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Over at thefirearmblog,com, Nathaniel F takes a shot at pistol caliber carbines. He reckons they suck (paraphrasing). Nate ain’t got time for PCC owners who see ammo compatibility with their pistol as a tactical advantage.

He reckons PCC’s are have a “substantial penalty in terms of range, accuracy, lethality, and power” over an modern sporting rifle chambered in .223/5.56.

In short (so to speak), PCC’s offer โ€œall of the [relatively feeble] power of the pistol, and all the concealability of the rifle.”

Well that doesn’t sound very flattering, now does it? What’s your take? Are pistol caliber carbines a dead fad shooting, or are there good reasons to own one vs. an AR-style rifle? Or, for that matter, an AR pistol with an [unshouldered] SB Tactical Brace?

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  1. This guy Nate doesn’t seem to know his ass from a hole in the ground. A nine millimeter AR-15 Carbine with 16 inch barrel is pushing a hundred and forty seven grain jacketed hollow point nine millimeter Parabellum round in that neighborhood of 12 to 1300 feet per second equal to a 357 Magnum cartridge. Pistol caliber AR-15 Carbine rifles were never designed to shoot at Targets over a hundred yards end of story. However within a hundred yards they are very lethal and for close-quarter combat situations they perform almost as well as the rifle cartridge 5.56 Nato round. This fellow really needs to check the statistics the pistol caliber cartridge fired in a Carbine length barrel and do some actual real-time analysis over a chronograph and Ballistic gelatin I would think that he would find a complete change of attitude towards the 9 millimeter or 40 caliber or 45 ACP caliber handgun cartridges fired out of the AR-15 Carbine rifle.

    • Eh, I can’t fault the guy too much. Writing for a living is tough these days and outrage sells even more than sex. Write an in depth, information rich article on, say, handloading for the 9.3x62mm, and you will be ignored. Criticize something a good number of people love like PCCs or leverguns (as the author in question is wont to do often) and bask in all those sweet, sweet, rage-boner clicks.

      • Or write, “….Glock good….”/”….Glock bad….” and watch the clicks rise along with systolic/diastolic.

    • Your analysis may be correct, and you’re certainly correct in mentioning that ballistics gel testing is called for. Fact is, pushing a premium defensive pistol round at velocities 200+ fps higher than designed may, or may not, increase their performance. A Hornady Critical Defense bullet (just picking one at random) is designed for maximum expansion at pistol barrel length velocities. If you push it faster, does it fragment? Dump more energy? Just pass through the target?

      Police and military dumped pistol caliber subguns for a reason. Modern carbines pack far more punch in a package that’s easier to carry than the old Thompsons and M1 carbines. Down-calibering a rifle or carbine to pistol rounds is fine for plinking, shooting 3-gun, or some other specialized purposes, but for the average user, staying with 5.56 is a lot more versatile.

      • This is a good point- if you look at any ammo test you’ll invariably see the +P version of a cartridge compared against its standard-pressure sibling, or see the same ammo compared between short and long barreled pistols.

        Often, the higher-pressure/higher-velocity version penetrates less than the lesser version, with expansion being tough to compare due to the petals of the hollow point being forced backward by the force of impacting the denim/ballistics gel.

        • 9 millimeter is the same diameter as 38 caliber and 357 Magnum 357 Magnum rounds Stay Together at velocities of around 1200 feet per second so I think it’s fair to say that a hollow point that is specially designed to be shot at a short-barreled pistols uses a polymer tip 246 mansion will not fragment and come apart at 1200 plus feet per second that’s just silly rifle rounds pushed to extreme velocity’s like the 22-250 those bullets 10 2 fragment but you’re talking 4000 ft/s brother or talking 1200 feet per second maybe 12:50. You’re not going to get a bullet to come apart at that speed even with a 44 magnum handloads you have a hard time making a copper jacketed bullet come apart especially if you’re using bonded bullets like most are today you don’t get that separation and pedal fragmentation like you used to back in the 1980s. And the MP5 shoots 9 millimeter out of a 9 & a half inch barrel I believe it is and it’s up in the high heel Evans like 11 60 feet per second and has no problem putting anyone down zero 200 yards. The only benefit to the rifle caliber cartridges is it though adversary is wearing ballistic armor. But once again if they’re wearing ceramic level 3 plates or steel plates you’re not going to get penetration with a 5.56 millimeter either. That’s why they make the 458 Socom LOL.

        • Sorry, Hoffa, but 9mm and .357 are not the same bullet. I reload both, and 9mm will slide right down a .357 case. (Actual 9mm diameter: .355, vs .357 is an actual .357/.358 (without resizing).

          As for velocity, I’m getting 1900+/- fps through my lever actions. With lead bullets (no jacket or gas check), drop that to high 1700 fps. Through a 4″ pistol barrel, Fed .357 158g jacketed soft point is rolling at 1200 fps, +/- a few feet.

