Be Heard: Are AR-15 Pistols Tools or Toys?

Welcome to Be Heard where you get to weigh in on various topics. In this installment, I want to hear what you think about AR-15 pistols.

I have seen AR-15 pistols panned as range toys and put down for having no practical application. I have also seen them pushed as an SBR alternative for states that don’t allow SBRs and as a viable PDW-type weapon. What do you think? Are they wanna-be range toys or useful weapons that have a place in a practical collection?

Leave a comment below to Be Heard!

8 Responses to Be Heard: Are AR-15 Pistols Tools or Toys?

  1. Ed November 6, 2012 at 12:21 #

    I live in CA and I previously owned an AR pistol – Noveske Diplomat. Neat gun, but limited especially by the fixed ten round mag & shorter buffer tube. I ended up selling it to raise funds for a Larue PredatAR. I may buy one again down the road.

    I like them and found them pretty easy to shoot. It’s hard to say that most shooters wouldn’t be better off with a 14.5 with pinned muzzle device.

  2. Nandor November 6, 2012 at 13:05 #

    They’re all range toys unless you have the opportunity to shoot people for a living. That said, I’ve used one (with a 22 conversion) in multiple competitions and it handles well with a low recoiling round. The very light weight combined with standard AR controls is a great thing if SBRs aren’t allowed where you are (like in my case).

  3. John @ UWGear November 6, 2012 at 13:25 #

    Within context, and for some specific uses, I think they are definitely viable weapons.

  4. 032125 November 6, 2012 at 14:43 #

    Nandor that’s like saying a seat belt is a toy because you’ll probably not use it. AR pistols aren’t toys, fun or not. They are inferior to both pistols (for concealment and portability) and rifles (in every other way) but if I woke up to the sounds of a home invasion and one were sitting next to my bed, I’d be better off than if it weren’t.


  5. Josh November 6, 2012 at 16:20 #

    I have an AR pistol (11″ barrel) that I built because I wanted a short AR w/o the legal issues of SBR-ing my other AR15. I train with it regularly, and I can run it just as effectively as my 16″ barreled AR15. (In some applications even more so.)

    Legally being a pistol, I can carry it (in a bag) anywhere I can carry a “normal” handgun.

  6. Kurt Huhn November 6, 2012 at 16:26 #

    It is not my preferred platform, but I do like the one I built on an 11.5″ barrel. It’s fun, for sure, and really maneuverable inside the house. It’s about as comfortable at shouldering an AR with a fully collapsed stock. With a 12″ free float tube and light, it’s a very handy weapon. Mine stays in the bedroom with a 30 rounder in it.

    The main drawbacks are comfort and reduce muzzle velocity, but it is a great alternative to an SBR if you live in a no-NFA state.

    Honestly, I just think it rounds out my choices. Fitting for some situations, not so much for others.

  7. Drew November 6, 2012 at 16:37 #


    They end up being the size of an sbr without Big Brother looking over your shoulder, and has less restrictions on transport. As a close quarters weapon(ie bump in the night inside) the reduced size(and even velocity for urban areas) are advantages.

  8. EGS November 7, 2012 at 14:22 #

    a tool for initiated.

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