SIG SAUER is about to launch their new MPX firearm in 9mm, and there’s a problem. The gun was designed to work with an extremely short barrel, so all of their intended models use that same barrel length — the only difference is that the “rifle” version for the commercial market was going to include a gigantic muzzle brake that can be converted into a silencer later down the line and bring the overall length to the legally required 16 inches. Redesigning the gun to use a true 16″ barrel would take way too much time and effort to make sense. But now that the ATF has decided to classify their muzzle brake as a silencer, SIG has decided to drop the “rifle” product from the lineup (for now) and release only pistols, some of them sporting their famous SB-15 arm brace. That brings up an interesting question . . .
Since SIG’s pistol brace is basically a “good enough” stock when used “improperly” — and improper use isn’t illegal according to the ATF — is there any reason to ever make a 16″ version of a pistol caliber firearm again? Especially for firearms that are designed and intended to be compact “personal defense weapon”-style guns, what’s the point of adding all that extra barrel length when you can just slap an SB-15 on whatever “pistol” you have and essentially have an instant SBR without the tax stamp? Is there still any reason for a 16″ version of a gun that otherwise would be a kick-ass SBR?