          As for the writer in question, he’s like all of us: has an opinion to defend, even if it is wrong.

      • I only disagree with one part of your statement, owning both, an M1 carbine is much easier to carry than an AR. Unless you meant transporting with the AR broken down, in which case I would agree.

        • That phrase stood out to me as well. The M1 carbine is a very handy little carbine. I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but the one time I shot one, I really liked it. It seems just as easy to wield as an AR15, if not perhaps a little easier. The M1 carbine doesn’t fall that much behind 5.56 in muzzle energy either (900ish foot pounds compared to 1200ish as I recall).

          With expanding ammo, against targets without armor, in the 0-150 yard range, I’d suggest the M1 carbine and AR15 are pretty comparable.

          On the other hand, the AR is more modern, generally more accurate, is better at longer ranges, has cheaper and more readily available ammo, cheaper and more available mags and other accessories.

          I have an AR, and may buy more, but probably won’t ever buy an M1 carbine.

          The M1 carbine is still a very cool little firearm.

          The M1 carbine, and the revolver caliber lever guns really are in a different category than the 9/.40/.45 carbines.

          The 9/40/45 carbines are fun plinkers, and make a pretty decent home defense weapon, and truck/farm gun. I like my Hi-Point 4095 for what it is. It is a very fun (and reliable, plus accurate) $200 beater gun.

          The fact that the Sub2000 folds up is pretty cool too.

        • There is no better personal defense weapon than an M-1 Carbine. The argument against it and PCCs is faulty because in the personal defense and law enforcement worlds you are seldom, if ever going to engage targets beyond 100 yards and that is pushing it.

      • “Police and military dumped pistol caliber subguns for a reason.”

        Yes, well, the FBI dumped the 9mm cartridge itself for a reason, too. Now, they’re returning to it. As circumstances change and fads fade, different equipment emerges as the new, or re-newed, favorite. PCCs will likely return, too. In fact, in some departments, they already are. No, it isn’t a trend, just an occurrence.

    • That’s still not much of a boost for an extra foot of ba rrel. 9 mm and .45acp just don’t have enough powder to make use of 16″ of barr el, you’d probably get equal velocities out of an 8″ or 10″. Comparing it to .357 magnum, another handgun, doesn’t really say that much. First, with the full pressure stuff you can get 1300+fps out of a 158gr. in a 3″ revo lver. That’s ~50ft/lbs more than a 9 mm ca rbine. Granted there’s always lighter loads you can shoot, especially in .357, but that’s where the comparison of potential ends up.

      Now the magnum cartridges tend to come close to doubling their energy out of a 16″ carb ine. You can get 2000ft/lbs out of a .44 magnum with the hotter loads. Personally I’d like to see a 10mm ca rbine, I think that could produce enough energy to justify it. Otherwise you still have a more accurate platform to launch a 9 mm bul let, you’re just not getting a whole lot of extra horsepower.

      • You guys go ahead and argue over minutiae for the next few hours. All I know is I wouldn’t step in front of any of those rounds.

        • Thats a completely asinine comment. I wouldn’t step in front of a little league all star pitcher either, but that doesn;t mean a 10 year old with a baseball is an effective self-defense tool.

        • If you cant step in front of a little-leaguer thrown baseball, you don’t need to be shooting anything bigger than a .22. Recoil might just leave a little mark on you.

      • I have a 10mm vector carbine I just bought. I am hoping to get it out to the range this weekend.

        • The Vector seems to be the only readily available carbine in 10mm, and I’m sure you’ll find it a blast to shoot. But if I’m building my ideal PCC from the ground up, I’d want something that feeds through the grip. Just comparing the Vector to the Beretta CX4, the Beretta has a 16.6″ barr el and an overall length of 29.7″ while the Vector has a 16″ barrel with an overall length of 35.25″ – 38.5″ depending on if the stock is collapsed or fully extended. Give me a CX4 (sans crappy trigger) in 10mm (only available in 9 mm or .40S&W) and I’d be pretty tempted jump on that, especially since the CX4’s MSRP is right at half that of the Vector.

          Not that I’m one to judge, hope the Vector works out for you. Just not what I’d have in mind for a PCC. You’ve got the right caliber though.

    • Ah yes. Your big, bad 9mm “PCC” is producing “.357 Magnum” ballistics the same way a “10mm” produces “.44 Magnum” ballistics. It’s grazing the bottom of the net with its fingertips and “ballistics” of “magnum” REVOLVER CARTRIDGES are sort of “doubly irrelevant” to “pistol” cartridge ballistics given the fact that you can literally load revolver cartridges AND “pistol” cartridges fired through revolvers with “conversion” cylinders for rimless “pistol” cartridges to such LOW LEVELS that as long as the bullet physically leaves the muzzle “under its own power” the cartridge produces “ballistics”.

