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 Does an AR Pistol make any sense for Self Defense
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Dr.G
Starting Member

6 Posts

Posted - November 14 2017 :  12:33:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As hard as it is to admit, I think I've finally reached a stage in life where I have all of the guns that I need. The only one I really want (AK-107), is currently unavailable for import into CONUS.
I've toyed with the idea of building an AR pistol as a close quarter Personal Defense Weapon for the house. Just interested in people's opinions of the AR pistol as a practical close quarter (75 yds or closer) self defense weapon. This will have a 10 in. barrel, Red Dot, Mag Pul Angled Forward Pistol grip, flashlight, folding pistol brace, & single point sling. Fun toy, practical PDW or both?


Nobody ever wished they had a smaller gun, with fewer bullets, in a gunfight...author unknown

oldmuleskinner
Senior Member

853 Posts

Posted - November 14 2017 :  04:29:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a KelTec PLR-16.

My only additions to it are a red laser with a pressure switch, a muzzle brake, and a barrel shroud.

Pros:
Small size for a .223/5.56 - it fits into a racket-ball bag, or a small backpack, or a 17" laptop bag
It is technically a handgun and at least in my state, can be carried loaded in a vehicle
It is very light in weight - 3.4 pounds
Large magazine capacity for a "handgun"

Cons:
It is incredibly loud!
I haven't found a good IWB holster for it yet - it is a hard pistol to "dress around"

I would consider it as more of a fun toy, but it does have some practical applications.
If I had to pick between my PLR-16 and my SU-18C, it would be the carbine...if I could only keep one.

Each of us is an innkeeper, and we decide if there is room for Jesus.
Neal A. Maxwell
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9636 Posts

Posted - November 14 2017 :  08:33:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it likely does make some sense but it is easy to go wrong.

I went the registered SBR route so I could have a legal stock.

The ATF cannot make up its mind on the Sig brace and the copies and I'm sure no one on this list would ever use the thing for a shoulder stock But it does aid in stabilizing the gun.

I have several uppers for my SBR (and it is an MGI Hydra which can change magazine wells - I can even convert it ti .308 taking the magpul SR25 mags if I want but I don't have that particular magwell).

I do have one that takes AK 47 mags - but it is picky about which mags it uses - I have found 10 that work and that should be enough.

My favorite upper though is a .300 Blackout with a 9" barrel. It used to have a 12.5 but I found that the .300 works well in shorter barrels. Killed a big deer with it last year.

In 5.56 the conventional wisdom, which seems about right, is not to go below 11.5" for performance.

Note that it is going to be LOUD in 5.56! Another reason I like the .300 Blackout - it is quieter - and since I have a suppressor it is *really* quiet

I would like to try a 6.8 but don't have short upper for that.

Silver Bear in 7.62 X 39 hits really hard though!

Jim

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Deputy25
Senior Member

USA
952 Posts

Posted - November 14 2017 :  4:56:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I picked up a Romanian Draco 7.62x39 pistol a couple of years back for peanuts from a guy who bought it and never fired it. It’s very compact, and it’s fairly easy to make torso hits on a B27 at 100 yards. I have a SIG brace for it, and 4 mags loaded with 8M3. It fits in a backpack or gym bag with no problem. Downside, it makes quite a racket.

Before all else, be armed. - Machiavelli
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Dr.G
Starting Member

6 Posts

Posted - November 16 2017 :  02:00:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the responses guys. I have enough serious rifles to fight for my life with if need be. I think I've put in enough time to get something I want, "just because". Having a fun toy is nice, but having one I could actually, realistically fight with is a lot better.

Thanks Jim on the 11.5 in. barrel length warning. If I actually decide to do this, that will be included. In know the 7.62x39 performs a lot better our of a short barrel than the 5.56 does. if I'm going to spend the money to put this together, it may as well be built to get the maximum bang for my buck.
I'll have to do some research on the best flash hider for that length barrel. I have a friend with a weird looking cone shaped flash hider on an AK pistol that made a world of difference in the noise level with, or without it. Since this will be an AR- Pistol, I'll have to see what works best.

