9mm vs .45...from 16" Carbine?


January 19, 2003, 11:55 AM
Are 9mm and .45 comparable from a 16" carbine?

What are the muzzle velocities of each? I never researched pistol-caliber carbines, so would appreciate any enlightenment.

If they are comparable, then I will go with whatever makes logistics easier.

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January 19, 2003, 12:59 PM
This subject is discussed a lot over at Ar15.com in the pistol caliber section.

Most folks who chronograph loads aren't seeing any significant gains in velocity from a carbine vs a full size handgun barrel. You are looking at 100fps velocity in general, although this may vary more or less depending on the load. You can expect more velocity for subgun designed loads such as the IMI and +P loaded cartridges. Pistol cartridges use relatively fast burning powder and usually within the first 10 inches of barrel you have pretty much pushed the bullet as fast as it will go.

So for comparison I would look at .45 velocites vs 9mm velocities plus approx 100 fps.

I personally prefer 9mm due to it being much more economical for me to shoot. The wife also handles the recoil very well and is deadly accurate with it. A .45 carbine isn't as comfortable for her, a major consideration since she's my backup when things go wrong.

Good SHooting

January 19, 2003, 01:58 PM

4" 9mm s/a pistol (S&B 115FMJ) 1175FPS
9mm Marlin Camp Carbine same ammo 1283FPS
My Reloads run about the same velocity as above

Although my Camp Carbine works well, I am disappointed in the velocity. I think I wasted my money and should have bought an M1 Carbine---------Chainsaw

January 19, 2003, 02:10 PM
4" 9mm s/a pistol (S&B 115FMJ) 1175FPS
9mm Marlin Camp Carbine same ammo 1283FPS
My Reloads run about the same velocity as above

I'd guess that the peak velocity would occur somewhere between the two, and that at 16", the powder has already been completely burnt for quite some time, and the friction of the barrel has actually slowed the bullet down. If you reload, you could try a slower powder, which may give you better results out of the longer barrel. Either that, or SBR the carbine, and keep lopping off the barrel in 1" increments until you find the peak performance ;).


January 19, 2003, 04:11 PM
IMO, the only real improvment pistol cal. carbines give you is easier accuracy.

I can punch out the center of a target at 50 yards all day long with my Camp Carbine. That's something I can't do with my CZ-75. The pistol can do it, but I can't.

January 19, 2003, 04:49 PM
From all of the info that I have seen, the pure ballistics aren't that much improved by the longer barrel. However, I have a Ruger PC9, and it shoots great. The big advantage is the more stable firing platform. I have an Uncle Mike's magazine carrier on the stock to allow for 2 more mags. The PC9 uses the same mags as my P95, which is another big plus to me.

I plan on mounting a light with a pressure switch on the carbine. The PC9 would be my gun of choice of all the guns that I have if the fan was it. I also plan on using it to help with my coyote problem.

January 19, 2003, 05:34 PM
Thing is they seem easy to shoot with, and would be a good alternative to a .22 for a training gun, and something useful WTSHTF.

They still fall way short of rifles, I'm sure?

January 19, 2003, 05:40 PM
I don't think that it would be fair to compare them to a true rifle round, but for the uses that I bought the PC9 for, I just don't hink that it can be beaten.

January 19, 2003, 05:53 PM
Caveat: I don't have a pistol caliber carbine, so this is my oppinion based on hearsay and experience.
I guess if you reload, and use a slower burning powder for your carbine loads, you can get the peak later, and can get a higher velocity.
But these loads wouldn't do much good in a pistol, exept make a big muzzle flame! And having a pistol caliberd carbine is to be able to share the ammo between the pistol and carbine, right?

January 19, 2003, 07:40 PM
I can't believe how light pistol cal carbines are. They seem like good bets for training arms.

Anyone have one for HD?

January 20, 2003, 01:25 AM
You may gain some velocity by going to a slower burning powder but the gains may be offset by a dirtier weapon. The problem is that most 9mm carbines utilize a straight blowback action. A slower burning powder may lead to more unburnt powder and residue being blown into the action. The slower burning powders also may not operate the heavy bolt and spring combination as briskly as needed for positive ejection and chambering.

Those little carbines are great fun and very easy to shoot with. A great weapon for those who need to make a precision shot sub 100 yard ranges.

Good Shooting

January 20, 2003, 02:53 AM
How do HydraShoks or Ranger SXTs perform from these? I'll probably use the same stuff as my handgun to keep logistics easy.

January 20, 2003, 10:50 AM

But what about a .357Mag?? From a 2" Snubbie, it's scary, from a rifle, it's very very deadly... The velocity is like night and day according to Winchester...

