The popularity of pistol braces has slowly been on the rise since its inception in 2012 when the idea was thought of by SB Tactical’s Alex Bosco. They then became a reality and came to market. Pistol braces may not have even crossed the mind of many pistol shooters, but they can have a ton of benefits for shooters of all different walks of life. They help create a better base of stability for shooters.
Here, we will be covering and ranking our five favorite pistol braces that shooters should consider for additional stability when shooting their favorite pistol. We will be looking at pistol braces that offer the best stability, comfort, and affordability for the user along with other features of each of our choices.
Before we jump into our list, let’s look at what a pistol brace is and what it does for those that might be new to the world of pistol braces.
What is a Pistol Brace?
A pistol brace is simply a stabilizing brace that attaches to the back of a pistol and then attaches to the forearm of the user with a strap to add extra stability and control. This allows the pistol to be fired with one arm and keeps the firearm more stable to make accurate shots on target.
To the untrained or unknowing eye, a pistol brace and pistol may look like a very short rifle, but it is not. As much as it might look like a buttstock, the pistol brace is not one at all. It is much shorter and normally has a slot on the bottom that goes over or wraps around the user’s forearm. Then a velcro strap helps tighten it to the forearm.
The pistol brace was originally designed to help veterans and shooters with disabilities shoot pistols more accurately when they can’t use both hands or don’t have the strength to control the firearm. Once they were produced and became more widespread, their use began to spread as more shooters started to utilize them and recognize their added stability.
They have also become widely used with AR and AK-style pistols that needed more stability to shoot. Both one-handed and two-handed alike. As AR and AK-style pistols have grown in popularity, more shooters of these firearms have turned to pistol braces as a means of giving them more stability during shooting while also making the firearm more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
We recommend pistol braces for those that need more stability while shooting their pistol or looking to make their pistol more aesthetically pleasing. A brace will enhance the look of a pistol while also increasing its shootability.
Be sure to check out all of the rules and regulations surrounding pistol braces, as there are currently changes being made that might put the pistol brace under federal mandate. This means registering the pistol brace and paying a $200 tax for each pistol brace that is purchased, very similar to silencers and suppressors.
Without further ado, let’s jump into our list of favorite pistol braces on the market!
1 | SB Tactical SBA3
The SB Tactical SBA3 comes in at the top spot for a wide variety of reasons including its versatility, adjustability, and its affordable price point. The SBA3 fits on any platform that accepts a mil-spec carbine receiver extension.
Its length is adjustable to five different positions ranging between 6.75 inches and 9.5 inches in length. This makes it very adjustable and versatile for any shooter with any need to adjust it to their liking.
This brace is considered to be a minimalist design, having the most basic functions, yet durable and meeting the needs of any shooter. It has a 1-inch nylon strap to help maintain stability and accuracy, while the entire brace itself comes in at a slim 1.8 inches wide.
The SBA3 is sold in four different colors, including Black, FDE, OD Green, and Stealth Gray to give any gun enthusiast an aesthetically pleasing look on their firearm.
Finally, with a price point of $125, the SBA3 by SB Tactical is an extremely affordable upgrade. We recommend this to anyone looking to add a well-designed pistol brace to their setup.
2 | Maxim Defense PDW
The Maxim Defense PDW comes in at number two on our list and is the perfect option for serious shooters who want to get the most out of their pistol brace. You need to be willing to pay for it. The Maxim Defense PDW works with a wide variety of different firearms and is very adjustable to the shooter’s needs.
It can be adjusted to four separate lengths that range between 3.375 inches when fully closed, all the way out to 10 inches when fully extended. There is also no need to worry about it weighing down the firearm either. The PDW comes in at a slim 19 ounces in total weight!
The lightweight feature of the PDW pistol brace is made possible by the light 7075 aluminum it is constructed out of. Don’t be worried about durability. It has one of the best durability-to-weight ratios on the market.
It comes in only two color options: Black and FDE. The only drawback of the Maxim Defense PDW might be the price tag. Depending on the numerous options for buffers and springs, the PDW can range anywhere between $330 and $460. While some might balk at the price, the PDW is known as one of the best pistol braces on the market today.
3 | SB Tactical SBA4
Coming in at number three on our list is the SB Tactical SBA4, which is the big brother to the SBA3 which we already covered at number 1. The SBA4 is slightly bigger in both overall length and width when compared to the SBA3. Some shooters might like the added adjustability and slightly bigger build which tends to bring better stability when shooting.
