Ruger PC Carbine

Ruger PC Carbine

The Ruger PC9 is about the same length and weight of a standard fixed stock AR carbine.

In the last few years I’ve become interested in the handgun/carbine compatibility concept. Carrying one type ammo that will work with your handgun or carbine isn’t a new idea. It’s been around since “cowboy” days – the .44-.40. My version of this is the .38/.357 combo using S&W revolvers and a Marlin lever action. But semi-autos can take it one step further adding the capability of both using the same ammunition and magazines. To investigate this feature I’ve recently acquired a Ruger PC Carbine in 9mm. This is an extremely versatile weapon, and worth investigating for several reasons.

The PC carbine isn’t a new concept for Ruger. In the mid 90’s they introduced the Police Carbine in 9mm and .40 cal., aiming for the law enforcement market. It was basically a beefed-up version of the 10-22 .22 rifles, and used the same mags as Ruger’s P-Series semi-auto handguns. Several departments issued them for patrol use with great reviews, but at the same time departments began shifting to the AR 15 platform for patrol use. Ruger stopped producing the PC’s in 2007, due to lack of demand.

In 2017 Ruger reintroduced the PC carbines, again in 9mm and .40 cal., but with several changes. For one thing, while the new PC uses Ruger mags it comes from the factory with an adapter for Glock mags. It’s a take-down carbine – push a button, twist and separate the PC into a small, two-piece compact package. The charging handle, mounted to the bolt assembly, and the mag release can be swapped from side to side. The polymer stock has removable spacers to adjust length of pull, and there’s the option of an aluminum handguard with M-Lok slots for accessories. The original PC was known for having a “bad” trigger. The new PC has a nice, smooth and crisp trigger. Mine breaks at 5 1/2 lbs., putting it about the same as all my other triggers.

The PC, especially with the vented aluminum handguard, reminds me of the Russian PPSh sub guns. It looks similar, and is close to the same weight and length – about 33 inches long and 6 pounds. However, Ruger’s new PC is all modern.

The PC’s receiver is 7075-T6 aluminum billet, and its “dead blow” action shortens up the chrome moly bolt’s travel, reduces recoil and muzzle rise. The barrels are cold hammer-forged chrome-moly steel, with fluting to reduce weight. There’s an adjustable rear aperture sight, with an adjustable front sight that’s protected by blades. As mentioned above, the trigger – 10/22 components – is great. The adapter for Glock mags is included, plus the Allen wrenches for the swapping, reducing length of pull and moving the charging handle and mag release from side to side. There are models with adjustable AR style stocks and grips, or the option of a traditional style stock. “State Compliant” versions of the PC Carbine come with 10 round mags and non-threaded barrels. Every model is built to withstand hard use.

So, how does it shoot? After covering the specs I’m out space. Tune in next week when I’ll file a range report, plus a few modifications I’ve done to the PC Carbine to equip it for self-defense work.

— Tiger McKee
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy. He is the author of The Book of Two Guns, AR-15 Skills and Drills, has a regular column in American Handgunner.

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Don McDowell, Arizona native, is an avid outdoorsman and has been an active bass pro fisherman for over 16 years and in the past 15 years has developed his own radio show promoting bass fishing and conservation efforts for bass fishing that escalated to nominations with several bass groups and organizations. In the past 12 years, Don has pursued his conservation agenda through AZBFN-TBF as Conservation Director and with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in the spring of 2014 redesigned his website to include those efforts highlighted below and has increased the AZGFD exposure, public education of the AZGFD and Commission issues on his radio show and website soliciting local and national support for Arizona. 2014 has seen the founding of SRT Outdoors, Inc., 501 C3 organization, “Not for Profit, for Conservation” which is concentrating on grants for mitigating the effects of Gizzard Shad on Roosevelt lake thorough habitat enhancement, Florida Strain Bass stocking, lakes bottom mapping, etc. and feral hog research.

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