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Best AR-15 Pistol Braces of 2019 [Review]: Truck Guns Ahoy!


Pistol braces, so hot
right now, coming up. (jazzy music) Hey guys, I’m Johnny
with pewpewtactical.com, your go-to source for gun reviews, gear guides, and all things that go bang. Today we’re looking at a
whole bunch of pistol braces. I’m gonna tell you about
them, I’ll get them out to the range, and I’ll tell
you what you should consider when picking out a brace. Now, if it’s your first
time here, we always put a ton of stuff down below
for you to check out, including a link that’s
gonna go over to our website. And, if you’re already on the
website, you know the drill. Look up above and down
below for more stuff. Check it out and see what you think. AR pistols and pistol caliber carbines are really wildly popular right
now, and with good reason. Partly because it’s a
blast to take small rifles to the range, but also because
of the tactical application of smaller firearms,
like building a truck gun or boogaloo fighting pistol. So, if you’re gonna be
building a short-barreled rifle and having to buy the
tax stamp and go through all that process, instead
you can build a pistol and simply use a brace. Now, before we go any further, this is just a review on the braces. This is not legal advice, and it’s not an exploration of legalities. Follow local, state, and federal
laws, ya’ll know the rules. But also if you really
wanna go wild about the NFA or the ATF jump down to the
comment section and let it rip. All right, let’s talk about the braces. Mostly you can divide
braces into two categories, those that go on to standard
mil-spec buffer tubes and those that use a
pistol-specific buffer tube. Up first is the SB Mini, and mini it is. It uses a pistol buffer tube and it has the smallest footprint
of any that I’ve tested. It’s the lightest in size, it’s
about four Georgia peaches. Street price right now is about $63.00. You can also get the SB Mini as a kit, which comes with the SB Hex buffer tube. It’s specifically cut for
the Mini and with the kit, and the mini brace,
comes in at about $100. Also, using a pistol buffer
tube is the Shockwave Blade. It uses a single piece of
plastic that comes in at $29, and it’s about six peaches big. Next is the SBM4, it slides
right onto a pistol buffer tube and it stays on with friction. It’s about eight peaches in size and it provides a big cheek weld. Street price right now is about $79. Okay, let’s talk about adjustable braces. I got three for ya. First is the SBA4, it’s
just like the SBM4, so it’s got plenty of
room for a cheek weld. The SBA4 uses a standard
mil-spec buffer tube. It adjusts to five different positions and it’s got QD attachment points. Current price is $129. The SBA3 is similar, it
uses a mil-spec buffer tube, but it’s a little smaller and
without the big cheek weld. It adjusts to four different
positions and it’s also $129. Finally, is the SBPDW for you PDW fans. The brace is adjustable
to three positions, it uses a standard mil-spec carbine tube and is the Cadillac of the
braces that I’ve tested. Comes in right now at $239. Now, all the braces I tested were black, but you can get every brace
here in flat dark earth and a few other colors
on some of the models. Installation is super easy. The adjustable ones go right
on to a mil-spec buffer tube, just like a regular stock. And the other system requires
for you to change out your buffer tube, which might
take an entire six minutes. Righty tighty, lefty loosey, ya’ll. Now, the worst for me was a
couple of the friction braces did not wanna go on, they
got a little bit stuck. Use a little bit of baby
powder, it’s gonna be okay. All right, let’s get out to the range. I had a lot of fun testing these. I used three different 5.56 platforms and one nine millimeter side charger. I swapped out the braces on all the guns and I did mag dumps to see how
the braces felt when in use. Now, let me be clear. On some level, they’re all braces. They’re similar in feel and function. They all serve a purpose and
they do that purpose well, but, here’s four things
for you to consider when picking out a brace. First, is the aesthetics. A viewer emailed in the other
day and asked me my opinion between two different
braces and he was surprised when I suggested that
all things being equal, just get the one that
you think looks cool. Again, braces are a tool
and they do their job well. Second, if you’re gonna be
doing a lot of cheek welding, get the brace with the
largest upper section ’cause fighting zombies in the boogaloo with just a buffer tube
up against your face is less than optimal. Third, decide if you want
yours to be adjustable or not. Or, do pistol builds, one of each. Finally, consider the
price, huge difference between the $29 Shockwave,
and the $239 SBPDW. Now, here’s my official opinion. I really like the SB Mini. I’ve got them on several
of my personal pistols. I like the size, I like the
look and I like the price. Now, for adjustable, I
don’t have a strong opinion between the SBA3 and the SBA4, but I do think the three is a little easier on the eyes. Now, if you’re doing a build from scratch, consider the Mini Hex Kit. That buffer tube fits perfectly and I think you’re gonna be happy overall. Finally, if you’re simply
rehabbing an AR rifle, go with an adjustable one. You can keep your current
buffer system in place. Now, there’s a few things from this test I didn’t like at all. I found the PDW brace
a little bit cumbersome to get used to, you’re gonna have to practice with the deployment. And when the brace was
in the shortest position, I had trouble getting my
thumb onto the bang switch. Now, in a firefight with
Charlie, that’s a problem. Finally, there’s no words
in the English language to describe how much I don’t
like the Shockwave Blade. I’ve bought multiple
personal guns with Blades on them and I’ve changed
them out for SBs immediately. The Shockwave Blade is a
clunky piece of plastic that looks terrible, feels terrible, and it makes me slightly
irrationally angry. Now, my question for
you is what did I miss? There’s a ton more braces on the market. What’s your favorite, maybe
what’s your least favorite? Let me know down below. We’d love to hear your opinion. On behalf of the entire
Pew Pew Tactical team, I’m Johnny, we’ll see ya soon.

