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Old September 14th, 2020, 02:16 PM #1
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AR15 Pistol Build Suggestions

The recent 'I want an AR Pistol' post got me thinking and since my requirements are a little different I didn't want to hijack his thread. I've got a 9mm Deadair Wolfman in government layaway and I'd like to pair it to something. I've got a pistol I'm going to pair it to, but I'm thinking of an AR variant after reading that it is approved for 300BO and 350 Legend. I plan to build something, starting with a standard lower, but I'm having a hard time coming up with which way to go. My basic requirements are that I want to minimize the number of uppers/lowers/builds I have to do, and do it on a budget (both the build and bullets to keep 'er fed). I'd like something that's low recoil, does well suppressed (although subsonic is not a must), and relatively cheap to shoot. I'd also like to be able to hunt with it (deer mostly, but would love to be able to go hog hunting). Long range accuracy/knock down power is not a real concern as I expect all shots to be within 100 yards (my preferred tree stand doesn't have a shot over 50yds).

The calibers I'm considering:
-300BO. I like the suppression, general ballistics, etc, but I'm worried the ammo will be too costly. I mostly reload my own and it seems making brass from .223 is kinda a pain and buying brass is steeper than the others I'm looking at. Not as good for hunting as the 350 Legend. Greater availability of parts since it's been around a while, but parts pricing seems similar.
-350 Legend. Brass is cheap and easy to reload, has good ballistics for hunting, and would allow me to hunt lots of places in MD and other states that require straight-wall cartridges (although I really only hunt in MD/PA). Subsonic bullets are harder to find, although that's not a deal breaker. I'm leaning towards this but wondering if it will be too much recoil in a pistol to be enjoyable/easy to shoot. Anyone have one and can recommend a barrel length?
-9mm. I've got lots of brass and components, so shooting would be pretty cheap. Low recoil so it'd be fun to shoot, great to run suppressed, shorter barrel lengths so maneuverability would be excellent, but wouldn't work for hunting. It seems the AR9 build parts are more expensive than the 300BO/350 Legend. I'm not opposed to having 2 uppers (say an AR9 for plinking and 350 Legend for hunting) for the same lower, but it seems like people recommend using dedicated AR9 lowers rather than trying to use mag blocks, etc.
-22LR. I have another 22LR suppressor and AR22 mags I can use, so this would be just for a cheap plinker. Like the 9mm, I could pair a 22LR upper for plinking with the 350 Legend for hunting. Not sure if I'd have to change buffer/spring if I tried to run these two, feedback would be appreciated.

Right now I'm leaning towards a 350 Legend/22LR (2 uppers) combo, with one lower. Looking for any suggestions (outside of the inevitable 'build one of each' ) or things I'm missing. I'm also not opposed to going the SBR route but would like the lower to start as a pistol and I can go from there later.
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Old September 14th, 2020, 04:46 PM #2
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Have built a few AR pistols in all the above except for 350 legend, your perceptions are accurate.

300BO, love the caliber, love the versatility, pretty much everything slaps together easy, and runs well, only non standard part is the barrel. Brass is a PITA to make, but at least pre-2020 lots of people selling it, or cheaper FMJ ammo, a bit expensive to reload, loads more like a magnum handgun round than a rifle round. Decent factory ammo commonly $1 per rd, obviously a ton of capable hunting bullets, although most are designed for higher velocities. Something 8-10" is a good mix of velocity and size for a pistol/SBR, not all that gassy and reliable when running suppressed, even with open gas blocks and 3oz buffers.

350 legend, obvious choice for hunting, but it's new, and needs specialty mags. Might be cool to load heavy 357mag bullets, which should be cheaper than 300BO, although super heavy sub loads aren't as prevelent, and hasn't been out as long as 300, so not as well supported, but it's promising. Can't speak to building or tunig, only one of the above I haven't built.

9mm, There are really a couple ways to go, primarily depends on colt, glock or endomag mags. Unless you go with a dedicated lower, you will need an adapter, Colt vs GLOCK often comes down to which mag you prefer, or have on hand, IMO Glock mags are a little more user friendly. To run suppressed you want a heavy buffer(I use 10oz Kaw or Kak) and an upper with a big gas deflector with a upgraded charging handle, otherwise they can be super gassy, although shorter barrels work better as there is less residual gas. Endomags will work without a mag block adapter, and are purpose built for the CMMG radial delayed blowback system, proprietary BCG/barrel, but otherwise standard AR without a gas system. It's a little smoother, lighter recoil, suppresses better, doesn't need really heavy carrier/buffer, but mags end up being expensive and large instead of the skinny glock/colt stick mags. The caliber is a ton of fun as it is a LOT quieter than 300BO, and you can shoot steel at close range or shoot in pistol ranges, and as there is no gas system, run a 4" barrel if you want with no real drawbacks. A blowback barrel will be almost 1" shorter than a rifle cal barrel as the chamber starts where the locking lugs would be, not the case with the RDB system, be mindful if shopping for a handguard. I did a 7" barrel and 7" handguard where a 1.5" long 3 lug adapter barely pokes past the front edge of the handguard, nice that about 1/2" of my can is inset in the handguards.

