may compromise stability compared to fixed stocks. This can affect recoil management and follow-up shot accuracy, particularly during rapid-fire sequences. Proper training and practice can help mitigate this limitation.
The TNW ASP Pistol stands out for its compactness and innovative side-folding stock design. It offers a portable and versatile AR pistol option for those seeking enhanced maneuverability and discreet storage. The ambidextrous features and crisp trigger contribute to its usability and shooting performance.
While the limited length in the barrel and reduced stability of the folding stock are considerations, the TNW ASP Pistol remains a viable choice for personal defense, travel, or situations where space is a premium. Its unique design and features make it a standout option among AR pistols.
4. Diamondback DB 15: Performance in a Small Package
The Diamondback DB 15 Pistol is a reliable and compact AR pistol that offers versatility and performance. With its 7.5-inch barrel and adjustable stabilizing pistol brace, this firearm is designed to deliver accurate shots in a compact package. Let’s explore its key features, pros and cons, and reach a final verdict on this AR pistol.
The Diamondback DB 15 Pistol features a 7.5-inch barrel, offering a balance between maneuverability and ballistic performance. This length allows for enhanced close-quarters shooting while still maintaining respectable velocity and accuracy.
The pistol comes equipped with an adjustable stabilizing pistol brace, providing increased stability and control during shooting. The pistol brace allows for a secure and comfortable shooting position, enhancing accuracy and follow-up shot performance.
The Diamondback DB 15 Pistol features a full-length Picatinny rail on the upper receiver, allowing for easy attachment of various accessories. This enables shooters to customize their firearm with optics, lights, or other accessories to suit their preferences and shooting needs.
Compact and Maneuverable: The 7.5-inch barrel of the Diamondback DB 15 Pistol offers excellent maneuverability, making it suitable for close-quarters shooting and scenarios where mobility is essential. Its compact size ensures ease of handling and storage.
Adjustable Stabilizing Pistol Brace: The inclusion of adjustable stabilizing pistol braces provide increased stability and control during shooting. This allows for improved accuracy, especially when shooting rapidly or engaging targets at varying distances.
Customization Options: The full-length Picatinny rail on the upper receiver offers ample space for attaching accessories, providing customization options to suit individual preferences. Whether you’re adding optics, lights, or other enhancements, the Diamondback DB 15 Pistol can be tailored to your needs.
Recoil: Due to its compact size, the Diamondback DB 15 Pistol may produce slightly more felt recoil compared to full-sized rifles. This can impact follow-up shot accuracy, especially during rapid-fire sequences. Adequate training and practice are recommended to manage recoil effectively.
Limited Effective Range: The shorter length of the Diamondback DB 15 Pistol’s barrel may limit its effective range compared to rifles with longer barrels. This is a consideration when engaging targets at longer distances, where bullet velocity and stability can be compromised.
The Diamondback DB 15 Pistol offers shooters a reliable and compact AR pistol option. With its balance of maneuverability, an adjustable stabilizing pistol brace, and customization options, it excels in close-quarters shooting scenarios and applications that require mobility.
While it may generate slightly more recoil and have a limited effective range compared to rifles, these trade-offs are expected in a pistol configuration. With proper training and familiarity, the Diamondback DB 15 Pistol can be a dependable choice for home defense, recreational shooting, or as a compact companion during outdoor activities.
If you’re in the market for a compact and versatile AR pistol that delivers reliable performance, the Diamondback DB 15 Pistol is definitely worth considering. Its compactness, stability, and customization options make it a solid choice for shooters looking for a reliable and portable firearm.
5. FightLite Industries SCR: Innovative Design and Versatility
The FightLite Industries SCR Pistol is a unique AR pistol that offers a departure from the traditional design. With its patented Sport Configurable Rifle (SCR) system, this pistol provides shooters with a different shooting experience while retaining the familiar AR-15 platform.
Let’s explore its key features, pros and cons, and reach a final verdict on this innovative AR-15 pistol.
