Welcome to Jercol's Back to the Basics. This is where I will post useful information, tips, and gear reviews about what I learn about Outdoor Survival, Activities, and Disaster Preparation. My only goal is to be informative, realistic, and at least a little entertaining.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pistol Caliber Carbines

There is a propensity with gun nuts to downplay the value of a pistol caliber carbine.

For those of you who don't know, a pistol caliber carbine (PCC) is a rifle that fires a lower powered round that is typically associated with a pistol.  For example, a .357 fired out of a lever action rifle.  The extra barrel length gives the gas a longer time to expand, creating higher velocities, increased accuracy, lower bullet drop over a distance.

A lot of gun nuts consider the PCC to be an intermediate, and therefore pointless, long arm.  They say that a pistol round is better out of a long arm, but not as good as a rifle round out of a long arm.  "If you're going to carry a rifle, why shoot less effective rounds?"  Technically, and ballistically, they are correct.  A rifle round is almost always better than a pistol round out of a rifle, that's what they were designed for.  However, a pistol round is far more efficient, with less kick, and more accuracy out of a longer barrel.

It's my opinion that those gun nuts are being a short sighted (no pun intended).  I love the idea of the intermediate firearm.  Kind of like the scout rifle concept, the idea that a firearm can be used adequately for multiple purposes really appeals to me.  A PCC is a good example of this.

If you want a long range hunting rifle, there are plenty of long range hunting rifles out there, but they are exactly long range hunting rifles.  Not much good at anything else.

Just like a hand gun for personal defense, they are designed for their purpose specifically.  Not much good for accurate distance shooting.

Gun nuts want a rifle that is exceptional, a general purpose firearm is almost by definition average... but it's average at a lot of things, an expert at none.  Personally, I like the idea of a firearm that can be used for multiple purposes over carrying multiple firearms that each have a specialty.

There are quite a few PCC options out there.  I lean toward lever actions, there are plenty of good revolver/rifle combos out there.  .22lr, .357, .44 mag, .45lc... Historically, cowboys liked having a long gun and a pistol that used the same ammunition, that way they only had to carry one.  So, cowboy combos are easily adapter to a pistol-rifle combo.

However, in this modern age, there are quite a few options for semi-auto rifle and pistol combinations.  With a little research, it's quite possible that your favorite mag fed semi-auto pistol has an equivalent carbine.

If you like Glock, there is a Hi-point carbine for you.

If you like Beretta, there is a Beretta CX4 storm for you.

Even the M1 carbine, which shoots ".30 carbine", has a Ruger revolver that uses the same round.

Almost all of the big gun manufacturers have a PCC available, that uses their variety of magazine and ammunition.  It's only too bad that there isn't a good PCC that will take a large variety of magazines, it would make acquiring and matching magazines so much easier.  Personally, I like Glocks but want a CX4... those magazines don't match up.

Or you could look at something like Mech Tech where you can convert your favorite pistol into a PCC.  This is of course depending on your local laws.  There are a couple of companies that offer packages like this, it's an interesting option.

The other benefit is the range time fun... They're a blast to shoot, very low recoil, and pistol ammo is usually far cheaper than rifle rounds.  For a box of common ammo it is around the same price, around $25, but rifle rounds usually come in a box of 20, pistol rounds usually come in a box of 50.

The PCC might not be the best at anything, but it will get the job done in most situations.  That's what I like about them.

Right now, it might be the M&P 22 and the M&P 15 combo.  Or I could do the Rossi R92 and the Ruger Blackhawk.  Neither option is too shabby, if you ask me.

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