There has been a resurgence in the popularity of the pistol caliber carbine(PCC). PCC’s can be a whole lot of fun, and still hold a place as a fighting weapon. Yet these guns are in a sort of odd place. There are some cheap ones that are hit or miss, some expensive ones that are mostly purchased for the novelty or nostalgia (UZI, MP5), and other oddball options.
- cheap ammo
- low recoil
- easy to suppress
- higher capacity than a pistol
- easier to shoot than a pistol
- better sight and optics options than a pistol
- more expensive than a pistol
- not concealable like a pistol
- rifle size and weight with out a rifles performance
- generally more costly than a pistol
Many people and groups have moved from the SMG and PCC to carbines and Short Barreled Rifles. Smaller rifles give better terminal ballistics and vastly increased range.
- What price are you willing to pay?
- What caliber do you want?
- Do you want something small, or are you will to have something rifle sized? (Barrel Length)
- Do you want a proper stock, or is the arm brace sufficient?
There are four common configurations of PCCs.
First is a 16 inch barreled rifle with stock. Be it a .357 level action, or a Hi-Point carbine, these rifles are purchased just like any other rifle. This is the most common, and the most practical version of the PCC. Easy to purchase and use. Only real downside to a rifle sized firearm in a pistol caliber is the barrel length. Often, pistol cartridges gain little from a 16+ inch barrel, so a standard rifle ends up being larger than what would be ideal.
Face it, a Thompson is more of a rifle than a carbine.
The second common configuration is that of a large pistol. For example the Tec-9s or semi auto MAC-10s. These are purchased and sold just like a pistol. Larger examples can be found in the MP5K and Scorpion EVO 3 pistols. These are fun, but tend to be the least useful configuration. They are larger and heavier than a full sized pistol, and can be large enough to make them awkward to shoot.
As cool as this is, it isn’t exactly a practical pistol.
Now, there is a better third option. With the advent of the various forms of arm braces, we see these large pistol firearms gain a great deal of utility with an arm brace.
These arm braces have added a great deal of utility to these huge pistols.
Fourth major option is to go with a short barreled rifle. This is often considered the best way to go, but unlike the previous options you end up with a multitude of various downsides. There is a long waiting time while the ATF processes your paperwork. Then you should keep a copy of that paperwork with you(not the original). Not to mention issues like not being able to lend it to people or limitations on traveling between states, etc. Despite all of that, I would still recommend going this route if you intend to use a pistol caliber carbine a good bit. 16 inch barrels are rather unnecessary in pistol cartridges, and it is well worth having a functional stock. That said, the cost and time involvement to get a SBR makes it not right for most.
I personally use a Colt 6991 9mm upper on a SBR lower.