59 thoughts on “Best AR-15 Pistol Braces of 2019 [Review]: Truck Guns Ahoy!

  1. All these dang pistol braces….
    Everytime I get the coolest one made…
    They come out with somethin' cooler. Still with all the cool stuff Johnny, the Shockwave and SB mini are my favorite. I sometimes sporadically touch my shoulder but, my shoulder identifies as a cheek so, no way to run a foul of the law.👍🇺🇸

  2. Nothing makes me happier than a gear reviewer saying he doesn't like something. Thanks for keeping it real.

  3. I ran 5.56 for my first “pistol” build but made it carbine length.
    SBA3 for the stock with a law folder so I can fit it in my book bag and conceal carry it.

  4. Shot one mag with the shockwave blade, immediately converted it to help steer my jon boat. SBA3 all day for me purely because of QD placement. Great video!

  5. We all know you're Johnny, but are you happy? That's the question. The S.B.3 is what I put on my pistol build. The mil-spec buffer adjustments is what I liked about it. (when the zombies rise I'm putting a stock on it. Don't tell zombie ATF please)

  6. Man o man Johnny you made my day. In the market for a good truck gun and you used a unit of measurement this Georgia boy is familiar with! Thanks! The best quick and concise reviews on the tube!!!

  7. You mentioned “rehabbing a current rifle” which if you mean converting a rifle to a pistol, that’s not federally legal 😭 just FYI

  8. The sba3 and sba4 are the tits. It's nice to be able to swap from a pistol to a rifle if you only have one lower with high end parts. It just needs to start life as a pistol to be able to go back and forth. Don't make a rifle into a pistol, especially if it was purchased as a complete rifle and not a stripped lower. That's a no go.

    In any case I love the cheek weld and rigidity of the sba4. But the sba3 is lighter and the qd slots are in a better place in my opinion.

  9. Can someone help me? I wanna make a 460 rowland ar pistol. What receiver set or pistol should I start with?

  10. Great review! I have to agree with you about the Shockwave. I replaced mine with the SBA3 on my 10.5" 300 blk. I kinda don't get the appeal of the PDW.. . Then again, I haven't used it.

  11. MMMM peaches…. Adjustable all the way. The SBA4 looks more stock like but the SBA3 does look better over all in my opinion.

  12. I am actually a big fan of the shockwave blade when paired with one of their receiver extensions. Even though it is a bit spartan it does everything I need it to and the material itself seems like it would hold up better in the long run. I must admit i have been considering the sba3 a lot.

  13. I think the biggest consideration when buying a truck gun is price. Do you want to lose 1000 dollars or 200 bucks? Now, about the braces, I think the SOB (SOB47, too), SBA3, and FS1913 are the best choices; while the PDW braces are nice and compact, their 200+ dollar price tag really is a massive draw back.

  14. If you do reviews on all things that go bang, then where is that American Pride MountainDew fueled review on fireworks for the 4th of July!

  15. they make acr adapter braces for almost all the popular pdw's like mp5s, stribog, scorpions, AK's, etc…let that sink in

  16. I'm surprised you didn't mention the Tailhook Mod 1 or Mod 2

    The mod 2 is adjustable and very comfortable

  17. Go off on the alphabet bois? Id never criticize our unelected, unconstitutional, bureaucratic, overlords. Nor mention February 28 1993, especially what happened to pregnant women and children that day. They are the government after all and theyre here to help keep us from the dangers of freedom.

