AR pistols have been viewed by some people as show off guns. Some people also think of them as a way of exciting yourself while waiting for examiners to approve your short-barreled rifle (SBR) Form 1. But, because of their weight, size, and poor ergonomics, these pistols aren’t easy to use accurately. Their rifle rounds shots produce sharper felt recoil that makes shots that are off-hand shaky. But, thanks to the stabilizing brace, users can now enjoy AR pistols to the maximum.
While SBRs feature an attractive appeal, they come with costly admission and several strict rules that have discouraged many dedicated consumers from purchasing them. But now, there are braced AR pistols that have resurfaced the market of these truck guns. Sure this sounds great, but there are certain things you should know about pistols braces before purchasing. Continue reading to learn about these things.
What’s a Pistol Stabilizing Brace?
It’s a device that attaches to the buffer tube of an AR pistol. It uses the shooter’s forearm to improve accuracy by supporting and stabilizing the AR pistol when you fire using one hand. ATF concluded that a firearm’s classification is not altered when an arm brace is attached to it. However, this classification depends on whether a device is used in the way that it was designed, which assists a shooter to stabilize the platform and improve accuracy for one-handed firing.
Also note that ATF says that unless shooters change their device to use as a shoulder stock, like fixing the brace permanently to the end of their receiver extension, adding a stabilizing brace doesn’t make a handgun a short-barreled rifle.
How to Choose a Brace
There are various pistol braces available today. SB is the most popular and largest manufacturer as it offers braces for almost every platform. Braces come in various configurations including fixed, fit, friction, telescoping, and folding flavors that are made of rubber, plastic, aluminum, or polyurethane. Braces also differ in shapes, sizes, and weights. Telescoping braces like SB Tactical’s SBA3, Gear Head Work Tailhook, etc. are the most popular ones.
When choosing braces, opt for lighter ones. One of the reasons why many people love AR pistols is their compact size and lightweight. It’s therefore wise that you choose a light barrel profile. This reduction in weight helps improve the platform’s barrel. Additionally, you can reduce weight by choosing lighter lower and upper receiver sets, free-float handguards, and avoid over-accessorizing.
Perks and Drawbacks of Pistols Braces
Pistols with stabilizing braces don’t require registering or notifying the federal government for interstate travel. Therefore, you can take your pistol across state lines without being forced to notify the ATF first.
But, a significant drawback is you must be extra careful about your gun’s configuration for it to stay legally as a pistol. Note that while there are things you can do to a rifle, you can’t do the same without violating NFA regulations on pistols with braces. For example, it’s illegal to put a vertical foregrip on your pistol. Additionally, stabilizing pistol braces are expensive costing around $150-$200, although there are cheap ones, but they’re often uncomfortable.
Well, owning pistol braces is legal so long as one uses them as intended. But, if you don’t use them as intended, they may or may not be legal. If you’re considering purchasing one, just make sure that you are careful about their use to avoid legal issues.