An AR pistol perhaps seems like an oxymoron. After all, ARs are powerful semi-automatic rifles, which, by nature, have a long barrel and take up quite a bit of space. So how can there be an AR pistol?

Bootleg, Inc offers the best AR parts and accessories for those looking to build an AR. We invest in the highest-quality materials in order to bring you reliable and durable parts so you can customize your AR. Below, we’ll take a look at AR pistols. Shop our selection today!


Being a pistol, you should picture a hand-held firearm. An AR pistol is essentially a pistol built with an AR-15 receiver. They have a much shorter barrel than an AR rifle and a shorter buffer tube. This means that you won’t be able to attach an AR stock. You may be asking yourself, “Isn’t this just a short-barrel rifle?” Well, what this boils down to is the definition of a rifle and a pistol. A rifle is designed to be shot from the shoulder, while a pistol is designed to be shot using only one hand. Both guns are meant to only fire a single projectile. In order to build an AR pistol, all you need is an AR receiver, which Bootleg sells that can be built into a pistol or a rifle.

A Brief History of an AR Pistol

Back in 1934, there was a tax placed on short-barreled rifles (SBRs). The tax was $200, which, for the Depression, was a lot of money. Hence, an AR pistol was developed to get around the tax on SBRs. Essentially, an AR pistol gives the shooter the best of both worlds: an SBR but one that can be fired by hand. The other advantages to pistols include the fact that, due to their size, they are easy to carry, store, and conceal. To be a pistol, the barrel must be shorter than 16 inches, not have a stock, and the overall length must be less than 26 inches. An SBR has a barrel shorter than 16 inches and a stock. These are subject to the NFA process, must be registered, and the $200 tax stamp fee still applies. An AR-15 pistol avoids this process. In addition, some states outlaw SBRs completely, making the AR-15 the only viable option for someone wanting a smaller firearm.

How to Build an AR 15 Pistol

Building an AR pistol is very similar to a regular AR build and is not all that complicated. You’ll start with an AR-15 lower receiver. These are no longer labeled as for pistols or rifles. You can use an 80% lower receiver as well by federal law. You’ll next need an AR-15 pistol buffer tube or an AR-15 pistol buffer tube assembly. This does not allow you to attach a stock. You’ll need an upper receiver with a pistol length gas system, which is where you will notice the main difference between an AR-15 rifle and an AR-15 pistol.

Remember you cannot convert a rifle into a pistol by federal law. You can convert a pistol into a rifle and then back again. You cannot add a stock, nor can you shoulder an AR pistol, or it becomes an SBR. You cannot use vertical foregrips, but you can use an angled foregrip. This will help with control. Since an AR pistol is a pistol, you can conceal carry one. Many people prefer to keep one in their vehicles as well.


Bootleg offers extremely high-quality parts to help you take your AR-15 to the next level. We only invest in the best materials, including 7075 aluminum and stainless steel, in order to bring you strong, durable firearm components that will last. From upper receivers to our 5.56 Assembled Nitride Bolt Carrier Group, our CNC-machined AR-15 parts are ready to help you customize and personalize your AR-15 so it fits you. Being able to customize an AR is what many people love about these firearms.

If you are interested in any of our AR-15 parts, such as our Bootleg CamLok M-LOK or our Bootleg SBN Gas Tube, browse our selection, and order online today!