SILENCER SATURDAY #271: Selecting The Best Personal Defense Weapon (PDW)

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to TFB’s Silencer Saturday brought to you by Yankee Hill Machine, manufacturers of the new YHM Turbo T3 5.56 rifle suppressor. Last week we took the new 16″ 5.56mm SIG MCX-SPEAR LT rifle and SLX556C-QD out on the range for some accuracy and sound evaluation testing. Today we will discuss the characteristics that make the best Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) and the reasons that I believe a PDW should be suppressed. Let’s take a look.

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USSOCOM Selects SIG Rattler for Reduced Signature Assault Rifle

SIG Sauer were recently awarded a 5-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract valued at $5 million to provide the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with a new Reduced Signature Assault Rifle. The RSAR will be MCX Rattlers chambered in 5.56x45mm and .300 BLK and will be equipped with SIG’s SL suppressors. The search for a weapon to fit the RASR requirement has been ongoing since 2017, it is currently unknown exactly what the RASR’s configuration will look like with barrel lengths undisclosed. SOCOM describes the RASR as a ‘PDW system [which] will allow Operators to have maximum firepower in a concealable weapon.’

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New CMMG DISSENT Line of Personal Defense Weapons

CMMG have introduced a new line of PDW firearms dubbed Dissent. CMMG Dissent utilizes the company’s new patent-pending Compact Action in which the reciprocating action parts are contained within the upper receiver eliminating the need for a stock with a buffer/recoil spring mechanism inside it. According to the company, this is the shortest, most stowable Personal Defense Weapon that CMMG has built to date. Let’s take a closer look at the new CMMG Dissent PDWs.

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Indian PDWs: JVPC/MSMC Carbine

In the mid-2000s, India began looking for a carbine to replace their 9mm L2A3 Sterling submachine guns which they inherited from the United Kingdom. Two weapons were developed, one by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), and another by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a subdivision of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The Ordnance Factory Board produced the AMOGH carbine, while the DRDO produced the Modern Sub Machine Carbine (MSMC, also known as the Joint Venture Protective Carbine, or JVPC). These weapons reportedly competed against each other, and by the early 2010s, the MSMC had been selected as the Sterling replacement.

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Indian PDWs: AMOGH/MINSAS Carbine, the INSAS That Never Grew Up

In the mid-2000s, India began looking for a carbine to replace their 9mm L2A3 Sterling submachine guns which they inherited from the United Kingdom. Two weapons were developed, one by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), and another by the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a subdivision of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The Ordnance Factory Board produced the AMOGH carbine, while the DRDO produced the MSMC. These weapons reportedly competed against each other, and by the early 2010s, the MSMC had been selected as the Sterling replacement. However, the AMOGH is still being marketed to customers by the OFB, and has reportedly been purchased by the Indian Coast Guard.

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SIG MCX Rattler Ultra Compact Assault Rifle, Hands on at [AUSA 2017]

Manufacturer SIG Sauer brought along their brand new MCX Rattler ultra compact 5.56mm and .300 Blackout assault rifle/carbine to the 2017 Association of the United States Army annual meeting. The Rattler is an ambitious design intended to bring a reliable extremely short barreled AR-type rifle to the military and civilian market. Historically, designing very short barreled gas operated rifles that function well has been a serious challenge, so the Rattler’s designers had a tall order to fill.

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Historical Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 015: The 7.65x20mm French Longue

In this fourteenth installment of Personal Defense Weapon Calibers, we’ll be looking at a highly minimalist incarnation of the PDW/SMG round: The 7.65x20mm French Longue. The story of the French Longue begins with the US entry to World War I and the brilliant inventors John D. Pedersen and John Moses Browning. Faced with the stalemate of trench warfare, these designers were tasked with finding a solution in the form of handheld autoloading weapons. Both came up with semiautomatic rifles firing small, low recoil .30 caliber rounds. Pedersen’s “Device” converted a standard M1903 rifle into a rapid fire semiautomatic, but it was Browning’s autoloading rifle and its .30-18 round (very similar to the .30 Pedersen used with the “Device”) which caught the eye of the French Ordnance officials. The .30-18 Browning, as it is called, was evidently cloned to become the 7.65x20mm Longue used with the interwar French Mle. 1935 pistols and MAS-38 submachine gun.

