Even a casual observer of the firearms industry might pick up on the rise of new pistol caliber carbines that have entered the market in recent times. Those based on the AR platform have been particularly plentiful.
Called the Hailstorm DS 9mm, the two guns are similar in a number of ways. Both are AR style guns that feed from Glock pattern magazines and have 7.5″ barrels. Both guns have last round bolt hold open features, an M-LOK compatible handguard and one of the company’s own conical muzzle blast deflectors. Both guns have a Hogue pistol grip and no sights.
The most significant difference between the two guns is that one is a NFA regulated item. The SBR version of the gun has a Magpul CTR stock on it. The stock combined with the sub-16″ barrel requires a federal tax stamp for lawful ownership.
On the other hand, the pistol version of the gun has a pistol buffer tube with a CAA Stock Saddle Cheek Riser. This version does not require a tax stamp. This version of the gun also has a Thordsen Enhanced Buffer Tube Cover which adds the QD sockets that are included on the SBR’s CTR stock.
I’ve had a chance to shoot several rifles made by DSI. One of those guns I reviewed was a 9mm carbine that is essentially a bigger brother to the guns shown here. With more than a dozen different self-defense loads, the gun ran without a hitch from all of the different capacity/generation Glock magazines I could find. Other than a bit of wiggle in the buffer tube assembly, the gun seemed to be well built. If it was an indicator of how these new guns will run, then I look forward to shooting them.
Both the new pistol and the SBR have a suggested retail price of $1,095.