Thureon Defense 9mm Carbine with Leupold Deltapoint Optical Sight

 

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

June 25th, 2010

 

 

 

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At the 2010 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, I spotted an interesting little carbine that was unlike the rest of the crowd of modified ARs and such. Thureon Defense personnel were manning the booth, and gladly allowed me to fondle the sample carbines on display. What first caught my attention was the svelte lines of the trim little carbine, and that from the looks of the magazine, it was obviously chambered for a pistol class cartridge. The carbine, while having a solid feel, handled quickly, and I immediately placed an order for one. Now, the Thureon Defense carbine is in full production, and I received one for review a few weeks ago.

Removing the production weapon from its box, I was as impressed with it as I was with the display models shown at SHOT. This carbine is chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge, and uses modified thirty-two round Uzi magazines. The magazine and ventilated tubular hand guard are a matte finished black steel. The hand guard measures just 1.38 inches in diameter, and feels really good in the hand. The barrel on my sample carbine measures slightly over sixteen inches in length, is .685 inch in diameter, and has a flash suppressor attached. The barrel is a satin blued steel, matching the same finish applied to the steel bolt. The Thureon Defense carbine has a straight blowback action. The upper and lower halves of the receiver are machined from bar stock aluminum, and are also finished in a satin black. At the thickest part, the receiver is only 1.38 inches thick. The fitting of the receiver halves is superb. They match up flawlessly, and the machining of the receiver is as near to perfect as I have seen on any rifle. The lower receiver contains an AR-15 style trigger mechanism, and my sample carbine has the optional ambidextrous safety lever. The upper receiver has an integral Picatinny rail, which contains the adjustable retractable backup sights. The magazine release is well-protected, and is also of the AR-15 style. The bolt is retracted to load by pulling rearward on a knob attached directly to the bolt, and is released to chamber a cartridge from the magazine. The magazine is a double-row style, and loading is much easier with the use of a magazine loading tool, either a Uzi mag tool, or preferably, a MagLula.

The trigger pull on the Thureon Defense carbine has a typical AR feel to it, and released with an average of five pounds, six ounces of pressure. The carbine weighs in at just over six and three-quarters pounds with empty magazine in place. The buttstock is of the six-position type, and the overall length varies between 31.5 and 35.5 inches, depending upon the position of the buttstock. The pistol grip is also an AR-15 unit, and is very comfortable to use.

I mounted a Leupold Deltapoint sight atop the Thureon Defense carbine. The Deltapoint is an ideal sight for such a weapon that is intended to be used at short to moderate range. The Deltapoint has a triangular dot that subtends 7.5 minutes-of-angle (MOA). This means that the size of the triangle covers roughly 7.5 inches at 100 yards, 15 inches at 200 yards, etc. This would totally cover the chest area of a man-sized target at about 150 yards. However, unlike a round dot sight, the upper point of the Deltapoint dot can be used as the aiming point, allowing for a lot more precision than when just covering the target with a round dot. The Deltapoint turns itself “ON” automatically. No switches to flip, no buttons to push. The slightest movement activates the sight, and it turns off automatically, to extend battery life. To turn the Deltapoint completely off, a cover is provided, which also protects the sight from damage. The brightness of the Deltapoint reticle adjusts automatically to existing light conditions. It is plenty bright in a dark basement without being excessively so, and instantly adjusts to bright sunlight. I took the carbine with the Deltapoint mounted outside at noon on a bright, sunny day, and the reticle never disappeared, even when aiming at the sky. The Deltapoint Reflex sight is very natural to use. Keep both eyes open, and look at the target, placing the image of the reticle where you want the bullet go, and press the trigger. Simple. The Deltapoint uses one readily available, low cost CR2032 battery. Adjusting the aiming point is also very easy. Loosen the two lock screws, and turn the adjustment screws according to the arrows on the sight, then tighten the lock screws. The Deltapoint has 60 MOA of adjustment in each direction, both height and windage, so it should work on just about any handheld weapon made, and was very easy to set up on this Thureon Defense carbine. The Deltapoint is also available with a smaller, 3.5 MOA dot, but for social work, I prefer this 7.5 MOA Delta reticle model. The housing of the Deltapoint is made of magnesium, and the lens is coated to resist scratching. The Deltapoint weighs only about one-half ounce. With the cover and the cross slot mount, which is compatible with Picatinny or Weaver-style bases, the whole thing only weighs a couple of ounces. The Deltapoint sight comes with everything needed to mount atop a rail, including the CR2032 battery and Torx wrenches.

To test the accuracy and reliability of the Thureon Defense carbine, I gathered together several types and brands of 9mm Luger ammunition, from NATO-spec WCC ball to high performance Plus P hollowpoints. Reliability was excellent, with only one failure to eject with one round of International Cartridge 100 grain ball ammo. This ammunition is pretty weak, and failed to fully retract the bolt for a clean ejection. Every other cartridge, including some more of the International load, cycled perfectly. Even the blunt-nose hollowpoint ammo fed perfectly from the magazine. Velocities were, for the most part, much higher than typical velocities from a service handgun barrel. With most loads, the carbine added from 100 to 200 feet-per-second (fps) more velocity over what is expected from a handgun barrel. Recoil was very light. Both the Cor-Bon and Buffalo Bore 115 grain jacketed hollowpoint loads clocked in the 1550 fps range at twelve feet from the muzzle of the Thureon Defense carbine. Either would be a fine choice for defense work or for hunting small to medium game.

I was really surprised by the accuracy of this carbine. I was expecting three inch groups at fifty yards, but was hoping for two in groups. Settling down to the bench after mounting a scope atop the Thureon Defense carbine, I proceeded to shoot group after group of sub-one-inch groups at fifty yards. This was while shooting high performance, Plus P ammunition. Even the military WCC ball ammo grouped into one inch at fifty yards. Two different Cor-Bon loads and one Buffalo Bore load grouped well under one inch, consistently, at fifty yards. This is excellent accuracy, and would make for some very good varmint and target loads, as well as for the quick resolution of unpleasant social encounters.

This is a carbine that could be used by just about any member of the family. It is extremely easy to shoot, and to shoot well. It balances well, and is quick-handling, even in tight quarters. The buttstock adjusts to fit almost anyone, and again, the felt recoil, even from the Plus P ammunition, is negligible. For a weapon that is easy to use and effective out to at least 150 yards, the Thureon Defense carbine would be an excellent choice for home protection from either vermin and predators around the homestead, or from social misfits bent upon doing harm, and the Leupold Deltapoint is likely the ideal sight for such a weapon.

Check out the Thureon Defense carbine online at www.thureondefense.com.

For a closer look at the Deltapoint and other fine optics, go to www.leupold.com.

To order any of the high performance ammunition shown here, go to www.cor-bon.com and www.buffalobore.com.

Jeff Quinn

 

 

 

Leupold Deltapoint optical sight.

 

 

 

 

Backup sights are adjustable and easy to use.

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

 

Thureon Defense 9mm carbine with Leupold Deltapoint optical sight.

 

 

Thureon 9mm proved to be very accurate, as these 50-yard groups show.

 

 

 

 

Magazine release (top), optional ambidextrous safety lever (center), charging handle (bottom).

 

 

Six-position adjustable buttstock.

 

 

 

 

Barrel is free-floated inside the ventilated handguard.

 

 

Flash suppressor.

 

 

Magazine holds 32 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

 

 

Trigger is standard AR-15/M-16 style.