Carrying the weapon can be necessary for safety needs. Shooting sports can be another reason for someone. Anyway, having a concealed carry license, you can have pistols into a vehicle or in personal belongings, just following the legal rules.

Best Pistol Brace - Editor's Choice

AR-15 pistols are admitted to be suitable for home defense and hunting. Reading the review below about pistol braces of different brands, you can estimate their benefits and pitfalls, before purchasing one.

Why do we need a pistol brace?

A firearm is considered a pistol, which is designed to be fired with one hand. The AR-15 pistol is one of the AR-15-based guns, lightweight semi-automatic. The letters AR means ArmaLite Rifle. In the late 1950s, ArmaLite designed a military rifle. Now Colt is the exclusive owner of the “AR-15” indication.

A pistol stabilizing brace is a device usually fastened to the buffer tube (receiver extension) of the AR pistol. A pistol brace is needed to boost accuracy: when fired with one hand, the shooter’s forearm is used as a support and stabilizer of the AR pistol.

TOP-13 Pistol Brace | Best AR 15 Pistol Brace

ImageProductBrand
Maxim Defense Industries CQB Pistol - PDW Brace for AR15Maxim Defense IndustriesBUY
Dead Foot Arms Subcompact Weapon 4in Tailhook BraceDead Foot ArmsBUY
Maxim Defense Industries PDW BraceMaxim Defense IndustriesBUY
Battle Arms Development SABERTUBE Buffer TubeBattle Arms DevelopmentBUY
Maxim Defense Industries PDW Brace AR-15Maxim Defense IndustriesBUY
DoubleStar Strongarm Pistol BraceDoubleStarBUY
Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 2 Telescoping Pistol Stabilizing BraceGear Head WorksBUY
SB Tactical SOB Stabilizing Brace for AR Pistol Buffer Tube PlatformSB TacticalBUY
KAK Shockwave Pistol Stabilizer Brace PackageKAKBUY
SB Tactical SBPDW Pistol Stabilizing Brace for Mil-spec AR-15 ReceiversSB TacticalBUY
KAK Shockwave 2.0 Blade Stabilizer Brace with Buffer TubeKAKBUY
Maxim Defense Industries CCS Brace Gen 6 for ARMaxim Defense IndustriesBUY
FosTech Outdoors SBV BraceFosTechBUY

#1 Maxim Defense Industries CQB Pistol – PDW Brace for AR15

Maxim Defense Industries CQB Pistol - PDW Brace for AR15

The Maxim PDW Brace for AR15 consists of the stock housing, on each side of which built-in anti-rotational sling mounts are placed. There are two models: in black and beige – FDE (flat dark earth) colors. 7075 aluminum is a strong and light material, used for stock and housing. Maxim collapse lever ensures one-handed shooting. The Maxim Defense CQB Pistol PDW Brace utilizes the SB Tactical Arm Pistol Stabilizing Brace that simply installs mil-spec AR15 lowers. The manufacturer recommends not: to improve a BCG or to decrease the weight of 9mm BCGs.

What I liked:
  • Tight fitment;
  • Replaceable with other Maxim Buttstock joins;
  • The knurled take-down lever can be gripped securely even with wet hands or in gloves;
  • Sturdy, even totally extended, at the same time it’s easy to extend;
  • Possibility to use old habitual bolt carrier group due to Maxim exclusive buffer systems, choosing a suitable one;
  • Shorter overall length: makes the pistol more compact to simplify transportation.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not functional for 300 Blackout pistol build: fires only when it’s charged, too lightweight buffer;
  • Individual application may vary.

#2 Dead Foot Arms Subcompact Weapon 4in Tailhook Brace

Dead Foot Arms Subcompact Weapon 4in Tailhook Brace

The SCW 4 Tailhook is a compact PDW Style Pistol Brace (collapsed length 3.9 in) that consists of the brace itself, adjustment single rail (down the left side of the pistol), receiver extension, and recoil springs. The brace of Dead Foot Arms corresponds to ATF Pistol Brace legal requirements as the full-extension length from the trigger is 12.5 in. The SCW 4 Tailhook PDW Style Pistol Brace is made of type III anodized aluminum and tool steel (weight 13.9 oz), using AR-15 bolt carrier group or standard M16 style.

What I liked:
  • The patented Dead Foot Arms LLC Modified Cycle System;
  • Versatile: 5 pull settings length and button-free brace deployment;
  • An option for a spring assisted opening function;
  • Unique ergonomic design: pistol is operated without conflict with adjustment single rail.
What I didn’t like:
  • Quite pricey;
  • Finish coating wear: higher-than-expected surface wear on the extension bar;
  • Slight wobble in the extension bar when fully deployed;
  • Touches extended bolt release.

