Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

By Anner

So there I was, minding my own business, searching for a 10mm pistol caliber carbine (PCC) for less than Kriss Vector street price.  I’d had my fill of sourcing parts for an AR pistol build, only to find that reliably feeding 10mm into an AR-15 platform is a giant Dremel-abusing PITA.  Upon Stumbling around SHOT 2018, I found this:

Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

It’s called the 1SHOT, a product of USA1SHOT and RSR Industries.  USA1SHOT produces models for Glock, 1911, SIG P320, and S&W 686 handguns in both left- and right-hand versions.  For handgun models that feature nearly identical backstraps (G19, G17, for example), USA1SHOT provides one model to cover them all and some grip tape to help the 1SHOT mate with the handgun’s grip.

NOTE:  Since I purchased my 1SHOT in January 2018, it appears USA1SHOT has redesigned the grip and buffer tube angle and now calls it the 1SHOTARM.  This review only covers the 1SHOT shown in the photos throughout this article, though I imagine the latest 1SHOTARM has improved on the design.

OVERVIEW / HANDLING

The 1SHOT is a molded half-section of polymer that mates to a handgun’s rear and left grip panels, sports AR buffer tube female threads in the rear, and includes a KAK Shockwave buffer tube and pistol brace (gen 1).

There is no ‘attachment’ involved. Your hand secures the 1SHOT to the pistol and that’s what keeps the product from being NFA regulated and you on the ATF’s good side. You simply grip your handgun, add the 1SHOT, acquire a cheek weld, line up the sights, and bang. In theory….

The grip adds some girth to the rear and left side grip panels of your handgun. I found it similar to adding a larger backstrap (the largest backstrap) on the numerous pistols equipped to do so these days. It’s comfortable, just fatter.

Your hand can form a mostly natural two-handed grip, though I found my palms not mating to each other as naturally or solidly as without the 1SHOT. That’s of little concern, because you now have a rock-solid cheek weld to steady the whole show. Or so I thought.

Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

The buffer tube position and angle result in a low comb height. For iron sights, I was using the middle of my cheek, pushing the lower third of my cheekbone into the brace. With a Vortex Venom attached, I was using some jawline on the brace. Not ideal, but still stable.

After several mags with both options, I preferred iron sights for comfort and stability. It’s a shame, because I intended this for use with a red dot.

Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

The manual of arms is a bit strange with the 1SHOT. Unless you have gorilla hands, you won’t be reaching the mag release with your right thumb. Also, charging the slide is very much an ‘over the top’ grip, vice a sling-shot rear grip.

Slide manipulation and mag changes are easiest when the pistol is at a low ready, not when braced against your shoulder. The grip is secure enough to allow you to remove the 1SHOT from your shoulder and not lose control of either the handgun or the brace. Overall, if you consider your right hand useless for anything beyond gripping the handgun and pressing the trigger, you’ll figure it out.

Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

Drills with a weaponlight on the dust cover proved uneventful. My left thumb still reaches the Streamlight TLR-1’s paddle switch. A TLR-7/8 with side pushbutton activation may be more difficult with the larger grip now that your hands are slightly farther back from the dust cover, but I didn’t have a chance to test it.

SHOOTING EXPERIENCE

Shooting with the 1SHOT is a mixed experience. The design of the grip and ability to brace the handgun against your shoulder is a large improvement in stability. With irons, I found ringing a 10-inch steel gong at 60 yards was a breeze. With a red dot, a 10-inch plate at 100yds was repeatable in slow fire. With any popular 9mm, .45 ACP, etc. pistol load, review a bullet drop chart at those ranges before expecting excellence.

Keep in mind that a semi-automatic slide reciprocates right there—right there—in front of your face. However, there’s plenty of clearance with a normal shooting stance, enabling you to avoid slide bite…on your face. Length of pull is a little short compared to a fully-extended AR-15 stock, but if you’re comfortable with braced AR pistols you won’t have a problem.

