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What is the difference between an AR-15 Rifle and an AR-15 Pistol?

Posted by Ormond Arms

What is the difference between an AR-15 Rifle and an AR-15 Pistol?

The AR-15 is an extremely modular firearm, being able to take on many different and widely used calibers, from varmint rounds to big game hunting rounds. With its design however, also comes somethings that can and can’t be done. Deviations from the original design of the standard carbine length rifle have come to give the AR-15 more functional use in different areas. The AR-15 pistol is capable of a few things that the rifle variant is not, and vice versa. Knowing what you are capable with each will help you decide which one you want first.

The Background.

The NFA of 1934 began the categorization of firearms as either rifles, pistols or title II weapons. And it is from this piece of legislation that the distinction between the AR-15 rifle and the AR-15 pistol come into play. The AR-15 rifle must have a barrel length of 16 inches or more and an overall length of 24 inches. Here is what you can get out of them. There may not be a stock at the end of the pistol, but there are many braces that help with comfortably handling the firearm.

The AR-15 pistol is legally recognized as a pistol. Where with rifles you can’t conceal or store in your car without being cased, the AR-15 pistol is able to be concealed and stored in a vehicle. This makes it optimal for self defense situations. The standard round is the same, so if you want to really give it to the bad guy, using an AR-15 pistol for self defense is not a bad idea.

You may need a CWP in order to operate an AR-15 pistol though. You can take it to the range like any other gun if it is in a case. But the AR-15 kind of falters when it comes to its recreational performance. See, because the pistol variant of the AR-15 is actually kind of a downgrade. The barrel length of the AR-15 pistol is also where its biggest weakness is. The durability of the firearm after a longer period of recreational use will be affected. That is one reason it is usually used as more of a self defense gun than a recreational one.

The AR-15 rifle can be used for both self defense and recreational use, but it can’t really be used like a pistol in regards to its ability to be stored in a vehicle for potential use. A rifle generally must be put in a case if it is going to be transported anywhere. However you don’t get the jabs to durability and bullet speed like you do with the pistol. It's food for thought.

The AR-15 is one of the most optimal firearms for self defense and recreational use. By deciding which one you want to use for either, you can delve into those worlds a little more. Ormond Arms has all you need to start building your next AR-15 Rifle or Pistol for the best price possible.

Ormond Arms has all you need to start building your next AR-15 Rifle or Pistol for the best price possible.