Kel-Tec Sub-2000 (courtesy
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Who needs a pistol caliber carbine? You! You need a pistol caliber carbine. Granted, the pistol caliber carbine isn’t at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It’s at the bottom, right where it belongs, under “safety.” A pistol caliber carbine can help keep you, your family and your community safe. But that’s not all! Here are the top three reason you need a pistol caliber carbine . . .

Jeremy S. with Hi-Point Carbine (courtesy

1. Fun! 

“The brain’s mesolimbic dopamine system, its reward pathway, is stimulated by all types of reinforcing stimuli,” reminds us, “such as food, sex, and many drugs of abuse, including cocaine.”

Eat too much food and you’ll have chronic health problems. Have too much sex, the wrong kind of sex and/or sex with the wrong person, and you’ll be buying your divorce lawyer a new Porsche. Snort too much Bolivian marching powder and you won’t be able to experience any pleasure without coke. And you’ll be broke.

So forget food, sex and drugs. Stimulate your mesolimbic dopamine system by shooting a pistol caliber carbine!

Where’s the downside? None! There is no downside! There aren’t any dangerous or unpleasant side effects.

Other than possible starvation and marital discord. Your relationship may be imperiled by arguments over the “correct” number of pistol caliber carbine range trips per month and the amount of money spent on ammunition, at any time, for any reason.

But remember: there’s no chance that shooting a pistol caliber carbine will trigger any other dangerous or unpleasant side effects in the immediate, short or long-term.

OK, sure, you could have a negligent discharge. And yes, a single misplaced round could cause tremendous mental, physical, emotional, financial and spiritual damage; in the immediate, short and long-term. To both you and some innocent bystander. Party pooper!

Anyway, if you’re wondering what all this pistol caliber carbine fuss is about (never mind why I took so long to get to the point), their low recoil and rifle or rifle-like ergonomics make shooting them an unalloyed joy. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

That said, as Alfred Korzybski famously pronounced, the map is not the territory! There’s only way you can get the full dope on — or dopamine from — a pistol caliber carbine. Shoot one!

[Note: Mr. Korzybski didn’t say that last bit about the need to go hands-on with a pistol caliber carbine to fully appreciate the fun factor, and died before we could ask his opinion of the platform.]

Is there anything [we can write about on a gun blog] that’s more fun than pinging multiple steel targets with a pistol caliber carbine while moving in full accordance with all applicable safety rules? Slap a red dot on that pistol caliber carbine’s spine, slip a suppressor on its snout, and the fun quotient increases exponentially.

In fact, there isn’t a commonly available opiod that can kill the pistol caliber carbine’s fun-generating capability. [Note: The Joyce Foundation denied our research funding request and all opiods are commonly available in certain locations.] Nor can you kill a pistol caliber carbine with a stick. A statement which, while not technically true and a terrible cliche, remains an accurate reflection of pistol caliber carbines’ mechanical durability. IMHO. FWIW. YMMV.

Kel-Tec CMR-30 carbine and PMR-30 pistol (courtesy

2. You can share mags with carry pistol!

Holstering a pistol in the same caliber as your pistol caliber carbine is more than half the fun. Or . . . at least half. Ehhh, call it a third. Which is still a significant slice of the total fun pie. Just ask a prepper!

The pre-post-apocalyptic set love mono-caliber, magazine-based interoperability. As preppers will tell you (repeatedly), pistol caliber ammo will be the most easily available ammunition after an EMP, national economic meltdown or alien invasion (extraterrestrial or earthbound). And ammo availability is a big deal when you’re ammo shopping at a Wal-Mart staffed by genetic mutants. I mean new kinds of genetic mutants.

Operators operating operationally also give a [silent] thumbs-up to the One Caliber And a Whole Sh*tload of Mags to Rule Them All Rifle – Pistol Combo. Well, the operators who know that simplicity is the mother of not-doing-something-stupid-and-dying-under-pressure. And that most engagements (if not marriages) with hostiles occur well within the pistol-caliber carbine’s effective range.

