PCC Rifles ? Experienced owner's / shooter's impressions?

I’m a senior 2-yr newbe to home defense and CC. I’m interested in opinions of the Pistol Caliber Carbines in 9mm, like the Henry Homesteader, Ruger PC, and other more tactical looking offerings. Those 9mm +P cartridges hit pretty hard and it seems the PCC’s would be a useful vehicle for those 17 round pistol mags. Practicality and function over form and appearance? Sights? Useable range? How to evaluate? Help me jump start my train of thought on the subject. Thanks USCCA members- KL200


I’ve shot the sub2000, fpc, and homesteader. They all cycled well and shot accurately. The sub2000’s drawback is that it folds over the top. If you want to use any kind of optic, it has to be removed to fold. This is where the fpc saw an issue and made a smart design decision…it folds sideways so optics can stay mounted. The homesteader has a more classic appearance and as far as I know, doesn’t break down smaller for transport. The sub2000’s i shot used glock mags, but I believe they can also use s&w and 226 mags. The fpc uses s&w mags, and the homesteader has interchangeable magwells for glock or henry mags. Personally, a 9mm pcc isn’t something that fits my needs…I’d do a 10mm if I got one. However, everyone has different tastes and needs. If I were to get a pcc, I’d probably get the fpc or build a 10mm ar style pcc.


Sooo…you posted that knowing I am almost fully healed and am able to slip into the house for special occasions didn’t you??


Below are 2 data sets. The top estimates a 4"bbl, and the bottom a 16" bbl. I used a 7% velocity estimate for the 16" over the 4". Data is estimated. With some research, you might be able to find a solid bc and chrono data.

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Why do you ask, do you want a FPC?



Thanks for the experience based reply. You added several things to consider about these weapons. The distances I’ve been training for are 5. 6, and 7 yards, interior house or garage, handguns or tactical shotgun. The home environment really includes an acre lot, so to engage a threat outside it’s a rectangular area the size of a football field. I supposed a rifle of compatible caliber(s) would be useful. The differences displayed by barrel lengths in the charts show minor improvements in trajectory, velocity, and energy at the destination. Before adding a PCC I might consider upgrading handgun iron sights to those red dot types and see if that would enable 75 yard accuracy. The last time I fired an AR type rifle was at an Army range in the early 70’s-- the old M16 “jammomatic”. I like the appearance of those FPC’s, but they may not be useful for me. Thanks again. Stay vigilant. - KL

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I do like, own, and carry S&W products, including an M2.0 with 17 round mags. The FPC has some appeal as a modern AR tech design. I don’t know if it fills a need in my home defense preparations, but then again a good price on a malfunction free firearm design might not be about need. Thanks for the recommendation. Carry on strong - KL


The only thing I’m not sure about with the FPC is the LOP isn’t adjustable.

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My wife has the Ruger pc and loves it and it shoots great.


I don’t have direct experience with PCCs but they are on my want list and I have done a fair amount of research on them. I have also run drills comparing my .22lr and .223 rifles to a pistol.

Unless you are a pistol master, with just a little practice a PCC should allow noticeably faster and more accurate shooting even at inside the home ranges but especially at out in the yard ranges. I am pretty good with a pistol but I am much faster and more accurate with a rifle at 20+ yards even though I practice way less with rifles than I do with pistols. A red dot on a PCC makes for very fast shooting due to the quick and easy sight picture, extra contact points for stability and very little recoil.

One thing to be aware of with all SD HP ammo but especially the lighter +p ammo. It is designed to operate within a certain velocity range and most if not all were designed for pistol length barrel velocities. Lighter faster ammo out of a rifle can sometimes end up moving too fast causing it to expand too quickly and either significantly under penetrate or the petals can break off making the rest of the bullet act like a very light FMJ.

I saw a test a couple years ago, think by Lucky Gunner, that shot various 9mm SD rounds from a rifle both at close range and 100 yards. Pretty sure it was the standard velocity 147 grain bullet that performed the most reliably at both near and far ranges. It wasn’t moving too fast at close range or loosing as much velocity as the lighter bullets at far range and because it was designed to open at slower velocities it expanded better at 100 yards than the lighter bullets. Think it was the Federal HST 147 that performed the best in that test.

A PCC won’t have noticeably more stopping power than a pistol shooting the same ammo. But it will be faster and more accurate. If you want speed, accuracy, capacity and extra stopping power then a semi auto rifle is the way to go. But then you also get more recoil and noise (especially indoors) and can’t use the same magazines as your pistol like some PCC/pistol combos allow.

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Thanks for posting that for us @Karacal . I am still enjoying the FPC. Still no malfunctions or issues to date.


