AR pistols make a lot of sense for a lot of reasons- they’re light, compact, handy, and flat out badass to shoot. There’s always been something about running a short barreled weapon that just feels cool. But feelings aside, short barreled weapons have a bunch of utility especially if your aim is in keeping a lower profile or operating in and out of vehicles. For a less-permissive environment, such as an urban area, keeping a compact weapon like an AR pistol or CZ Scorpion is a better option than a full-blown carbine. You can stow it easily behind a seat or inside a bailout bag for superior firepower over a pistol when a low profile or remaining clandestine is necessary.
I’ve been running a 10.5in AR pistol from Palmetto State since May of last year. Unlike a lot of reviews out there, I’d rather run something for a long period of time to give true thoughts on it. Bottom line up front, this is a weapon that I think presents a great option for anyone fitting the categories above. Its accurate, has been 100% reliable, and the 5.56, while losing a bit out of a shorter barrel, still carries plenty of energy to get the job done within 200m.
This pistol has been with me for a handful of field-based classes since May, including a Scout Course and two Carbine courses, where it was run by myself and other students. In all it has approximately 2k rounds, which is not a high round count, but over that time the pistol has been purposefully neglected in cleaning and proper lubrication simply to induce failure. I can say that no failures have been observed- from the initial break-in to the present- running the same USGI aluminum magazines and for the most part, the same 55gr range ammo. The reason for this is consistency over time and to isolate any possible variables causing malfunctions should any occur. I’m surprised to report zero malfunctions, which was unexpected, even when run by students in class.
Accuracy has also been impressive. Many think short barrels equate reduced accuracy, and this is not necessarily true when used inside its own parameters. I think of this weapon the same way I do the Mk18- a short personal defense weapon tailor-made for running in tight environments by personnel occupied by other primary tasks- and this pistol fulfills its role within 200m effectively especially when paired with Primary Arms’ 1x Cyclops optic. Its not a precision weapon and should not be thought of as one, but putting up a five round group (including one flyer that was completely on me) inside a couple inches with cheap ammo and a 1x optic is excellent. I cannot find fault with it.
So far this weapon has checked all my boxes to give it a go. The MLOK handguard makes adding any accessories quick, simple and secure, and my battered old Surefire G2 sits very snugly in its Odin Works mount. If I have one criticism of this weapon, I’d say the handguard is just a bit short for my taste; then again, its the same complaint most have with the standard M4 rail interface system. I’m just used to running rifle-length tubes, and going shorter makes my support hand feel a bit cramped. Going from my 14.5in PSA or 16in BCM to this always forces me to think a bit more about hand placement. That said, if you’re primarily running a shorter AR all the time, its not an issue.
I’m happy. And at the price point PSA is putting this little gem out at, just over $500, I think its a no-brainer.