Serbu SU-15 PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) Gas Piston/Op-Rod Tactical AR-15 Short Barreled Rifle and Semi-Auto-Only Carbine(s) with Skeletonized Folding Stock: No Buffer Tube! (Video!)

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By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com

March 5, 2015

Serbu Firearms had an interesting new short-stroke gas piston/op-rod (push-type operating rod) tactical AR (AR-15) SBR/PDW (Short Barreled Rifle/PDW) with skeletonized folding stock called the SU-15 PDW at SHOT Show 2015. The Serbu SU-15 PDW’s piston/op-rod system is interesting. Serbu CEO Mark Serbu described the operating system/mechanism during DefenseReview’s (DR) interview with him, as follows:

Mark Serbu: The cool thing about it is it’s got a really short bolt [BCG, or Bolt Carrier Group], and it’s our bolt carrier and op-rod system, but it takes standard AR bolt heads and barrels, and barrel extensions. So, right off the shelf, standard firing pins, cam pins, all that stuff. The bolt’s ver short. So, when it cycles, ya’ know, it goes back to about here [points to rear of upper receiver], so you don’t need the buffer tube anymore. So, we’ve got this side-folder stock I’ve designed, here, also.

David Crane: So you’re running, like, a piston…it’s a piston op-rod.

Serbu: It’s kinda’ like, imagine an AK, but instead of havin’ the piston on the front of the AK that goes into a fixed cylinder, the piston is fixed, and the cylinder’s actually the front of the op-rod. The op-rod’s got a hole in it. it’s actually the same exact piston I use on my semi-auto .50 Cal. [anti-materiel/sniper rifle/carbine].

Crane: Gotcha’. So, this thing locks back on the last shot, right?

Serbu: Yeah, it’s exactly the same function as a normal AR.

The Serbu SU-15 PDW sports a non-reciprocating left-side charging handle. Defense Review doesn’t yet know whether or not the charging handle is ambidextrous, i.e., hot-swappable to the right side of the upper receiver.

The SU-15 PDW shown in the video is select-fire/full-auto, but semi-auto-only SBR and carbine variants (14.5″ and 16″ barrels) will also be available with a longer receiver, and presumably a longer rail system. Speaking of the SU-15 receiver, it features three trunnion pins. DR would like to learn more about this design aspect.

Hopefully, a stockless pistol variant that can be outfitted with a SIG SAUER SIGTac SB15 Pistol Stabilizing Brace will also be available.

The Serbu SU-15 PDW/carbine’s a nifty little gun. Assuming it’s reliable, accurate and durable, it gets the DR thumbs-up.

Call for pricing.

Company Contact Info:

Serbu Firearms, Inc.
5902 Johns Road
Tampa, FL 33634
Phone: 813-243-8899
Fax: 813-888-7407

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links. If you are reading this article anywhere other than, please email us the website address/URL (where the unauthorized DR article reprint is located) at defrev (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you.

All photo and video content contained in this article was shot by, and is copyrighted. owns the copyright on all photo and video content. All DR photos and videos were shot with a Sony Cyber-shot RX100 (DSC-RX100/B) Digital Camera with 20.2 MP (20.2-megapixel) still camera and 1080p HD video camera capability.

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Serbu SU-15 PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) Gas Piston/Op-Rod Tactical AR-15 Short Barreled Rifle and Semi-Auto-Only Carbine(s) with Skeletonized Folding Stock: No Buffer Tube! (Video!) by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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