The mag swap combo’s popularity is most closely tied to the fact that most people are lazy bastards. Are you one of those shooter who likes to spend as little time and mental energy as possible buying, storing and schlepping various flavors of ammo; buying, loading and sorting mags; stocking your range bag? I bet you are!

Running a pistol caliber carbine with a pistol that takes the same mags is stupid simple; the shooting equivalent of having a low maintenance wife. Make that a pair of low maintenance wives. Make that sister wives. Who could both be sexy little numbers. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Know what I mean? Say no more.

Nordic Components pistol caliber carbine (courtesy

3. The pistol caliber carbine is an extremely versatile platform 

Plinking? Oh yes, plinking. Lots of plinking. Decent distance plinking. Relatively inexpensive plinking. Good solid blow-up-a-pumpkin plinking. In short, pistol caliber carbine plinking rocks! [Note: this blog does not condone shooting actual rocks. Or rock lobsters.]

Home defense? A pistol caliber carbine shoots all those funky flavors of cool-looking self-defense pistol ammunition. (Helpful hint: make sure yours does.) Home defenders wielding pistol caliber carbines get all that low-recoil-enabled accuracy and way more muzzle energy than a pistol and less over-penetration than firing a “proper” rifle cartridge (excluding frangible ammo and a bunch of other caveats).

Hunting? Our resident war hero turned deer slayer Jon Wayne Taylor recently aimed his .45-caliber Quarter Circle 10 GLF Nighthawk at a whitetail at 45 yards. Pulling the trigger on the QC10, Jon helped Bambi shuffle off this mortal coil in short order. For close-range hunting thin-skinned game (see: home defense), the pistol caliber carbine’s got JWT’s Seal of Approval.

So, which pistol caliber carbine do you need? As I’m one of those lazy bastards I mentioned above, you tell me.


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  1. That new Ruger pistol carbine with an integrally suppressed barrel like they did for the 10/22 takedown would be the cat’s ass for home defense.

    Ruger, make one in .45ACP.

    Willya? Please???

    (And, RF? Not enough nookie makes the lawyer wealthy as well…)

    • The new Ruger PC carbine with an integrally suppressed barrel = modern day DeLisle Carbine. Especially if they offer it in .45ACP.

    • The fun of owning an su-16c is the watching people at the range try to figure out what kind of gun it is. I like guns, I like Transformers, so I own a gun that’s a Transformer.

      • The ‘fun’ is (also) whipping out something that looks like a toy, twisting a suppressor on the QD, and shooting tighter groups than their mid-dollar AR (off-hand, with the stock folded under) then doing a mag-dump for good measure.

  2. what i would give for some of that sort of stuff here in australia. BTW i have been telling people for over 20 years that the only way to get australia back on track is 1776. TBH it will probably be the same as what it takes to get the US back to being truly free again too sad to say. in both our countries we have the exact same forces at work but here in australia people rolled over rather than standing up and fighting back hard

  3. I absolutely agree — my old 9mm Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine is just plain fun to ‘plink’ with!!!!

    And since they are being mfgr’d again parts and support (if needed) are readily available.

    • Ruger tried that, remember? Went over like the proverbial balloon. Not sure why… seemed like a decent carbine for the brief time they had it…

      • They were kinda weird with that Savage 99 look.

        We couldnt forgive that……and they didnt have one in 357.

        • I would have loved a Ruger lever action .357 in stainless synthetic. The rotary magazine in lever action Rugers feed practically any .44mag Ammo whereas the Winchester/Marlin occasionally get rounds stuck at a 45 degree angle requiring a knife to clear; Clearing a stoppage in the Ruger lever action just requires dropping the magazine and shaking out the round. 96/.357 would be ideal home defense/light hunting!

  4. There you go, stroking my CZ Scorpion lust again.

    Oh Lord, and I called The Range who has one to rent and shoot.

    I am doomed.

    • It pretty much is a .460 S&W mag with the rim turned down to .308 dimensions. Load data is identical for both.

