4 Best AR15 Pistol Braces

While the pistol stabilizing braces' legality is being challenged. These are still some of the best AR15 braces you can buy right now that is simple and practical.

Be sure to keep yourself up to date with the latest update. As of November 8, 2023. pistol braces are legal as of now based on the fifth circuit court of appeals decision. Read more about Britto VS ATF here

Best AR15 Pistol Braces

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SB Tactical SBA3 - Best Overall

sb tactical sba3 brace

The SB Tactical SBA3 is the best AR15 pistol brace. While many users acknowledge that the SBA4 is sturdier than the SBA3, but the SBA3 is aesthetically pleasing and less bulky. For those who value the positioning of the QD sling attachment and direct attachment to a standard 5 position buffer tube (fits only mil spec buffer tubes), the SBA3 is preferred.

For anyone who prefers a low profile setup the SBA3 is a great choice.

Maxim Defense CQB Pistol Brace - Best For PDW

maxim defense pdw pistol brace

The Maxim defense CQB pistol brace is an all in one package that features the shorter buffer tube system.  I've got to say, diving into the world of pistol braces, the Maxim Defense PDW stands out.

Even though it's an expensive setup It's really something for the enthusiasts deeply invested in AR pistols, not just for the occasional shooter looking to spruce up their range setup.

What sets the Maxim Defense CQB apart is its adjustability. With a simple press of a lever, you can move the brace to one of four positions, making it a breeze to find the perfect fit for your shooting style. Plus, it comes with some handy extras like QD mounts on the sides and a unique buffer tube and spring system featuring the JP Silent Capture Spring System, which I can personally vouch for in my regular AR-15 setup

Strike Industries PDW 2 Position Brace - Best Modularity

strike industries pdw pistol brace

One thing to note is that the PDW Stabilizer has just two positions: collapsed and extended. But, it extends with a quick push of a button, snapping into place all on its own. It's pretty impressive and comes in handy for fast deployment.

It's sturdy and it fits into the shoulder pocket perfectly. Since it's a PDW style brace, the spring loaded design makes it very cool to operate than SB Tactical or Maxim Defense.

The kit comes with everything you need: the stabilizer, tube, buffer assembly, buffer spring, and even the castle nut. Typically, an AR pistol buffer tube runs about 8.5 inches, but the Strike PDW Brace manages to cut down three inches without the need for a special, pricier bolt carrier group.

Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 2 Brace - Best Stability

Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 2 Brace

The Tailhook Mod 2 where they really dialed in on the AR 15 platform. Instead of wrapping it around your arm, you slip your arm through it, which I find ingeniously counters the front-heavy feel of a hefty AR pistol.

They went the extra mile with a custom buffer tube, fitted with unique slots for a five-position adjustment, all tailored for a braced setup. This means you're getting a fit that's just right for braced use, not just any makeshift solution.

The Mod 2 comes with a slot for a web sling but misses out on the more modern QD slots. And then there's the price tag - a bit over $200, which might make some folks think twice.

AR15 Pistol Brace FAQ

Is AR15 Pistol Brace Still Legal?

Legally, maintaining an AR 15 pistol within regulations means avoiding any modifications to the stabilizing brace. Changing components or permanently affixing the brace could be interpreted as intent to shoulder.

atf logo

As of November 8, 2023. pistol braces are legal as of now based on the fifth circuit court of appeals decision. Read more about Britto VS ATF here

But its legality is still being challenged by the ATF, and it's an ongoing issue.

Pistol braces attach to a gun's pistol buffer tube, mirroring a buttstock's functionality but designed for forearm bracing, not shoulder firing. SB Tactical pioneered the first commercial pistol brace to enhance the usability of personal defense weapons (PDWs) without requiring shoulder support.

psa 300 blackout ar pistol

The legal landscape around these devices, especially for AR 15 pistols with barrels under 16 inches and overall lengths below 26 inches, is complex. Despite their design for one-handed use, the possibility of shouldering a brace-equipped pistol exists.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has oscillated on the legality of such actions, focusing on the user's intent. Modifications to an approved brace design could imply intent to shoulder, potentially leading to legal issues.

Stock Vs Pistol Brace

A stabilizing brace, originally designed to assist a disabled army veteran in shooting an AR with one hand, mounts to a firearm's rear to stabilize heavier weapons for one-handed shooting. This device, attaching via Velcro strap or loop, enhances performance by resting against the forearm in various styles like hook or blade.

f5 mfg psa jakl stock

Conversely, an SBR features a rifled barrel shorter than 16 inches and an overall length under 26 inches, distinguished by its buttstock. This stock, essential for a firearm to qualify as an SBR, offers stability and control, allowing the shooter to shoulder the weapon.

atf sbr law

Legally, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has fluctuated in its stance on stabilizing braces. Using the brace as a stock could reclassify a pistol as an SBR, depending on ATF's current position. SBR ownership requires a $200 tax, thorough background checks, and ATF registration, unlike pistols with braces that demand minimal formalities.

psa jakl ar15 receiver adapter

Furthermore, SBRs face restrictions in interstate transport without ATF permission, a process involving form 5320.20, whereas pistols with braces enjoy more freedom.

Modifying a stabilizing brace or adding a vertical foregrip to a pistol can lead to legal consequences, as it alters the firearm's intended use, potentially reclassifying it as an SBR or 'any other weapon' (AOW), which carries its own set of transportation restrictions.


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