null Skip to main content
Are Pistol Caliber Carbines Practical or Practically Useless?

Are Pistol Caliber Carbines Practical or Practically Useless?

Posted by Warrior Poet Society on Jun 2nd 2022

John and Paul talk (and shoot) through some of the pros and cons of Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCC). Shooting pistol caliber rounds from a rifle platform has certain potential positives and some distinct disadvantages that are worth considering as you think through what's in your gun safe and personal defense arsenal.

There's a lot of gear and weapons in our world (the world of firearms training and preparedness) that could work in a pinch but that is questionable in the overall scope of your skill set(s) as a protector and provider. Being able to use a .45 caliber or 9mm round in a rifle platform kind of rides the line between. Here's why…

The Pros of Pistol Caliber Carbines

Long(ish) Range Accuracy. The rounds designed for pistols were not designed to travel at high velocity for long distances. Rather, the pistol rounds are much heavier and were designed to neutralize aggressors at short range. Of course, in a specially designed carbine, the sheer length of the rifle barrel is going to add to the accuracy of your shots. The question there, though, is why not just use a rifle round inside an actual carbine?

Abundance of Ammo. Pistol rounds such as 9mm and .45 caliber are available in greater abundance and at cheaper prices than 5.56 or 300 blackout rounds. So, if you wanted to stockpile a bunch of pistol rounds and use them on different platforms, then perhaps keeping some PPCs in your arsenal could be useful down the road. The PPCs will add some yards to your stopping power, perhaps.

Good Training for New Shooters. Of course we're always looking for new ways to introduce people to rifle shooting, and PPCs could provide some advantages for younger shooters who aren't quite accustomed to the explosion of rifle rounds. The pistol rounds in the PPC could provide a more new user-friendly starting points for these younger learners. (Though why not simply get them accustomed to the real thing?)

Cons of Pistol Caliber Carbines

Why would you want a pistol round in a carbine? Pistols and rifles were designed for different tactical applications. Would you bring a knife to a gunfight? (Well, you might as a backup, of course.) As mentioned before, there are some very specific applications in which this might be useful, but in the real world and in a real gun safe, this would mostly be considered a novelty item.

Short range effectiveness. The stopping power of a 5.56 round from an AR-15 (3,250 ft/s) at 300 yards is pretty convincing when you compare it to a 9mm (1,500 ft/s) traveling the same distance and whining in the backseat about how far the car ride is and how hot that rear-facing seat is in the station wagon.

Diminished accuracy. Because of slower muzzle velocity and range, the accuracy of a pistol projectile is also going to drop off steeply. Again, these rounds were designed to inflict maximum stopping damage against someone charging you or attacking you in an alleyway or living room.

While these guns PCCs are certainly deadly and can pack a real punch at shorter range, they're a lot less "killy" at longer range. Their practicality is questionable when compared with so many other options available. 

Again. If you have an empty space in your gun safe and simply can't find another tool to fill it, the PCC will run your abundant 9mm or .45 caliber rounds in a rifle/carbine platform. And if the day ever comes when your desperation brings you there, you'll be able to lock and load on that long-barreled shoulder pistol that's been collecting the dust of its stout cousins.

Love them or hate them, they're fun to run. They're a good toy. Whatever your opinion or preference about PCCs, remember to

Train Hard. Train Smart. Stay Free.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe via Email >