SBR or pistol

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LDB415
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SBR or pistol

#1

Post by LDB415 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:25 am

I'd like to have something in 5.56 that is shorter and more easily transported than an AR rifle/carbine. Looking at the SA Victor line as representative examples, the SBR is one inch longer overall but has a 4" longer barrel. I'd think that would be a definite advantage. I know very little about either option so in addition to researching I'm inquiring.

How difficult/expensive/challenging/annoying is it to buy either option? Also, how long does it take? Is one significantly more recommended than the other? What else should one know when they don't know what all to ask?
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denwego
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Re: SBR or pistol

#2

Post by denwego » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:54 am

As far as my opinion of amusement and function goes, SBR all the way, baby! I've shot pistols, pistols with braces, and proper SBRs, and the SBR is always the easiest, most comfortable, and most accurate of the bunch. I've never regretted any of my stamps. I think the reason why the SBR Victor has a barrel 4" inches longer but 1" of overall length is that the SBR has a collapsable stock; you can get a shorter brace setup or a folding adapter if you want the OAL to be shorter for the pistol. By the way, I have a 7.5" barrel AR SBRs and GOOD LORD, 7.5" is PUNISHING on the ears. If you go with the off the shelf Victor pistol 7.5", you should be aware that shooting it indoors is literally better than dying in a gunfight and not much else. I use a 10.5" unless I have no choice on the shorter barrel for some reason.

So, the main issue you'll run into as a practical matter is whether or not to do a Form 1 or Form 4 to get yourself one of the SBR Victors. Form 4 is what's used to buy a SBR in the configuration of a SBR from a store or manufacturer, and a Form 1 is what's used to take a pistol or a full-length rifle and then change it into a SBR yourself. I heavily recommend doing it yourself on a Form 1 for two huge reasons:

1 - If you buy a Victor pistol, get a Form 1 stamp, and then add a stock yourself, you can then take the stock off and revert to a pistol whenever you like. This can help a bunch if you cross state lines or other such situations where a SBR is inconvenient or illegal. You also will have the pistol itself to enjoy on the range or to carry for however long it takes your stamp to come back, but a Form 4 transfer is stuck in the safe at the dealer until it's approved.

2 - The ATF processing time difference between a 1 and a 4 is insane at the moment. A Form 4 has to be done on paper and has a wait time of 280-310 days right now, so if you really want a SA Victor off the shelf, you might have yourself a nice Christmas present this year. A Form 1 can be done electronically on your home computer and is almost infinitely faster... not to bring up wounds with forum members who are waiting on a silencer, but I submitted my last eForm 1 on 3/31 and it came back on 4/10. If you don't mind springing the extra $200 for the stamp, just having it in case you want it is hardly a hassle of time or effort anymore.

Hope this helped!

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Grumpy1993
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Re: SBR or pistol

#3

Post by Grumpy1993 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:01 pm

If they have the same barrel length, there's no reason an AR pistol can't be as short as an AR SBR. The receiver extension (buffer tube) is the limiting factor, and you can buy shorter extensions (or a LAW folder) for either configuration.

SBR advantages: real stock, no problems if ATF changes their mind about pistol braces, not a handgun so LTC isn't required to carry and 46.035/30.06/30.07 don't apply.

Pistol advantages: no $200 tax, no wait, no CLEO notification, transport across state lines without notifying gov, private buy/sell without gov paperwork, can be used by friends/family, et cetera.
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Grumpy1993
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Re: SBR or pistol

#4

Post by Grumpy1993 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:08 pm

denwego wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:54 am
By the way, I have a 7.5" barrel AR SBRs and GOOD LORD, 7.5" is PUNISHING on the ears. If you go with the off the shelf Victor pistol 7.5", you should be aware that shooting it indoors is literally better than dying in a gunfight and not much else. I use a 10.5" unless I have no choice on the shorter barrel for some reason.
:iagree:

A 7.5" 300BO isn't bad but shooting a 7.5" 5.56 makes an impression

On the other hand, a 7.5" 22LR AR is much fun.
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The Annoyed Man
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Re: SBR or pistol

#5

Post by The Annoyed Man » Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:11 pm

Grumpy1993 wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:08 pm
denwego wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:54 am
By the way, I have a 7.5" barrel AR SBRs and GOOD LORD, 7.5" is PUNISHING on the ears. If you go with the off the shelf Victor pistol 7.5", you should be aware that shooting it indoors is literally better than dying in a gunfight and not much else. I use a 10.5" unless I have no choice on the shorter barrel for some reason.
:iagree:

A 7.5" 300BO isn't bad but shooting a 7.5" 5.56 makes an impression

On the other hand, a 7.5" 22LR AR is much fun.
My two SBRs are a 10.5” .300 Blackout and a 11.5” 5.56 NATO. I think that, with perhaps the exception of .300 Blk, shorter barrels than that begin to erode the advantages offered by a bottleneck rifle cartridge. My son has a 7.5” SBR in 5.56, and it is crazy LOUD. All that noise is the sound of combustion that is NOT pushing a bullet down a barrel, NOT building up the bullet's velocity. I have not yet chronographed bullet velocities from my son's barrel, but I would not be surprised if the bullet's performance falls well below its design parameters.

