Reasonably priced pistol caliber carbine suggestions


March 24, 2003, 08:18 AM
I'm thinking about getting a pistol caliber carbine, mostly for 3-gun matches.. My other option (don't laugh) would be a marlin level action .357.. cause I think it'd be fun to shoot 3-gun with a lever action "carbine"..

So, what other options are there in the inexpensive category, I've been thinking about a hi-point.. but just the other day at a plate shoot I was partnered with a guy shooting a borrowed hi-point, it jammed up and I had to take down 28 of the 31 plates with my revolver..lucky for me I was on a roll ;-)

Oh, and I don't have any semi-auto suitable for a carbine upper, so that's not an option really... Just wondering what else it out there.

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March 24, 2003, 08:24 AM
Check out the new Beretta CX4; it takes the same mags as the 92/96 and Cougar pistols, and it's supposed to sell for the same price as one of their handguns. I saw these at this year's SHOT show, and I think they'll be a hit.

March 24, 2003, 08:43 AM
Hmm, does that mean 'full-cap' magazines are available?

And it doesn't look like it's available yet... or at least not on the web-site..or I couldn't find it ;-)

Felonious Monk
March 24, 2003, 09:40 AM
Kel-Tec Sub2000.
9mm or 40.
Choose from models that accept Glock, S&W, or Beretta mags.
And, it folds to 16".

Lots of positive press.

March 24, 2003, 10:11 AM
Here's a link to that Storm; the one I handled was very comfortable.

March 24, 2003, 10:27 AM
CX4 Storm - Still due out in May/June (according to the e-mail I received just this morning from Beretta USA). Price should be @$600-ish. From the looks, it threatens to be a near perfect pistol caliber carbine. I'll be buying one, if for no other reason, it's the only true "lefty friendly" PCC out there.

Kel-Tec Sub2000 - Available now. Price @ $300 + or -. See for all sorts of opinions, mostly positive.

Ruger PC9 - Eh. @$450-ish. A very standard looking rifle that fires pistol ammo and uses Ruger or Glock mags (with conversion).

Building your own 9mm AR. @$650-ish, for the base rifle, plus any accessories you might want. I was doing much research on this myself before the CX4 came along.
Here's my research in a nutshell. Of course, my rifle came out to $915, but that's my "end product" rifle with left-handed accessories, a different stock, and an ARMS #40. You might still be able to find cheaper parts elsewhere to shave off a few more $$$. It's an Excel file, and if you delete or add new accessories, the price will update accordingly.

It's also seperated into "upper" and "lower" parts in case you wanted to do a "home layaway". And since the upper is purchased as a "complete" unit, there are no special tools required to build this rifle. Only the lower need be assembled at home.

March 24, 2003, 10:39 AM
Well, that's prices it outta the reasonable range (for me). I wouldn't get enough use out of it to justify $600 ish..

I could probably get away with $300 ish, but any more and I might as well buy my wife a new Kahr K9 (which she's really wants)... cause last gun purchase was mine ;-)

3 gun
March 24, 2003, 11:54 AM
I wouldn't bail on a Hi Point carbine just because of that. It could have been a bad mag, a bad round or even op error. I know a couple of guys who like their carbines. Plus with just a little luck you can find them lightly used for under $100. The lever action while being cool and fun wouldn't work very well. Round counts in 3 gun shoots often run 20 or more. The reloads would kill any chance of posting a good score. The 357mag would be better at range than the 9mm but not enough to even come close to offsetting the downside. The best bet for the money is still a Hi Point carbine. IMHO.

March 24, 2003, 12:22 PM
Yeah, I'm still leaning in the hi-point direction. As far as the lever action, I wouldn't get much in the way of time-points.. but I think it has far more cool points ;-).

Besides, I compete against myself in IDPA and nobody else.. so the overall time wouldn't be an issue.. But them .357 marlin lever guns are pretty expensive too.. ;-)

March 24, 2003, 12:27 PM
I've got a lightly used Ruger PC-9 I might be willing to part with. Lemmee know if interested.

March 24, 2003, 12:31 PM
How about the Marlin Camp Carbine ? Nice little package and in 45 cal or 9mm.

March 24, 2003, 12:54 PM
If you're a 1911 shooter, consider the Mech-Tech carbine conversion unit, with 16" match barrel & rather minimal stock. It takes the 1911 frame & magazines - assembly is fast. The carbine is VERY accurate and price is a bit over $300. Dillon sells it, and they have a web site, too. Oh, I didn't mention, the CCU is a LOT of fun to shoot, and just the thing to take to the range if you're lonesome. Lots of people will come over & talk with you...


