Gun Review: JR Carbine

 

JR stands for Just Right. And boy did I want this pistol caliber carbine to be JR. I wanted so badly for it to be JR. But it wasn’t JR. It was really only POK (pretty OK). But POK Carbine doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like JR Carbine. The JR may not be quite right, but it’s totally salvageable. With some work, I think the boys from Canandaigua could have a truly awesome gun on their hands. Sticking to our newly debuted review guidelines, I’m going to build it up and tear it down . . .

Background

If you are a regular reader, the JR should be stirring a bit of déjà vu in your brain space. Our man Dan did a preview back in December that never made like Red Bull and got wings. Turns out that running the operations of the most popular gun blog in the universe eats into your range time.

So Dan the Man called me up and asked if I’d be willing to give it a go. He had already put a few hundred (or maybe thousand) rounds down the tube, and left it dirty. Without realizing it, Dan had set something in motion and found a platform for me that I needed without knowing that I needed it. A pistol caliber carbine? Genius! A pistol caliber carbine that uses AR furniture and Glock mags? Bloody brilliant!

In its cold, black heart, the JR carbine is a pistol caliber (9mm for this test) carbine loosely built on the general design of the very popular AR platform. However, the JR shucked the gas impingement system for a much more simple blowback design. This allowed the guys at JR to give the gun ambidextrous bolt and ejection options.

In addition, you can swap out barrels and bolt assemblies to switch calibers. And looking at the product specs, you can tell the designers were bitten hard at some point by somebody using proprietary technology. Users can deploy standard AR furniture and trigger components… all while using Glock or 1911 mags. Add that to the threaded barrel that’s suppressor-ready and you have a platform that will actually complement your collection instead of adding another dimension of accessories and headaches.

Overall Appearance & Fit/Finish 

The JR is obviously built to a very high standard. I was hard pressed to find any machine marks, defects or mis-alignments in the entire platform. The barrel and receiver finishes were defect free and managed to handle being thrown around the truck without too much fuss. The top rail happily accepted an EOTech sight and the whole rig is without rattles or any of that “cheap” feeling that can sometimes come from new-to-the-market manufacturers.

I’m giving four stars because the bolt internals aren’t chromed and started to look a little dingy as time and cheap 9mm ammo took their toll. Another small item is the use of Phillips head screws on the ejection port blockoff plate. Seriously? Phillips button head screws? Those need to be upgraded to Allen heads ASAP. As you can tell, I’m really looking for things to ding the JR on here.

Ease of Use 

I giggled at the bolt lock system when I first saw it because for the first time I’d be able to do that cool bolt-catch slap thing every B movie actor does while running an MP5. Then I shot my first mag and realized that the bolt doesn’t hold open when done. I realize we’re not tacticool mall ninjas. I get that. Really. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have the bolt lock open when a mag’s empty.

I think this is a practical limitation stemming from the fact that the JR was designed to use a few different magazines to achieve compatibility. Even if the JR was standardized on the Glock mags, I doubt it would have the bolt hold open as that would add manufacturing complexity (read: cost) to the design.

The second nit that needs picking is the magazine release. For those familiar with the AR platform, you are going to be sorely disappointed when you try to use your right index finger to drop a mag. No such button exists over there. The mag release is over on the left hand side of the interchangeable magazine well. For us righties, it isn’t the end of the world, but it does mean that quick mag changes aren’t happening. For southpaws, this problem is only amplified as you’ll have to hold the rifle against your shoulder with your support hand and manipulate the magazine release.

In a perfect world, this gun has a bolt hold-open and a much better control layout. But we don’t live in a perfect world, bummer though that may be. In the video above, I bitch about how the Glock mags won’t drop free. I don’t believe this to be JR’s fault. I’m blaming the plastic magazines and a very dirty gun.

Ease of Disassembly 

In a word, nope. Not easy at all. Pistol ammo is gross. I rank it right up there with .22 LR for dirtying up a fine firearm lickety split. Especially steel-cased TulAmmo. Keep in mind that I got the gun dirty and continued to run it that way. So when I finally did clean it up in anticipation of its eventual return, I was shocked to discover how involved the field stripping process was.

First, you have to remove the shoulder thing that goes up, and then remove three Allen screws to separate the upper from the lower. At that point the bolt, buffer and spring fall out. If you are truly serious about cleaning, you’ll remove those aforementioned Phillips screws on the ejection port cover and scrub everything down. And you’ll need to. The JR will get dirty.

This disassembly process is a little worrisome. From a metallurgy standpoint, using finely threaded Allen screws in an application like retention of the upper has potential for heartache. If you don’t ever clean your gun, disregard this portion of the review.

I’m a neat freak when it comes to my guns. That means I’d be disassembling the upper and lower after every range session and at some point, I’d wear out the threads on those screws (best case) or on the lower (worst case). Not to mention the fact that you have to unscrew the buffer tube for every field strip. JR 2.0 needs to incorporate the pin system that ARs use for long-term reliability.

Handling Characteristics 

At 6.5 lbs stripped, the JR is on par with a standard M4 style AR-15. It’s very well balanced and handles like any similarly equipped AR. Other than the aforementioned bolt handle and mag release issues, the ergonomics are very good. The six-position stock will allow you to adjust length of pull to fit smaller shooters or shoot with bulky clothing or armor. The JR is not supplied with sights, but has plenty of rail space to accommodate irons, red dots, and magnifiers.

The trigger is typical milspec. It breaks consistently at 6.5 lbs, but the road to get there is fraught with false breaks and some grit. You can actually see in the video where I let out a little “whoop!” before the shooting starts. I found the first false break and jerked one off to the side. After a thorough cleaning, things got a little better, but if you are considering a JR, consider a trigger kit to match. From what I can glean, the JR will accept standard AR triggers. My Timney is married to my AR so I didn’t test JR’s claim.

