Frankly, Pistol Caliber Carbines Don’t Make a Lot of Sense – Here’s Why

I know that I am not going to make any friends by writing this, but that never stopped me before, so why not? Here goes: Pistol caliber carbines don’t make a whole lot of sense for the American rifle buyer, or at least not most of the offerings on the market right now.

Now, wait, hold on: Before you get your pitchforks, you should know what I mean exactly. Firstly, I am talking about pistol caliber carbines as defensive or working tools, not as range toys or fun guns. Second, I am talking about the American market specifically; I cannot speak to the Canadian or European markets, or any other market. Third, for the purposes of this post I am not going to consider NFA pistol caliber long guns, that means anything I write here doesn’t necessarily apply to SBRs, suppressor hosts, or submachine guns. Also, none of the arguments I am making here address circumstantial reasons to own pistol caliber carbines, for example legal restrictions on standard caliber rifles, or lack of access to rifle-rated ranges. Ultimately, I don’t think people should tether their gun purchase decisions to what online “experts” like myself have to say. We might know a lot and can potentially be helpful in making decisions (though neither of those things are guaranteed), but ultimately we cannot account for every potential circumstance and situation. At the end of the day, anyone reading this with an eye to buy must make their own decisions for their own situation, not based on what a so-called “expert” like me has to say!

Alright, now go get your pitchforks.

The fundamental problem of the pistol-caliber carbine is that it is a compromise with no payoff. Take a standard rifle-caliber carbine and change the design so that it uses pistol ammunition, to what end? A number of arguments have been made to positively answer this question, but I think they mostly serve to justify the concept, rather than the concept existing to fill a meaningful need. Still, let’s review a few of those arguments:

  • Pistol caliber carbines can share ammunition with the pistol. This way, if either the pistol or rifle runs dry, it can be refreshed with ammunition from the other.
  • Pistol caliber carbines can approach rifle performance thanks to their longer barrels.
  • Pistol ammunition may be cheaper than rifle ammunition.

The ammunition sharing argument to me falls flat because it describes a technical curiosity, but no actual practical advantage. If both weapons share ammunition, so what? In what situation does one run dry with one firearm and then defeat results if it can’t then be refreshed with ammunition from the other? Isn’t the most logical thing to do in this situation – one which must be extremely rare to begin with! – to simply switch to the other weapon?

I think this argument mostly relies on analogy to the guns of the Old West, in which sometimes ammunition could be shared between rifle and pistol. However, this was probably more a byproduct of the circumstances of the era. For one thing, ammunition standardization was much less solidified in those days than it is now. Where now we have two overwhelmingly dominant centerfire calibers, 9mm and 5.56mm, one each for rifle and pistol, back then a number of different caliber systems existed, and it was not unusual for different manufacturers to have different non-interchangeable competing ammunition types! Also, the performance gap between rapid-firing lever-action carbines and revolvers was not very great before 1890; as evidence of this, look at rounds like the .44 Henry and .44-40 which although designed as rifle ammunition later became popular in handguns. In those days, as well, the state-of-the-art propellant technology, blackpowder, was not as tailorable for different barrel lengths as smokeless powder is today. All this put together means that at the time, there were circumstances where choosing a rifle in a pistol or revolver caliber had no practical downsides.

What was true then is not true now, however. Now, given the high performance of modern rifle calibers like the 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm, opting for a pistol-caliber long gun incurs a substantial penalty in terms of range, accuracy, lethality, and power. Consider, for example, that from a 10.5″ SBR barrel, 5.56mm offers twice the muzzle energy and essentially twice range (by trajectory) than the 9mm when fired from rifle barrels; the common 16″ civilian carbine produces nearly three times the energy of the 9mm. Even the lowly .30 Carbine produces more than double the muzzle energy when fired from comparable barrel lengths! The high velocity, high energy, and superior projectile shape of rifle ammunition give the weapons chambered for them a great deal more capability and destructive power than they would have if chambered for pistol ammunition.

It should also be pointed out that ammunition is typically designed to perform well in one platform or the other – rifle, or pistol. Today’s modern propellants can be tailored to a great degree for maximum performance from whatever barrel length the intended platform has. The ‘burn rate” describes the quickness with which the propellant consumes itself to power the projectile. Ammunition designed for short barrels, like as for a handgun, are designed with very fast burn rates so that they consume themselves completely or nearly completely before they leave the muzzle, while ammunition designed for longer barrels (like as for a rifle or carbine) will have slower burn rates. The slower burn rate of rifle ammunition is the reason why rifle-caliber pistols like the Kel-Tec PLR-16 produce such massive fireballs, while handguns in pistol calibers do not. The converse of this fact is that pistol rounds, especially autoloading calibers of the type generally used with modern self-defense pistols, do not gain very much performance when used with longer barrels. For example, the Federal 124gr Hydra-Shok 9mm – according to data on the informative Ballistics By the Inch website – gains a mere 170 ft/s when going from a 4″ handgun barrel to an 18″ rifle barrel.

Versus the pistol, the pistol-caliber carbine leaves behind all of the salient advantages of that type, being just as large as any other rifle. After all, the PCC is simply a rifle that eats pistol food, and it is not for their potent, efficient ammunition that people choose to buy pistols! There is the argument regarding cost of ammunition, but this difference is not so great, especially when one considers the quality of ammunition being bought. The least expensive 9mm is considerably less accurate (5-8 times less accurate, in my experience) than the least expensive 5.56mm, which means more frustration on the range. In fact, I do not even use some brands of steel-cased pistol ammunition even for pistol practice, as they are so inaccurate I consider it a waste of time and money. It should also be noted that the ammunition cost argument only applies to the 9mm caliber; all other pistol calibers are just as expensive if not more expensive than .223 rifle ammunition.

Very simply, these objections then boil down to the pistol-caliber carbine having “all of the power of the pistol, and all the concealability of the rifle”. Of course, such a simple statements leaves out some of the nuance of the issue, such as the fact that pistol-caliber carbines are substantially easier to learn to shoot well than handguns are. Still, I think the basic statement holds water. Why should anyone choose – unless legal or other external circumstances dictated it – to spend hard earned money on a pistol-caliber carbine, based solely on its defensive merits? I find I don’t have a good answer to that question, besides “they shouldn’t.”

However, earlier this week, revolver gunsmith, trainer, and self-defense expert Grant Cunningham posted a brief article explaining why he thought PCCs have a role in the self-defense world. Having said my bit about PCCs, I think it’s worth taking a look at some of his arguments and addressing whether I think they are really compelling, or not.

I should say ahead of time that I think – in absolute terms – Grant and I do not have massively dissimilar opinions on the pistol-caliber carbine. I don’t think there is a great deal of difference in how we perceive the carbines themselves, nor are either of us arguing that PCCs are either so ineffective as to be unsuitable for defense, .or so potent as useful as to be the only logical choice, so then the question is simply whether we think they are useful enough compared to the other offerings on the market to have a niche as working tools. Simply, Grant seems to believe they have a modest-sized niche, whereas I think they have a vanishingly small one. Not a great difference of opinion, there!

Still, I do disagree with many of his arguments, so let’s take a look at them:

1. “[.30 Carbine is] is definitely not a rifle round” Grant stretches  the definition of “pistol-caliber carbine” to include the M1 Carbine, which isn’t really a PCC. For one thing, pistols chambered in .30 Carbine are very uncommon and generally not models suited for personal defense. For another, the .30 Carbine was designed and its propellant selected for 18″ long barrels, not short pistol barrels. Defensive ammunition in that caliber is likewise designed to make the most of the long carbine barrel, and does not work very well when fired from a pistol.

2. The first half of his core argument concerns the fact that the PCC has some advantages over the pistol, and it’s rather involved so I’ll break it into subsections. That the PCC has some highlights versus the pistol is true, but we don’t use pistols because of the characteristics they share with PCCs! We use them because of their small size and concealability, which PCCs utterly sacrifice!

2a. PCCs can use all the same ammo that handguns can. Well, not always (in my experience, not even usually). Whether PCCs can use modern JHP ammunition or not is kind of hit-and-miss, and in particular most low-cost semiautomatic PCCs struggle to feed ammunition that your handgun will eat without issue. Most importantly, though, the PCC market is too small and niche to have the kind of positive feedback loop that the handgun market possesses, where both pistol and ammunition manufacturers put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that weapons work reliably with modern defensive JHP ammunition and vice-versa. Yes, one may be tempted to argue that while older PCCs had issues with JHPs, newer ones should be just fine, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least not in my experience. For an example of a PCC that should have “had everything going for it”, but still failed to live up to standards even with ball ammo, look at the $2,000 Wilson AR-9:

3. The second half of Grant’s core argument concerns how PCCs compare to their rifle cousins. Grant begins by characterizing the argument that “yes, the PCC has some advantages over the pistol, but the rifle-caliber carbine has all the same advantages without being gimped in power” as “going off the rails”.

3a. Grant argues that .223/5.56mm will have more recoil than “a PCC”. By this, I assume Grant means a 9mm PCC, despite the fact that he also includes .357 Magnum lever-actions and .30 cal M1 Carbines in that definition. Regardless, I have never met anyone – not even 80lb girls – who had a serious problem with the recoil of lightweight 5.56mm carbines. In fact, during The Great .22 LR Drought, I used a Colt 6920 as my go-to “first time shooter” rifle, because it was so easy to shoot. 6920 as my go-to “first time shooter” rifle, because it was so easy to shoot. We must also consider the method of operation; a blowback 9mm rifle may have more perceived recoil than a locked-breech 5.56mm rifle – this isn’t a hypothetical, it is true for most examples I am familiar with. If recoil is such a serious issue, it may be better to start off with an inexpensive .22 caliber rifle and become more familiar with shooting and marksmanship fundamentals first, before going out to buy a pistol-caliber carbine.

3b. 5.56mm does have a lot more muzzle blast than 9mm from a PCC (9mm from a 16″ barrel is almost-but-not-quite hearing safe), but is this is a significant problem if shooters wear proper hearing protection at the range, during practice? And when fighting for your life, is this difference enough to give up advantages like accuracy, power, range, etc? Regarding flash specifically, I should also point out that Grant himself once made the case that muzzle flash wasn’t really a significant factor in night time shootings, although whether you agree with this is up to you.

3c. Grant argues that rifle magazines are bigger and harder to manipulate. I have had the opposite experience. Double-feed magazines are much easier to load than single-feed magazines, and the larger ammunition makes it significantly easier to manipulate the rounds into the magazine properly. Further, rifle magazine speedloaders give shooters with poor arm strength the ability to use larger muscle groups to feed ten or more rounds at once, something that is not possible with single-feed pistol magazines. This is just when compared to pistol-magazine-fed PCCs, let alone lever-actions in revolver calibers which have an entirely different (and more severe) ammunition management problem.

3d. Grant makes the case that “a hit with a PCC is still better than a miss with a rifle!” Most of the PCCs I have ever fired could not live up to the accuracy of 5.56mm rifles, because bulk pistol ammunition is simply not up to the accuracy standard that even bulk rifle ammunition is consistently capable of. In fact, much of the affordable steel-cased bulk pistol ammunition has been so inaccurate in my experience that I don’t consider it suitable for handgun training, let alone rifle training. In contrast, I have not seen this problem with steel-cased rifle ammunition, for whatever reason.

3e. As for the idea that they are inherently easier to shoot… I am not so sure. Again, this will depend on which PCC (by Grant’s definition) one is shooting with, but it is very hard to beat the AR-15’s ergonomics, sights, and inherent accuracy – qualities that are far from “off-limits” to PCCs, but which are generally not found in inexpensive models.

3f. Grant pushes the argument that this supposed accuracy penalty that 5.56mm AR-15s come with will cause a miss instead of hit often enough to make AR-15s unsuitable for use by less-skilled persons. Is this a realistic idea? At what distance are these misses occurring, and is it a distance at which one would be better served with a true rifle-caliber carbine? It is difficult to imagine that at “facetime” distances this supposed accuracy penalty is setting the rifle-caliber carbine back substantially, especially considering the fact that due to their enormously superior lethality they are more forgiving of bad hits in the first place!

4. Grant postulates that hobbyists don’t like pistol-caliber carbines because they think everyone needs to be an expert, and the PCC is not an expert’s weapon. Let’s take the second half of this argument, because I agree with it. I think that there are a substantial number of vocal people who are unwilling to consider that someone might not have the time or drive to get the best training, or even any training at all. I agree that people who just want to defend themselves and aren’t ready to adopt the “tactical lifestyle” (whatever that means) deserve and need good advice that fits them, too.

So, at least from my end there is no refusal to acknowledge this fact. Still, I see PCCs as inferior tools, essentially “fun guns” which, if necessary, can be pressed into service as defensive tools. I don’t agree with Grant because I don’t think his argument holds up to close scrutiny. The most persuasive part of the argument is that PCCs are much quieter than rifle-caliber carbines, but that seems like a relatively minor issue when compared with all the other downsides the PCC brings.

Is all this to say that pistol-caliber carbines have no niche? No, I think they have a few good niches, including as range toys, suppressor hosts, and small game harvesters. One niche where I would like to see the pistol-caliber carbine expand into is that of an inexpensive home defense long gun, a market currently dominated by shotguns. One of the major advantages of the pistol-caliber carbine that isn’t being widely exploited by manufacturers is the potentially very low cost of manufacture. Thanks to the low power of their ammunition, pistol-caliber carbines can be simple blowback affairs, and can therefore be constructed very inexpensively. Hi Point is currently the market leader in this segment, their carbine having an MSRP below $320. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that a carbine of decent quality could be made at this price point or potentially even lower, and such a weapon could provide many of the advantages of a semiautomatic long gun to low-income families, or provide a low cost weapon that can be used in situations where the risk of weapon loss is high (such as on a boat). However, currently most pistol-caliber carbines come with price tags higher than the average budget AR-15, making this a moot point. With the rise in prices of military surplus firearms like the SKS and Mosin-Nagant – which have until recently dominated the $200-$400 bracket – is it time for manufacturers to step up to the plate and deliver the next Camp Carbine?

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Saint Stephen the Obvious

    “Pistol Caliber Carbines Don’t Make a Lot of Sense…”

    Maybe because the calibers are for pistols?

    Just saying.

  • Maxpwr

    I handed a 9mm pistol to a first time shooter and he could barely stay on paper after we moved the target out past 12 yards. Seemed to be getting disappointed. I handed him my Bushmaster Carbon 15 in 9mm and he was keeping them in a 5″ group out past 50 yards. They can be shot more accurately, use cheaper ammunition, and are as effective as a handgun. Great for home defense and great to use on ranges where you can’t use centerfire ammunition.

    • CommonSense23

      Did you read the article?

      • Maxpwr

        Yes I did. Just explaining my experiences with pistol caliber carbines and why I like them.

    • iksnilol

      I think he’d a done stayed on target with a 5.56mm rifle as well.

      It’s less the cartridge and more the form factor.

      • PersonCommenting

        I know its off topic from the OP but I think a 9mm carbine is the best argument for a training gun. There are all these 22 conversions for pistols that are basically the same shape but dont have the same trigger and of course not the same recoil. A PCC AR is probably the closest training gun you can get, yes like a 22 pistol its guts are different but the trigger is the same the safety is the same, the recoil is almost identical and the overall shape is the same. The only thing that is really different is the fact on some PCC ARs there is no last shot hold open. You can shoot for nearly half the price and get the same level of training. Yeah sure your range isnt going to be as good but anything within 100 yards is going to be pretty similar.

    • Anonymoose

      9mm is a good first handgun to start people out on, though.

  • iksnilol

    I dunno, a PCC with a minimum length barrel and shortened stock is waaaaay shorter than a long action Mauser with a 66 cm barrel assembly.

    • Rocky Mountain 9

      Over 25 inches, for those of us that are irritated by measurements given in metric increments.

