Pistol Caliber Carbine: What are my options?


December 5, 2006, 10:31 PM
I'm looking for a pistol caliber carbine. What are my options? I'd like to avoid those weird kits that attach to Glocks or 1911 receivers. I want something reliable.

Beretta CX4 Storm series
9mm AR's
Walther G22

There's gotta be some others, can I get some suggestions?

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December 5, 2006, 10:42 PM
Kel Tec Sub 2000

December 5, 2006, 10:47 PM
Well, off the top of my head, you also have the Ruger PC-series, the discontinued Marlin Camp series, and the ever controversial HiPoints. I guess it just depends on how much you want to spend. Oh yeah, there's also the KelTec Sub-series. The KelTec 9mm that takes Glock mags seems interesting as you can use the 33-round G18 mags.


December 5, 2006, 10:47 PM
I'd highly recommend you have real rifle caliber rifles beforehand...

Because a pistol caliber carbine is more of a plinker than a real defensive rifle, unless it's been SBR'ed.

If you already own an AR-15, i'd just buy a 9mm upper for it.

Otherwise, the Storm and the Ruger PC9's look good.

December 5, 2006, 10:50 PM
I like my Storm. FWIW, I bought it from an LEO who told me he preferred the Storm to the MP5 in semi-auto. Beretta mags are relatively cheap and plentiful.

December 5, 2006, 10:53 PM
I have 2 ARs already, but need something in a pistol caliber due to range/match restrictions.

keep the suggestions coming!

December 5, 2006, 10:55 PM
Yeah, then I'd get an AR-15 upper chambered in 9mm then!

December 5, 2006, 11:09 PM
I'll just have to disagree on an AR in 9mm. I've got three AR's currently, .223, 6x45, and .50 Beowulf. But for inside the house, or to carry unobtrusively:


Keltec Sub2000, Glock 17 magwell, folded with 4 - 33 round mags it makes a nice little package that fits in a standard briefcase. It's also much lighter and handier to carry than an AR.

December 5, 2006, 11:14 PM
Another vote for the Ruger PC series.

screamin eagle
December 5, 2006, 11:25 PM
Don't forget the thompson w/50rd. drum:D

December 5, 2006, 11:33 PM
Ruger semi-auto deerfield .44 mag cabine and a desert eagle .44 mag... hhmmm?

December 5, 2006, 11:55 PM
lever in .357 if your not stuck on the semis. Go to about 100 yards (I hear) and a proven man stopper. Cheap to shoot in the 38 variety.


December 6, 2006, 12:12 AM
I have 2 ARs already, but need something in a pistol caliber due to range/match restrictions.

Yay! Maybe that statement will keep the pistol caliber carbine haters out of the thread.

I've run 500+ rounds of the nastiest Brown Bear ammo through a Ruger PC9, along with Winchester Ranger +P+ (factory approved), several different types of hollowpoints, and have not had a FTF/FTE. This is all without cleaning it.

The Ruger is heavier than some of the other offerings, but it's also sturdier (IMO). It's not tactical, it won't fold into a briefcase for easy storage, it won't take Glock 33 round magazines, and the trigger is not match.

It is consistently accurate out to the effective range of the cartridge. It is fairly compact for a fixed stock weapon. It takes Ruger P-series magazines, and with the factory or Mecgar versions is very reliable. Weigand makes a rail for it that mates with the Ruger ring mounts and has held up well for me.

If you've got the money, you might be better with the 9mm upper the others have suggested.


Deer Hunter
December 6, 2006, 12:16 AM
I'd own one, if it was chambered in 7.62x25mm.

December 6, 2006, 12:21 AM
I use an M-1 carbine.

The cartridge isn't exactly a rifle cartridge, but I can only think of three pistols off the top of my head that shoot it. I THINK, it is the ideal HD caliber, and it's compact enough for my wife to be comfortable with it.

But I will also admit, if I hadn't inherited it, I probably wouldn't have gotten around to getting one. An Inland in good shape is going for about $6-700.

December 6, 2006, 12:38 AM
I'd get a 9mm upper for the AR you already have and just go that route.