Accuracy 

What you see here is a five shot group from 50 yards off a solid rest using an EOTech red dot sight. Keep in mind that at the time, the JR was hot, dirty and flinging TulAmmo. So what you see is literally the worst possible scenario for accuracy. My best group managed a maximum spread of two inches. That’s easily within the realm of reason for what this gun is. Better ammo, a clean gun and magnified optics could easily help that number drop closer to one inch.

Reliability 

I had absolutely zero issues with reliability using the cheapest ammo possible in arguably the dirtiest gun I’ve ever received for T&E.

Applicability for a Given Situation 

This gun would be perfect as a casual plinking gun for those not in love with dropping 5.56 money to shoot at 50 yards or less. For those with Glocks galore, you’ll love the fact that you can use those magazines in the JR. And with a suppressor attached, this would make an excellent platform for teaching new shooters as the muzzle report and recoil are pretty negligible. This gun would also be awfully comfortable as a home defense or trunk/bug out gun.

Available Aftermarket Options 

The JR takes AR furniture, Glock magazines and has a gang of 1913 rail space. There’s not much you can’t mount to this gun if you want to. And with the proliferation of 30+ round Glock mags, you can feed the JR with relative ease. Add that to the ludicrously inexpensive ($279) conversion kits to take your JR to another caliber, and you have the makings of an uber-modular gun.

Favorite Feature

It shoots 9mm! How cool is that? Honestly, the ability to take AR parts and Glock mags is absolutely awesome.

Least Favorite Feature

It’s a tie between the lack of bolt hold open and the location of the mag release.

Specifications: JR Carbine

  •  Semi-automatic pistol-caliber carbine
  • Ambidextrous bolt – configurable for left or right-hand ejection
  • Converts to other pistol-calibers
  • Magazine included – Glock or 1911 depending on model
  • 16-1/4″ barrel
  • Free-floating quadrail forend
  • Picatinny rail machined into top of receiver
  • Telescoping 6-position collapsible M-4 style buttstock
  • Utilizes standard M-4/AR-15 furniture and trigger components
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Overall length: buttstock extended 33-1/2″, collapsed 30-1/4″
  • Made in the USA
  • Price: $500-$700 on the open market

Overall Appearance, Fit and Finish * * * *

The build quality here is excellent and shows the mark of some true craftsmen. However, I’d like to see a bit more work on the internals to resist dirty 9 mm ammo. Additionally, standardization on one type and size of screw would be welcome. Phillips screws are for decking.

Ease of Use * * *

That lack of bolt hold open and easily accessible magazine release mean that this gun is forever relegated to plinking range toy duty instead of a competition gun or even home defense weapon. Even though the controls aren’t laid out nicely, though, they do work well.

Ease of Disassembly * *

Easily, the worst aspect of this gun is breaking it down for cleaning. Field stripping requires the removal of the entire buttstock and the lower is held to the upper with three finely threaded Allen screws. In my opinion, this is a recipe for disaster.

Handling * * *

From a comfort standpoint, the JR is quite nice. I have small hands so the front handguard was a touch too big for me. The three star rating comes from the rough and gritty trigger. After some cleaning it got less gritty, but it’s still pretty bad. Definitely consider upgrading this if you are buying one.

Accuracy * * * *

I was pleasantly surprised by the accuracy I saw out of the JR. I consider our test conditions to be the least ideal for getting a good feel for accuracy. We shot the JR hot, dirty, used cheap ammo and without a magnified optic. All that, and it still managed a 5 shot grouping with a 2 inch max spread. Sub inch and it would have gotten 5 stars. I’m mean like that.

Reliability * * * * 

I had zero issues, but did not get the opportunity to burn thousands of rounds so I’ll go with a conservative 4 star rating.

Available Aftermarket Options * * * * *

The JR is standardized on two of the most popular gun platforms around, the AR and Glock pistols. Between the two, you should be able to customize the JR to your heart’s desire. Add the ability to convert calibers for less than $300 and you have a five star winner on your hands.

Final Thoughts * * *
The JR Carbine fills a niche. If you get the chance to shoot a pistol caliber carbine, you’ll see why. They’re light, fun to shoot, inexpensive to operate and in the case of the JR, compatible with a lot of other guns and accessories you likely already own. That said, my opinion is that the JR is not quite JR as it stands today.
Two design changes need to happen. First, the they need to do away with the threaded pin system for attaching the upper and lower. This won’t stand up to frequent cleaning as the pinned AR lower style system will. Second, they need to chuck the modular magazine well and standardize on Glock magazines. This will allow them (hopefully) to relocate the magazine release to a better position so the gun will have a manual of arms similar to America’s favorite modern sporting rifle.
As I said in the beginning, the JR Carbine has the potential to be absolutely badass. Maybe they have to bite the bullet and use a stock AR lower instead of their homebrewed design. That sucks, I’m sure, but as a buyer (and reviewer), having the buttons in all the right places with a proven structural design gives me the comfort to plunk down a fairly reasonable sum of money and put one of these in my safe. 
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About Tyler Kee

Tyler Kee is a small town kid trying to make it in the big city of Austin, TX. A salesman by day, he is an avid motorcyclist and aspiring chef out of the office.

84 Responses to Gun Review: JR Carbine

  1. Nice review! I agree, if they fixed those issues I would definitely be in the market for one. Especially since I just sent off the money for a 9mm silencer…

  2. avatarjwm says:

    i see the pistol caliber carbine as a viable replacement for the shotgun in a home defense situation. for some of us, i’m developing arthritis as i age, a lightweight low recoil carbine would be a boon. new and small framed shooters might benefit from this system as well. and 9 mm is about the cheapest center fire there is to practice with. maybe by the time i can leave ca. they’ll have the fairly minor bugs worked out of the system and i can get one. would like to see some chrome lining and easier field stripping.