      • Bradley

        Sorry the world standard of measurement irritates you. Maybe you should familiarize yourself with what a centimeter looks like instead of having to use Google to convert a measurement.

        • bobby_b

          I think his point might have been that it’s not the standard HERE. “The world” is welcome to whatever it wants, but I for one was grateful to him for the conversion.

          • iksnilol

            Internet is international, comrade.

          • Zachary marrs

            An english website, dedicated to firearms has a pretty limited target audience. When the majority of the blogs viewers are Americans, of course people will prefer the system they use every day.

            Would you go to a Russian site dedicated to Lada’s, and complain if the author used US customary?

          • Kivaari

            We see visitors on this site from Australia, England, Norway, Russia and South America. It’s an international site with broad interest among the shooting world.

          • Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, France, Canada and on and on.

          • Zachary marrs

            I didn’t say that this site is only visited by Americans.

            But that doesn’t change the fact that this site caters to, and is visited largely by Americans.

        • Rocky Mountain 9

          Haha. Didn’t mean to get anyone’s knickers in a twist. As a mechanical engineer I can do the conversions in my head. My point was that “minimum length barrel” means 16 inches to us Americans on this American website, so why not give the comparative barrel length in inches? It’s all meant in good humor.

          • jimmy craked corn

            Just use both. A 26in(66cm) assembly as an example.

        • valorius

          Why? The rest of the world is silly and irrelevant to Americans.

      • jonp

        Can’t imagine being “irritated” by cm’s. I think most understand what he is getting at without even knowing how long a centimeter is. You need a good nights sleep.

    • FulMetlJakit

      Especially if it folds in half.
      Cough *Kel-tec Sub200*
      OR (insert folding/collapsing stock PCC here)
      On a related note, will someone please make an M1 carbine clone in .327 Federal?…
      Or support my brand new Patreon?

      • iksnilol

        Integrally suppressed Sub2000 would’a been a dream. But probably won’t be legal for hunting in Norway anytime soon.

        Shame, since it’d be an amazing rabbit gun.

        • jonp

          Can you use a Roni? That would make a great rabbit gun to carry.

          • iksnilol

            That would be more illegal than snorting cocaine in a church… which admitedly is the only way to survive church but is highly frowned upon.

            Jokes aside, Roni is pretty illegal to use as intended, that and using pistols for hunting is suuuupes illegal in Norway (refer to my inappropriate comparison above).

          • jonp

            Oh, ok. Didn’t know that. Too bad. As for the inappropriate comparison, yes it sure is :/

          • iksnilol

            Because the Roni kit makes the pistola too short. And legally it constitutes a “significant change”, in the same vein as full auto conversions or liberal use of hacksaws.

            And semi auto rifles for hunting is iffy in Norway. You have two lists of semi auto rifles allowed for hunting in Norway. One is by the police and the other is by the department of wildlife. Scary thing is, those two lists aren’t identical. So in some cases the police is okay with a rifle while the DoW isn’t. That’s the problem with the civilian SVD (Tigr). The DoW allows it, whilst the police doesn’t (due to it being “scary”). So it is in the situation that you can buy it for competiton, and you can use it for hunting but you can’t buy it explicitly for hunting.

          • jonp

            It appears governments the world over have one thing in common, inexplicably capricious rules that make no sense.

          • iksnilol

            Well, in Norway it partly makes sense. Pistols are more controlled than rifles.

        • Blake

          How about a suppressed .17HMR bolt- or lever-action carbine? How accessible is .17HMR to you over there?

          • iksnilol

            Not exactly rare, but slightly expensive. Might as well use .223 instead of .17 WMR.

      • valorius

        I seriously doubt you’re gonna see many (any) new guns chambered in .327. That caliber seems to be withering on the vine.

  • Bigbigpoopi

    Best solution is to dump the OAL laws

    • Some Rabbit

      Agreed. There’s nothing a PCC can do that couldn’t be done if you just added a shoulder stock and perhaps an optical sight to a standard pistol.

      • Aono

        True, but legislatively we are a lot more likely to have silencers leave NFA than OAL. In that case you need to optimize a gun around 16″ of barrel AND can, and that is where PCC can/will/should have a dominating niche. Would you rather stand next to a Mk18 or an MP5SD while your spouse takes care of something that 9mm is perfectly adequate for?

        Get rid of silencers AND OAL from NFA, and yeah, now you just want to put a stock and red dot on your Maxim 9 and call it a day.

        • Maxpwr

          That may be reality, but it makes no sense. I would like to stand up in Court with a CZ Scorpion pistol with 20 round magazine and a CZ Scorpion carbine with 20 round magazine and a CZ Scorpion SBR with 20 round magazine and ask a judge how it is possible that there is any rational basis on how one can be banned subject to NFA, but the other 2 which are functionally identical are unregulated. Laws need to have a rational basis and there is none regarding SBRs and SBSs. Get rid of both OAL and suppressors from NFA. And AOWs while we are at it. Those are the ones that make the least sense.

          • abecido

            If all laws with no rational basis were eliminated, there would be far fewer laws.

          • William Elliott

            sounds good to me!

          • RSG

            They only have one answer. It’s the same reason they controlled OAL to begin with. To them, the justification hasn’t changed.

          • iksnilol

            I struggle to see the logic though. I mean, if handguns are controlled then it makes sense with OAL laws (since a short rifle has the same advantage of a pistol).

            But as far as I know legally it’s just as easy to buy a pistol as it is buying a rifle. So yeah, I struggle with the logic.

          • Chrome Dragon

            The original goal was to ban handguns at the time, but it was not politically feasible. So, only the intermediate weapons were banned, since there was no massive market for them, and the outcry was rather dull.

          • iksnilol

            I was aware of that, I just don’t see why the laws are still on the books.

          • William Elliott

            there are so many reasons, it would take me an hour to respond. Its basically a combination of useful idiots, and the same reasons fudal Japan and other nations would ban peasants from having metal that could be used as weapon against their enforcers. Governments HATE leaving any power in the hands of the masses…

          • Gary Kirk

            Would be best not to do that.. They might just say you’re right.. And restrict the others as well..

        • RSG

          If the HPA passes, I think we’ll see an explosion of integrated suppressors for complete rifles, uppers and stand alone barrels hit the market. It can satisfy the 16″ OAL easily while lowering decibels even better than removable cans do.

          • iksnilol

            When you can get good suppression out of 10 cm, then you should get hella good suppresssion out of 20 cm (assuming a 20 cm barrel).

      • PersonCommenting

        And a vert or angled grip, may want to buy a slightly longer barrel though for safety and you get a modest performance increase if you go the forgrip route. Honestly if the NFA didnt have these rules I probably wouldnt have a PCC, just 2 glocks and one with a 5-7 inch barrel with a vert forgrip and a red dot top. Then again I like my AR in 9mm, cheap to shoot and probably the best argument for a training gun out there.

      • valorius

        Not true. From a carbine length barrel pistol ammunition is much more powerful.

        • William Elliott

          depends on the cartridge

          • valorius

            Any commonly pcc’d cartridge sees a significant boost in velocity and therefore power from a carbine length barrel. Some more than others of course, but they all benefit.

      • gunsandrockets

        For open carry the rebirth of shoulder-stock pistol holsters!

    • Major Tom

      Best solution is to be rid of OAL laws, suppressor stamps and restrictions on select fire. Unless you got a levergun or something like a Lange Pistole 08 from long long ago, there’s no reason to use a pistol caliber weapon outside of pistols or submachineguns.

  • Pedenzo

    When I chose to have my CX4 .45 by my bed, I don’t feel the least bit disadvantaged… any way.

  • Joel

    Range? Accuracy? Many people do not think that they need 100 or 200 yard capability in their defensive weapon. Many think in terms of 25 or 50 yards max. Then again, not everyone lives in west Texas or Idaho. Power? Well, not everyone is sold on energy. However, watching the latest PCC competitions, one sees that two or three shots are delivered very quickly, usually more quickly than with a pistol. In fact, there was a video the other day where someone claimed an .11 split time with his semi auto PCC. Frankly, that bests some common WW2 era SMGs. Finally, there is the difference in shooters. Some may develop more ability with something tamer than a 556. That ability may end up meaning more than the difference in external or terminal ballistics.

    • I don’t think it’s so much a question of whether you’re likely to have to shoot someone at 100 yards as it is whether it’s worth it to spend more and be able to do less.

      • RSG

        Outside of maybe an active shooter scenario in public, there are almost no situations where a civilian shooting someone in defense, out to, or past 100 yards, isn’t going to lead to a lengthy prison sentence.

      • GaryOlson

        Actually, yes less may be more. In urban self defense situations, deterrence is often just as or more effective than lethal defense. At 50+ yards, aggressors will most likely not try to discern what caliber of bullet is impacting on or near their person. And either party can choose to escape.

  • Jason Wimbiscus

    Much of the above holds true if the discussion is limited to firearms chambered for milquetoast semi-auto rounds and handloading isn’t a factor.

    As a handloader, I like being able to feed both a long arm and a handgun with one set of dies, one diameter of bullet, and one type of brass. It keeps life and my reloading bench simple and efficient. All you have to do is change up powder types/charges to optimize a round for each gun.

    Also, revolver caliber carbines are versatile and can be unexpectedly powerful, or dialed down for food and fun. For example, I can ramp up a 200 grain bullet out of my Marlin to almost 2k f/s for big game out to 100ish yards and as a very potent home defense load, or I can dial it down to the point where I can poke a hole in a rabbit and still have something left over to eat.

    • Reloading does change things quite a bit, and it’s something I didn’t address in the article. Good comment!

      • Don

        I just built a 45 Raptor AR, a 460 S&W mag for a rifle. I wanted it for the reason that I can also use the round in my S&W revolver once I get it milled for a moon clip, that and I just love the hard hitting wildcat rounds. And like Jason mentioned above, this will give me one less caliber that I have to load and or buy the rounds for. But it was a great article Nathaniel.

      • Bierstadt54

        I’d say it was addressed, considering reloading as a situational aspect to the more general points made.

        • r h

          except ALOT of shooters reload. its not a niche as much as it is part of the culture

      • Art out West

        The revolver caliber carbines (.357, .44, .45LC) and the .30 carbine really are a different category of firearms than the 9mm/.40/.45 carbines. I would love to get a lever action .357 to match my revolvers.

        I picked up a Hi-Point 4095 (.40 S&W) a couple years ago for $200. It is a fun plinker, but my AR15, AK47, and SKS are certainly more effective firearms.
        I guess that means my carbine is a 4th string defensive rifle (along with my Mosin, and Savage .270).

        I still like the Hi-Point. It gives you a accurate and reliable semi-automatic centerfire weapon in the sub $300 ballpark (ugly though). Of course these days, you can pick up a decent AR for about $500.

        The Hi-Point is a good weapon for broke folks, and makes a fun beater/truck rifle as well.

        The $1000 9mm variants of AR’s make no sense to me.

        • Fred Fagan

          Art…. I have a Ruger .357 bolt rifle. My buddy has the Marlin lever action .357. Both of us reload. I’m able to get right at 2K fps with my bolt and my friend gets around 200 fps more from the lever. I gave my oldest son my pre-64 Winchester 94 and do miss my lever action. Another friend just picked up the Henry lever action in .357 and it is really sweet. I might just have to get that for grins and giggles. As far as the above story goes, I agree with the author and put my money on the rifle rounds in a long gun. Pistol rounds are just for play. I do have a .45ACP carbine with a suppressor which is just a toy.

    • alex archuleta

      Great comment! I can understand that as a fellow reloader myself.
      As of lately I just couldn’t understand why someone would pick like say for example, the Wilson combat AR9G and spending 2K for a pistol caliber AR. I see the light!

    • Kivaari

      A Marlin 1894C in .357 magnum when loaded with .38 special 130 FMJ ammo sounds like a suppressed rifle. They are wonderful to shoot.

      • Avid Fan

        And .357 Magnum out of a rifle is a different animal than .357 out of a pistol. Good pairing, good choice.

        • Dean Seaman

          …but it still makes for a barely acceptable rifle cartridge. Roughly 1850 f/s/ & 1201 ft./lbs. is about what you can generally expect from an 1894 chambered in .357, shooting the traditional charge of a 158 gr. bullet with a mv (revolver) of 1235 f/s.
          I only see a side arm / long arm combo shooting the same cartridge as a compromise for purposes of packing a possibly lighter load into “The Bush” while making logistics easier when setting up the pack, because now you only have one cartridge to concern yourself with. In fact, a friend once packed out in the Alaska wilderness for about a year and his only arm was a Marlin lever action in .30-30. Personally, I would pack a break action shotgun in 12 gauge with a fairly open choke and bring along an assortment of bird shot and slugs, and a Buck General as my only “Meal Acquisition Tools”.

          • Avid Fan

            I may be totally wrong, but I tend to think of the .357 pistol and carbine combo as sort of the “sweet spot” of this concept. Are there better cartridges? Absolutely. But in a longer barrel .357 really shines (Remington 125 2038 fps 1153 fpe, just for one example). Would it be my only choice in a “choose one” scenario. I don’t know. But for those who are limited to it for whatever reason, It’s not the end of the world. But on the other hand, given that off the shelf .357 is usually loaded more for self defense than hunting, the .30/30 – 12 gauge set up would open up a whole new world of hunting options.

          • Dean Seaman

            You’re not wrong, Avid Fan. The article concerns itself with “working guns” and thus, my post addressed that.
            However, if that’s what you have to use, for (as you said) whatever reason, there are definitely worse options.
            Maybe I should’ve written “…pure rifle cartridge..” in my prior post.
            I just can’t think of a better “one gun arsenal” than a shotgun. Ask historians and they will tell you, THAT is the gun that actually won the west, due to its versatility and effectiveness in the back country.

    • jonp

      Glad I read the comments before posting as I had the same thought. Those of us reloaders and especially those of us that cast our own see the advantages of one pistol length cartridge to deal with. This especially goes for the duel calibers like 44Mag/44sp and 357/38sp or even my favorite, the 45LC. If your in the woods you most likely have a pistol on your hip and carrying one type of ammo does reduce weight.
      I do think that for people on a budget or those that don’t want to own several firearms having one caliber in a pistol and having a carbine that uses it and the same magazines have an advantage although a rifle caliber is certainly superior.

    • Blake

      There’s something incredibly satisfying about shooting your own lead bullets you cast on the stove. Quite cheap too (we use discarded lead medicine tubes that hospitals use for storing radioactive medicine; you just need to know someone that works there 🙂

      • iksnilol

        That’s just the fumes.

  • Gun Fu Guru

    I agree with the basic premises of this article. However, some states like Michigan require hunters to use straight-wall cartridges. As a result, some people will only buy those types of weapons and make them fill both self-defense and hunting roles.

  • USMC03Vet

    Just because they are antiquated never stopped anyone before. Look at Glock for example. This is some high quality clickbait for TFB especially since it’s audience is the civilian shooter.

  • AC97

    INB4 but, but, muh hearing damage…

    Well, yeah, but once again, is it really worth having something that’s inferior in every other way for that solitary advantage? Not really, no.

    • Paul White

      it is if the other option is still more than adequate and cost-competitive.

      But they’re not cost competitive. I wouldn’t feel undergunned with one for self defense but it wouldn’t be what I’d buy either.

  • John

    1. They can use the same ammunition handguns use. It simplifies logistics and cost.

    2. Semi-auto versions can use the same magazines that handguns use. It further simplifies logistics and cost.

    3. You get consistent results both ways.

    Use specialized guns if you want. But these three reasons satisfy me on pistol carbines.

    • Exactly what are you doing as a civilian where you have an appreciable logistics train? Is it really that hard to just click “add to cart” on some 5.56 ammo while you’re shopping for 9?