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21st Century Vintorez: Kalashnikov's New AMB-17 Silenced Assault Rifle at ARMY 2017

On display at the recent Russian Army 2017 expo was Kalashnikov’s new AM-17 and AMB-17 compact assault rifles. The AM-17 is a 5.45x39mm caliber improved version of the MA assault rifle introduced last year, designed to fill the same role as the AKS-74U compact assault rifle/personal defense weapon. The AMB-17 is an integrally suppressed variant of the same, firing the 9x39mm dedicated subsonic round first introduced with the AS Val and VSS Vintorez in the 1980s. Pictures of the new rifles have been posted on various social media outlets, such as TFB contributor and small arms expert Max Popenker’s blog.

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 014: The .223 Timbs (7.62x25mm Tokarev w/ Sabot!)

What do you get when you take the venerable speedster 7.62 Tokarev, and load it with a muzzleloader-style sabot and 50gr .22 cal projectile? You get one of the most interesting pistol, submachine gun, and personal defense weapon ammunition concepts there is!

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 013: The .22 TCM and .22 TCM 9R

It has been a little while since we visited the subject of modern personal defense weapon calibers, so to start it off again we’ll be taking a look at a new high velocity round that is only a few years old: Armscor’s .22 TCM. This round was reportedly developed by Fred Craig as a high velocity caliber for the 1911 platform, and picked up by Philippine company Armscor. Originally called the “.22 Mini Mag”, the .22 TCM (Tuason-Craig Magnum, after Craig and Armscor’s president) is designed to fit inside the magazine well of a 1911 and function from .38 Super 1911 magazines. Although a pistol round, the .22 TCM is based off the .223 Remington case, shortened by about three quarters of an inch. Thanks to the thick web of its parent case, the .22 TCM is capable of handling high pressures of 40,000 PSI. A version with a shortened projectile, the .22 TCM 9R, is compatible with shorter 9mm magazines for weapons like the Glock 17.

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Do Bullpups Have Better Balance? A Different Perspective

The bullpup rifle tends to be – when it comes up – a pretty divisive subject among “tactical” rifle shooters. Bullpup detractors dismiss the layout as clunky and awkward, while its proponents cite the advantage of longer barrels and shorter overall lengths. Both camps are often correct in their criticism, but there is another aspect of the bullpup that I think often goes poorly addressed – if it is addressed at all. That is the subject of balance.

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US SOCOM Seeks New .300 Blackout M4A1 Personal Defense Weapon Conversion Kit

The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is seeking something a little smaller than its existing M4A1 and Mk.18 carbines: The command just released a request for information (RFI) to the industry seeking proposals for conversion kits for M4A1 Carbine receivers that turn the weapons into sub-6lb, sub-26″ .300 Blackout caliber weapons. The RFI was released on March 9th, and submitting companies have until 3 PM Eastern on April 10th to respond. The RFI’s requirements read:

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 010: The 9x19mm and 9x21mm Russian Special AP

One potential solution to the problem of a suitable anti-armor pistol and submachine gun round is to take the existing ammunition system and introduce one or more new kinds of ammunition which provide additional armor piercing capability through higher muzzle velocity and tougher core material. This is the route taken in Russia, where in the mid-1990s was introduced several loads for the Western 9x19mm caliber, as well as a new but fairly conventional round, the 9x21mm, also with optional AP load.

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Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 009: The .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire

So far in the Modern PDW Calibers series we’ve talked about small caliber, high velocity PDW rounds like the 5.7mm FN and 4.6mm HK, and we’ve tackled larger, punchier calibers like the 10mm Norma Auto and the 7.5mm FK. However, we still have not tackled the very extreme low end of the spectrum, that is rounds that are so small and impotent that many question their usefulness as antipersonnel rounds at all. However, small size brings with it some benefits in recoil and round weight, so it’s worth taking a closer look at this kind of round.

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Modern Historical Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 006: The .30 M1 Carbine

The US .30 cal M1 Carbine is one of the most important developments in the personal defense weapon story, being one of the very first* intermediate calibers to be adopted as standard issue by a nation, and arguably the first purpose-designed PDW caliber in history. Even today it occupies a strange halfway point between pistol and rifle cartridges, being similar in design to a long pistol round or magnum revolver round with its straight-walled case and round-nosed bullet, but loaded with rifle powders designed for the 18″ barrel of the handy little M1 Carbine.

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