An AR-15 pistol may be defined as any AR-15 platform weapon with a barrel less than 16 inches in length. Unlike conventional AR -15 rifles, an AR-15 pistol doesn’t sport a proper gunstock, and it is not more than 26 inches in overall length.
Basically, it is a smaller version of the AR-15 with a shorter barrel and no or very small stock. There is no need for AR pistol owners to go through the NFA process. Such pistols are available either in parts for a customized build, or as completely built units that you can take to the shooting range as soon as you complete your purchase.
Why Should You Buy an AR-15 Pistol?
Firepower is usually determined by size, with large shoulder-fired weapons being considerably more powerful than their smaller handgun counterparts. In this case, the AR-15 pistol offers the ideal ‘size to firepower’ ratio since it is much more powerful than many, if not most handguns.
At the same time, many such ARPs fire very potent military rifle caliber cartridges at velocities above 2000 feet per second (fps). Moreover, such weapons are usually mated to high capacity (typically 30 rounds) magazines. All of this is available in a portable package that can be carried and used inside a car, a home, or any other tight space.
In a nutshell, if you own an AR-15 pistol, you will be able to protect yourself with a semi-automatic rifle on a platform the size of a pistol.
There was a time when AR-15 pistols were not very popular due to the lower velocities produced by their barrels. There were also issues with unburned powder and excessive muzzle flash and blast. However, today’s crop of cutting-edge weapons and the development of ammunition designed for such small AR pistols have eliminated all such problems. This means that you can enjoy the hard-hitting and proven man-stopping power of the legendary M 16 in a package the size of a large handgun.
Furthermore, AR-15 pistols are not just restricted to 5.56 rounds alone. There are plenty of pistol variants available as well, (such as the AR 9) that can fire the 9×19 caliber rounds. If you want powerful hand cannon, the .300 BLK would be ideal since it’s one of the most powerful AR-15 pistols around.
These weapons enable you to reach out to considerably longer distances than any handgun in the market. At the same time, they recoil a lot less and you have 30 round mags to ensure that you don’t run out of ammo in any situation when you need it the most. So without any further fanfare, let us check out some of the very best AR-15 pistols available for sale in 2023.
1. Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW
Just about anything you buy from Daniel Defense is bound to be a rock-solid buy. However, the DDM4 PDW.300 BLK is as good as it gets. The weapon comes with a 7-inch barrel and the whole package clocks in at barely 20 inches or so overall.
This AR-15 pistol is one incredibly small and neat package. Since it’s a DD product, you can expect it to run flawlessly, and the firearm’s overall fit and finish is par for the course as far as Daniel Defense is concerned. The overall feel is that of a full-sized rifle but in an easy-to-use pistol configuration.
➤ Key Features
- From its hand stop to its linear compensator to its PDW brace – the good people at Daniel Defense have included just about everything that a true high-end AR pistol aficionado will appreciate.
- This is a compact and easily transportable pistol that you can rely on, for both personal as well as home defense. Not to mention the fact that you will have a great day shooting it at the range too.
- The weapon’s 7-inch 300 BLK caliber, cold hammer-forged barrel is perfectly capable of keeping subsonic loads truly subsonic. Moreover, it provides awesome ballistics for a barrel that is only 7 inches in length.
- You can easily fit your DDM4 PDW into a backpack so that it would be ready for action at a moment’s notice.
- Its CQB Maxim Defense Pistol Brace is fully adjustable, so you will be able to shoot this formidable AR-15 pistol in comfort.
- DD has thrown in multiple M-LOK attachment points and a 6-inch MFR XL flat front rail for seamless compatibility with a broad range of accessories. The weapon also has an SLR M-LOK MOD2 front handstop for a safe and comfortable shooting experience. All in all, this is one package that simply can’t be ignored.
- Price: $1799.00
- Manufacturer: Denial Defense
- Type: AR-15 Pistol
- Caliber: .300 BLK
- Barrel Length: 7 inches
- Barrel Twist Rate:1i n 7 inches
- Brace: CQB pistol brace
- Color: Matt black
- Capacity: 30 round magazine
2. ZEV Tech Core Elite
ZEV’s CORE ELITE Pistols have been created keeping in mind serious shooters who want the very best. In fact, the ZEV brand is renowned for its commitment to performance, cutting-edge design as well as the fit and feel of every weapon that leaves its production line. The ZEV Tech Core Elite is another chip off the ZEV block. One that features the very same high quality and aesthetics typical of all ZEV products.
The Tech Core Elite combines traditional mil-spec controls with highly functional upgrades. The weapon has been designed to deliver excellent performance both on the field and at the range.
➤ Key Features
- Full forged lower and upper receivers
- Both receivers have been precision machined from very strong yet very lightweight weapons-grade 7075-T6 alloy to ensure excellent reliability.
- The weapon has been finished in a matt black type III hard-anodized coat.
- ZEV’s very own Wedge Lock handguard comes with M-LOK mounts and also provides a full-length top rail.
