The 9mm Pistol Caliber Carbine Craze Goes Polymer Lower

The Pistol Caliber Carbine craze continues to gobble up everything the industry can manufacture to feed it. While larger companies are laying off workers, pistol caliber carbine companies continue to report strong demand for their products with many planning on scaling up production to meet growth! 

Seeing a need to bring polymer to the aluminum and steel dominated AR-15 PCC world is Tennessee Arms Company, which has previously brought polymer to the AR-15 and LR-308 platforms. Their lowers are known for being stronger than other polymer offerings and their 80% offerings are quite popular with the build them yourself crowd.

Recently, they have shown off the CAD modeling for their upcoming TAC-9 PCC lower receiver. The various images show that the TAC-9 will be a Glock-magazine compatible offering and be like its larger brothers, almost entirely polymer versus various options that opt for quite a bit of metal reinforcement.

Perhaps most interesting to the gun nerd is the drawing show how incredibly detailed the tooling is for injection molding. The Tac-9 requires many inserts and slides to create the final complex geometries.

TN Arms Co reports that the 9mm will be ready shorty with tooling reported to be “complete by the end of next month.”

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • USMC03Vet

    Do people not know the CZ Scorpion Evo exists? I mean, seriously, a 9mm AR in 2017 is just archaic.

    • Neil Hamilton Hightower III

      Kriss vector

      • USMC03Vet

        Expensive for an over engineered firearm you can’t even buy in the configuration it was designed for. If you have money to fart away though then sure.

        • TheRealSchifty

          Are you talking about the CZ Scorpion Evo or the Kriss Vector? Because what you just said can be applied to both.

          • Flounder

            Schifty is dead on the point there. They are both weird platforms, mostly because they are different, not bad. But a 9mm rifle for civilians is more awesome toy than a tool that will shed blood.

            And a 9mm AR is the best toy.

          • Ebby123

            The EVO isn’t a range toy – its a MIL/LEO submachine gun with a semi-auto trigger pack. Its a completely different class of weapon.

          • Ebby123

            Lol. $700 is not expensive for a PCC (see SIG MPX @ $1,200, B&T PCCs at $2,400).

            The simplicity of the Scorpion is mind-boggling. Its a f*ing polymer clamshell, straight blowback gun. It literally couldn’t be any simpler.

    • Flounder

      If americans wanted something cheap and plasticy in 9mm with unusual and somewhat difficult to acquire mags they would get a hi point.

      • st381183

        Glock mags and CZ Scorpion mags are readily available. In fact there is already at least one after market mag readily available for the Scorpion plus OEM mags are plentiful and less than $20 each. You knoweth not of which you speak.

      • Ebby123

        CZ EVO mags are available all over the place for $20ea.
        Oh, and there are aftermarket mags available.

        They’re about as hard to get as the elusive Glock mags… lol

      • Malthrak

        CZ Scorpion mags havent been difficult to acquire in almost two years. They were rare at launch, like every new gun, but they have been readily available at $17-20 since at least late 2015.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      IF (and thats a big if) I was to decide I had a good purpose for a 9mm SBR, Id go with the Scorpion over the AR for sure, but if I was to do some sort of PDW style weapon it would be a 8-10″ .300Blk AR. .300Blk in a 8.5″ AR gives you a significant ballistics improvement over a Scorpion in 9mm with only slight increases in bulk, weight, and recoil.

      • Ebby123

        I have both. The EVO is fun, but the 300BLK pistol (with LAW folder) is what travels with me in the truck.

    • mmyers08

      An 9mm AR that takes Glock magazines is preferable to a CZ Scorpion that takes proprietary mags if you’re someone who owns a Glock 19 and a Glock 26. When I bought my ATI Mil-Sport 9mm pistol, I did pick up a couple of 33 round mags, but all my previously owned G19 and G26 mags fit. That is a definite benefit. Plus if TSHTF I can have essentially a 9mm SBR and my G19 all feeding from the same mags.

    • Pipedog

      Evo? Pfffffftttttt. Anyone looking to use a 9mm with four points of contact for serious business is walking past all of the modern offerings and going straight to granpappy – the MP5.

      • Malthrak

        At twice (or more) the price of a Scorpion Evo, half the modularity, dramatically less rail space and placement, and more weight for equivalent barrel lengths XD

        MP5’s are cool, but many other offerings are every bit as good or better.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      What advantages does the CZ offer over an AR? The AR is modular, the CZ is not. The average person can rebarrel the AR in their garage, whereas you can’t do that with the CZ.

      Both are straight blowback, so there’s no advantages to either when it comes to the action.

      The AR, being an AR and modular, again, can take things like aftermarket triggers, stocks, handguards, all designed for regular AR’s. The CZ can’t really do that.

      • Malthrak

        The CZ is plenty modular.

        It can replace forends just like an AR with multiple aftermarket options, has a captive pin held lower receiver just like an AR, has a simple trigger mechanism with multiple aftermarket options available, has a replaceable grip with multiple aftermarket alternatives available, has a telescoping and *folding* stock that can be removed with just fingers and elbow grease and aftermarket support, has dramatically simpler internals, mags are cheap and plentiful and aftermarkets are showing up, it has rails everywhere, standard muzzle threads on 2016 and later versions, etc.

        The only thing it doesnt have is an easily removable barrel, which isnt going to matter to 99.5%+ of users. Aside from that the gun has lego levels of modularity with multiple aftermarket options for literally any removable part.

      • Fox Hunter

        Scorpion is lighter, has a folding stock, lower sights which are better for cqb use, ambi mag release, better charging handle.

    • Paul White

      some of us don’t like the Scorpion

  • Anonymoose

    I want to see 3D-printed Glocks, P320s, SCARs, ACRs, and things beyond that. Have a little imagination, please.