      How much DID you pay for “.357 Magnum” ballistics from what I’ll bet my bottom AR is an 8-lb+ “carbine” giving you 9mm +P+ performance you could get from a good 9mm “high-capacity” pistol? I’m asking because when an obvious “gun expert” like you defends his choices in and opinions of “weapons” and “calibers” in the comment section of an “article” that’s just an “infomercial” for or against a specific “caliber” or “platform” or “manufacturer” its usually because he’s either been sold a “bill of goods” or is assisting in the sale of one by “correcting” the opinions of others who don’t see things the same way he or she does and ends up “defending” what has to be his or her PERSONAL CHOICE to buy/sell a “product” for PERSONAL REASONS.

      Especially when the “statistics” start coming out but oddly enough the make and model of the chronograph used, the “methodology” of the “scientific testing” that must have produced their “statistics” isn’t mentioned and all they really cite are “back of the box” ballistics and oddly enough are “experienced” shooters or imply they are but yet aren’t so “experienced” that they have figured out that “hotter” is rarely “better” when it comes to the “big picture” of “performance” from “weapons” IF you want them for “defensive” purposed in the “long run”.

      Want to make sure whatever “weapon” you “bet your life on” is as “likely” to be in condition to do so when your “life depends on it”? Shoot “weak” ammunition when “training” and “train” enough to become proficient with “cheap” and “weak” ammo that “defensive” and “premium” ammo is “guaranteed” to make your “carry” or “defensive” so-called “weapon” go bang every time you pull the trigger. Providing you don’t need hundreds or thousands of rounds in your “gun battle” and aren’t one of those “shooters” who relies on “probability” to “score a hit”.

  2. PCCs are kinda like Adult Swim after 12 a.m. Very few people will get the appeal, but those who do really love it (them).

    And isn’t pure practicality getting really old and boring? If shooting was only about being practical, there would only be .22 lr, 9mm, .223, and .308. And in the future, everything will be ARs and ARs will be everything. All hail the AR!

    • You forgot the 12 gauge. It is practical.
      22/9/.223/308/12 gauge. Those are all we really need.
      I’m glad to have others though

      • Those are the calibers I shoot but I enjoy the heck out of some other weird rounds.

  3. They’re cool-looking. My wife is smitten with the Kriss Vector, almost purchasing one.

    There are too many traditional rifles and pistols I don’t own yet though. Maybe I’ll take another look in 15 years.

    • You bring up a good point. I have all the firearms I really need and got the chance to pick up a Vector at a great price (buddy of mine is a rep for Kriss). I love it. Wouldn’t be my “go to” weapon in many situations but it is a blast to play with.

    • You mean full-auto bullet hoses from back when intermediate cartridges were not things?

  4. My object of desire is a Glock manufactured carbine in 9MM and/or .40 although it will probably never happen. I know Kel-Tec makes them compatible with Glock mags but I want a Glock. Damn it Gaston, stop spending your time with the young ladies and get this done before I am old like you.

  5. I picked up a 4595ts because it’s a 45acp like my G21. As it turns out, it’s a fun gun to shoot.

    I’ll wager this gets a lot of abuse over there.

    • I bought my 4095ts for similar reasons. My Glock 22 was lonely, and needed a friend in .40 S&W.

  6. Don’t have one yet, but a Henry Big Boy carbine in .357 magnum is on my list. Just can’t decide whether I want steel or brass.

    • I got a Henry Big Boy Steel Carbine in .357 Magnum, with the larger looped lever. I love it!

    • Go all weather. If I recall, they’re making them in 357 now. I love those all weathers. Gorgeous guns.

      • They do make them in .357, but since I don’t have Trump hands I’m looking for the large loop.

        • A multitude of Ruger .22 handguns to go with a few Ruger rifles, notable a 10/22 takedown with fiber optics, laser & IR 3-9 scope. On up the scale, a multitude of Ruger .357 handguns to go with a Ruger 77/357 bolt action rifle. Stainless, black synthetic stoke, storage space in butt, Redfield 2-7 scope. .357 Magnum fired from this thing is beyond amazing & it will hit same POI without scope adjustment with five different ammo types/loads. Will pick off 1/4″ objects from 50 yards & blows a variety of targets to pieces with 158 gr SJSP or SJHP. When I shot a sealed steel 5 gal bucket of water from 50 yards & decimated it I was beyond amazed, never expected it.

  7. Familiar with the article. He does bring up some solid arguments.

    Not a huge fan of his mainly because his material is a little more specific than I care to read as light “i should be working but reading gun blogs instead”.

    Make no mistake, he does know his stuff. He has an ongoing 5 part “INTERVIEW with Kori Phillips, Program Officer for LSAT and CTSAS” which is arguably some of the best material on either site in recent memory.