- The weapon sports ZEV’s own custom 416R 10.5-inch match barrel that has ZEV’s trademark bronze-golden PVD coating.
- A fixed low profile gas block that ensures flawless operation.
- Its H3 buffer is eminently suitable for carbines because it enables reliable and smooth extraction and also decreased recoil impulse.
- ZEV’s own exclusive direct thread Warcomp muzzle break by Surefire. Compared to conventional muzzle breaks, the Warcomp directs the concussive blast and gasses of the fired round forward of the Zev Tech Core Elite ARP.
- It has a Talon fully ambidextrous safety selector by Radian Weapons. This handy selector enables left-handed operators to use this weapon very easily.
- It has been suitably well equipped with a mil-spec chrome-lined bolt control group. Its non-reflective manganese phosphate finish significantly improves both corrosion resistance and lubricity.
- ZEV exclusive flat face gold trigger from ATC has a crisp and clean break and it also features a light 2.5lb pull.
- SB Tactical’s SBA3 quad position fully adjustable brace enhances the flexibility of the weapon thanks to the addition of a third contact point.
- ZEV charging handle allows ambidextrous operation with a textured and extended latch for better ergonomics and grip.
- Price: $1,826.72
- Pistol Weight: 6.14 lbs.
- Overall length: 27 inches
- Action: Semi-automatic
- Barrel Length: 10.5″
- Safety: Ambidextrous safety lever
- Caliber: 223 Rem/5.56NATO
- Grips: Black Magpul MIAD
- Capacity: 30+1
- Metal Finish: Matt black anodized hard coat
3. PSA M-LOK MOE EPT
Palmetto State Armory sells great products at even greater prices. Their PSA 10.5 inch AR-15 pistol is also one such high-quality budget offering that gives excellent value for money. It comes with a fluted flash can as standard, while the 10.5 inches has been constructed of tough and durable 4150V Moly steel. The weapon has been chambered in 5.56 NATO and sports a matt black anti-scratch phosphate finish. It has a six-position anodized buffer tube that can be adjusted as per user requirements.
➤ Key features
- The weapon’s moly chrome steel barrel has been chambered in 5.56 NATO and it comes with a 1 in 7 inches twist rate.
- This A-15 pistol also sports a carbine-length pistol sized gas system as well as an M4 barrel extension.
- The tough and durable anti-scratch phosphate coating can handle field and range use without chipping.
- A 12-inch Slant End Lightweight M-Lok free-float rail enables the quick and easy mounting of a wide range of accessories. The weapon is mated to a PSA Fluted Flash Can and a reliable .750″ very low-profile gas block.
- The firearm’s upper has been forged from 7075-T6 weapon-grade alloy and has been hard-coat anodized for a durable and corrosion-resistant finish.
- The BCG comes with a mil-spec Carpenter No. 158® durable steel bolt. The M-16 style profile carrier has been nitride-treated for a long service life.
- This firearm has a forged lower that has been constructed with 7075-T6 aluminum. It includes a Magpul trigger guard, a Magpul grip, and a high-quality LPK mated to an Enhanced Polished Trigger (EPT).
- Price: $599.00
- Gas System: Carbine-length
- Barrel Steel: 4150V Chrome Moly Steel
- Barrel Finish: Phosphate
- Barrel Profile: A2
- Diameter at Gas Block: .750″
- Chamber: 5.56 NATO
- Twist Rate: 1 in 7 inches
- Muzzle Device: Fluted Flash Can
- Lower Receiver: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
- Receiver Type: A3
- Barrel Extension: M4
- Gas Block Type: Low-profile
- Receiver Material: Forged 7075 T6 Aluminum
- Handguard Type: PSA 12″ Slant End Lightweight M-Lok
- Bolt Steel: Carpenter 158
- Receiver Finish: Matt black anodized hard coat
- Fire Control Group: Enhanced Polished Trigger
- Magazine: 30 Round
- Grip: Magpul
- Buffer Tube Adjustment: 6 Position
4. Geissele Automatics Super Duty 5.56 DDC
All true connoisseurs of the AR 15 would be acquainted with the Geissele brand. From their incomparable triggers and LPKs to their complete AR-15 build, Geissele Automatics is a byword for top-notch quality products. Their AR-15 Super Duty Pistol is yet another offering that is sure to enhance Geissele’s already formidable reputation.
➤ Key Features
- The Super Duty ARP features the very latest in firearms technology that is available exclusively from Geissele Automatics. This pistol has been equipped with an 11.5-inch barrel and chambered in 5.56 NATO caliber.
- It has a Surefire Closed-Tine Flash Hider that has been Nano-coated for extreme durability. It is mounted on Geissele’s own in-house 11.5-inch barrel that also sports a scratch resistant black oxide coating.
- This cold hammer forged barrel has been chrome lined and comes with a 1 in 7-inch twist. It has been precision machined to Geissele’s exacting standards, and it utilizes the very highest quality materials.
