The Pistol Chassis | Pros, Cons, and the 5 Best Out There

Ever since the pistol brace became a mainstream firearm accessory, the idea of the pistol chassis has become more and more popular. Believe it or not, the CAA RONI kits used to be exclusively for SBR’ed Glocks. Once pistol braces came around, that changed forever. Now you can’t browse any firearm retailer without running across one or two or half a dozen.

Today we want to explore the idea of the pistol chassis. We want to tackle the benefits, as well as the potential downsides. In the end, we want to detail the best pistol chassis systems on the market and their pros and cons.

What Exactly is a Pistol Chassis?

A pistol chassis is a device that takes your standard handgun and turns it into something more akin to a large format pistol or sub-gun. They often envelop the pistol completely and change the ergonomics a fair bit. These systems are made from metal, polymer, and beyond, and they began life in Israel as far as I can tell.

I’m not an expert on Israeli firearm law, but from what I understand, getting a rifle is tough to do. However, acquiring a pistol is a fair bit easier. They also don’t have SBR laws, so they can slap their handgun in a pistol chassis and effectively have a rifle without all the red tape in acquiring a semi-auto rifle.

pistol chassis
Those chassis from KPOS and CAA leaked to the United States, and from there, the market has grown, especially after the brace market kicked off.

What advantages does a pistol chassis offer?

The main benefit of a pistol chassis is providing an additional support point. This allows you to shoot further with greater accuracy and enhanced control. A pistol starts handling a lot more like a submachine gun or PCC in a chassis system.

Also, chassis systems often allow you to mount larger optics, including full-sized red dots backed by magnifiers or even magnified prism sights. You can even toss on rifle-sized lights, laser aiming units, and more without issue. At the same time, you can still remove your handgun and have a handgun when it’s time to do handgun things.

Are there downsides to a pistol chassis?

The downsides are generalized and may not apply to all pistol chassis systems, but they all bear mentioning. First, these kits don’t do anything ballistically better than a handgun. A subgun with an 8-inch barrel can add a fair bit of velocity, but the chassis will not. Another issue is a shifting zero when using models with external scope rails.

Micro Roni Gen 4 kit

The zero often has a noticeable shift whenever the handgun is removed from the chassis and replaced. Oftentimes the handgun doesn’t lock into the exact same position time after time, and this creates that shift. Another issue is with the ergonomics of these pistol chassis systems.

Removing the magazine, clearing malfunctions, dropping the slide, and similar tasks can be tricky with these systems. The cost of the handgun and chassis system often adds up to the cost of a dedicated PCC without the benefits of a dedicated PCC.

The Best On the Market

5. Kidon — Multi-Use Chassis

The Kidon is an Israeli creation, and it takes the cake for multiple guns, including ones that fall outside of the Glock/Sig paradigm. Most chassis systems are made only for the most popular of guns, but the Kidon uses an interchangeable plate system to make the pistol chassis useful for dozens of different firearms.

It requires some fitting, but you can mount it to your Glock, 1911, CZ, or whatever else you might have. The Kidon features lots of rail space, a massive open ejection port for positive ejection, and can be fitted with a stock or brace with ease.

Kidon multi-fit chassis
Multi-fit is the keyword with the Kidon.

It’s bulky and has the red dot zeroing problems of other pistol chassis systems. Once the gun is removed and replaced, the zero might be sifted. It’s lightweight but fairly bulky as well and makes accessing the pistol ergonomics a bit difficult. I place it in the hobbyist grade of pistol chassis systems.

4. KPOS Scout

FAB Defense was the other big name in early pistol chassis systems, and that all-metal behemoth gave way to the smaller, lighter, and more affordable KPOS Scout. FAB trimmed a lot of bulk and weight off of the KPOS to make the Scout model, and the use of polymer helped lower the price substantially.

FAB Defense KPOS Scout for Glock 17 and 19
The Scout comes ready for making an SBR or a Braced configuration.

