Ruger was kind enough to send me their new PC Charger before the public announcement and it’s been hard to keep quiet about it. Finally, though, I can write about it, talk about it, and share my thoughts on this interesting new firearm.
The Ruger PC Carbine has been quite a successful rifle. Ruger was smart when they designed it and clever when they priced it. It’s priced a little above the Keltec SUB2000, but well below the B&Ts, the CZ, the SIGs, and other non-AR pistol caliber carbines.
The Ruger PC Carbine takes GLOCK mags. It seemed inevitable we’d see the Ruger PC Charger Pistol and now, after a lot of rumors, it’s here.
The PC Charger – Down and Dirty
The Charger has long been the designation for Ruger’s 10/22 pistol variants, but the PC Charger Pistol, based on Ruger’s PC Carbine Chassis model, is chambered in 9mm. The PC Charger uses the same chassis as the newer tactical model PC Carbine with a Picatinny rail in the rear to accept MCX style stocks or, in this case, braces.
The PC Charger also has a short aluminum M-LOK compatible handguard. The free-floating barrel is 6.50 inches long and retains the takedown compatibility. The barrel is thankfully threaded at ½ x 28 for easy suppressor or muzzle device attachment.
The PC Charger is being released today (it’s not up on Ruger’s site yet) and has an MSRP of $799 MSRP. If the retail price is anything like the PC Carbine in this style chassis, it will sell for a good bit less than that.
The Ruger PC Charger pistol retains the interchangeable magazine wells of the PC Carbine and comes with both Ruger (SR-9 and Security-9) and GLOCK magazine wells out of the box. The PC Charger ships with a 17-round Ruger Security-9 magazine. I own a GLOCK and tons of GLOCK magazines, so I swapped the mag wells out before I fired a single shot from the gun.
Breaking it Down (Literally)
The PC Charger has a unique look to it. It’s got a simple, clean design. The quality is evident, and while I like the SUB2000, the PC Charger outdoes it quality-wise.
There are no iron sights, but a 7075-T6 aluminum Picatinny rail runs across the top of the receiver and is perfect for mounting a red dot. I also attached a SB Tactical FS1913 folding brace to the rear Pic rail on the gun. This makes the firearm much more comfortable to shoot and fits it perfectly. I’ll be doing a full review of this brace very soon too.
Without the brace the gun is easy to shoot fairly accurately at close ranges. It’s a small, lightweight gun, that’s a little unwieldy without a brace. If you add a brace, the folding FS1913 is a great option, but it’s not the only one. KAK makes a buffer tube adapter so you can use any AR-style brace.
The breakdown design is neat, and with the folding brace, you get a gun small enough to fit into a big lunch box. Okay, maybe not that small, but it will fit in a small bag very easily in the broken down configuration.
Breaking the PC Charger Pistol down merely requires you to lock your bolt to the rear and then pull and a tab, twist the barrel, and boom, you’re done.
If you’re a lefty, then you’ll be happy to know that both the charging handle and the magazine release are reversible for lefties. Be aware that old school GLOCK magazines may not work with the magazine release set-up for lefties, but I doubt this is a significant problem for most shooters.
I swapped the charging handle to the left side as a right-handed shooter so I can keep a comfortable firing grip while working the action.
The safety is a push-button crossbolt style safety placed forward of the trigger. It’s quick and easy to activate in either direction. The M-LOK handguard is very short, and Ruger outfits it with a hand stop to keep your had away from the muzzle.
The rail is just long enough to attach a light…or a section of rail, and then a light depending on your preference. As a short and easily suppressed gun, I can see this as a home defense go-to option.
Dead Blow Action
The PC Charger pistol is a blowback-operated gun, but one of the first things I noticed while shooting it is that it’s a soft shooting blowback gun. In general 9mm blowback PCCs are soft recoiling, but they recoil more than a gas-delayed gun.
A 9mm blowback gun has about the same recoil as a 5.56 carbine. If you compare a Scorpion to a SIG MPX, you’ll feel a big difference. Ruger uses an odd system to reduce recoil and make it softer shooting. Ruger puts a 9.4-ounce tungsten weight inside of its 10.2 ounce bolt.
Dead-blow action is a reference to a dead blow hammer. The dead blow action reduces bolt travel rearward and ensures complete travel forward. Having that massive bolt ram rearwards a little less means less felt recoil. It’s a neat idea and seems to work as advertised. I can feel a noticeable difference between the little PC Charger pistol and my ScorpionvEVO S2 Micro
The PC Charger In Action
This thing is so much fun to shoot! It’s a handy and light little gun that’s completely controllable.