At that point, it seems to me that a pistol caliber SBR with a 7” or 8” barrel offers bullet performance that is actually better than from a standard pistol platform with its 4”-5” barrel length....and without the extremely obnoxious BOOM! every time you pull the trigger. Plus, a lot of suppressor manufacturers will not warranty a rifle caliber suppressor for barrels under 10” in length, because all of that incomplete combustion happening outside the barrel is really hard on their cans. So my son can't suppress his 7.5” SBR, while I have no problem suppressing my 10.5” and 11.5” SBRs.

As to whether an SBR or a pistol is better for an AR platform, there’s advantages and disadvantages to both. The pistol is easier to travel with if you want to go out of state. For instance, when I was up in Oklahoma last Thanksgiving, I traveled with my 20" AR, when I would have preferred taking my SBR. Taking my suppressor along presented no problems, but transporting my SBR across state lines would have been a process involving paperwork, ATF, and OK law enforcement....too much hassle....whereas an AR pistol presents no such problem. MY son's brother in law brought along a .300 Blk pistol on that trip, and faced no problems. OTH, I prefer the feel and function of a rifle stock to a pistol brace....so I went with SBRs instead of pistols.
Grumpy1993 wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:01 pm
If they have the same barrel length, there's no reason an AR pistol can't be as short as an AR SBR. The receiver extension (buffer tube) is the limiting factor, and you can buy shorter extensions (or a LAW folder) for either configuration.

SBR advantages: real stock, no problems if ATF changes their mind about pistol braces, not a handgun so LTC isn't required to carry and 46.035/30.06/30.07 don't apply.

Pistol advantages: no $200 tax, no wait, no CLEO notification, transport across state lines without notifying gov, private buy/sell without gov paperwork, can be used by friends/family, et cetera.
I tend not to worry about ATF changing their minds about pistol braces. With what we saw happen to bump stocks most recently, I take it as a given that some fascistic bastard in gov’t is going to get the AR platform banned someday in ALL if its formats, and registered SBR versus pistol will be a moot point anyway - they’ll BOTH be banned, along with carbines and full length rifles. In that day, the only decision will be whether to surrender, or to fight for your liberty, using the very platform you had the foresight to invest in before that day arrives.
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes.—The Annoyed Boy
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Re: SBR or pistol

#6

Post by snapcap45 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:53 pm

SBR is definitely the way to go despite the red tape and wait time. You can do your Form 1 application online through the ATF's eforms website. Nice thing about an SBR is you can register under one caliber but that does not prevent you from putting multiple uppers on it in a different caliber.

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Re: SBR or pistol

#7

Post by Grumpy1993 » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:04 pm

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 3:11 pm
I tend not to worry about ATF changing their minds about pistol braces. With what we saw happen to bump stocks most recently, I take it as a given that some fascistic bastard in gov’t is going to get the AR platform banned someday in ALL if its formats, and registered SBR versus pistol will be a moot point anyway - they’ll BOTH be banned, along with carbines and full length rifles.
It's possible but that requires new federal legislation.

Ruling pistol braces that can be shouldered are stocks is a slam dunk for ATF, especially compared to the bump stock ban. Federal law still allows citizens to register SBRs so there's no "taking" argument. It's just a requirement to pay the tax. Even if Trump doesn't push it as his next "reasonable restriction" he set a precedent for the next POTUS, and SCOTUS pretty much green lit the move by not granting cert on bump stocks.
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Re: SBR or pistol

#8

Post by MaduroBU » Fri May 31, 2019 2:02 am

A rifle normally releases gas at the muzzle at 3-5000 psi. A .50 with a carbine length barrel (29" vs the 45"found on an M2) will do 9000 psi. An SBR can't match the amount of gas from a .50, but it will exceed the pressure. Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons has a YouTube clip that demomstrates this issue:

https://youtu.be/oU_sOb7Fkdo

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Beiruty
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Re: SBR or pistol