  • USMC03Vet

    Sounds like you have doodaditus. My condolences.

    • Taylor Hardin

      So I have doodaditus because I want the controls to be the same as something that I’m used to, I want the easy of cleaning the AR has and the over the top aftermarket support the platform has? The setup feels better and IMO shoots better then the CZ and with companies like PSA you can get an AR-9 for just about the same price as a Scorpion. If you own a Glock you already have mags, or you can go the way I did and use Colt SMG mags, which are just UZI mags with a new mag catch cut in them and they are the best SMG mags ever. I like the Scorpion, but to me the AR-9 is that much better.

  • MAF

    Now if only I could get my hands on a LRBHO upper for 9mm…

    • SGT Fish

      is it really that hard to find? the one I put together with a PSA mag block (when they still sold them for 29 bucks) has been flawless and has LRBHO. maybe its only difficult if you go with glock mags for whatever reason

      • MAF

        Yes. If you need the upper to implement LRBHO, then you need the New Frontier pistol upper, and they have been backordered forever.

        • Cymond

          JoeBob Outfitters also sells them (made by New Frontier, but marked as Spartan), and is also out of stock, but it’s one more place to watch. I found another place, too, can’t remember where, but will update this if I find the bookmark.

  • Malthrak

    With great polymer PCC’s like the Beretta CX4 and CZ Scorpion Evo3 out there at sub $800 (sometimes sub $700) price points, that can be had from almost any retailer and with big brand name support behind them and that are fundamentally designed in their entirety as PCC’s (rather than adapted from a design originally intended for a larger cartridge), I have a hard time seeing the appeal of a polymer 9mm AR PCC aside from just “It’s an AR”.

    At least on a personal level.

  • Evobevoo

    Problem with the evo is that it is still $900+ for the rifle, and as soon as you get it it needs another 100-200 in bits to make the trigger not awful, the safety not awful, the grip not awful, the charging handle long enough to not destroy your knuckles. So it’s north of $1000 to get an evo I’d be willing to shoot, or I can convert an existing ar for 350 or build one for less than 600.

    • Malthrak

      To be fair, many of those are rather subjective issues rather than inherent fundamental problems with the gun, many people dont have any issues with the safety or grip or charging handle, etc, much less all of them at once. I havent replaced anything in my Scorpion except mandatory 922r parts for the SBR conversion and she handles and shoots just fine for me.

      Likewise, building a reliable 9mm AR for 600 is…technically possible, but requires some knowledge and resources not everyone has on hand (someone living in an apartment with no workspace to build things and store tools and little knowledge of the vast array of aftermarket AR suppliers isnt going to be able to build that AR) and you’re also not getting things like a cold hammer forged barrel, quad rails, multi aperture iron sights, a folding stock, etc, along with things like proof of test firing and a warranty which have value to many (though obviously not all).

      Either can work, but the Evo has its strong points as well depending on the background and expectations of the user.

  • Maxpwr

    A polymer lower? Hmmm…my 10+ year old Bushmaster Carbon 15 in 9mm with polymer lower (and upper) says “welcome to the party”. As to it being an AR-15 platform and “passe”, I still like AR-15 stock options over the Scorpion even though I also have a Scorpion.

  • Gabe Is Fat

    Pretty much this. Also the CZ scorpion’s broken proprietary magazines are what’s archaic in 2017 – considering all the common magazine options currently available.

    • Malthrak

      The magazines work fine, there was one bad import batch, the other imports and all the domestic ones have been just fine.

      And at $17-20, they’re cheap and always in stock these days.

      Sure they’re proprietary, but they’re cheap, available, and they work.

  • thedonn007

    I would buy one as a 80% lower.

  • Carlos Velazquez

    I know I’m going to get heckled for this comment but here it goes anyway. Kel-Tec Sub-2000 that takes Glock mags is the carbine that Glock never built. Cheaper than both an AR and EVO Scorpion. The addition of M-LOK slots and a threaded barrel on the Gen 2 makes it a hard bargain to beat.

    • Joe

      I keep coming back to this.

      • rjackparis

        Honestly my only complaints Is the odd charging handle placement, mounting optics and shooting left handed.

    • Paul White

      if they were ever in stock

    • MarkVShaney

      Spoken like someone who has never actually fired one. As someone who HAS- and sold it like 2 weeks later- the triggers in Gen 2 Kel Tec Sub 2000 Suck. I don’t mean that they are squishy and ungodly hard to pull, which they are… they are also horrible geometry and need serious deburring and the trigger box is too small. As for it being “The carbine that Glock never built” well I guess there’s the endless argument whether “always works” makes up for “looks and feels like a brick in the hand”- these kids never had to get stitches after shooting an Ingram.. and get off my lawn.

      • Carlos Velazquez

        FYI I have shot a select fire Mac 10. And yes the Gen 2 Sub 2000 has a mushy trigger. But at $600 it is still not a bad buy if you’re just looking for a 9mm carbine to use as a plinking gun. Let’s be honest, no one is expecting to see a SWAT unit storming a building with Sub 2000s, I’m just pointing out the Sub 2000 is a practical gun for the money. Not the greatest, just practical.

  • Kivaari

    Try the Beretta CX4 – and it already complete and is functioning – and they work.

  • Marcus D.

    You guys are lucky. About the only 9 mm carbine legal in California now is one of those M1 Carbines in 9mm–that have bad reputations for quality and reliability.

  • MarkVShaney

    It’s a race to the bottom now that Classic Firearms just released a semi-propriety AR 9.

  • Fox Hunter

    Glock mags again! They should use double feed mags instead, like Uz pro mags, or colt mags, or mp5 mags or Sterling mags.

  • Blake

    Can these guys make a polymer P320 PCC chassis please?