“What About Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCCs) For Home Defense?”

I got a great question yesterday from Dave about Pistol Caliber Carbines for home defense.

Pistol caliber carbines come in many varieties, but the most popular right now are AR pattern/style rifles that take Glock mags and shoot 9mm.

There are also versions with barrels that are under 16″ that fit easily in a backpack or briefcase called “Pistol Caliber Pistols” or PCPs, like this:

It’s a Next Generation Arms X9 Pistol Caliber Pistol (short AR pattern pistol in 9mm with a 6″ barrel) and am a HUGE fan of PCCs and PCPs, which I’ll refer to collectively as PCCs.

This one has a Primary Arms simple red dot, a Spartan compact light/laser combo, and a 10.5″ handguard. You’ll notice that the mag is in, trigger is back, and selector is set to “fire.” That combination is sometimes called “cruiser ready” and it means that there is no round in the chamber, the gun is not charged, and the selector will not go to safety.

This configuration prevents rounds that cook off in a house fire from becoming high velocity projectiles.

I like this minimalist design because it’s the long gun that I pick up when our dog goes nuts in the middle of the night.  It’s hearing safe, it’s easy to maneuver, and I’ve proven the light/laser at 0300 on varmints outside.

Because it’s shooting pistol rounds, EVERYONE who picks it up can shoot it quickly and accurately, regardless of whether they’re using the red dot or the laser…unaided or with night vision.

PCCs let people do AR training way cheaper and in more places than what you can do with a .223 and they don’t have the .22 specific malfunctions that you get with a .22 conversion kit or M&P 15-22 (which we use a lot)

Recoil isn’t as hard on PCCs as ARs, but I’ve found that PCC recoil throws my sights off more…although that is mitigated A LOT with a JP captured buffer spring.

With a good barrel, trigger, and decent ammo, you can still shoot hand sized groups out to over 100 yards.  I’m running a LaRue MBT in mine.

As for a home defense weapon…

The bullet design and performance shortcomings of pistol ammo apply to both pistols and PCCs, so there’s no difference there.  You do get more velocity out of a PCC, but not rifle velocities.

That being said, let’s go back to the fact that the best way to avoid a bullet going through several walls is for it to go through your intended target first.

Now we’re not just looking at the bullet, but how to get that bullet on target 100% of the time and as quickly as possible.

And, when that’s the goal, I’d argue that the PCC beats a traditional pistol every time…and that’s why tactical teams are using PCCs over pistols in both military and law enforcement applications. Most still use traditional ARs more often, but PCCs are carrying more and more of the load when teams aren’t expecting distance shots or body armor.

This isn’t a new thing. The PCC is basically an MP5 in an AR shell and the MP5 has been a proven and effective tactical weapon for decades.

You can run a LaserMax Spartan 200 lumen light/laser combo on a PCC that’s intended for a pistol rail and you end up with a very small, compact, effective setup…more effective than a pistol, but still not as effective as a .223.

Which brings us to the question of the best training for using Pistol Caliber Carbines and Pistol Caliber Pistols for home defense.

The fact is, home defense tactics are VERY different than what military and law enforcement use while doing their jobs and VERY different than what you may have learned in a carbine class taught by a military or law enforcement instructor.

In addition, there are high leverage tools and tactics that you can use with a PCC/PCP that aren’t practical with a pistol.

That’s why I want to strongly encourage you to check out this home defense training that will help you more effectively defend yourself if you do end up being the target of a home invasion. Learn more now by going >HERE<

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  • Robert Buonfiglio

    Reply Reply October 24, 2020

    Since one is not able to purchase an AR here in the Kommonwealth of Taxxachusetts, I recently acquired a Ruger 9mm PCC. I’m looking forward to developing one proficiency with it, and home defense was a big part of why I chose it. I’ve also heard they’re a lot of fun to shoot.

  • CFLeffen

    Reply Reply February 3, 2020

    Fight like ya train. Train like ya fight. Use th’ same weapon. Kyle Swanson, an the likes o’ Marshal Earp an’ Bill Jordan, would say, that “Slow is smooth, an’ smooth is fast.” “Make haste, slowly.” It ain’t who’s fastest, but the one who puts metal inta yer enemy first. All else is foolishness.

    Dry-Fire works. Shucks, it resides on the shoulders of Fairbairn & Sykes, Applegate, Janick, an’ so many honest ta God gunfighters… Train like ya fight, fight like ya train. Same weapon- can’t stress these enough. It ain’t rocket science…

    IF ya have ta stan’ an’ deliver, make yer shots count. Regardless o’ auto er revolver, count yer shots. A miss with a Big .50 don’t do as much damage as a hit wi’ a .22LR.

    Go fer accuracy, but pack heavy, n’ walk light… Use the biggest bore ya can handle. Go fer quality in gun an’ ammo. It’s yer life, or someone else’s… Go cheap, go without practice an’ trainin’, an get planted… Be first when it counts. As Bill Jordan said, there ain’t no second place winner…

    Dry-Fire- for the smart pistolero…

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