22 is awesome, using a CMMG pattern bolt, no buffer or even buffer tube is needed. You can run a pic rail adapter in the tube socket, and a Sig style folding brace/stock, short barrels are more fun, no gas system, so easy to build, really short barrels are best to keep subsonic. Might need to smooth out any rough ledges between the ramp on the collar and the extension from the barrel if they don't sit perfect, but once they run, they run well, obviously the quietest suppressed, and fun shooting most anywhere. Being you have mags, can just build a little upper, easiest way is with a RTB barrel/bolt/mag combo(about $250, actual CMMG for a couple bucks cheaper) then slap it into a cheap upper and handguard, maybe $350 for a built upper at mimimum, but it will run in any decent lower. Be mindful the barrel will be almost 1.5" shorter than an AR barrel the same length as the chamber extends into the upper and bolt/collar.
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Old September 14th, 2020, 05:10 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alucard0822 View Post
Have built a few AR pistols in all the above except for 350 legend, your perceptions are accurate.

300BO, love the caliber, love the versatility, pretty much everything slaps together easy, and runs well, only non standard part is the barrel. Brass is a PITA to make, but at least pre-2020 lots of people selling it, or cheaper FMJ ammo, a bit expensive to reload, loads more like a magnum handgun round than a rifle round. Decent factory ammo commonly $1 per rd, obviously a ton of capable hunting bullets, although most are designed for higher velocities. Something 8-10" is a good mix of velocity and size for a pistol/SBR, not all that gassy and reliable when running suppressed, even with open gas blocks and 3oz buffers.

350 legend, obvious choice for hunting, but it's new, and needs specialty mags. Might be cool to load heavy 357mag bullets, which should be cheaper than 300BO, although super heavy sub loads aren't as prevelent, and hasn't been out as long as 300, so not as well supported, but it's promising. Can't speak to building or tunig, only one of the above I haven't built.

9mm, There are really a couple ways to go, primarily depends on colt, glock or endomag mags. Unless you go with a dedicated lower, you will need an adapter, Colt vs GLOCK often comes down to which mag you prefer, or have on hand, IMO Glock mags are a little more user friendly. To run suppressed you want a heavy buffer(I use 10oz Kaw or Kak) and an upper with a big gas deflector with a upgraded charging handle, otherwise they can be super gassy, although shorter barrels work better as there is less residual gas. Endomags will work without a mag block adapter, and are purpose built for the CMMG radial delayed blowback system, proprietary BCG/barrel, but otherwise standard AR without a gas system. It's a little smoother, lighter recoil, suppresses better, doesn't need really heavy carrier/buffer, but mags end up being expensive and large instead of the skinny glock/colt stick mags. The caliber is a ton of fun as it is a LOT quieter than 300BO, and you can shoot steel at close range or shoot in pistol ranges, and as there is no gas system, run a 4" barrel if you want with no real drawbacks. A blowback barrel will be almost 1" shorter than a rifle cal barrel as the chamber starts where the locking lugs would be, not the case with the RDB system, be mindful if shopping for a handguard. I did a 7" barrel and 7" handguard where a 1.5" long 3 lug adapter barely pokes past the front edge of the handguard, nice that about 1/2" of my can is inset in the handguards.

22 is awesome, using a CMMG pattern bolt, no buffer or even buffer tube is needed. You can run a pic rail adapter in the tube socket, and a Sig style folding brace/stock, short barrels are more fun, no gas system, so easy to build, really short barrels are best to keep subsonic. Might need to smooth out any rough ledges between the ramp on the collar and the extension from the barrel if they don't sit perfect, but once they run, they run well, obviously the quietest suppressed, and fun shooting most anywhere. Being you have mags, can just build a little upper, easiest way is with a RTB barrel/bolt/mag combo(about $250, actual CMMG for a couple bucks cheaper) then slap it into a cheap upper and handguard, maybe $350 for a built upper at mimimum, but it will run in any decent lower. Be mindful the barrel will be almost 1.5" shorter than an AR barrel the same length as the chamber extends into the upper and bolt/collar.
A little while ago I looked into seeing if anyone made one chambered in 22WMR. I was surprised to see a few companies ou there. I know has nothing to do with this thread, just thought it was surprising. I have not looked lately. I wonder if a 22wmr is made in pistol AR format- I know that PMR30 and others are actual pistols... Perhaps not a real need or interest for it.
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Old September 14th, 2020, 05:31 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alucard0822 View Post
Have built a few AR pistols in all the above except for 350 legend, your perceptions are accurate...

