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Review: Law Tactical ARIC Pistol Plate

Last year I reviewed the Law Tactical ARIC AR-15 bolt carrier, an alternative AR-15 bolt-carrier system. The ARIC bolt carrier replaces the traditional AR receiver extension, action spring and buffer, creating a compact and self-contained system. Because it completely removes the back-end of the firearm from the equation, the ARIC allows the firearm to be fired with the AR Folding Stock Adapter (and stock) folded. In December of 2023, Law Tactical launched the ARIC Pistol Plate. Like the Folding Stock Adapter, the ARIC Pistol Plate is designed to work in conjunction with the ARIC carrier. Much like the original Folding Stock Adapter, this device is installed on the back of a standard lower receiver and retains the rear assembly of the ARIC carrier. More importantly, the ARIC Pistol Plate cannot accept any buffer tubes or stocks. In today’s era of shaky interpretations as to what constitutes a large format pistol versus an SBR (short-barreled rifle), along with the murky area of “pistol braces,” the stockless and tubeless ARIC Pistol Plate removes any doubts as to whether the firearm is a large-format pistol or not.

Installing The ARIC Pistol Plate 

The ARIC Pistol Place is easy to install; it only replaces the standard AR carbine endplate and castle nut on an AR equipped with the ARIC bolt carrier. After the plate is lined up with the back of the lower receiver, the end user screws down the threaded flange and another auxiliary setscrew. Law Tactical conveniently includes a “flat wrench” that twists and bends as soon as the correct amount of torque is applied to the threaded flange. This part resembles an inverted castle nut and is the primary component that keeps the pistol plate secured to the receiver, so the proper application of torque is critical. Once the plate is installed, the end-user simply introduces the ARIC carrier into the firearm. If the ARIC carrier is brand new, Law Tactical recommends wiping down the shipping oil, generously lubricating it with gun oil, pulling the charging handle back carrier and letting the carrier slam home a dozen times. After doing this “pre-break-in” procedure, the first two magazines of live fire should help the ARIC finish breaking-in; 5.56 NATO ammo is recommended.  

Shooting With The ARIC Carrier & Pistol Plate 

Since AR pistols equipped with the ARIC carrier and plate have no braces or any other physical structure that push against the body, the best way to shoot these firearms is using the sling-tension method pioneered by the British SAS for their HK MP5s. Although the technique merits its own full-length article, the concept is that the shooter steadies their firearm by tensioning its sling around their body and then pulling the firearm away. This takes away any slack in the sling and helps the shooter maintain better control of the firearm. While it’s not as secure as a real stock or brace, this is one of the preferred methods of controlling a large-format pistol. The ARIC Pistol Plate has two QD attachment points, so I took one of my slings with QD swivels and fastened there. I fastened the other end to another QD cup in the handguard and spent some time adjusting the sling to fit me and be able to hold tension properly.

So far, I’ve fired 85 rounds of IMI 62-grain 5.56 NATO M855 at an IPSC A/C zone target at 15 yards. Even during break-in, the ARIC ejected all brass swiftly and consistently a few feet away. 

Although this was my first time shooting a stock-less 5.56 NATO firearm, A-zone hits were not difficult and neither was maintaining control. With sling tension, my 11.5-inch AR pistol still felt more controllable at that distance than a standard 7.62×39 mm AKM with a stock. Naturally groups from quick shots will be more open than those fired from an AR with a stock. Ultimately, it’s a matter of getting a feel for this sort of thing.

The Takeaway 

The Law Tactical ARIC Pistol Plate allows for end-users to take advantage of this unique carrier’s “buffer-less” design in order to not only shorten the overall length of their firearm to make it handier in tight spaces like the SAS did, but to also eliminate any ambiguity as to their pistol’s legality. Shooting with sling tension is unconventional and takes some getting used to, but it’s nothing that can’t be worked out with dedicated practice. MSRP for the ARIC Pistol Plate is $74.95, and more information is available at lawtactical.com. 

 

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