  8. Alternative: 10″ bbl AR “pistol” in .300 BLK with a Shockwave “brace” throwing 220-gr JHP.

  9. I would do unspeakable things to get my hands on a Ruger PC9.

    Imagine it… Ruger PC9 paired with a P95DC and a belt full of 17 and 20 round MecGar mags? It would be a great home defense rig, and could be awesome for police use.

    Just grab the carbine out of the car and your magazines are already on your person. Well, a guy can dream.

    • I like they way you think, that would be an awesome combination. Being a Ruger guy that is something to explore.

      • The PC4 in .40 is easier to find (barely), but the big sticking point for me is the magazines.

        For whatever reason MecGar doesn’t make .40 cal Ruger mags for the P series, just 9mm. Their 9mm mags are awesome. The 17 rounders are flush fit, and the 20 rounders are a bit extended.

        So if you settle for the PC4, you’re limited to the Ruger 10 round AWB compliant factory mags. I’ve seen limited numbers of pre-AWB 11 rounders that were put out initially with the Ruger P91, but they never started making them again after the AWB ended.

    • One of the great (or lucky) decisions in my life was picking up a Ruger PC9 in 1999 to go with my Ruger P-series pistol. The pistols are BUFs (big ugly “fellows”), but both are Ruger reliable and durable. When shooting the PC9 with friends, they first want to buy one, then second want to buy my PC9 when they learn they are out of production. PCCs are also great platforms for introducing new comers (women and kids) to rifles.

  10. Great as a hunting or range toy. Cheap plinking ammo. I can still shoot reloaded 9mm cheaper than .22.

  11. If the NFA is repealed then his argument is toast because a silenced 9mm/40 carbine with a 8-10 inch barrel would be the absolute cats ass for home defense. As it stands right now with the current minimum length requirements he is 100% dead on.

    • I have a hard time justifying a PCC SBR when there are so many more fun options on the field. My Cx4 also has one of the worst triggers I’ve ever seen in a long gun.

      If Hughes ever gets repealed, I think you will see a huge surge in sub machine gun sales. I will be first in line to buy me a Vector. Until then, there’s nothing that a PCC can do, that I’m interested in, that my Mk18 can’t do better.

  12. lol…Enough of this “unshouldered” bullshit. Everyone who has a Sigbrace or Shockwave shoulders it. You know you do. I know I do.

  13. Meh…if you live in a neighborhood with lots of homes close together a PCC makes sense(like me). I had one(Keltec sub2000 9mm). Sadly sold right before Newtown. I’d get one again in 40. Or a Hipoint 40 or 45. Rarely do I peruse the political non-political FB. Too many fanboys of all stripes…

  14. lever carbine .44mag.
    semi auto carbine 10mm.
    should be very effective.

    semi auto carbine 9mm/ .40 that shares mags with your pistol.
    very convenient.

    it’s the sbr’s in rifle calibers that seem dumb to me. i mean, except for the fireball.

      • The problem is that those short barrels in calibers not designed for such short barrels (like 5.56) produce massive fireballs and concussive force. Even in the open the noise is deafening. If inside, it’s downright dangerous without some form of good hearing protection.

        PCC’s excel in this and lack any sort of comparable fireball even out of a short barrel shorter than those of their rifle caliber counterparts. That’s not to knock the inbetweens though. 300AAC is a half breed between the two and excels in a short barrel, delivering more energy than its equivalent length counterpart in 5.56.

    • I’ll see your fireball and raise you a Mk18 firing 77gr OTM ammo. More than sufficient for CQB and about the same weight as most PCCs.

    • People keep forgetting that 10mm, .357 mag and 44 mag are pistol calibers. Those suckers were pretty effective with lead flatnose bullets out of 5-8 inch barrels and they’re going to be ass-kickers out of a 16 inch carbine. The mec-tech carbine lets you quickly switch out your concealable 10mm glock into something like an mp5 10mm variant on the fly. That’s no joke. 9mm and 40 cal are meh, I suppose.

      • ^ This.

        I would give my left arm for a magazine fed, semi-auto carbine (with 16 inch barrel) chambered in .357 Magnum. That would launch 125 grain bullets at something like 2,200 to 2,300 fps. In other words it matches 7.62 x 39mm ballistics with an even fatter bullet. Who in their right mind would suggest that 7.62 x 39mm sucks?

        For home-defense I don’t see any downside to a carbine that shoots 125 grain bullets at 2,250 fps. And another thing: that .357 Magnum carbine with a 16 inch barrel will not produce anywhere near the deafening blast of rifle cartridges.

        In my world that is “good enough” … plenty good enough.

        • While not semi auto, my Ruger 77/357 magazine fed bolt action rifle launces .357’s with such fearsome velocity & impact force I wonder that if you shot someone in the shoulder if it wouldn’t blow their arm off; if not it would certainly make a huge mess.

