The NSN: AR-15ers Take It on the Chin

The NSN (No Shoulder Needed) device by Halix Innovation is basically a straight bar/chin rest that fits onto your AR-style pistol, supposedly allowing you to shoot it more like an NFA short-barrel rifle. But is the NSN really a prescription for extensive dental work?

According to Neal Brace, CEO and founder of Halix, the NSN is designed for use with rifle-style pistols and regular pistols with carbine kits. The Grand Rapids, Michigan, company markets the NSN extension to people who desire a very short barrel AR/AK/MP5 in pistol format. Because it is not a shoulder stock, Brace says it can be used on a pistol without registering the pistol as a Short Barreled Rifle.

The invention consists of two main components: a stainless steel bracket, which mounts directly to a variety of firearms, and dual impact-absorbing foam pads, which mount to the rear of the bracket. Firearm operators place one of the custom engineered pads directly against their face to steady the firearm and, upon firing, the pad absorbs nearly all of the felt recoil.

The device mounts directly to any firearm with an industry-standard M16 lower receiver end plate adapter, including the popular semi-automatic AR-15 and several Glock pistol models fitted with an extra adapter.

Brace said, “I wouldn’t advise people to ditch their shoulder stocks on a 16-plus-inch barrel rifle/shotgun and switch to the NSN, because they wouldn’t gain as much as somebody with a pistol, where no stock is allowed.” In online comments he’s posted, Brace says, “There’s been overwhelmingly negative responses from people so far. I understand the concern, and I know I won’t convince everybody of the NSN’s benefits. But, maybe there will be a few open-minded people out there. It’s not a gimmick.” Brace says he appreciates feedback, so watch the video and provide Brace with your comments below.

— Cheaper Than Dirt Chronicle Staff

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (28)

  1. I fail to understand the all the nattering nabobs of negativism here. The entire AR platform was a dismal failure in Vietnam when first introduced. The powers that be adjusted fire, retooled and retrained. Voila! The rest is history. I say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I say let the market decide. If he has a good business plan, if this product works as designed, as intended, and is reliable, then people will buy it and it will be a hit. If it fails…. so goes the market. That is unless government bails it out.

  2. Seems like there was a lot of negative stuff said bout plastic pistols when they first came out. If it works if it works.

  3. Let me ask how many of you have come up with a unique product in your entire life?? This is a little outside the box, but that is what makes America great. And as far a shooting it at 700+ yards why don’t you post some video of you hitting at 700 with a notary and maybe a not from your mom and then we can talk.


    Great job, keep up the great ideas.
    I like it and think it is pretty cool and since you can’t carry around an SBR like a pistol even with a CCW this is perfect.

  4. Might want to forget that “agressive” overhand grip when your using a 7.5in upper, you just might blow a finger off, dork. Just because some dipshit on a magpul video does something then all the mall ninjas will follow suit.

  5. Well Tom. Some people live in states that do not allow any weapon that requires ATF approval. Some just dont want to fill out the paperwork or wait for ATF approval, Since this device costs more than the 200 dollar tax that ATF wants for a SBR then personally, since I already have a trust setup I just sent the form and 200 bucks to ATF waited a couple weeks for approval. Done

  6. The best method if you’re going to/have to use an AR pistol is to use the buffer tube like a stock. That’s how I use mine. It does take a bit of getting used to and training. But after a few hours of getting to know your equipment, you won’t even notice the difference. You can’t have a SBR out in Calif where I’m from, but my AR pistol with a 10″ barrel will do just fine.

  7. This falls into the shake-weight invention category for me. I can’t stop laughing while watching the video. “Hmmm, I wonder why they put these stupid butt stocks on rifles when I can just use my chin to absorb the recoil.”

  8. I’m not sure why most of the people commenting here are so negative about it. At least this guy is trying to figure out a way to make firing an AR pistol more accurate, without violating any NFA laws.