#3 Maxim Defense Industries PDW Brace

Maxim Defense Industries PDW Brace

Maxim PDW Brace is designed with 7075 aluminum housing, a knurled collapse lever, and ambidextrous QD sling mounts. PDW Brace can be short (its closed length is 5.375 in), meanwhile has rapid deployment. In Maxim CQB Series housing a single rear QD plate has replaced the dual QD sling attachments.

What I liked:
  • Cost-effective brace option due to the manufacturing time reduction for the streamlined housing and extension tube;
  • Extended cheek weld;
  • Stainless steel guide rods ensure brace strength.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#4 Battle Arms Development SABERTUBE Buffer Tube

Battle Arms Development SABERTUBE Buffer Tube

The main Pistol Brace components: QD End Plate, SABERTUBE Receiver Extension (Buffer Tube), VC-3 Thread Locker, Black Aluminum Gear Head Works TAILHOOK Mod 1. Functional, dimpled-pattern buffer tube (diameter 1.25in) will fit any pistol build. Battle Arms Development Pistol Brace is compatible with AR15 Lower Receivers.

What I liked:
  • 6061 Aircraft Grade Aluminum with precision CNC;
  • Castle Nut is not necessary because of the lightweight design;
  • Easy to install and has a QD attachment on the base plate and brace itself;
  • Made in specialized factories.
What I didn’t like:
  • None yet.

#5 Maxim Defense Industries PDW Brace AR-15

Maxim Defense Industries PDW Brace AR-15

Maxim has designed two models: in beige – FDE (flat dark earth) and black colors. Maxim Defense Industries PDW Brace AR-15 is developed for Wilson Combat CQB Pistols. The PDW brace is made of 7075 Aluminum with a QD mount on the bottom of the housing.
The SB Tactical Arm Pistol Stabilizing Brace is used by Maxim Defense Industries PDW Brace AR-15 to install mil-spec AR15 lowers. There are different brace lengths, depending on the positions: closed (5.375 in), the 1st (6.875 in), the 2nd (8.375 in), fully extended (9.24 in) correspondingly.

What I liked:
  • Provides operational stability;
  • Buffer: Pistol (9mm), Heavy, and Standard;
  • Dense fitment;
  • Durable quality parts;
  • Lightweight: due to Aluminum Alloy body.
  • Stylish design.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet rated.

#6 DoubleStar Strongarm Pistol Brace

DoubleStar Strongarm Pistol Brace

DoubleStar Strongarm offers 3 models of Pistol Brace (all in black) of different completeness and weight (4.8, 8, 10 oz correspondingly):

  • Only Pistol Brace;
  • Buffer Tube, End Plate;
  • Buffer, Buffer Tube, Buffer Spring, and End Plate.

All three Pistol Brace units allow to improve the control while shooting: due to the Velcro strap, the pistol securely fixed to the forearm to stabilize the shots, ensuring a more accurate one-hand firing. A durable plate on DSC102 Strongarm Pistol Brace fits many AR-style buffer tubes (diameter from 1.11″ to 1.19″). The Rifle components are produced from anodized 6061 aluminum to make them sturdy, light, and corrosion-resistant.

What I liked:
  • Durable, lightweight (4.8 oz), highly resistant to corrosion and abrasion due to the aluminum alloy;
  • ATF Approved;
  • Instead of polymer or rubber as other producers’ models, this is made from aluminum, but still solid, with no flex;
  • Buffer tube design excludes the castle nut, reducing some weight;
  • Pulls a reach-around on the system.
What I didn’t like:
  • California’s Proposition 65
  • This brace needs a version, which will fit the buffer tubes of bigger diameter than 1.19″, actual for 1.24++”.

#7 Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 2 Telescoping Pistol Stabilizing Brace

Gear Head Works Tailhook Mod 2 Telescoping Pistol Stabilizing Brace

Gear Head Works Telescoping Pistol Brace is produced from rigid reinforced polymer (injection-molded), consisting of such parts: standard carbine buffer, castle nut, latch plate, and spring, designed in 3 colors: Black, OD Green, and Flat Dark Earth. This brace can operate with the Law Tactical folding adapter, but the pull length (fully-extended) will exceed the 13.5″, admitted threshold by the ATF. To meet the requirements is possible by limiting the extended length, mounting a stop screw in the tube with a tap or a drill. As the Tailhook Mod 2 Telescoping Pistol Stabilizing Brace comes with the installation buffer tube, it’s not necessary to think of the separate buffer tube compatibility.