  15. Full auto pistol caliber carbines? Yay! They rule.

    Semi-auto pistol caliber carbines? Nay. They suck.

    • This is where I’m at with the argument. If I could have a Kriss 45 with the 2-round burst, I’d be a buyer quickly. A pistol caliber in a pistol length barrel is the same, whether it’s a sub gun or a traditional handgun.

    • Full auto ANYTHING has only certain specific purpose in a firefight. They are fun to shoot, but there’s really no need for them. They are inaccurate bullet hoses that result in a lot of mag changes.

  16. While not necessarily the best “trunk gun” due to limited range, I think a Thompson M1 SBR with the original 10 inch bbl would be a dandy home defender. Limited report, 30 rds of .45 acp on tap, and one-handed operation possible. Better than a shotgun, IMHO.

  17. As far as stealth…one of those little Kel-tec folding carbines will drop into a pack along with two or three thirty three round magazines. Pop a red dot on it and you are good to 100 yards, plus it is light and handy with none of that BS notification required to take it out of state NFA stuff.

    On the fun to shoot side of the equation, my Marlin 24 inch octagon barreled 357 cowboy gun is a blast! The older ones that were well made have gotten kind of expensive, but maybe someone who knows how to run a company will take over Remington eventually and get them back on track.

    • I have a gen 2 sub2k(G17 mag) with me every day. It’s the easiest way to carry 100+ rounds of 124 HST’s. M CARBO trigger kit is on the way (cheap plastic trigger sucks).

      • Many thanks for the Mcarbo trigger tip.
        Just went and checked out their site.
        Ordered the kit (trigger/springs). My .40 S2kG2 rocks our friendly 3gun runs.
        Everyone shoots it well.
        Flirting with running it w my Rossi .357 lever gun. Now that rifle on speed cycling is a hoot. Accuracy takes practice!

        If ya don’t get PCC, then ya just don’t.
        For those of us that do… well, … Party on Wayne!

  18. I’m eyeballing a model 69 sitting in the case at my local gun store. So I guess I’m heading the other direction getting a more powerful handgun rather than a less powerful carbine.
    So that’s a no.

    • Check the front sight alignment very carefully. Smith was letting some out with the shroud cocked or even loose. i had to have one replaced under warranty because they distorted the frame tab installing the shroud.

      • Yeah, that was The Yankee Marshal’s beef. He said they fixed their QC. This gun’s new and just came in so I would expect it to be straight. I’ll check it out.

  19. Of course no one has touched on the other side of the ammo sharing coin. If you want a handgun and a rifle to have matching ammo why not chamber the pistol in the rifle caliber?
    Or am I just crazy?

      • That’s a rifle caliber? I’ve only ever seen that handgun chambered for it.

        I was actually thinking something like .308 or .30-30

        • The PS90 is, by some definitions, a carbine. The 5.7 cartridge was designed for the P90/PS90. The FiveseveN came later.

          • Ok I have no idea what guns you are talking about. You say 5.7 and I flash to a promotional shot of a boxy plastic fantastic surrounded by these comically short necked cases tipped with impractically sharp bullets with red polymer tips.

            P90 sounds vaguely familiar. Is that the wildly sci Fi looking gun used by the Stargate team? The one with the magazine inserted horizontally along the spine of the weapon with incredible feeding issues?

            • You can’t say “no idea” and then describe the thing exactly. Also, yeah, why not just Google the PS90 in the first place? The only thing you got dead wrong was “incredible feeding issues.” I owned one for about a year before I sold it (the Army was moving me to Germany, couldn’t take it with me) and I never had a single misfeed.

              • Well fair enough, I was taking a wild stab in the dark. Whenever I watched Stargate I always assumed their guns where being fed the same as their sidearms. Maybe the feeding issues was just a gen 1 thing, I don’t know.

              • I’m glad you took my backhanded compliment in the right spirit. You could be right about the Gen 1 thing, and of course the PS90 is a more recently-produced firearm than the original P90. So I’m sure they worked out the kinks by that time. Man, I should never have sold that fun little piece…

          • Essentially yes. I get far more reliable information by simply asking the people who have it rather than trying to find it.

  20. Hahahaha, the blowhard pretend-serious mall ninja can’t fathom the fun and enjoyment aspect of shooting. Everything must have tactical considerations.

    Sucks to be poor to have to choose between one or the other.

    • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…


      • I noted the site software does not word wrap. Another strike against the amateurish mess known as TTAG.

  21. I would love to see something like the old Marlin Camp 9 come out that takes Glock mags . Here in NY buying new ARs are well limited , and the process to get handgun permits while very good in my county still takes a lot of time and a few bucks .

    I know a many who’s bedroom gun is their 12 GA ,. Now I,ove the 12GA but it’s a it much for some , often to big for their wifes , pretty darn loud and so,on.