Across the top, we get a nice long optic rail and two side rails. You can choose between a brace or stock. Either of the two will fold out of the way to make the device fairly small and concealable in a small bag. The charging handle is very AR-like and works fairly well for racking a Glock. Oh, by the way, it only works for Glocks, specifically the medium frame 9mm, 40 S&W, and 357 Sig Glocks.

The Scout has better ergonomics than the Kidon and plenty of room for you to manipulate the magazine release, slide lock, and more with ease. The Scout has the same zeroing problems as most chassis, and the zero may wander when you remove and replace the handgun.


The CAA RONI is the OG of pistol chassis systems. While it started life for Glock handguns, CAA expanded into S&W, Sig, Taurus, and all manner of handguns. The CAA systems come in numerous configurations, and the Micro Conversion Kit is the best of these kits.

CAA Roni pistol chassis
The Roni is one of the oldest kits, but it’s continually upgraded

These kits are modular, and CAA makes all manner of different accessories. This includes an integral light, a sling, and even a bayonet. The most useful accessory is the mag holder that mounts to the bottom of the system. On top of that, the brace folds, and the whole kit is rather compact, at least compared to others on the market.

We are still in the hobbyist grade, but the affordable price point of these systems makes them a ton of fun. The latest version of the RONI features a wide-open ejection port and improved ergonomics, but the zeroing optics issue is still present.

2. Recover Tactical 20/20 Brace

The Recover Tactical 20/20 setup takes minimalist to the next level. This system opens like a clam and clamps down around the front of your Glock, indexing at its rail. The system wraps around the gun and at the end sits a stock or brace, depending on the model you chose. This brace or stock folds to make the 20/20 and Glock that it’s attached to fairly small.

Recover Tactical 20/20 Brace
The RT 20/20 is affordable and effective (Courtesy Truth About Guns)

There is no added optic rail, but the system has rails for attaching lights and lasers and a unique front attachment that allows you to holster the whole setup. You can add an optional optic rail or if you have an optic’s ready Glock, just use that optic.

It’s fairly efficient, rigid, and well made. Unlike other systems, it’s a little more involved than just sliding the gun in. However, it does solve some of the problems with chassis systems. For one, regardless of which route you take to use optics, it’ll hold zero. Second, the ergonomics remain largely unchanged and make the weapon easy to use. Plus, Recover Tactical now produces the setup for Glocks, M&Ps, and 1911s.

The RT 20/20 takes us a step out of the hobbyist level into more practical applications.

1. Flux Raider

The number one pistol chassis system on the market is, without a doubt, the Flux Raider. You can argue this isn’t even a pistol chassis but a grip module, and you’d be right. The Raider uses the P320 FCU with a P320 slide to make a grip module that utilizes a built-in, spring-loaded brace system to provide greater stabilization.

Flux Raider pistol chassis
The Raider is the best of the best.

The brace deploys lighting fast with the press of a button. The use of an independent grip module allows for better ergonomics with multiple magazine releases, an ambidextrous safety, and a Speedloader system that places a spare mag forward of the trigger and pistol grip. One of those magazine releases lets you drop the mag from inside your gun and inside the Speedloader to make one rapid reload.

Over the top, you get an optics rail that allows you to use a basic red dot, and you don’t have to worry about losing zero due to the FCU insert and grip module design. The Raider allows you to use all manner of muzzle devices, including suppressors. It’s the only hardcore professional option I could see in use.

Sighting In

Pistol chassis systems are a bit of a mixed bag. They can be quite handy and fun, but you should be selective if you plan to use one for any serious task. Luckily that doesn’t mean expensive. The second-best on this list is the Recover Tactical 20/20, and it’s one of the most affordable platforms here. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons yourself, like anything else out there, before pulling the theoretical financial trigger.

What do you think about pistol chassis systems? Let us know below.


Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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