With all the controversy surrounding the SB15 arm brace and its lookalike clones, I was more or less done with the whole pistol stabilizing brace movement. I had lost interest and found myself looking over my back every time I used a brace (“correctly” or not). They just left a uneasy feeling in the back of my mind. Looking for an alternative to the painful class 3 stamps, I scoured the net for options. Just as I gave up all hope, I found the Shockwave Technologies Blade Pistol Stabilizer.
The Blade fits all pistols equipped with a standard AR-15 pistol buffer tube (up to 1.25″ in diameter)—AR pattern, Glock, CZ Scorpion Evo 3, HK9X pattern, etc. It is available in black and flat dark earth, and weighs a scant 5.0 ounces. The ATF has approved The Blade for pistol use. Shockwave is a veteran owned company, and The Blade is made in U.S.A.
Filling the same roll as the SB15, this device takes on the task of stabilizing your AR style pistol or any pistol with a 1.25” diameter buffer tube. Yet the Blade does it all that much better. Slim and constructed of hard glass reinforced polymer, the blade offers much more to the tactically minded shooter.
The Blade allows the shooter to fully extend the length of the device to the end of the buffer tube as well as change its angle on the tube. Locked into place with a setscrew, the Blade creates a lockup that is absolute. Once you torque the setscrew into place the Blade isn’t going anywhere.
The Blade allows for the use of retention straps for securing the Pistol Blade to your arm. But oddly enough, it didn’t ship with a Velcro strap or any other way to achieve that extra level of retention. When the slots aren’t being used for retention, they could easily be used as sling attachment points.
Shooting with the Blade
Running my POF-5 pistol with the Shockwave Blade, I found new interest in the firearm. The old SB-15 is functionally solid, but it looked a bit chunky. The Blade looks like it is designed to be on the gun. The SB15 looks like an afterthought.
Legally, there are two ways to utilize the Blade: either using a cheek-weld or angling it into your forearm for support. Given that it is very adjustable, the Blade does both well. It isn’t as firm as a true stock, but it is much better than nothing at all.
Given that the blade is adjustable in both length and angle, ergonomics are all up to the end user. You can pull it in on the buffer tube for a short OAL, or pull it out for more. It’s also important to note that the finish of the polymer is smooth but gives a firm hold on your skin.
The Standing Question
The Blade is legal and ATF approved, so long as you follow the rules. And just on those merits alone, the Shockwave Blade Pistol Stabilizer knocks the brace concept out of the park. The real appeal, as I see it, is it does everything the other braces do, but has none of the bulk and more length of pull. And if the ATF ever changes their mind about shouldering pistol braces, the Blade will be even more versatile.
The Blade retails for a real world price of $50. Head over to their website for more. We’ve certainly liked what we’ve seen so far.