    Don, this guy is not trying to make an AR pistol into a 600 Meter tack driver, this device seems more focused on finding a way to index the weapon when you bring it up to fire. As a Marine of 23 years you should know the importance of indexing if one has some sort of red dot or holographic site on their weapon. Also Don I have no doubt you can hit a target at 600 meters with a 5.56×45 round, but as for actually dropping one at that range…. pure luck, not enough energy left, even in the 62 Gn bullet to really “Drop” anyone, unless you happen to get lucky and get a head shot, or one in the heart. I know there are plenty of documented incidents when soldiers have done this with an M16, but let me see them pull it off more than once.

    Give this guy a break, maybe offer some advice. My advice is Lose the ambidextrous approach. The more parts sticking out from your weapon the better chance that those parts might snag on something when bringing it to a firing position

  9. I saw the demo you set up with a wide range of body types actually shooting your AR pistol on YouTube. That is the video you should have posted here. It explains everything. It is an excellent product for people interested in that type of weapons system.

  10. One thing this product shows is American ingenuity can find ways around laws, whether it’s corporations using tax loopholes, bumpfire rifles, or this product. This is what happens when pointless, complicated laws are passed.

  11. the 5.56 simply does not kick. I have demonstrated how little in a class by firing one with the stock on my forehead. The pistol works wonderfully with a carrying strap around the neck and shoulder. Otherwise put the tube on your shoulder if you need to.. NO! It does not hurt. Even in a 6.8 it does not hurt. Sorry this devise is just one more gimmic for those who really are not shooters but like toys. Spend the money on a “Hogsbreath” instead. That actually works on a pistol or SBR.

  12. Another point. A slide fire stock is not a permanently attached stock. Wouldn’t this be a loophole in there SBR rule? I think so.

  13. Why the AFT has such a stupid “rule” not “law” and “we the people” are dumb enough to go along with it. This should be protested enough to have the rules changed. You can carry a handgun but can’t have a short barreled rifle. How stupid of a rule can they come up with. Bunch of draconian idiots.

  14. Thanks for the feedback, everybody. Seriously. @Gary: I’m 25 and a combat vet Marine. Glad to hear that some people think I still look young after 2 tours. @ted: The position I’m showing is much more stable for rapid fire shooting and is more “natural” than shooting it old school, Camp Perry-style. I highly recommend trying it the next time you go shoot. @paulg: that would make it an SBR and force you to pay $200 to the BATFE and register the firearm in the NFA database (4-8 month wait), engrave the gun with all required info, and then you can’t transport it across state lines or sell it without permission from BATFE. A pistol doesn’t require any of that stuff. @everybody: Watch the full length video with people shooting it here: There’s a link right in the video itself for a “highlights” 5min version, too.

  15. I’m a little perplexed why people are bashing this without seeing it shot, nevermind the absurd idea of demanding 500 yard hits. Brace, could you post or link to videos of it being shot?

  16. Brace, I think your doing a good job, innovation is always highly persecuted before results and testing. I’m very surprised at the Extreme sarcasm and childish criticisms the comments have shown so far, especially considering the “23years of recon and special forces” experience. No matter what “authority” these guys are lauding over you focus on your product. with that being said here are my thoughts/facts.

    -Pistol AR systems are not made to handle “every” situation, but when they are appropriate they come in very handy. (I’ve seen people reliably make 250yd kill shots on targets with the AR Pistol)
    -A pistol by nature is NOT made for long distance shooting (especially not “600m” and “700m” away). Most combat engagements happen at close range anyways.
    -No product is “MAGIC”, and to believe or consider so is foolish, the 5.56 round is one of the most tamest rifle rounds around, and for those who have not tried it how can you be so sure of your hypothetical statements(Besides just man up to the little pop of the 5.56).
    -I can see this device as a plausible way to make quick sighting and use of the AR Pistol, for those that need such a weapon in there operational arena.

    As for my experience I’m a competition shooter, and a Marine Marksmanship instructor(The Marine that teaches other Marines how to shoot). And I will tell you I’ve seen some bad shooting, and some of the worst shooting techniques with the Special Forces guys(sorry for the bad eggs brothers). Bottom line on that thought is nobody will be a accurate shot unless they work on there operational skill set and basics, and practice with there equipment. I would gladly try this with my AR pistol, if its appropriately and realistically priced. Good luck on your ventures and find the appropriate niche markets, so its not wasted on the backyard plinkers and 700meter+ combat shooters.