January 20, 2003, 12:12 PM
Then I'd have to stock a whole 'nother caliber :(

January 20, 2003, 12:31 PM
Anyone have one for HD? Yea, absolutely. My CZ-40 and Mossy 12ga are my primary HD weapons, but I've got the Camp 9 and a CZ-75 for backups.

I figure it may come in handy if I ever need to arm a friend (especially one that might not be so familiar with defensive arms).

It also might be a preferable alternative to the 12ga or one of the pistols for putting down a rabid or aggressive animal. I keep two mags of HPs on the buttstock, but one ten rounder of FMJ is also nearby along with another ten round mag full of 9mm snake shot as Rattlers and Copperheads are common in my area.

January 20, 2003, 12:37 PM
The Kel-Tec Sub2000 makes a great home defense carbine.

January 20, 2003, 02:22 PM
In my crummy apt. I think I'll take a pistol cal carbine over my M1A. At least I won't go down the block.

half elf
February 19, 2006, 07:32 PM
Has anyone chrono'ed the Augila IQ in 9mm both in pistol, and carbine yet?

February 19, 2006, 07:50 PM
FWIW, taken from user "BlammO" on ar15.com:



February 19, 2006, 08:02 PM
Handloading 9mm using Unique wich is one of the slower powders suitable for 9mm I gan gain about 150 fps in my Hi-Point carbine versus a Hi-power. it all has to do with the Bore case ratio. 357 and 44 magnum gain so much more from a rifle due to th fact that they have a much lower BC ratio, IE more expanding gasses pushing out the same sized hole.
Believe it or not 500 S&W magnum is closer to 9mm in this respect, My 500 handi rifle would only gain about 150 fps over handgun velocities

February 19, 2006, 08:03 PM

February 19, 2006, 08:05 PM

But what about a .357Mag?? From a 2" Snubbie, it's scary, from a rifle, it's very very deadly... The velocity is like night and day according to Winchester...

correct. 125gr Hi-Shock from my 16 1/2" Trapper compact is over 2000fps.:eek:

February 19, 2006, 08:29 PM
Several years ago, I posted my own personal chrono data on various pistol caliber carbines on this board. In the 9mm I started with a KelTec 9mm and went up to a Colt AR15 in 9mm with a 16" barrel. I won't post the link: I have done so many times over the years, but the data supports what has already been posted. No matter what bullet or powder you use, there is only a small increase in velocity when using a longer barrel. To me, it was interesting that you can get close to the same performance out of a very tiny 9mm handgun as you can a service sized handgun.

I can't think of anything I would actually use a 9mm carbine for, other than fun. I have other guns that do everything better than a 9mm carbine for defensive purposes. But, the 9mm carbines are a LOT of fun. If you lived in a state that permitted private ownership of NFA weapons, you could have a 9mm SBR. I have a Colt Lightweight Sporter (9mm AR15) that I registered as a short barreled rifle. I have two uppers for it (in addition to the factory 16" upper): one is a flat top with a 10 1/2" barrel with a KAC RASII rail system, Aimpoint ML2 in a LaRue mount and a Scully stock. The other upper is an LRM M169 suppressed upper ( http://www.lrmfirearms.com/pages/863787/index.htm ). These are a blast. The shorter barrels are no real compromise in 9mm. 9mm factory ammo is real cheap. I have a bunch of steel targets and I don't have to worry about damaging them with the 9mm. I handload 9mm and like most handgun rounds it is very simple to handload since you can use carbine dies and a progressive loader. I load all my own subsonic stuff. These carbines are also terriffic for stuff like night jackrabbit shooting since you can drive around off road and the tiny little carbine is easy to store and take in and out of the truck as well as easy to fire out the windows.
Right now (this may change in an hour), my 9mm carbine is my faviorite toy. Mine is sort of a clone of the Colt 9mm SMG: http://www.chucktaylorasaa.com/coltm635.html

Even though you only get a slight increase in velocity with the longer barrel, this would allow you to shoot a heavier bullet out of a carbine at the same velocity as a lighter bullet out of a handgun: for example you could shoot a 147 grain HP at the same velocity out of a carbine as you could shoot a 124 or maybe 115 out of a handgun. Heavier is always good if you don't lose any velocity in the process.

Getting further away from the original question: with revolver cartridges like the .357 and the .45 Colt, the difference between a handgun and a carbine is HUGE. And with these cartridges you can really get into using slower burning powders to optimize the cartridge for use in a carbine.

February 19, 2006, 08:34 PM
My understanding is that you get a bit more out of low pressure cartridges like .45 acp than you would out of high pressure cartridges.

IIRC, classic 230 gr hardball gets you 1050 out of an 18" carbine, compared to 850 out of 5". I seem to recall reading somewhere that 10, 11" was the optimum barrel length for .45 acp.

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