We want to take a look at pistol caliber carbines or short PCCs. In fact, we will focus on their 9 mm variants. Why? 9 mm is one of the most common and most affordable pistol rounds out there, and it comes in many flavors. This makes it easy to get it cheap in bulk for training as well as the right load for self- or home defense.

This leads of course right to the next question: Why a pistol caliber carbine at all? Looking at them, you might ask yourself if the longer barrel does add enough performance to warrant the expenses to buy, weight to carry, and bulk to handle. Thinking about it, there come quite a few answers to mind.

First, yes, the longer barrel of the carbine does add a couple of hundred feet per second to the speed of the bullet. That does result in greater range. Also, it makes the trajectory of the bullet flatter so that it is easier to hit something. Furthermore, it does help with penetration and increases the foot pounds dumped into the target.

Second, it does make it easier to aim and hit all in all, not only through the trajectory of the bullet. With a pistol, you have only one point of contact that is the pistol grip. With a carbine, you get three, the shoulder, the pistol grip, and the handguard. Also, the longer sight radius is a great help.

Third, and most importantly, you end up with the same ammo for both your pistol and your carbine. This allows you to carry only one caliber and use it as it is needed.

Fourth, there are a few added advantages. Pistol caliber carbines are not too heavy, not too bulky, and they do not come with the kind of soldier and war like impression rifles bring to the table. And there is the problem of over penetration when you use it to defend your home. While a rifle round might sail through the intruder, the wall behind him, the wall of your neighbor’s house and subsequently your neighbor himself, a pistol round would be stopped either by the intruder`s body or the exterior wall.

All of these reasons led to the pistol caliber carbines being used or at least envisioned as a patrol gun for law enforcement officers in rural areas. Nowadays, they have their fan base for their use in home and self-defense as well as a great toy for the range. Some even ponder their use as a bugaloo gun, a gun to roam the lands after an apocalypse. However, one does not need to look that far to see the advantages of a PCC.

When you have made up your mind to buy a PCC, you might of course want to do so without breaking your bank. What sense does it make to spend $1000 on a PCC if you could get a high-performance rifle for that kind of money. Going budget means to look for guns below or close to a threshold of around $500.

1. Kel-Tec Sub 2000 Gen 2

This is not only a nice little gun, it also adds more to the already mentioned advantages of a PCC. The Kel-Tec Sub 2000 Gen 2 can be completely folded and thereby its length practically cut in half. That makes it so much easier to transport and if necessary, to conceal it.

It does not end here. This gun does use 9 mm Glock magazines. So, getting a new mag is really no headache. Also, there are versions accepting Smith & Wesson, Beretta, or SIG mags as well.

The Sub 2000 is praised for its reliability and it is very accurate. And then there is the weight of only 4.25 pounds when it is unloaded. There is practically nothing not to like about it. Add to this the price of below $500, and you have all you have been looking for.

Kel-Tec Sub 2000 Gen 2

2. Hi-Point 995 TS

Looking at the Hi-Point 995 TS, you might see the resemblance with the Sub-2000, but do not let yourself be fooled. It is a different gun, and it comes with its own very significant advantage. No, it is not the ability to be folded. It is the price. You can find it for less than $300. That itself is a very compelling argument for this gun.

OK, with such a price tag, one is tempted to doubt the performance. However, the 995 TS does shoot straight and hit what you are aiming at. Also, it is very reliable with its simple blow-back system. Granted, the weight of 6.25 pounds might pull you down a little bit, but it does lighten the felt recoil.

With a 10- or 20-round magazine, you will have no problem to hit a target at 100 yards dead center. However, given the low-recoil, you might be tempted to pump too many rounds in too fast a succession into your target. This means, you have to keep your trigger finger under control.

Hi-Point 995 TS

3. Ruger PC Carbine

Here is the pistol caliber carbine that is almost impossible to avoid. This one comes from Ruger and has an excellent reputation. It is super portable, reliable, accurate and can use Glock mags, for which you have to use an adapter, but that comes with the carbine.

The trigger on this gun is outstanding and the barrel is prepared to accept a suppressor. Also, you can customize this carbine to your personal liking. And, last but not least, it comes at a very competitive price. Depending on the time and shortage encountered these days, you get it for a little over $500. However, this might come down once the situation on the market is more stable.

Ruger PC Carbine

4. Palmetto State Armory 9 mm PX-9

Here comes the option for all those who just want everything to look like an AR-15. It brings you the look of this rifle and it takes Glock mags. This way, it satisfies both kinds of fan boys. For this, it does not even cost much more than $500.

The advantage of the PX-9 is simple. If you can use an AR-15, you can use the PX-9. If you have Glock mags, you can load the PX-9. If you have 9 mm, you can feed the PX-9. All of this comes in a reliable package with the necessary accuracy.

Palmetto State Armory 9 mm PX-9

5. TNW Firearms Aero Survival Rifle

Here comes a gun with ifs and whens, but also with advantages. If you are willing to shell out a little bit more than just $500, and when you need to defend yourself in a survival situation, then this gun is for you. If you want to buy it second hand, be careful, as when it was introduced, there were quite some problems with it. It had a very high rate of failures to feed or eject causing a lot of stoppages. The problems are supposed to be mitigated by now, so either opt for a new rifle or one that is not so old.

OK, so after the ifs and whens, what do you get from this rifle? First, it is a survival rifle. You can easily take it apart and transport it that way significantly reducing its length and enhancing its concealability. Also, looking from every angle, there is no way to call it heavy. It accepts Glock mags and you can have it in a lot of different calibers. Those include .40 Smith and Wesson, .45 ACP, 10 mm, and .357 SIG. Heck, you can even get it as a set with all the bells and whistles need to swap it from one caliber to the next.

Also, you have a lot of options to customize it. You can have it eject to the left or right. It has a rail on top where you can attach various scopes, red dots, and such. You can have a rail in front of the mag well and attach a bipod, to name just a few. Thanks to the ability to choose the side of the ejection, you can even mount a basket to catch the spent cartridges. If you reload, that means, you do not have to search for them on the ground.

TNW Firearms Aero Survival Rifle

Leave a comment