Stocked pistols are nothing new, but they have gotten much more advanced than the days of wood stocks on Hi-Powers. The latest comes from a company called Flux, and it’s known as the Raider. The Raider is currently available in two configurations, a version with a brace and a properly stocked variant. I have the braced variant, as the stocked version would require a tax stamp and permission from the ATF. Yet, the braced variant can still give me a good idea of what the Raider is capable of accomplishing.
From my testing, I see some real potential in the military adopting the Raider for a few niche roles.
What’s the Raider?
The Flux Raider was designed around the SIG P320, which is the civilian name for the M17/M18 series of handguns. The M17 and M18 series won the Modular Handgun Contest, and that modularity comes in handy for the Flux Raider. The heart of the M17/18 series is the Fire Control Unit (FCU). It’s a removable chassis that contains all the necessary fire control parts. The Raider acts as a replacement grip module to which the user drops the FCU and then attaches the slide and barrel.
Unlike the days of old, the Raider isn’t just a stock that sticks to the back of the gun. It’s a total replacement of the frame that contains a collapsing stock (or brace). The Raider allows the user to use their standard iron sights or mount a mini red dot to the top of the rail at the rear of the device. In front of the trigger sits a spare magazine holder.
The magazine holder also facilitates rapid reloads. A tab sits right behind the magazine release, and when fully pressed, the device drops the magazine out of the gun and out of the magazine holder. This allows the user to reload very rapidly in a pinch. Users can also eject the magazine in the gun via a press button release or sliding tab.
A movable bar sits near the slide on the right and, when pressed downward, deploys the brace (or stock) instantly. It’s rapid and makes it easy for shooters to draw and engage. The Raider can be fired like a standard handgun without deploying the stock or brace.
Shooting a handgun effectively is hard compared to a rifle. The lack of a third point of contact makes it tough to take shots beyond 25 yards or so. A Flux Raider equipped with a stock would effectively increase a handgun’s range and overall accuracy and control without significantly increasing the weapon’s size.
I could easily make hits at 75 yards on a man-sized target with the braced variant. I saw rifle-like speed from the platform in traditional Marine Corps tactical drills like the failure drill. It’s still just a handgun ballistically, but a much easier-to-use handgun.
The Flux Raider is 11 inches long with the stock/brace collapsed and weighs about 40 ounces. Soldiers or Marines could easily carry it holstered in place of a standard handgun. It wouldn’t replace the standard M17 or M18 by any means, but for some troops, it would make a lot of sense to have a stocked handgun.
The Raider is smaller than any SMG and uses the standard-issue handgun’s magazine, slide, and FCU. This makes the logistics fairly easy, at least easier than adopting an entirely new mini-stocked weapon.
We have carbines!
In a world of carbines, opting for something else seems silly, I know. The M4 and M27 serve fine as general-purpose issue weapons. The rifle is small and light enough to work with noncombat troops, including truck drivers, artillerymen, cooks, etc. So, where does the Raider fit in?
I see the Flux Raider being a niche tool for certain combat roles that already carry the M17, for example, machine gunners.
The M240 weighs nearly 30 pounds and doesn’t work very well for close-quarters fighting as machine guns tend to break a bit more often than standard rifles (something about firing hundreds of rounds in short order repeatedly does that). That’s why machine gunners get issued handguns.
However, as we established, handguns require a fair bit of skill and proficiency to be good with. The Raider and its stock offer a more stable platform that gives warfighters an advantage when faced with the worst possible situation.
Beyond machine gunners, the Raider could be issued to dog handlers, even mortarmen on the gun line, and JTACs who find often themselves with one hand on the radio. A stocked pistol would give them a better overall weapon, and every slight advantage can be a lifesaver.
Special operations use of the Flux Raider
Obviously, operators have a use for specialized tools. I can see the Raider being a great option for suppressed use. A suppressed rifle might be significantly quieter than an unsuppressed rifle, but unless special ammo is used, you still get the supersonic crack. However, when using special subsonic ammo, you are effectively cutting your carbine’s range.
Instead, an operator could use a suppressor-equipped Flux Raider with subsonic ammo when a low profile is needed and instantly switch to their rifle when it’s not. The Raider allows for suppressor use and can accommodate any manner of current military-issued red dots.
The rail at its bottom could be fitted with a pistol light or even an IR laser-aiming system for use under Night Operation Devices.
Flux made the Raider a very efficient and effective piece of gear that works well with modern tactical needs. While its role would be very niche, it represents a simple commercial off-the-shelf option for making our warfighters a little more efficient.