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What Else Besides an AR Pistol Brace Can Help You Stabilize the Platform?

For those who shoot an AR pistol, an AR pistol brace can be a lifesaver. These attach to the rear of the platform and help secure the firearm to the forearm of the shooter, stabilizing it.

Though originally designed for shooters with disabilities, today, AR pistol braces can help all shooters mitigate recoil and better control a hard-kicking AR pistol.

But, given all the controversy surrounding AR pistols as of late, you might be looking for an alternative to a brace that still provides similar functionality when it comes to recoil mitigation. Here’s what you can do.

A Heavier Buffer Weight
Behind the lower receiver, inside the buffer tube, there are weights and a buffer spring. The weights are an integral part of the buffer system that helps to increase the reciprocating mass of the rifle (in this case, pistol).

Recoil is a product of mass and movement. You can’t do much to change the velocity or mass of the bullet, but you can change the mass of the platform.

AR pistol buffer weights exhibit a surprisingly wide range, typically between 5 to 8.5 ounces. If your pistol kicks too hard, consider upping the weight. An AR pistol with an 8.5-ounce buffer weight is going to produce much less felt recoil with the same rounds and gas system adjustments than one with a buffer weight that’s hardly half the mass.

A Muzzle Brake
All things considered, this is probably the biggest upgrade you can make to your AR pistol to bring down felt recoil.

If your AR pistol has a threaded barrel, look into a muzzle brake. If you’ve never had one of these before it can make a massive difference in how much recoil your pistol produces.

Muzzle brakes help evenly port the gases that follow the projectile at the muzzle. Normally they’d blast around the muzzle, following the path of least resistance, creating maximum recoil.

A muzzle brake either evenly distributes them or ports them upwards, which results in a net force downwards on the muzzle.

This redirects the force of recoil down instead of straight back into the shooter – resulting in lower felt recoil and lower muzzle flip, enabling faster, more accurate follow-up shots.

Lighter Loads
You can’t change the caliber of your AR pistol, but you can change what you’re shooting.

What we mean, specifically, is to be selective with your rounds. Look at the box of ammo and take note of muzzle energy. The lower the muzzle energy, the less recoil the ammo will produce.

If you don’t see muzzle energy disclosed, look for bullet weight and muzzle velocity. The lower the bullet weight and muzzle velocity, the less muzzle energy will be produced and the lower recoil will be.

With that said, take this suggestion with a very small grain of salt. Changing up the ammo you usually shoot in favor of a lighter-kicking load may result in cycling issues and can easily cause jams.

Admittedly, you can tinker with the gas system or adjust buffer weights, but that will take a lot of work – so make this adjustment only after you have made the other two suggested here.

Where Can You Get AR Pistol Braces, Buffer Tube Accessories, and Muzzle Devices?
Looking for AR pistol braces, AR pistol buffer weights, muzzle devices (like brakes), and other AR platform parts?

Visit MCS Gearup online via the previous link. They carry all of these parts and an even larger assortment of AR platform components, hardware, and tools in addition to shooting accessories. Visit their website and if you can’t find what you want (or have questions) contact them at



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