    A carbine in 9 or 45 would fill a need .

  22. They are mostly passe now. They have some uses, the MP5 is nice suppressed for close quarters work. But for most folks a short AR is probably a better choice, i.e. an 8 inch suppressed .300 blackout would pretty much fit in the same space as an MP5 but offer much better terminal ballistics for the same application, if one has a need for such a thing. I can see this being a useful upgrade from the MP5 setup for ship boarding and such. I still feel like this is a niche sort of subject. Most regular folks for home defense or whatever would probably be well served with a decent quality AR in 5.56 loaded with Hornady TAP or something similar. The move from subguns to ARs in the LE world is in no small way due to the excessive penetration issues seen with 9mm on stick frame walls. One of our Swat guys had a situation where a three round burst from an MP5 went through the bad guy, two interior walls and out the front of the house and remained unrecoverable. I suspect they didn’t expand, which is a problem we have seen even with “premium LE duty” 9mm ammo. Our tests have shown a 40% + failure to expand with pretty much all of them. This goes for all barrel lengths. It results in you having fancy FMJ ammo. It isn’t to say that is a complete waste to use quality JHP ammo. It just illustrates that one should not think that it’s ok to rely on expansion alone for your ammo to be terminally effective. This is not a problem unique to just 9mm, it applies to pretty much any of the popular handgun calibers. Personally, I don’t buy into trendy group think that 9mm is the best thing there is because the desk jockeys at the FBI and all the interwebs “experts” say so. It’s economical and cheap to train with. For person to person close range “social” work, I prefer .45 auto, and I base my bias on all the testing we have done. At the ranges and circumstances gun fights happen, it’s the best of the flock, even if ball is what you are stuck with. But as much as this tired old thing has been fought out. Pistols are pistols rifles are rifles. A handgun is a backup to a good carbine, and a handy weapon of convenience if one can’t bring a rifle.

  23. My wife will shoot a PCC, but not an AR15, thus I’ll always own at least one PCC. Right now it is a CZ Scorpion. The other thing no one is mentioning is unsuppressed how much quieter a PCC is compared to a rifle round.

  24. The niche for pistol caliber carbines is home defense for the economically disadvantaged. Git yerself a Hi-Point 9mm carbine for around $260 (or a used one for even less), buy some economical steel cased practice ammo and you have an inner-city thug stopper on a welfare budget.

    Oh – and then there’s lever guns chambered in revolver cartridges. Fun, but limited utility. Did I mention they’re fun?

    Other than that, PCCs are a novelty. I enjoyed my Hi-Point carbine for awhile but soon lost interest and sold it.

    • “Oh โ€“ and then thereโ€™s lever guns chambered in revolver cartridges. Fun, but limited utility.”

      A lever in .357 is about as utilitarian as it gets.

      Stainless with a plastic stock, you can toss it behind the seat in your pickup or in the trunk of your car and have something ready to rock as soon as you pick it up…

      • If I’m going to carry a rifle in my truck, it may as well be a semi-auto chambered in 5.56 NATO with a 30 round magazine. More accuracy, more range, more capacity and faster shooting than a .357 lever gun.

        As much as I love lever guns, they can’t compete with an MSR when you’re talking utility.

        • Don’t forget cheaper… a cheap ar-15 is significantly cheaper than a “cheap” .357 lever gun. And the ammo to practice with is cheaper as well (though the ammo you actually carry in it may not be).

  25. Kel-Tec Sub P2000’s in 40 S&W are totally worth it, and I would challenge you to a dual on stopping power (lethality) over any other similarly caliber’d pistol. The Kel-Tec SU 16/22 will whoop your a_ _ in the same fashion, and is not as quick on the draw as a pistol (or maybe even a PDW) but, again, you better watch your a_ _ , and be Johnny-on-the-spot, if you ever came up against one or the other. Concealability rivals any MPX/MCX, Scorpion, B&T, UZI, etc.

  26. Better Short Barrel from 8 too 12 Inch white 12 Gauge, 338 Federal ore 458 Socom/50 Beowulf for Homedefense.

  27. Advantages of PCC:

    9mm is dirt cheap – as low as 14 cents/round online

    9mm has low recoil, enhancing control, rate of fire and follow up shots

    147 grain is subsonic, even out of a rifle barrel.

    The extra length of a barrel improves performance.

    If your PCC takes the same magazines as your pistol, you and your family can share in a home defense scenario.

    I secure my PCC in my bedroom and my AK downstairs (for when SHTF).

  28. 6″ 9mm PCC with suppressor inside the hand guard. Short and maneuverable. With subsonic ammo it can be shot comfortably without ear pro. Similar 8″ 300BLK suppressed SBR with subsonic ammo is still too loud to shoot without ear pro. I’ll take the 9 for a home defense rifle. Forget .223/5.56, even suppressed, I want to keep my hearing.

