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The SIG 516 Pistol

By Christopher R. Bartocci

In the ever popular world of the AR-15, there are endless variations for just about any purpose you could imagine. The AR15 has become America’s rifle and is used from everything from competition, target shooting, hunting and self defense. According to federal law, the barrel must be a minimum of 16 inches. Normal barrel lengths are 16, 18 and 20 inches. However, there has always been the segment of the market who like the short barrels. These are 7.5, 8.5, 10.5, 11.5 and 14.5 inches. Normally, these are restricted. First by Federal law, you must apply with an ATF Form 1, get local law enforcement approval and pay the $200 tax stamp or have a NFA trust and go through the same type of registration and tax. You also have state law to comply with. If you are in a state such as New York, they are illegal regardless of Federal approval. For those who do not want to go through the ATF paperwork, there is another option, the AR pistol. This enables the shooter to get their desired short barrel (under 16 in) legally but there is a catch. The weapon cannot have a stock. The average AR pistol will have a modified receiver extension that will not accept a buttstock and usually have a 7.5 or 10.5 inch barrel. Normal calibers are 5.56mm or 300 Blackout. They can also be found in 7.62x39mm and some companies even make pistols in 7.62x51mm (.308 Win).

The short barrels (7.5 to 10.5) have different operating dynamics than the longer barrels. Much of it has to do with the distance from the chamber to gas port and the gas port to muzzle. The short barrels, for example the 7.5 inch has an extremely short distance of both. The distance from the gas port to muzzle creates the dwell time in which the gas is introduced to the operating system (piston external or direct gas) to the time the system depressurizes when the bullet leaves the barrel and enters the atmosphere. With a rifle length system in direct...


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