The Gray Man AR-15 8.5 Inch Pistol Project!


In an effort to develop and refine our E.D.C. kit, we decided to incorporate an AR-15 Pistol into our system. We need a highly concealable, lightweight, accurate, dependable, quick into action weapon that offers more fire power and range than traditional handguns that are chambered in the common calibers has to offer.

Enter Project “Short Sword”… the AR-15 Pistol chambered in 5.56×45!

We will being carrying our AR-15 pistols with the upper detached from the lower for stow ability in our E.D.C. backpacks. We can fit a 10.5 inch upper in our E.D.C. backpack, but with our muzzle blast / sound re-director installed makes it to tight of a fit. (We are unwilling to switch to another type of backpack at this time.) So we are building 8.5 inch barreled AR-15 pistols chambered in 5.56 for our backpack fitment purposes… Yes we know the ballistic short comings of the short barrel deal… Still the ballistics are much better that common handgun calibers. We also gain a lot of firepower, accuracy and extended range capabilities with this weapon platform! There are good ammo options available that are designed to maximize lethality when going with a short barrel AR-15… This will be discussed in an later installment.

If it is not broke, don’t fix it is a good all around motto that we will apply to this build. Meaning that this pistol build will not incorporate any exotic components that will drive the price up unnecessarily. Function before form! We will provide a cost breakdown when the project is complete.


We purchased complete 8.5 inch uppers online from Palmetto State Armory (Pictured above). They have good pricing and good products. The uppers we purchased did not include a charging handle or the bolt carrier group. The cost was about $260 delivered per upper. For the bolt carrier group and charging handle we are going with standard mil-spec parts. They work and are cheap. We will add folding back-up sights from magpul and a red dot sight of our liking. We will also add a mounted flashlight for low light target identification / room clearing. We are considering the addition of a laser sight as well. The only other change will be the swapping out of the A2 birdcage flash hider to our new flash / sound re-director. If you have ever run an AR-15 Pistol, you know the extreme muzzle flash & extra noise that this weapon produces… We want to re-direct the “flash & the bang” forward towards the threat.


For the buffer tube “Phase 5” will get the nod (Pictured above).

The lower receiver is a standard forged type.

We will use a standard lower parts kit with a “slicked up” trigger…

We normally run 2 point Viking Tactics slings, we may consider a few other options as we go through testing.

Pictures and result data to come.

We Live in a Time of War.

Be prepared to Attack!

Our best!

“Gott Mit Uns”



About Norse Defense

Gear & Tactics for the Modern Patriot

One response to “The Gray Man AR-15 8.5 Inch Pistol Project!”

  1. Bridgett Smack says :

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now when a comment is added I get four emails sticking with the same comment. Could there be in any manner you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

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