Skip to main content

Are AR Pistols Really Pistols?

Are AR Pistols Really Pistols?

Senior Editor Peter Kokalis and I have our disagreements, mainly thanks to his belief that a WASP like me can't fathom the profound depths of the Hellenic soul, but one thing we agree on completely is that we are very blah on AKs and ARs made into pistols.

We're happy for you to have one if you want one, but find it impossible to understand why you'd want one.

The only believable explanation I've ever heard came from a representative of Rock River Arms, who said they've sold quite a few to police departments who stash them in the saddlebags of motorcycle cops.

The Rock River "pistol" shoots pretty well. I once made a bet with Joe Bruch, a range officer at PASA Park, based on hitting a steel torso silhouette at 200 yards with one. I figured we'd go through a couple boxes of ammo before hitting it, but it only took Bruch, a master-class shooter in several disciplines, two ranging shots before he rang the silhouette.


Dave Fortier tried several AR "pistols" in the 7/10/11 issue of SGN, and likewise was surprised at his ability to hit with them.


So I'm not going to be the simplistic type and say they're no good because you can't hit anything with them. They aren't particularly easy to hit with, but it can be done.

What I hope no one is doing is using them as the basis for illegal short-barreled rifles. SBRs are a lot of fun, and in most states aren't all that hard to have. The $200 transfer tax that was a big deterrent in the 1930s is about the cost of a good afternoon of shooting these days. Building an SBR and failing to register it is a federal felony; there's just no need to risk that!

So I'm ready to be convinced. If you like AK or AR pistols, why?

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Firearms News Reviews the S&W M&P 2.0 9mm Compact Pistol

Firearms News Reviews the S&W M&P 2.0 9mm Compact Pistol

Firearms News editor Vince DeNiro runs the Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm compact pistol through a self-defense drill.

Pulsar Thermion Thermal Scope

Pulsar Thermion Thermal Scope

Want to hit a target in the dark? Patrick Sweeney will tell you how to use the Pulsar Thermion thermal scope.

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

M134 Mini-Gun

M134 Mini-Gun

While filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV we had the unique opportunity to fire the M134 Minigun.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Wilson Combat-SIG Sauer WCP320 pistol is now legal for IDPA Stock Service Pistol Class Competition and USPSA Production/Carry Optics Classifications.WCP320 Pistol Now Legal for IDPA and USPSA Handguns

WCP320 Pistol Now Legal for IDPA and USPSA

Firearms News Staff - August 14, 2020

The Wilson Combat-SIG Sauer WCP320 pistol is now legal for IDPA Stock Service Pistol Class...

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous Soros-backed St. Louis prosecutor, are slated to speak at next week's Republican National Convention.McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC 2nd Amendment

McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC

Mark Chesnut - August 21, 2020

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous...

The Leupold VX-Freedom AR scope line hits the sweet spot on frills, performance and cost to you.Leupold VX-Freedom AR Scopes Optics

Leupold VX-Freedom AR Scopes

Jim Angell - August 18, 2020

The Leupold VX-Freedom AR scope line hits the sweet spot on frills, performance and cost to...

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590 models with the enhanced combat utility of a military “trench gun.” Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review Shotguns

Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review

Leroy Thompson - August 24, 2020

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590...

See More Trending Articles

More Handguns

The Ruger Wrangler rimfire revolver is now available in a TALO exclusive configuration.New Ruger Wranger TALO Exclusive Industry

New Ruger Wranger TALO Exclusive

Firearms News Staff - October 29, 2020

The Ruger Wrangler rimfire revolver is now available in a TALO exclusive configuration.

Firearms News tests the powerful .460 Rowland Model, which also shoots .45 ACP! Self defense and hunting for 1911-­Packing Survivalists!Mech-Tech Carbine Upper for 1911 Pistols Handguns

Mech-Tech Carbine Upper for 1911 Pistols

Vincent L. DeNiro - November 30, 2020

Firearms News tests the powerful .460 Rowland Model, which also shoots .45 ACP! Self defense...

The Smith & Wesson Bicycle Revolvers serve as a link across the decades and they conjure up images of figures who might have used them.S&W Snub-Nose Bicycle Revolvers — Elegant and Vintage Handguns

S&W Snub-Nose Bicycle Revolvers — Elegant and Vintage

Leroy Thompson - October 22, 2020

The Smith & Wesson Bicycle Revolvers serve as a link across the decades and they conjure up...

If you’re looking for a classicly-styled 1911 with solid fit and performance, from one of the category leaders, you should check out the Springfield Armory Ronin Operator.Springfield Armory Ronin 9mm Commander Review Handguns

Springfield Armory Ronin 9mm Commander Review

James Tarr - November 12, 2020

If you're looking for a classicly-styled 1911 with solid fit and performance, from one of...

See More Handguns

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now