What I liked:
  • New concept use to telescope the length: 5 positions (up to a 12.75″ LOP);
  • Patented safe non-constructive intent design with high functionality;
  • AR15 buffer tube has a thread, which will fit any adapter;
  • No Velcro strap;
  • Rigid reinforced polymer ensures the brace durability;
  • Lightweight: 7 oz.
What I didn’t like:
  • The adjustable feature could be smoother;
  • No QD attachment;
  • Proprietary buffer tube.

#8 SB Tactical SOB Stabilizing Brace for AR Pistol Buffer Tube Platform

SB Tactical SOB Stabilizing Brace for AR Pistol Buffer Tube Platform

The SB Tactical SOB Stabilizing Brace is used for the AR Pistol Buffer Tube Platform, saving the same quality performance as the SB15: precision-enhancing and recoil-reduction. These Rifle Parts ensure better stability and performance of all PDW pistols thanks to a third contact point. An adjustable nylon strap on this SB Tactical SOB Pistol Stabilizing Brace allows the user to secure it to the forearm to get accurate results of shooting, refining his or her firearm handling skills.

What I liked:
  • Solid control is provided by Velcro strap;
  • The SB15 skeletonized version, slimmer one;
  • Compatible with both AR and AK pistol builds with buffer tube;
  • Simply to install these complete assembly;
  • ATF requirements compliant construction.
What I didn’t like:
  • Slight rotation after installation;
  • The grippy texture of the rubber housing prevents sliding when it’s needed;
  • This brace is difficult to force on a large diameter pistol tube.

#9 KAK Shockwave Pistol Stabilizer Brace Package

KAK Shockwave Pistol Stabilizer Brace Package

KAK Shockwave Pistol Brace kit consists of blade pistol stabilizer, typical carbine buffer and its spring, Mil-spec end-plate (ensures necessary fitting to the firearm), Shockwave tube, and castle nut. This AR15 Lower Parts Assembly is represented by KAK in 9 color models: Blue, Plum, OD Green, Black, Red, Grey, Flat Dark Earth, White, Brown.

What I liked:
  • Variety of Pistol Stabilizer Brace models in several colors;
  • The stabilizer is sturdy after installation: doesn’t move or have any wiggle.
What I didn’t like:
  • Only tube buffer and buffet spring were in the kit, without the brace itself for the full price;
  • The lack of adjustability on the fly;
  • Misleading advertising;
  • Does not adjust or telescope quickly by pressing or pulling a lever, it is necessary to tighten and loosen the set screw with an Allen wrench.

#10 SB Tactical SBPDW Pistol Stabilizing Brace for Mil-spec AR-15 Receivers

SB Tactical SBPDW Pistol Stabilizing Brace for Mil-spec AR-15 Receivers

The SB Tactical Aluminum Pistol Stabilizing Brace can be adjusted in 3 positions. SB Tactical has taken care of the quick ditch option: in urgent situations just turn QD attachment point at 6 o’clock positioning on the brace body. SB Tactical Rifle Parts, designed with Maxim Defense, for Mil-Spec AR-15 Receivers allow you thanks to a third point of contact to stabilize PDW Pistols, mitigate recoil and improve shooting accuracy. There are 4 models of SB Tactical SBPDW Pistol Stabilizing Brace, three of which have 6in cavity depth (completely Black, OD Green with Black, Grey with Black) and one with the cavity depth of 6.75in (FDE with Black). A proprietary buffer tube can be changed in the Assembly.

What I liked:
  • Completely assembled and ready to install;
  • Easy to release by pulling: leverless extension;
  • Ambidextrous Pistol Stabilizing Brace;
  • Retains the handgun classification benefits;
  • Compatible with carbine buffers/springs and mil-spec bolt carrier groups;
  • Velcro strap, attached to the forearm, provides firm control.
What I didn’t like:
  • A bit heavy;
  • Pricey;
  • Does not come with buffer spring or buffer;
  • Rough inner buffer tube;
  • California’s Proposition 65.

#11 KAK Shockwave 2.0 Blade Stabilizer Brace with Buffer Tube

KAK Shockwave 2.0 Blade Stabilizer Brace with Buffer Tube

KAK Shockwave 2.0 Blade Stabilizer Brace is produced from durable glass-reinforced polymers. One of the 2.0 Blade Stabilizer Brace’s main parts is a proprietary carbine-style buffer tube, which is locked in place by slipping it on.

