New Uber Compact Sabertube from Battle Arms Development

Perhaps one of the most annoying “features” for those building an AR-15 handgun (and not using an arm brace” is the existence of the receiver extension tube. Unlike short-recoil handgun slides, the buffer tube sticks out a fair amount from the receiver and makes concealing the handgun (if one trys) a real annoyance.

While bufferless uppers exist, those who like the tried and true Stoner action have just been stuck with full-length receiver extensions for a while. Fortunately, various options to shorten the buffer tube have been gaining steam. Perhaps the most interesting of them both technically and visually is Battle Arms Development’s latest “Ultra Compact Pistol Sabertube” with the VERT buffer system.

In short, the Ultra Compact Pistol Sabertube is short, coming in at only 4.75″ installed from the rear of the receiver. This is about as short as one can technically go and still allow for the full stroke of standard bolt carriers. The outside of the tube is visually striking, taking the “dimple” design and applying it over the entirety of the receiver extension.

Taming recoil is Battle Arms’ VERT Buffer System. Taking inspiration from various dual-recoil spring designs, the VERT is a compact buffer using a second spring to slow the bolt carrier down at its rearmost point, softening recoil.

Construction of the Ultra Compact Pistol Sabertube is from 6065 aluminum, paired with the billet 7075-T6 QD endplate. Retail pricing is set at $225 for the full kit. It does not look like the tube will be available separately, as it will require the custom VERT buffer to function correctly.



Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Rick O’Shay

    Whooo. That’s expensive. But super tempting…. definitely different from your typical pistol options.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    So a $200 premium over an off-the-shelf buffer assembly for two inches off. Is it just me or are all the companies coming out with AR accessories not pricing for this economy? Ammo is still dropping in price.

  • Phil Hsueh

    Trys? The word you’re looking for is tries.

  • So focused on if you could

    Why?
    Why on Earth would anyone want this?

    • Gabe Is Fat

      Because having a giant tube stick out of a non-NFA pistol is kinda dumb when it could be more compact.

      • Cal.Bar

        The ONLY reason to have an AR pistol is b/c you can’t get an SBR in your state etc. and in such case, everyone WANTS a long buffer tube to use as a makeshift butt stock (even though they aren’t supposed to). So removing the buffer is counter productive.

        • roguetechie

          This post is you making a whole ton of assumptions pretty much all of which are wrong.

          As an example take a look at what people in Michigan go through to create Michigan legal AR pistols….

    • roguetechie

      For a guns of future past M231 clone builds that aren’t open bolt.

      There’s a bunch of other “reasons” out there too, but it doesn’t really matter because no one has to justify their personal preferences WRT AR15 builds they do or have done to you, me, or anyone else besides their wives!

      • LGonDISQUS

        Where can you find a M231 buffer? I’m looking to experiment.

        • roguetechie

          Ummm… If you find one let me know.

          When you can find them they’re crazy expensive.

          Personally what I’d like is the technical data for the 3 springs and maybe the striker etc too.

          I know they’ve got to be out there somewhere since I have the sheet for the bolt carrier, but in 5 years of looking I’ve never even found a hint of them in any of the usual places.

    • Lew Siffer

      To make their pistol smaller…I could ask, why would anyone want a Glock 19 instead of a 17.

      • LGonDISQUS

        Some guys and girls can’t handle big ones, I guess?

  • ozzallos .

    Or i could take that $200 and, oh, I don’t know… sbr it?

  • LGonDISQUS

    I’ve always wondered why there isn’t a captured piston style spring that goes into the BCG (with the inner portion of the bcg having a wall right before the hollow area that the FCG uses ).

    Crudely drawn tablet pictures:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f2255d0ba20b60d3856c36566825d7389271062de0e6a4bc8a47958f39451bf2.png

    Neither clearly express my idea well, vut i’m not turning on my computer to sketch something serious.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ddc6c8c6b9c24a401f47621dccf5b2fc6ffc2ceb0d81a916f9424dfea8113143.jpg

    • roguetechie

      What you’re describing is essentially a closed bolt hammer fired version of the M231 port firing weapon.

      Similar functionality can be obtained a few different ways, but personally I’d like to have something like you described available in a hammer fired or striker fired closed bolt configuration.

      • LGonDISQUS

        Wow, I never knew that existed!

        I stil believe you could drop an inch off the bcg, or use that empty area in the bcg as travel distance for a second spring on the front of a buffer. I might try making one.

        • roguetechie

          Yeah, I’m thinking you’ve hit on something worth messing with.

      • LGonDISQUS
        • roguetechie

          Yup that’s nearly exactly m231 except it doesn’t have have captive springs, but instead 3 nested springs, a metallic spring guide, and nylon bumper in the removable buffer tube cap.

        • Texas-Roll-Over

          Where do you think the honey badger came from….

  • noob

    One day, I’d love to see people’s faces when somebody crams an ar-15 pistol into an ISPC standard division measurement box and then runs the course of fire with it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/644ecf5054d3a7cb46a19db37da479955aecbdb52704d8b780b1bd809c22fa59.jpg 9