There has been a good deal of hoopla of late on the Draco AK pistol. Century can’t get enough of them out into the market, mostly because they appeared in some hip hop songs and videos. Needless to say, the rappers involved don’t practice appropriate gun safety, but you can’t take away from these guns that they just look cool. But are they effective weapons? Right now this Century PAP AK pistol and brace combo are available for under $1,000. Compared to an AR in .300BK, I think it beats it.
This video was actually made before I learned about the boom in Draco sales. The idea came up because Clay had done a piece on the .223/5.56 vs. the .300 BLK in an AR pistol configuration, and if you paid attention, you would have learned that the effectiveness of the .223 round depends greatly on the velocity found in barrels that are 16″ and longer. Pistol length, the bullet is not inside the bore long enough to burn all of the powder, and this leads to a huge drop off in velocity. In the field this has shown to greatly reduce the effectiveness of the cartridge. Shorty ARs look cool, and you certainly can turn corners easier with them in a close quarters house clearing situation, but at drastically reduced velocities, ultimately what matters is the bullets ability to penetrate clothing and have enough left over to disable your adversary. In this regard they fail.
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Even on paper, muzzle energy is calculated as the weight of the bullet times the squared velocity. Therefore any change velocity disproportionately effects the energy overall. It is the loss, times itself. That is why guns like the 9mm H&K MP5 have become so popular in close quarters for LE and tactical teams. With a pistol caliber carbine, you don’t get a huge bang and potentially blinding fireball from the powder burn outside the barrel, and generally the 9mm is sufficient.
But what if you want a little more? That is why Clay compared the .300BK, because in the subsonic realm, that cartridge is roughly the same bullet weights and velocities as the .45ACP, but in a longer .30 cal configuration that fits in an AR magazine. On a short barrel, the more that the original cartridge relies on bullet weight the better.
The explanation is a bit long winded I admit, but that was what got me thinking about the AK pistol. When you view it in the context of an MP5, that would shoot a 124 grain .355 diameter bullet at just over 1,000 feet per second, the 7.62×39 AK bullet is a near apples to apples comparison. The bullet is .308 diameter. The weight is also 124 grains, and the velocity is roughly 2,000 feet per second with the pistol length 10″ barrel.
Enter the brace. Because this is the game changer that should have everyone asking if the ultimate close quarters short barrel carbine is in fact an AK pistol. It used to be that the LE and military guys were the only ones allowed to run short carbines with shoulder stocks. Yea, yea, yea, plenty of you out there have a registered and legal “short barrel rifle,” but I’m so not the type to go down that road, like ever. I actually bought the first ever AK pistol back in the 90s, and I still have it. It came with a 75 round drum button welded onto the gun and you take the face of the drum off to load it. I never ground off the button weld, and I never put what would be an illegal shoulder stock on it.
The arm brace that you see in the video is produced by Century Arms, called the SB47. We have all come to call these a “SIG Brace” because they were the first to market with the idea, and they were the ones who originally got ATF approval. There have been some ups and downs since. At one point the ATF put out a second letter saying that you couldn’t shoulder the brace. But that has since been questioned by a subsequent letter just within the last few weeks. The whole thing was ridiculous to begin with, so you shouldn’t feel too back about gaming such a silly law.
The end result, as you can see in the video, is a really effective and cool looking short barrel rifle cartridge carbine. The gun I use here is Century’s PAP pistol, not the Draco. I actually prefer the PAP guns to standard AKs, but had just requested any AK pistol. Century now makes their pistols with polymer furniture as well, so the whole package is pretty dern tacticool.
If you can handle the bang and the fireball, and you absolutely must have a short barrel brace gun, I would argue that these Century AKs are the most relentlessly reliable bang for the buck. The brace itself goes for $150, so if you can pick a complete package for under $900, you’ll be way ahead of the price race for a workingman’s AR that has been raging recently. Shhh don’t tell anyone. Those rappers are actually onto something.