I know the 5.56/.223 is a velocity dependent round for terminal effectiveness. I have a 1:8 twist rate on my 16 in. AR It will stabilize anything from 40 gr. up to 75 gr., but that's in a 16 in barrel. Any suggestions on twist rate for a 11.5 - 12 in. barrel?

Nobody ever wished they had a smaller gun, with fewer bullets, in a gunfight...author unknown
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Dr.G
Starting Member

6 Posts

Posted - November 16 2017 :  02:11:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Deputy 25, check out the Bulgarian 4 piece flash hider for the AK pistol. Looks strange, but works really well for both flash and noise level suppression.

Nobody ever wished they had a smaller gun, with fewer bullets, in a gunfight...author unknown
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Deputy25
Senior Member

USA
952 Posts

Posted - November 16 2017 :  10:21:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I’ll do that, thanks.

Before all else, be armed. - Machiavelli
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jlwilliams
Junior Member

USA
245 Posts

Posted - November 19 2017 :  08:35:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Short answer, yes.

Now, this part is important, the buffer tube is why it works. The Kel Tec is smaller, but the AR is better. You want that tube because you can cheek weld to it. The BATFE has gone back and forth on the issue of shouldering the wrist braces, but they have consistently taken the position that you can cheek or even shoulder a recoil tube. That's not as stable as shouldering a real stock, but it's way better than a traditional pistol grip. You have to bunch down to shoulder it but you can cheek it standing or running. It takes practice. Lots of dry fire and movement drills, but you get near rifle results if you work on it.

It takes practice, and you won't get real "rifleman" results, but you can hit man size targets at 200 or 300 yards and hit them with real power with an AR pistol. Ammo selection counts more in a short barrel than a long one, but effective carbine results at close to medium range can be had and more importantly carried wherever you can carry an AR pistol.

In my statena loaded rifle in the vehicle can be problematic, more so in some counties than others. An AR pistol is a pistol as defined by the law and can be carried and concealed with a CCW. If I want more than a Glock available to me, this is the only viable option. I've been working with it and it's definitely (as Evan says) more effective than a stern look.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5029 Posts

Posted - July 12 2018 :  8:43:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Higginbotham

I think it likely does make some sense but it is easy to go wrong.

I went the registered SBR route so I could have a legal stock.

The ATF cannot make up its mind on the Sig brace and the copies and I'm sure no one on this list would ever use the thing for a shoulder stock But it does aid in stabilizing the gun.

I have several uppers for my SBR (and it is an MGI Hydra which can change magazine wells - I can even convert it ti .308 taking the magpul SR25 mags if I want but I don't have that particular magwell).

I do have one that takes AK 47 mags - but it is picky about which mags it uses - I have found 10 that work and that should be enough.

My favorite upper though is a .300 Blackout with a 9" barrel. It used to have a 12.5 but I found that the .300 works well in shorter barrels. Killed a big deer with it last year.

In 5.56 the conventional wisdom, which seems about right, is not to go below 11.5" for performance.

Note that it is going to be LOUD in 5.56! Another reason I like the .300 Blackout - it is quieter - and since I have a suppressor it is *really* quiet

I would like to try a 6.8 but don't have short upper for that.

Silver Bear in 7.62 X 39 hits really hard though!

Jim


I recently ran into a good deal on a 9” barrel SIG Virtus in .300 Blackout, and took it home with me. Put on a set of Troy folding sights, planning on installing a red dot as well. My first 300BLK.

Haven’t shot it yet; but I can tell I’m going to like it... it’s a sweet little gun to handle! If I find myself accidentally shouldering it, I can drop my cheek to the stock the brace, and I’m looking right through the sights.

In the box it came in, SIG included a copy of a letter from BATF dated November of 2012, confirming that the pistol-brace-equipped Virtus “would not be subject to NFA controls.” I guess you’re meant to show that to anyone who might be inclined to mistake it for an SBR. ”But Officer... please, sir, read what this says, it’s from the BATF....”

That brace sure does fit nicely into my shoulder, though.... almost like it was designed for it....