  17. Son,
    I applaud your entrepeneurship, and appreciate that you are trying to earn a living rather than leach off the state like the rest of the 53% who think they are the 99%. But, you’ve got to try again. This thing is a joke. If I want a real SBR, I’l just pay the stamp and get one. By the time I buy your gimmick bracket I’m that much closer to covering the cost of the stamp anyway, and once I add in the dental bill, I’m better off with the SBR. Also, you are gonna loose that chicken-chokin thumb of yours if you keep sticking it so near the muzzle trying to look like GI Joe. You’ve been trained too much and experienced too little to understand how silly it is to think you have to exert 200 lbs force on the front sight to push that poodle shooter .223 muzzle onto target. Hold that forearm more naturally, get your sight picture right, and neutralize your target with the first shot rather than worry about wrestling your rifle around with a death grip on the forearm.

  18. No way I could use this device. I`m 6 foot 7 inches tall and the problem I have with my S&W MMP15 is the stock is to short. My arms are long and I need about 4-5 more inches of stock extension to really be comfortable with my rifle. This thing looks like it would result in bruises to me in places you really wouldn`t want them! If you want a pistol, buy a pistol. This thing will be in the $5 bargain bin at Wal-Mart in no time.

  19. What mission are we going on ? Civilians are not going anywhere. Miltary,police, and security teams are using 16/14.5 setup and private companys setup leagal trust for they employed workers to use sbr’s if needed. Do you think if the navy seals need a sbr for a set mission they fill paper work ? No because they don’t exist they do what they need to get the job done.

  20. Now, Don. I’ve personally fired an M1911 at a 100 meter target and hit it with kill shots, so THEIRS MUST be valid.
    For, they have MagicStock, which magically erases all of the laws of physics.
    With MagicStock, you can hit a target 1000 miles away. No guarantee what your face, shoulder or body will look like after the attempt, but it’ll work.
    Or something.
    With a lifetime, money back guarantee.
    Until next week, when the company changes its name.

  21. Sure the device may make it easy to go from a rifle to now qualify to a pistol and loophole the NFA rules for a SBR. Neal, you demonstrate that it helps you quickly point the pistol versus the rifle… as any Marine (I spent 23 years in Force Recon and Special Forces Marines and completed 7 combat tours)can tell you that they will quickly point ANY rifle and drop targets at 600 meters and farther with their service rifle. Why don’t you demonstrate the firing of your invention so we all can watching the teeth being bounced out of your head, bruises being made on that pale chin of yours.. let alone the crappy marksmanship you will have at all distances. Lets see you hit bullseyes at 100 meters let alone 500 meters like our Marines do in training, and then in combat engage insurgents at 700+ meters.

    PS.. I just watched a clip where you and several others demonstated shooting the NSN device. I noticed again while you had them shoot proported 200 yard steels… no photo evidence was presented on camera, they used the magazines as a monopod, and none could do any double tap follow-up shot as they all lost form as the weapon broke away from their chins upon recoil. The moving steels were more acceptable, but still the device came away from the point of contact on the shooter upon recoil. Sorry Devildog but I don’t think this device is any good. Semper Fi mate!

  22. “The invention consists of two main components: a stainless steel bracket, which mounts directly to a variety of firearms, and dual impact-absorbing foam pads, which mount to the rear of the bracket.”
    So, now we have magical foam that can act like a hydraulic-pneumatic system to absorb the recoil and vibration?
    Nope, more like a precise recipe for a black eye.
    Add in the “AR/AK/MP5 format” idiocy, it’s pure unobtainium.
    For, the author and vendor equate ALL of the above, where inequities in recoil and handling exist, ignoring those inequities.
    Or did the two rifle rounds suddenly equal a pistol round on the planet Stupidia?
    And the mass of the bullet become equal in the Moronia galaxy?
    There are MASSIVE differences in bullet mass, propellent force and barrel length, but ONE STOCK is magic and can fulfill all needs.
    I also have two crystal balls between my legs. Don’t knock them.

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