Irons

Civilians can now own a pistol version of the Air Force’s new survival gun (thanks to Midwest Industries)

In mid-2018, the Air Force announced that it would change the survival game for its numerous combat aircrews, including fighter pilots, with the adoption of a new longer-range standoff rifle added to standard aircraft bailout kits.

With 9mm sidearms providing limited stopping power and range, the Air Force decided that it needed to go in a different direction when it came to giving aircrew downed behind enemy lines a fighting chance at fending off pursuers while waiting on a rescue mission.

The result of that initiative was the GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon, a take-down select-fire rifle that can be assembled without any tools within 60 seconds or less, boasting an effective range of 220 yards.

The U.S. Air Force’s new GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon, fully assembled. (Air Combat Command)
The U.S. Air Force’s new GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon, fully assembled. (Air Combat Command)

Able to be easily stowed on aircraft with a bailout package, pilots and aircrew who find themselves in precarious situations can take advantage of the stopping power and range of the rifle, in addition to the volume of rounds afforded to them by a standard 4-magazine loadout.

Now, Wisconsin-based Midwest Industries is offering civilian buyers a chance at owning a semiautomatic pistol clone of this unique weapon — though some buyers striving for authenticity might find eventually themselves going through the procedure of SBR’ing the gun.

Midwest, long known for their handguards and rails in addition to rifle builds, has rigged up their take on the ASDW to look and feel as close to the real thing as possible, and that includes the rapid assembly/take-down capability of the Air Force’s latest rifle.

Like the ASDW, Midwest’s clone pistol uses a Cry Havoc QRB Quick Release Barrel system, designed to allow the user to either speedily put together the two-piece rifle kit to generate a combat-ready weapon or to break it down for storage and carriage.

The clone gun, which weighs just a shade above 6 pounds, also uses a FAB Defense AGF-43S Folding Pistol Grip which can be rotated and locked into place during usage, and a full-length rail with M-LOK attachment points.

Unlike its real-life counterpart, however, Midwest’s gun uses a 5-position adjustable SB Tactical SBA3 Pistol Stabilizing Brace.

While the gun is ostensibly marketed towards cloners and enthusiasts, buyers looking for a backpack gun for outdoorsy adventures or for those SHTF-type bug-out situations might also find themselves giving Midwest’s ASDW some serious consideration.

Midwest currently offers the ASDW for $1,450, backed by a lifetime warranty.

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