It appears AR Pistols are once again “legal” to shoulder. If you were paying attention to my work a few years ago, you know that I was one of the people in the firearms industry that was very disappointed in 2014 when the BATFE took a position that shouldering an AR Pistol (with or without any type of “stabilizing brace” attached to the buffer tube) was a violation of law. In the months leading up to the release of a letter making that position pretty clear, many of us in the training community had been pointing out the advantages of a shorter firearm capable of being used like a traditional rifle for home defense and use by law enforcement or security personal. Of course, these advantages were always available to those who had “Short Barreled Rifles”, but that requires a $200 Tax Stamp, significant Hoop Jumping and isn’t an option in some states.

There had been some strong rumors circulating for the past week or so that the BATFE was going to announce that they were clarifying their position and reversing the impression that had been left in the community that by simply pushing an AR Pistol against your torso and putting your check on the buffer tube you were committing a felony by de facto “constructing” an illegal Short Barreled Rifle. The letter displayed below was released to the public last night, through a story broken at The Firearm Blog. Apparently, the community owes a debt of gratitude to SB Tactical for pushing the legal issues and getting us this clarification!

The great news here at PDN is that we actually taped a complete training DVD on using AR Pistols for defense back in 2014… but we have been storing them in a warehouse rather than ship them and have our training advice put someone in the position of a serious violation of law. That DVD and the video clips from it can now be released to the public! Look for more information on using AR Pistols for defense soon! Meanwhile, here are a couple of video links you can watch today. Keep in mind, the one from 2014 is relaying information that is currently accurate and the one suggesting that you cannot shoulder the AR Pistol is now incorrect in that regard. At least for now!

2014 Video extolling the benefits of AR Pistols with Tacticholics

PDN Training Video on using AR Pistols for defense without shouldering.


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  1. Thomas

    Can you, without reasonable doubt, show where in the letter sent by the ATF, show, where it specifies that you can shoulder a arm brace. I just need a copy for protection, if needed; Thank you.