    • The MP5 integrally suppressed guns are about as anemic as it gets, because they have ports just forward of the chamber they are very quiet and it turns everything you run in them subsonic. This results in ballistic performance similar to a .380, not ideal. Also, all of the short .300 blk setups loaded with subsonic ammo I’ve personally handled are ridiculously quiet and compare quite favorably to a standard MP5 with a can.

  29. I’m a fan of the MPX because it’s a great trainer for an AR, but you can shoot it at any indoor range instead of trying to find one that allows rifle calibers or an outdoor range (rare in this area). My wife is a big fan.

  30. If something as large as a rifle can’t get through a kevlar vest at 100 yards, what’s the point?

    • The carbine length barrel will turn your round count into more hits, and you can aim around a vest better.

  31. He’s right. For any serious purpose they suck. If you could have a rifle cartridge in a rifle, why on earth would you stuff a pistol round in there? If somebody was trying to kill you, would you rather shoot them with a rifle round or a 9mm? This is why 9mm submachine guns are basically obsolete.

    But they are fun as hell to shoot. I have a 9mm sbr that’s fun. And like the other person said there are certain training issues like you can shoot it on an indoor range.

  32. In my estimation he’s a dumbass.

    Of course it depends on the platform…..PCCs are lighter, handier, easier to shoot well than a pistol.

    Sub 2000, Beretta CX4…. pretty small and stowable.

    Marlin and Winchester in 357 or 38 give substantial ballistic advantage over a handgun.

    Ammunition is cheaper for practice (9mm).

    Just another “gotta be an operator or die” fanboy.

  33. I have a Wilson AR9 SBR. 10″ barrel, 30 round Glock mags, red dot site, AAC suppressor. No recoil and cheap to reload. I love it.

  34. Suppressors change the equation completely. A 9mm Suppressed SBR is in a whole different ballpark from a .223 sbr in terms of sound emissions, and 300 blackout subsonic is basically even smaller diameter/wound channel than 9mm albeit throwing 45-auto bullet weights.

    Quite frankly for situations us civilians are going to face, shooting over 100 yards is likely to result in prison time anyways, so I’d rather save my hearing and retain decent ballistics within legal self-defense distances. That and it’s cheap and fun to practice with. That being said, .223 seems to be a much safer option in terms of accidental barrier penetration, I don’t get the whole “I live in an apartment complex, and want a PCC or pistol since a .223 AR would have too much overpenetration…” that’s simply untrue.

    • Hell, a .380 ACP FMJ fired from one of my Ruger LCP Customs will go all the way thru a solid 3″ block of Basswood after it went thru a water jug. Ruger ARX .380 rounds will go thru both sides of pickup truck bed. .223 definitely will over penetrate apartment walls. Was at dump area (private) that had old construction scrap there: everything (22s 38s, etc) went thru wall sections. Least effective was 12 g birdshot from beyond 10 yards; slugs & buckshot a different story. Walls do not seem to me to stop much of anything, the chance for collateral damage is way high.

  35. i have never understood the purpose of them. but i am a strictly practical person when it comes to firearms.

  36. I like reading blogs for firearm news and new products but never rely on them for knowledge. I like PCCs.

  37. Pistol caliber carbines are, if nothing else, extremely fun shoot and have very controllable recoil. For instance, my father bought a hi-point carbine in 380, and it was without a doubt the most fun I’ve had shooting a rifle in a long time.

  38. All I know is my scorpion evo sbr brings a smile to the face of everyone that gets to shoot it and jealous looks from those that don’t

  39. When I shoot 22lr and 22mag, I’m unsure if I am shooting a rifle caliber in a handgun or a handgun caliber in a rifle. I wish I could shoot my 9mm that I shoot in my handguns in a rifle but I use 5.56/223 in my “big” rifle. I think 9mm would have sufficient power in a rifle but I realize that the 5.56/223 is far more lethal and makes big exit holes in what it hits.

  40. Does anyone shoot for fun anymore? Or is everyone really preparing for ww3?

    PCCs are fun. What else do you need?

  41. IMO, PCCs have plenty of uses. Number one being home defense. Slap a can on a 9mm PCC and with speer gold dot JHPs and you have a nice setup that can be easily maneuvered in close quarter, while not deafening the whole family if the need arises to fire. And before the 300 AAC fanboys come out, go and shoot 300 blackout through a can on only an 8 in barrel, it is still not quite as quiet as you wish is was. A 147 gr JHP will go quietly out of 8 in barrel and stay subsonic while maintaining more than enough energy to deal its damage, but not over-penetrate and go through the wall and harm a family member.

  42. They suck at almost every thing but being cheap to shoot and in the case of the folding ones such as the Kel Tec Sub 200 you can carry one in a brief case back pack or messenger bag and have a passable rifle to fight with instead of a pistol. For the first time in my rather long life I am trying to think of reasons to carrying purse or it’s equivalent to carry a Kel Tec Sub 2000 with a several hundred rounds of ammo.

