The AR-15 is a versatile rifle and one that is widely used. However, over the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion of AR-15 pistols. The AR-15 pistol has seen huge improvements in designs. The pistol has also received favorable opinions from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm. This has greatly propelled the AR-15 pistol into mainstream use.
However, most people are still faced with the challenge of deciding between an AR-15 rifle and an AR-15 pistol. Which of these weapons should use choose and why?
AR 14 rifles are versatile and offer owners the freedom to build a rifle that meets their specific needs. You just need the AR-15 frame and put a long barrel filter stock on it. However, when building an AR-15 pistol, you just add a short barrel and a grip. As a result, the AR-15 pistol is classified as a pistol and not a rifle. If you’re looking to buy an AR-15 pistol, then you can read more on the pocket pistol review in this article.
Meanwhile, let’s consider the pros and cons of the AR-15 rifle and pistol under the different categories below.
Maneuverability and portability
Do you want a gun that is easy to maneuver and carry? One of the best features of the AR-15 platform is the adjustable stock. This is a standard feature on a most AR-15 rifles. We all know rifles must feature at least 16-inches barrels. You can then add the receiver inches. In the end, we are looking at at least 24 inches overall length of an AR-15 rifle. If your rifle does not come with a permanently fixed muzzle, then consider adding an extra inch or two.
The removable brake does not count as part of the barrel. When you add it, you can have AR rifles as long as 35 inches or more. After all, rifles are designed to be longer for ease of use at long ranges and improved projectile velocity.
For AR-15 pistols, there is no classified minimum length. Most translate to an overall length of around 25 inches. There is nearly a 10-inch difference between an AR-15 rifle and pistol. Depending on your need, you can consider the sizes and choose accordingly. For example, if you want a gun for home defense, then an AR pistol is a great choice. You don’t want to move around in your home with a heavy and huge AR-15 rifle. The same applies when shooting from a car. However, an AR-15 rifle is a great choice when hunting in open fields. However, it is important to note that compactness and easy maneuverability come at a price tag.
Handling and stability
There is no obvious winner here. The AR-15 pistol offers the best and easiest handling while the AR-15 rifle offers the best stability. However, nothing prevents you from using the other hand to support your pistol. AR pistols are not designed to be mounted on shoulders when firing. You can fire with one hand or use the other hand to support the pistol in a free space just like normal pistols. The same cannot be said of the traditional AR-15 rifle which is designed with three anchor points.
An AR-15 rifle requires shoulder support, a firing hand, and the support hand. In theory, better stability is achieved when using an AR rifle. Remember when shooting at long a distance where the AR-15 rifle is the best choice, wobble becomes a significant factor. This cannot be said when firing at short ranges. Precision at long-range is difficult to achieve hence the need for increased stability.
You can never put a stock on an AR pistol by law as this could change its classification into an NFA Firearm Classification, (National Firearm Act). Firearms under the NFA classifications require a special stamp from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, (BAFTE). However, manufacturers over the years have invented various braces to provide support as the stock when shooting. The braces support the arm and can also prop against the shoulder for support. There are different opinions from BAFTE regarding this but most indicate how you hold your AR pistol is not an issue. This is because the pistol was first designed for one-hand use.
The AR-15 ballistics hugely depends on the combination of speeds and lightweight bullets. We all know the bullet designs vary with different bullets working best on specific ranges. Most AR-15 rifles with a barrel length of at least 16 inches can generate speeds of up to 3,000 feet per second. This however depends on various factors like the specific load and temperature.
AR-15 pistols on the other hand cannot generate the same speeds giving you reduced ballistic performance. However, this might not be a big issue when shooting at short ranges that they are intended for. Make sure you consider the bullet type and caliber when considering the AR ballistics.
Both guns can offer greater suppression but the pistol tends to stand out for various reasons. The AR pistol platform adds a net addition of about four inches of the suppressor body. The minimum length does not make any big changes to the overall barrel length. Adding the same length to an AR-15 rifle makes a huge difference in its maneuverability and handling.
You can add a suppressor on a pistol and still not approach minimum rifle length. This gives shooters the benefits of less muzzle blast and quiet operations.
If you travel often in your car, then the AR-15 pistol is a great choice due to its compact size. The AR pistol will give you more power, greater range, and high capacity than standard pistols. The same cannot happen for AR rifles. However, you still need to check local laws on firearm transport in your state.
The ideal choice between these two AR weapons comes down to the intended purpose. The AR-15 pistol is ideal for proximity shooting while the AR-15 rifle can work in close and long-range shooting. An AR pistol is generally small and easy to conceal due to its short barrel. It is a good choice for persons that want a small version of the AR-15 rifle.