Newsletter #5: The “Ultimate” Pistol

The “Ultimate” Pistol

 

A lot of discussion occurs on internet forums and in gun shops concerning what is the perfect self defense carry pistol.  Particular points almost universally covered in these arguments are power, capacity, size, concealability, accuracy, and sighting options.  Personally, I love the power/caliber arguments. Some say 9mm is the best because it gets more ammo in a lighter package and “studies have shown 9mm hollow points are statistically just as effective as .45 ACP” or some such drivel.  The .45 crowd has equally hilarious points to be made about “shooting twice is silly”.  One thing cannot be denied, the .45 caliber bullets are very large as far as handgun rounds go and the .45 ACP is at the upper end of most shooters’ ability to control for the purposes of self-defense.  But one thing is universally true: that handgun rounds are pretty anemic when it comes to immediately stopping men intending evil.  Both sides of the caliber argument can at least agree that rifle cartridges are far superior at immobilizing men.  It is most unfortunate that a rifle can’t be carried in a shoulder holster underneath a tee shirt in 95 degree summer weather. But it is obvious physics won’t currently, or in the near future, allow this.

I rarely see any benefit in firearms legislation.  In fact, I can tell of only one law off the top of my head that has resulted in any benefit at all.  And that one benefit is that the abortion which calls itself an AR15 pistol would not exist had it not been for ridiculous legislation prohibiting so-called “short barreled” rifles and shotguns.  What it looks like is what is left incomplete at the factory after everyone suddenly left for the day.  It is a rifle which has a short barrel (shorter than the “legal” 16 inches) and no butt stock. Because its buffer tube or receiver extension is required for operation, it is legal.  Putting the stock on it (completing the rifle build) would cause it to be a rifle and then it’s barrel would be too short.  Visually, it sticks out like an Irishman at a gay pride parade.  It doesn’t look like it belongs.

But this AR15 pistol packs modern rifle power and capacity into a small, easily purchased package (compared to short barreled rifles) that is portable and is covered under Oregon’s concealed handgun permit.  The main question has been: is it actually usable?  Happily, I can tell the reader that it is useable and worthwhile.

Personal testbed AR15 pistol with 11.5" barrel, flip down sights, Burris Fastfire 1, and test muzzle brake

For a few years now, in a backpack or similar sized package, I have carried an AR15 pistol.  I have experimented with the accuracy, portability, rate of fire and general defensive utility of this AR15 variant.  Advantages of this package are that it is lighter and shorter than full sized rifle or carbine variants (from personal experience, it is also lighter than comparable sized short barreled rifles) and is only marginally slower/harder to use than the aforementioned variants.  Its overall portability and utility outweigh the relatively minor inconvenience of being forced to use the end of its buffer tube as a stock-like protrusion.  Concerning accuracy, when I was repeatedly clanging a steel plate at 200 yards with bare irons, one of my stubbornest friends had to admit his concerns in that regard were unfounded.

Having to shorten the length of pull with the short tube utilized as a stock has not turned out to be the death knell for this experiment as I had originally feared.  The method of placing the buffer tube against the shoulder like a stock has actually been quite manageable after the shooting stance was slightly crunched and altered to allow proper cheek weld.   Being forced to shorten up has also carried over to the use of my actual stocked rifles and has made all my defensive rifles handier to store and use now that I keep their stocks retracted, too.  Little did I know that top trainers in the tactical world have also adopted this strategy (though for the direct benefits and not because they also advocate the use of the AR15 pistol).  In time, I feel they will come around to my way of thinking.

It is easy enough to see in the following videos that the AR15 pistol is easily controlled.  With a muzzle brake, as is shown in development in the videos, the variant becomes even more attractive.

The advantages of the AR15 pistol are:
– Increased power and capacity over pistol only carry
– Increased portability over rifle variants
– Decreased legal issues vs. short barreled rifles
– Concealed license applies to pistol vs. rifles (in some states)
– Minimal loss of combat utility vs. rifles
– No effective accuracy loss vs. rifles

Overall, the AR15 pistol is a very good addition to your rifle and pistol defensive battery.  It will have parts, magazines, and ammunition compatibility with your rifles (should you choose the AR15 platform for your rifles).  Simply, it allows you to have effective rifle power when and where you might not otherwise be able to have it.   I believe every person truly interested in maximizing his defensive capabilities within a reasonable budget cannot ignore the AR15 pistol.

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