Ruger's NEW 9mm PC Carbine

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

December 28th, 2017


Click pictures for a larger version.





The PC Carbine's charging handle is reversible for use on either side.





Muzzle is threaded 1/2x28 TPI for suppressors or muzzle brakes.



Bolt stop (top), magazine catch (center), crossbolt safety (bottom).





PC Carbine will run with both Ruger and Glock magazines.



Sixteen-inch fluted barrel.



Ruger has just introduced a new pistol-caliber carbine, called, cleverly enough, the PC Carbine, chambered for the 9x19mm (9mm Luger) cartridge. The new PC Carbine differs from the PC9 and PC4 carbines built by Ruger from 1996 to 2006. The new PC Carbine has several features that make it a better carbine than the previous ones. There was nothing wrong with the PC9 and PC4, but to me, the new PC Carbine is a better package.

One thing that Ruger chose to do with the new PC Carbine is to enable the weapon to use Glock and Glock-compatible 9mm magazines. This feature will endear the PC Carbine to many shooters, as the Glock magazines are both cheap and plentiful, while being reliable. There are lots of Glock magazines on the market, and I have found that even the Asian copies are very good. The thirty-three-round Asian mags are available online for under twenty bucks each. In addition to the Glock mags, the new PC Carbine will also accept Ruger SR9, Security-9, and Ruger American 9mm magazines. The carbine comes with the Ruger mag well in place, and is also furnished with a magazine well to run with the Glock magazines. Switching from one mag well to the other takes only a couple of minutes. To do so, remove the receiver from the stock be loosening two Allen-head screws (wrench furnished with the gun), press the magazine release, and lift the module from the stock. Pop in the other module, reinstall the receiver into the stock, and it is ready to run the other type magazine. Perfect.

The little PC Carbine handles very well, and is balanced for easy handling; the carbine weighs in at six pounds, ten ounces on my scales. The trigger pull is excellent, releasing crisply with about four ponds resistance. The reach to the trigger can be adjusted by either removing or adding spacers to the buttstock, between stock and recoil pad. Three spacers are furnished with the rifle. The barrel and forearm of the stock remove quickly and without tools for easy transport or storage, and go back together just as quickly. The stock is a black synthetic, and is well-textured on the forearm and pistol grip for a secure hold. The receiver and barrel are finished in a matte black, giving the little carbine a well-matched, black finish.

The sights on the PC carbine are very useful, and a good choice for a weapon of this type. The rear aperture is adjustable for both windage and elevation correction, with the front post protected by wings on both sides. The carbine has a multi-piece bolt assembly that attenuates recoil. The bolt carrier hits the receiver with half the total bolt mass and when it bounces back it bumps into the weight and they cancel much of each other's momentum.  The felt recoil of this little weapon is almost nothing. Even using the +P loads from Buffalo Bore and Double Tap Ammunition, recoil is light. Also, the sixteen-inch fluted barrel provides muzzle velocities a couple of hundred fee-per-second (fps) faster than the velocities registered from pistol barrels. The 124 grain Buffalo Bore jacketed hollowpoint +P registered 1479 fps twelve feet from the muzzle. CCI Blazer Brass 124 grain FMJ clocked almost 1280 fps at the same distance.

The endearing qualities of a 9x19mm carbine include low recoil, low muzzle blast, and the ability for its user to put a lot of holes into a target quickly. With good +P hollowpoint ammunition, the 9mm from a carbine barrel are very effective on tissue. The Ruger PC Carbine is as easy to shoot, and easy to shoot well, much like their 10/22 carbine. The operation is very similar, with the charging handle and crossbolt safety being in the same locations. The bolt stop also works like the one on the 10/22, as does the take-down latch.

As mentioned earlier, the PC Carbine will run with either Ruger magazines, or Glock-pattern magazines, so I fired the carbine with both types. Starting out with the supplied seventeen-round Ruger mag, I loaded it to capacity with CCI Blazer Brass 115 grain full metal jacket (FMJ) ammo, and proceeded to fire on steel targets from seven out to one-hundred yards. A note on loading the magazines; like most double-stack 9mm magazines, I greatly appreciate using the UpLULA mag loader to assist in the loading process. There are other useful magazine loaders on the market, but I have found none as good as the UpLULA. It works, and makes getting those last couple of cartridges into the mag much easier. Right out of the box, the PC Carbine ran flawlessly. Every cartridge fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. Switching to high-performance hollowpoint ammunition from Buffalo Bore and Double Tap, the PC Carbine continued to run without fail. Recoil was mild, even with the +P ammunition, and again, the weapon ran perfectly. Switching out to the Glock mag well, I loaded a thirty-three round Glock magazine, again with the CCI FMJ ammo, which ran flawlessly, with two exceptions: I had one failure-to-feed early on, and one failure-to-eject a few magazines later. Other than those two incidents, the PC Carbine ran smoothly with every other cartridge tried. Even the Lehigh Extreme Penetrator ammo, which will sometimes hang up while feeding. ran perfectly in the Ruger PC Carbine.

While the mechanical sights on this PC Carbine work very well, for accuracy testing, I mounted a Leupold Mark 6 target scope, to evaluate the accuracy potential of the rifle. The PC Carbine has a section of Picatinny rail integral with the top of the receiver, so mounting the Leupold was quick and easy. I fired five-shot groups at fifty yards for accuracy, and the PC Carbine shot much better than expected. Every group fired, with every type of ammo tested, grouped five shots into less than one inch, every time. The Buffalo Bore 125 grain +P load grouped into half of that, every time. This little PC Carbine is accurate! It is certainly plenty accurate for hunting medium game and predators, as well as for social work, if needed. For a handy little carbine to keep in the truck, jeep, tractor, or ATV, the little Ruger is an excellent choice. With an overall length of thirty-five inches with one spacer in place, the carbine handles easily. It takes down quickly for storage if space is limited, or for transport in a gym bag or other small case. Separated into its two sections, the longest of which is only about twenty inches, the PC Carbine takes up little space, yet assembles for use in under five seconds. Most-importantly, it doesn’t look as if you are transporting a rifle. 

As of its introduction, the Ruger PC Carbine retails for $649.00 US, but some judicious shopping should yield a "street price" somewhere around the $500.00 mark; this represents a great value for a high-quality carbine such as the PC Carbine.

The 9mm Ruger PC Carbine is a good choice when one wants something with more power than a 9mm pistol, but much easier to shoot and handle than a full-powered rifle. The Ruger PC Carbine is light, handy, powerful and accurate, and like all Ruger firearms, the PC carbine is made in the USA. 

Check out the extensive line of Ruger firearms and accessories online at

To order the new PC Carbine online, click on the GUN GENIE at

To find a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order quality 9mm ammunition, go to,,,  and

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.





PC Carbine takes apart quickly for handy storage.







Accuracy testing was done from the bench at fifty yards using a Leupold target scope. Five-shot groups shown.