March 26, 2012
By Robert W. Hunnicutt
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?