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      I switched to a pistol caliber carbine for home defense. The low recoil facilitates rapid follow-up shots and even my 12 year old daughter can handle it. There is another significant advantage as well — blast. After firing a few rounds out of a handgun or even worse a shotgun in your hallway, you will have trouble hearing the home invader/s, your family, or law enforcement who arrive on scene. A carbine on the other hand generates significantly less report than a handgun in the same caliber much less a 12 gauge shotgun.

      Plus the longer barrel of a carbine means more ballistic energy. My .40 S&W carbine launches bullets with comparable velocity and energy to a .357 Magnum handgun with a 4 inch barrel. For example it will launch a 135 grain bullet at something like 1650 fps and 815 ft-lbs. Or if you like heavier bullets for added penetration, it will launch a 180 grain bullet at something like 1200 fps.

      Of course a pistol caliber carbine has less “stopping power” than a shotgun or rifle. It also has significantly less recoil and report which is good. Throw in the fact that I can use 15, 22, or even 30 round magazines and I shudder to think of a scenario where I would be under gunned.

      Now if someone would just make a semi-auto 10 mm or better yet .357 Magnum carbine with options for 20 or 30 round magazines!

  3. avatarChach says:

    For a gun that you found some flaws on but liked it overall you really bashed it. BHO not being there does suck though, Honestly DDLES makes an AR Glock lower that retains more standardized features.

    • avataranonymous says:

      > BHO not being there does suck though,

      For some reason, my mind parsed “BHO” as “Barack Hussein Obama” instead of “bolt hold open” for a few seconds.

    • avatarTyler Kee says:

      I had great hopes. I’ll be watching them closely to see what they do in future revisions. The quality of the work they put forth is top notch.

  4. avatarJoe Grine says:

    Nice review Tyler. As a point of clarification, the standard HK MP5 does not hold open on an empty bolt either.

    • You would know…

      Having bought five full auto ones and all…

    • avatarSD3 says:

      “…the standard HK MP5 does not hold open on an empty bolt either.”

      You know what does? The Beretta CX4. And accurate as anything I’ve ever heard of. Take-down & cleaning is a snap. Chrome-lined innards. Fully ambidextrous. Covered in picatinny rails, and it costs about the same as a JR.

      • avatarSean says:

        I have somewhere around 30000 rounds thru my CX4. Only problem I ever had was after 500 rounds of filthy surplus. And it was dirty before I started shooting that day. Everyone that I have ever let shoot it loves it. One of my teen goddaughters is bugging her dad for one of her own.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        Because of your comment, I went and looked at the breakdown video on JR’s site, and then took a look at the CX4. The JR requires a bunch of tools, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc, and looks pretty complicated to takedown. By comparison, the CX4 has a single pin or wedge that once removed allows the breakdown of the weapon for cleaning–no tools at all. The simplicity of the Beretta leaves the complexity of the JR in the dust. For the same price point, the Baretta wins hands down. How a bout a comparison, Nick? Oh that’s right, Baretta won’t send you guys any guns….

        • avatarSD3 says:

          “…Baretta won’t send you guys any guns….”

          Strange. Give the pitch battle for market share of pistol caliber carbines (Mech-Tech, Kel-Tec, KRISS, JR, High-Point, etc.), you’d think Beretta would ‘roger-up’ a T&E for them.

          They did for Hickok.

        • avatarMark N. says:

          There is a history out there mentioned a few times in these parts–apparently Beretta was “upset” that TTAG was a little too honest in its review of a particular shotgun…

  5. avatarLee says:

    Of the available pistol caliber carbines on the market, I believe I’d rather have the Kel Tec Sub 2000. It’s a more established company, has outstanding reviews, plus it has the benefit of folding down to fit in a bugout bag. Plus it is available in versions compatible with more handguns.

    I think it’s cheaper, too—if you can find one.

    • avatarAnon in CT says:

      I’m assuming they don’t make them any more – I was quite keen to get one, but could not find one anywhere.

    • avatarChris says:

      I want one of each, but Ket-Tec 1991 / Berretta 1526 !

    • avatarundeRGRound says:

      LOL, I got my 40 cal Sub2K for $285! Gotta have a great Volume LGS. Late Summer ’13… THEY STILL MAKE THEM!
      Rumor is that Military is buying all they can, ?!?
      Rumor I say.

      Also have the full compliment of HP carbines. All great PCCs!

  6. avatarSFMedic says:

    Tyler,
    I think you’ve grown to accustomed to the AR platform! An MP5 does not lock back on the last round. That cool guy slap thing occurs on an MP5 because it’s quick and the motion of the slap gets your hand towards the grip pretty fast. The bolt lock back thing is a non issue.

    The mag release is kind of awkward I’ll agree. They should have put it in a similar location the the MP5/AK if they didn’t want to put the push button in an index finger friendly location. At least you could perform the sweep/clear with a live mag before reloading in that case instead of wasting time pushing the button and pulling out the empty.

  7. avatarLevi B says:

    I have a JR Carbine that I bought in .40S&W. I also bought the 9mm conversion kit. On mine, the stock retention nut was on way too tight. I mean, bend the conversion kit tool out of shape tight. The barrel nut was similarly too tight–put on the tool and hit it with a 1lb sledge tight. I had to get a new stock retention nut as it was bunged up pretty good, but thankfully they sent it right out and I got it in a few days and they didn’t charge me anything for it.

    I have a SWR Trident-9 silencer. The JR has a threaded barrel. It however will not run reliably with subsonic ammo–a big negative. At least 5 FTEs in a 33rd Glock magazine. I am going to investigate the cause and see if anything can be done–I’m thinking a lighter buffer would solve the issue.

