The Extar EXP 556 is the lightest 5.56 production pistol made. The compact design features include no buffer tube protruding from the rear of the pistol. The innovative muzzle brake enables the shooter to fire multiple shots with no muzzle climb. The safety is reversible for the left- handed shooters in our ranks, and comes mounted in the normal location for an AR-15 type platform. The trigger guard is large enough to accommodate a gloved trigger finger. There is a ghost ring aperture sight mounted on the receiver for fast target acquisition. Also on the receiver is an integrated Picatinny rail for mounting optics. Normal AR-15 magazines work in the Extar, so there is no need to invest in expensive, unique magazines. The Extar can be equipped with an optional Tri-Rail handguard with 3 rails for mounting a light, a laser, or other devices.
Speaking of accessories, there is a selection of add-ons available for your Extar EXP 556 pistol. In addition to Tri- Rail handguard, there is a sling mount, a folding charge handle, a SIG brace, and the TACTIMOUNT EXP Mounting Body.
Check out this video review by Guns.com:
The Extar EXP lightweight has been in our hands now for about a week. We quickly sold 4, and 3 more are spoken for. We think the unique (albeit not new) design sets them apart from your typical AR pistol. Their light weight is quite surprising.
When we mentioned “not new” in regards to the design, it is because the Kel Tec PLR has this same basic set up with a direct impingement recoil operation and lack of a buffer tube. Try and find a Kel Tec PLR and you will soon be converted to the Extar.
There are more pros than cons to the Extar. Let’s discuss the cons first. The biggest drawback we have discovered is Extar’s explicit warning against using a suppressor. The Extar pistol is LOUD. You will want really good hearing protection, and indoor shooting is not recommended. Next is the reciprocating charging handle. If you are banging away in rapid fire mode, you need to stay clear of the left upper side of the weapon. The charging handle will definitely rap your knuckles if you are not careful.
The pros line up nicely for the EXP lightweight, beginning with the light weight and portability. Next comes the ability to use AR-15 magazines- the ability to buy extra magazines and do so cheaply is a nice advantage.
The sights are simple and effective, but there is a rail up top so you can mount a scope. Extar sells a Tri- Rail kit that you can mount to the forward hand guard, allowing you to hang more junk off your pistol. The hand guard is composite and the gap it creates around the barrel keeps your hand from being burned. The Extar is small enough to stuff in a backpack, and Allen makes a bag that will handle the Extar nicely.
Another feature is that the pistol grip is capped with a rubber lid and hollowed out. You can probably stuff a dozen rounds in it, or a candy bar.
See what other people say about the EXTAR EXP 556
How is it to shoot the EXTAR EXP
Extar EXP556 Review by TheGunBench