The SBA4 has five adjustable lengths between 7.5 inches and 10.25 inches in length. It is also 2.25 inches wide, which is wider but not overly cumbersome.
The biggest difference between the SBA4 and the SBA3 is the design of the brace itself. The SBA4 comes in an M4 design with a small triangular brace between the tube and the bottom tip of the brace. This helps create more rigidity and a firmer fit around the forearm of the shooter. The added stability and feel of security have become a big upside for this brace.
With its ability to fit more AR platforms or any other mil-spec alternatives, the SBA4 is very versatile and slightly bigger than the SBA3 while coming in at the same price point of $125. It comes in the same four colors as the SBA3. So, for those shooters that are a bit bigger than most, the SBA4 might be the perfect fit.
4 | SB Tactical SBT EVO G2
If the CZ platform of pistol is the firearm at hand to receive a pistol brace, one can’t go wrong with the number four entry to our list: the SB Tactical SBT EVO G2. This is the first non-telescoping pistol brace on our list, but that does not mean that it isn’t versatile.
It’s the first pistol brace to make the list that has a folding mechanism that allows the pistol brace to be completely hinged to the right side of the firearm without preventing further use. So if the user does not want to use the brace, they can simply hinge it to the side and continue firing. This adds great versatility and is a great feature to keep the firearm compact and easily stored when not in use.
The aluminum and polymer construction makes for a lightweight feel of only nine ounces. When folded out it measures a bit longer 9.5 inches in length. The non-adjustable length of the brace itself is the only knock on this pistol brace, but in all other areas, it passes with flying colors.
Made for minimalists that want to keep things compact and easy to maneuver, the SBT EVO G2 is the way to go. It won’t break the bank either, coming in at a very affordable $125.
5 | SB Tactical TF1913
The last entry on our list of the best pistol braces is the SB Tactical TF1913. This is the first entry on the list that uses a Picatinny rail to attach the pistol brace to the rear of the firearm. Although these setups might not seem as common, this attachment style makes it very versatile and allows it to fit a variety of firearms.
The TF1913 is also equipped with a left-side folding hinge and a minimalist design that allows the firearm to continue being used even with the brace folded out of the way. It is very slim, one inch wide, and weighs only 10.9 ounces. When fully deployed, it measures 9.5 inches in length.
It has a durable steel hinge that locks in both the folded and extended positions to give the shooter a piece of mind that the brace will stay in the position of choice. It comes ready to install and is very simple to install like any other picatinny accessory.
For this small, minimalist pistol brace, the $200 price tag might seem slightly higher than others, but it is worth the investment when the user is seeking the versatility of the folding option.
Choosing the Right One for the Gun
When it comes to choosing the right pistol brace for the firearm at hand, we highly suggest researching the best pistol braces that will work with the particular firearm in question. Each firearm, based on its design, will handle different types of braces. For example, most AR platforms are going to accept different pistol braces than those of an AK platform, CZ platform, or use or some may use a Picatinny setup.
There are some very good pistol braces out there that are more universal than others, but make sure to get the one that will fit the specific firearm needing the pistol brace.
Personalizing Your Pistol Brace
For those that want to spice things up and like to personalize their firearm, the pistol brace has a few options for doing this. The most common is personalizing the velcro strap that helps attach the brace to the forearm of the user. The Flatline Fiber Company offers great brace straps that are much higher quality than stock straps that will come with the pistol brace itself. They are better quality and super affordable at $25 per brace strap.
Flatline Fiber Company offers nine different colors and patterns to choose from and fits a wide variety of pistol braces on the market. They are constructed out of 1” nylon webbing and bonded nylon thread. The Flatline Fiber Company Brace Straps are made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty!
Check them out and add high-quality personal flair to your pistol brace.
We recommend jumping into the pistol brace market if you haven’t done so already. If you already have an AR, AK, or another similar platform and want some added stability or the ability to shoot one-handed, you can’t go wrong with getting a good quality pistol brace.
Find the one that fits your needs and is versatile enough to do anything you want. We gave you some really good, affordable options that are extremely versatile in several different ways, whether it’s a telescoping design or a foldable brace.
Be sure to do the needed research on the brace so it fits the specific firearm you are looking to attach it to. Once you have tried a pistol brace, you won’t want to shoot without one.