December 6, 2006, 02:07 AM
what I don't like about the 9mm uppers is the fact that it's not a plug and play solution. The positive is that it has the same manual of arms as the 223.

I don't like the look of the Ruger, so I guess that leaves me with either the Beretta or a lever rifle. Thanks for the help everybody!

December 6, 2006, 02:51 AM
I'll second mljdeckard by suggesting the svelte 'n petite M1 carbine to be included in your list of options.

The obvious advantages include ballistics closer to that of a rifle than a handgun while similar in size, weight and recoil to your typical handgun-cartridge-chambered carbines.

Though spitting smaller 110gr .30 caliber slugs, the significantly superior velocity over pistol-cartridge-chambered carbines allows the performance of a .30 carbine JSP to prove just as effective a man-stopper, if not vastly more so.

BTW, the negative reputation accusing the demure .30 Carbine of being a mediocre performer in the field is largely exaggerated.

Surely such contemptible disregard towards the M1 carbine's ballistics could only be justified if compared against the performance of other long guns. In reality, the carbine's ballistic attributes only dim when pitted against full-power rifle cartridges such as the M1 Garand's powerful .30-06. This ballistic gap closes within spitting distance when compared to intermediate rifle cartridges, such as the AR-15's frequently lauded 5.56x45.

Bottom line, a tiny light-weight carbine that pushes a 110gr FMJ, JSP or JHP to 2000 FPS, developing half a ton of energy at the muzzle, all with recoil similar to carbines chambered in .40S&W or .45acp-chambered carbine is all the convincing I need. Though the ample surplus of cheap 15 and 30 round magazines doesn't hurt any.

Also, if you haven't yet had the opportunity to fire the uber reliable M1 carbine, I'm certain you'll be pleasantly surprised by the carbine's inherent accuracy. The M1 carbine is just at home popping cans and woodchucks at 100+ yards as it is at tearing through assailants and enemy combatants at melee ranges

Having suggested this carbine, it might be a good idea to suggest one from Kahr Arms (or comparatively high quality modern offering) or a GI survivor while avoiding the lesser quality Universals.

This leads me to the only caveat regarding the "Warbaby": you likely won't get it on the cheap. Expect to spend anywhere from $400 to $700 for a nice one. Universals can usually be had for as little as $250. Though typically functional and accurate, they're best avoided, IMO.

To replace the Universal M1 I previously sold, I purchased a newly manufactured Kahr Arms M1 A1 carbine for $645 off AuctionArms.com.

Every time I handle my walnut Kahr M1 carbine (with WWII flat bolt and walnut handguard), I'm quite glad I spent the extra dough for the added quality!

Good luck with your quest. ;)

December 6, 2006, 04:00 AM
m1 carbine has my vote. battle proven reliability and as long as you dont expect it to handle the same tasks as a rifle then your set. as far as pistol caliber carbines go its king in my book.

December 6, 2006, 04:12 AM
I would also suggest the 30 M1 carbine from Kahr. The new CorBon DPX load brings this carbine right up to modern standards. The cheaper Remchester hollowpoints penetrate about 16 to 18" and expand to about .57/.65 caliber.
The Ruger 9MM/40 is also a great option these are super reliable. Reliability trumps all other concerns when it comes to home defense. You can also practicw on an indoor range with a pistol caliber carbine - an important consideration if you live in an urban area or a bad climate.

December 6, 2006, 05:11 AM
what I don't like about the 9mm uppers is the fact that it's not a plug and play solution. The positive is that it has the same manual of arms as the 223.

I'm not totally sure what you mean by plug and play (i assume you mean easily swap-able to a standard lower)

Well it can be, If you don't care about a last round BHO (the BHO w/ the 9mm bolt is iffy at best anyway)

if you go w/ a OLY setup, all you need is their complete upper and converted sten mags

if you go w/ a colt style setup you need a complete upper, and a VM hy-tech mag block (uses un-modified uzi mags) you also want a ramped bolt OR a DPMS style hammer to be able to swap 5.56 and 9mm uppers

either setup should be used w/ a 9mm or H3 buffer (compatable w/ 5.56 as well)

