AR-15 and AK pistols may be popular today, but they were hardly the first. In fact, the idea of stripping down a rifle into a smaller “pistol” version has been around for years. In the 60s and 70s, American firearm manufacturers started to produce the “Enforcer” M1 pistol, which was almost identical to the original M1 carbine minus the stock. Manufacturers initially made the pistol M1’s out of military surplus parts but as those became more scarce—and valuable—production was switched over to entirely new commercial parts.
As a result, the actual performance of the pistols were mixed and as a whole, the firearms were not considered particularly effective—especially not for the police and military market they were initially marketed towards. Fast forward a few decades and the guns are finding a resurgence in popularity due to collector interest. In the video below, Ian from Forgotten Weapons gives you a brief rundown on the history behind these pistols and how they work.