The Best Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCC) for 2023
Pistol caliber carbines, also known as PCCs, have gained significant popularity recently.
These firearms offer a unique blend of versatility, performance, and practicality that sets them apart from traditional pistols and rifles.
In this article, we will delve into the world of pistol-caliber carbines and explore their advantages over their counterparts.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pistol Caliber Carbine
Understanding the key factors to consider when selecting pistol caliber carbine is essential. Let's delve into these factors:
As with any other firearm, PCCs are also available in different calibers including 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and many others.
Each caliber has its own benefits.
For example, 9mm carbine is popular due to its availability, low recoil, and high magazine capacity.
On the other hand, .40 S&W has more stopping power while .45 ACP has great terminal ballistics.
You get the idea. Each caliber has different specifications so consider their pros and cons before purchasing a pistol caliber carbine.
We explored more in-depth how barrel length affects the shooting experience in our recent AR15 guide on choosing the best barrel.
In short: longer barrels generally bring better accuracy by increasing sight radius and providing better bullet stabilization.
However, long barrels may affect maneuverability, mainly in tight places.
It's important to have a balance between accuracy and maneuverability based on your intended use and shooting environment.
One benefit of pistol caliber carbines is the ability to adapt to larger magazines.
Increased magazine capacity allows for more rounds before reloading, providing a tactical advantage whether in competitive shooting or self-defense.
Consider the ergonomics and balance of the firearm when selecting a magazine as large ones can affect the overall handling of the firearm.
Ergonomics and customization
Factors like grip design, stock options, and controls should be considered to ensure a comfortable fit and ease of operation.
Also, the ability to customize the carbine to suit your individual needs like adding accessories or adjusting the stock length, can further enhance its usability and adaptability.
Optics and sights
Choosing the right optics or sights for your PCC can greatly improve accuracy and target acquisition.
Options range from iron sights, red dot sights, holographic sights, and magnified scopes.
Consider your shooting preferences and intended use when selecting an optic or sight system.
Factors such as ease of target acquisition, durability, and compatibility with the carbine's rail system should be taken into account.
Now that we have examined the key factors to consider when choosing a pistol caliber carbine, let's move on to the main highlight of this article - the best pistol caliber carbines to buy in 2023.
Best Pistol Caliber Carbines to Own in 2023
1. Brügger & Thomet (B&T) GHM9 Gen 2 Compact 9mm Pistol
A true gem among pistol-caliber carbines. This sporty 9 x 19 mm carbine exemplifies the perfect blend of performance, affordability, and versatility.
Great choice if you're into dynamic shooting or simply looking to indulge in some plinking fun.
Let's dive into the impressive specifications that make this carbine stand out from the crowd:
Action: The GHM9 Compact operates in a reliable semi-automatic mode, ensuring smooth and consistent firing.
Caliber: Chambered in the popular 9MM, this carbine delivers a potent punch while offering an optimal balance between recoil control and stopping power.
Barrel Length: With a compact 4-inch barrel, the GHM9 Compact strikes the perfect balance between maneuverability and accuracy, making it suitable for various shooting scenarios.
Frame/Material: Crafted from rugged steel, the GHM9 Compact boasts exceptional durability and reliability. It can withstand rigorous use while keeping its excellent performance.
Finish/Color: Dressed in a sleek black finish, this carbine not only looks stylish but also offers enhanced corrosion resistance, ensuring it retains its pristine appearance over time.
Capacity: The GHM9 Compact has a 30-round magazine, allowing for shooting sessions without frequent reloads.
2. Sig Sauer MPX Copperhead 9MM Pistol w/o Brace - 4.5" Black
At its core, the MPX Copperhead features a monolithic upper receiver seamlessly merged with a stock knuckle lower.
As a result, MPX form and function are balanced allowing better control and maneuverability. Also, the 4.5” barrel is great when it comes to size and ballistic potential.
One of the most notable features of the SIG MPX is its complete ambidexterity.
What does this mean? It doesn’t matter if you’re left or right-handed, dual-sided parts will help you in handling your gun.
This refers to the selector switch, magazine release, charging handle, and bolt release.
Designed with both left and right-handed shooters in mind, this carbine features dual-sided controls for the selector switch, magazine release, charging handle, and bolt release.
The SIG MPX prioritizes reliability and safety above all else.
It uses a fully-closed and locked rotating bolt system, which ensures consistent and secure function. This feature will bring you peace of mind when you engage targets.
Additionally, the MPX has a short-stroke gas piston design that allows you to smoothly cycle through any 9mm ammunition, regardless of weight or brand.
3. Heckler & Koch (H&K) SP5 9mm Pistol - 10 Rd
It’s impossible not to mention Heckler & Koch SP5 pistol. By its design, it looks 99% the same as the famous MP5 submachine gun.
