RUGER PC CAR­BINE

RUGER’S NEW TAKE­DOWN 9MM CAR­BINE COMES SUP­PRES­SOR-READY AND AC­CEPTS MAGS FROM THE SR9, AMER­I­CAN PIS­TOL AND THE NEW SE­CU­RITY-9. AND IT EVEN TAKES GLOCK MAGS.

Gun World - - Con­tents - By Pa­trick Sweeney

Ruger’s new take­down 9mm car­bine comes sup­pres­sor ready and ac­cepts mags from the SR9, Amer­i­can pis­tol and the new Se­cu­rity-9. It even takes Glock mags.

I’ve won­dered what is in the wa­ter at the var­i­ous Ruger plants across the coun­try. How do they keep com­ing up with these ideas? Not that a pis­tol-cal­iber car­bine is any­thing new, but there’s so much in the new Ruger PC Car­bine that is new, it is some­thing to marvel at. And not to sound con­tra­dic­tory, but the stuff that is in there that isn’t new is new.

A NON-AR CAR­BINE?

First of all, it is a very old-school-look­ing car­bine. It is quite rem­i­nis­cent of the Ruger PC9 and PC40 car­bines—the ones they made from 1996 to 2006. Those car­bines used Ruger mag­a­zines of the time (but we’ll get into the mag­a­zine marvel Ruger has wrought in a lit­tle bit).

Those were, as is this one, blow­back de­signs. The mass of the bolt and the force of the spring hold­ing it closed are all that keep the bolt for­ward when you fire a round. The back-thrust on the bolt, caused by the pres­sure in the case, drives the sys­tem. The bolt blows back, the spring takes the force and then shoves the bolt for­ward, strip­ping off a round. All very sim­ple, neat and easy to de­sign, right?

Au con­traire. It takes a lot of test­ing, fab­ri­ca­tion or com­puter mod­el­ing time to de­ter­mine just how much mass, how heavy a spring and how much travel so that the mag­a­zine has time to lift the stack of car­tridges and get the next one in place.

Ruger has been do­ing this for a long time, so the en­gi­neers in­volved prob­a­bly have the val­ues of the var­i­ous forces scratched into their desk­tops where they work, if not mem­o­rized long ago.

The stock de­sign is not one with the modern tac­ti­cal de­sign. This is, no doubt, a nod to places where the car­bine would be al­lowed—as long as it has this stock—but not with a more “tacti-cool” stock. Don’t worry: If this takes off as I ex­pect it to, there will be af­ter­mar­ket stock mak­ers lined up to take your up­grade money.

The buttplate of the stock is re­mov­able, and you can in­sert or re­move spac­ers to ad­just the length of pull to what­ever makes shoot­ing com­fort­able. This can be a real boon to new shoot­ers, es­pe­cially those who might not have long arms. The back of the spac­ers is a rub­ber re­coil pad to dampen the felt re­coil of the 9mm Para­bel­lum. The stock is glass-filled ny­lon and thus im­per­vi­ous to all known sol­vents (in­clud­ing New Jersey tap wa­ter!).

10/22 IN­SPIRED

The trig­ger mech­a­nism is de­rived from the 10/22 and uses com­po­nents of the 10/22. If there is any­one in Amer­ica who doesn’t know what a Ruger 10/22 is, please let them know right away, be­cause they have been miss­ing the boat.

Ruger has made mil­lions of them, and it knows how to make the trig­ger mech­a­nism. Be­sides, there is an arm’s-length list of gun­smiths who know how to work on it, should it go awry or if you feel the need to im­prove it some­how. Us­ing an es­tab­lished sys­tem, in­stead of rein­vent­ing the wheel, is just plain smart.

... THERE’S SO MUCH IN THE NEW RUGER PC CAR­BINE THAT IS NEW, IT IS SOME­THING TO MARVEL AT.

The trig­ger sys­tem has a safety on it; it is your vanilla-plain cross­bolt safety. If the safety is raised on the right side, it is safe. If it is pushed down flush on the right side, it is ready to fire. This works just fine for right-handed shoot­ers. Left­ies will sim­ply have to mut­ter and deal with it, just as they have had to do with every other firearm with such a safety.

How­ever, the charg­ing han­dle on the bolt is an­other mat­ter. It comes from the fac­tory mounted on the right side of the bolt. But if you flip over the Ruger PC Car­bine and look at the other side, you’ll see a slot and a threaded hole. You can re­move the charg­ing han­dle from the right side (the PC Car­bine comes with the wrench you’ll need—an­other clever thing on Ruger’s part) and in­stall it on the left side. Left­ies, re­joice, along with any­one who wants to work the charg­ing han­dle with their left hand while fir­ing with their right.

The trig­ger hous­ing also has a bolt hold-open tab for­ward of the trig­ger guard, just like the one on the 10/22.

