The patented Omni-Hybrid lower is a fiberglass-composite polymer over a zinc metal insert. The insert gives the polymer extra strength in the high-pressure locations and the receiver meets and surpasses military pressure and weight-bearing test requirements. This design produces a platform lighter than standard aluminum lower receivers, and its MSRP of $49.95 makes it one of the most affordable AR lowers on the market.

ATI has taken the Omni-Hybrid and assembled an AR pistol around it. It has a 7” barrel and a free-floating quad rail handguard to go with the flat-top upper receiver’s rail. Like most AR-style pistols, a buffer tube extends from the rear of the weapon. The Omni-Hybrid AR-15 Pistol weighs only 4.75 pounds and has an MSRP of $599.95, which includes a Magpul PMAG that comes with all OMNI Hybrid configurations.

“The Omni-Hybrid  AR-15 pistol is the newest edition to the Omni-Hybrid line of products,” says Joe Calabro, Director of Marketing for American Tactical. “We are making an AR Pistol product that is at a price point which will allow all black rifle enthusiasts the opportunity to own a quality product at an affordable price.”

AR pistols take the AR-15 receivers and, using short barrels and no stocks, create a gun that meets the definition of “handgun” in most jurisdictions. Firearms laws, however, make creating a pistol from a rifle illegal, so taking an existing AR rifle and swapping out parts to build an AR pistol using the same lower receiver is not currently allowed.

Advantages of this mongrel gun are that is uses the same magazines and ammunition as regular ARs, delivering better power and range than most pistols, and rail accessories designed for ARs bolt right on.

Disadvantages include being overpowered for a pistol in most situations where a pistol is appropriate, short sight radius compared to a rifle or carbine, large size for a handgun, and unwieldy ergonomics. The last is made worse by the fact that you can’t put a forward vertical grip onto a handgun without turning it into an “Any Other Weapon.” Still, AR pistols can be viewed as excellent back-up weapons in many situations and there are proponents of AR pistol use in home defense and even hunting.