Even though more typical for military service rifles, carbines, direct marksmanship rifles, and light machine guns, 5.56x45mm NATO makes occasional appearances on the pistol stage as well. Those are not common pistols you could carry for self-defense, though. 5.56 handguns utilize cartridges designed for military needs and thus combine high velocity and magazine capacity (around 30 rounds) with lightweight design and small size. AR pistols offer more maneuverability than corresponding rifles.
You could call 5.56 pistols, rifles, and carbines the descendants or at least close relatives of the .223 Remington firearms. The .223 cartridge was invented earlier and served as a base for the 5.56x45mm, which makes them similar in many ways. The early development of the .223 Remington began in 1957 after the U.S. Continental Army Command issued a project on the creation of a small-caliber, high-velocity (SCHV) firearm. A couple of years before this event, NATO accepted 7.62x51mm as its first standardized cartridge. It was criticized for excessive recoil that didn’t allow for a sufficient automatic rate of fire in modern combat, but standardization was more important than the pursuit of ideal ammo. The SCHV project has several guidelines for the engineers to follow, and making the cartridge of .22 caliber was one of them. Remington, which was involved in the project together with Winchester and Armalite, developed a .222 Special cartridge that eventually got the name .223 Remington and was officially accepted in 1963. In seven years, NATO agreed to choose a second, smaller caliber cartridge to replace the 7,62x51 mm. A Belgium firearm manufacturer FN Herstal used the .223 Remington as a base for the new cartridge, which was named 5.56x45mm NATO and became a standard in 1980. The .223 Remington set the new tendency on lightweight, high-velocity military service cartridges that allowed the soldiers to carry more ammunition with the same weight.
Gritr Sports has a wide choice of 5.56x45mm NATO pistols. You can select from various barrel lengths, including 7.5in, 8in, 10in, and 10.5in AR pistols. We also have firearms of various makes: Diamondback, CZ, IWI US, Rock River Arms, and other well-established brands. Whether you need a DB15 5.56 NATO or Bren 2 Ms, we have them.