...9mm, There are really a couple ways to go, primarily depends on colt, glock or endomag mags. Unless you go with a dedicated lower, you will need an adapter, Colt vs GLOCK often comes down to which mag you prefer, or have on hand, IMO Glock mags are a little more user friendly. To run suppressed you want a heavy buffer(I use 10oz Kaw or Kak) and an upper with a big gas deflector with a upgraded charging handle, otherwise they can be super gassy, although shorter barrels work better as there is less residual gas. Endomags will work without a mag block adapter, and are purpose built for the CMMG radial delayed blowback system, proprietary BCG/barrel, but otherwise standard AR without a gas system. It's a little smoother, lighter recoil, suppresses better, doesn't need really heavy carrier/buffer, but mags end up being expensive and large instead of the skinny glock/colt stick mags. The caliber is a ton of fun as it is a LOT quieter than 300BO, and you can shoot steel at close range or shoot in pistol ranges, and as there is no gas system, run a 4" barrel if you want with no real drawbacks. A blowback barrel will be almost 1" shorter than a rifle cal barrel as the chamber starts where the locking lugs would be, not the case with the RDB system, be mindful if shopping for a handguard. I did a 7" barrel and 7" handguard where a 1.5" long 3 lug adapter barely pokes past the front edge of the handguard, nice that about 1/2" of my can is inset in the handguards.
You left out MP5 mag for AR9. Does also require dedicated lower though.
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Old September 15th, 2020, 02:34 PM #5
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I have built four AR pistols and converted three of them to SBR's. Out of the list you have I would go with 300 BO. I built a 9mm AR pistol using a Foxtrot Mike lower (based on member recommendations), and yes it ran perfectly the first time I shot it (well - bad firing pin but easily replaced by FM for free). BUT 9mm is still a PITA in my humble opinion with more variables to worry about than 5.56 or 300 BO.

Never used 350 Legend but if I were hunting with it I would prefer a bolt gun.

If you want to go the 22 route, Ruger has a pistol brace mount for the 22 Charger that might be less money and hassle.
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Old September 15th, 2020, 03:16 PM #6
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Never knew much about 350 Legend but I just might start looking into it.
Back on topic, an AR9 is simply a blast to shoot especially with a suppressor. I would look at the CMMG line of products with the radial delay blowback. You will definitely want more power for hunting though.
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Old September 15th, 2020, 03:31 PM #7
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I built 2 9mm pistols around the Endo Mags, 1 with a CMMG RDB bolt and barrel which needs the CMMG Endos. The other 9mm uses regular Endos and a generic blowback upper. Both have run flawlessly with mag dumps.

I also have a 300BO with a 10" barrel that shoots subs very well. I can hit steel at 200yds with a red dot.

I know nothing about 250 legend in regards to optimal barrel length rifle rate etc.

My 9mm ARs have 5" and 7" barrels. If you want a cheaper CMMG banshee you can buy the RDB BCG and barrel and then build around that, you will need the CMMG Endo mags to get it to run though. The Endo inserts come shipped in the 10 round configuration but a quick trip to PA/DE/VA/WV can turn them into 30s with a pair of snips in about 10 seconds.
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Old September 15th, 2020, 08:42 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alucard0822 View Post

I did a 7" barrel and 7" handguard where a 1.5" long 3 lug adapter barely pokes past the front edge of the handguard, nice that about 1/2" of my can is inset in the handguards.
Thanks for the feedback, this is good info.

What handguard did you use? I'd love to have the suppressor recessed into the handguard. Talked to the LGS owner that has my suppressor and he said 'I agree it'd look bad a** but you don't want the handguard contacting the suppressor'. Specs says it's 1.62" OD.

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Old September 15th, 2020, 09:01 PM #9
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Originally Posted by outrider58 View Post
You left out MP5 mag for AR9. Does also require dedicated lower though.
I probably wouldn't go this route as I'm trying to keep the costs down and I know how much HK values their stuff. I think if I went the AR9 route I'd go with Glock mags.
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Old September 15th, 2020, 10:06 PM #10
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Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
Thanks for the feedback, this is good info.

What handguard did you use? I'd love to have the suppressor recessed into the handguard. Talked to the LGS owner that has my suppressor and he said 'I agree it'd look bad a** but you don't want the handguard contacting the suppressor'. Specs says it's 1.62" OD.

Sent from my moto g(7) using Tapatalk
Aero 7" gen 2 handguard on a QC10 lower/Vltor upper. Plenty of clearance, the 10oz buffer and small port/ big deflector make it pleasant and quiet to shoot. 7.25" long handguard and 7" barrel with .5" threaded muzzle leaves .75" of the 3 lug under the guard and .75" in front of the guard. It's just barely recessed, but makes it shootable without the can.
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