How To Shoot an “SBR” Pistol With an Optic

AR15 pistols, Sub-gun pistols, and AR10 Pistols are getting more popular in the civilian market, and people love them because they're pretty much SBRs with stabilizing braces without any NFA paperwork.


The question is… does it make sense to shoot an 8 – 14 lb “SBR pistol” with an optic (red dot or magnified), but not shouldering it?

The short answer is: No matter what the ATF law says in the future regarding pistol braces, the worst thing to do is to shoot an optic equipped rifle WITHOUT proper shooting fundamentals.

The good news is that… now you can shoulder the brace legally to have better stability while shooting.

In this article, we still want to go over why NOT shouldering a “pistol” that feels and performs like a long gun is such an idiotic idea.

Let's see why…

8 Reasons Not To Shoot A “Rifle Pistol” Literally Not Shouldering It

Shooting AR15 with arm brace

If the ATF has made shouldering a pistol brace illegal infinitely, here are the 8 reasons Why NOT shouldering the gun is a bad idea.

  • You wouldn't teach a new shooter this way
  • Total non-sense
  • Say goodbye to accuracy & precision
  • Impossible to use a magnified optic
  • Impossible to aim down the sight if strapped to shooter's arm
  • Can't correctly zero optic
  • No recoil control
  • Dangerous when dealing with larger caliber “pistols.”

This applies to all kinds of “SBR” pistols on the market. MPX, AR, and other PCC type of guns.

Easier To Shoot Pistols Without Any Stock/Receiver Extension?

shooting hk mp5k

It's honestly not that easy to shoot a long gun without the stock. Not everyone is used to shooting like this, but it definitely works for some people, so find what works for you.

The best way to shoot a long gun is to get behind the stock tight and have 3 points of contact to stabilize the firearm in your workspace so you can shoot and aim more accurately.

But… if you have something like the MP5K, Non-stock AK pistol or other types of smaller guns.

They can be helpful tools for home defense in CQB environments.

The trick is to:

  • Get the largest FOV red dot sight for faster dot pick up without having to search through the glass
  • Shoot with 2 eyes open
  • Use a single point sling and tighten up the hold of the gun out more for stability
  • Keep the gun as light as possible
  • Pistol caliber carbine is the best weapon platform for this
  • Treat it like a CQB point and shoot type of weapon system

Pistol Braces Drama [Back Then]

ar10 pistol with sba3 brace

The back and forth between legal to shoulder or not legal to shoulder was very confusing, but it eventually came around to what we have today.

When pistol braces were introduced to the civilian market around 2012, everyone was excited about building and owning basically “short barrel rifles” without the headache of NFA paperwork.

However, ATF has concluded that attaching the brace to a handgun as a forearm brace does not ‘make' a short-barreled firearm.


They also said that a pistol brace isn't designed as a shoulder stock, the “use” of the device as a shoulder stock would constitute a “redesign” of the firearm to which it was attached, resulting in the
classification of t
hat firearm as a short-barreled rifle.

All of this is to work around the law, but not practical whatsoever for legit proper firearm fundamentals.

The good news is that now you can shoulder a brace, and it doesn't change the classification of the weapon whatsoever.