Here are the 6 best AR-15 pistol braces based on design, aesthetics, durability, and price. These work with mil-spec or commercial buffer tubes or it comes with proprietary designs.

*Be sure to check your local state law before buying a pistol brace

Note: As of November 2023 the ATF has updated rules regarding pistol braces, Get updates here

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SB Tactical SBA3

SB tactical sba3 brace

SB Tactical SBA3 is by far the hottest selling AR15 pistol brace on the market for its direct attachment to a standard buffer tube for adjustable positions. 

Adjustable Position - Change length of pull to your preferred configuration

Good Aesthetics - The SBA3 looks and feel like a First Tactical low drag stock that look great on most AR15 pistol builds

Easy Install - Fits any 6 Position MilSpec buffer tube (When ready to SBR your AR, just replace the brace with a stock without messing with the buffer tube)

strike industries pdw brace

Strike Industries PDW brace ranks number 2 on our list for its slick look on any highly customized PDW style AR15 pistols for tight space maneuverability and a comfortable cheek-weld and stabilizing interface.  

Ultra Compact - Retract the brace all the way in for much more compact concealment or PDW carry

Better Vehicle & Tight Space Maneuverability - It doesn't add burden when operating in and out of tight spaces by eliminates any snag hazards and abrasion zones 

Quick Deployment Latch - Simply pull and lock the length of pull

Standard Bolt Carrier - Works with standard length BCG

maxim defense pdw brace

Maxim Defense PDW brace is very similar to the Strike Industries, but it features a completely different buffer system for different builds.  The brace features the same adjustable length of pull as other PDW stocks, and it can be easily replaced with a legal Maxim Defense stock when SBR form is ready.

maxim defense pdw buffer system chart

Different Buffer Weight - H1, H2 & Pistol buffers can be used for centerfire or pistol caliber ammunition

QD Sling Ready - Attach sling to built in anti-rotational sling mounts on each side of the stock housing

Weight: 18.59 oz 7075 T6 aluminum

Length:
5.375” closed
6.875” 1st position
8.375” 2nd position
9.24” fully extended

gear head works tail hooks

The Tailhook is a ATF approved pistol brace design that uses a rigid foldout support arm design to counterbalance muzzle weight to stabilize an AR pistol against the shooter’s forearm. 

The Tailhook pistol braces are much easier to operate than other braces on the market because it's easier to wrap it around the forearm.

Proprietary Buffer Tube - It accepts any carbine length spring and buffer

Greater Flexibility - Adjust the brace on the fly to different shooters.

Works On Other Pistol Builds - Billet machined design work on AR15 pistols as well as other buffer tube configured pistol builds

gear head works tailhooks brace

The Tailhook Mod 2 is an upgraded version of the original Tailhook. This one features a stock alike feel.

Adjustable Length of Pull - Pull in and out to 5 different positions like the SB Tactical SBA3

Much More Durable - High impact reinforced polymer in 3 colors, it remains light weight and rigid.

Compatible With Existing BCG - Keep using the same carbine length spring and buffer

Shockwave Blade - Best For The Money

kak industry shockwave blade pistol brace

The Shockwave blade brace is the best for the money pistol brace. It's a slim fin alike design that gets the job done, but it may not feature the look.

Even though this was the very first design on the market, but we highly suggest checking out the Magpul BSL pistol brace

If you want other upgrades, please check out our AR15 accessories guide here


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FAQ

Are Pistol Braces Legal ?

As of November 2023 the ATF has updated rules regarding pistol braces, Get updates here

Can You Shoulder The Brace Like A Rifle?

At this point (2023), we cannot provide a definitive answer as the ATF continue to change the legal terms for pistol braces.

Should You Shoulder The Pistol While Zeroing The Optic?

Always stabilize the firearm and apply good shooting fundamentals when zeroing an optic.