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Are Pistol Caliber Carbines relevant these days?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Panzercat, Mar 17, 2013.


Are pistol caliber carbines relevant?

Poll closed Apr 2, 2013.
  1. Yes; It's the right tool for the right job.

    234 vote(s)
  2. No; There's a better tool no matter what the job.

    49 vote(s)
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  1. Panzercat

    Panzercat Well-Known Member

    Well, are they? The last thread along these lines had varying opinions back and forth concerning their place in the world of modern firearms, varying from cheap and efficient to being vastly outclassed by rifle caliber carbines, such as the 5.56. Is the pistol caliber carbine a dead end? Does it have a place in your world? Autoloaders? Leverguns?

    The floor is yours.

    *This thread is here and not there per mod preference.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  2. Revoliver

    Revoliver Well-Known Member

    I believe they have a place in the world. I like the ability to consolidate ammo down to one type for multiple guns and for some rounds such as the .357mag (or .44 mag) a longer barrel from the carbine provides much greater performance from the round. These are reasons why I got a 77/357 in addition to my GP100.
  3. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    Similar to above, except I got a 77/44 to go with my .44 Super Blackhawk.
  4. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    I have also found that a 9mm AR recoils less than a 5.56mm AR...but not by much

    For stepping a new shooter up from a .22, it is a good stepping stone, and it is just fun :D

    As far as defensive use? I would prefer to have a carbine length 5.56x45mm AR than a PCC.
  5. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    They are not useless, but there's always something that does "it" better.

    The only advantage is ammo consolidation. Outside of that, it's hard to justify not going with a rifle cartridge.

    I won't be giving my 9mm PCC up, though. :)
  6. flipajig

    flipajig Well-Known Member

    There will always be a better tool for the job. But when you start talking ballistics a 240 grain cast SWC running 1600 fps is something to recon with. Same thing with a 357 mag a 158 grain SWC running at 1800 fps. You also take a 9 mm 125 grain RNFP at 1300 fps anything inside 100 yds I wouldn't want to mess with it.
  7. MrCleanOK

    MrCleanOK Well-Known Member

    In addition to ammo consolidation, some states have hunting laws that make pistol caliber carbines desireable. Indiana is one of them.
  8. Auto426

    Auto426 Well-Known Member

    I think they still have their place in the world. Some like the idea of having a long gun and handgun that share the same ammo and in some cases the same magazines. However an AR is about the same size and weight as most of the more modern PCC's but with much better ballistics and a much wider variety of parts of an accessories. For must uses, the AR makes more sense, but that doesn't make PCC's useless.
  9. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    They have their use, but short rifles have overtaken them for most.
    I think the purposes would still be more obvious for an LEO or military standpoint.
    If you want something with a suppressor on it, well, 5.56x45 and 7.62x39 or x51 are suddenly a lot less effective when you crank them down subsonic. Suddenly that 147gr 9mm is looking pretty good again.
  10. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    They have a place, that is clear by the fact that a lot of them are still made and sold. The question might be asked, what is their place.

    For law enforcement/Military/defensive use sub guns have been on the decline for a reason. Small light carbines in rifle calibers have made significant inroads. PDW class weapons have taken over in some places where sub guns were used. However, Sig designed and produced the MPX with a belief there is still a market for a gun using pistol calibers.

    For the 30 cal guns it is going to largely be an issue of bullet construction. Traditionally 30 cal bullets have not been designed to function at sub sonic velocities. However, with the popularity of the 300 BLK that is starting to change. As more bullets are designed to perform at subsonic speeds the 300 blk and others will really outshine the 147 grain 9x19s. Up until very recently I have argued for any use where terminal ballistics matters that the 9x19 is perhaps a better choice. That is starting to change.

    As mentioned they make sense for hunting where restrictions limit you. That said I'd take a 458 SOCOM in IN please. It meets the legal requirements there.

    Some of them have a place in some forms of competition shooting such as cowboy action shooting.

    Mostly I think PCC make sense as fun guns. That is why I have mine and why I am likely to buy any others in the future. I could use them for defensive use, or hunting, but I have rifles that better serve those roles.
  11. PabloJ

    PabloJ Well-Known Member

    A carabine chambered for handgun cartridge makes very little sense. I found nice semi-auto 7,62x35mm, but can't buy it because I can find no ammo for it. That brings tears to my eyes as with 200+gr slugs it could replace my shotgun for HD duties.
  12. Jason_W

    Jason_W Well-Known Member

    From a handloader's perspective, pistol cal carbines make a lot of sense. Straight-walled rounds are a lot faster and easier to load than bottleneck cases. Pistol rounds also typically eat a lot less powder than even the .223.

