I was talking to a friend recently and mentioned that I want to build an AR-15 type pistol. She was surprised because she had only heard of AR-15 rifles. Here’s a simple picture that shows the basic difference.
Of course, they can get a WHOLE lot more fancy:
The AR pistol has many advantages and disadvantages.
- Longer range than an ordinary handgun
- Can be more accurate than an ordinary handgun
- Can easily use scopes, red dot sights, lights, lasers
- Legally considered a handgun, so it can be carried anywhere that a handgun can be carried
- They can be converted into a rifle, but be careful to do it in a legal way.
- Smaller & lighter than a rifle – rifles are required to have a barrel more than 16 inches, but a pistol can have any barrel length.
- Also, they are more compact than rifles because they do not have a shoulder stock.
- Shorter range than a rifle
- Less accurate than a rifle
- HUGE compared to a normal handgun
- Difficult to shoot accurately when shooting rapidly
- Usually considered an “assault” weapon in freedom-hating states like California
- Legally dangerous if you don’t understand the laws when you build or customize them
If you want an AR pistol, the easiest thing to do is to buy one. However, AR-15s are like Legos, they’re fun to build & customize. If you want to build one yourself, do plenty of research so you don’t accidentally build an illegal gun. Make sure you use a receiver that has *never* been used for a rifle.