Inferior Option

Okay, once again I am compelled to stand athwart the tide of gun trends, and cry “STOP!”.

The object of my discontent is this trend towards “assault pistols” such as the ones which appear here and feature guns like these:

Let me make my feelings on this type of gun quite clear:  if they were full-auto (select fire), i.e. sub-machine pistols, I would take one in a heartbeat.  But as pistols, they’re shit.

Bulkier and heavier (ergo  unconcealable) than a regular Glock, 1911 or S&W semi-auto, firing the same Europellet poodle-shooter ammo as most pistols nowadays seem to be doing [sigh], and beloved of SWAT-fanbois everywhere, they fail as pistols and are inferior to pistol-caliber carbines in terms of accuracy and punch.

Aesthetically, they look like shit — cobbled together by some Bubba in his workshop somewhere — and they’re overpriced.  Such is fashion, and it’s as true for guns as it is about, say, shoes:


(The one on the left looks like the shoe equivalent of an assault pistol, and the pink disasters are actually from Balenciaga.)

I think the problem started when CZ converted their wonderful Skorpion subbie into semi-auto:

…and all of a sudden, AR and AK variants of the same concept started sprouting like poisonous mushrooms.


Your taste, your choice (and dollars), of course, and if you think that owning one of these makes you look like some kind of “operator”, be my guest.

On the other hand, if you want one of these because it causes anti-gunners, the media and gun-fearing wussies [some overlap]  to reach for their smelling salts, go right ahead.

Just don’t expect me to join you.


  1. Not a fan. I have a friend that has an AR “pistol” in 5.56 and I watched him struggle to explain it to me. I just don’t get it. It’s too big and heavy to be used as a one handed pistol, and with a 10″ barrel (I think) isn’t accurate enough to be a rifle.

    What I think transpired here is an effort by some to exploit the exact precision of the written rules by the BATF whether it makes sense or not. Yes, I understand the idea behind home defense and using a smaller rifle (named a pistol) as it is easier to maneuver in a confined space, and in my opinion that is what a real pistol like my Beretta 92FS is for. My real AR15 is for longer range stuff and I make no excuses for it.

    1. Exactly.

      By the way: do you know what firing a .223 round does to your ears in a confined space? It’s not pretty, and takes the utility away from having an absurdly-long magazine because instead of hosing down an attacker, you’re going ow ow ow while your ears bleed.

    2. The 5.56 AR “pistol” is simply a way to get what is the equivalent of a short-barreled rifle (minus the stock) without registering it as such and paying the tax.

      Shooting 9mm out of an AR platform is simply a novelty. For accuracy and performance, you’re much better off with an actual full frame pistol, or maybe even a lever-action carbine in a pistol caliber.

      1. Agreed on the first part, not so much on the second. My 10″ 9mm AR was primarily a range toy when I bought it. After several hundred rounds, it has proven to be extremely reliable, easy to handle, low recoil, low muzzle blast and surprisingly accurate – it keeps them in nice little 1-1.5″ groups at 50 yds. If you can do that with a conventional handgun, you’re more of a man than I. All that comes with significant velocity gains over a 4-5″ barrel.

        Because of all of the above, my wife is far more comfortable with it than anything else in my cabinet leading to it replacing the shotgun as the bedroom closet gun.

        I would also add that, while, a short 5.56 is of questionable use, change that to 300 Blackout and it’s a different story.

  2. I see them as a way of doing an end-run around the BATFE’s rule regarding short-barreled-rifles, where the forearm brace takes the place of the shoulder stock. I’d imagine if you actually used the brace as a shoulder stock you’d get far better accuracy than with a pistol. Plus, 9mm out of a 10″ barrel will give you better ballistics than the normal pistol length barrels. We won’t mention that you’d be breaking the law by holding the forearm brace against your shoulder (I think), because none of us would ever consider circumventing the law in such a manner. Nor would anyone here ever mount a contraband suppressor on such a weapon, just in case.

    Now, if you didn’t mind getting into NFA-land, an actual SBR combined with a suppressor would not only make the hoplophones faint, it would probably be the bee’s knees for home defense.