      • ORCON


    • AC97

      “You get consistent results both ways.”

      What if I don’t want my guns to consistently do pistol levels of damage for self defense?

      • Jared A. Faber

        Ratshot it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  • MissileMech

    As a hunter, reloader, and all around good guy, I’d like a handy semi-automatic carbine in a straight-walled caliber like .357 mag or .44 mag. Powder choices are varied, as are bullet types and weights. In addition, there are additional calibers available like .38 special or .44 special. Load’m hot, load’em slow. As for the more common pistol calibers like 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, I can see the value as a PDW, but they don’t really interest me.

    • Paul White

      I was under the impression that getting reliable semi autos in straight wall handgun cartridges was a major technical challenge.

      • MissileMech

        Yeah. That’s why I said, “I’d like…” I have to admit that I don’t know what the technical challenges might be.

        • Organgrinder

          Ruger Deerfield. You will, however, need to have a billet steel receiver machined. The cast aluminium receivers tend to self destruct.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    I agree.

    I blame the tendency of people trying to justify a purchase other than just getting it because you want it or for fun.

    Lots of people online. Lots of people that use guns professionally. Maybe they feel they shouldn’t get something because they just want it while everyone else in forums seems to be LEO, military or something similar.

    There is the benefit of cheaper ammo, easier to hit targets, lower recoil, and looking like the more powerful caliber rifle. All major pluses for having it for fun. But they need to add that “for home defense” bit to add legitimacy.

  • Noah

    Let’s focus on home defense, then, since that’s the one place where I think the PCC is absolutely a better choice for most people. PCC’s are lighter, for one, since the pressures are lower. Recoil is substantially reduced over a centerfire rifle cartridge. Barrels can be thinner with less of an effect on accuracy. Also, much more easily suppressed, and with a less intense muzzle flash. By the virtue of reduced muzzle flash, recoil, and sound, the PCC is also a good backup tool to keep around for inexperienced members of your household, such as a non-gun husband or wife.

    Further, I find far more HP or self-defense ammo in 9mm than in 5.56, so that’s worth mentioning too. Accuracy is almost a non-issue within a home as any firearm short of a Jiminez can shoot to minute-of-bad-guy.

    • I don’t think I know of any PCCs that are appreciably lighter than a common lightweight barrel AR.

      But for exceptional circumstances, the PCC reduces recoil from “trivially low” as in a 5.56mm carbine to “somewhat lower than that”. I would say that maybe this could make a difference to new or very small shooters, but I’ve introduced children to shooting on 5.56mm ARs without any problems.

      Barrels can be thinner? I would think that the fact that you’re shooting pistol ammunition would make a much more significant difference in accuracy.

      PCCs are quieter when suppressed, but probably not any easier to suppress. Plus, that is explicitly outside the scope of this article.

      Keeping a PCC around so your wife can use it sounds more like a rationalization for owning one than it does a legitimate reason. I would hazard a guess that most wives either don’t want anything to do with guns or they have their own preferences about what they want to use.

      Being able to find more defensive pistol ammo may be technically accurate, but it doesn’t seem to pose a problem for me or anyone else.

      • iksnilol

        You train children to kill things!?


        • Beju

          Every so often, the ISIS/ISIL sleeper agents slip up and reveal too much.

          • iksnilol

            That explains the beard.

      • The Sub 2000 is 4lbs, 29″ long, and has substantially less blast then a 5.56, and even a bit less blast then a 9mm handgun.

        Likewise, a PS90 is 2lbs lighter and has much less recoil or blast then an AUG or Tavor.

        This “lack of power” seems like a desirable feature for shooting indoors without ear protection.

  • Paul White

    one the one hand, the cost argument is definitely true; I can get a good enough budget AR around 500 pretty easily.

    OTOH, PCC’s really *do* recoil even less so maybe for a really recoil sensitive person, or someone that just hates to practice with a noisy, gassy gun? I don’t know.

    I do think they’re certainly adequate–I mean 20-30 rounds of 9mm, 40, 45 or w/e is a lot of firepower, but at the cost of most PCC’s they’re had to justify. If they were even the same cost I might like them for noise reduction and recoil reduction, but not when they’re 700+

  • iksnilol

    Might ease logistics if you’ve got a pistol and rifle and you aren’t really a gun person?

  • Aono

    I think you summed the pros and cons up well, and made a good point about the idea of a market niche for a low cost PCC.

    But there are plenty of situations where both 9mm and 223 are adequately lethal, and so the 223 thus becomes overkill both ballistically, in costs to your wallet, and in costs to your and your loved ones eardrums and ability to maintain situational awareness and control after pulling the trigger, say, inside. Yes, I know about the overpenetration case of 55gr fragmenting vs 115gr FMJ, but that too is often moot as BOTH will overpenetrate, and sometimes overpenetration is flatly not a concern at all.

    Your premise carves out an exception for anything NFA, and thus negates the overkill argument as it relates to barrel length (both ballistically and in terms of maneuvering a “long” gun), and the boominess (noise/flash/pressure) that silencers address. I would offer two things to this:

    1. A bullpup 9mm or 223 would both give you SBR level maneuverability, but the 9mm is still going to be a lot less taxing on your situational awareness, in the same way that adding a can to either would also be a lot less taxing on your situational awareness.

    2. If silencers stop being NFA, then suddenly the situational awareness advantage, that we all acknowledge that silencers bring, becomes paramount to the consumer. At that point, with a non-NFA integral suppressor host, the advantages of a PCC are really maximized. If you imagine a world where the Maxim 9 really becomes the de facto ideal nightstand gun, it is not hard to imagine a world where a gun taking the same magazines and ammo becomes the ideal nightstand carbine. Not for any ballistic advantages whatsoever (remember, 9mm out of a 5″ barrel is adequate and any 223 is overkill), but for all of the same reasons that we like the B&T USW and MP7. Because you can shoulder it, it now makes legal length because you are integrally suppressing it, and you have all but eliminated any effects on your situational awareness from having pulled the trigger.

    I would argue that PCCs are already significantly less boomy than RCCs, and that the difference between a PCC and RCC is the same type of difference as between running suppressed and unsuppressed. Which is to say, it’s a difference in degree, but not in kind. So your analysis may hold true today, but if the HPA passes it will become obsolete immediately and that difference in degree that you currently argue is not sufficient, will become a vast gulf. And I hope it does pass, because I would like to see a market where manufacturers get to play with cartridges that are not optimized for 16″ of barrel, but 16″ of barrel AND suppressor.

    And no, 300BLK will not replace 9mm in this scenario for all of the same reasons that 9mm has not replaced 22lr.

    • I deliberately left out the NFA, because that allows stocked, suppressed pistols which are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.

      • Aono

        Yep, I’m just describing the counterfactual, the conditions we would need to see before PCCs WOULD start to make a lot of sense. IF the HPA passes, we’re going to see a flood of integrally suppressed AR15 9mm barrels for example, and those really will make sense for any situation for which 9mm is adequate, which is, for civilians, arguably most situations.

        You argue that the difference in boom between unsuppressed 9mm and unsuppressed 223 simply isn’t enough of an advantage, and that is arguable (I personally disagree), but you would have a much harder time arguing this with non-NFA integral suppression in the mix. And 9mm will forever be cheaper than 300blk, for the same reasons that 22lr will forever be cheaper than 9mm (well, panics aside).

        • Something like the Beretta CX4 Storm with an integrated 16″ long barrel-suppressor assembly, which feeds from Glock mags and has a stock that is redesigned to not eat beards with an MSRP under $500 would be pretty damn attractive. You could shoot 147gr HSTs through it and be real quiet.

          • Aono

            Exactly. There is arguably not a single (non magnum) PCC 16″ carbine that would not benefit from replacing the last half of rifling with baffles. This is where the Strike MP5 upper gets my attention because roller delayed blowback and cans…

            As for the magnums, if you remove the aesthetic nostalgia for a certain type of action, and the logistical inertia of being already invested in a given caliber, they have literally zero practical benefit over rifle rounds.

          • Paul White

            I threw my wallet at your comment and no gun appeared. Why not?

          • Aono

            once again my parent comment went into moderation after a thread grew up around it.. wat

          • Really weird

          • QuadGMoto

            I have a bullpup with a 16″ barrel that feeds from Glock mags. Unfortunately, its price is about double the $500 mark and it’s not nearly reliable enough to depend on. As for the CX4, it needs $$$ to have a decent trigger. And more $$$ can get you the stock replaced with an AR compatible mount.

            Either way, from my attempts to find something that’s side charging, short, and reliable seems to always be notably over $1,000.

          • thedonn007

            The Jard 9mm bulpup kind of fits these requirements. If I am not mistaken, i think you did a review on one.

          • QuadGMoto

            That’s the one I mentioned. Specifically, the J68.

          • That was Nathan S.

          • GaryOlson

            Beard eating CX4? I’ve never heard of this functional aspect. Please elaborate…not being a bearded shooter.

          • 22winmag

            He’s knocking the reciprocating charging handle on the bottom side of Keltec Sub2000 stocks. They tend to consume beards, even shorter ones.

          • I was talking about the CX4.

          • Their rubber cheekpiece eats beards real bad. First hand experience.

      • thedonn007

        I really really like my 9mm SBR AR9 with a suppressor. I have a 4.5″ barrel on mine.

      • QuadGMoto

        That really suggests that the biggest reason the 9mm rifles aren’t good for defense is because of the NFA and #$^#$% Hughes Amendment.

        • Look at law enforcement, and we still see a dominance of rifle caliber long guns.

          • QuadGMoto

            That doesn’t seem too surprising to me. If each officer could wind up in a situation by himself, or with a partner where a rifle is needed, it seems to me that they ought to have a general purpose rifle.

            But when you have organized teams, like in the military or SWAT, it seems like 9MM full-auto suppressed makes some sense in building work.

            One of the advantages to a PCC over a full rifle when using a suppressor is the ability to use subsonic ammo. That reason is also why .300 Blackout was developed. In an enclosed space, supersonic ammo can be a noise problem even with a suppressor.

  • Maxpwr

    I don’t pick up the 16″ AR in .223 because I want to shoot 9mm for home defense purposes and can’t shoot the 223 at the indoor range. 9mm is completely effective for home defense and thankfully no government nor internet blog can force us to only have one caliber.

  • RyanC

    All things considered, if I had a PCC (and I’m negotiating with someone for one now), the intent would be to get it SBR’d/Suppressed.

    I also live in Massachusetts. I can easily pull a 15-round pre-ban magazine from my Beretta 92 and put it directly in the Cx4 – and vice versa. I’d hack 4.5 inches off the Cx4 (after getting my SBR) and have the barrel threaded in case the politicians in this hack state ever come to their senses and take suppressors off the list of evil gun accessories.

    I think having a suppressed/agile carbine capable of sharing magazines with my go-to war pistol is worth it. (For people who have Glocks and Vectors, the same concept applies. Having a PCC with the exact same magazines as your go to war gun.)

  • alex archuleta

    Good read! I’d often wondered why the pistol caliber/AR craze is all about. I just didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.
    Not that I’m knocking it, people have the freedom to do whatever they want to and that’s the great thing about this country.
    So for any 9mm AR owners out there…what was your reason for buying one? Do you like it more than say a 5.56?

    • Maxpwr

      I shoot my CX Storm, CZ Scorpion, and Bushmaster Carbon 15, all chambered in 9mm, more than my 5.56. It’s cheaper, I can shoot it at the indoor range, and it is sufficient for target shooting an defensive purposes.

      • “Sufficient for target shooting” is being generous. Plinking and making noise, maybe.

        • Edward Franklin

          I’m fairly certain your average 9mm carbine is reasonably accurate enough for target shooting at an indoor range and I’m almost certain anyone shot with a 9mm is going to know it’s more than ‘noise’. Good job on the exciting clickbait article though, sure to cause folks on 4chan to get all buttflustered.

          • The rifles are plenty accurate, it’s the cheap ammo that has problems.

      • alex archuleta

        Right on man! I’d like the CZ Scorpion or sig MPX.
        I just didn’t get why someone would pick a 9mm when you can go 5.56.
        I can see your reasoning for it as well as geographical location also being a factor, which is something I never considered.
        Where I live 5.56 is cheaper than 9mm and although are are indoor ranges like an hour from here, we can also just take a 20min drive up the mountain with a pack lunch and shoot wherever. (obviously picking a safe responsibe shooting spot in the mountains that isn’t gonna hurt game or people)
        I do enjoy that freedom of going out in the woods and just blast away! Thanks for the enlightenment

    • Cymond

      I built a 9mm AR-15 pistol with 4.5″barrel because I was dissatisfied with the blast from a 223 AR-15. I find a 9mm unpleasant enough at an indoor range, I hate to be in the same room when someone shoots a centerfire rifle.

      It’s also several inches shorter than even the shortest 223.

  • Raginzerker

    This is a really long winded article just to explain what most people have already figured out

    • RSG

      Then how would you explain the sudden explosion of popularity in the last 12 months. Until the ATF changed their minds on AR pistol braces, that was the fastest growing segment in the firearms market. Now, PCC’s out sell everything. If/when you have the chance, speak to any of your local retailers.

      • Raginzerker

        Did you read the article? It’s talking about using them in a le/ defensive scenario, they’re fun range toys, that’s how I can explain the boom popularity

      • PCCs out-sell everything? Are you serious? No they don’t.

      • Kivaari

        Where do PCCs outsell other rifles? Since the election black guns are selling at snails pace. I saw one PCC sell after 3 years at a local gun store. It was one of the least asked for carbines.

  • Blumpkin

    I think the SUB2000 is a nice option. You can fold it up into a small package and toss it into a backpack in the trunk. If things were to go square shaped on you, it would give you some extended range and capacity (with a 33rnd glock mag).

    • Maxpwr

      But those who know better and don’t want to own PCCs will tell you you should have just got an AR in 223. “You can own any AR you want as long as it comes in 223” they will tell you. To paraphrase Henry Ford.

      • Buy and use whatever you want, but don’t make up a whole alternative reality to justify your purchases.

        • GaryOlson

          Nathaniel, everyone lives in their own personal alternate reality they create for themselves. After that, the purchase justification is easy.

          • That is definitely true, we all have our own perspectives.

          • “The window through which we view the world is obscured by our own reflection.”

  • Andrew Marcell

    I must disagree. Consider the Winchester Trapper in .44Magnum. The 16 inch barrel increases velocity and mages the round usable as a deer or black bear cartridge. It may not seem fashionable to say but very few people can handle the .44 Magnum in a handgun. The Marlin Camp Carbine in .45 ACP is a great house or farm gun. It’s also legal in jurisdictions where other semiautomatic rifles are illegal. These rifles are similar to .22 to rimfire rifles in size but hit with much more power. Then there is the FN PS 90 it’s a very effective weapon with the 30 grain bullet. It’s small ,very handy and has a 50 round magazine. It’s almost perfect as a defensive weapon. Yes the 5.7 mm is a pistol round. I agree that $2000 rifles in any caliber have to be damn special to be worth the cost.

    • The Winchester Trapper costs $1100 MSRP. On a purely practical basis, why would anyone spend that kind of money to hunt deer and black bear when they could just get a bolt action in .308 which does the same thing at a third or fourth of the price?

      The Marlin Camp Carbine is about the same size and weight as a Ruger Mini-14 or budget AR-15, and isn’t being made anymore. It’s much heavier than a Ruger 10/22.

      • Andrew Marcell

        I recently purchased a used Winchester Trapper in cal.44 mag for just over $450. It has peep sights but the wood needed work. Marlin Camp carbines are not easy to find anymore, yes it’s heavier than a .22 but it’s a house or farm gun.Its not like you carry it everyday. A Chipmunk rifle in .22 mag or .17 weighs about 2.5 lbs, it’s very handy but hardly a defensive weapon. Yes at current MSRP prices are insane. A good bolt action may be a better deer gun but do you really want to live next door to someone who uses a .308 as a house gun ? The trapper in .44 special is less likely to over penetrate.

