<strong>Century Arms C39</strong></br> The 7.62x39mm C39 is based on the AK-47, but, unlike most AK variants, it is 100-percent made in the United States. It has accessory rails to mount a light, a laser aiming device or an optic. The C39 also has a machined receiver for additional strength instead of the bent sheet-metal receivers seen on most AKs. (centuryarms.com; 800-527-1252)
<strong>CMMG Mk9 PDW</strong></br> Even though the Mk9 PDW looks like an AR, it’s chambered in 9mm instead of 5.56mm. And, with modern self-defense 9mm ammunition being so effective, it is a viable self-defense weapon. If you want something more powerful, the gun is also offered as the Mk4, which is chambered in .300 Blackout. (cmmginc.com; 660-248-2293)
<strong>CzechPoint Sa vz.58</strong></br> Although the CzechPoint Sa vz.58 looks like it’s based on the AK-47, the operating system is different, and it’s chambered in 5.56mm (a 7.62mm version is also available). It comes with a proprietary 30-round magazine, but CzechPoint sells an adapter that accepts AR-15 magazines. A version packaged with Sig Sauer’s SB15 brace is also available. (czechpoint-usa.com)
<strong>Diamondback DB15</strong></br> Long known for its compact pistols, Diamondback has recently entered the full-size market, releasing the DB FS Nine, a striker-fired 9mm, and, fullest of all, the DB15 Pistol, a 5.56mm-chambered megapistol measuring 23 inches end to end. Designed in the AR-15 mold, the DB15 features standard AR controls, an aluminum modified four-rail handguard, forged aircraft-grade aluminum receivers, A2-style pistol grip, and a 30+1 5.56mm payload. Picatinny rail along the upper receiver, and on the top and bottom of the handguard offer users plenty of space for the attachment of lights and/or lasers, while the DB15’s ferociously edged flash suppressor, apt for glass breaking, gives the gun a truly tacti-cool look. (diamondbackfirearms.com; 877-997-6774)
<strong>Kel-Tec PLR-16</strong></br> With a long-stroke piston system, this semi-auto megapistol chambered in .223 Rem looks neither like an AR- nor an AK-based pistol. The 3.4-pound PLR-16 does accept most AR-style magazines, however. Because the action is not based on the AR, there is no receiver extension. (keltecweapons.com; 800-515-9983)
<strong>MasterPiece Arms MPAR556-P</strong></br> This megapistol looks like a cross between an AR and an AK pistol, but it is neither—although it’s chambered in 5.56mm. It uses AR magazines and an AR pistol grip, but the operating system is different (it’s a short-stroke piston), and it has other features that some believe are superior. (masterpiecearms.com; 770-832-9430)
<strong>Mossberg 715P</strong></br> Some megapistols, like the Mossberg 715P, are chambered in the economical .22 LR rimfire cartridge, making them a lot less expensive to shoot. But even though the Mossberg 715P fires a round that is not generally accepted as a self-defense cartridge, it can be used as a handy training substitute for one of the other megapistols. (mossberg.com; 800-323-3555)
<strong>Primary Weapons Systems MK107P</strong></br> The MK107P looks more like a traditional AR-style pistol, but inside it has some unique features, including a .223 Wylde chamber. The gun does away with the AR-15 direct gas impingement system and substitutes a long-stroke piston system similar to that used in the AK-47. (primaryweapons.com; 208-344-5217)
<strong>Rock River Arms LAR-15 A4</strong></br> The Rock River Arms LAR-15 A4 is a more traditional AR-style pistol with a direct gas impingement system. Although direct gas guns work just as well as piston guns, they do require a bit more maintenance. The 5.56mm NATO LAR-15 A4 comes with barrel options of either 7 or 10 inches. (rockriverarms.com; 866-980-7625)
<strong>Sig Sauer P516</strong></br> Sig Sauer’s entry into the megapistol market, the P516, follows the basic AR design but utilizes a proprietary short-stroke piston system. It’s available with a 7.5- or 10-inch barrel, and it can be had with Sig’s SB15 Pistol Stabilizing Brace, which really helps shooting the big pistol accurately. (sigsauer.com; 866-345-6744)
<strong>Walther Uzi</strong></br> It looks like an Uzi submachine gun, but it’s a rimfire rendition that is chambered for .22 LR. If you’re looking for a pistol with some history to it but aren’t ready for the Class III price, or can’t own one in your location, the Walther Uzi might be the solution. (waltherarms.com; 479-242-8500)
While there is a marked trend toward smaller pistols, a segment of the market still wants a bigger handgun. And, since the AR-15 is so popular and easily modified, it was natural for manufacturers to look to it as a platform for the megapistol. The AR-15 leads the pack, but other platforms have been used as well, including the AK-47. Demand for megapistols must be strong, because more and more manufacturers are offering these anything-but-dainty firearms.
Megapistols are not built for discreet carry, and they take special effort to shoot accurately. But, don’t dismiss them as just another curiosity. The idea goes back to the 1970s, when the U.S. military adopted the M231 Firing Port Weapon, which was issued to armored vehicle crews because it was handy in confined spaces. So, under the right circumstances, these megapistols can fill a need in the self-defense role. Here are some for your consideration.
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This article was originally published in the November 2014 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS. Subscription is available in print and digital editions below.
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