I found a San-Francisco-yuppie-looking messenger bag on sale online— the Timbuk2 Command, in large— which the folded Virtus (19”) fits into very nicely. Doesn’t look the least bit ‘tactical’.... while holding the gun, a few spare mags, and a first aid kit. It’s even got a sleeve for my laptop.... as well as a tiny pocket for the BATF letter

Struck me as a great way to carry it in my vehicle, or out and about, without calling undue attention to it....


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on July 12 2018 9:32:44 PM
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bandaidman
Advanced Member

USA
1405 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  12:15:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very interesting questions.
To LBill, I looked up your bag, you forgot to mention that it has a outside accessed 3 pockets. One for your cell phone, one for your U lock bike lock (looks like it could even hold your 226), and the third on the opposite end big enough to hold power cables, sunglasses etc. you neglected to mention those. curious if you paid full msrp of 74.00 or if you got it somewhere else?

“If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived.
Jeffery Holland
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5029 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  08:28:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Terry, the bag I’m talking about (Timbuk2 Command messenger, L) has a MSRP of $144. I got it on sale for $77 delivered. Other places (Moosejaw, REI, eBags) do sell them, so it might pay to look around. But getting it from Timbuk2 was the lowest price I saw.

It has one big main compartment that velcros and/or buckles closed, which holds the folded Virtus, with pockets inside it which I use for mags; in addition to the laptop sleeve on the backside and small pocket on the front flap for the ‘Don’t arrest me’ letter. Also a nice heavy padded shoulder strap.

I got another smaller one of their bags (the Commute, IIRC) to hold my Keltec Sub2K. Their stuff goes on sale periodically, no reason to pay full price.

I like ‘em because they seem to be sturdy and well made, and they have that ‘hip yuppie businessperson’ look, as opposed to ‘tactical ninja’.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on July 13 2018 09:02:34 AM
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5029 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  09:07:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
But what really convinced me to buy straight from Timbuk2, was that their special sale price included the Virtus— along with 3 extra magazines, loaded with rounds of my choosing! I went with the Barnes 110-gr Vor-TX.



If you believe that, I’ve got a couple of very nice used bridges you might be interested in...





"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on July 13 2018 09:11:17 AM
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Evan
Administrator

34334 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  1:25:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a 5.11 X Ray Messenger bag holds Little Evil and 7 Magpul and other stuff. My Marine grandson built one for me using a PSA 10.5" barrel on an Anderson lower with a SIG end piece. I shoot it as well as my AR carbine and since it's registered as a handgun I can carry it wherever I go and since as a retired copper I'm exempt from all gun free zones. Wanting for SV to start loading a solid copper hp in .223 so I'm carrying Fiocchi 50 gr polymer tip rounds-less than $19 for 50 rounds from SG ammo and Little Evil likes it and it's as accurate as I am.

The gun is carried broken down if it's up close and personal I use two bone stock Smith 9MM's loader with SV solid copper hp's to solve it.

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5029 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  2:41:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Evan, it was your setup that inspired me to try and create one like it.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5029 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  5:27:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As Evan alluded to, one big advantage of an AR pistol is that it allows CC permit holders to keep it loaded.

In most (all?) states, carrying a rifle loaded-with-a-round-chambered is illegal. But an AR pistol with a brace— which, let’s be real, is basically an SBR under a different name, only not subject to all those problematic NFA regs— allows you to legally tote the equivalent of a loaded rifle.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on July 13 2018 5:40:37 PM
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Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5317 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  6:48:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a hard time picturing a AR pistol being any more practical for general defensive purposes than a handgun, maybe in some circumstances, a shotgun. Home defense? Can't see it being any more effective than a slug-loaded shotgun, if a good handgun isn't in the picture. Carrying around on a daily basis? Smacks of Mall Ninja-ism.
The two places I can see it being a plus are what Evan is doing, having it available in a bag for church security--if it should become handy for down the hallways or across a big auditorium or in a parking lot; and even then, it would probably be handier in a full-scale attack by either a team of bad guys, or one really determined miscreant. Second place would be something like an armored car driver/guard, where they might be trapped inside the truck and need/want more than a handgun to stick out the little holes; shorter package with higher round count could come in handy there. For a guard in a big building of some sort, it might give more range than a handgun, especially with a good red dot on top to help with aiming.