    The worst part is having to carry a Glock that fits my hand like brick. Without a great deal work on the grip a Glock points 2 feet left of the attackers knees in my hands at 25 yards.

  43. If you’re punching cows up the Chisolm Trail, a lever action carbine in the same caliber as your Pistol makes a lot of sense. It’s probably along way in between stores and it’s a lot easier dealing with common ammo.

    Fast forward to the present and the concept, while still viable, is one of limited utility. Assuming you have magazine compatibility between your pistol and PCC (Ruger PC/p95), the concept still has utility in home defense and in law enforcement. The advantage of the PCC is mainly one of accuracy and faster follow-up shots (reduced recoil) vs. the pistol. Ditto for an AR vs. the pistol, but you trade ammo/magazine compatibility for increased leathality of th AR cartridge.

    Basically, pick your compromise.

    On the M 1 carbine, had a Universal that actually worked. 110 grains at 1990 fps at the muzzle, 30 round magazine, and zip for recoil is far from being under armed for personal defense at under 100 yards so long as we’re talking about defense against dangerous people rather than a pissed off grizzly.

    Will an AR do just as well for most people at the same range as the M1 Carbine, sure. Will it be more effective at ranges over 100 yards, absolutely. However, if we’re talking self defense, you might have a hard time convincing the homicide detectives that you feared for your life when you shot someone 400 yards away.

  44. Well, ‘ya know, whatever floats your boat. But opinions are like …, uh …, you know.

    I have been into guns, cars and music for a long time. And I picked up the homebrewing hobby 10 years ago. The thing that all of these hobbies have in common, is that they are rife with self appointed experts who know every damn thing about everything! They can tell you which cartridge to use for everything from gnats to elephants (usually it’s the same one), why you’re a fool to play anything but a Fender/Gibson/Martin/YouNameIt, and why the such-and-such car/truck is the best thing ever invented (even if it’s 50 years old!).

    If I have learned anything about these hobbies it’s that everything is a compromise. There is no one perfect solution to all problems. You test, you try, and you adapt. The most important thing is to learn! And teach. And don’t be an asshole!

    I happen to like pistol caliber carbines. I had an old Uzi B that I upgraded to a Sig MPX recently, and I have an M1 Carbine with a Fed Ord folding stock that will quaify as a PCC. They’re a perfect camp carbine, and an excellent tool for training kids! So I guess that guy hangs out in camp with his long rifle slung on his shoulder, and doesn’t have kids.


  45. If you are a TTAG guy with lots of money you can afford to buy 3 or 5 AR-15s. If you live in a neighborhood that is quiet, you may be able to pay for a few AR-15s, in one year.

    But if you live in a neighborhood that has the sound of gun fire every night, then you may not be able to afford even one AR-15. And you may not feel save waiting to save enough money to buy one AR-15. Perhaps that 9mm Hi Point is looking pretty good now with a 20-round box magazine for $300 or less. And how much money is ammunition for that AR-15 compared to a 9mm carbine???

    I plan on walking into my local carbine defense class with a $270 Ruger 10/22 carbine with the 25 round BX magazines. I asked already they said its ok. In the future, I will try my henry lever action carbine in a class. It has a 24-round tube magazine.
    Iโ€™m saving to buy an AR-15.

  46. I get the practical tactical drawbacks of the PCCs but I don’t care. I just like the format of a sub gun. They’re just fun. And at least where I’m at I can take them to the indoor ranges when the weather turns inclement where rifles are not allowed.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I have my gun bases covered for practical home defense uses. Everything after that is for fun and interest. And you know what? It’s good to be able to get guns that are just for fun.

    Incidentally, I was just noticing the other day, about 38% of my long guns are PCCs of some kind or another.

    • Knowing that 38% of your guns are PCCs, and doing some quick math in my head I have determined that you own at least 19 PCCs.

      Nice collection.

  47. 32 subsonic 147gr 9mm HP rounds coming out of a silenced AR pistol or SBR seems like a pretty useful tool for home defense. Less chance of accidentally going through walls, no worries about ear pro and not being able to hear an intruder. It has its place. I disagree with him. Alot.

  48. Some of his points are good, some are not. He undervalues the suppressor for a home defense scenario. He also overrates accuracy and power for the same scenario. There will be very little difference between a 5.56mm and a 9mm at home defense ranges. He also makes the mistake of rating PCCs’ accuracy using crap ammo, which is just plain unfair.

    He is right that AR-15 based PCCs make no sense. It’s just way more gun than you need to house a pistol cartridge. Dedicated PCC platforms easily shed inches and pounds over their AR-15 based brethren. And I think he has a point that a good PCC could give shotguns a run for their money in the “budget home defense” realm.

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