It’s made to deliver a true MP5 experience, but this time in a semiautomatic version.
SP5 is designed and manufactured to meet the requirements of a civilian pistol, but at the same time, it has a plethora of authentic features.
For example, SP5 has a Navy barrel with a threaded tri-lug adaptor, a paddle magazine release, and a fluted chamber.
Crafted at Heckler & Koch's Oberndorf factory in southwest Germany, the SP5 retains the critical elements of the MP5, ensuring precision and attention to detail.
The same factory, production lines, and skilled workforce that have been crafting MP5s for years now bring forth the SP5, guaranteeing an exceptional level of quality and craftsmanship.
4. Trailblazer Firearms Pivot Folding 9mm Rifle - Black
Pivot Folding rifle features a collapsible mechanism that sets it apart from the competition.
When folded, this compact marvel measures 20.9 inches in length which will make it easier for you to transport it and store.
Despite its compact size, Pivot Rifle has a 16” threaded barrel which will provide your rifle with accurate and controlled shoots.
Additionally, the extendable stock enhances stability and will provide you with a comfortable shooting experience, adapting to your preferences.
However, one of the features we like the most, and probably your will too is compatibility with Glock magazines as they are widely available on the market.
Safety is a top priority, and the Pivot Rifle includes multiple built-in safety parts which prevent firing when in the folded position.
Additionally, manual safety adds an extra layer of control, giving you the confidence to handle the rifle with precision.
5. Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF) Tombstone 9MM Lever Action Rifle - 16.5"
Chambered in 9mm, the Tombstone comes with POF USA’s trusted 20-round magazine.
If you’re looking for a more compact config, there is a 10-round magazine available too.
Tombstone is 36 inches in overall length, weighing a mere 5.75 pounds when unloaded making it a lightweight platform without compromising performance.
At the heart of the pistol is a 16.5-inch free-floating 4150 steel barrel, delivering great accuracy.
Alto, to further enhance versatility, the Tombstone has a 10.5-inch modular receiver rail featuring M-Lok slots at 3, 6, and 9 positions, as well as a 2-inch Picatinny rail at the 12 o’clock position.
This will allow you easy attachment of accessories, customization, and adaptability to various shooting styles.
Additionally, POF-USA's removable dual-port muzzle brake enhances control, reduces muzzle rise, and enables rapid follow-up shots.
6. GRAND POWER Stribog SP9A3 9mm Sub Pistol - 8"
The Stribog SP9 A3 continues the legacy of its predecessors by offering the same exceptional reliability that made it a favorite among gun enthusiasts.
In this case, it features a semi-locked bolt with delayed action via a transfer roller.
It also has a non-reciprocating charging handle remaining in the front position during firing which you’ll surely love.
Stribog SP9A3 shoots 9mm caliber rounds which means you won’t spend too much money as 9mm ammo is cheaper than rifle ammo.
With an overall length of 16.69 inches and a weight of 4.54 pounds, this gun is ultra-light and you will have lots of fun shooting with it.
The barrel is 8 inches long - it will provide you with a good balance between performance and ballistic performance.
Overall, the Stribog SP9 A3 continues the dedication to quality and innovation they are known.
7. Zenith Firearms ZF-5 9MM Pistol - 8.9"
The ZF-5 is a compact pistol chambered in 9mm caliber.
This one is designed to deliver precise and controlled firepower and is capable of both automatic and semi-automatic firing modes.
The ZF-5 is chambered with 9x19mm Parabellum, already very popular caliber.
As for the magazine, you can shoot without frequent reloads as the capacity is 30 rounds.
It’s also equipped with fixed hooded front sights and an adjustable rear sight with a 4-aperture rotary drum. This config allows you to adjust and adapt your gun to different shooting distances.
8. Kel-Tec P50 5.7x28mm Pistol
The Kel-Tec P50 is a new firearm chambered in 5.7x28 mm, offering a significant boost in velocity and increased capacity compared to other pistols in the same caliber.
It utilizes 50-round magazines from the FN PS90 carbine and features a full-length Picatinny rail on top for optic attachment, as well as a shorter rail on the bottom for a light or laser.
The pistol has a semi-automatic, delayed-blowback mechanism and a nearly 10-inch barrel threaded for a suppressor.
It has a unique loading process for its horizontally-oriented magazines.
Despite its bulkiness, the P50 offers advantages in terms of velocity, capacity, and light recoil, making it suitable for home defense purposes.
Overall, there are many benefits of owning pistol caliber carbine:
- They are typically lighter and easier to handle and maneuver;
- Have lower recoil compared to rifles;
- Compatible with handgun ammo;
- Highly versatile - can be used for various applications;
- Lower ammo cost;
- Lots of customization options.
Choose wisely, and enjoy the versatility and reliability of a pistol caliber carbine tailored to your requirements.