What I liked:
  • Fits pistols with standard Kak Buffer Tube: AR-15, Cz Scorpion Evo 3, Mpx, Glock, Hk9X;
  • Regulates easily with a finger lever;
  • Easy to install.
What I didn’t like:
  • Hard to adjust;
  • No QD mount and castle nut;
  • Not compatible with a mil-spec buffer tube.

#12 Maxim Defense Industries CCS Brace Gen 6 for AR

Maxim Defense Industries CCS Brace Gen 6 for AR

Maxim Defense Industries CCS Brace Gen 6 for AR allows you to go on utilizing your existing spring, buffer and bolt carrier. CCS Brace Gen 6 ensures firm attachment, fast deployment, equipped with 2 built-in sling mounts, and adjustment with 3 positions.

What I liked:
  • A full-length cheek weld even with the full-extension stock;
  • Appropriate for a short barrel or a full-length carbine.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet rated.

#13 FosTech Outdoors SBV Brace

FosTech Outdoors SBV Brace

Outdoors Aluminum SBV Brace, produced by FosTech with AR-15 pistol buffer tube in black color. The FosTech brace is provided with an adjustable nylon strap SBV. The brace has 4.5-in cavity depth, and compatible with pistols diameter from 1.1 to 1.25 in.

What I liked:
  • Lightweight;
  • ATF compliant;
  • Compatible with rifles and pistols: FosTech offers the braces models for 2 gun types.
What I didn’t like:
  • Not yet rated.

FAQ

Is an adjustable pistol brace legal?
The ATF (the federal agency administering provision of the laws concerning Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) considers “incidental” pistol brace shouldering is legal. AR pistols are legal in California as well. While buying, AR lowers must be recorded as a pistol and must be without a means of a traditional stock acceptance.
Are pistol braces being banned?
The ATF has recently published a reversal letter with a clarification of the Bureau’s position on the SB Tactical braces legal usage. NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) confirmed that pistol braces’ are not being reviewed and using them on AR pistols are legal. The ATF warns taking AR-15 pistol, it’s necessary to check before transporting them into another jurisdiction. Braced pistols, which pull is longer than 13.5 inches, may constitute a redesign of the brace into a stock.
Can I put a pistol brace on a rifle lower?
According to the ATF statement, it’s possible to install a pistol brace on a rifle, it’s banned to shoulder it. A redesigned pistol with a barrel less than 16″ transforms into a short-barreled rifle (SBR). Usually, it’s a complex process to change the class of a gun (pistol or rifle to short-barreled rifle, rifle to pistol, shotgun to sawed-off shotgun, semi-auto to full auto) because such conversion must be legal; it should be permitted to own, transport and use this redesigned weapon.
What is the difference between a stock and a pistol brace?
Stock is placed against the shoulder to absorb recoil. A pistol brace is used as a stabilizer for the arm and can be extra support to the forearm as well. An important difference is in the legality of their use that should be checked in your state jurisdiction.
Can I put a stock on an AR pistol?
It is not permitted to put a stock on a pistol to make it short-barreled rifles, because it would become a different regulatory class. Putting the collapsing stock on the pistol demands additional paperwork and some fees to pay. To sell modified pistols might cause some regulatory issues.

Conclusion

AR-15 style pistols are produced in many sizes and with a lot of options, which are developed by different manufacturers and dictated by high competition. The pistol braces have been designed to renew the interest and increase the demand for the AR-15 pistols in the market. One of the pistol brace features, being praised by the manufacturers, is lightweight, but it can be a double-face question, as feathery-light systems fire only when they are charged, so it’s better to choose “golden middle”. To reduce overall transport length the folding stock adapter can be put on any AR15, AR10 rifle, or pistol. Some concerned producers advise what kind of alterations should be avoided. Remember, before any modification, it’s better to check the federal, state, and local regulations, to prevent any law issues.

Best picks

#7 Gear Head Works Telescoping Pistol Brace has an installation AR15 buffer tube with thread to make it fit any adapter. Durable material (reinforced polymer) and a new telescopic concept of fixing the length in 5 positions ensure long-lasting, reliable functionality, and comfortable operation.

#10 SB Tactical SBPDW Pistol Stabilizing Brace. This model is quite pricey, but quality and a good sold one with an interesting function of a quick ditch.

Budget pick

#8 The SB Tactical SOB Stabilizing Brace is used for the AR Pistol Buffer Tube Platform, saving the same quality performance as the SB15: precision-enhancing and recoil-reduction.

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