The FightLite Industries SCR Pistol incorporates the patented SCR system, which separates the firearm’s recoil system from the traditional buffer tube and stock. This design allows for a more ergonomic shooting experience and provides versatility in terms of customization options.
The SCR Pistol features lightweight construction, making it easy to handle and carry for extended periods. The use of lightweight materials helps reduce fatigue and ensures comfort during shooting sessions or when using it for recreational activities.
Equipped with an M-LOK handguard, the SCR Pistol allows for the attachment of various accessories such as optics, lights, or vertical grips. This feature provides shooters with the ability to customize the pistol to suit their specific needs and preferences.
Ergonomic Design: The SCR system of the FightLite Industries SCR Pistol offers a more ergonomic shooting experience compared to traditional AR pistols. The separation of the recoil system provides improved recoil management and a more comfortable shooting position.
Lightweight and Portable: The lightweight construction of the pistol makes it easy to handle and carry, making it suitable for activities such as hiking, backpacking, or as a compact home defense option. Its portability ensures that it can be readily available when needed.
Customization Options: The M-LOK handguard allows for easy attachment of accessories, enabling shooters to customize the SCR Pistol according to their preferences. This customization potential enhances the versatility and usability of the pistol for different shooting scenarios.
Less Common Design: The SCR system of the FightLite Industries SCR Pistol may require some adjustment for shooters accustomed to the traditional AR 15 pistol platform. Familiarization and training are recommended to fully capitalize on the unique features and shooting experience it offers.
Limited Aftermarket Support: Due to its less common design, the availability of aftermarket parts and accessories specifically designed for the SCR Pistol may be more limited compared to traditional AR 15 pistols. This can somewhat restrict customization options.
The FightLite Industries SCR Pistol is a compelling choice for shooters seeking a departure from the traditional AR-15 platform. With its innovative SCR system, lightweight construction, and customization options, it provides a unique shooting experience while retaining the familiarity of the AR-15 design.
While it may require some adjustment and has limitations in terms of aftermarket support, the SCR Pistol offers ergonomic design, portability, and versatility.
Whether you’re a recreational shooter, a backpacker looking for a lightweight companion, or simply someone who appreciates innovative firearm design, the FightLite Industries SCR Pistol is worth considering.
6. Daniel Defense DD MK 18: Exceptional Quality and Performance
The Daniel Defense DD MK 18 Pistol is a top-tier AR pistol known for its exceptional quality, reliability, and performance. Born from the military MK 18 Mod 0 platform, this pistol brings the same level of excellence to civilian shooters. Let’s explore its key features, pros and cons, and reach a final verdict on this highly regarded AR pistol.
The Daniel Defense DD MK 18 Pistol boasts a 10.3-inch cold-hammer-forged barrel, which provides a balance between maneuverability and ballistic performance. This length allows for improved accuracy and velocity while still offering enhanced close-quarters capabilities.
Equipped with a Daniel Defense RIS II (Rail Interface System) handguard, this pistol allows for the attachment of accessories and provides a sturdy platform for optical sights/iron sights or other enhancements. The quad-rail design offers ample space for customization.
The DD MK 18 Pistol is built with meticulous attention to detail, utilizing high-quality materials and craftsmanship. It features a durable upper and lower receiver, along with a reliable bolt carrier group, ensuring long-lasting performance.
Outstanding Quality: Daniel Defense is renowned for its commitment to exceptional quality, and the DD MK 18 Pistol is no exception. From the precise manufacturing to the robust construction, this pistol is built to withstand rigorous use and deliver consistent performance.
Military Heritage: The MK 18 Mod 0 platform from which this pistol is derived has a proven track record in military applications. This heritage translates into reliability, accuracy, and durability, making the DD MK 18 Pistol a trusted choice for civilian shooters.
Enhanced Customization: The RIS II handguard offers a versatile platform for attaching accessories, allowing shooters to customize the pistol to their preferences. Whether it’s adding optics, lights, or other enhancements, the DD MK 18 Pistol can be tailored to suit individual needs.
