Saturday, December 20, 2014

AR Pistol Thread

I have been toying with the idea of an AR Pistol for awhile now. Other more pressing matters have bullied their way in front of it but with those knocked out it's back in the 'next gun' slot. I do not regret that decision. Needed a better EDC solution which came in the form of the Kahr CW9 and a longer distance rifle.

Anyway I have been doing some looking at parts as well as running numbers. Also just generally mulling the whole thing in my head. To prioritization I want to square up some other things first. A case or two of 5.56, a case of 9mm and some .308 ammo are strait up higher on the order of priority.

That being said I do plan to purchase a lower to put this project on very soon. Had one awhile back but it went out in a deal. Also since the 'firearm' is a $50-100 part it makes sense to purchase it and have on hand. Won't help if the world ends but if a ban happens (under current law) the other parts for an AR don't matter at all.

Aside from planning to drop a grand or more on ammo before really starting this project I have been thinking if it's really a worthwhile endeavor. Do I just want an excuse to build another AR and snub my nose at our silly federal gun laws by (totally legally) exploiting existing loopholes to essentially make a paperless short barreled rifle?

My planned design is something like this; build a 10.5-11.5in AR pistol by putting together a lower then ordering a complete upper probably from BCM or Spikes and outfit it with one of those Sig 'arm braces' and a tac light. Eventually when finances allow I would like to put an EoTech on top but would probably rock irons for awhile. As to budget all said and done it will run about a grand. As to timeline from a legitimate start point it would take 6-9 months to fund unless I sold stuff to raise money. Don't really plan on selling anything.

My concept of use is as a wicked worst case scenario home defense gun. Maybe there is a rise in crime or a hurricane or a black out, whatever. If Project 870 sitting in the Sentry Safe Home Defender by my bed was not comforting an AR that holds over 3x the rounds which is very easy to maneuver around the house might be the ticket. Also since it is technically a pistol if I for some reason felt the need to have it loaded in a backpack/ gym bag or my vehicle that would be permissible in most places while a rifle might not be. Also it is another AR on inventory which isn't a bad thing. Lastly the oddity that lets these weapons be on their current legal standing might some day change. If previous firearms laws are any indicator already existing weapons would be grandfathered in so I feel like if I might every want one it should be purchases sooner instead of later.

Is this a worthwhile endeavor? Do you own an AR pistol? If so why did you get one and how do you like it?


Max said...

We have two, my favorite is the Sig with the brace. It's not a SBR by legal definition, and if I shoulder shoot it, it's still perfectly legal according to the ATF (using the brace as a shoulder stock). Saved needing a real SBR.

The other pistol is an older carbon-15, super short and lightweight.

They both are different when it comes to getting used to shooting them. They both fit in a backpack just fine or a small bag. Both are 5.56, I just couldn't do one in .308 as it seemed a little ridiculous to me.

Are they worth it? Everything has it's use as a tool, and since we (like you) have other long guns and other pistols, I think they fit in perfectly and I'm glad we picked them up.

2heavyb said...

I am pretty much of the same mind. I have other priorities right now but eventually would like to build one. Especially on my visits to the people's republic of Kali.

Peter said...

Trouble is, 5.56mm out of a shorty barrel is a very poor performer. I'd consider an AR pistol in .300 Blackout. That's designed for a complete powder burn in 7.5", so it's much better suited to the shorter barrels, and the ballistics are much superior to 5.56mm. from a pistol configuration.

If you want to stay with 5.56mm., I'd consider something like the Corbon DPX 55gr. load. You'll still get wicked blast and flash, but the round's likely to perform reasonably well even with the loss of velocity.

Anonymous said...

My opinion has changed on this over a few years. At first I couldn't see the benefit of an AR with the known drop off in velocity etc. that you see mentioned so often. But then I realized they really are handy in confined spaces and at shorter distance, easy to throw in a pack, and they run the exact same mags/parts that all the full size AR's use, so.....

It's not a battle rifle, but it fits a niche for sure, I like the idea.

riverrider said...

most folks that want them for your purpose have never fired a gun of any kind inside a confined space much less a fire breathing dragon that is the ar15 pistol. i had one but after shooting it i switched it over to a carbine. still not for, if i was an"operator" type riding shotgun in mogadishu, that's on my lap. one thing i liked it for was shooting a 22lr conversion with a supressor screwed on. squirrels and varmit didn't stand a chance and the wife never heard the shots off the back porch.

Theother Ryan said...

Peter, From what I have read while velocity does drop with barrel length the difference between a 14.5in barrel and a 10.5in is less than 300 FPS. Not likely much of a difference in terminal ballistics, especially at fairly close ranges. I will look into that ammo though likely will end up using standard M855.

If I was going to go another way it would be an AK pistol (with brace) in 7.622x39.

Thanks for the input.

RR, I've fired an M4 in confined spaces.

Chris said...

I would go with 11.5 over 10.5.

I have a 12" and it has been flawless. A fair number of people report their 10.5s are a bit finicky. If you choose to put a can on it later then the 11.5-12" should put a lot less wear on the suppressor.

That extra inch gives a lot of muzzle velocity too.

Theother Ryan said...

Chris, Thanks for the input. I will definitely keep that in mind. Between the two (10.5 and 11.5) it may come down to which one the manufacturer I want makes.

Prairie Patriot said...

I parted together a 300 blk pistol. I've been very pleased with it. Being able to break it down and put it into a backpack is a plus and the SIG brace is not as bad as some might have you believe.

Chris said...

One other consid -- I would pony up for some sort of free-float rail system.

I didn't and kind of regret it. I now want to be able to slap my DBAL on there and can't. I also would prefer a super clear sight picture with a low-pro red dot (like AimPoint Micro) and no front sight post, using BUIS instead.

BCM wrote up a piece about why they opted for 11.5":

There are a lot of cheap 10.5s out there though.

Theother Ryan said...

Chris, I will have to dig into the 10.5 v 11.5in question more but at first glance 11.5 seems like a good option.

As to a FF rail. Generally I sort of look at that as a potential future upgrade. With Project AR I put together the rifle and a year or so later went back and put a rail on it.

For this specific project I'm not sure I will go with a rail in the foreseeable future. Until I own ANOTHER DBAL it isn't necessary.

riverrider said...

roger that, figured you had, but the short flash suppressor with the shorter barrel is blinding in the dark. i can think of lots better home defense guns. but hey, if you want it just because, then go for it.

Theother Ryan said...

RR, I'll keep that in mind.

Anonymous said...

I am looking real seriously at a Sig 308 pistol as all my other AR’s I have are in 308 to keep every thing simple. Thought is to use it in stead of full blown AR while working on the property when things go sporting. Just sling it on my back and a UW Bandoleer to go with it so it doesn’t interfere with chores. I am going to put a Lantec Dragon brake on it, if you haven’t seen the videos of it in 223 or 308 it is just amazing. No rise in full auto in either caliber and probably about as much flash as my Smith Vortex. Hope this helps Shotgun

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