It’s small enough to be a good little gun for new shooters, especially kids just graduating from .22 LR into centerfire calibers. The PC Charger Pistol, when equipped with a red dot, is an impressive and fun little gun to shoot.
Without a brace, it’s also a little hefty and unwieldy. It’s like a Tec 9 in a lot of ways, but much more refined, and you have less recoil than that design. A brace is a real must-have for this gun, and I’d make it part of my budget when buying one.
The PC Charger’s trigger is good, on a par with a decent AR trigger. It breaks below five pounds and is very crisp and well done with a stiff, but short wall that breaks very cleanly.
Don’t tell the President, but this thing is insanely easy to bump fire. With a red dot, I went back to 75 yards and fired 10 rounds with about a second between shots at a 10-inch gong. I missed two of the ten.
It’s plenty accurate at 9mm ranges, and at 100 yards, I got about 7 MOA out of it with some high-quality SIG SAUER M17 ammo from the bench.
Loading up a 33-round GLOCK magazine and sending rounds it twos or threes downrange is all kinds of fun. I pulled out a few snap drills, failure to stop drills, box drills, and more.
Being able to shoot fast and accurately with very little practice makes this such a fun gun. It’s a blast when weapons challenge me (like the Mossberg Shockwave), but it’s also fun to relax with a smooth shooter.
That makes me think this would be an great choice for home defense. This is an excellent gun for shooters with reduced strength who may not have the time or inclination to train with other weapons.
It’s lightweight, easy to handle, the controls are foolproof, and at home defense ranges, it might as well be a laser. Tack on a red dot and a light, and you have a great little gun with plenty of capacity that will likely be quite affordable and feeds from commonly sourced magazines. That’s a win-win situation.
The PC Charger’s ergonomics are spot on. The magazine release is placed just right for fast reloads, and the swappable charging handle is a big plus. The handguard is plenty comfortable and while short, it gives you enough room to get a good grip on the gun.
The PC Charger ate a steady diet of various ammo types without complaining. Accuracy testing was done with SIG 124 grain JHPs and most of the testing was done with SIG 115 grain FMJs. I also tried out some cheap Monarch and Tula steel case rounds, and the gun never choked.
I used GLOCK OEM magazines, ETS, KCI, Magpul, and Amend2 and never had an issue with any magazine in the PC Charger Pistol.
Ruger will offer the gun as both an almost freedom model with a 17 round magazine and not as free model with a 10 round magazine for all of those states.
Specifications: Ruger PC Charger Pistol
Barrel Length: 6.5 inches
Overall Length: 16.5 inches
Weight: 5.2 pounds
Capacity: 10 to 50 rounds (one 17-round magazine included)
Barrel: Blued Alloy steel, threaded 1/2-28
MSRP: $799 (similiar pistol caliber carbines are around $600 street)
Ratings (Out of Five Stars):
Ergonomics * * * * * (With Brace) Without brace (* * * 1/2)
A brace is really a must-have here. That’s the key to the gun’s impressive ergonomics. I have no other complaints. If I wanted to reach I could say something about a reciprocating charging handle, but I honestly never noticed it. This is a very well-designed gun.
Reliability * * * * *
Not a single issue with any of the ammo used in the review. From high-quality SIG match grade ammunition to bargain bin Tula, it all goes bang. Also, it had excellent compatibility with a variety of GLOCK magazines.
Accuracy * * * *
Keeping in mind that the PC Charger is a 9mm handgun, I’m fairly impressed. A 7 MOA AR-15 wouldn’t be acceptable, but for a gun in 9mm with a 6.5-inch barrel and a brace, I find that to be more than adequate.
Customize This * * * *
It’s not at AR-15 or GLOCK levels of customization, but the aftermarket is actually quite large. I’m genuinely surprised that there are this many upgrades already out there. While most are aimed at the PC Carbine, most will work with the PC Charger pistol. When are we gonna get those aftermarket integrally suppressed barrels?
Overall * * * * 1/2
This is one of my favorite new 9mm sub guns. It’s such a blast to shoot and handles very easily. Ruger took a simple gun like the PC Carbine and translated it into an amazing little pistol. Put a brace on it and it’s very good to go.