        • And you can get a brand new Howa 1500 with scope for $445 at Bud’s Gun Shop, so what practical reason is there to want a ratty old Trapper instead?

          .44 Mag is less likely to overpenetrate? According to what fringe theory of physics?

      • Raginzerker

        I’ve used a 44 Marlin for bear and deer, prefer it over a 308 or any bolt gun really

        • That is just a preference though.

        • Raginzerker

          Exactly my point, that’s probably why he wants a trapper over a 308, and it is practical, I live in NEPA, more useful to have a brush gun than a long range rifle

      • Tassiebush

        A Rossi trapper is significantly less.

        • Their revolvers have forever turned me off to Rossi, I gotta confess.

          • Tassiebush

            I had a 92 which was fine and I like my Taurus .22pump but yeah I’ve certainly read the revolvers aren’t great nor the pistols.

    • AC97

      “but very few people can handle the .44 Magnum in a handgun.”

      Forgive me for calling BS on that one.

      “The Marlin Camp Carbine in .45 ACP is a great house or farm gun.”

      Compared to what? It has: lower magazine capacity, is heavier than some AR 15s, isn’t produced today, and is less modular than other options. What am I missing there?

      “Then there is the FN PS 90 it’s a very effective weapon with the 30 grain bullet. It’s small ,very handy and has a 50 round magazine.

      I won’t argue that 5.7×28 can be effective, but in my opinion, a PS90 is absolutely worthless unless you SBR it.

  • Stephen Ramsey

    PCC’s don’t make sense when they are the size and weight of their full caliber counterparts, and have no other compelling features.

    Carbines like the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 however, do make sense, especially at night or in enclosed spaces.

    Small, light, extended firepower, low recoil, and better effective range than a handgun.

  • PersonCommenting

    I say they only make sense if they are a training gun or an SBR or you want to shoot more for the money which goes back to training. Mag commonality is pretty nice too. Most SD is within 7 yards anyways in the home maybe 45 feet down a hallway it would be nicer to have more accurate shots I suppose and a PCC works for that. All the same though Ive had a PCC and a glock for years. First two guns and when youre just starting out like that it makes a ton of sense and gets you a long way for the money. Yes PCCs dont hold as much and they over penetrate more but 223 is more expensive as long as you got a budget friendly PCC (Not a Willson Combat) you are going to save money shooting it vs your 223 AR and get the same training other than charging the gun as most dont have last shot hold back. You make some valid points but I think it is great for a training gun. Now that I am more estabilished I shoot that gun all the time and my 223 very little as 223 is about 2x as more.

  • Hoplopfheil

    Hey say what you want, but I’d still give my left testicle for a Ruger PC9.

    • I want one soooooo bad.

    • PersonCommenting

      They arent terribly expensive. If youre patient you can find a good shooting PC9 for around 600 bucks. Cosmetically it may look like crap but very low round counts through them on all the ones ive seen in store or have bought on gun broker. To be fair I only bought one on gun broker but yeah Im positive the rest are the same. I regret selling it…

      • Hoplopfheil

        I keep my eyes open. I’d prefer the PC9 as a companion for a P89 or P95, but a PC4 would be acceptable as a companion to my 944.

        With the 9mm pistols and carbine you can get excellent MecGar 15/17/20 rounders, but with the .40s you can only get the factory 10 rounders. The original factory 11 rounders are out there, but they’re stupidly expensive and rare.

    • EC

      I have a Ruger PC4. I find it more fun to shoot than my brother’s 9mm AR. Charging handle is easier. Bolt release is nice.

      But the best part is that it doesn’t go “sproing sproing” right next to my face when I shoot it.

    • abecido

      I passed on a PC4 about a year ago because I was holding out for the PC9.
      In hindsight, a stupid decision.

      • Hoplopfheil

        I’ve “settled for. 40” on a couple of guns I had a hard time finding.

        I don’t dislike the caliber, I just don’t LIKE it either.

        • jonp

          Just bought a M&P .40cal. I like it better than I thought I would.

  • PersonCommenting

    Anyone looking for budget PCCs I would try the ATI 9mm and the CZ Scorpion, have experience with both and they work great with all types of ammunition. I didnt have CZ during the first few hundred rounds but the ATI definitely needs some hot stuff at first to make it reliable. That being said I did shoot 115 grain standard pressure out of it to see if anything would happen. About 1 round would fail to eject every 66 rounds so not terrible and maybe not worth the expense depending on how you want to use the gun but then I put 100-150 rounds of 124 grain +P and it worked like a champ and went back to 115 grain standard pressure and no issues were found. I think we get too caught up in these boutique manufactures that try and over complicate things and they make a gun that just doesnt work or is too fancy.

    • I am very tempted to SBR a Skorpion for the cyberpunk cool factor alone.

      • PersonCommenting

        I think they are one of the best PCCs out there. I Had one for a little while in a pistol form then sold it to buy the carbine version as I just didnt want to spend another 200 bucks on a tax stamp. Instead I got the ATI as it was so similar to my AR and that is what sold me. If I was made of money Id definitely get a CZ again as well but the AR had more value to me.

        • Aono

          What did you like about it? …asking for… a friend…

          • PersonCommenting

            Just a very reliable inexpensive PCC AR in 9mm. It works great, comes with a free float rail, decently light, good quality 33 round mag, and QD sling back plate which a lot of guns lack, same with the free float rail. You can get them now for around 750 bucks too. You just cant beat it in terms of price and functionality. They may drop, they use to be like 699 but then the PCC craze hit and the election got closer so the jacked the price up.

  • MAF

    How about pistol caliber SBRs, such as a 9mm AR with a 10″ barrel? Better accuracy than a pistol, handier than a full sized rifle.

    • Maxpwr

      Don’t worry. All the PCC haters will say that now that you’re talking a 10″ rifle in a pistol caliber all the things we said about them being worthless change and they are completely awesome legitimate firearms, but with a 16″ barrel they are worthless “range toys” because in their dreams all the zombies and Commies they are going to shoot someday only die when you shoot them with an AR in 223 or an SBR in 9mm, but nothing inbetween is worth anything.

      • Salty. I actually really like PCCs as evidenced by my comments elsewhere in this thread. But I don’t have illusions about them being these awesome unsung weapons. They are fun toys, mostly.

        It’s also worth noting that submachine guns have been mostly replaced in US police use by 5.56mm SBRs.

        • ostiariusalpha

          SMGs are good for spraying everybody in a trench or room. Nice for soldiers and gangsters, but not exactly the ideal tool for police work.

          • The MP5 is a very accurate gun that is highly suitable for police work, but even it has been supplanted by SBR AR-15s.

        • Dave

          Because militarization of police? Because Uncle Sugar’ll dole out some ex-surplus M16s with some mods here and there to your measly, no-budget hickabilly rural PD? Because over-hyped notorious “bad day” gun battles with heavily armed felons like–dare I mention it–AGAIN–the “North Hollywood Bank Robbery?

          In US, shotguns have been replaced by ARs. Lots of cops are ex-military. Having discussed the replacement of MP5s with 5.56mm rifles with a former SWAT and PD marksmanship instructor, I’m certainly under no illusions that the MP5–in any iteration–is a “range toy.”

          U.S. police switched because “someone sold them something.”

          • retfed

            No, they switched because .223 will reliably penetrate Level II body armor, and 9mm won’t. The North Hollywood bank robbery may be the best-known instance, but bike gangs, street gangs, drug gangs, and regular mopes have been showing up in vests for years now. I remember seeing biker’s colors with sewn-in Kevlar around 1981.

  • PersonCommenting

    I think a 9mm carbine is the best argument for a training gun. There are all these 22 conversions for pistols that are basically the same shape but dont have the same trigger and of course not the same recoil. A PCC AR is probably the closest training gun you can get, yes like a 22 pistol its guts are different but the trigger is the same the safety is the same, the recoil is almost identical and the overall shape is the same. The only thing that is really different is the fact on some PCC ARs there is no last shot hold open. You can shoot for nearly half the price and get the same level of training. Yeah sure your range isnt going to be as good but anything within 100 yards is going to be pretty similar.

    • What happened to Ruger 10/22s?

      • PersonCommenting

        What do you mean? What do they compare to? If its anything centerfire you dont get that same recoil… Yeah shooting is shooting and will help you no matter what gun but I like to be as close to what I want to really use as possible if I am going for a dedicated trainer. Every person should have some sort of 22 rifle though to get that extra bit of training and fun factor. I always bring a 22 to the range and warm up with it. I just like a PCC AR as I can bipass shooting the higher priced ammo almost completely.

        • Wait, so you’re saying that PCCs are good training weapons because they are lighter recoiling and cheaper to feed, but .22s are bad training weapons because they are lighter recoiling and cheaper to feed?

          • PersonCommenting

            No I am saying specifically the AR PCC is nearly identical for a training for a 223 AR and shoots cheaper ammo. Everything except last shot hold open and shape of magazine is the same. Even the recoil is pretty darn close to a 223. You see all these 22 conversions on pistols and then some 22 rifles shaped like their center fire counterparts but the trigger is different and recoil is different. On rifles sometimes the charging is even different depending on what you buy. With an AR PCC you are getting the exact same thing nearly and will work the pretty similar to a 223 AR out to 100 yards. Yes the guts are different and there is not gas block or gas tube so the internals are different but it all feels the same while shooting which I think is important. With a 22 anything you dont get that close to what you are going after. It is still training when you shoot anything but idk how much use you get out of when you buy an M&P 22 pistol and it costs more just because it’s similar to it’s center fire counterpart. May as well just buy the 22 pistol you want as I think you d be getting the same thing out of it vs a clone or a lookalike without the added expense. Just my opinion.

          • QuadGMoto

            In the last few days I discovered that there is a conversion available for AR’s that replaces just the bolt and the magazines to let you shoot .22LR. That gives you the exact same rifle and controls as shooting .223, just without the recoil, noise, and $$$. That seems like a really good way to practice weapon handling and developing muscle memory. Shoot a bunch of .22LR (with a big grin), then switch the bolt out and continue with .223/5.56.

          • PersonCommenting

            Those types of conversions are probably the best in terms of getting the same gun. I like the CZ Kadet conversion for the 75 B.

  • int19h

    The benefit of sharing the caliber is that you only have to buy and store one caliber. Don’t read anything “tactical” into it.

    If that is a benefit – and I’m not saying that it is for everyone, but it clearly is for some – then the rest of it can be summed up perfectly fine by “it’s more accurate than a handgun”, to explain why handgun alone doesn’t cut it.

    • Maybe that’s a significant concern if you live in a broom closet.

      • iksnilol

        Or lazy af.

      • valorius

        If money is an issue stockpiling one caliber makes a lot of sense.

      • int19h

        Or if you’re not really into guns, and don’t want to devote any more time to them than necessary (but still want something sensible for self-defense).

      • J Jac

        Tell us more about your vast wealth and how you look down upon the working man from your high castle oh milk toast white boy of suburbia. Go jerk your boyfriend Alex C off if that’s the best you can come up with.

        • Zachary marrs

          Ar15’s in 5.56 can be had well under $500

          I’d be willing to bet the average “working man” could easily afford an ar, some mags and ammo.

        • Sgt. Stedenko

          It must suck to live your life acting a victim.
          Bet you’re a real hoot to be around.

  • The_Champ

    All I want to add is that there is something about the Ruger Deerfield carbine firing a 240 grain bullet at almost 2000 fps that I find very appealing. I think that particular setup could fill some niches that a 5.56 AR would not.

  • HH

    Agree with article with his stated exceptions.
    And the main exception is the SBR.
    Boy…nothing, and I mean nothing beats a PCC SBR. Think MP5, etc.
    By beat I mean fun at the range. Just pure pleasure to shoot…esp if select fire!

  • Dan Goss

    They do to the budget minded.
    A guy can get a Hi point carbine and a pistol for under $500 now . Yeah the pistols are bulky , but they shoot fine.
    If you go with suppressors the nine is WAY quieter .

  • EC

    A PCC can be good enough for home defence. Yes, it may have reduced range, lethality, and accuracy compared to a rifle of similar size, but for most people these are moot points.

    Range in terms of home defence is very likely to occur at distances of under 100m, most likely much lower than that.

    Pistol rounds are plenty enough against unarmoured targets at close range, the most likely target in home defence.

    Accuracy is much less important at closer ranges where the difference between a 1 MOA rifle and a 4 MOA rifle is not as significant. Hence the shotgun as a traditional tool of home defence.

    On the other hand, the PCCs come with a few advantages that the author dismisses too easily: recoil and report.

    Reduced recoil means faster follow-up, and basic physics dictates that all else being equal a PCC will have less recoil than a rifle of the same frame.

    Home defence situations often happen at night and indoors. Bright flashes and loud noises are much more disorienting to the shooter at night and indoors. PCCs generally have reduced report compared to rifles of the same barrel length.

    In other words, when comparing apples to apples the PCCs do in fact have some worthwhile advantages over a rifle, and their disadvantages are generally not so pronounced in a home defence setting. There are times when I think the author disingenuously tries to stretch the analogy by comparing a whole slew of PCCs to a 5.56 rifle… I could make PCCs look very good if I compared my .40SW PCC to a 7.62 rifle.

    • The “lack of power” (and associated lack of blast and recoil) is a feature, not bug, of the pistol caliber carbine.

    • Paul White

      hell, under 100 *feet*, let alone meters.

      My biggest beef with PCC’s is the cost of most of them. Scorpions are running what, 700+? Same with the beretta storm

  • Risky

    My Keltec Sub2K goes everywhere my backpack goes, which is on or near me 90% of the time. No rifle except a breakdown AR15 could ride as easily, and the sub2k can be ready to fire in about 2-3 seconds. Compared to my G26, the Sub2K triples my effective range, pushes the standard pressure hollow points to .357 mag velocities, and let’s me shoot way more accurately and faster. Sharing magazines is only a small plus, but it’s a comfort to know that if either weapon suffers a catastrophic failure, all of the other mags and ammo aren’t just dead weight.

    • gunsandrockets

      Yep. I was one of those people who looked down on 9mm carbines too until I handled that Keltec. Aside from the advantages you mention, what really impressed me was how light and well balanced it was.

      In firing position, the Keltic is so short it is shorter than the old Thompson SMG. The Keltec is like a poor-mans SBR AR in terms of length.

      The Keltec is so short because with a pistol cartridge you can put the magazine into the pistol grip, saving several inches of length over a conventional rifle caliber carbine, and with none of the clumsiness (or expense!) of a bullpup carbine.

      • Risky

        Yeah it’s like a ‘lil half bullpup. They handle great. I’d like to get my hands on an old Sub 9 one day.

      • Paul White

        If it wasn’t frigging unobtanium 🙁

        • Evaris

          IDK about you, but I’ve seen sub-2k’s in 4 of 5 local gunshops (sometimes multiple at once) for around $550-600 on a consistent basis for the last year and a half.

          But maybe that’s just Wisconsin.

        • Sean

          I have seen dozens of them at gun shows in the last 6 months. And they are widely available at online dealers.

        • gunsandrockets

          And like Keltec products in general, the Sub also seems to have a reputation for cheap manufacture quality. Damned shame. Maybe Ruger could copy the Sub like they did with the LCP?

      • William Elliott

        my only gripe is I would like some alternative cartridges…I like 9mm, but if they could make it for 10mm auto, .45 ACP, or [please oh please oh please] 5.7×28 FN, it would be a wonderful addition [picture that, a 5.7 carbine that takes Five-seven 30 round magazines, is nice and sleek, and doesn’t cost as much as a PS90!]
        Would be interested in a study of that new 7.5 BRNO cartridge as a pistol/carbine combination…that might be the “sweet spot” for the concept.