Reliability is actually increased in one aspect. I have a heavy .45 ACP suppressor that normally makes Browning short-recoil action handguns choke without feeding them the stoutest ammo loads. The 1SHOT enables the slide to slam rearward against a more solid platform, cycling even cheap .40S&W ammo through a suppressed GLOCK 40.

Unsuppressed, or with full house 10mm loads, the GLOCK and 1SHOT ran as advertised. My only concern is with the 1911 model, flat mainspring housings only. While USA1SHOT advertises that the brace disengages the grip safety, I would want to thoroughly test that claim before depending on the 1SHOT for defensive use.

Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

Shooting comfort is hard to evaluate with just four data points. I only have a large-frame GLOCK model 1SHOT (G20/21, etc.). Given an extremely lightweight setup, I was uncertain how many fillings Underwood 180gr loads would dislodge.

Through my G40 and G20, Underwood 10mm produced a medium thwack to the shoulder and cheek; nothing abusive, but not Sunday afternoon plinking pleasant, either. With .40 S&W in either pistol, it was on par with a .223 AR pistol—breezy. I expect that a 1SHOT mated to a 9mm duty-sized handgun would be a cinch.

THE BRACE

My biggest gripe with the 1SHOT isn’t the 1SHOT itself, it’s the KAK Shockwave brace. I’ve used Gen 1 Shockwaves on several AR pistol builds. They’re cheap, they work, and I think they look pretty good.

They’re also slim, rigid, and do not soak up any recoil. On a .223 semi-auto, that’s not a problem. On anything more powerful, particularly on a setup this lightweight with Underwood loads, it gets uncomfortable.

I’ve also found that the Shockwave set screw tends to migrate out of the detent unless you torque that sun–of-a-gun down like you mean it. If the set screw slips out of the detent on an AR pistol, your face inches closer to a closed and self-contained receiver. On the 1SHOT, your face inches closer to a wood chipper. I would have gladly paid more (or less) for one of these two options:

1.      USA1SHOT deletes the buffer tube assembly, drops the price, and leaves buffer tubes/brace options open to the customer.

2.      USA1SHOT coordinates with SB Tactical for a better pistol brace like an SBA3.

Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

As it is, I intend to torque that brace locking nut down and leave it as extended as possible. Since the Shockwave conceals the detents and leaves you blindly tightening the Allen screw into bare aluminum, I figured out a trick: remove the screw to find the desired detent, then mark the buffer tube with pencil.  If you collapse the brace and want to extend it to that same LOP, you have a reference point.

Additionally, you can save yourself an Allen wrench and upgrade to an exposed set screw here or here.  In the future, I may tinker with removing the Shockwave buffer tube and upgrading the brace.

CONCLUSION

So what is the 1SHOT, other than a goofy-looking accessory? I started my journey searching for a ‘cheap’ alternate to a full KRISS Vector setup, something that would allow consistent hits at 50-100yds.  I found it. For 9mm PCC aficionados, it’s far cheaper ($200) than a CZ Scorpion Evo or even a Kel-Tec SUB-2000, assuming you already own the handgun.

For iron sight handgun hunters that know the limit of their shot isn’t the terminal performance of the bullet, but bullet placement (that’s me!), this stretches 10mm or .357 Mag handguns out some extra distance.

Gear Review: USA 1SHOT Pistol Brace

“Assembled”, the G40/1SHOT setup is shorter OAL than a Galil Ace pistol, which means short

It’s not a firearm itself, so it ships directly to your door and travels wherever you do. [Here’s the ‘I am not an attorney’ disclaimer.] I imagine you could carry this (in a backpack, in a vehicle) wherever you can carry a handgun.

I dislike carrying a slew of firearms in my truck and leaving it in a parking lot, even as quiet as my little town is. I can now pack a G20, keep the 1SHOT stowed under the backseat, and have a rig capable of taking deer (or bad guys, of course) farther than I could ethically do with iron sights alone.