    • avatarLevi B says:

      Oh, I wanted to clarify that I just bought the JR Carbine recently. The problems I’ve had could easily be cleared up, I just don’t know yet. They fixed the issue I had with the one retaining nut after just filling out the contact form on their site, so I think they’ll make things right if I can’t figure it out on my own.

  8. avatarLouringe says:

    Not that JR wants to hear ir , BUT I sell an aluminum bump fire stock for the AR-15 and other models. It works well on the JR’s, just my 2 cents

    • avatarLevi B says:

      Which stock is this? The DefendAR-15 is the only one I can think of that is aluminum and designed for AR-15 type furniture.

  9. avatarMark N. says:

    Not being an owner of an AR type weapon, I don’t see the big deal about the location of the mag release. If, as you say, Glock mags don’t drop free, then right handed shooters will be using their left hand to remove them, which puts their hand in exactly the right position to operate the release and remove the mag.
    A couple of other things. Aside from telling us that you used junk ammo, you did not give the bullet weights or muzzle velocities. I for one would like to know. It seems to me that this is one rifle, assuming it can handle the pressure, would be comfortable shooting 147 gr +P or hotter. Not that it matters much; without a pinned flash suppressor or a nonthreaded barrel, I don’t think I’ll be seeing any of these in California any time soon.

  10. avatarRIGHT! says:

    I’m just NOT impressed
    And I don’t have the time to list this unit’s faults

  11. avatarWiebelhaus says:

    Some people are calling them “Issues” I think they are more so “Features” and with those features this firearm would cost nearly twice as much.

  12. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    If you were truly a “neat freak” about your firearms, you wouldn’t be feeding them third-world crap ammo.

    • avatarjwm says:

      i assume you’re speaking of craptastic commie surplus ammo. the only time i use that stuff is in my craptastic commie guns. i’ve always heard that the steel cased ammo is hard on extractors. whether that’s true or not i prefer to run it in my mak and mostly nasty only. the parts are cheap and easy to swap out,even for a klutz like me.

  13. avatarsy says:

    The .45 is a piece of crap. I haven’t been able to get through a whole magazine yet. JR has been no help as their solutions don’t work. I have heard the 9mm works better.

    • avatarBijbaddodge says:

      Yes the Just Right Carbine in 45acp is junk. Did this ,did that ,folow this, thay blemed glock, blamed ammo, blamed rapid fire, blame blame. JR carbine is accurate when it shots but that is far and in between. Thay need to drop the carbine and make a single shot Lol…. After all i went through on my JR Carbine iam very thankfull for all my other guns that shot “everytime i pull the trigger, yes any brand mag, yes any brand ammo and yes as fast as i can pull the trigger” because Just Right is Just Junk.

    • Yes the Just Right Carbine in 45acp is junk. Did this ,did that ,folow this, thay blemed glock, blamed ammo, blamed rapid fire, blame blame. JR carbine is accurate when it shots but that is far and ifew n between. Thay need to drop the carbine and make a single shot Lol…. After all i went through on my JR Carbine iam very thankfull for all my other guns that shot “everytime i pull the trigger, yes any brand mag, yes any brand ammo and yes as fast as i can pull the trigger” because Just Right is Just Junk.

  14. avatarJ- says:

    The JC is dead to me. It’s a $700 carbine that can’t handle 9mm +P loads. What’s they point of having a rifle that takes the same mags and ammo as my pistol, if my pistol ammo will blow up my rifle?

  15. avatarNebes says:

    I think I prefer Kel-Tec’s SUB-2000.

  16. avatarJD says:

    I own both the .40 & 9mm JR rifles. Love them both. I have found that the aftermarket extended mags don’t feed correctly and jam. I have never had that issue with true Glock mags. HP & FMJ both work well with no feeding issues. Both the .40 & 9mm have very little recoil and are very quiet when firing. You can shoot inexpensivley and not have a sore shoulder at the end of the day. A suppressor is a cool idea but not really necessary unless you are trying to be stealth, which I am not.

    I think the best thing about the JR concept is the ability to take pistol mags. I don’t have to worry about grabbing the wrong mag in the dark during a home defense situation. Grab a handful of mags from my nightstand, my pistol, & my JR and I have a full arsenal ready to go in a flash.

    I am not a gumsmith or a gun expert, just an enthusist. I have never torn apart an AR, but the JR isn’t really that complicated. I watched the video on JR’s website as my guide the first time and it was super easy. The barrel nut was over tightened from the factory, like someone else stated, but it came off without damage. I wouldn’t read too much into others thoughts about how difficult this gun is to take apart, because it really isn’t.

  17. avatarJD says:

    I own both the .40 & 9mm JR rifles. Love them both. I have found that the aftermarket extended mags don’t feed correctly and jam. I have never had that issue with true Glock mags. HP & FMJ both work well with no feeding issues. Both the .40 & 9mm have very little recoil and are very quiet when firing. You can shoot inexpensivley and not have a sore shoulder at the end of the day. A suppressor is a cool idea but not really necessary unless you are trying to be stealth, which I am not.

    I think the best thing about the JR concept is the ability to take pistol mags. I don’t have to worry about grabbing the wrong mag in the dark during a home defense situation. Grab a handful of mags from my nightstand, my pistol, & my JR and I have a full arsenal ready to go in a flash.

    I am not a gumsmith or a gun expert, just an enthusist. I have never torn apart an AR, but the JR isn’t really that complicated. I watched the video on JR’s website as my guide the first time and it was super easy. The barrel nut was over tightened from the factory, like someone else stated, but it came off without damage. I wouldn’t read too much into others thoughts about how difficult this gun is to take apart, because it really isn’t.