        • gunsandrockets

          I’ve heard that the Sub 2000 runs hard with the .40 S&W so a cartridge even more potent is unlikely. No way would it handle the 7.5mm, but I like your idea of a Five-Seven magazine Sub 2000, that sounds very promising even though it would be louder than 9mm.

          If the NFA laws could be reformed so that holster stocks were deregulated, the BRNO Field pistol concept might really explode.

    • Bob Simpson

      Yep….where can you find it?…
      An S2K That can fold up into a laptop bag. Loaded with a 19 round Glock +2. That stoked with liberty ammo Civil Defense at 2500+ fps, and will defeat all soft armor. With this ammo I find it be to be 100% reliable and tack driver at 50 yards.

    • GaryOlson

      The Sub2K easily loads in a large computer laptop bag while a takedown AR15 cannot. It shoots 100 yards accurate enough for the possibility of getting to the rifle.

      Interesting functional note: the zinging sound of the bolt right by my ear can tell me if the round shot cleanly; and if the bolt seats fully on return.

    • an6thing NOW!

      RISKY – YA GOT THAT RIGHT!!! I think this Author is writing from “armchair” r something by the “analysis” he gives!! Like 2e) … I dont! (Who does?!!) run FED HST 147gr +P (+P+) thru my GLOCK 43, but can, DO ALLLL DAY -exclusively- thru my SUB2K -with no effort or inconvenience/kick AT ALL! COMPUTED: 147gr +P from a 16″ bl is right at, r even slightly ABOVE the ft/lb. of a 357MAG!!! … NOTHING TO COUGH AT, at 5AM!! And with many times the accuracy of my 43! NO – I dont feel “under-gunned” in the LEAST just because I dont own an AR. NOT in the LEAST!! : ))

      PS: and if u shop just a bit, u can find HST 147gr +P for as little as $18-19/box/50 nowadays!! Thats SO cheap, I can afford to range-train with the same ammo I use for Self-defense! Wow.

  • Mikial

    “The ammunition sharing argument to me falls flat because it describes a technical curiosity, but no actual practical advantage.”

    This is nonsense. I have several pistol caliber carbines that not only use the same ammo, but the same magazines. We have carbines that use the same magazines as my wife’s Beretta, my Glock and a couple of others. This is great in a situation where I want to minimize both complications and the amount of different gear I want to carry.

    I can see the author’s points, but pistol caliber carbines have a place and all the dissing by an “internet expert” doesn’t really affect my opinion.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      I see much more good coming from sharing the same pistol or rifle magazine between different people than sharing the same magazine between your 2 guns.

    • May ask in what situations you find yourself carrying a rifle and a pistol where it’s a convenience to use only one kind of magazine?

      • 22winmag

        The checkout line at the gun store ($$$) and the gun range.

        • Magazines are inexpensive, and though I can’t speak for anyone else, I do not find it very difficult to chuck a couple extra USGIs into the range bag along with my pistol mags.

  • FOC Ewe

    9×25 Dillon makes all kinds of sense ?

    • 22winmag

      Velocity and terminal performance makes sense. 9×25 Dillon and FN 5.7 are two cartridges made essentially obsolete by 60gr Liberty .40S&W and 10mm.

      • Liberty pistol ammunition produces high muzzle velocities but has exceptionally poor velocity and energy retention. You are better off with conventional heavy JHPs.

        • 22winmag

          Stop clinging to yesterday’s ammo. Liberty has a viable niche: superior terminal performance at typical self defense ranges, including the the desirable quirk of tending to blast thru body armor and explosively fragmenting in the soft tissue behind it.

          • Jeeze, dude, do you work for Liberty or something?

    • Aero Survival did some tests of Underwood .357 SIG from a carbine – 125gr’s at 1850-1900fps. Would love to see what a 9×25 would do.

    • Organgrinder

      So is 9×25 Dillon the current equivalent of 9mm Export from Luger/DWM?

  • 22winmag

    I get 2,600fps out of my 4 pound Keltec Sub2000 .40S&W with Liberty Ammo. Sure, it’s a little loud, but recoil and muzzle flash are very tame.

    • The_Champ

      Is that a typo for 1600 fps?

      • gunsandrockets

        Some gimmick ammo fire freakishly light bullets.

        • The_Champ

          Oh now I get it, I missed the Liberty Ammo first time around. That would be like a 60 grain bullet or something?

          • Yes, and it will have the velocity retention of a sheet of paper.

      • 22winmag

        Consistently 2,000 out of my 4 inch FNS and 2,600 out of my 16 inch Keltec and accurate as can be. I’m sure it bleeds velocity like crazy beyond real world self defense ranges (so what).

      • Typo—–

    • YZAS

      Try chrono’ing Federal 9bple out of a Sub2k and see what you get 🙂 Talk about ‘varmint grenade’. No worry about over-penetration in a HD scenario, but you might blow your damn ear drums out. They do shoot like a laser too. Never had a chance to chrono them yet, but guessing it’s smoking hot.

  • YZAS

    ‘Being just as large as any other rifle’

    …not the case with the sub2k.

    I do agree with most of your points *if* the PCC is as large as any other rifle, and thats why my PCC of choice is Sub2k.

    • The Sub2K is a very creative way to get around the NFA, but it has a lot of limitations. If you wanna mount optics, then you can’t fold it, which is a drag.

      • QuadGMoto

        There is a mount made specifically to put a red dot optic on that gun. It rotates out of the way so you can open and fold it.

        • YZAS

          Or you can take 2 seconds and slap on red dot with a good QD mount. If you dont have 2 seconds, you probably should have pulled your pistol.

          • So now you have to have both available… So why not use just a pistol?

          • QuadGMoto

            A pistol exists so you can fight your way back to your rifle.

            I think somebody famous said something like that once. ?

          • Fight your way to your pistol-caliber rifle? That doesn’t sound very compelling.

          • QuadGMoto

            Like you said, there are certain appropriate applications for that. ?

          • YZAS

            We’ll go to the range. You take the glock and i’ll take the sub2k – and see who can hit more targets faster, further. Thats why 🙂 i can hammer a target much further away much more quickly with a shouldered rifle.

          • No, the point is that the Sub2K cannot fill the role of a pistol. So why use it instead of a rifle?

          • YZAS

            Only because of portability. Other than that, I wouldn’t. I dont disagree with most of your points remember. But the sub2k can easily fit into a laptop bag, whereas my AK’s and AR’s can’t (excluding NFA items, as per your premise). Like you said, limited use case – but it’s still a viable niche. Light and highly portable.

          • Do you regularly carry a Sub2K in a laptop bag? Where? When? Why?

          • GaryOlson

            Because a Sub2K inside a laptop bag doesn’t “print” — ever.

          • iksnilol

            I regularily carry a backpack. And in hot weather it’s just as accessible as a pistol is when it is well concealed.

            Damn it, now y’all are making me want a Sub2000.

          • YZAS

            Ha – No… not besides going to the range… But I don’t carry a ‘rifle caliber rifle’ in a laptop bag/backpack regularly either 😉 It’s a nice option to have however. Again, a niche. It doesn’t replace a ‘real rifle’ for me. It’s in between pistol and rifle, not in place of either. And not terribly costly. Besides, those 33 rd fun sticks look a little funny hanging out of a Glock anyway, so have to put them to use somewhere! 😉

        • There are a limited number of applications for a gun like that. Backpacking, motorcycling, etc. And still, pistols are far handier and more convenient.

      • YZAS

        I have an inline tlr-4 (mounted on a Mako bsr-1 under the barrel) – and it only takes two seconds to slap on the PA AD MDS with an ADM (lower 1/3) QD mount. Holds zero quite well and definitely good enough for social work inside 50 yards. They definitely do have limitations and i dont pretend it’s a rifle caliber rifle, but it fills a niche. PCC beats pistol, rifle beats PCC, pistol beats knife… it’s a rock/paper/scissors kind of thing 😉

      • Vizzini

        For defense purposes, I don’t need optics on it. I have a light/laser combo mounted below the barrel. That’s plenty for quick combat targeting.

        Somehow in the past hundred years we fought two world wars, Korea and Vietnam without optics being standard on infantry rifles.

  • marathag

    In those days, as well, the state-of-the-art propellant technology, blackpowder, was not as tailorable for different barrel lengths as smokeless powder is today

    That’s why the main difference was in grain size, since BP burns at a constant. Smaller grains gave more surface area, so would have all burned in a pistol length barrel.

    but even with FFFg powder, going from a 40″ barrel to 20″ would drop 260fps from the old Dixie Gun Works tests on barrel length.

    But too fine grain powder for a long barrel wasn’t ideal either. Don’t load your 36″ 10 gauge with FFFFg, while Fg you would still be blowing still burning gravel out the end

  • Southpaw89

    I’m just glad that I live in a place where a gun doesn’t have to make sense for me to own one. PCCs have plenty of fun factor, and that’s good enough for me.

  • gunsandrockets

    What rifle caliber semi-auto carbine can touch the cheap price of a Hi-Point carbine?

    • Nothing. That’s why it’s the best niche for PCCs.

    • Check reddit r/gundeals. Post-MAGA, there’s been quite a few $400ish AR15 sales, a few were down to $380, putting them within striking distance to the price of a HiPoint.

  • BQNairfield

    Your article is disingenuous. You say you disqualify from the discussion all NFA, SBR, SMGs etc but that is in fact the reason there are PCCs. UZIs, MP5s, Colt 9mm SMG were first, THEN came the longer barrels. That’s how they are intended to operate. So you are valuing them out of context. Then, consider this, where can you find a shoulder fired weapon (read rifle/carbine), that can be fed brass case ammo for as low as 18-19cpr, can be suppressed to safe hearing levels and can shoot ammo with proven performance (meet FBI criteria, street proven with many PDs)??? Yeah, that’s right, a PCC.

    • Is this a de facto admittance that PCCs have little value outside the NFA?

      • BQNairfield

        You can write but, can you read?

        “Is this a de facto admittance that PCCs have little value outside the NFA?”

        Cheaper practice ammo has nothing to do with NFA.
        Cheaper defensive ammo has nothing to do with the NFA.
        Less muzzle blast/flash/concussion has nothing to do with the NFA.
        and, additionally,
        Caliber consolidation/logistics have nothing to do with the NFA.
        Caliber/magazine commonality with sidearm has nothing to do with the NFA.
        You can have a pistol with a brace which will have ALL the attributes of a SBR, without suffering the ballistics degradation of rifle caliber shorter barrels, so again, short barrel with brace has nothing to do with the NFA.

        • crackedlenses

          I just skimmed the article and I’m pretty sure he addressed your points in the article. Now, you may not agree, but I don’t see you addressing what he said in the OP.

  • gunsandrockets

    Too bad the Rolling Block .357 carbines are so expensive. I just can’t justify to myself buying one.

    The prices on pistol caliber lever actions are ridiculous too. There is no good reason why a pistol caliber Marlin should be double the price of a 30-30 Marlin. The demand for pistol caliber lever actions compared to the supply must be spectacular to support those prices.

  • Roadkill

    Been really struggling on this very question for some time. For HD, the accuracy issue doesn’t seem as important. You’re looking to hit a paper plate across the living room. I don’t entirely trust steel case ammo in things other than AKs or Makarovs, so I stick to brass which is $200 for 9mm and $300 for .223. Thats an extra 500 rounds down range for the 9mm. Now as for over penetration risks in a house, I think light 223 wins pretty well, but quality HP in a 9mm aren’t as bad as a 7.62×39. Not sure how it stacks up against 5.45. if we can get 16inch fixed barrel/suppressor combos, if HPA happens, that’d also be a pretty powerful pro argument.

    Revolver caliber carbines get massive speed increases due to the use of slow burning powders. It allows some hot .357 loads to hit over 2000fps with a 124gr projectiles. I’ve read about some work with slow burning powders in 9×19. I wish I could find the write up, but he was getting 1700fps out of a hi point carbine with, I think, 115 grain. I dunno how they’d function inside a normal pistol though. However, do you think the cost of bulk ammo would be much different for using slow burning powders instead of fast? Perhaps dying the cases to differentiate the styles?

    Really, while looking at a 9mm carbine for plinking and HD, I’ve been thinking that if I can get ammo that mimics the classic .357 manstopping revolver load of 125 grain at 1450fps and have 30rds of that, I wouldn’t feel underarmed with a 9mm carbine at HD distances. Still unsure about it all. Thinking kinda hard about a 223 or 5.45 carbine too.

  • gunsandrockets

    From the shooters perspective how much noise reduction does a linear muzzle brake provide on a 9mm carbine? Anyone know?

  • I carried an MP-5 with Navy trigger group for 5 years, and absolutely loved shooting with it. It was a SWAT Entry weapon with expected shooting distances of around 25 yards. However, I shot the Army “Ivan” qualification course with it, and had no problems hitting targets out to 200 meters. At 250 meters I was still about 90% with proper hold. The 300 meter target was elusive and required a significant hold-over, but I was still able to hit that target on occasion as well. That was with the standard HK diopter sights.

    Now, were the terminal ballistics of the 9mm rounds great at those extended distances … I’ll let the scientists on this site answer that one.

    That was about 10 years ago, and we’ve since switched to SBR AR-15’s. As much as I loved the MP-5 I have a much greater accuracy with the AR-15 at even modest distances of 25 yards, and the energy and temporary/permanent wound cavity differences make the AR-15 a much stronger self-defense selection in my opinion.

    • CommonSense23

      The big issue is what the seals found out in Grenada. Is while you can hit all day on the qual course. Trying to hit a dude at a unknown distance past 75 yards who is only presenting the minimum target he needs to effectively fire is hard when you are trying to compensate for drop. Way easier with rifle ballistics.

      • iksnilol


        Known distance and you can get an AK out to 700 meters, or a 5.56 out to 1000 meters.

        Unknown distance, and you’re at about half that.

      • Totally agree!

  • pieslapper

    The market, frankly, disagrees.

    • …Really?

      • Bradley

        Yes really. Merits aside the market options have increased drastically lately.

        • It’s easy to manufacture PCCs. It seems considerably harder to sell them.

          • Cymond

            So you’re suggesting that so many manufacturers are jumping on a bandwagon of products that no one wants???

          • Hm, well I would say that I expect the PCC market to get saturated pretty quickly.

          • Paul White

            I think a lot of us want them, just not at the prices most of them command. Give me a good semi auto PCC that takes Glock or Beretta mags or similar, in 9, 40, 45, 10mm, at like 400, that I can *actually find, damn you Keltec* and I’m all over it.

          • Cymond

            Prices fluctuate, but Sub2Ks can be found NIB gen 2 on GunBroker for around $500

          • They are selling and more are in various stages of completion. You’ll be seeing more from a number of companies coming out this year. The competition side is also gaining in popularity.
            The Wilson AR9G was fun to shoot, accurate and weighed right at 5 pounds.

  • Ark

    I recently had to sit down and make a decision about this. I was getting ready to do a new AR build and was deciding between filling the PCC or the AR pistol hole in my collection.

    I settled on a 10.5 inch 5.56 AR. I just can’t see the utility of a PCC. Ammo cost? Maybe, but we’re talking 16 cpr for steel target 9mm and 20 cpr for Wolf .223. The difference is a little wider for brass, but if I got a PCC, would it replace 100% of my AR shooting? No, not even close.

    I’d own a PCC as a range toy if the opportunity came up, or maybe a Sub2K as a backpack gun because it’s somewhat of a special class in itself. But I just don’t buy any of the practicality arguments whatsoever. If it has to be rifle length, there’s no reason not to have a rifle. If we’re comparing “pistol” builds, I’d still rather have a 10 or 11 inch SBR/”braced pistol” in an intermediate caliber.