  5. Oh maybe a used Hipoint 40 or 45. But the new 10mm has peaked my interest. 10mm out of an 18″ barrel rocks…

  6. Rossi 92 in .38/.357. Feeds everything from .38 semi wadcutter reloads to full power .357s and its fun to shoot. A great companion piece for my Uberti Cattleman if I want to go old school or Smith 686 if I want to play in the 20th century. A post here says that Rossi no longer builds the 92 in .357 so let’s pay a few more bucks and substitute Henry for Rossi.Yeah I know that the Big Boy doesn’t have a loading gate but a magazine tube full of hot .357 hollow points will stop 99% of all fights this old man can imagine. My Henry Big Boy in .44 is more of a full size rifle but its fun too. If I lived in a people’s republic like New Jersey I’d sleep well with the Rossi loaded with 158gr Keith style .357 semi wadcutters under the bed and my 686 loaded with the same rounds in the night stand drawer.

  7. Mmmm…pass.

    Don’t get me wrong, the fun factor can’t be ignored but PCCs try to split the baby and don’t do anything particularly well.

  8. Plinking is really the #1 reason, imo. You can buy the ammo or reload it cheap and a pistol carbine is really just the in between a .22 and a true rifle chambered in a rifle cartridge.

    Defense is a good second choice because there are possibilities of suppressors, subsonic JHP, etc. that could suit it to the task. Then again, a quiet carbine that can reach out to 150 yards can fill more than a defensive role. Use your imagination.

    I think one of the biggest reasons is it’s a second gun that can use the same ammunition and magazines as your pistol. Let’s say there’s another panic and gun and ammo prices jump, or are just plain unavailable. Let’s say you have a few thousand rounds of your preferred pistol ammo and for whatever reason your pistol is not functioning and you can’t fix it, parts are unavailable, gunsmith lead time is months… whatever, you will have a second gun that shoots the ammo you have and it will be an easier gun to hit with than your pistol is at greater distances.

    One of the reasons I haven’t gotten into 10mm Auto yet is because there are no real good carbine choices for it and the ammo is pricey, so I’d have to reload it. Plenty of good pistols out there in 10mm, Colt Delta Elite, Ruger 1911, Glock 20, and so on, but very few carbines.

    Yes, it’s nice that Hi Point is finally making a 10mm Carbine, but until they produce a 10mm pistol, I’m not interested. Were Ruger to make their new carbine in 10mm, I’d buy it. Were Kel-Tec to make a 10mm Carbine, I’d have to look at it and make up my mind. If Glock would make a carbine in 10mm, me and millions of others would love it.

    Until then, I may just have to accept the only 10mm Carbine that I find sensible is going to be a Glock mounted in a RONI with the Sig Brace and a 9 inch Lone Wolf barrel.

    • I don’t understand how no major manufacturer (HP excluded, though even that’s a recent development) has built and sold a really good 10mm carbine. The round seems uniquely suited to such an application, and they certainly wouldn’t struggle to turn a profit

      • Or… a Kriss Vector G2 in 10mm… shares your same Glock 20 magazines. Sure it looks goofy, seems heavy for what it is, and large due to the Super-V system, but you can certainly have your 10mm cake and eat it too…

  9. “But remember: there’s no chance that shooting a pistol caliber carbine will trigger any other dangerous or unpleasant side effects in the immediate, short or long-term.”

    Well, you will eventually go broke. Just a bit slower than shooting 5.56 (but not by much nowadays). 🙂

  10. I have one with a nice wood stock – called a Henry Big Boy in 45 Colt with a 16.5″ barrel. Only .45 I shoot, but the action is like butter, easy to cary, and recoil is virtually nothing.

  11. Honestly the hi-point carbine is about the most fun you can have for a couple hundred bucks. Kinda like a scooter or a fat chick, your friends will judge you but you’ll be having too much of a good time to care. If only they took Glock mags…

    • I bought my younger brother one a few years ago for his high school graduation. When we went out, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a bit finicky about ammo, but that little things a damn good time once you figure out what it likes to eat

  12. I like my Sig MPX Carbine. It handles like an AR, so no retraining needed, and it’s as much fun as a litter of puppies. It replaced a much more primitive Uzi Carbine, which I don’t miss at all.

