First Look: Brownells BRN-9 Upper

A short-recoil pistol-caliber upper for your large format pistol.

posted on May 14, 2023
Brownells Brn 9 Upper

Brownells has just released the blowback operated BRN-9 complete upper receiver which comes with a 5.5-inch-long barrel chambered in 9mm. The BRN-9 upper is designed to drop in seamlessly into any standard AR-15 pattern lower receiver or Brownells BRN-180 lower receiver. The BRN-9’s design also uses no buffer assemblies or systems, so it will easily work with any type of AR-15 folding stock, although NFA rules still apply for SBR purposes. Besides the compatibility with standard pattern AR-15 lowers, the BRN-9 also fits 9mm specific lowers with any type of 9mm magwell. This means that the upper can be fed from Colt, Glock, Sig, CZ Skorpion or HK MP5 magazines. If a lower has a bolt catch, the upper keeps its last round bolt hold open capability. The BRN-9 also sports a non-reciprocating charging handle that can be set up on either side of the receiver.

The nitride-finished, 5.5-inch-long barrel is made from strong 4150 ordnance steel that is also cut and threaded at the muzzle for industry standard ½ x 28 tpi threads. Both the handguard and the receiver itself are machined from a solid billet of 6061 Aluminum which gives it the look and feel of a “monolithic” upper receiver. The BRN-9 also has a fully continuous section of Picatinny rail on the 12 o'clock position to make adding optics a breeze.

Brownells BRN-9 Upper Receiver Features:

  • Machined from- billet 6061 T6 aluminum, black hardcoat anodized
  • Nitrided 4140 steel bolt
  • Lightweight Nitrided 4150 steel barrel with 1:10-inch rifling & ½-28 tpi muzzle threads
  • Continuous M1913 Picatinny top rail
  • M-Lok slots on bottom & sides of handguard
  • Compatible with 9mm Glock, Colt 32-rd SMG, CZ Scorpion, Heckler & Koch MP5, Mean Arms EndoMags & SIG Sauer P320 magazines
  • Self-contained blowback operating system, no buffer tube needed
  • Non-reciprocating steel charging handle
  • Compatible with standard mil-spec AR-15 or BRN-180 lower receivers
  • Works with last-round-bolt-hold-open lower receivers
  • Preserves function of bolt catch
  • Tapered multi material 4-piece trunnion system to maintain mechanical accuracy & longevity
  • Rear recoil buffer is 3D-printed from flexible material optimized to absorb recoil impulse
  • Over-buffer-tower design maximizes rail space
  • BRN-style brass deflector
  • Easy, tool-less takedown

Please visit for more information on this product or other items from Brownells.


Ed Brown
Ed Brown

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