March 24, 2003, 01:55 PM
No experience with the High Point but KelTec, Ruger and Marlin.

If it were me and my money, I'd go for the KelTec in 9mm with either S&W or Beretta mags. Lot's of reliable firepower for little cash outlay plus the fold-it-up factor... if that's a factor for you.

March 24, 2003, 01:59 PM
I'll second the Sub2K, it's a hoot to shoot. :D

March 24, 2003, 02:40 PM
How about an M1 Carbine?

Sven's Winchester M1 Pictures (

March 24, 2003, 03:22 PM
Now there's something that totally slipped my mind.. how's the market for M1 carbines.. and what about ammo availability (I'd hate to reload for that, cause It'd be so much fun to shoot).

Hmm, hi-cap magazines..I'd think there would be tons.. how about folding stocks..hehe.. that could be mucho fun.

Gerald McDonald
March 24, 2003, 07:22 PM
Try to find a cowboy action shoot before you decide on a lever. If you are willing to practice you can leave'em with their mouths hangin open. I went to a cowboy shoot and left with a lot of respect for those guys. There are a lot of them who can really nail it.

March 24, 2003, 08:08 PM
M1 Carbine ammo is cheap... has S&B ball at $8.25 per 50 rounds. For defensive/hunting you will want hollow soft points... Wideners is currently sold out but usually stocks Soft Point at $12.50 per 50.

Mags run $10-35 for 15 or 30 rounders. I hear that 15 rounders are more reliable, and they also allow you to lie prone with the weapon.

Accuracy averages between 3-5 MOA, but there's more than enough to give 'hell to a beer can at 50 yards' with iron sights.

Now that I have your attention, check out my thread here on THR regarding putting a red dot optic on an M1 Carbine ( and let me know your thoughts.


March 25, 2003, 12:28 AM
I'll give the Hi-Point another vote, I just shot mine today for the first time and had no problems after 375 rounds. For the price, I'm impressed.

March 25, 2003, 01:19 AM
I like my hipoint... its a pain in the *** to take down, and mine has issues w/HPs. but w/ FMJ its never had one problem. I am working on getting a new sighting system or something of the sort for it... it holds a decent group as well. not bad for $92!

HEres a pic, I did a stock refinish on it as well. my re-done 10/22 is also in the pic.


March 25, 2003, 02:31 AM
I walked in your mocassins!
I bought a 357 mag Marlin and I loved it -- still do. I bought an M1 Carbine because of the round count in 3 gun matches and because I always wanted one. The M1 was an IAI, priced at $399. The IAI was defective and was returned. The repair was defective and also returned. After about three months, I complained and IAI sent me a new gun. I went up to the store and examined it today. It was defective. They offered me a choice of any IAI carbine they had in the store. I checked all four. Three were defective and the fourth was UGLY. I took the ugly one with a miserable birch stock. I shot the last three gun with my Marlin because the IAI wasn't working. Got applause on the first stage, which had a ten round COF. The second stage had a twenty round COF -- no applause but they weren't laughing either. Buy a USGI 30 M1or a PC9.
Good Luck

March 25, 2003, 08:08 AM
I wonder if I could make a new stock for the Hi-point...folding of course, now that'd be interesting.

March 25, 2003, 09:23 AM
my vote's for a Ruger PC9 with the ghost ring sights.

personally i wish they'd make a .45 version, but then again even if they did, others would complain that since that the unconverted ones only use the standard ruger mags it wouldn't hold a full 10 rounds (don't know if there is a glock 10 rounder .45 out there or not).

March 25, 2003, 04:34 PM
personally i wish they'd make a .45 version, but then again even if they did, others would complain that since that the unconverted ones only use the standard ruger mags it wouldn't hold a full 10 rounds (don't know if there is a glock 10 rounder .45 out there or not).

Promag ( makes one... At $24.50, you could buy one and play with it to see if it's a keeper or yet another ProMag loser.


I think it was a huge mistake that (although incredibly expensive) HK didn't make the USC take USP mags, rather than coming up with a completely new, proprietary 10 round mag.

Beretta is making a similar mistake IMHO. They are making a new 10 round mag to function in the .45 caliber CX4 Storm, when they should use an existing platform like the Glock, HK, or even Grease Gun mags. Beretta couldn't MAKE enough of those things if they packed 30 rounds of .45 in the US!

March 26, 2003, 08:48 PM
I recently (a week last Sunday) bought a Hi Point. I figured it was getting good buzz here and on TFL (when it was active) and was quite cheap so it would be hard to go wrong. For my purposes, a cheap but fun gun, it is fine. However, I have had a few reliability issues (though it is still in break-in, only 150 rounds, so I'm not willing to say for sure that it is unreliable).