#9

Post by Beiruty » Fri May 31, 2019 3:35 am

I would like to SBR this one
https://photos.app.goo.gl/AkX1NgyNiPtMfbKL8
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Re: SBR or pistol

#10

Post by SigM4 » Fri May 31, 2019 6:26 am

Beiruty wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:35 am
I would like to SBR this one
https://photos.app.goo.gl/AkX1NgyNiPtMfbKL8
Very nice choice
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Re: SBR or pistol

#11

Post by troglodyte » Fri May 31, 2019 6:56 am

As far as SBR vs. Pistol, as others have said, six of one - half a dozen of another. There are pros and cons to both. I do not have an SBR but will likely pull the stamp for at least one of my pistols to be able to swap for reasons mentioned.

Caliber is another topic. I do not own a 5.56 short barrel but I have shot enough of them to know it is trending to the unpleasant side. The blast is abrupt and the flash can be impressive. I chose to go with the 300 BO and find there is no, or almost no flash, and the blast is comparable to a handgun. My shortest is a 7.5" barrel and it shoots as well as I can. I have never shot a pistol caliber SBR so I can't speak there.

The nice thing is, if you get a SBR/Pistol in 5.56 you can always swap a 300 BO barrel on to the upper if you desire.
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The Annoyed Man
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Re: SBR or pistol

#12

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri May 31, 2019 9:00 am

MaduroBU wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:02 am
A rifle normally releases gas at the muzzle at 3-5000 psi. A .50 with a carbine length barrel (29" vs the 45"found on an M2) will do 9000 psi. An SBR can't match the amount of gas from a .50, but it will exceed the pressure. Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons has a YouTube clip that demomstrates this issue:

https://youtu.be/oU_sOb7Fkdo
My former neighbor was issued an STG-57 when he served in the Swiss Army a long time ago. That’s an impressive weapon. But that video is exactly what being around my son's 7.5” 5.56 SBR is like. The last time I saw him shoot it, outdoors in bright sunlight, the muzzle flash was WAY too bright, and the noise was obnoxious even with ear pro. It would be a terrible choice for inside the home self defense even in daytime. At night all it will do is totally blind you, deafen you, and give away your position. That is why my two primary HD weapons are a suppressed 11.5” 5.56 SBR, and a suppressed Glock 17 loaded with subsonics. Little to no muzzle flash, much easier on the ears, and the pistol with suppressed subsonics is pretty much hearing safe.
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
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LDB415
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Re: SBR or pistol

#13

Post by LDB415 » Fri May 31, 2019 9:23 am

My main interest is something easily transportable but more capable than a G26 or similar.
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The Annoyed Man
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Re: SBR or pistol

#14

Post by The Annoyed Man » Fri May 31, 2019 9:39 am

LDB415 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:23 am
My main interest is something easily transportable but more capable than a G26 or similar.
How about a basic AR carbine, with a LAWS Tactical folding stock adapter, or a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 carbine that will take G19 or G17 mags, or a Ruger PC9 take down carbine with the Glock magazine block installed? On the 9mm guns, a 16” barrel equals increased performance, with the ability to use mags that are compatible with your pistol.

(BTW, after buying and shooting a PC9, I gave my Sub-2000 to my son.)
Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself.—Hookalakah Meshobbab
I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes.—The Annoyed Boy
My dream is to have lived my life so well that future generations of leftists will demand my name be removed from buildings.

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Beiruty
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Re: SBR or pistol

#15

Post by Beiruty » Fri May 31, 2019 9:41 am

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 9:00 am
MaduroBU wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:02 am
A rifle normally releases gas at the muzzle at 3-5000 psi. A .50 with a carbine length barrel (29" vs the 45"found on an M2) will do 9000 psi. An SBR can't match the amount of gas from a .50, but it will exceed the pressure. Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons has a YouTube clip that demomstrates this issue:

https://youtu.be/oU_sOb7Fkdo
My former neighbor was issued an STG-57 when he served in the Swiss Army a long time ago. That’s an impressive weapon. But that video is exactly what being around my son's 7.5” 5.56 SBR is like. The last time I saw him shoot it, outdoors in bright sunlight, the muzzle flash was WAY too bright, and the noise was obnoxious even with ear pro. It would be a terrible choice for inside the home self defense even in daytime. At night all it will do is totally blind you, deafen you, and give away your position. That is why my two primary HD weapons are a suppressed 11.5” 5.56 SBR, and a suppressed Glock 17 loaded with subsonics. Little to no muzzle flash, much easier on the ears, and the pistol with suppressed subsonics is pretty much hearing safe.
If you need a real Personal Protection SBR, here is your best choice
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