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While it may not have been very popular with our troops in Vietnam, the AR has had a second awakening here in America. In fact, AR-platform rifles are now the top-selling rifles in the gun industry, and they’re quickly replacing shotguns in police cruisers around the nation. But the rifle arena couldn’t contain this popularity.

Now ARs are making big inroads into the handgun world as large megapistols, or semi-auto ARs without stocks.

Why would someone want an AR megapistol? There are a number of reasons, including bigger bullets—as most ARs chamber the .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO—more firepower thanks to 30-round magazines, and enhanced sighting options. Most ARs come with top rails for mounting backup sights and fast-targeting reflex sights or scopes. While AR pistols can’t legally have stocks, they can still use slings, making them easier to shoot off-hand.

COMBAT HANDGUNS is dedicated to bringing you the best new self-defense handguns in all shapes and sizes, and 2015 was a banner year for AR megapistols. That’s why we’ve rounded up the top five to grace our magazine’s pages this past year.

Notable models include the Armalite M-15P6, which comes from the first name in ARs (after all, “AR” stands for “Armalite Rifle”) and chambers the 5.56mm NATO. We’ve also included the CDR-15 Pistol from DRD Tactical—a covert 5.56mm powerhouse built for discreet carry.

Scroll through the gallery above to see what other AR megapistols we’ve included!

For more information on the AR megapistols mentioned above, please visit the following websites:

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