  18. avatarHay Yawl says:

    I have recently seen Just Right Carbines advertising a “Gen 2″ version .. anybody know what has been changed ?

  19. avatarJohn-Peter Pita says:

    I find interesting this gun… However I will surely buy one when it will be available in 44 magnum caliber… Then, it will make a wonderful hunting rifle for intermediate ranges from 50 to 150 meters. I don’t think this caliber would be so difficult to implement around the same basic technical concepts.

  20. avatarGary Sykes says:

    I purchased the 9mm version and followed the recommended cleaning before operation and found it not that difficult to breakdown. However it does require more tools. Not a big problem. Overall this in my opinion is an awesome rifle. I would buy another one if I had to do it all over again.

  21. avatarJV says:

    Have had the JR Carbine in 9mm for several months and through a few range trips and cleanings, ~600 rounds. It’s really easy to shoot, and at the 5o yard range will mash out a big center hole. Total blast at the plastic bottle range at 40 yards.
    Indeed – I used the same Federal-Eagle and Winchester and Federal JHP that I use for handgun, and a lot of pistol powder blows back into the bolt with a 16-inch barrell compared to thr 3.5 and 5.5 inch on compact and full size 9mm handguns.

    I like the platform, especially with a Glock-17 in the bag for “cowboy logistics”. I’m going to experiment with some custom loads for JRC 9mm… Maybe try some 115gr bullets and slower-burning rifle powder.

    Yes – compared to a quality AR-15 or AR-10 .308 – the blowback-bolt feels like chalk. I believe it has to be light to operate, but I wish it has some kind of coating because it’s just rough carbon steel finish.

    All in all – I’m happy I own this gun. I’m not turning in my Zombie Stopper AR-15 in 300AAC Blackout, but JRC definitely fits a niche in a solid collection.

  22. avatarAdam says:

    This is a very solid gun and I would highly recommend it to any type of shooter. I live in CA so I have to have the CA compliant version, the only disadvantage to that is that it requires a small pin to be inserted into the mag release to get the mag out, and I can only have a 10 rd. mag. The article also makes a very true point about the gun getting dirty quickly, because after about 250 rds. I noticed significant build up of gunk throughout the gun. This weapon has very little recoil and can be handled by the most beginner shooters. If your looking to buy and you live in SoCal the price tag is going to be around 800-900 dollars.

  23. avatarJames says:

    I just purchased the JRC 9mm. At first glance, I was particularly impressed with the quality of the machining on the unit. First range day was today – ran 600 rounds thru it with zero issues. For what it’s worth, I think the review was spot-on in all respects and echoed my findings. I can live with no bolt hold open, but I’m going to fabricate a trigger finger mag release. I’ve already modified my Glock mags with small steel plate counterweights so they drop free easily. Slapping that bolt home is just awesome (any John Ringo fans out there? Think: numerous scenes of Ghost. “Silly terrorist, water is for Seals”).

  24. avatarRod says:

    From what I’ve been reading around on forums they have fixed all the issues with this gun. Thier newer production runs have a different barrel (cylindrical no shaved sides) and different bolt and some other internal parts.

  25. avatarTravis MacDonald says:

    The gen 2 has a heavier buffer too for all the +p guys, I read that it makes subsonic cycle less reliably but haven’t actually shot one yet. For the people that want AR lower qualities on the JR, it didn’t happen because of Canadas rediculous gun laws. The JR carbine is non-restricted, we can take it in the woods and keep it in the back of our trucks and closets with no worries. AR lowers are restricted, firearms that use an AR lower can only be shot at recognized ranges and can only be transported back and forth to them and they’re pretty harsh on people who break those rules (jail time, pull your licence, take your guns). It does suck that the mag release is so different but it helped us Canadians out a bunch :)

  26. avatarVinnie says:

    Problems chambering… Casing lodging into the barrel… Failure to eject … Super accurate … Fun too shoot… Annoying to clean… To sum it up I’m 50/50 on my carbine… I just said screw it and hung it up I’m willing to sell it for 400 with 500 rounds of hollow tip.. This gun was brand new and nothing but problems..

  27. avatarJon Schell says:

    The one gripe I have with the 9mm JR Carbine I have is the maintenance. “Field stripping” requires a lock-nut wrench, which turns the “field strip” into a “workbench breakdown”. Come on, really!? Breaking it down further for a proper cleaning is a pain in the dick.

    Outside of maintenance, it is fun, reliable and accurate.

  28. avatarGlen H. says:

    Just got a used JR Carbine in 9MM. It doesn’t have the barrel cuts, which leads me to believe that it’s the newer version.

    On the first shot, the trigger did not reset. I had to press it forward to reset it. It took several rounds before the trigger would reset. Once that issue was settled, I sighted in first with iron (okay, plastic) Magpul backup sights, then a Primary Arms Microdot. Shot very accurately at 25 yards (all I could do that day due to range limitations). Fired several different brands and weights of 9MM ammo using a mix of standard, 10 round and extended factory Glock magazines, experienced no issues other than the trigger reset.

    Unlike my Kel-Tec SUB-2000 in .40, it doesn’t dump expended cases, gas and residue on this left-handed shooter due to the left/right hand conversion feature. Nice design, although I agree about the screws… they seem a little insubstantial. Time will tell, I guess.

    Gotta agree with Tyler, “field stripping”… isn’t. I don’t know too many folks who carry stock wrenches into the field. “Bench stripping” is not simple, but I’ve had worse (the Marlin Camp .45 comes to mind here as an example).

    The failure to reset issue? Not the carbine’s fault… the prior owner had left the lower drier than the Sahara. A little lube on the trigger pin and that’s it. It wasn’t anything I was going to solve in the field, though, given the complex disassembly procedure. Again agree with Tyler that wear on the takedown screws could become a problem given that I can’t stand to put a dirty firearm back in the safe, and the JR gets very dirty indeed.

