Pistol (or stabilizing) braces are fantastic accessories that help you, as a shooter, to convert your AR or AK pistol into a short-barreled assault weapon. Normally, this does not comply with the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) since any rifle with a barrel that measures less than 16 inches is obliged to be registered and meet some additional standards. That being said, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has ruled that pistol braces are permitted since 2012 but it is always a good idea to ensure that you know how to use your pistol brace safely and securely.
A pistol brace is a great item to have as they provide a great deal of utility as it can be added to your AR pistol’s buffer system or your pistol caliber carbines to provide additional control and support.
Stabilizing braces (or pistol braces) are fairly new accessories to the world of guns and they were first brought to the market back in 2012 by an army veteran, Alex Bosco, who saw a great need for them. When at a shooting range one day with a disabled friend, Bosco became concerned when his friend was requested to stop firing his weapon due to the range master’s fears that he did not have sufficient control over his weapon.
After this event, Bosco vowed to come up with a workable solution to assist folks like his friend to be able to shoot safely. He then went on to invent his first stabilizing brace and tried it out with many disabled veterans that he knew. Once he found that the pistol brace was safe to use and could help countless people, Bosco sought approval from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the rest is history!
In terms of functionality, a pistol brace is, generally speaking, attached to your receiver extension (also known as the buffer tube) on your AR pistol. Using a pistol brace can greatly improve your accuracy when shooting by stabilizing your forearm, as well as your pistol itself when it is fired with one hand.
When using a pistol brace, it will be fitted with adjustable straps so that you can easily tighten it around your forearm. This movement helps you to shoot much more accurately and also reduces the recoil when you are firing with a single hand. If you use a pistol brace with a short-barreled weapon, it will then, according to the law, be considered as a pistol.
Many gun owners enjoy using their pistol braces as a traditional stock. Although the 2015 ATF ruling stated that if your weapon has a barrel length less than 16 inches and it is braced, it will be considered as a redesign of the weapon, this ruling was later changed. Today, if you fire a weapon that is equipped with a brace from the shoulder, it is not classified as an NFA weapon.
You are probably wondering how a pistol brace could help you, as an able-bodied person, to improve your shooting experience if it was designed with disabled folks in mind. Well, the answer is a simple one and many people don’t know that the majority of pistol brace owners do not use them for stabilization. In fact, they are more often than not used as highly effective replacements for your standard stock systems.
Pistol braces are revolutionary items in that they allow disabled people (who were previously unable to use their weapons safely and accurately) to use their firearms with confidence and peace of mind. Looking for the most suitable legal pistol braces for your needs?
The good news as well is that you can legally place a pistol brace on your shoulder. This ruling is a result of a lot of back and forth over the years over how safe this is but the take home message is that you can definitely fire your AR pistol from your shoulder.
If you are still worried about the legality of owning a pistol brace, you should know that it is not against the law to own or to use a stabilizing brace. This is as long as you use it in the way it was intended to be used (i.e. to bring additional stabilization to your arm and to shoot more accurately).