The mag­a­zine re­lease but­ton is for­ward of that, on the side of the re­ceiver, and it, too, can be swapped from one side to the other ... which brings us to the mag­a­zines. When you se­lect a pis­tol-cal­iber car­bine, you are also se­lect­ing the mag­a­zines from which you will be feed­ing it. If you go with an AR-based PCC, you usu­ally have to pick from one of two op­tions: a Colt mag­a­zine (ac­tu­ally a mod­i­fied Uzi mag) or a Glock mag. Both have pluses and mi­nuses, but once you pick one, that’s it. That car­bine uses what it uses.

Well, Ruger changed that.

... IF THIS TAKES OFF AS I EX­PECT IT TO, THERE WILL BE AF­TER­MAR­KET STOCK MAK­ERS LINED UP TO TAKE YOUR

UP­GRADE MONEY.

MAG­A­ZINE CHOICES

As set up, the Ruger PC Car­bine feeds from Ruger SR9 mag­a­zines, one of which comes with the car­bine. You can also use the new Ruger Se­cu­rity 9 mag­a­zines. How­ever, if you take the car­bine apart for clean­ing, you can re­move the mag­a­zine well in­sert and re­place it with one that lets you use Glock mag­a­zines. Yes, that’s right—you can use Glock mag­a­zines in your Ruger car­bine. Or Mag­pul mag­a­zines for Glocks. The Glock in­sert comes in the box with the car­bine. Those of you who have a Ruger Amer­i­can pis­tol can con­tact Ruger and score one of the in­serts for that pis­tol, as well.

So, four dif­fer­ent mag­a­zines to choose from. If you can­not find one of those mag­a­zines to add to the one that came with the PC Car­bine, I will have to say you ei­ther just aren’t look­ing hard enough or you should move away from what­ever an­ti­gun hell­hole you live in.

The beauty of this ap­proach is that, pro­vided the hous­ing and in­sert can ac­cept the mag­a­zine feed angle to the PC Car­bine, Ruger could, the­o­ret­i­cally, make an in­sert for al­most any pis­tol mag­a­zine ever made.

“But, I want more than just the 17 rounds an SR9 mag holds.”

Re­ally? OK. Glock, as well as other mak­ers of Glock mag­a­zines, makes a 9mm mag­a­zine that holds 33 rounds. If you re­ally want more, a com­pany called Tay­lor Free­lance makes Glock mag­a­zine ex­ten­sions. One of those gets your Glock 33-round mag­a­zine up more than 40 rounds per stick.

The bolt that feeds these rounds into the cham­ber has been given some ex­tra R&D by Ruger, which built it with a tung­sten dead-blow weight in it. This damp­ens the felt re­coil of the 9mm car­tridge.

The re­ceiver that holds all this is made from a bil­let of 7075T6 alu­minum and has a rail on top as a place to mount op­tics, should you be so in­clined. How­ever, Ruger has placed the rear sight on the bar­rel. This is a ghost ring sight, and it matches with the pro­tected blade front sight. Why on the bar­rel? Sim­ple: This is a take­down car­bine.

To break it in half, just as on the take­down 10/22, make sure it is un­loaded. Hold or lock back the bolt. Press for­ward on the take­down lever and then ro­tate the bar­rel and fore­arm clock­wise. Pull it for­ward out of the re­ceiver once the lock­ing lugs have cleared their shoul­ders.

Out on the end of the fore­arm, Ruger has molded an ac­ces­sory rail into the poly­mer. You can mount a light, laser or what­ever out there and be ready to go to town—or, stay home and keep the home fires safe. And the fore­arm also has one of the two sling swivel studs the Ruger PC Car­bine comes with: There’s one on the stock and one on the fore­arm, and you can rig it how­ever you wish.

The fluted bar­rel is made by Ruger. It is cold ham­mer-forged chrome-moly al­loy steel, and the twist is one turn in 10 inches. It will sta­bi­lize all the com­mon 9mm Para­bel­lum bul­lets you’ll see on the shelves at your big-box store or gun shop.

The muz­zle of the Ruger PC Car­bine is threaded ½-28 for mount­ing var­i­ous de­vices. The de­vice most of you will be in­ter­ested in is a sup­pres­sor. The ½-28 thread is the com­mon 9mm thread, but it is also the com­mon 5.56 and .22LR thread pattern. So, just a re­minder: Don’t let your friends or shoot­ing bud­dies screw one of your sup­pres­sors onto your Ruger PC Car­bine without you be­ing in charge. Just be­cause it fits doesn’t mean it works. This is not Ruger’s fault; every maker of ri­fles and sup­pres­sors faces this prob­lem.

YES, THAT’S RIGHT— YOU CAN USE GLOCK MAG­A­ZINES IN YOUR RUGER CAR­BINE. OR MAG­PUL MAG­A­ZINES FOR GLOCKS. THE GLOCK IN­SERT COMES IN THE BOX WITH THE CAR­BINE.

STEL­LAR PER­FORMER

Shoot­ing the Ruger PC Car­bine in 9mm was a breeze; well, both easy and lit­er­ally a breeze, be­cause there was a stiff, cold wind blow­ing across the range when I tested it. Luck­ily. it wasn’t the sin­gle-digit temps that had been the norm the week be­fore, but it was cold, make no mis­take. The Ruger didn’t care.