    The magazine release looks like it would be a PITA to re-engineer to put in the standard AR position. I wouldn’t want to be handed that job. For us left-handers, it isn’t that big an issue to come back with the support hand to dump the magazine (I live in CA, but have the JR configured in “featureless” mode which allows the use of the standard magazine release and standard capacity magazines – folks who use the magazine locked compliant version won’t be able to do that as easily). Mine dropped free every time but one, had no problem hitting the release and stripping the mag out of the well. I can see where right-handers would complain though.

    I’m happy with mine, as long as I don’t have to take it down in the field.

  29. avatarThomas says:

    I have a, what I think anyway, is a 1rst Gen 9mm JRC.
    I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
    Use real, factory, Glock brand mags.
    Way higher quality than a KelTec.
    Very different than the Beretta, they really aren’t the same thing. I have 0 interest in the Beretta & I imagine the Beretta lovers wouldn’t like my JRC.
    This thing is so easy to shoot accurately, so customizable, I highly recommend it. Plus as a defense weapon it really packs a harder punch than a 9mm pistol.

  30. avatarRichard Davis says:

    I was hoping you might have plans for an M-1 carbine. Pleeeaasse say you do!

  31. avatarJames C. Tanner says:

    Is there a possibility of a JR Carbine in 10mm. Would really like to see this with the cal. changes if it was available.

  32. avatarDon Higgins says:

    Have had my JRC for about 3 weeks. 250 rounds shot. Good accuracy out to 50 yards. Will try longer distance when range available. My only down comment is magazines. I am not a Glock fan. I prefer a CZ75 and would greatly appreciate a kit to change to using CZ75 mags. One set of mags for both my CZ75 and JRC would be ideal.

    Regards

    Don

  33. avatarSean says:

    Purchased the JR about 2 years ago. Right off it was jamming and destroying shells, found there was a free “upgrade” so I returned it. At the very minimum from what I could tell, they replaced the buffer with a much larger/heavier one. It’s much better but not without problems. Sping must be much stronger as pulling the bolt back is ackward to do one handed. I’d give it maybe 3 stars….

  34. avatarKen says:

    Firstly a longer barrel does not mean more velocity as the powder used in the round will decide that.

  35. avatarTitus says:

    I have had my JRC in 9mm for just over a year now and have only had one issue. The bolt handle was not secured with loc-tite so it rattled loose and damaged the allen head screw that held it in. JRC folks customer service is great and they sent me a new one free of charge. Accuracy out of the JRC is excellent for a 9mm cartridge. I was chewing the 1.5″ center out of targets at 50 yrds, but at 100 yards my groups opened up to 6″, possible due to my red dot covering the entire target area at that distance. I expect with magnified optics my groups would tighten up a bit. Reliability has been perfect through over 1K rounds (barring the loc-tite issue) with no FTE, FTF or like wise. I have used mine on hogs (under 300lbs) and I have to say it, although unexpectedly does the job well using +P high quality ammo such as Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P. The longer barrel does increase the velocity and energy of the round to approx 1500 fps/530ft lbs. I would like to see the magazine release on the right side of the magwell though, as I accidentally dropped a fully loaded mag in the woods when my body bumped the mag release. Take down is not well designed and should incorporate take down pins (such as the AR platform) to facilitate cleaning. Overall, compared to Kel-tecs S2000 the JRC feels like a Cadillac with the S2000 being a low grade KIA. For the Beretta (yes its spelled with two E’s, two A’s) I have not shot, but would like to point out that the JRC has a much thicker barrel and should hold better groupings.

  36. avatarJohn P. says:

    Hi,

    Great review on the 9mm JRC. I was hoping you might be able to add a section about the reliability of the 45acp version of this gun. I’ve herd variable feed back on how reliable the 45cal is. hoping someone might be able to give some feedback.

    Thanks,
    JP

  37. avatarruss says:

    iv’e had my .45 JRC for a while now, had mag. issues out of the gate, easy fix.
    acquired 2 KRISS mag extensions and they work great, put Magpul MOE funiture
    on it and a 13″ UTG superslim hand guard (required modification) the JRC receiver
    is wider than an AR-15. finished it off with a TRI-DELTA muzzle brake. EOTECH and MBUS back-up sights on top. i like the rifle, it does the job fine, eats any ammo
    i use including HP+P. the only gripe i got is the mags move around in the magwell
    ALOT. my magwell is roughly .030″ over-sized both ways where .010″ and a flared
    mouth would be great. the mag release and lack of BHO i can deal with.

    • avatarruss says:

      i just finished reworking the trigger, the difference is dramatic. i kept the springs for now, got the pull down to 3/16″ and reset to 1/8″, over-travel is around an 1/8″. smooth as buttered glass and a crisp break. now i need to get it to cycle faster.

  38. avatarHerb Gardner says:

    A friend brought his JR down to the range and I brought my Ruger PC9. We both agree the Ruger handles better, easier to clean and similar accuracy. And from what I’ve seen on the used market they are priced about the same (I paid 700 for my used PC9). I’ll stick with my Ruger…

    • avatarruss says:

      that’s great; i like 45′s and the market for a < $1,000 carbine in 45 ACP is kind'a
      thin. i gambled on the JRC largely for the Glock mags and it's worked out so far.
      if HK wasn't $1,600 i'd have one. Kriss is just fugly. i do like 1927's but again mags
      can be pricey. baretta is a proprietary mag and 45 bucks a pop. i can get Glock mags all day around $25 for 13 round and $50 for 30 round.

