This is one of the more interesting, and actually practical, out-of-the-box AR builds I’ve seen in a while.
Behold, a .300BLK AR Pistol, and I do mean pistol. It’s not just a handgun in the legal sense, meaning a short-barreled AR with a brace instead of a buttstock. This custom gun can actually be shot and carried like a handgun.
With hunters in mind, the builder trimmed as much weight from the design as possible. You may notice there’s no buffer tube. That’s because this gun isn’t a semi-auto. It’s actually a straight-pull bolt action, with a side-mounted charging handle acting as the bolt handle.
This means there’s no need for a large BCG or gas system. Every time you pull the bolt back, it cams, ejects a round, and chambers a new one.
Why do this, you may ask. His primary concern, at first, was trimming as much weight as possible.
“You don’t need a gas block, a gas tube, you don’t need a hand guard, you don’t need a normal charging handle, you only need half a bolt carrier you don’t need most of your gas key, you don’t need your bolt catch, your buffer tube, your buffer, your spring, all these part that you can eliminate by making it a straight-pull bolt action pistol,” says builder Elijah Duray of Eagan, Minnesota.
He also saved weight by using a polymer upper and lower with metal inserts, which is fine because the gun isn’t subjected to the same stresses as it would if it were a semi with the bolt and buffer slamming back and forth.
There are other advantages for hunters as well. Being a bolt gun means it has no action noise, so it’s as quiet as possible when suppressed. Plus, even the mildest subsonic ammunition can be used, since there’s no need to worry about the gun cycling.
Duray says the gun is light enough to be carried in a holster, and that he’s having a custom Kydex holster made for it. It also has a quick detach sling attachment point on the plug (available from Brownell’s) insert that replaces the buffer tube.
Because it’s not a semi, you don’t have to torque barrel nut down as much as you would on a gas gun, you can easily swap out barrels, and even calibers.
He topped the gun in the video with a Burris Fastfire red dot sight and says he’s working on an even shorter barrel in .300 BLK.
“A lot of people see this and they’re puzzled. They see this and think that it’s just an AR-15 that doesn’t work and they don’t really understand why you’d want that. I like to think of it more as a Thompson Center Contender that costs half as much, weighs a third as much, holds 10 shots, and is ready to reload with a flick of the wrist, ready to shoot another shot,” Duray says.
He concedes that this isn’t supposed to be a replacement for an AR pistol, but something to own in addition to one with very specialized applications.
He only talks about hunters, but I think this would make a fantastic survival gun setup, especially if you could somehow add minimalist, quick-detach brace.
I say start building more. Take our money!
The folks at Guns.com talked to Duray about his custom gun and found out he’s given it a name, the Solo 300. The “300” is obviously because of the chambering, and the “Solo” comes because of its resemblance to a certain fictional blaster pistol. If you thought at first blush that it looks a bit like a Mauser C96 Broomhandle pistol, you’re also right.