There has long been a debate about which is better In the US shooting society - an AR-15 rifle or a pistol created on the same platform. Let's see what is the difference between these types of firearms and which one is more suitable for you. The rifle itself is a high-quality designer from which you can make almost any firearm that the applicant would like, thereby gaining respect all over the world, a reliable and easy-to-use system has many variations, one of which is the AR-15 pistol, designed specifically as a more compact and maneuverable version, based on years of proven technology. Let's now take a look at the pros and cons. The main difference between the rifle is that it has a 16-inch (or more) rifled barrel and a shoulder stock. The AR-15 pistol is classified as a pistol due to the fact that its barrel is much shorter. In addition to this, the pistol is distinguished by the presence of a buffer tube or stabilization bracket on the back of the receiver. It is thanks to its classification that the AR-15 pistol will free you from the need to have a special permit and a ~200$ tax. This is the first thing to consider when choosing between these two types of firearms. If we talk about shooting qualities, then the main thing you need to pay attention to is accuracy, maneuverability, speed and range. In terms of accuracy, the full size AR-15 barrel has the best performance due to sufficient space for the combustion of gunpowder, this also applies to speed and accuracy, which can be improved by increasing the size of the barrel, in which case the percentage of muzzle velocity increases to 30%, to in addition, the long barrel of the gun provides greater stability in the behavior of the bullet. Especially the difference between a shotgun and a pistol will be noticeable if you refuse to use a pistol stabilizing brace. In the case of using a pistol at long distances, your experience will be rather negative, but it should be noted that the pistol itself is of course the most maneuverable and convenient to use, it does not take up much space, it can easily fit in a small case and at short distances he does his job well. Among other things, you need to pay attention to the choice of caliber, in an AR-15 pistol chambered for a rifle, a shorter barrel is a noticeable detriment compared to an AR-15 rifle barrel. Handgun cartridges use relatively fast-burning propellants to ensure that the charge reaches peak pressure quickly. This feature allows the powder to propel the bullet to useful velocity in a short barrel.
In contrast, rifle cartridges tend to use slow-burning propellants that take full advantage of the long barrel. For example, when you reduce the barrel length of a 5.56mm firearm from 20 inches to 7.5 inches, you lose about 1,000 feet per second. This has a significant impact on how the bullet performs once it hits its target. The 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, especially with the M193 and M855 FMJ bullets, is highly dependent on entry speed for its ultimate effectiveness. When a bullet hits a soft target, such as an animal or an attacker, with a high enough velocity, the bullet will not behave as desired. However, these bullets also tend to break at the flute during firing, fragmenting in the process. Although not every rifle cartridge has the 5.56mm cartridge end features, every rifle caliber is subject to performance degradation when fired in a short barrel. Intermediate rifle cartridges typically use bullet weights of the same or less common service pistol bullets. Fortunately, cartridges such as 300 Blackout and 6.8mm SPC achieve more confident and impressive results in short rifles and AR-15 pistols. Another important point when using the AR15 pistol is its sound. From any use of firearms on the AR-15 platform, the muzzle blast will be very loud. The sound of a pistol shot will be even louder. Therefore, there is a recommendation to use a silencer so as not to go deaf, especially if you suddenly have to use a firearm indoors. Under no circumstances should you use a muzzle brake or compensator when defending in a closed room - this can cause irreparable damage to your hearing. The fireball from unburned powder is also very massive when using a 4", 7" and 9" barrel and a standard 5.56 round. Such a flash can blind you, especially when used in the dark, this is something to keep in mind when choosing a caliber for your AR-15 pistol. and of course, in any dispute regarding the choice between a pistol and a rifle on the AR-15 platform, you will come across the topic of recoil. AR-15 rifles with longer barrels generate higher muzzle velocities. Higher speeds also equate to more kinetic energy. However, AR-15 pistols, due to the shorter barrel length, also have less weight. In pistol caliber variants, the recoil is generally manageable - after all, an AR-15 pistol tends to weigh more than a pistol that would normally fire a cartridge. In the supersonic 300 Blackout and 6.8mm SPC, the recoil is stronger. Finally, a long rifle barrel gives you more room for accessories, which of course will give you options that a short barrel can't. The use of certain accessories on a pistol may violate the ATF rules - this is worth considering. Well, the result can be summarized in simple words: if you have a choice between an AR-15 rifle and an AR-15 pistol, then of course everything depends on the goals that you set for yourself. If you need long-range accuracy and to take full advantage of the terminal ballistics of a rifle caliber, you should consider purchasing a full-fledged rifle. The carbine, which typically has a barrel length of 14.5-16 inches, provides increased maneuverability without sacrificing too much power or range.
If, however, space constraints call for an ultra-short firearm that still delivers reasonable firepower, the AR-15 pistol can fill that niche role. For self-defense, the short version of the AR is perhaps preferable - it is more maneuverable, lighter and has enough power. Military forces are switching to these nimble guns for close combat as they are the perfect solution for this task. In addition, the gun will take up less space and is very convenient for transportation. As for the AR-15 rifle, this classic, which will be in demand for a long time to come, especially where accuracy and speed are needed at medium and long distances, in tactical combat and hunting, the advantages of a long barrel will most likely outweigh the advantages of compactness and maneuverability.
And with all this, it should be noted that both of these options are excellent solutions, but for different tasks. In order to determine which is better, you need to conduct your research, adding up all the pros and cons that are relevant for you.