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.