The Ruger PC Charger

A really cool tool for defense and fun

Right out of the box, the Ruger PC Charger already looks like something from The Terminator
movies. This front hand stop (below) helps keep you from shooting your fingers off.

It’s tough to quantify the Ruger PC Charger as it defies ready characterization. The government just calls it a pistol. If it had a happy switch and a folding stock it would be a kick-butt submachine gun. If it had a thermonuclear power source and a hardened iridium chassis it could pass for something from the Terminator. However you choose to classify it, the PC Charger looks cool, runs well and sports scads of real-world utility.

The brain trust at Ruger had already developed the Ruger PC Carbine, a semiautomatic magazine-fed utility rifle chambered for the omnipresent 9mm Parabellum round. Exceptionally popular, the PC Carbine stands guard over many an American home and hearth. Now, however, the Ruger wizards have shrunk the basic PC Carbine down into something even more maneuverable.

The 9mm PC Carbine’s Baby Brother

The PC Charger is a unique handgun design. Unlike many modern pistol-caliber offerings, the PC Charger is fairly liberal with the aluminum. The basic chassis is indeed glass-filled polymer but this is a nonetheless substantial, manly gun. While the safety, bolt catch and action will seem familiar to anyone who has ever hefted a 10/22, there are some significant mechanical departures.

The PC Charger runs via blowback action with a custom tungsten bolt weight producing an abbreviated bolt travel. This system minimizes felt recoil and mitigates muzzle rise. The bolt is formed from heat-treated chrome-moly steel and will outlive you.

“The whole shebang would then fit into the center console of most minivans or SUVs.”

The gun feeds from a standard 17-round Ruger Security-9 pistol magazine. However, swap out the magazine well for the included GLOCK mag adapter and the world is your oyster. I effected this exchange with a single Allen wrench in maybe five minutes. Long high-capacity GLOCK stick mags or those crazy huge drums are now on the menu. Magpul makes a simply spanking 27-round stick magazine a crack-addled chimpanzee couldn’t damage with a crowbar.

The charging handle reciprocates with the bolt and is easily reversible.

The magazine release is a reversible button readily accessible with the support hand. The fixed charging handle reciprocates with the bolt and is also easily reversible. There is ample Picatinny rail up top for optics and plenty of M-LOK space for cool-guy stuff. The PC Charger includes a generous aluminum hand stop up front as well to help keep your sensitive digits away from the bitey bits.

The rear aspect of the weapon includes a pair of sling sockets and a spot of vertical rail for mounting a pistol brace. The Pistol Stabilizing Brace is the coolest invention since Edwin Traisman put pressurized cheese in a can. (Traisman, one of mankind’s truly epic visionaries, invented Cheez Whiz in 1952.) The FS1913 brace from SB Tactical would be the perfect fit. Interestingly, the gun also comes from the factory broken clean in half.

The PC Charger pistol is a stubby enough rascal already. However, jack the bolt to the rear, retract a little catch, give the forearm a quick twist and this already-small gun breaks down into something markedly smaller. The whole shebang would then fit into the center console of most minivans or SUVs. The stubby little 6.5" heavy barrel is threaded 1/2x28 for a sound suppressor as well.

Will’s kitted-out PC Charger is equipped with a Mepro Foresight augmented
electronic gun sight, Gemtech Lunar 9 suppressor and a Streamlight TLR-1 HL.

The Ruger PC Charger breaks down easily into two stowable components without tools. Even
with a snuffer and holographic sight, it would easily fit into the center console of your truck.

How Does She Handle?

The Ruger PC Charger is a substantial gun with an unconventional personality. With all the cool-guy stuff installed you can tell this is a serious firearm and not just a range toy. This equates out to a handy yet controllable defensive tool.

Out of the box I found the gun to run best on a single point sling held outstretched and tight. The PC Charger’s modest recoil and superlative ergonomics allowed me to run the gun quickly and well using slight forward tension to stabilize the weapon. Add a pivoting pistol brace from SB Tactical and you can take the practical utility of the PC Charger as a defensive tool to the next level.

“With subsonic Black Hills ammo and a Gemtech Lunar 9 suppressor in its long configuration, the PC Charger was comfortably quiet.”

The gun naturally ran swimmingly throughout our time together. With subsonic Black Hills ammo and a Gemtech Lunar 9 suppressor in its long configuration, the PC Charger was comfortably quiet. Take the Lunar 9 to its compact configuration and split the PC Charger in two and you can easily carry it in a small day pack or large glove box. It takes maybe 30 seconds to put the gun back into operation from a standing start. In these uncertain times packing a defensive firearm with 28 rounds onboard that looks like a Star Wars blaster can offer some proper peace of mind.


The Ruger PC Charger is the very image of the compact modular pistol-caliber utility gun. Nine millimeter Parabellum ball is just dirt cheap so practice doesn’t break the bank. Modern defensive ammo like the HoneyBadger from Black Hills Ammo puts some serious fangs into Herr Luger’s ubiquitous century-old pistol cartridge.

At 15 meters off a simple rest, the PC Charger shoots
plenty straight with superb Black Hills ammunition. These
copper solid HoneyBadger loads look terrifying.

There are lots of different ways to throw 9mm rounds downrange. Most any modern polymer combat handgun will pack just as much ammo at half the size and a fraction of the weight. However, those are “most any modern polymer combat handguns.” By contrast, the Ruger PC Charger is as rugged as Margaret Thatcher’s constitution and just as intimidating. Hard-core, versatile, compact and cool, the Ruger PC Charger will reliably secure your home or person and look good doing it.*

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