It’s lightweight, has almost no moving parts (damn you, set screw), and fairly intuitive after some practice. For me, it’s a perfect truck gun accessory. It eliminates the need (not the want, nor will) to carry multiple firearms in my vehicle.

Specifications:  USA1SHOT 1SHOT 

Caliber:  Various
Platform:  GLOCK (anything but the minis), full-size 1911 (flat mainspring housing only), SIG SAUER P320 (medium grip), and S&W 686
Weight:  Light
Finish:  Model T
MSRP:  $200

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall * * * *
The KAK Shockwave holds back the overall feel of quality and stability that the 1SHOT otherwise oozes. Practical utility is there, cost is reasonable, and fun factor with light loads is outstanding. Provide some brace options as mentioned above, tweak the comb height, and this is a 5-star item.

 

All photos by the author for TTAG.

 

comments

  1. avatar Whoopie says:

    There’s no reason not to install a proper shoulder stock. ATF rules preclude attaching a shoulder stock to a pistol, but if you’re only holding the gun to the stock by hand, it’s ok. That said, having experimented with such rigs, I find that it’s hard to use open sights because they’re now closer to the face. A red dot would be better.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      That’s what I was thinking, why use a Shockwave at all? Otherwise it looks like a decent product, although a bit of a solution looking for a problem.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      Two questions:

      Can one put a brace on any rifle? Not just the AR15 or AK – what about any rifle?

      Why can’t this brace be attached to the pistol? The brace doesn’t change the configuration of AR15 pistol, how can it change the configuration of a Glock?

      1. avatar Anner says:

        The short answer is yes–throwing a brace on any rifle doesn’t change the classification of the firearm as long as the OAL remains above 26″ with any collapsible/folding stock/brace attachments fully extended. Below 26″ and you’re in NFA territory.

        It can be attached to the pistol. Endo Tactical makes a fine adapter to do just that, but it’s only for Gen 3 Glocks. The Gen 4 backstrap is a little slimmer, so Gen 3 accessories don’t work.

  2. avatar Michael in AK says:

    The angle of that stock on a glock looks very uncomfortable.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      Pictures don’t do it justice. The angle is perfect for as normal a grip as you’re going to achieve with an object melding to the backstrap and grip panels. My only complaint about ‘angles’ is the buffer tube assembly and the comb height it produces. Hence, irons are more comfortable to use since they sit slightly lower than a red dot.

  3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    “the glock” is well aftermarketed to.
    this would be cool on a bruin or a big long grand power thing.

  4. avatar Bloving says:

    Hmm.
    My first thought was “why not attach it directly where a replaceable grip panel like what we see on XDMs, M&Ps, Ruger SR Series, etc. are equipped with” but of course… that would make it a Naughty Gun according to our Overseers.
    🤠

  5. avatar Chadwick says:

    For a g17 and similar framed Glocks I like the Endo brace/stock adapter. Might be worth a look if you want a brace stuck on your Glock without modifying the Glock.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      Last I checked, Endo was Gen 3 only. I don’t think Glock ever made a Gen 3 G40 (it arrived when Gen 4 was pretty well established), so I’m stuck with other options. The G40, with it’s longer barrel and sight radius, is the platform I practically intend to use with the 1SHOT. A work around may be to find a Gen 3 G20, install a 9″ lone wolf barrel, and look like the Joker whipping out that phallic thing. But then I’d be 2/3 of the way to a Kriss Vector 10mm pistol, and that wasn’t the point.

  6. avatar Ing says:

    That is one weird-looking dingus. But hey, if it works…

    1. avatar Kevin says:

      That’s what she said.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        😀
        I was waiting for that.

  7. avatar Gunmonkey says:

    Did I miss the memo or is the foregrip on that Galil Ace pistol a no-no? Yikes!

    1. avatar Jack says:

      Over 26″?

