Best braced pistols for 2020

With SHOT Show behind us and most of the year still ahead, let’s take a look at my picks for the top 5 Braced Pistols for Hog Hunting in 2020. These are in no particular order, but they all hit my radar at SHOT Show in Las Vegas.

Diamondback Firearms DBX57

DBX 57

It seems like the 5.7 round is the new craze this year with the Ruger 57 getting most of the headlines.  However, the Diamondback DBX57 grabbed my attention much like the slot machines in the Las Vegas airport stop a gambling addict in their tracks.  Chasing hogs with the DBX57 would not be our first foray into hog hunting with a 5.7 round.  We were hog hunting with 5.7 before it was cool, before SHWAT™ had a name and a website.

On that first hog hunt with the 5.7mm round we used an FN PS90. That was ten years ago, and at first glance it looks like the DBX57 has some advantages. The dimensions are  attractive.  Weighing only 3.7 pounds, with a brace, and measuring a mere 25.4 inches long with the brace extended, feel free to add your favorite accessories. Your kit will remain lightweight.

The 8-inch barrel has the common 1/2-28RH thread so most 22 suppressors will work, but how well is another conversation. The pressure of the 5.7 will not play nice with some 22 cans. That said, add a decent silencer and a thermal scope, the DBX57 remains lightweight (about 5 pounds) and compact, relatively speaking.  The MLOK rail comes in handy should you decide to add a light to this rig.  Happily, this gun comes with a 20 round magazine which will work out well when you get into a sounder.

Diambond DBX 57

Even with the Silencerco can, this thing small!

Falkor Defense 6.5 Ranch Hand

Falkor Defense Ranch Hand Pistol

If you know me and see “6.5”, you are probably thinking “Grendel”. Wrong!  Yes, it’s true, I am a huge fan of my Alexander Arms 6.5 Grendel. But today let’s talk about the Ranch Hand, a 6.5 Creedmoor pistol made by Falkor Defense.

The Ranch Hand pistol includes several “upgrades”.  For example, on most of my hunting weapons, I usually install a better trigger, charging handle and ambidextrous controls.  The Ranch Hand eliminates the need to do this by including a Geissele Trigger, Falkor Mach 10 Charging Handle and Ambi Short Throw Safety Selector.  The only thing I would change is the DRACOS Ace Muzzle Break. In my perfect world, every gun runs with a silencer, so I’d drop the brake to add my Dead Air Nomad or Dead Air Sandman S. Seriously, because friends don’t let friends shoot unsuppressed.

At 8.8 pounds, the Ranch Hand is a little heavier than I prefer. Part of that is attributed to the 14.1″ Ballistic Advantage bull barrell.  Adding my Nomad and Pulsar Trail XP50 would make this weigh in right under 11 pounds, not including the loaded 20 round Lancer magazine.

Will the included upgrades be enough to overcome the weight of this pistol?  Hopefully, we can let you know later this year.

Adams Arms P3 308 Pistol

Adams Arms P3 308 Pistol

Never heard of Adams Arms? Same here until one day I was searching the we, gathering information on  different companies that offer piston systems. One click later and I find myself at AR15.com.

Adams Arms has a pretty simple system.  P1, P2, and P3 are their different rifle/pistol models.  P1 is the entry-level while the P3 versions sit at the top of the group. While the P3 308 Pistol is not on the Adams Arms website as I’m writing this, the gun will be released sometime this year.

As the top tier from Adams Arms, P3 guns typically comes with top of the line hardware.  This includes a Proof Research carbon fiber barrel, ambidextrous safety selector and charging handle, and a flat-faced CMC trigger.  I don’t know if this pistol will include all of these upgrades, but we look forward to finding out.

The weight and length of the pistol are unknown at this time but I suspect it will have a 12.5-inch barrel. Time will tell.

So why did this Adams Arms pistol grab my attention? It’s the first complete 308 piston pistol I’ve seen. Is it the only one out there? Suppressing this strikes me as mandatory, but if pistons, 308 and short barrels float your boat, this should be a winner.

ARSENAL AK-20

The Arsenal AK-20 is one of the most talked-about guns of 2020 and also the first 7.62×39 I ever shot.  While there is not a ton of information out on Arsenal’s website about the new product, here is what I can tell you.

Arsenal AK-20

Forgive me, I only got a pic of the rifle version. I’d go for the pistol version, personally.

The AK-20 can be configured as a pistol, SBR or rifle and can sport an 8.5″, 10.5″ or 16.5″ barrel.  I like having options and the AK-20 gives you plenty.  I confess the whole AK platform is very foreign to me. From what I understand, the AK47 often struggles when shooting subsonic rounds.  Well, Arsenal fixed that with an adjustable gas block. Just set to “normal,” “subsonic” or “off” as needed.

Did it work? Oh yes! The supers were so quiet I thought they were subs! When I shot the subs, my jaw hit the floor, it was stupid quiet.

To me, the most unique thing about AK-20 platform is the suppressor set-up.  I shot a 10.5″ version of this gun with a suppressor.  The threads for the suppressor are connected to the upper receiver rather than the muzzle.  So when putting on the suppressor, it is almost like a shroud, where the whole suppressor goes over the exposed barrel.  It’s hard to explain but you can see the threads in the picture below. Maybe we can get one for a video at some point.

Arsenal AK20

As far as hog hunting with the AK-20 goes, my only concern is that the rail may not extend far enough back to mount a thermal with proper eye relief. You could go with a laser….

The AK-20 pistol is supposed to come out in the second or third quarter this year.

MAXIM DEFENSE MDX:510

Maxim Defense MDX:510

Up to this point, the only thing I knew about Maxim Defense was they made the PDX and I wasn’t sure what use I had for one.  Well, my world got rocked when I saw the MDX:510.

The Maxim Defense MDX:510 (where “10” stands for 10.3″ barrel length) is gorgeous. When building your MDX:510, you have the option to pick your color (Arid or Black), caliber (300 Blackout, 5.56 or 7.62×39), configuration (pistol or rifle), and brace/stock (SCW or QCB). Talk about Legos for adults!

Like the Falkor Defense Ranch Hand, the Maxim Defense MDX:510 comes with a lot of upgrades.  This includes the Radian Raptor Charging Handle, Radian Talon ambidextrous selector and ALG Combat Defense Trigger.  Like QD mounts? This gun has plenty.

The MDX:510 comes with Maxim’s Hatebrake muzzle booster which I would remove for obvious reasons (#suppresseverything).  Unlike the Arsenal AK-20, the rail extends all the way which allows for a thermal to be properly mounted.

If you want a shorter barrel version, the MDX:508 has an 8.5-inch barrel.  The MD:15 can be either the 8.5″ or 10.3″ but it doesn’t appear to come with the upgrades.

Regardless of which these Maxim Defense pistols you pick, I think all of them are winners.

Final Thoughts

All of these pistols check my boxes for a good, hog hunting pistol. We are excited to bring you more news about them throughout 2020. Stay tuned!