    Speed kills, and .223 goes a hell of a lot faster no matter what you’re shooting it out of. Soft armor and basic plates will withstand non-specialized pistol caliber ammo out of a carbine. And, in a pinch, .223 out of a short AR is more dangerous at 2-300 yards than 9mm out of a Hi-Point carbine.

    If you’re traveling light, you don’t have a long gun. If you have a long gun, there’s no real reason it shouldn’t be rifle caliber.

    • 22winmag

      I chose my 2,600fps Liberty-ammo eating 4lb Sub2000 .40S&W for most of the same reasons you chose your AR. Granted the velocity and terminal performance falls off a cliff much beyond typical self defense ranges, but that’s a small sacrifice given the intended role of this gun and ammo combo.

  • Brian Fulmer

    I haven’t gone through more than one page of comments. Comparing M1 Carbine to ANY PCC in a “service pistol” caliber is such horse$hit I stopped listening. The ridiculous comparison to “pistol calibers” only starts being valid with VERY hot 44 Magnum at short ranges. PCC’s are a joke compared to rifles and that’s why subguns are gone from the inventory of any PD with a decent budget. Our PD has 12.5″ H&K 416’s on the motor cop’s bikes. Which are BMW’s. Just sayin’.

  • Mufasa

    If you’re removing nfa items from this discussion then your argument is ignoring the most important development in firearms history. A pcc with a “short” barrel. A pcc with roughly a 5″ barrel is by far the most versitile firearm produced to date. I don’t believe the ideal, or perfect firearm has been produced yet, but any weapon in a pistol caliber, with a folding or a collapsible stock is superior to an ar15 or other rifle caliber weapon.

  • Thomas S

    The two points that I can think of, at least for defensive purposes, are blast and ease of shooting.

    If you are firing a firearm inside, a PCC is much kinder to you than any center fire rifle round. Even if you plan to wear earpro (and plans always work out), what about the wife, kids, family dog. This also plays into follow up shots. Blast mixed with recoil often makes it more difficult to put a second round on target quickly. Multiple targets are also more difficult to engage.

    Now if you are looking at a pistol for defensive use in the home, well a PCC is still a good alternative. In short, a stock makes aiming and recoil management much easier. It takes training and proper handling to shoot a pistol and get good hits on a target even at a few yards. That is on a well lit range, when your awake, with not a lot of stress.

    What about the average guy or gal who doesn’t have much training, doesn’t get out to the range regularly and frankly isn’t a great shot? A pistol probably isn’t the answer for them. A shotgun may be too much to handle. They are basically left with a rifle or PCCs, and PCCs are even more forgiving and easier to shoot than a 5.56.

    As a defensive arm you probably don’t need the range. You probably do need multiple rounds on target in not a lot of time. Chances are you will need that to happen in less than ideal circumstances when you aren’t at your best, inside a small room.

    As to the power difference, shot placement matters. A 12 gauge slug that misses the vitals still doesn’t stop a target. Yes, it has a better chance, but shot placement, usually multiple shots.

    Now on the other side of things a 5.56 is less likely to penetrate multiple walls even compared to 9mm.

  • Kivaari

    I have a Beretta CX4. It is quite small and lightweight, less so than an AR 11.5 inch SBR. It takes the same magazines as the PX4 (others take M92/M9) and is handy in that regard. It doesn’t shoot nice tight groups like my M4 SBR. Recoil isn’t much lighter than the 5.56mm.
    Is it a good choice for much of anything? Not really. If the trigger pull were better it would make an excellent backpackers companion piece. Even with a good prism sight, the accuracy is not precise enough to take small game beyond 25 yds. It’s that damned trigger. An aftermarket trigger costs half the price of a complete carbine. Even with those deficites, it’s a fun gun.

  • GordonTrenchard

    Wow, a whole lotta works and not really saying much of anything other than trolling us out here that like PCCs for self defense.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    Pistol caliber carbines are actually the BEST home defense weapons for the average person because they get the job done without completely annihilating your ear drums.

    Not enough people are thinking about the PERMANENT damage that they’re going to be doing to their hearing if they ever have to use their 5.56 AR-15s for home defense. I’m not talking about a sharp pain that goes away or even temporary deafness, I’m talking about rupturing your freaking ear drums. Blood could literally come out of your ears. And you’re going to hear an insanely annoying ringing sound inside of your head FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

    Why do that to yourself when a 9mm carbine is more than enough for 99.9% of home invasions?

    Let’s go over some of the data so that people have a better idea of why a 9mm carbine is an excellent choice for people that don’t want to go through the hassle and the expense of getting a suppressor…

    Anything over 140 decibels will do permanent damage to your hearing. A 5.56 AR-15 creates about 167 decibels at the muzzle when using a 16-inch barrel and an A2 flash hider. SBRs and effective muzzle brakes that redirect the muzzle blast back at the shooter will easily create over 170+ decibels (so stop doing that crap for home defense). In comparison, a 9mm carbine using a 16-inch barrel creates about 150 decibels at the muzzle (it’s probably even lower at the shooter’s ear). And since sound doubles in strength every 3 decibels, that’s a HUGE difference in damage that you’ll be doing to your hearing.

    Is shooting a 9mm carbine without hearing protection a good idea? No. But it’s not going to completely devastate your ear drums like a 5.56 AR-15 will – especially indoors where the muzzle blast will be bouncing off of the walls inside of your home.

    So why not just go with a 9mm pistol then? Because 9mm carbines have shoulder stocks which allow you to aim and shoot multiple rounds faster, it’s easier to attach red dot sights, vertical grips make it easier to aim, and they have 30 round magazines.

    Nobody is denying that 5.56 is way more deadly than 9mm, but that doesn’t mean that 31 rounds of 147-grain Federal HST 9mm coming out of a CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine with the faux suppressor (my top recommendation) isn’t enough to deal with 99.99% of home invaders.

    • valorius

      I think you’re going way overboard here. I’ve shot thousands of rounds of 5.56mm and 7.62mm indoors in mout training and still hear fine. Do i have hearing damage? Surely, but i’m not a “What?” machine even 20+ years later.

      • PCCs are definitely easier on the ears, but having shot indoors without hearing protection before I think rifle caliber carbines are fine for a situation like home defense where engagements will be short, if they involve shooting at all.

  • Fox Hunter

    PCCs don’t even have to be 9mm. They can be in many different calibers ,including .40 S&W , .45acp, .45 gap, 10mm, .50 GI. .38 super comp, 9×23 winchester etc. For home defense or training new shooters, I would recommendrecommend self loading PCCs or submachine guns in these pistol calibers using factory ammo, over any rifle caliber rifle or any other type of firearm for that matter. Muzzle blast and noise is what scares new shooters more, not so much the recoil which is tame to begin with in blowback PCCs. Any rifle caliber firearm short of .22 hornet will be louder than any PCC for a 16 inch barrel, even with earpro on. For reloaders I would recommend PCCs over rifles. Its easier to reload pistol ammo than rifle ammo. The number one advantage of PCCs over rifles is they can be blowback. No need for a locked breech system, which means you can use cheaper materials to make the firearm, manufacturing is cheaper, designing is easier too. The problem with current PCCs is that people insist on using handgun magazines instead of double feed magazines. There has not been a new double feed magazine for the .45 acp since the Thompson. At least the 9mm has colt, Uzi, scorpion, apc9, mpx, mp5 magazines. New PCCs for .45 acp should use Thompson mags instead of grease gun or ump mags. New PCCs in 40S&W should useuse mp5/40 mags instead of glock mags. The only real advantage of rifles, especially AR-15s , is economies of scale, aside from power and range that is , but that is external to the platform and has more to do with the market than PCCs themselves.

    • …Are you seriously suggesting people go out and buy PCCs in .50 GI?

      • No one

        Hey man, that all of 2 fps you’d get using 6, maybe even 7 furious shots of an overpriced useless tacticool round would be totally worth all that extra space and weight!

        Well, at least it would save you the embarrasment of paying what? 3-5k for a Guncrafters .50 GI chambered 1911A1 clone I guess.

  • Trapdoor

    This article is mostly technical and totally ignores the “human factor”

    What about people who are older, weaker or have a psychological phobia about recoil?

    It is easier to shoot a carbine accurately than a handgun. The Beretta Storm carbine is a good example of such a weapon.

    • Zachary marrs

      I find nost new and recoil shy shooters much prefer AR’s vs PCC’s, since AR’s dont have 2+ lb bolts going back and forth

  • Lostcoast

    Fascinating article and discussion. Personally I would love to see someone develop a folding stock carbine under 5 lbs in weight that is chambered in .30 carbine. With soft points it has more terminal effect at longer ranges than 9mm or 40 or 45, great penetration, and less muzzle blast than .223 / 556. I have a GI M1 carbine that I like a great deal but wish it was as light and packable as the Kel-Tec SU-16. Even the paratrooper model of the M1 carbine is nearly a pound heavier than the Kel-Tec.

    • I would love to see .30 Carbine make a comeback, but then I am weird.

    • I’d really like to see a 5-6lb bullpup chambered in .30 Carbine.

  • Cal S.

    Oh, boy. The rebuttal to this is very long indeed, but it boils down to several considerations as to why I proudly own a .40 S&W Sub2k. Won’t feed hollow points? What, we didn’t watch reviews first? My Sub2k shoots them like a champ. Let market selection weed the bad apples out.

    1) Yes, it takes the same ammo and magazines as my G22. That’s a benefit, I don’t have to carry different mags when I take that system into the field. 2) Speaking of fields, the main reason I own one is for portability. The heft of the Sub2k is half that of my lightest AR and half the length when folded. 3) It’s accurate out to 150 yards and lethal at that distance. Re: IraqVeteran8888 “How Far Will [Caliber] Kill?” series of videos. 4) It’s inconspicuous. It’s in my backpack, how much more low-profile do you want?

    No, they’re not a substitute for a battle rifle for self-defense. They are, however, a very good substitute for a handgun. Which is why the M1 Carbine was developed in the first place. It was meant to replace the 1911, not the M1 Garand.

    • Badwolf

      same reasons for me. i have an AR, but i still bought a PCC. takes same ammo and mags as my pistol. smaller and less heavy than an AR. extends the range of pistol ammo. wont go as far as an AR, but goes to 150 m which is good enough for me. and finally, its cheaper than an AR.

  • bestionkdooley1

    what rifle is that in the photo at the beginning of the article?

    • UCSPanther

      That’s a Ruger PC9. It is basically an overgrown 10/22 that can take P89 mags.

      Sadly, it is out of production.

      • It’s a PC40, actually, but they’re basically the same gun.

  • Lyman Hall

    #1) They’re fun.
    #2) Ammo’s cheap.
    I <3 my PCC.

  • AZgunner

    I do agree in not seeing a huge benefit to pistol caliber carbines with a 16″ or longer barrel. I’ll be going the sbr route on a Skorpion Evo, which will end up being a significantly smaller carbine style weapon as well as being a superb suppressor host.

  • idahoguy101

    Why the hatred for the PCC? In a home defense situation they’re more accurate than a pistol. Recoil is minimal. With proper ammo they stop intruders with less risk of over penetration that a 5.56/223 REM or a 7,62x39mm of shooting into a neighboring dwelling.

    • Whoah whoah whoah, hold on. Hatred? Where are you getting that from?

    • 22winmag

      Keyword: proper ammo. I get 2,600fps (at 10 feet) out of my Sub2000 .40S&W with Liberty ammo. Expanding JHP is yesterday’s bullet. Explosively fragmenting monolithic copper deep cavity HP is today’s and tomorrow’s bullet.

      • You lose most of your downrange lethality though.

      • iksnilol

        Yeah, I don’t think tomorrow’s bullet is one with vastly reduced range and high price.

        • No one

          Don’t forget one that, unlike properly designed bullets that fragment, the fragments made from Liberty Ammunition rounds don’t heave nearly enough sectional density to penetrate deep enough to reliably reach vitals ever or actually cause a significantly worse permanent wound channel.

          I found Civil Defense to be a cute novelty at first, But I’m shocked people would actually buy into the hype of them being some super round.

          Then again, rabid Lehigh Defense fanboys exist….

          • Evaris

            Yeah, what about the Xtreme Defense / Penetrators? :p

            Or in my case, Polycase ARX’s.

  • jamezb

    I always feel a twinge of uneasiness when a gun writer or industry insider comes out making a case “against” a legal item making money for the industry. I’m always reminded of Bill Ruger siding against AR’s and other “black rifles” to keep his own Mini-14 off the ban list and jack up his sales. I was happy to see you did in the end acknowledge the PCC as a valid range toy and home defender, and I appreciate that.

  • Evaris

    Honestly, the main thing I see as could be a godsend in the PCC market is if the HPA goes through any time soon, seeing as subsonic pistol caliber ammunition has it’s advantage for a home-defense tool versus a rifle, and subsonic 5.56 is… subpar. .300blk is a thing, but I’m not sure as to whether 30 rounds of .45ACP or 30 rounds of .300blk is a better option.

    That said, I think that most of the quality PCC’s on the market are designed to be range toys / backpack guns, and as such are in 9mm instead of .45, so… that argument goes out the window with availability.

    With that said, 30″ or less OAL for any sort of home defense gun is something I’d be looking for. So… bullpups or PCC’s. But that’s me :p

  • Mark Horning

    And yet, the hot round these days is the 300 Blackout/ 300 Whisper. Which has the same energy as the .45 ACP. 200 grains at 900 fps is the same performance whether the bullet is .308 or .451 and the .451 is a lot likelier to expand.

    In a home defense situation, where I have to pull the trigger indoors, I’d certainly rather touch off a couple rounds of .45 acp in a carbine than .223. Outdoors the .223 wins every time for range and energy.

    • iksnilol

      Subsonic 300 BLK has the same energy as .45 acp and better velocity retention (thus range). Whilst going supersonic the 300 BLK leaves behind .45 in the dust.

      See, the point of BLK is versatility.

      So please, for the love of Jesus on a bicycle on way to mass; STOP SAYING .45 ACP IS THE SAME/BETTER THAN 300 BLK.

      • Mark Horning

        200 grains at 900 fps is 200 grains at 900 fps. If you are going to buy supersonic 300 blackout you might as well should a 308 win and actually get some decent KE since you have just thrown away the only thing going for the BO.

        Plus finding a .308 caliber 200 grain bullet that expands at 800-900 fps is almost a fools errand, whereas I can buy a 230 grain bonded .451 holowpoint anywhere.

        • iksnilol

          The point is that you can have both in the same gun. And no, 200 grains at 900 fps ain’t the same if the bullets have a vastly different BC.

          If you fail to understand that… well, I don’t know what to say.

          • Chrome Dragon

            Ballistic coefficient matters to you only if you care about range. Room-to-room fighting, they’re both pretty equivalent, I wager.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, but BC matters if you care about going from 100 to 200 meters in subsonic.

    • No one

      .300 Blackout is pretty much the “hot” round for mall ninjas everywhere as opposed to people who actually intend to use it for it’s intended purpose.

      .45 ACP, no matter what you’re firing it out of is basically always going to be massively inferior to a .233/5.56mm Carbine/Rifle using good round selection in terminal wounding effects.

      It’s not even close to a competition, caliber doesn’t make some more “likely” to expand, and even if it did, that wouldn’t change the fact that 5.56mm has enough velocity to cause massive deep, high velocity fragmentation, flesh and other tissue tearing as opposed to just a big temporary stretch cavity that does nothing ultimately and generate other hydrostatic shock effects.

      Which to use wouldn’t even be a contest.

      • QuadGMoto

        I think the point is that you need to keep the situation where the gun will be used clearly in mind. If you are in a military or police force where you need to use aggression, then you need range and you’re probably already wearing hearing protection. A .223 makes perfect sense in this scenario, especially as a SBR within a building.