I tend to see AR pistols as fun toys, with a possible but unlikely practical use in real life. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
If pro-gunners are as murderous as anti-gunners claim, why are there so many anti-gunners still running their mouths?
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5029 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  7:09:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ace, I beg to differ. I can imagine circumstances where it would be very practical.

It strikes me that the braced AR pistol— compared to a conventional handgun— is superior in many ways. For one, it’s easier to hit with: longer sight radius, braced against your shoulder instead of gripped in your hands. And it fires a considerably more powerful round, and holds more of them.

It will never replace a pistol, since you can carry the pistol in places you wouldn’t be carrying the AR. But where you can carry the braced AR— in your vehicle, or in church, etc— it would seem to be a superior weapon.

If I have to engage someone while riding in my vehicle, I’d much prefer to have my braced 300BLK Virtus (30 rds, 110 gr. @ 2000 fps) in hand, compared to my 9mm P226 (18 rds, 115 gr. @ 1250 fps)

The good thing is, it’s not either/or: I plan to make use of both.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on July 13 2018 7:46:44 PM
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Russ Larges
Moderator

USA
2278 Posts

Posted - July 13 2018 :  7:20:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Evan

I have a 5.11 X Ray Messenger bag holds Little Evil and 7 Magpul and other stuff. My Marine grandson built one for me using a PSA 10.5" barrel on an Anderson lower with a SIG end piece. I shoot it as well as my AR carbine and since it's registered as a handgun I can carry it wherever I go and since as a retired copper I'm exempt from all gun free zones. Wanting for SV to start loading a solid copper hp in .223 so I'm carrying Fiocchi 50 gr polymer tip rounds-less than $19 for 50 rounds from SG ammo and Little Evil likes it and it's as accurate as I am.

The gun is carried broken down if it's up close and personal I use two bone stock Smith 9MM's loader with SV solid copper hp's to solve it.




Not to mention it is just plain fun to shoot.
Russ

The pistol, learn it well, carry it allways. Jeff Cooper
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ironhead7544
Starting Member

USA
39 Posts

Posted - July 14 2018 :  08:55:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For inside the house, I would go with the 9MM. Way less noise.
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5029 Posts

Posted - July 14 2018 :  3:47:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
At home: 9mm or .357 in my pocket, 12 ga. by my chair and next to my bed.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on July 14 2018 3:49:16 PM
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LittleBill
Advanced Member

5029 Posts

Posted - July 17 2018 :  7:08:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In my vehicle, or anyplace I can unobtrusively carry my ‘messenger’ bag: my 9” SIG Virtus in 300BLK.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish, that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on July 17 2018 7:08:30 PM
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dubiousone
Senior Member

643 Posts

Posted - July 22 2018 :  07:18:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A 11.5" AR fits in my 5.11 COVRT case nicely as does a Draco with a brace. A 16" AR with the stock collapsed will also fit. Nice and handy.

Inside a vehicle. I drive mostly trucks. Sorry, I'm too 'round' to be comfortable in what passes for sedans these days. a 79 Caddy Eldorado? Different story, LOL. (that's like driving your living room couch around) A 10.5" rifle/pistol maneuvers well in what I drive. A 16" is doable but that extry six inches DOES make a difference.

I've cleared more buildings from a shack hardly bigger than an outhouse to multi-story high rises more than I can count. About the only advantage a 10.5" barrel provided was the ability to 'crowd the corner/cover' more better. Not an advantage, LOL. I'm not exactly a small guy so I take up more than my share of real estate; in close quarters I didn't feel the 10" offered enough of an advantage. (You'll note I didn't say boo about 7.5" barrels...see below) Since I always had a handgun available, if it was so confined I would sling up and use the pistol.

Out of a 20" barrel the 5.56 goes @3200fps. 16" 3000. 11.5 2700. About. Once you go shorter than 10 the velocity drops off considerably. The other issue is those stump-barrel AR's that short sometimes aren't as reliable. The KEY is know your equipment and make sure it WORKS. I prefer to keep the velocity no lower than around 2700. This is a key component as why the 5.56 works. Velocity.

Item last;
Any gun you GOT beats the one you DON'T got, LOL.

Expert? I ain't no expert, just a
Reasonably Knowledgeable Individual...
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