    I pestered CZ to make a carbine barrel for the Scorpion, which they denied that they were going to do. They did eventually make a Scorpion carbine, but by then I was sold on the Sig.

    • Yes. . . The MPX is has a nice home next to the MP5 carbine and the HK UMP conversion . . . and the PS90.

      I do like the PCCs, just so much fun. At least two of the above run on cheap(ish) ammo.

      I’ll concede it’s ridiculous at this time to pick up a PCC when AR and AKs are running in the $500 – 700 range and the PCCs are doing 2-3 times that. But I love still all the same.

    • Given that this gun uses an interchangeable magazine adapter, there’s a possibility that Ruger could make an adapter that uses standard single stack 1911 mags.

      I think people are just going to have to bombard Ruger and tell them they want this carbine, but in their current pistols magazine. If Ruger obliges, they will be making the #1 most wanted PCC in the world. People with a Browning Hi Power to a Zastava will want this carbine.

      Ruger is literally sitting on a gold mine with this rifle, all they have to do is give the people what they want. Which for me is a 10mm Auto model and maybe an adapter for LC9 magazines.

      • *thinks about the interchangeable magazine adapter*
        *considers the engineering problems with that*

        Daaayum… you’re not kidding… if that carbine comes with that SCHWEET carry case that the 10/22TD has and maybe is offered in a lighter-weight (think skeletonized) stock configuration as an option, integrally suppressed options, various calibers, various magazines…
        Good Lord, there would be no other PCC sold until the competition gets their act together and comes up with an alternative to what Ruger could do there…
        Time to go buy more Ruger stock.

    • Why bother with a 1911 that takes Glock magazines, and just get a Glock 21 or Glock 41?
      Otherwise, make it in .45ACP and have an adapter for the Para doublestack magazines.

  13. I have a Marlin (real one) in 357 and Winchester Trapper in 45 Colt.

    Excellent for deer and goblins.

    Had a sub2000 in 40 but did not li,e it amd sold it.

    Considered a CX4 but didnt likemthe sights and trigger.

    I will add a new Ruger PC when the buying frenzy dies down.

    Fun and practical

    • I don’t think the buying frenzy will ever die down, especially if Ruger starts offering this in various pistol magazine configurations. If Ruger offered these in Browning Hi Power, Beretta 92, Sig P320, S&W M&P, Walther, CZ, H&K, FN, etc. the frenzy would never die down.

      • You may be right…..then I will bite the bullet and get me some….

        Great problem to have …. so many fun guns and so little time (and money)

  14. pcc were cool when sub2000’s had a street price of $350 and AR’s were outlawed, but they were not available then. Now that you can regularly get them the price has gone to the same price as a budget factory AR and more than I can build one myself. Most pistol magazines are relatively expensive compared to good AR mags and the ballistics don’t justify the cost. I spent years trying to get a good pcc to take Glock 17 or Ruger p-series mags at an affordable price, never happened and I’ve moved on.

  15. I have a CZ Scorpion and a 9mm AR with a 16″ barrel. My local range doesn’t allow rifle calibers in the tactical bay, but PCCs are GTG. I went there with a few friends and we went crazy in the cold weather blasting steel. It’s a lot of fun, I just needed to bring a lot more ammo. 200 rounds wasn’t enough.

    • I like CZ, and I like the Scorpion. I think the Sig MPX has an edge on it because of the collapsible (vs folding) stock, but in a world without the MPX I would gladly buy a Scorpion.

  16. Nice – the only one I don’t have from those pictured in the article is a Hi-Point. I have the other three… And I’m *still* considering the Ruger…

  17. The only pcc I would want is one in a magnum caliber. .357, 10mm, .44 magnum, something like that. Rifle like power, at moderate ranges anyway, and actual versatility.