  39. avatarDave Hellman says:

    The clown that reviews this excellent carbine is waaay of the mark. This is the best of the best. This so-called “reviewer”, doesn’t know squat about pistol caliber carbines I have one, and have run it through numerous drills and it’s a huge winner. It’s the best out there, by a huge margin. Be careful listening to so-called gun reviewers like this guy. They’ll steer you wrong more often than not.

    • avatarruss says:

      i also like my JRC 45, i also agree with the few design issues this carbine has.
      i also don’t mind the utilitarian weapon design, it reduces the final cost and simplifies production. just keep in mind that every weapon manufacturer builds good ones and bad ones, a single burr in the right spot can turn a masterpiece into a paperweight.

  40. avatarMichael says:

    I am a ‘smith that works out of the back of my bud’s gun shop, and I help him with sales on weekends. Here’s what I know about PCCs::

    According to shop records, we sold 275 new pistol caliber carbines between October 2012 and October 2013. Of those, 41 were JRC, 13 were Theuron Defense, 27 were Kel-Tec, 27 were Beretta. The rest were an assortment of Masterpiece Arms, CIA, and stripped lowers, et.

    1) Of those 41 JRC sold, 19 were sent for warranty service due to malfunction/improper operation. 6 of 19 were returned more than once. We’ve taken on trade or consignment 25 of the 41 we sold.
    2) We’ve taken 3 Theuron carbines back in consignment or trade of the 13 sold.
    3) Of the 27 Kel-Tec, 2 were sent to Kel-Tec to undo/correct owner FUBAR. We’ve not had any comeback for trade or consignment. Yet.
    4) Of the 27 Beretta CX4 sold, I’ve serviced 3 in the shop. 1 was to reassemble one for a customer that got frustrated reversing the mag release and the other 2 were for custom mods.

    My personal recommendation to anyone that ever asks me ‘What would I buy’ for a PCC is: a VZ58! Okay, sorry … seriously … I tell them to go Beretta UNLESS they already have a Glock, then I recommend the Kel-Tec series, otherwise, I preach the CX4. The CX4 has the simplest takedown, best bolt/internal design, is completely capable of being ambidextrous and has field experience behind it. The CX4 is a civilian model of the MX4 military version. The only difference of note between the CX4 and MX4 is the giggle switch. The Turkish Border Guard purchased 35K of them to phase out there MP5s. The Venezuelan National Army equipped their units with them as well. Can’t say that for the JRC, KT, Theuron or Masterpiece Arms. I am not a fan of the CX4 buis but I can tell you the Aimpoint T1 or their clones cowitness perfectly on the CX4.

    I eventually get asked what I own:
    1) In my truck, at all times, is a 5 day/4 season bug-out bag that contains a Beretta 96A1 with a 92FS barrel dropped in it and a modified CX4. I run Underwood 147gr +P+ in the mags and do not feel outgunned in any circumstance below 200 meters.
    2) In the shop, at all times, is a 30 day/4 season stash that contains my modded VZ58 and my CZ85 Combat pistol.
    3) At home is another 5 day/4 season bug-out bag whose artillery is my SR556 and another Beretta 96A1 also swapped over to 9mm.
    4) My bug-out location contains ammo for all the above plus an assortment of shotguns, handguns and long range ‘stay-the-fuck-away’ rifles.
    5) On my mattress holder is a Beretta 92FS Inox Compact with a Viridian green light/laser combo married to the rail.

    Yeah, I know it reads like I am a Beretta fan boy, and I am, and it’s all based on personal experience. That said though, the weapon that is always on me, and always within reach, and is the one I wear at the gun shop, the range, out and about on my property is … drum roll please … my S&W MP45 with manual safety, night sights and another Viridian green laser light combo.

    Didn’t mean to derail the topic, just wanted to share a little ‘insider’ info for what it was worth. Your mileage may vary.

    (Dealer cost on the JRC is between $642 and $705, depending upon caliber, finish, capacity, compliance config, et. The CX4 is between $699 and $749, and the Kel-Tec between $275 and $299)

    • avatarDave Hellman says:

      I’ve had great luck with my JR (9mm). The design is super simple (blowback), and is designed like most firearms that use this simple principle of operation. I’ve found that most problems with firearms that people have, are ones they create for themselves. The fact that the JR uses standard, small pin AR trigger parts is especially nice. Easy to smooth and lighten. I’ve been getting right around 1 1/2″, 5 shot groups at 50 yards with my standard 9mm pistol loads (HS-6 powder, 6.5 gr., 115 gr. Ranier HP bullets). I don’t know how it’ll do at 100, but my Sub 2000 will keep them all inside a 6″ diameter circle, so the JR should be able to beat that, as the Sub does right around 2 1/2″ at 50 (with the same loads).

      The 9 mm cartridge design is superior to the .40 and .45 pistol rounds from the standpoint of feed reliability, due to it’s much greater case wall taper compared to the .40 and .45 (which are minimal). I have heard that some owners that have the .45 versions were having feeding problems. The .45 round can be finicky (and not just in the JR).
      I’m going to put a high polish on the feed ramp of mine, though it probably doesn’t need it.

  41. avatarJeb Hoge says:

    There was a version of the MP5 that did have a bolt hold-open feature added. IIRC it was engineered into the 10mm version that was ordered by the FBI, and then also into the .40S&W.

    http://www.hkpro.com/index.php?Itemid=5&catid=9:the-submachine-guns&id=90:mp510-a-40-series&option=com_content&view=article

  42. avatarDanny Wright says:

    I have, Had, a JR carbine in 45acp. I can’t say a good thing about the pile of junk. Its has got to be the biggest joke for a carbine. I shipped back to JR over three times. I would get it back, go and try it again. It would jam. I was told that I didn’t clean it good I ask did you clean it? I got a :”yes” back. I ask then why did it jam on the 3rd shot, after you did the cleaning. I didn’t get back a .good answer.

