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AR-15 Pistol for Patrol Rifle

  1. Hola,
    I am an investigator at a small agency. When I was a Patrol Officer I carried my AR-15 as soon as they authorized it. Now that I am mostly out of uniform I've been trying to set up a smaller, lighter active threat response kit. If it's light and all in one bag I'm more likely to take it with me and not be lazy (complacent).

    I had posted about setting up an AR-40 (pistol/SBR) to complement my duty G23, but this is currently cost prohibitive. My next thought was to make my Ruger PCC (.40) a little more tactically oriented but then I came across a PSA AR-15 pistol build kit. The price was spot on and, with ammunition manufacturers offering 5.56 specifically with the SBR and LE in mind (Hornady SBR TAP ammo) I'm now going this route.

    So my question is this: Is anyone else using either an AR pistol or SBR as their Patrol Rifle? If so, how are you setting it up and what ammo are you using?
  2. I'm not a patrol officer.

    I'm issued an SBR (FN M16A3) 10" barrel. Aimpoint Micro H1, Insight WMLx, and a sling.

    My area is crazy. I'm keeping a Maxim Defense PDX pistol in my POV. I put a EOTech XPS, Insight WML, and a Magpul MS3 sling on it.

    A 5.56 with a pistol brace is going to better than a 9mm or .40 PCC. I DO have an AR9 PCC I built for the wife at home, but she's not responding to anything besides trouble inside our house.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
  3. One of my patrol sergeants has an AR pistol for patrol, he’s also the range master.

    I have a biggish purchase pending, but next year I plan on buying an AR pistol...once it’s approved. Lol
  4. Running around with a rifle or pistol at an active shooter / threat scene in plain clothes sounds like a great way to get shot, probably a lot. I wouldn’t respond in anything less than full uniform.

    If you use the PSA kit, I would replace all the small parts with ones from a vendor like White Oak Armament. It seems like a lot of the complaints about the PSA kits involve stuff like the trigger group, springs, etc.
  5. Forbidden at my agency unless on SWAT team. Not because of the brace, but minimum barrel length is 16”.

    I wouldn’t care for a pistol brace on a patrol rifle. For your case I would want a bare bones, light as possible AR15. It’s going to spend long periods of tine in your trunk so I don’t want an optic and batteries to worry about.

    A pencil barrel A2 upper. Irons are hassle free. Lightweight. I would have a Streamlight Protac rail mount flashlight and a single point sling.

    As simple and lightweight as it gets.

    This day and age I would not want a pistol caliber carbine.

    ID for yourself if a big one also. You need a vest carrier that is marked up with police front and rear. As big of letters as possible. A badge on a chain around your neck as well.

    I would not lose a lot of sleep about active shooter scenarios from a detective’s position. Most of the situations are over before the third and fourth uniform arrive, much less before the plain clothes guys start arriving. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan and some gear, but it’s not really a priority for you.

    Your day will start after all the medivacs have been done.
  6. Does your agency allow you to carry whatever you prefer? What about ammo selection?

    If your State allows it, get a SBR Colt Commando with the 11.5 inch barrel. The $200 tax will be tax deductible and you have a Colt warranty.

    It might be cheaper to build something, but I would never carry a parts gun as a cop. The liability is too great.
  7. Our Department went to HK MP-7’s to fulfill this niche. Cool gun if you can get your agency to buy it.
  8. I use an 11.5inch BCM SBR. Also has a can on it.
  9. why?
  10. Take it with you? How are you going to secure it when interviewing someone and you can’t watch your car. Trunk is not answer or that active shooter might be using your weapon instead of you.

    If it’s in a locking device in the car, size isn’t a big issue.

    Or is it , that you want to hide the fact from your colleagues that you are carrying it.

    Either way, a simple answer is just take your AR and separate the upper and lower. Put it in a small gym bag or case.

    Just put it together as you respond. Not ideal but doable.
  11. Hola,
    Thank you all for your responses. I do have a plate carrier with POLICE panels front and back, that I would be putting on. It is outfitted with everything that used to be in my active shooter bag.

    I currently have a lockbox in the cargo area (truck vault?). I could probably fit a shotgun and full size rifle in it. Any rifle/pistol should be secure enough while I am away from my Explorer.

    Kit guns are not an issue at my agency. Everything gets inspected. I've used PSA in the past but for duty carry I can see upgrading certain parts.

    The only mods(?) I am planning for is a single point sling, good iron sights, a Vortex red dot (I have experience and feel that they are tough), Magpul grip and handguard, and a light (not sure which one).

    We can use any LE ammo so that will be another consideration since the barrel is short so flash and bang is greater. A flash can will probably be added but, again, this is new territory so research and input would be appreciated.
  12. I am issued a Colt 935 (Commando) it’s a 11.5 SBR. It goes everywhere with me while on the clock including on cross reservation deployments.

    It takes up next to zero space and is a fighting rifle. I do own a PSA pistol with an SBA3 while that resides in my truck/camaro when I’m not working. I do not think that I will ever carry it as my primary long weapon baring SHTF deployments is Active Shooter or Acts of Domestic Terrorism.

