SB Tactical has become one of the larger brace manufacturers for the gun industry. They make braces for most of the popular firearm models available today. There are a few very common braces that are some of SB Tactical’s most popular called the SBM4 and SBA3. The SBM4 was a fixed brace that was one of the first popular style braces that SB Tactical made. In the last couple of years, SB Tactical came out with the SBA3 brace which was one of the first braces to be adjustable. Now two years later, SB Tactical has come out with the SBA4 brace which is essentially the adjustable version of SB Tactical’s popular SBM4 model. So what’s the difference between the SBA3 and SBA4? Let’s take a look at them.
The biggest thing that makes the SBA3 brace unique compared to other braces is the fact it’s built as a minimalist brace. Some braces can be rather bulky especially if you use something like a LAW tactical folder or carry it inside of a bag. The SBA3 solves this issue by making the brace as thin and compact as possible. It can still be used on your arm as intended and if you are really naughty and shoulder the brace, it does have a little flex to the bottom of the brace.
There are velcro straps that are available aftermarket to tighten up the rubber flex in the SBA3 but some flex is expected since it is such a small unit. The SBA3 is great for a smaller PDW or something you want a small package but has the versatility of a brace. The SBA3 has a five slot adjustment that can be activated by pressing down on the front of the lever. It has a QD mount for a sling and gives the shooter a ton of different options to set up the gun.
The SBA4 brace is the newest variation of braces for the AR-15 that SB Tactical makes currently. This brace has five positions of adjustment like the SBA3 but is built like the older SBM4 model. The SBA4 is a much more robust and stiffer brace than other SB Tactical braces like the SBA3 or PDW brace. The SBA4 brace is great for a sturdy cheek weld or velcroing it to your arm. If you’re feeling wild and mom gives you permission you could even gently touch it to your shoulder and really feel how sturdy the design is, but I didn’t tell you to do that.
Where the SBA3 is smaller and lower profile, the SBA4 is thicker and feels more consistent when shooting it at a faster rate. The SBA4 also has a QD sling mount built into the brace so it makes installing a sling crazy easy. Another difference the SBA4 has from the SBA3 is the fact you have to press down on the rear of the lever to adjust the brace instead of the front. It’s a minor difference that doesn’t make much difference but moving between braces can be confusing at first.
My Thoughts on the SBA3 and SBA4
After running both braces for a few months on various guns, I think both have a place in the firearm community. I would definitely pick up the smaller SBA3 brace if I was building a small PDW style gun. If size was an issue there isn’t much out there that will beat the SBA3, but you’ll have the flex and less support than the SBA4. Personally, I prefer the thicker but sturdier SBA4 or older fixed position SBM4 just because of the support it gives to the shooter. Let me know what you guys prefer in the comments below. If you have any questions about braces please for the love of God don’t write the ATF. That is what usually gets gun owners in trouble so if you have a question feel free to message me on my Instagram page @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!
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