    • That would be a good choice if one were available (but 10mm is available or planned for the MPX). I might worry that the .357 and .44 mag cartridges are rimmed, and might not chamber reliably. Having said that my son wants a DEagle. I like the one that fires .357, but my skinny ass won’t be concealing one any time soon. 🙂


  18. Un-elected and appointed Department of Justice officials issuing a Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) and BATF Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs Services rewriting gun laws concerning what constitutes a NFA item or Machine-gun should worry everyone especially pro freedom people. Without our overwhelming input ..bump stocks and other devices of a gun could become banned or NFA items. If Bloomberg gets news of this and pays a million people to write in.. then we have lost another battle! I will continue posting this to get the word out please help by sharing with all you know on all of ur platforms please! Its Very Important! Thanks!

  19. “…A nod’s as good as a wink, to a blind bat”
    Thanks for dropping that reference, and I second how excited I’m going to be if Ruger really follows through with magazine adapters.. CZ P-10/0-07 mags, please!

  20. Pistol cal carbines and shotguns for me. I love to go against the grain and immerse myself in anything that that the cult of the AR shrieks against on the internet.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to ban the AR or anything, but it’s fun to troll AR fanboys a bit (which is honestly as easy as suggesting that the platform isn’t the be all and end all of firearms).

  21. The Just Right Carbine works really well. And you can purchase conversion kit for other caliber. 9mm, 10mm 40S&W or 45. The 9mm I have used Glock 17 mags.

    Definitely worth a look see. And so much easier to take down and clean than the hi point.

  22. If I had not already pulled the trigger on a cz scorpion braced pistol, I’d be very interested in the Ruger offering now. I might still be interested because a magwell change later and the Ruger can accept my Glock mags.

  23. I like my Sub 2K in .40 S&W with Glock magazines. Getting a pairing in .45 ACP and a pairing in 10mm is planned.

  24. 3 Great reasons. A 4th? You can actually practice with them at your local Indoor range. Unlike the shotgun or AR that need a outdoor gun club or wide open space to use. I can be at a indoor pistol range in 10 mins drive. A Beretta Storm CX4 has long been on my XMAS wish list. And a Lever gun in .357 or .44 mag Would do too.

    • Ok, in *this* case my range has the advantage. I can fire my AR and AK at the local indoor range. I can also shoot my shotgun, but I have to use slugs. I’d rather be able to do rapid-fire though, which I can’t do at ANY range I’ve been to yet(almost 10).

      • Indoor range nearest me allows anything up to an including .50 bmg as long as it is not AP, incendiary or tracers. Shotguns with slugs are GTG too. Still I think that Scorpion evo would be great “next one”. Or .44 magnum lever action carbine to complement my Super Redhawk.

  25. Perhaps Smith now might discover the logic of a similar MP carbine series. Start with a 45 please.

  26. Let’s see here…
    Runner Runner AR-9 that takes Glock 17/19 magazines
    CZ EVO S3 carbine
    SIG MPX folding braced pistol (on layaway currently)

    And now I need another Ruger in the safe. And I already have 2 guns to share magazines with an SR9E and an American 9MM.

  27. I want a new gun….BUT, I want a new pressure washer, namely a Karcher G4000 gas pressure washer. And while both my credit cards have zero balances, I shall remain strong and resist impulses. I’d also love a Sig MCX Virtus in .300 blk and a new Beretta PX4 and…………

  28. I already do, it’s called a Winchester model 1892, chambered in .44 wcf (.44-40).
    Edit: I also have two single action revolvers chambered in .44 wcf. Those along with my side by side 12 ga. coach gun, I’m all set.

  29. My scorpion is pretty sweet suppressed, but my regular AR15 receiver with the TorkMag g-block and a 9mm upper runs well with a Franklin Binary trigger for ultimate giggles… No Bolt-HoldOpen, but with 33rd happy sticks it doesn’t matter that much for a range toy. Bring out the one lower + 22lr, 9mm, and 223 or 7.62×39 upper for a pretty awesome afternoon of choose your own caliber fun…

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