- The Super Duty exclusively carries the brand-new, state-of-the-art SSA-X Lightning Bow® trigger. This is a Nano-coated, double-stage trigger that features a bow shape and a very wide body. It offers the perfect balance between a flat body trigger and the classic M4 dual-stage trigger.
- The beating heart of this AR-15 pistol is Geissele’s very own enhanced reliability Bolt Carrier Group (BCG). This Nano-coated BCG features a properly staked and torqued chrome-lined gas key for maximum reliability.
- Price: $2,099.90
- Caliber: 5.56mm NATO/.223 rem
- Barrel: 11.5-inch length chrome lined
- Twist rate: 1 in 7
- Profile: Geissele Profile
- Receiver: M4 Super Duty
- Handguard: 10.5-inch SMR Mk16 equipped with Geissele’s own Center Tab
- Trigger system: SSA-X W/ Lightning Bow®
- Brace: Tactical SBA3
- Color: Flat Dark Earth
5. Wilson Combat ARP Tactical
The Wilson Combat (AR-15) ARP Tactical pistol is truly an outstanding choice for both vehicles as well as home defense scenarios. It exhibits the accuracy, reliability, and the overall attention to detail for which the Wilson Combat brand is widely and justly renowned.
The Wilson Combat ARP uses the time-tested original direct-impingement gas system. After all, this system has been a byword for reliability and accuracy for well over five decades now.
➤ Key Features
- This ARP Tactical also uses the very same premium and top-of-the-line Wilson Combat components that are used in their (by now) legendary tactical rifles.
- You can expect the exact same performance from their ARP Tactical as well. It comes jam-packed with a whole heap of value-added features. These include their famous NP3 BCG (Bolt Carrier group), Tactical Trigger Unit, and their well-known Armor Tuff® finish.
- Apart from the above, Shockwave’s all-new pistol brace has also been installed to complete this highly practical and versatile AR-15 pistol. The incredibly lightweight Shockwave brace will help to stabilize the weapon. This is a very flexible brace that can be fully adjusted for length as per user requirements.
- Price: $2425.00
- Barrel Length: 11 in.
- Overall Length: 27.5 in.-30 in.
- Capacity: 30+1 Round
- Weight: 7 lbs. 5 oz.
- Muzzle: Threaded Muzzle with Accu-Tac Flash Hider
- Rails: Wilson Combat® 10.4″T.R.I.M. Rail System
- Pistol Grip: Bravo Company
- Trigger Guard: Wilson Combat® Tactical
- Pistol Forearm Support: Shockwave Blade
- Trigger: Wilson Combat single stage Tactical Trigger Unit (TTU)
- BCG: Premium NP3 coated mil-spec bolt and bolt carrier
- Finish: Armor-Tuff® Finish
6. Stag Arms 15 Tactical 7.5”
This Stag Arms 15 Tactical 7.5″ Pistol has been built with concealability and maneuverability in mind. It has a 7.5-inch barrel, which makes it a true pistol-sized carbine. The barrel has a 1 in 7-twist rate and the firearm is chambered in 5.56 NATO caliber.
Its size makes it ideal for home defense and as a car carry weapon. It has been equipped with an SB Tactical SBA3 pistol brace. It has an M16 BCG and a weapons-grade 7075 T6 aluminum receiver
➤ Key Features
- This AR-15 sports a pistol-length gas system mated to a very low profile gas block for maximum reliability under all conditions.
- It has a full-length 7” M-LOK Gen 2 SL Handguard. This is one of Stag Arms’ own free-floating handguard designs and it features a very slim and lightweight profile. It offers maximum airflow so your weapon won’t heat up easily. It also has increased ergonomics and excellent modularity.
- This handguard provides the utmost durability and strength so you can always depend upon this weapon in every situation.
- The Stag Arms handguard provides a full-length Picatinny rail all along the top. This way, you will be able to install your favorite optics, sights, and other accessories that you like.
- This AR-15 pistol comes with an industry-leading Transferable Lifetime Warranty, as well as an ‘Infinite Shot ‘ barrel life guarantee.
- Price: $980.99
- Platform: Stag 15
- Gas System: Direct Impingement
- Model: 7.5” Tactical
- Safety Selector Orientation: Right-Handed
- Color: Black
- Caliber: 5.56 NATO
- Barrel Length: 7.5 inches
- Barrel Material: 4150 CMV
- Magazine Model: PMAG
- Bolt Finish: Phosphate – Carpenter 158
- Barrel Finish: Chrome-lined phosphate
- Pistol Grip: Magpul MOE SL Grip
- Muzzle Device: Flash Hider
- Handguard Material: 6061 Aluminum
- Magazine Capacity: 30 rounds
All of the above AR-15 pistols are ideal for home defense and automobile carry. Their short barrel size prevents them from being grabbed in the close confines of your home. At the same time, they provide you the high capacity and the superior stopping power of a full-fledged military rifle cartridge.
They are also great companions for a casual day at the range, or even a tracking expedition since their small size makes them easy to carry in a backpack. Rest assured, you can’t go wrong with any of the above rifles in your collection.