    It would be nightmare to retain if someone wanted to take it from me. The soft plastic of the SBA3 can be used for methods taught by the USMC but it would be akin to driving nails with a pillow.

    I would apply for an agency exemption to the NFA and outfit a 10.5 or even a 14.5 rifle. Or if you are that stubborn that you are going to set up a pistol then put a can on it. Trust me the extended LOP is worth the ability to fire inside a building or vehicle.

    Also the Protac 2 is a very nice light, but I’d also look at the Cloud Defensive offerings.

    If you are thinking that you need something compact and not as effective as it should be go with an 8 inch.

    Does your plate carrier contain medical equipment like an IFAK or Blowout kit?
  13. I'm not now, nor have I ever been in law enforcement, but are any departments carrying/using bullpup rifles? They seem to be a good choice for urban usage.
  14. I'm not now, nor have I ever been in law enforcement, but are any departments carrying/using bullpup rifles? They seem to be a good choice for urban usage. Tavor comes to mind.

    Sorry, but my posts seem to be delayed to the point that I end up reposting.
  15. The now defunct US Customs Service issued Steyr AUG for a time.

  16. My only problem with PSA AR stuff is I didn’t buy enough of it, last year.
  17. An AR-Pistol is not as "usable" as a rifle/carbine. The brace is not a shoulder stock.

    Short barrels get louder the shorter they are. When the local SWAT guts went to Colt 10.5 barrel AR's, they also had to initially go to DOUBLE hearing protection. So then they went to "cans". The whole argument of shorter barrel being more "handy", goes out the window when you add the length back with a "can".

    .224/5.56 is velocity dependent for terminal effect. you lose a lot of velocity by getting rid of 5.5" of barrel.

    You want a AR easier carry about, disconnect the upper from the lower. That will be just as easy to tote around as an AR-Pistol. It will take 3 seconds to put back together.


    To build an AR-pistol an AR-pistol lower receiver is needed. Putting a pistol length upper on a "regular" lower mean a SBR has been created and it would need to be registered under NFA rules.
  18. I completely understand what you are trying to do, it’s not a horrible idea. Just understand you lose a fair amount of capability not having a real stock.

    Ideally, you would be much better off with a factory SBR though. I understand cost is an issue, but you are much better off going that route.


    If this is too cost prohibitive, I’d stick with a quality 16in, it’s going to stay in the back of the explorer most of the time anyway, so what’s a few inches of barrel length?
  19. I carried a braced SIG M400 with a Trijicon MRO in a soft case in the trunk of my detective ride. I was deployed a number of times, but frankly I'm not sure it did much better, other than being slightly smaller, than any of my 16 inch stocked rifles did.
  20. To be honest the shorter you go from 14.5 you need to start being careful on ammo selection when it comes to 5.56. Less than 10 and you really need to start thinking about 9mm or other calibers.

    I totally see the point of an MPX or Scorpion for a detective. You could put it, a raid jacket, the gun, and extra mags into a light laptop bag. It basically is a large pistol but you are gaining distance to engage someone with it.

    As for a 5.56 pistol. I'm not quite sold on it if you live in an NFA friendly state. I do get the downsides of the muzzle blast but there are smaller, more compact suppressors that don't add a whole lot of length. Or quick attach that don't affect zero so if in a hurry you can blast away as needed, if you have a few seconds then you can attach it. Brownells has a 10 in BRN-180 that fits on an AR lower and allows for a folding stock due to it being a clone of the AR-18.
  21. One of the headaches of shortened Stoner system weapons is that it was originally designed for a 20 inch barrel and when the Army decided to implement the XM-177 and the E2 follow-on, it had to add a heavier buffer and have a different gas port size. This ended up making the weapon more reliable when fired, but increased the stresses on the bolt and BCG.

    This is also prevalent in the M-4[A1] and commercial variants. When you go to a Springfield Saint pistol with the 9 to 10.5 inch barrel, again the stresses go up even more and was the gas port adjusted for proper lock dwell time. If not, one has premature unlocking while the bore pressure is high and this can cause catastrophic damage, even to Mil grade parts. Extractors begin to tear off cartridge rims. The new 5.5 inch barrel is more so affected.

    The muzzle blast is terrible and the gas column is not fully burned inside such short barrels, unless the ammo maker has compensated for it and I don't know any large makers who has yet. I'd want a can on one if I carried such a pistol.

    Keep in mind that the lethality of the round decreases dramatically as the barrel length in reduced towards 5.5 inches. Such a barrel might make 2,100 fps if one is using the M-193 55 grain projectile. I don't have the muzzle energy figures at present. A FN 5.7x28mm P-90 wouldn't be far away.
  22. Why would you not set it up in 300 Blackout with a can? Go as short as you want, relatively quiet and still have the more power than pistol calibers suppressed.
  23. I need to shoot some rounds through a chronograph with my PDX.

    It may be a while but when I do I'll post the numbers for each ammo type.
  24. This is my PDX.