    Mark D

  3. These things have a purpose…I had an 80% 9mm AR pistol paired with a Polymer80 pistol, both took the same Glock magazines and broke down and stowed with a couple hundred rounds and accessories in a 20” Pelican case for convenience when traveling. The AR platform stretched the useful range of the 9mm to 100 yards or so and also made it a handy house gun. Sadly, this setup was lost in a boating accident during a hurricane a few years ago.

    1. You told me it was an earthquake. Get your story straight.

      Also, if you shoot someone at 100 yards with a 9mm and he finds out about it, he’s going to be seriously irritated.

      1. No. My loss was due to the earthquake.
        As Philip Marlowe said once, “The Pacific Ocean is too close”, so I can understand the boating accident, but thanks to the cost of living here, I don’t have a boat.

  4. Total agreement about this noisy short, bulky things. I have shot the AR 5.56 a few times and in addition to the noise factor there is the big flash of flame that would blind you rather fast in a low light situation. Then you would be both deaf and blind and have to vote Democrat.

    As for spraying and praying with a large magazine of 9mm what kind of strange encounter would warrant that? Maybe a bunch of zombies but what about all the missed rounds messing up folks and stuff behind your bad guy? I think a few well aimed rounds from a decent pistol would be so much more effective, two in the belly and one in the head.

    1. “Then you would be both deaf and blind and have to vote Democrat.”
      I wanna party with this dood!

      1. Come on down to the Texas Hill country where at my age we party with a bit of Scotch over some ice cubes while we sit around in the backyard as the sun is going down grilling steaks on an 800 degree grill so the outside is charred and the inside is red, takes about 4.5 minutes. Don’t need any music because we can barely hear conversation as we used to solve the world’s problems and now we just talk about the good old days and where we want to go shoot’n the next week. So come on down.

  5. About four years ago I spoke with a kid putting my Subway sandwich together, and he spoke about how he was saving for one of these pistols. I talked glowingly of real pistols and real rifles, but the mall ninja is strong in youngsters.
    I forget where I read it, but there was a saying about either Light Infantry or the Paratroops; “Too Light to fight and too heavy to run away.” This is one of those weapons that does nothing that well.
    Where do you get a holster for it, anyway?

    And to quote Redd Fox, those shoes “ain’t for walking, They’re for ‘standing next to.'”

      1. Yes; I was happy to find out that he was. I talked up the 1911 platform, but he had his heart set on the flash.

  6. Those pistols or carbines are popular around here. They classify them as an “other” so that you don’t need to get Uncle Sam’s poll tax of a tax stamp. They have a brace rather than a comfortable stock that you use just like a stock. I tried one. it was okay but certainly not the first choice for well, anything. To paraphrase Jeff Cooper, it’s a solution in search of a problem.

    If you like it then enjoy it. I’m glad that option is there for you to enjoy.


  7. Like a lot of new firearm designs, this falls under the category of “I’d never buy it, but I support your right to own it”.

    And I’m sure those mall ninjas would make fun of me buying yet another black powder revolver. So there’s that too.

  8. I got an AR one. I didn’t plunk down $$$, but traded an old vehicle for it.

    So far I haven’t been able to get 2 rounds through it consecutively. Traced that to a deformed charging handle. Haven’t had it back out.

    I don’t hate it yet, and I do get to stoke the GFW fears. But I wouldn’t buy one off the shelf.

    Maybe this is an HBC kind of gun?

    1. There is a spot where the pistol calibers shine (9mm or 45) .
      Here are the results of a IDPA match .
      Use of a PCC allows the lowest class of shooters to shoot as fast and as accurate as a Master class pistol shooter.
      They don’t compete against each other class wise but it shows the difference between shooting a rifle and a pistol.
      Red Dots are making an impact also…

      Match overall ranking
      1-, joel 110.89 6.00 0 0 104.89 PCC Expert
      2-, Christopher 140.78 13.00 0 11 116.78 CO (Carry Optic) Master
      3-, JP 147.93 18.00 0 0 129.93 CO (Carry Optic) Master
      4- Doug 155.33 28.00 0 0 127.33 CO (Carry Optic) Sharpshooter
      5-, David 160.34 8.00 0 5 147.34 PCC Sharpshooter
      6- 176.18 31.00 0 0 145.18 PCC Marksman
      7- Chuck 178.95 24.00 0 0 154.95 CDP Expert
      8-, Rick 2 183.57 11.00 0 20 152.57 PCC Unclassified
      9- Michael 192.12 26.00 0 0 166.12 CO (Carry Optic) Sharpshooter
      10- Michael 195.24 40.00 0 11 144.24 CO (Carry Optic) Unclassified

  9. A friend of mine brought an AR-looking version of this to a falling plate match recently. For shooting plates, it was great.