    • avatarDave Hellman says:

      My thoughts are that you should stick to muzzle loading rifles and sharpened knives, you clod. Everything you posted is BS!

      Come on, Dude, you’ve never even owned one. Be honest. Mine runs like the wind. Good gun, for sure!

  43. avatarDeeDeeMao says:

    I’ve always wanted a pistol caliber carbine bur not in 45 caliber rather than 9mm. .40 calinber, maybe, but10mm would be better yet.

    To me, the new Taurus 9mm carbine is a huge disappointment because a pistol caliber carbine should have at least a 15 round capacity which this JRC carbine does in 40 caliber, and the fact that it uses Glock mags is a huge plus, and in 9mm, it could use the Korean 50 round drums which are very well made and reliable.

    So would I want one if they made one in 10mm? Probably not because I already have a Glock 20 in 10 mm and so for about $300 more I can get a mech=tech upper for it ant then I’d have may perfect pistol caliber carbine and for another 300 I could get a 45 caliber barrel for it from mech tech which would also work on my G20 frame.

    • avatarDaveH says:

      Check the BATF regulations! Once you convert your pistol to a carbine, you can not legally convert it back to a pistol!! Of course, Mech Tech doesn’t tell you this! The chances of getting caught might be slim, but you should be aware.

  44. avatarTed says:

    Since the Taurus was brought up, I’ll ask this…has anyone had any experience yet with it? From pics I’ve seen, it looks like that 10 round mag is just dimpled on both sides to limit the follower and then rivited at the baseplate. Unless there are internal mods as well it appears that if the dimples were machined out the capacity would be doubled. From what I heard, 10 rounds was an import technicality. Maybe Taurus tried to make it as easy as possible to undo once we figured it out?

  45. avatarMikeP says:

    I’ve had my JRC in 9mm for a couple years now with about 1,700 rounds through it.

    It works reliably and accurately. I can shoot one ragged hole at 25 yards standing with Magpul MBUS sights. I shoot mainly 115 gr. FMJ remans from freedommunitions.com.

    I’ve dressed it up to my liking and have three 33 round mags (one being a Korean brand) and the one 10 round factory mag. All mags feed perfectly.

    • avatarDaveH says:

      I love mine, as well. The last time I had it to the range, I fired a 5 shot group at 50 yards. that measured slightly under 1 inch. I then took it over to the 100 yard range and proceeded to fire a 5 shot group that measured 2 1/4″. Sight used was a Millett Red Dot with it set on the 3 moa dot setting. Loads used for these groups were my own: 115 gr. jacketed RN, 6.5 gr. HS-6 powder, 1.120″ COL, WSP primer.

  46. avatarMr. Jones says:

    Bought one a week ago along with 200 rounds of blazer ammo, 40 S&W, at the same time from the same guy. Second round failed to feed. Casing looked kinked. Cleared the mag, checked the throat, all good. Tried it once more. Second round again failed to feed. During clearing notice a silver ring in the throat. It appears as though the the casing was cut with a tubing cutter where the bullet ended in the case. Cleared the case trimming after some choice words, switched to brass cases, ran about 60 rounds no problems. Accuracy was inside 2.5″ at 50 Yards from a rest. I bought this to compliment my Glocks and it adds effective range to the pistol cartridge. Disappointed the guy at the store didn’t warn me about aluminum casings not only voiding the warranty, as is clearly stated in the manual, (which I didn’t read until there was a problem, wasn’t on the Danger tag) but also creating a seriously unsafe condition. Expect it from a big box store, not from a local dealer. I warned him and thought I’d warn you as well.

    Overall I’m happy with it. We’ll see how it holds up.

  47. avatarLawrence says:

    I see you removed my review of this rifle, I do not know why you removed it because I only listed the truth. I still own this rifle and it still a piece of junk.

  48. avatarcommonwealth109 says:

    I have a gen1 JRC and a Kel-Tec Sub2000 both in 9mm.
    If I had to choose just one it would be very tough. They are not exact peers. They both work perfectly with 33 round Glock factory mags, they are both way WAY easier to hit bullseyes at 25 or 50 yards than with any pistol.
    Beyond that they are very different. If I knew I needed it for a battle with a couple bad guys in my neighborhood then I would want the JRC.
    If I needed it someday possibly then is want the sub2000 for conceal-ability.
    One is not more reliable than the other, but the JRC functions like a true heavy duty battle rifle, while the sub2000 can be there with you when no other rifle can be.
    And again, if you have never shot a pistol caliber carbine then you have no idea how easy the are to shoot accurately. Well worth the $675 for the JRC and the $300 for the sub2000.

  49. avatarVic says:

    A lot of the feed issues with 45 have to do with the speed of the bolt in a blowback design. Matching the spring and bolt shock bumper will greatly reduce stovepipes and jams. Watch the action with high speed
    commercial camera system. You can see what takes place. By increasing the cycle time you can do wonders to eliminate jamming. Too fast of cycle time is a problem. Design needs time to eject and reload.
    Magazine design has some effect but not usually as much. JRC has matched springs and shock pads to increase the cycle time on newer 45s. Dont give up on a 45 carbine. Wonderful value in human defense.

  50. avatarMichael Mahon says:

    I have owned this gun in 40 SW since Feb 2013 and I can tell you it is a piece of junk. I have tried a variety of ammo and magazines. I have put nearly 1000 rounds through it and it jams at least once or twice with every magazine. I get fail to feed, fail to eject all the time. I have emailed JRC 2 times and gotten 0 response. I have had it to a local gunsmith so much he calls it the “George Clinton” gun because it jams so much. I would send it back to the factory but apparently JR Carbine can’t even reply to emails. This thing was a waste of money.

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