After the launch of the company's big-bore AR-15 chambered for the new 500 Auto Max cartridge, Big Horn Armory fielded a number of consumer requests for a pistol-style version of the platform. To answer these demands, the company announced the launch of its AR500 pistol at the end of 2018.
“After the AR500 rifle came out, we started to receive inquiries regarding a pistol version,” said Greg Buchel, president of Big Horn Armory. “While listening to our customers, we also required the time to source and test parts that would create a compact AR500 without compromising on the quality our customers expect out of our guns. We believe that the AR500 pistol achieves that goal.”
To create the powerful 500 Auto Max cartridge for the AR500 rifle and pistol models, Big Horn Armory started with the dimensions of the .500 S&W cartridge, developing a rimless, straight-wall case that provides the same hard-hitting ballistic performance as this .50-caliber revolver round. Ammunition in this new chambering is now available from Buffalo Bore, Underwood Ammo and MidwayUSA, and the case can accept any .500-inch bullet weighing between 200 and 700 grains.
The Big Horn Armory AR500 pistol is constructed on the same anodized-aluminum receiver set as the rifle, only this model is equipped with a 10-inch barrel complete with a nitride finish and a 1:24-inch twist rate. An M-Lok-compatible handguard surrounds the barrel, and the muzzle end of the barrel is threaded to accept muzzle brakes and sound suppressors. A thread-protector ships with the gun to protect the muzzle while not in use.
One of the other unique features found on the AR500 is the inclusion of an adjustable gas block. This component allows users to fine-tune gas flow for reliable operation with sub-sonic loads fired through a suppressor. The gun weighs 8.1 pounds, unloaded, and ships with a single, 5-round magazine. The suggested retail price on the pistol is $2,199.