We all remember when “The SIG Brace” hit the market in 2013, forever revolutionizing what it meant to controllably wield a large pistol. Free of exclusivity restrictions, SB Tactical, creator of that original pistol stabilizing brace, has spent the last couple years innovating sleeker, lighter, cooler new designs.
Their newest for the AR-15 platform: the SBA3.
Much to my surprise, the SBA3 ships complete with a receiver extension (buffer tube). It’s a 7075 aluminum, five-position adjustable, standard mil-spec job.
Yes, you read that right, it’s an actual carbine receiver extension rather than some weird “pistol” thing. Realizing that, I then understood why it’s included in the box: your pistol doesn’t have a carbine receiver extension on it.
The best part? It’s adjustable! No longer are you and your range buddies stuck with a brace that’s too short or too long for your…forearm. Or wherever you like to brace it.
That’s as short as it goes, seen in the photo above.
And here it is fully extended. Simply squeeze the front of the release lever upwards to unlock the brace and move it between the five positions. This is similar to many AR-15 stocks so it will be familiar to most users.
Most of the brace is hard plastic. Notable exceptions include the steel QD socket insert on each side, the flexible rubber arms, and the nylon strap. Overall it looks and feels good. A lot nicer in quality, finish, and feel than a standard mil-spec M4 stock, for instance.
For those who like to brace against their cheek, the SBA3 is awesome. Its shape makes for a fantastic cheek weld.
For those who like to brace a brace against the inside of their arm, the SBA3 works well there, too. Its relatively skinny profile, slightly curved-in sides, and flexible rubber are comfortable and provide good control.
For those who stick an arm through an SB Tactical brace and strap it on, you’ll find the SBA3 is really tight. And the strap is short. Though the rubber arms are flexible enough to properly accommodate my forearm, the strap is far too short to get around and hold the brace on. It only fits on my wrist. Which is great, except I can’t reach the pistol grip like that. (EDIT: SB Tactical reached out to inform us that this was a production mistake and other than a small batch, SBA3s do come with a sufficiently long strap.)
For those who may incidentally brace their pistol brace against their shoulder, the flat-ish rear and the excellent cheek rest make the SBA2 about as good as it gets in pistol brace land.
Out on the range, the SBA3 was awesome. Having that length adjustment is great. Extremely convenient. I was able to collapse it down for transport then quickly move it between positions for bracing inside of my forearm, on my cheek, and on my shoulder.
Well-designed and well-made, the SBA3 fits precisely on the receiver extension and locks securely into each adjustment hole. It’s simple, comfortable, adds QD sockets where I like ’em, and just flat-out works for the ways I prefer to use a pistol stabilizing brace.
Specifications: SB Tactical SBA3 Pistol Stabilizing Brace
Includes 7075 mil-spec carbine receiver extension
Two integrated QD sling sockets
Fits: any firearm that accepts an AR-15 receiver extension
Weight: 6.75 oz
Max Width: 1.8 in
Color: Black or FDE
Ratings (out of five stars):
Function * * * * *
I’ll primarily brace a brace on my cheek or on my shoulder. In those cases the SBA3 is a full-on, five-star product. Braced inside of the forearm it’s more like a weak four-star performer, and for arm-through-the-brace use, it basically sucks. But I don’t care. For how I use this — and for how most of us use a pistol stabilizing brace — it earns top marks. And it’s length-adjustable!
Quality * * * * *
As plastic and rubber go, the SBA3 brings ’em together in the nicest way. Fit and finish are great. For aesthetic purposes, the only thing I would change would be shaving down the little mold line along the top and bottom.
Aesthetics * * * *
Cool factor is here. This brace gives the shoulder stock look, which gives your pistol the SBR look. Which is another reason many of us add a pistol stabilizing brace in the first place. It balances out the aesthetic of the firearm, and the SBA3 does it in grand fashion.
Overall * * * * *
SB Tactical’s new SBA3 pistol stabilizing brace is quite possibly the best AR-15 style brace on the market. It flawlessly combines form and function in a lightweight package.