I was in­ter­ested to see how the 16-inch bar­rel would bump up ve­loc­i­ties; and, in some in­stances it did. In oth­ers, the boost was min­i­mal. Ve­loc­ity in­creases in pis­tol cal­ibers are greatly de­pen­dent on the pow­ders used. If an ammo maker uses a pinch of a fast-burn­ing pow­der—for econ­omy or flash re­duc­tion—the ex­tra bar­rel length just won’t help much. The pow­der has burned out and can’t push any more. If, how­ever, the load is de­vel­oped for speed, thus us­ing a slower-burn­ing pow­der, it can keep gen­er­at­ing push far­ther down the longer bar­rel.

In any case, ac­cu­racy is a func­tion of bar­rel qual­ity and load­ing pre­ci­sion. Long gone are the days of 9mm Para­bel­lum am­mu­ni­tion be­ing seen as “cheap” sur­plus and cen­ter­fire plink­ing ammo. Peo­ple ex­pect to win matches and also de­fend

them­selves with it, and the man­u­fac­tur­ers have made great strides in ac­cu­racy since the “Dark Ages.”

As a re­sult, ac­cu­racy with the Ruger PC Car­bine was fab­u­lous—de­spite the old-school in­for­ma­tion that a ghost ring out on the bar­rel that far from your eye was sub-op­ti­mal. It worked just fine in this test, but I’d re­ally like to wring it out on a match stage or stages in a USPSA PCC match. The groups were quite good, shoot­ing from the bench, but how will it do at speed? There’s one way to find out ... af­ter the snow­drifts have melted.

UN­LIM­ITED PO­TEN­TIAL

Is this a com­pe­ti­tion car­bine? PCC Divi­sion is cur­rently red-hot in USPSDA matches. But those matches have been dom­i­nated by AR-based car­bines. Again, time will tell.

How­ever, the Ruger PC Car­bine is a great home de­fense and travel tool. Be­cause it breaks down into two pieces, you can fit it into lug­gage that doesn’t scream “Gun!” The con­trols are

... THE RUGER PC CAR­BINE IS A GREAT HOME DE­FENSE AND TRAVEL

TOOL. BE­CAUSE IT BREAKS DOWN INTO TWO PIECES, YOU CAN FIT IT INTO LUG­GAGE THAT DOESN’T SCREAM “GUN!”

un­der­stand­able to any­one who has han­dled a pump or auto shot­gun, an M1 Car­bine and a host of other types.

But what gets me re­ally ex­cited about the Ruger PC Car­bine is the po­ten­tial. With a stan­dard blow­back de­sign and a re­ceiver that ap­pears to be just a bit over­sized for 9mm, what else can there be? Per­haps a Ruger PC Car­bine in .45 ACP? 10mm? Now, wouldn’t those be fun?

And with the cor­rect mag­a­zine adapter in­sert, Ruger won’t have to change the re­ceiver; just plug in the rel­e­vant mag­a­zine in­sert. Oh, my—a Ruger PC Car­bine in .45 ACP that feeds from Glock 21 mag­a­zines? How good would that be?

Then, there is the mat­ter of the take­down de­sign. It would be child’s play for Ruger to come out with an in­te­grally sup­pressed bar­rel for the PC Car­bine. Just as with the ISR for the 10/22, it would be a sim­ple bar­rel and fore­arm swap on the take­down model.

To steal a line from a hit song of the 1980s, “The fu­ture’s so bright, I’ve gotta wear shades.” GW

The lock­ing lugs that keep the bar­rel in the re­ceiver are large, as you’d ex­pect from a 9mm car­bine.

The Ruger PC Car­bine cy­cles briskly, but the re­coil is no big deal. And sup­pres­sors thread right on. There’s an ac­ces­sory rail out on the front end.

Voilà! The new PC Car­bine comes apart just like the 10/22 take­down.

The rear sight is on the bar­rel—be­cause, well, it is a take­down, and that means this is

a bet­ter place.

The muz­zle is threaded for a sup­pres­sor or any other item you might

want to mount.

There it is. To put it to­gether, sim­ply re­verse the process. The Ruger PC Car­bine comes with an SR9 mag­a­zine that holds 17 rounds. Mag­a­zines that hold more are easy to find.

The front blade is pro­tected by a pair of wings.

There is an in­sert in the re­ceiver that adapts the PC Car­bine to use other mag­a­zines be­sides the Ruger SR9.

The bolt is a blow­back, the charg­ing han­dle is bolted di­rectly to it, and the bolt has a large ex­trac­tor.

If you want the charg­ing han­dle on the other side, you can swap it. Ditto for the mag­a­zine re­lease; and Ruger in­cludes the tool you need.

There is an op­tics rail on top of the 7075-T6 re­ceiver in case you want to mount a scope there.

The safety is a sim­ple plunger cross­bolt de­sign, and the bolt hold-open is the tab in front of the trig­ger guard, just as on a 10/22.

The modern look and taste are for syn­thet­ics, not wal­nut. Syn­thet­ics are less ex­pen­sive to­gether and don’t get dinged up as much as wal­nut.

The buttplate has spac­ers so you can ad­just the length

of pull.

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