    Personally I’d rather own one of these than a race gun. It’s all good.

  10. No thanks, even given the portability.

    Back when I had my FFL, a customer/buddy wanted one of the then new Olympic Arms OA-93.

    This was right at the start of the federal “assault weapons” BS. I give marks to Olympic for honoring their prices for orders already in place.

    It finally came in, and a short time later the two of us went to the “range”. It was just an open area far up into the pines in the California foothills. It was an old helo pad for harvesting timber, located along the side of a ridge top on national forest ground. The view off the down side was spectacular. The spot was known to many, and summer time traffic rendered most of the area covered in a about an inch of powder fine dust.

    So my buddy (who stands 6′ 4″) loads a 30 round mag and, holding his prize with two hands at the hip, empties the mag. With the first round, the muzzle blast starts to churn up a cloud of dust. I’m standing about 20 feet away, and after 10 or so rounds, I can’t see him. The only evidence he is in there is the noise and the empty cases ejecting from the dust cloud. No, I didn’t shoot it. As I said, not my thing.

  11. Essentially they are range toys, one possible exception would be guns like the Ruger PCC, the longer barrel gives a bump in performance while still having negligible recoil. Seems a good choice for those that are forced to live where pistols are prohibited.
    I have fired a buddies SIG scorpion and it is a fun little toy and very easy to make fast hits with a red dot.

  12. There’s nothing wrong with those things that a buttstock, a suppressor, and a giggle switch wouldn’t fix. The NFA needs to be repealed or at least reformed to eliminate the ridiculous SBR and SBS categories. Alternatively, if things keep going the way they are now, it will make sense to ignore the law as long as our would be rulers ignore the law.

  13. Ah yes, the venerable CZ-61. Only thing more fun to shoot is a suppressed, FA Ruger 10-22 with an 8″ barrel and a 25 round mag.

  14. Where the arm-braced pistol made from a PCC rifle platform shines is as a close-quarter compact rifle-pistol hybrid. The brace allows for a second point of contact while allowing one-handed operation. The short barrel makes clearing tight corners more manageable. And while one should never assume it to have the power of a real rifle due to the cartridge, there is also far less muzzle blast, flash, and recoil, an important consideration in enclosed spaces. Yes, 9mm inside is loud. A rifle round is far more so. Then, too, one can also put a sling on it, for retention while wrassling an intruder that surprised you and got too close, or wrangling kiddos towards a safer space in the house. And finally, while 17 1 9mm in your CZ or Glock is a good thing, 30 1 of 9mm is even better in a Scorpion, and more easily managed. They also make decent truck/car guns, as local law and attitudes permit.
    Unless suppressed, though, I’m in full agreement on intermediate or full power rifle rounds in short barrels, unless its one specifically designed for the purpose (I.e., 300 Blackout or 9×39 Russian). Wasted powder, wasted velocity, excessive flash and noise sufficient to see stars and hear nothing quieter than a fire alarm. Not really the right tool for much anything.
    As for the above mentioned firerms like the Shockwave? They actually do have a niche. A small one, but present. Again, it’s a bad-breath-distance lead thrower, sacrificing stability and capacity for maneuverability and compactness. Attach a light, a side saddle with extra ammo, and you have a fairly powerful slug or buckshot gun for close quarters. Yes, they CAN be aimed, with difficulty, but they’re not intended as hunting or tactical shotguns; rather, it’s a short and immediate trash can barrel for one or two goblins to look down at a time. If you find yourself needing more ammo than what it can carry, you probably are already getting out the fighting rifle and bunkering down in your house against goblins outside.
    And yes, they give antigunners the vapors. That’s always a plus.

  15. How about one in 45ACP? Throw on a suppressor and it is real fun. Although I still love my Marlin Camp 45 that you recommended nearly 20 years ago.

  16. Well, if one is going to go with a serious short shotty, I would suggest the Savior, if you can find one. Purpose built 3 shot 9″ barreled Remington 870 and sold/taxed as an AOW.

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