        But in a home defense situation, you probably won’t be wearing hearing protection, you will be in an enclosed space and at short range. In this case, that additional power needed to achieve extended range accomplishes only one thing: causing permanent hearing damage to you and maybe your loved ones. Even if you have a suppressor, you will still have the sonic boom caused by supersonic rounds.

        To me, it makes sense to have a suppressed PCC or .300 Blackout subsonic gun close at hand for quick, hearing safe defense. If you need longer range—such as defending your home or business from the rooftop during a riot or zombie apocalypse—then you almost certainly have time to grab the more powerful and effective rifle from the safe, along with your hearing protection.

        • No one

          My point with the “mall ninja” comment was that people often buy into the “latest” new rounds without understanding what they’re even designed to do. In the case of .300 Blackout, people often do this without even bothering to go through the trouble of getting a legal silencer for their new gun.

          You could argue that hearing damage is a legitimate concern when firing indoors (or anywhere for that matter) where the luxury of having ear plugs of muffs may not be viable for time or other reasons to put in/on, which it is, but really, how many people do you know that use a gun for self defense that also have gone through the trouble of going through the ATF process of buying a silencer? I personally could count the amount of people I know on one hand (Including myself, I have 2 registered silencers), and I have a pretty massive sample size, and whether some people like it or not, you really do need one to get the most out of using subsonic ammunition, which many people either can’t afford to do or simply aren’t willing to do for various other reasons.

          And before anyone gets on me for needless semantics, yes I generally do call them silencers even though it doesn’t completely silence the weapon, but because that’s what Maxim’s son, the inventor of said device named his invention.

          • QuadGMoto

            I think you’re quite likely correct about how many people don’t do that. It seems to me there are probably multiple reasons for that. Here’s what I think they are:

            1) They simply haven’t thought about it.

            2) The <beeeeep beeeep beeeeep beeeeeeping> NFA.

            3) They’re impractical on carry pistols. They can be impractical on the typical rifle lengths.

            4) Extra cost for silencers.

            5) Extra cost/lack of availability of appropriate quiet platforms. It’s been discussed elsewhere that PCC’s tend to be pricey. The same is generally true for .300 BO.

            6) The same reason that many motorcyclists don’t wear helmets.

            I have to admit that I don’t have a setup like that because of some of the above reasons. But since I’ve started thinking about it, I’ve begun trying to work out how to get there.

  • jerry young

    A very long winded article that I lost interest in quickly, I will defend pistol caliber rifles my reasons are for tactical or defensive I agree not often do you run out of one and have to divert to the other but by using one simply it’s just you only have to carry one type of ammo, as far as for hunting in my state we have been limited to shotgun and muzzle loader until within the last 20 years or there about we got handguns approved but only in a limited number of calibers and all have to be straight walled case, recently we finally got rifles approved in those same handgun calibers, not all states allow the use of a 30-06 or any large calibers and my best argument for pistol caliber rifles is I like them I can have them and it matters not what anyone else’s opinion is just because they write a firearm blog.

  • Blake

    “I am talking about pistol caliber carbines as defensive or working tools, not as range toys or fun guns… they have a few good niches, including as range toys, suppressor hosts, and small game harvesters.”

    Exactly. Up until recently I’dve loved to have a handy little 9mm non-tactical PCC with ghost ring sights for plinking & occasional rabbit hunting. I was frustrated with the inconsistent knockdown of my 22LR pistol on steel targets.

    But here’s another interesting argument to add to the pile:

    – “max velocity” 22LR rounds like Stingers etc. shot from a 16″ carbine barrel have about the same muzzle energy as standard-pressure .380ACP from a pistol:

    So instead of a PCC for steel plate plinking I got a Henry Small Game Carbine (which comes with really good Skinner sights installed). We had an old brick of cheap-n-crappy Remington Viper HV ammo lying around which groups like buckshot out of pistols & jams in 10/22s, but the Henry eats it up & knocks down the plates with authority.

  • Badwolf

    It’s unlikely, but could happen. I’m thinking shtf scenario and I can’t get rifle ammo for whatever reason. Either I don’t have resources to buy, supply dries up, government bans it, etc.

    Or for whatever reason I need maximize my ammo for same amount of cash or space (pistol ammo is cheaper & smaller).

    …And still remain effective to 150 meters.

  • Dave

    I live in a broom closet. Actually, an early-20th century “shotgun shack” that is literally 12 ft. wide.

    I own M1 carbines and a 9mm PCC. No AR here.
    I’ve “run” (i.e. used) the 9mm carbine in three defensive carbine classes. I was the only PCC carbine user in all three. ARs every place, and even less-well articulated criticisms of the PCC’s failings actual or presumed (read diatribes) presented to me by the tactical cogniscenti or at least would-be cogniscenti.

    Nathaniel, in a nutshell, the casual plinker is better served with a .22–even one styled like the black rifle of choice. For the plinker, a PCC is arguably “too much gun.” Anyone who expects “real rifle performance” from a carbine is not going to find it in a PCC, hence for them it is “not enough gun.”

    The pitchfork: You argue–“I am talking about pistol caliber carbines as defensive or working tools,
    not as range toys or fun guns.”
    In the really existing world, a self-loading-only submachine gun, e.g. a PCC is actually a “defensive or working” weapon (the idea that guns are “tools” and somehow not “weapons” is a typical tactical lifestyle wonk’s canard… Almost any “tool” can be a “weapon” of course, but we are talking about weapons when we speak of firearms. Don’t get me started about the au courant du jour overuse of the term “platform…”] No, really. In the UK perceptions of terrorist threats and clever German marketing have driven the sale of all sorts of rifle-caliber wunderwaffe rifles… But the typical armed response unit–men and women specifically going into harms way–carried Glock handguns, Tasers, and a “neutered” SAO MP5SF. And many LE departments that had MP5s specifically modified them to operate mostly as SAO PCCs, not as full-auto SMGs. A PCC is short, compact, and capable of much, much greater accuracy than a pistol. The JHP ammo will not penetrate structures as much as any rifle round. Rifles are rifles, after all. Sure, there are frangible 5.56mm cartridges too, but many of them will in fact penetrate common building materials.

    “Second, I am talking about the American
    market specifically; I cannot speak to the Canadian or European markets,
    or any other market.” OK, so consumers of tactical firearms in the United States like ARs, which are heavily marketed to them. Many AR consumers served in the armed forces, and they like the dare-I-say it “platform” based on sentimental, emotional, or past training reasons. How many train with the rifle? Yeah, ergonomics are great. How loud? Trust me, in an enclosed structure, plenty! One of the reasons ARs proliferate is due to post-losing-Vietnam paramilitary culture in the U.S. Clinton and Sarah Brady tried to take your “range toys” away! So sales sky-rocketed. The result, decades later, is that the AR is heralded as the best solution to almost any reason a person might want a firearm–hunting? “Get an AR.” Self-defense? “use a pistol to fight your way back to your AR.” Home defense–invariably as a lone consumer compartmentalized in a house NEVER as a member of a community, or aligned with fellow citizens to confront a threat–you know, a MILITIA? “AR. Always.” So when one speaks of the (North) American market, what is one describing? Hmm?

    “Third, for the purposes of this post I am not
    going to consider NFA pistol caliber long guns, that means anything I
    write here doesn’t necessarily apply to SBRs, suppressor hosts,
    or submachine guns. Also, none of the arguments I am making here
    address circumstantial reasons to own pistol caliber carbines, for
    example legal restrictions on standard caliber rifles, or lack of access
    to rifle-rated ranges.”
    Wow, lots of quasi-legalese and caveats… Access to rifle-rated ranges is sort of snuck in there… Actually, in the really existing urban and suburban world, most people go infrequently to the range, and when they do, it is typically a nice, comfy, indoor range with AC and all sorts of amenities. A PCC “range toy” actually comes along during such visits. To my mind, that is actually one of the most salient reasons for the PCC.

    “Ultimately, I don’t think people should tether
    their gun purchase decisions to what online “experts” like myself have
    to say. We might know a lot and can potentially be helpful in making
    decisions (though neither of those things are guaranteed), but
    ultimately we cannot account for every potential circumstance and
    situation.” Yup. Especially when the expert is wrong.

    As for “range toys” mine consist of muzzle-loaders and Cowboy Action guns. That is fun! Also, I regularly shoot bolt-action and self-loading WWII service rifles. Again, fun, and also a good development for marksmanship skills. My PCC and M1 carbines, emphatically, are not range toys. What are most shooter’s ARs, if not “range toys” hmm? Perhaps anyone who owns firearms that does not face immediate threats is inherently using them as “toys?”

  • Gary Kirk
  • Stuki Moi

    Shot for shot lethalilty differences at across the room distances, between modern defensive pistol loadings and .223, isn’t nearly as ones one sided as you make it appear. It’s what pistol rounds are designed, and are tested practically for, every day. .223 is made to score hits at 300yds and beyond, where “eventual kill” is almost as good as “immediate stop.”

    .223s higher “power” certainly helps make for the lessened specificity, but for up close, the fact that one box says “rifle” ammunition, the other “pistol,” tend to be overemphasized by the “fight my way to ny rifle” crowd. In reality, rifles suck too, at “one shot stops,” or whatever its called. Not just pistols. People take .50bmg to the upper torso, and still flail about long enough they could have killed off half a neighborhood, before they succumb to the wound.

    A prime lethality “advantage” of .223, is that those using it tactically, are generally much more skilled at killing/stopping threats than the average pistol wielder. In CQB, they don’t shoot one. Nor twice. If you know how to run an AR at close range, you can really tear a guy up with accurate hits in a very short amount of time. And you generally have the capacity along to do so. Very few pistoleros come even close wrt speed of very accurate hits.

    But exchanging the caliber of the rifle from .223 to 9mm, doesn’t diminish current AR operators’ skill and effectiveness. That’s the whole supposed purpose of those expensive 9mm ARs. Of course, the trust you develop in your AR after seeing it “save your life” a few times, probably means you’ll stick with it, rather than taking a chance on one firing some little pistol round.

    But for the average Joe with little training and experience, I doubt you’d see many

  • Matt Robinson

    I agree. I also think a 9mm PCC with a 7″ish barrel and a suppressor is the bees knees for home defense. Guns are loud. Rifles are even louder. Rifles shot inside are straight up disorienting.

  • Dave Z.

    My Mini Uzi: possibly the ultimate truck gun. 32 rounds of +P in the magazine, short barrel to quickly discourage window peekers, or 16″ for GTFO 50-100 yards run and gun…and ammo is compatible with the Steyr M9A1 on the trans tunnel.

  • Fruitbat44

    Reaching down beside my comfortable armchair for my pitchfork . . . I’ve always thought a PCC had an excellent role as a compromise firearm. Lighter than a rifle, more range and accuracy than a pistol, greater effective range than a shotgun, but without the (potentially) excessive range/power of a rifle. The idea of running a PCC off of the same magazines as your pistol is probably cute rather than useful, but still . . .

    And then at then end of the piece Nat F makes a point which this armchair gunslinger quite agrees with, it would be a good choice for a home defence long gun.

    So pitchfork back in its resting place.

    • Gambler X

      Pretty much all that….and they are just fun to shoot.

  • valorius

    PCC’s make enormous sense if they use the same magazines as your sidearm.

    They also make a ton of sense if they have a lever on them and come in .357 magnum caliber, for the same basic reason as above.

    • How? In what scenario is that of any measurable benefit?

  • valorius

    For a poor person, there is probably no better home defense weapon ever devised than a Hi point 995 carbine. Absolutely no recoil, shockingly reliable and accurate, and from it’s 16″ barrel, 9mm JHP self defense ammunition is quite powerful.

    You can get a used hi point 995 for about 200 bucks.

    This one point alone totally disproves the conclusion of this article IMO.

    • I actually have a Hi Point carbine coming for one of the writers to review.

      • valorius

        Let me know if you agree with my assessment after you finish your review.

  • Noir

    I just dont get all the hate for 9mm carbines on TFB..
    9mm carbine offers so many advantages over SBR.
    a) You can shoot it on many rangs that are “no rifles” – quite common in Europe + there are mostly 25-50m ranges – 9mm is more than adequate for it.
    b) Have you ever shot 7,5″ .223 in indoor range? Ive tried vz.58 in this configuration and it hurts even with earprotection (peltor **) No imagine this in homedefense situation..
    c) My friend shot Scorpion EVO 3 at 400 m – and put most rounds into standard pistol target.. Do you really think accuracy would be an issue at 50m?! On burglar-sized target?
    d) lethality – even if you are hit with mere 9mm at 100m, you will not happily come for second..
    e) Scorpion and others are co much more compact than any comparable SBR, let alone AR15s.. Especialy if its legal to CCW them..
    f) Cost of ammo – co contest.

    • Out of the Blue

      The problem is that the NFA makes getting one that actually capitalizes on one of the advantages of using pistol ammo (the ability to make a “mini rifle with a 10” or less barrel, where the rifle performance might be wasted on destroying your ears and in a fireball) a pain.

  • rexell1951

    With any of the higher velocity rounds, 10mm, .357, .44 magnum rounds there is some gain of velocity with the longer barrels. With ALL the rounds there is a definite increase in accuracy due to the longer sight radius, even with the 9mm and .45acp. The carbine hold is also a stronger sighting platform than any pistol hold. The performance of any of the top rounds in an urban area is more than adequate. If you wish to add in the wide open spaces of the country, certainly I would prefer a rifle round, BUT not the .223 / 5.56mm everyone seems to be in love with ( which I consider to be a “carbine” round) , but a full .308 round or better.

  • Mike h

    I have an ar45 that uses the grease gun mags. Enjoyable and accurate to shoot.
    During an impromptu shooting session we had a ball round of academy’s monarch ricochet of a tree 90* and pass through hardy plank and sheetrock sideways with little deformation. Still powerful. ( we noticed the error in target placement and thankfully all of the other precautions prevented an issue. It also spawned the building of a proper range and ” firearm Fridays” at work) The only ammo that it won’t cycle is rat shot shells.

    While being capable of a defensive weapon , my go to rifles are an sp1 .556, and pof 7.62×51 frankin rifles.

  • Roy G Bunting

    The pistol caliber carbine is the near ideal weapon for the non-enthusiast gun owner. Light, easy to shoot, can be used at indoor ranges to practice. More stable than a pistol for home defense, easily supports simple red dot type sights and flashlights, powerful enough for home defense.

    Admittedly the 5.56 carbine does most of these things (except indoor ranges), but you can get more traditional style pistol caliber rifles then 5.56. Lever actions, the PC9/40 (used) and other, less common guns in addition to the “Tactical” sub 2000s and AR variants.

    I dream of a pump action PCC that has various magwells for various magazines built on a 12 gauge shotgun frame, allowing it to be sold with traditional stocks and made “Tactical” with folding stocks ect in the aftermarket. Home defense gun for a target price of less than $400.

    Alternately consider the 10/22 and shooting for multiple hits. Or a 410 shooting slugs. The home defense shooter doesn’t need the high-speed coolguy gun. They need the effective gun they can shoot and afford. The PCC fits that category better than the 5.56 carbine or any other gun. But the 12 gauge shotgun (heavy and with heavy recoil) continues to dominate that market. I contend the PCC could compete in that market if we’d look at what people need (a light, effective 1-50 yard gun that is easy to shoot), not what we think people need (concealability at the cost of shootablity, bear stopping power or 300yard effectiveness)

  • GR Arnold

    I don’t agree with some of this. I could care less for a pistol or pistol caliber carbine in 9mm but I do love the .40 and such a carbine. I’ve been waiting on a .40 carbine for a long time (preferably an AR15 in .40) however I want one that has been designed around a .40 and not a modified 9mm. I’d much rather have the .40 in a carbine than a .223/5.56 pistol. Maybe that’s just my personal preference but I’ve never been attracted to a pistol in that caliber. Also, I know a lot of folks that still prefer the .40 over the 9mm, even with the +P loads that are now getting more popular. I wish Glock would introduce a single-stack .40 and if they did I would be one of the first to make such a purchase.

