Only a few years ago the SB Tactical arm brace elevated the obscure AR-15 pistol from the level of occasional range toy and oddity to functional and desirable firearm. Thanks to our mercurial friends at the ATF, there was once a question about the legality of these devices, but that has now been satisfactorily resolved.
SB Tactical introduced a new extension to their line last year that not only extended their product line but actually expands the way their braces could be used: the extendable adjustable PSB.
While the original stabilizing brace was a great product, there were some downsides. For one, it was a bit bulky with flared flaps designed to wrap around your arm. It was also fixed in place and couldn’t be adjusted to make the gun more compact if needed. There was definitely room for improvement, and the PSB looks to hit all those marks.
With the PSB, SB Tactical has chosen a design that more closely resembles the original stabilizing brace that they submitted to the ATF for approval many moons ago. This slimmer configuration was replaced by the more flared version we’re familiar with because SB was afraid that the ATF might pull the plug if they made it too easy to shoulder.
It seems like their fears were well-founded — the ATF did exactly that as soon as competitors like Shockwave got into the game with their significantly slimmer single blade designs. But now that they have the all clear, SBT is playing catch-up.
As you’d expect, the slim Heidi Klum edition PSB doesn’t work nearly as well as the bulkier Kim Kardashian model at performing its original job – clamping onto your arm. The PSB’s straight flaps do in fact function and will grip your arm sufficiently to fire the pistol as intended, but it not quite as well as the original.
Then again, firing the handgun in a manner the manufacturer doesn’t intend is much more comfortable. As with the original, the short length of pull on the PSB when shouldered makes it a little awkward at first, but with a little practice even larger shooters should be just fine.
You may have noticed that the arm brace was specifically marketed for the SIG MPX, but I have it mounted here on my MCX handgun (specifically the .300 AAC Blackout version). While the PSB may not have the manufacturer’s blessing for this application it nevertheless fits without complaint.
The real party trick here is the ability for the arm brace to retract and make the firearm even more compact. As I said, the original brace was good, but bulky. With the new PSB on board the gun can be compressed for storage and carted around much more easily and stealthily while still giving the shooter the option to extend it for more stability.
The collapsibility is great, but is it $100 great? With the original SB15 still having an MSRP of $149.99 you’ll pay an added Benjamin for the ability to extend and retract your arm brace. There’s little doubt that it’s still much cheaper and quicker than a tax stamp, but I feel like we may be inching closer to the edge of that price versus utility debate.
For those who own an MPX or MCX this makes tons of sense. But if you raise the price another $50 and ask me again I’m not sure I’d have the same reaction.
Specifications: SB Tactical PSB
MSRP: $249.99 ($199.99 on Optics Planet)
Ratings (out of of five stars):
Functionality * * * *
It works beautifully for the unintended purpose of shouldering, less so when strapping one onto your arm. And I’m okay with that.
Quality * * * *
Extends and retracts without an issue and feels comfortable against my cheek. The mounting bracket isn’t perfectly mated to the receiver, but then again it was designed for an MPX and I slapped mine on an MCX.
Overall Ratings * * * *
It may not be perfect, but it’s the best tool for the job right now.