Over the years, I have changed my opinion on AR-15 pistols. At one time, I believed these short little AR-15s were useless fun-time range toys, but then I started shooting high-end AR-15 pistol builds, and my mind was swayed. The Law Tactical AR-15 Folding Stock Adapter transforms that short, higher-performing AR-15 pistol into something ever shorter that can easily be slipped into most backpacks.
The Law Tactical AR-15 Folding Stock Adapter effectively allows that pesky buffer tube to be folded out of the way when not in use. Although I have yet to install one on a rifle, the Folding Stock Adapter can be used on any AR-15 or AR-10 rifle to reduce overall transport length.
Short Does Not Mean Inaccurate
The reality is, a short AR-15 barrel is structurally stiffer than a 16- or 18-inch barrel, and thus can actually be more accurate—in theory. Anyone believing the myth that only long barrels can be accurate, should talk to some of the Thompson Center Contender shooters who can regularly shoot ½-inch 100-yard groups from a 10-inch single-shot pistol. Being one of those Contender owners who has pulled off that feat, I took a different approach to what most people think of as a blasting, plinking, and bullet-spraying AR-15 pistol. I now believe the AR-15 pistol can be one of the best and lightest firearm tools for personal defense, hunting, sporting, and survival.
Accuracy Can Be Amazing With Magnification
Testing both a Barnes Precision Machine SBR, and one of my custom, AR-15 pistol builds, I was able to achieve regular sub-MOA 100-yard groups with magnified optics. So the accuracy potential is there. Unfortunately, in most cases, just a red-dot is mounted to most AR-15 pistols. Even with a just a red-dot sight, an AR-15 with FMJ rounds is a workable solution for taking small game in a survival situation. Many rounds designed for mid-sized game or with ballistic tipped or hollow point defensive rounds, the AR-15 can deliver a lot of utility is many situations.
Consider a prismatic 1X optic from Burris or Vortex that can substantially upgrade waning and aging vision. Low power 1-4 magnification optics are also excellent options for AR-15 pistols to deliver a surprising level of precision from a short, compact, and light AR-15 format. Magnified optics can be easily used via check welds on the buffer tube. Allegedly, AR-15 pistols without stabilizing braces equipped—only buffer tubes—can be shouldered and deliver very little recoil. However, this concept of shouldering an AR-15 pistol is still up for debate. The cheek weld is a workable solution for shooting with magnified optics.
If You Have a CCW License, You Are Probably Cool to Pack One
Obviously, you should check to assure your locale does not have any extra stipulations, but an AR-15 pistol is classified as… well “a pistol.” If you have a CCW license, it should therefore be legal to stuff a loaded AR-15 pistol into a backpack and have this on your person or in your car. In many locales, it is not OK to have a loaded rifle in your vehicle. However, it is generally OK to have a loaded pistol (any pistol, even an AR-15 pistol) in your vehicle if you have a CCW license. When it happens, it happens fast and the ability to respond is critical—an AR-15 pistol in a backpack can deploy in under a second. Notably, backpacks can hold body armor plates, which could come in handy.
A Lot of Firepower and Accuracy Right Freaking Now
Although the vast majority of deadly encounters happen under seven yards, there are plenty of situations where an AR-15 pistol, with the ability to deliver headshot accuracy out to 300-yards, could be the difference between life and death. Can you imagine being stranded with just your trusty Glock for small-game hunting for survival or to defend yourself in an active terrorist attack situation? My bet is that at that moment, you would want an AR-15 pistol to accurately take those shots or to protect you while getting to safety.
They Are Easy to Shoot & Great for Home Defense
The recoil impulse of the .223/5.56 round is far less in an AR-15 pistol than the felt recoil of a 9mm in your average handgun. Almost everyone finds them fun, fast, and accurate to shoot—fast and very accurately. Knowing that, would you rather have a handgun or an AR-15 pistol with 30 or 40 rounds of some nasty Liberty or Hornady ammo on tap if faced a home invasion situation? The overall compact size makes the AR-15 pistol the perfect tool for home defense and delivers a formidable weapon.
In most cases, a typical AR-15 pistol build will be less than 26 inches in length. With a LAW Tactical Folding stock adapter, the folded length can be 18 inches. With a DOLOS Quick Detachable Barrel adapter, the barrel can be pulled to deliver an AR-15 pistol package with the barrel removed that can be less than 9 inches but can still be brought into action in under 3-5 seconds. With the variety of ammo, calibers, and magazine capacity available for the AR-15 format, a little AR-15 pistol tucked into a messenger bag or backpack can equalize many very bad situations.
Even a larger 10- to 12-inch barreled AR-15 pistol can fit into a standard daypack by just removing the upper. With a magazine still left in the lower, the upper can be remounted to the lower and brought into action just a few seconds delivering very accurate firepower.
Just Try It
A buddy of mine said, “Just try it once and you will be hooked.” He was correct. Even my always-skeptical wife fell in love with the custom AR-15 pistol I delivered to her. After only one magazine, she was sold on the idea that it was great for home defense and far less wieldy than a rifle.
The Ultimate Trunk Gun
Whether most of the gun folks will admit it, at one time or another, we have all thought that it would be a really good idea to have a trunk gun AR-15. Based on several AR-15 rifle and pistol builds, my opinion is that a 10-inch barrel AR-15 pistol delivers nearly everything needed for 90% of foreseeable situations. With the idea that you are just attempting to survive long enough to get home, the 10-inch barreled AR-15 pistol drastically reduces the deafening crack of shorter barreled AR-15 pistols to a tolerable level. Outdoors all that is needed are simple earplugs for comfortable shooting. The 10-inch barrel delivers a lot of accuracy, preserves much of the energy of the .223/5.56 round, and still provides for a size which is easily stowable inside a standard looking backpack. I have several 10-inch AR-15 pistols set up into kits based on pedestrian looking Eddie Bauer backpacks.
Within this Eddie Bauer pack is a 10-inch AR-15 pistol and three coupled magazines—in total over 200 rounds of ammo. The coupled magazines are loaded in tandem with Fiocchi 50-grain AMAX ballistic tip hollow points. The second magazine has standard green tips, which can handle engaging hard targets or dropping small game without significant damage to meat.
Do, or would, you carry an AR-15 pistol? What configuration and setup? Do you have a folding stock with a Law Tactical adapter? Share your answers in the comment section.
Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. www.MajorPandemic.com