  • Guy Slack

    PCC = Lighter, less recoiling, simpler design (blowback) and cheap.

    I’d much rather outfit an elderly person with a PCC than a 5.56 rifle.

  • Louis Bethel

    Please accept this argument in the spirit with which it is served, sans pitchfork.

    There are several benefits to sharing ammo, especially if the long gun and pistol share the same magazine.
    While you have spare magazines for either weapon, different weapons offer flexibility in addressing the issue.
    And you can have one in your pistol already loaded, ready to go.

    Regarding ballistics, from previous articles we understand that you work for a barrel company. So while you don’t have a dog in the fight, you certainly do have some bias.

    I might address the other issues, but you are so long-winded, I could not get through all of them.

    Shorten it up next time.

    • I don’t work for a barrel company, that is Nathan S. We are two different people.

      Sounds like you have motivation issues. 😉

  • Paul Strickland

    Well I don’t shoot an auto carbine like these but I have a sweet Ruger 77/44, .44 mag., syn-stock, 1×4 Leupold scope. Super fun for steel plates, paper targets or whitetails. The .44 mag is one of the easiest rounds to reload. Love my little rifle!

    • gunsandrockets

      Ruger 96/44!

  • McDevitt Thomas

    USPSA PCC = Fun

  • gunsandrockets

    Does anyone know if any of the .45 ACP carbines are rated for handling .45 Super?

  • J Jac

    Another richie rich white boy telling us all about theoretical gun fights he has never been in. Please. Tell us more oh expert of pen and paper.

  • Jeff Heeszel

    All I know is the Chiappa M1-9 is the worst gun I ever owned.

  • Chrome Dragon

    What’s the longest line of sight you care about inside a mid-sized suburban house? Rich people can afford cans and SBR ARs, but for those not made of money, the longest shot I’m going to need to make in a home invasion is about thirty feet.

    The external ballistics is adequate.

  • Mike Lamont

    ‘So-called expert’, eh? Who made the mistake of calling you an expert?

  • mazkact

    Remington could dig themselves out of the hole they are in by reintroducing the Marlin Camp Carbine provided it was done right. One would think they still have the tooling, should be easy.

  • No, I don’t.

  • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

    I have a lot of firearms but the two that make the most sense to me as far as controllability in home defense are a shotgun and a pistol caliber carbine or even AGASP DARE I SAY a .22. I think the .22 because you can put a lot of rounds in the same 1in circle really fast with zero recoil. A dozen .22 HV rounds in the T section will kill a home invade just as well as a 9mm or a .308. Shooting better under STRESS is what’s most important. You could have a cannon and if you can’t hit the guy under stress your dead. Just food for thought, and my humble opinion.

  • Calimero

    PCC SBR + suppressor + subsonic ammo = fun time at the range and no earplugs. And any range that can handle handguns will do!

    Also: pistol caliber = shooting steel at 10 yards.

    So yeah, PCC might be a bit outdated for tactical ops, but still a nice training aid or a fun-inducing device.

    SBR’d+suppressed PCC might be a decent home defense option (as in compact + easy on the ears).

  • Anomanom

    Honestly, Ive not understood why more people didn’t make PCCs for more powerful cartridges. An M1 carbine re-made for 357mag? A gas operated carbine of some sort in 50ae? A longer barrel can squeeze more power out of magnum cartridges, and more weight and a stock will suck out some of the punishing recoil.

  • Bigg Bunyon

    I have two: 9mm Luger and 10mm Auto. They are great fun to shoot. Almost as much as my SKS, AK-47 and M&P15s. And since circa 1970 I’ve both cast my own boolits and loaded my own fun fodder … I have lots of fun. My grandson loves them both. Of course he’s 15 and loves shooting pretty much anything. But then so does his grandpa.

  • Jim Drickamer

    You stated in the article one place where a pistol caliber carbine would be excellent for home or self defense, even though I don’t think you were aware of making that argument at that point. The situation is this: Imagine a person of limited, financial means who is also convinced of the need to provide for self and home defense. At least for now, he can only afford one firearm. What should he buy? For him, a pistol caliber carbine just might be the right answer. It is a bit cheaper than many handguns. It’s ammunition costs are less than what would be needed in a rifle.

  • Evo1340

    One comparison that you fail to make is that a 9mm carbine, is going to be more accurate than a 9mm pistol. So if you are looking for home defense a 9MM carbine may make some sense.

    Of course if I had to make a rifle length choice for home defense, I’d lean towards shotgun.

  • nova3930

    Cost is the only rationale that makes sense to me. Regardless of ammo accuracy, I can afford to get out and work on fundamentals with live ammo more with my scorpion than I can with my AR. Trigger control, sight acquisition, etc etc all translate regardless of the platform.

  • DetroitMan

    I agree with a lot of what you said, but I think you were too hard on PCC’s, especially as a home defense weapon. First of all, you complain about accuracy, but how much accuracy do you really need at home defense ranges? 1 MOA 5.56mm AR-15 vs. 4 MOA PCC is a wash when you are shooting at 10 feet or less. If you have a large farm property you need to defend, then yes, you should use a rifle. Your accuracy complaint also seems largely tied to ammunition choice. Well, if you feed your gun crap ammunition, expect crap results. But since one of the rules of home defense is to use good ammunition, this should not be a factor.

    Second, I think you really undervalued the reduced noise and ability to suppress a PCC. Yes, I would rather be deaf than dead, but if I get to choose I would like to live and have my hearing intact. Not to mention, if I have to defend my home then my wife and daughter’s hearing are effected as well. Try putting electronic shooters muffs on a squirming 2 year old at 2 AM when an intruder is down the hall. I would rather have a quieter gun.

    That said, I think that the AR-15 based PCC’s are ridiculous. It’s way more receiver than needed just to gain familiarity. If you have to have AR-15 ergos, I bet somebody could design a dedicated PCC that places the controls at the same relative locations as the AR-15. Personally I like the Beretta Storm carbines. The High Points are surprisingly usable and even a little fun, though they need a better magazine. Overall, like you, I think a good PCC could hold a place in the budget-priced home defense market.

  • ^__-

    “Pistol caliber carbines are dead, ..because i killed them.” _Nathaniel F Nietzsche the Ballistic GOD 2017

  • Trey

    The constant or nearly constant “AR-15 ergonomics” argument I have found very unpersuasive and much like many items sold as ergonomic its a matter of what one has gotten used to.

    Many people like and find the feel of the AR pleasing to them which is fine and wonderful but there are other that find the feel off putting. Outside of just POOR designs ergonomics is much more a “what I like/am used to” opinion than a fact.

  • El Duderino

    I’ve been waiting for this sort of article for a long time. In almost lockstep agreement with Nathaniel on this one. Full auto SMGs with 8-12″ barrels are great, unfortunately I can’t head to Billy Bob’s Gun Barn and buy one. PCCs are a poor legal compromise. Why not use the most powerful rifle that you can still easily handle and control? Blowback recoil impulse sucks when compared to gas…I’ve shot 9mm carbines that actually hurt the cheek. Never have had that happen with 5.56, even out of a 5lb SU-16B.

  • Madcap_Magician

    I think the whole thing boils down to the NFA. A PCC arbitrarily required to have a 16″ barrel is no better than an AR-15 carbine. BUT… A PCC with an 8″ barrel is a different beast altogether. Even as a pistol with an am brace. An 8″ barrel can get maximum performance out of any pistol cartridge, whereas a rifle caliber in the same barrel length will lose substantial performance compared to the 16″ carbine.

    For home defense inside 25 yards, which is most everyone not out on a country acreage, a PCC with an 8″ barrel is lighter, more maneuverable than a carbine and easier to shoot and higher capacity than a handgun.

  • John McKee

    How long have you and the 5.56mm AR-15 been having this torrid love affair?

  • Master Sargeant

    There are those that don’t know, and those who don’t know that they don’t know. My wife and I are a defensive team. My wife shoots our PC9 9mm Carbine really well, so it’s her primary defensive weapon. That makes sense. Carbines and rifles are sometimes struck by incoming bullets…saving the user but disabling the Carbine. True fact. Should this happen, her ammo/magazines work in my Ruger P89 pistol. True Fact. Long Beach vs Peterson dictates that non police should be using Defensive weapons that parallel the weapons/ammo used by a typical Police Officer…not a SWAT Officer . Police Officers don’t use handloaded ammunition. True Fact. The Court view the AR type rifles as Offensive Weapons….even when used defensively.. True Fact. A ruger PC9 Carbine doe not carry the Assault Rifle stigma . True Fact. Honest Citizens are in prison because of the type of weapon/ammunition they used ie Assault Rifles. True Fact. Citizens (like police) have the right to defend themselves with enough force to overcome resistance. The use of overwhelming/excessive force to to defend yourself will put you jail. True Fact. I could go on….and on and on….but there are those that don’t know…and those who don’t want to know…Good Luck to All!

  • George Smythson

    Hey, this was posted 4 days ago… so, that makes this posted on 1 April… so… this must be an April fool’s joke…? Whew… now I can douse my torch and put away my pitch fork…

  • dltaylor51

    I have a 38WCF SSA sixgun and a a model 1892 carbine,the sixguns accuracy is about 75yds,the carbines accuracy is out past 175yds and I use the same ammo for both.I have a handgun carbine combo in 45LC,44 mag,44WCF,357,40S&W,9mm,32WCF,22mag,22LR and the one thing these combo’s all have in common is the carbine always outshines the handgun bigtime.The only reason I carry a handgun is in case I have to shoot my way back to get to my carbine.If I had to beat feet for the woods and could never come back the 38-40 is the set that I’d take.

  • Blake

    & an emergency backup shoulder 🙂

    • Dean Seaman

      Blake, you need to get hip to this amazing new device called a rubber butt pad.
      You place it right on the part of the stock that contacts your shoulder and, voila, should pain disappears.
      I’m tellin’ ya, its the miracle of the century. I think we’ve got a hit here, people! 😉

  • paul

    I really like the Tokerov round. Sadly, I ordered 4 spam cans from an ammo wholesaler 5 min after it went on sale and I was told it was all gone. Talking to others, I surmised that the Obama administration would not allow it on our shores and then the price tripled overnight(if you could find it). I was in the process of having a rifle re barreled to shot this round and I scrapped that idea. If you check the specs on this hated round, you might see that it is the perfect crossover round.
    Then you could make fun of my even weaker commie .30 cal camp carbine.

  • Zebra Dun

    Nor does a Pistol in .50 caliber BUT be that as it may, a Carbine in Pistol Caliber is desired by many people experts or noobs.
    More accurate than a pistol and uses the same ammo as said pistol.
    Women, Kids and folks who like em’ love em.
    The same can be said for Pick Up Trucks. most folks don’t use them for what they were designed for and simply drive them on the road and cargo hold empty.
    I wouldn’t turn one down and if I needed a carbine I’d go for a Rifle caliber.

  • Josh

    The real appeal for these is the niche where you go very short (4.5-5.5″ barrel), keep better reliability and performance than 5.56 or a rifle round out of such short barrels, and still get to handle a gun like a long arm.

    Plus, training in 9mm is much cheaper than training in 5.56.

  • ChiptheBarber

    Man, you covered most everything. I can’t disagree with anything you said. I still do not have one, though. Therefore I still want one.

  • Cory C

    Do you lump subguns into this as well?

    SBR AR-15s are crazy loud, spew out .223 below an ideal velocity, and they have a fair amount of recoil. I’m a small guy, so recoil matters to me for putting rounds on target quickly.

    For a defensive situation wherein you’re shooting up close and personal, a pistol caliber carbine is effective. But with an SBR AR (with some types of ammo) the bullet hasn’t had enough distance since it left the barrel to do all its fancy yawing and whatnot. In other words, with plain Jane AR-15 food, a short barrel doesn’t let the ammo do its job well.

    My trunk gun is a CZ Scorpion Evo. It shoots 9mm with BB gun-like recoil and it shoots 9mm at effective-for-9mm velocities, and it’s small.

  • r h

    i find myself thinking a couple things about pistol carbines ( having owned a good half dozen or more)
    they are very fun at the range. if you buy one as a range toy ( because thats ALL you want, you have NO interest in defending yourself as a goal) they are awesome fun. the recoil is lighter then 5.56. ( when i say recoil i mean the whole experience the noise the movement of the firearm and the ejection) and if your just having fun shooting soda bottles they are great fun for any age ( that are supervised and safety instructed , just to stop the anti-children shooter thing)
    ok so you bought 1 gun so you could have fun at the range thats ALL you want from a gun.
    but then the night comes when you hear broken glass and noise from downstairs.
    id MUCH RATHER grab my PCC as my ONLY gun then a handgun which i may have bought instead,as my ONLY gun, as it will be far easier to be accurate with under stress then a handgun. ESPECIALLY for an “unenlightend” shooter IE one who has done 0 training under stress or at all.

    so my point is. if all you buy a gun for is fun at the range and you didnt buy a rifle caliber
    ( because i dunno you like the way a fake uzi looks better then a fake m-16) they will do better then a handgun.

    but given a rifle next to a PCC in my gun locker, unless the rifle is a singe loader id skip the PCC..
    oh on a side note i also think a pcc (if you already own one, not as a reason to by one) could make a decent back up for your wife or roommate or other responsible person who may share your dwelling, but has had little to no exposure to firearms..

    am i a gun expert? i am an expert on every gun ive ever owned and dead ignorant about all the others i have never touched. even if they were the same make and model 😀

  • Patrick Duffy

    However the Key-tec 2000 folds nicely into a back pack, is more accurate than the pistol and as a “Go bag” extra is ideal.

  • E Scott Pickens

    One Mag, two Weapons, Same Caliber.. The Camp Carbine/92F/S The CX4 Pistol Carbine set. Simplifies Logistics, Light quick handling Most shooting in my woods is less than 100 meters, No Bears, Just Pissed off Raccoons, I am going to have to build a DOM Tube Carbine for a Match to my Xd45 as no reasonable cost Carbines are available. It just works for me.. With a G3 7.62×51 as backup if real power or range is needed.

  • tiger

    Sorry, Still a PCC fan. A Beretta CX4 Storm still on the gun wish list.

  • Copisetic

    I watch guys on helicopter pig hunts shooting 9mm out of AR style chassis and dropping big pigs in their tracks. And much cheaper to shoot.

  • Pete-fus

    You were right about the PCC being a great home defense weapon. It has less penetration in home construction materials than the higher velocity 5.56 mm rounds. I carried a Glock 17 on duty and an Olympic Arms K9gl in 9mm as a patrol carbine. I worked a small suburb with houses quite tight together. We did not have too many places where ranges would exceed 100 yards, and over penetration of houses was a concern. The major advantage of the PCC is the improved accuracy of using the carbine with Red Dot sight over that of handguns. That is where the PCC really shines. Very few cops can shoot their pistols as well at 25 yards and out than they can with a PCC. In our “practical tactical” training, officers were more confident in taking a shot with the PCC than with their handguns where targets were mixed bad guy and hostages. We had some officers chose the 5.56mm AR’s as their patrol carbine, but they admitted the PCC was easier to shoot, quieter too! Officers trained and qualified on Patrol Carbines all said that they were more accurate using them over their sidearms. The advantage of my Oly Arms K9gl was the ability to “grab n go” with the PCC knowing it had three mags, and my duty belt held two more if I could not grab the “active shooter response bag”.

    I think the PCC does have its place in the shooting world. It just matters what the situation is, kind of like picking the right tool for the job. You don’t hammer nails with a wrench and tighten a nut with a hammer. A good PCC may be the better tool for the right job!