      1. avatar Anner says:

        IWI website calls OAL exactly 26.75″. Good to go.

  8. avatar bob says:

    Can we just get rid of the NFA now, how many versions of banned stuff do we need to invent before we collectively go, ok, maybe Tommy guns aren’t scary anymore….??

    1. avatar Sal Chichon says:

      Ya know…

  9. avatar Richard Hertz says:

    Dumb. Learn to properly shoot a pistol! I rather spend the extra money to get a real pistol caliber carbine or SBR.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      Agreed: I’d much rather have a reliable, accurate, semi-auto 10mm PCC. I’ll get a Vector eventually, it’s a matter of saving up the funds. I toyed with the idea of a Mech Tech attachment, but I wanted a pistol/brace combo since 16″ of runway is a waste of space on 10mm. .357Mag or .44Mag keep increasing velocity out to at least 18″, but 10mm barely gains anything past 12″. A 9-12″ barreled platform would be perfect.

      I considered the Hi-Point 10mm carbine, but then I remembered how ugly, cumbersome, heavy, and painful to shoot their carbines are. Reliable and effective, of course, but otherwise painful in every respect.

  10. avatar Yepnope says:

    What buffer tube? Am i stupid or should something called a buffer tube, ya know, buffer?

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Buffer? I don’t even know her!

  11. avatar Quasimofo says:

    It looks like the current version on their web site still maintains some drop for the stock/brace, so you may still end up with a “chin weld” depending on LOP and sight orientation. The ENDO adapter may be a better option for full-size Gen3 Glocks, and with a bit of sanding and fitting it can also work for Gen4s and compact Glocks. ENDO Mike is allegedly working on a Gen4-compatible version, but that would require him spending less time in wine country and Disneyland, so don’t hold your breath…

    Also, IANAL, but I’m at least 80% sure that you can go ahead and attach a proper stock to this thing without getting your dog shot dead because this adapter isn’t actually attached to the pistol.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      I’d buy a Gen 4 Endo setup.

  12. avatar Jros says:

    at this point I want to use a full auto p90 as a pistol stabilizer

  13. avatar GS650G says:

    A product that exists because of a 80 year old law.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      It’s unreal how ridiculous the freest nation in the history of the world treats these little details.

  14. avatar Lynn says:

    What a waste of money.

    If you want something better at a reasonable price do what I did with my G20.

    Get an ENDO tactical adapter. $35
    AR buffer tube: $20
    Foxtrot Mike brace: $25 (from Primary Arms)

    You have a solid pistol brace for $80 that will not fall off and is a darn sight better than that KAK POS.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      No Gen 4 Endo kits available…yet. I’m ordering one as soon as they’re available.

  15. avatar BlakeW5 says:

    Eh. Neat idea I guess, but I can’t see an appeal, especially at $200. I like the idea of it for the 10mm, but it’s making a sizeable grip even more so. The standard grip on the Gen4 G20 is about all I can palm as is.

    I’d rather just take the $200 and apply it to an actual NFA item.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      I’ve got small, skinny hands, as shown in the photos. I like the shape and size of the G20/21/40/41 grip. It’s large, but it fits me quite well. The 1SHOT doesn’t add too much material in the areas that my hand bridges both grip and 1SHOT material, so it’s secure.

  16. avatar Guardiano says:

    *versus

  17. avatar Sal Chichon says:

    I am just happy to see some Gee-Fo-Tay love. That gun is seriously underappreciated for what it can do!

    1. avatar Anner says:

      It’s one of my all-time favorite handguns.

  18. avatar Steve says:

    You have to love these paid advertisements.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      The hyperlinks? Yes, they’re annoying. I added in my own hyperlinks to the various products I mentioned, and they were all deleted as the ad machine took over.

      If you mean the entire review and article, absolutely not. I paid my own money, spent a few months testing it out (slowly), and thought others in the market for such accessories would like to hear one opinion.

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