  18. What make is that 4 inch flash can, brotha? Been looking for something like that, for awhile. Keep up the good works!!

  19. Any gun control legislation is unconstitutional therefore it is our duty as citizens to willfully and civilly disobey. All gun owners, manufacturers and, stores should willfully and civilly disobey all unconstitutional legislation, meaning all legislation, period!

  20. DON'T forget that fiddly lil spring under the rear plate if taking an "original" pistol tube off to replace. You should am replacement set of lower bits anyway…

  21. You cant legally rehab a rifle into a pistol. You can rehab a pistol into a rifle or an SBR if you have a tax stamp though… but once a rifle always a rifle.

  22. I bought the Gear Head Tailhook. It has sharp edges for your cheek and some wiggle. The worst part is it slips up and down on your shoulder. I have the KAK Blade brace and it works better for me. I JB Welded the brace to the KAK tube and put a split piece of fuel line on the back. Pulling it tight into your shoulder is more uncomfortable than shooting it.

  23. Im lost how anyone likes the Blade, its hard, edges suck, and its too light (if thats a real issue)…Get the SBA3 and SBA4 or the PDW braces.

  24. I don’t know… I like the blade. It has toughest, simplest construction. It’s rigid and does not flex. No Velcro, no wobble, and the least expensive. It’s a no frills design that’s perfect for a gym bag in my trunk.

  25. Hey Johnny good to see you over here a Pew Pew tactical. I just found this channel and subscribe and loan behold there you are. anyhow, my question is I just bought a AR pistol kit from palmetto State arms. It is coming with an SBA3 brace. I do not see anybody talking about those anymore, and was wondering if I was just getting a brace that was discontinued with my kit? Do you have any idea about those models? I believe it's the SBA3.

    Thanques

  26. To hell with the metric system, we are switching to the peach measuring system. I expect you to convert by the time I finish 4 peaches.

  27. I built a 5.56 Cadillac, Aero precision Stripped upper and lower, Noveske diplomat 7 1/2" barrel with the kx5 flaming pig, Trijicon MRO with Geissele Super Precision MRO Series Optic Mount, Geissele( supper charging handle, Super Modular Rail MK13 M-LOK 7", Low-Profile Super Gas Block, Super Semi-Automatic Enhanced (SSA-E) Trigger, Maritime Bolt Catch, Super 42 Braided Wire Buffer Spring and Buffer Combo, lower parts kit) Phase 5 Hex-2 Pistol Buffer Tube (no brace) noveske end plate and take down pins. 20 round magpul p-mag in a eberlestock Cherry Bomb Pack

  28. Johnny Ive had difficulty in applying for my permits here in NY. And its pathetic because i have a clean record. But I absolutely love guns.I LOVE shooting!!!Ive had it in the past but for rifles and shotguns in NYC. Anyhow Im just gonna begin with my FFL Class 3. Gotta find a good safe and security system. Look I'm very aware of the stupidity the some fools can bring. So safety first! I know i can make a few bucks. Paperwork? I'll get used to. By the letter! Johnny Thank you for letting me vent! I think you are on the money!!!

  29. Umm…I'm pretty sure shouldering your brace makes it an SBR. For the same reason you aren't allowed to put a vertical forward grip on it. Might wanna check with the NFA on this.

  30. Hey Johnny, it's Hulk. How ya doin? I bought the SBA 3 for my AR pistol and I really like it. What I've been trying to find out is, what's the difference between that brace, since it's adjustable, and and adjustable AR butt stock, like the MFT? I haven't gotten a definitive answer on that question. What makes one legal to be shouldered and one not, as they are both adjustable? Is the only difference because the SBA 3 is marketed/sold, as a brace? And all the others are marketed/sold as butt stocks? Is it simply a matter of the wording? Or is it the ''design'' of the brace?

  31. I was under the understanding that, per ATF regs, you couldn't take just any lower and slap a pistol brace and short barrel on it. If you buy a pistol lower you can put a normal stock on it, but if you have put a rifle stock on a lower you are no longer able to convert it to a pistol brace without the ATF raising its eyebrow at you. This is the second video where you mention doing something that sounds like taking old uppers and putting pistol braces on them, or taking a milspec buffer/rifle stock off of a lower and putting a pistol brace on it. Am I misunderstanding the ATF rules on this? I ain't no lawyer and i sometimes don't read good. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  32. So… considering these were made for pistols and the whole concept came from someone that had one arm… What one can you really use one handed the best? Most seem designed to strap to your arm to stabilize the pistol. How does that work? are they comfortable? I know most wont use them like that but some will. Would be nice to see how its done.

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