    Additionally, for pistol cal leverguns, I can save even more money by casting my own bullets. I'm pretty sure that home cast bullets could also be employed in a semi-auto pistol cal carbine as long as what a simple blowback operated system. I could be wrong on that last part.
  13. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Well-Known Member

    Simply stated if it is what you like then it is relevant.
  14. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    Oh, yes. Given the opportunity and end purpose to work toward, .300 Blackout would be great. .458 built toward it, .50 if space isn't a concern. De-neck a .308 into a heavy 10mm or something, would make a heck of a great subsonic round. I'd buy one if it took common mags.

    But for price and logistics, it would just be a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to retool to top some 9mm with a 147gr bullet or the like versus stocking an entire new cartridge.

    I would still totally buy a carbine in 10mm or a blown-out .308, though.
  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Versatility is my love of the .357 magnum caliber carbine. To 100 yards it's a light .30-30 and, with the switch of a load and an elevation setting, it is a squirrel gun to 50 yards. I originally bought my Rossi 92 25 years ago because I was heavily in to reloading .38 and .357 and wanted a rifle to shoot them. I've since discovered how useful the gun can really be. It's sorta like the dual sport motorcycle. Your gold wing can't ride off road, but your KLR Kawasaki can and, while it's no gold wing, you can ride it to Alaska and back. It's not a CRF450F off road and it's not a gold wing on a trip, but it CAN do both.

  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    BTW, I don't own nor do I want an AR. No zombies on my land and my .308 Remington M7 or my old Remington 722 short action in .257 roberts or my Savage in 7mm remington magnum is a better hunting rifle. Frankly, my Rossi 92 is preferable for its handling characteristic and I'd rather use .357 magnum on deer than .223 to 100 yards, more bullet and no need for some magic controlled expansion bullet. a heavy SWC cast in my shop does the trick. :D

    True that, and I've been handloading for 50 years. Progressives can crank out the rounds and straight walled pistol cases work so much better when you can use a carbide sizer die, don't have to lube cases or trim cases. I cast a very accurate 105 SWC in .358" that I push to 900 fps with a very economical 2.3 grains of B'Eye, very economical plinker when it's hard to find .22LR on the shelves ANYwhere. I push a 165 grain gas checked Keith style SWC to nearly 1900 fps with Lil' Gun, pretty impressive and has impressed the heck out of a deer and a few hogs over the years. :D I think of it as a slightly downloaded .35 Remington. All this from the same rifle.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  17. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Well-Known Member

    You take something like the Underwood +P+ loading of the 147gr Gold Dot - that's going to put a 12" deep .75" diameter hole in someone.

    I think that's better than 5.56 IMO.

    The other advantage that IMO a 9mm or 45 ACP carbine has over a rifle cartridge is that the bullet is going to drop off substantially after 100 yards and a rifle bullet is going to keep zipping along - something I thought about when the NYPD unleased 84 bullets ata suspect and only hit him 14 times (and he lived)


    So sometimes, in certain situations the PCC carbine is the better tool for the job.
  18. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    FOR ME, there is not a single job I would do with a pistol-caliber carbine that I wouldn't rather use a 5.56 for.

    If you want to have one for fun, whatever, but anything I am actually trying to STOP, I don't want to use a pistol cartridge for it if I don't have to. Old lever guns in .357 and .44 are more overlapping into that range.
  19. JustinJ

    JustinJ Well-Known Member

    Less sound and flash is definitely advantageous for home defense.

    For stealth military applications pistol caliber carbines have a huge advantage over 5.56 when suppressed.
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    If you want a deadly SERIOUS NEW lever gun in a pistol round, this one would even make sense in brown bear country. It even comes in a stainless version for rough climates. .454 Casull is a serious revolver round making around 1800 ft lbs out of a 7" barrel. It makes a lot more out of a rifle, rivals the .45-70, I mean, if it's POWER you want. .223 is a great prairie dog round, but I'd rather have a .220 swift. I sure wouldn't wanna PO a bear with one. :rolleyes:


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