Mostly there are mag issues. The spring doesn't seem to be very good. The rounds aren't always at the right angle to feed. I'm thinking about seeing if Wolff sells replacement springs to see if new springs help (hey, it can't hurt and they're cheap). Usually that only affects the first round (if they aren't seated in the mag right they won't feed initially) but I have had one failure to feed mid mag as well. Usually, if I'm very careful about inserting the rounds and bang the mag against something hard (like I was taught to do against my helmet back in basic training) to be sure the rounds are positioned correctly it is usually OK.

Still, it is a very fun gun at a very low price so it may be worth a try. Heck, the thing is so ugly I like it for that alone. In the two times I've been to the range with the Hi-Point I've probably had more comments and curious shooters than with any other gun I own.

March 27, 2003, 08:48 AM
I wonder if some other mag could be modified to work with the hi-point.. It sounds like a fun gun to tweak with ;-)

March 27, 2003, 10:35 AM
I wonder if some other mag could be modified to work with the hi-point..
Someone should post some really close-up pics for the experts here to look over and see if there are any visual similarities to other available mags.

Is it a double feed (AR type) or single feed (pistol type) mag?

Also, I forgot one...

The Mac 11 Carbine ( :D

Tropical Z
March 27, 2003, 10:40 AM
We Hi-Point fans have been hoping that Hi-Point will adapt their carbine to take Uzi or Sten mags,but so far our pleas have fallen upon deaf ears.:confused:

March 27, 2003, 12:52 PM
Hmm, mac-11.. question is..what's one cost? Sure looks like fun, and they've got a 'carbine' setup..hmm..

March 27, 2003, 02:34 PM
This one ('s $279... More than a hi-point, but still inexpensive (in my book). 30 round mags are available, and they're cheap.

With the company I showed you in the first link, you could upgrade your carbine as you went along. Side cocker, full length scope mount, .45 conversion, etc...

March 27, 2003, 03:04 PM
And 0 bids no less...I'll have to keep my eye out for that....hmm... Why not just use a sten? ;-)

March 29, 2003, 10:02 AM
So, I'm going out to do some shopping soon.. Where do I find information about the Ruger PC9 glock mag conversion? I'm thinking that magazine availability (quality magazines) may be an issue with the hi-point, and I'm presuming I could get normal capacity magazines for the glock conversion..

March 29, 2003, 01:02 PM
my hi-point works very well with no malfunctions at all......but, Wilson also makes a carbine conversion kit to use with a 1911 frame, cost is $340, but, from the looks of it, worth every penny...go to the Wilson website and take a look...........

March 30, 2003, 08:37 AM
I don't own a 1911 (yeah, I know, shame on me) so that's not in the picture.... Thanks for the report on the working hi-point though ;-). I would like to be able to get regular-cap magazines though.

Mr. Purple
March 30, 2003, 10:39 AM
If you like revolvers, the Winchester or Marlin lever actions are great companions. Well built, accurate and sufficient firepower for most encounters. Very PC out in public or in front of a jury (hope it never comes to that).

Although not perceived as being as cool as the AR 9mm or some of the others both are very functional. Every now and then I'm tempted to get one but don't really have any use for it. The ones I shot were a lot of fun.

March 30, 2003, 12:23 PM
It sure would seem appropriate using a lever gun for 3-gun along with the revolver ;-).. Maybe a side-by-side shotgun... Weee!

March 30, 2003, 01:39 PM
i just boght a Sub 2000 9mm. only had a chance to shoot 100 round sos far, but its great for $289! its a kick in the pants to shoot and the folding feature makes it super handy. seems to be pretty darn accurate too. more so than this shooter anyway. i got the Glock mag version. keeping an eye out for some hi caps for it.


March 31, 2003, 07:10 AM
How many different 'mag' versions of the sub-2000 do they make? I'd presume the Glock version would give you better odds of finding hi-caps?

March 31, 2003, 10:41 AM
The Kel Tec site is currently down, so I can't verify, but going from memory...

In 9mm, Kel-Tec makes

Glock 17
Glock 19 (of course, 17's fit too)
S&W 59 (same as Kel Tec P11, I believe)
Beretta 92

In .40, I believe there's just the Glock 22 so far.

If you don't already have one of the pistols, I believe Glock is the best bet for finding full capacity mags. And the closest thing to "reliable" 32 round mags are available for the Glock as well. What better reason to justify buying a Glock 17 than "But honey, they take the same mags!" :D

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