    The "hate brake" parabolic muzzle device is amazing. It makes shooting this thing feel like shooting the wife's 9mm PCC.

    Maxim Defense PDX  - Copy.jpg
  25. 11.5" or 12.5" milspec barrel A5 buffer system. If you are contemplating a suppressor I would recommend to use the lmt enhanced carrier.
    Factory Ammo hornady 75gr 5.56 super performance. If doing reloads the 77gr nosler competition bullet loaded to 5.56 velocity is supposed to have very similar terminal performance.
  26. Something to ponder. OK, OK, I realize guns are loud by definition. But an AR pistol is extremely loud, to the point of hearing damage. I had an AR pistol and let it go.
  27. Or go with a Kel etc SU-16 with a folding frame.

  28. Kind of reminds me of the takedown lever action I want to get.

    Winchester and Taylor's and Co. make at least 1 version in a few calibers.
  29. I am simply not a fan of short barreled 5.56's. The cartridge was already designed for a longer barrel and cutting it to 16" was a compromise. The new trend of cutting them short cause the ballistics to degrade rapidly which takes away one the primary benefits of having a rifle. Add to that the increased noise, muzzle flash and how hard it is on the rifle makes it not worth it. Now everyone wants to go short and put a can on it which defeats the entire purpose, you are right back with a carbine length rifle. Might was well go with a pistol caliber carbine, just as effective.

    Add to that this example is talking about a 'pistol' version without a true stock that will absolutely degrade accuracy. If you carry a something so compromised that it no longer has the accuracy or ballistic capability of the real deal then why bother? Get extra mags for your pistol or something.
  30. 5AD1CF1A-A199-4C42-AFEA-25B84D512297.jpeg

    My choice for light and handy. The original .300 Blackout.
  31. For awhile the Israeli police carried those with Choate stocks as their long guns.

    When parents took kids on field trips the police would hand out K98s chambered in .308.

    They still have M16s we handed out during Operation Nickle Grass in 73 that they later chopped to 13 inches.

    They hang onto everything.
  32. I actually have a Choate stock. I think I’ll put it on one of them.

    Thanks for reminding me!

    It may not be the ultimate rifle in a battle, but damn they are handy and fun to shoot.
  33. 20200912_094154.jpg
  34. There is my original, and still the best (for me) patrol rifle. In service since 2004. Below is the newest, travel sized addition.
  35. Not a cop here but, I have seen a few AR pistols carried on live pd. On a personal note I have a 10.5 inch with a shockwave brace and would trust my life to it. My nephew used it on 2 deer last year with 75 grain Hornady bthp and one ran 30 yards leaking like crazy and one DRT!
  36. Billy_ are you sure they were pistols and not SBRs?
  37. For an individual, the tax stamp is not deductible.

    You MIGHT make it a business expense, but I doubt it would pass IRS audit for a personally owned NFA Title II item.
  38. Absolutely they were braced pistols.
  39. I know in my area that I’ve always been surprised what personal weapons they can get approved in the smaller departments.
  40. AR pistols are abusively loud to shoot. The concussion punches you in the face.

    Maybe just get a folding stock?

    I know it sounds crazy but maybe a Kel Tec SU16-C model? Very compact and lightweight.

    I would not intentionally go to war with the KT. But it would be adequate for a rapid response bag.
  41. Took it to the range. No issues other than the used red dot quit working and my sights were on, but very low. I am looking into getting a flash can of some kind as well as a good red dot.
  42. On short barrel uppers, you will want to get a good flash hider. I had an 11.5 PSA upper on my issued M16. Without the Vortex hider there war a basketball flash in reduced light.

    Not really sure why you would want to deal with the extra issues of an AR pistol when you can just get a 16" and call it done, especially in plain clothes.
  43. I used a very similar set up to yours with an H-1, TRL1, MS3, and Claymore, but it had a 7" barrel. We're issued TAP 55gr. I wanted the shortest 5.56 I could carry and deploy while exiting the Tahoe.
    A 16" rifle with sling, RDS and light is hard enough to safely pull from a full-sized SUV like a Tahoe, much less an Explorer, Taurus, Charger...
    I stopped carrying my AR pistol when I convinced the chief to purchase properly equipped rifles. I just purchased another pistol, this one an 10.5". The extra noise and concussion wasn't worth saving 3".
  44. Anyone go from 10.5”-13.5” and then back to a 16”? I’ve been debating buying a pistol but wonder if I should just keep the 16” and be happy.
  45. This popped up the other day and it reminded me of how easy it was to shoot an MP5 off a sling. And we had ours in 10mm. I could see a Scorpion or MPK or similar without a brace would work.

    View: https://youtu.be/iN1p3d25DiE

  46. negative. 2 point is the way.
  47. This is a great option it’s what our motor officers use right now in the side bags of their motorcycle.Also the $200 stamps for SBRs seem to be moving quickly

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  48. Meh.

    Single point was all the rage when I was a rookie and it’s what I’m used to now.

    Easy to toss on in a hurry and if no time it doesn’t get in the way.

    I have several rifles setup with two point as well, but I like the one point for a grab and go patrol rifle.