Higher Price Point: The exceptional quality and reputation of Daniel Defense come at a premium, and the DD MK 18 Pistol reflects that. The higher price point may be a deterrent for budget-conscious buyers, although the investment ensures a top-tier firearm.
Recoil: The compact size of the DD MK 18 Pistol may result in slightly more felt recoil compared to full-sized rifles. While manageable, it requires proper technique and practice to maintain control and accuracy during rapid-fire sequences.
The Daniel Defense DD MK 18 Pistol stands out as a top-tier AR pistol, known for its exceptional quality and performance. Built with military heritage and attention to detail, this pistol offers shooters reliability, accuracy, and the confidence that comes with using a trusted and reputable brand.
While the higher price point may be a consideration for some, the investment in the DD MK 18 Pistol guarantees a reliable and high-performing firearm. If you prioritize exceptional quality, a proven military platform, and the ability to customize to your preferences, the Daniel Defense DD MK 18 Pistol is an outstanding choice.
Buying Guide for the Pistol For AR 15: Choose Your Perfect Firearm
When it comes to purchasing the best AR 15 pistols, there are several factors to consider. From understanding legal restrictions to evaluating key features, this buying guide will help you make an informed decision. Let’s dive in and explore the essential aspects to consider before buying an AR pistol.
Before purchasing an AR pistol, familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction. Ensure that you comply with all applicable firearms laws, including restrictions on lengths of barrels, overall length, and other relevant factors.
Determine the purpose for which you are buying the AR pistol. Are you looking for a compact self-defense firearm, a versatile range companion, or a portable option for outdoor activities? Clarifying your intended use will guide you in selecting the appropriate features and specifications.
AR pistols come with varying barrel lengths, ranging from 7.5 inches to 10.5 inches or even longer. Consider the trade-offs between maneuverability and ballistic performance. The Short barrel will offer enhanced close-quarters capabilities but may sacrifice some velocity and effective range.
Stability and Recoil Management
Look for features that enhance stability and recoil management, such as adjustable stabilizing pistol braces or stocks. These can improve accuracy and control during shooting, especially for rapid-fire sequences or engaging multiple targets.
Consider the availability of accessory attachment points, such as Picatinny or M-LOK rails, to customize your AR pistol with optics, lights, a pistol grip, or other enhancements. Customization allows you to tailor the pistol to your preferences and shooting needs.
Quality and Reputation
Choose a reputable manufacturer known for producing reliable and high-quality firearms. Research customer reviews, seek recommendations, and consider brands with a strong track record of excellence.
Choosing the best AR pistol requires careful consideration of your intended use, legal requirements, and the key features that matter most to you. Each of the AR 15 pistols highlighted in this article offers unique attributes, catering to different preferences and shooting needs.
Remember to prioritize quality, reliability, and legal compliance when making your decision. Take the time to handle and test different models if possible, to ensure the pistol feels comfortable and suits your shooting style.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are AR pistols legal?
AR pistols are legal in many jurisdictions, but it is crucial to understand and comply with the specific firearms laws in your area, including restrictions on length for barrel, overall length, and other factors.
Can I add a stock to a pistol for AR-15?
The addition of a stock to an AR-15 pistol can classify it as a short-barreled rifle (SBR), which may be subject to additional legal restrictions. Consult local laws and regulations before making any modifications.
What is the effective range of an AR-15 pistol?
The effective range of an AR-15 pistol can vary depending on factors such as length for barrels, ammunition, and shooter proficiency. Generally, AR-15 pistols are most effective in close-quarters engagements but can still engage targets accurately at moderate distances.
Can I customize a short-barrel AR-15?
Yes, AR-15 pistols can be customized with various accessories such as optics, lights, grips, and more. Look for models with accessory attachment points like Picatinny or M-LOK rails to accommodate your preferred enhancements.