I have a RRA (colt style) setup w/ converted uzi mags and it runs flawless

December 6, 2006, 05:59 AM
I have a HiPoint

Its cheap......its somewhat crude

But it goes bang and its made in the USA

Its also been reliable

There is no whiz bang features, they kept it simple....but simple works

If it doesnt work they have great customer service

Not saying its THE 9mm carbine to own, but its an option

An option that costs less than a case of most calibers of ammunition

Heres mine with an ATI stock and red dot optical mounted

Its quite accurate and a hoot to shoot

Your welcome to come try it out


December 6, 2006, 09:06 AM
My .02, if your not going with the AR upper

M1 carbines are nice but expensive if you go new. I kind of like the historic significance of the M1, but I never got around to buying one.

Berretta Storm, Nice Carbine, very accurate for 9mm carbine. If you have and 92f pistol, its a good match.

Kel Tec sub 2000. Neat gun, kind of weird to shoot, since the charging handle is under the stock (Pam Anderson or large chested females might get whacked when the action cycles :eek: ). Kind of cheap (a lot of plastic) but effective, and the folding option makes it very storeable and stowable. Still if you have a Glock definately a good match. This one may be an X-mas present to myself.

Hi-Point....well if your really on a tight budget. Actually it a good carbine for the money (less than $200) but is comes with a stigma attached. I would recommend the Storm knock off stock to hide your shame from the gun snobs. I like the look of arronkelly's hi-point above, the original stock looks ugly.

Marlin Camp 9 or 45. Nice carbines that are no longer produced.

Ruger PC9...I actually think these are ugly, as bad if not worse as the Hi Point, but they are rock solid and heavy. If your going to abuse your carbine, this is the one to get. Also compatable with some 9mm Ruger pistols.

December 6, 2006, 09:13 AM
Does anybody have a Mech Tec CCU for either a 1911 or a Glock? I am interested in feed back on performance.

December 6, 2006, 09:42 AM
I would chime in and say that if you want a reliable pistol caliber carbine you can do a whole lot worse than a lever action. The Marlin 1894 series, the Rossi 1892's etc.

I have an 1894C in .357 and a Rossi 1892 in .45 Colt. Both are reliable, accurate, and tons of fun.

Keith Wheeler
December 6, 2006, 09:59 AM

Tough, simple, reliable. A bit heavier than all the new civie pistol cal carbines, but there's so much you can do with it. Easy to change caliber -- 9mm, .22, .45, .40, .41AE, easy to change barrels. Lots of parts, web gear, bayonets, history. Tons of excellent quality military magazines on the market. More accessories than you'd care to think of. Folding stocks, fixed wood, suppressors, scope mounts, side cocking top covers...probably second in the accessory dept only to the AR family.

If you ever want to spend the big bucks, there are still some registered bolts out there. And if you don't want to spend the big bucks but still want the SMG look, it takes much longer to deal with the paper work for an SBR than changing the barrel.

An original IMI will run $1200 or so, Vectors and Norincos $600 or $700. Not cheap, but then I don't see the civilian designs being the investment that an Uzi can be. Of course that depends on how you view your firearms.

We've got three, my wife has a Mini Uzi carbine (which really looks stupid with the extra long barrel, can't wait 'til the form 1 comes back on that one). I've got a Vector full size carbine and a Norinco (chinese made copy that can use standard parts). They're great guns.

That said if I was starting from scratch, I'd look really hard at a 9mm AR.

I've also got an M1 Carbine, a Saginaw (the first center fire rifle I ever shot). It's a great gun, nothing exemplifies the colloquial "sweet shooting" better than a .30 Carbine. Light, handy, classic lines, reliable, wonderful....but for whatever reason, I just don't shoot it as often. I shoot the Uzis much more, but then maybe that's just because it's easier to carry one flavor of ammo for rifle and pistol.

December 6, 2006, 05:40 PM
+1 on the leverguns, 44 mag or 357 mag. If they Still made the Camp 9 or 45 I think they would be fun to shoot as well as effective around the house type guns. The camp 45 took 1911 mags so a 1911 and a Camp 45 would be a nice combo to have. Too bad the Camp 9 took a S&W mag and not a Browning Hi-Power mag. would make them real attractive as well.
If I had to choose though I would go with the levers.

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