This target is from my FPC at 25 yards. I was standing and was firing as fast as I could pull the trigger. I just wanted to see how many hits I could get with the FPC while engaging with maximum speed. I was using a Holosun green circle dot sight to aim.

Lots of fun, and really easy to get hits while rapidly firing. It is very easy to control the FPC.


I have had a PSW “AR-9” for a year or so in SBR configuration. (before the pistol brace rule was 1st rolled out.)

The Good -
Far more accurate than a pistol. My son (not a shooter) puts single 1" ragged hole at self defense ranges offhand. (compared to me with a handgun getting 3" groups at the same distance) This will translate to far greater ranges effective varmint control.
Little or no recoil - still on target for rapid 2nd, 3rd, etc shot. (My range does not allow rapid fire, so I cannot give you a group size.)
A lot of fun to shoot - least expensive ammo out there other than .22
Zero malfunctions after 1000-1500 rounds.
Small - maneuverable, light to hold on target
Interchangeable mags with a pistol makes a nice backup duo.
Longer barrel (10") reduces noise and flash. This should reduce discombobulation compared to some hand cannon in self defense situation.
No flash (I think) - I have yet to shoot it at night to be sure.
I don’t thinks it is hearing safe, but noticeably lower report. It should be hearing safe (below 85dB) with a suppressor as all powder will be burned in the barrel or can.
I got >100fps increase on the chrono vs my subcompact (3" barrel)
The high capacity mags are right at home with the AR platform (feels a little awkward on the pistol.)
My range allows it on both pistol and rifle ranges.
AR breaks down for cleaning easier than a pistol and more reliable IMO.
Great AR training platform. (Not as good as the M&P 15 22.)

The bad
Range trips are more expensive. It is hard to stop. Don’t take more ammo than your budget allows.
Need a speed loader to save my thumb when filling up the larger mags.
Not practical for one handed shooting. (most semi-auto will create a lot of difficulty if you have an arm disabled also - racking, loading, etc. maybe use a revolver?)
Mine is an AR lower milled for the smaller mags - does not lock open on the last shot because the smaller mags are too short to reach the BCG lock lever. (BCG still locks open and releases using the side buttons.)
It is still a pistol caliber, hunt accordingly.
Less maneuverable than a pistol in tight quarters, but better than an AR, Maybe similar to a bullpup.
Too big to conceal (unless you like a full length raincoat…) but it does fit under the seat of my truck.
I suspect the newer folding guns will be lighter and will lock open at a little higher price point.


Welcome to the community @William1056

Have you had a chance to fire a fair amount of HP ammo through your AR 9? I’ve read a bunch of complaints about 9mm HP ammo not feeding reliably in many AR style rifles/pistols even though most work with FMJ just fine.


I own several PCCs/SMG style weapons. my suggestion is to Just buy a rifle. SMGs/PCCs is such a niche market that most decent ones are prohibitively expensive for most people, do not truly shine unless suppressed, and the entire idea of the SMG (high rate of fire, low recoil, small platform) is negated by it honestly being semi auto. I love my UMP, especially suppressed, but I have no illusions about it being practical. I will grab my 10.3 SBR AR 10/10 times over the UMP. hands down, no questions asked. 10.3 AR with my sandman S is the same length as the 7.87 SBR UMP with the Ghost M on it.

I do agree with what several people said. A pcc would be faster possibly than a pistol, but imo, that depends on the shooter and practice. A red dot doesn’t do much good if you don’t practice, and have to hunt for it when you need it. Follow up shots would likely be faster as well. @Shamrock has a good point on velocity. 124g +p is moving around 1200 when it exits a 4" barrel, where 147g standard is only at 1000ish. It would make sense that the +p might have issues at the higher speed, and the 147gr outperform with the longer barrel due to lower speed. As far as 75yd shots, the pcc would definitely have an advantage there, but there’s a possibility that self defense could be hard to argue at that range.

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I haven’t gotten around to trying a red dot on a pistol yet. It is on my list of things to do. I have heard it can be a challenge at first to find the dot until you have practiced doing it enough. I have never had that issue with a rifle though since with just a little practice getting my cheek on the stock gets my eyes lined up with the dot every time. Another advantage for the PCC/ Rifle. Though with training and practice I suspect I would be able to pick up the red dot pretty easily on a pistol as well.

Having said all of the above, a pistol is still my primary go to for defense inside the home for various reasons including that it is what I train with the most since it is what I carry when I’m away from home and away from home is where I am most likely going to run into a threat. Though if I had to go outside or shoot outside for some reason I would pull out my rifle, shotgun or a PCC if I had one and had the time to get to any of them.

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