Ruger PC9 Carbine

Fun, accurate and just a little ‘Old World’

Ruger’s new PC9 shown alongside Duke’s PPsh-41 submachine gun.
See the resemblance?

Because paychecks are important, when an editor asks me to cover a semi-auto black rifle, I agree, albeit with little enthusiasm. The same was true with this new Ruger PC9 Carbine. However, after handling and shooting it I admit to actually liking it. Ruger developed a handy, well thought out, reasonably priced little carbine.

Friends who look it over universally ask what PC stands for. I say, “Definitely NOT politically correct!” Without asking anyone at Ruger, my take is it means “pistol cartridge,” and that’s what it’s chambered for: initially 9mm Luger with .40 S&W coming along too. Ruger has even thought out the magazine capacity factor to give most liberals heart burn.

One version obviously is meant for places where high-capacity magazine has become a modern four-letter word — it ships with a 10-round magazine. Those PC9s going to other locales can have 17-round magazines. Ruger has also made the magazine well so, with a few parts such as were enclosed with my sample, it could be converted to accept GLOCK magazines. It’s a great idea, seeing there are multitudes of GLOCK 9mms around. The concept of handguns and long guns taking the same cartridge goes back to the 1870s but semi-autos of both genres taking the same magazines is a recent development. Having no GLOCK 9mm on hand, I left the PC9 set up for Ruger’s issue magazines. Mine came with the 10-round version, although living in Montana I could have one taking a bazillion rounds and no one would have cared.

Ruger has many other grand ideas incorporated into the PC9. The charging handle and magazine release are reversible for ambidextrous use. Three 1/2″ spacers are enclosed so length of pull can range from 12.62″ to 14.12″. There is a rail atop the receiver for the vast array of optical sighting equipment now available. Standard factory sights are a blade front with protecting ears and a ghost ring rear adjustable for both elevation and windage. Now get this: right out of the box using Black Hills 115-gr. FMJ factory loads, my PC9 hit precisely to point of aim at 25 yards. I think it may be the first time such has happened for me with an out-of-the-box rifle.

This photo shows how the charging handle and magazine release can be
moved to either side of the PC9 — southpaws rejoice!

Duke’s solitary group fired with the PC9 was dead on point of aim at 25 yards.
Low shot was the last.

Even though my eyes are now 70 years old, I don’t think I would ever give up the ghost ring rear sight for optical types. In my mind it would negate the purpose of this 7-lb. carbine by adding weight. My attitude is this: The rifle is a close range personal defense carbine and for me, using the out-of-box length-of-pull, the front sight is dead centered in the rear aperture when the carbine is shouldered.

Ruger’s PC carbines come with 16.12″ barrels and more types and colors of stocks. Their website has them with tan and even a camo pattern based on the red, white and blue of the American flag. Some versions also have ordinary styled stocks (all synthetic by the way) with forearms. The one sent me has the aluminum shroud type of handguard completely surrounding the barrel. Maybe I’m still a little young at heart because I was immediately taken by its looks!

It shot just fine by my book — the one five-shot group fired at 25 yards was 1 1/2″ with the low shot being last. The rest of my shooting with this PC9 has been in rather fast firing at steel plates and I was rather good at it if I do say so myself. There was nary a failure to feed or function at all.

Recently a friend and his 15-year-old son were looking over the rifle racks in my gun vault. The boy spotted the Ruger PC9 and asked, “Is this supposed to look like that Russian submachine gun over there?” I said, “Good point; because whoever designed that PC9’s shroud had to have had more than passing familiarity with the Soviet Union’s PPsh-41 of World War II fame!

Wouldn’t it be something if a magazine manufacturer decided to make a 71-round drum for the Ruger, just like the PPsh-41’s?

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