Review: Ruger PC Carbine Rifle with Glock Magazine Magwell

The new Ruger PC is a complete redesign of the original Ruger 9mm carbine, although customers and dealers will still make the comparison.

Review: Ruger PC Carbine Rifle with Glock Magazine Magwell

Looking back at the old PC9, there were several little complaints with the original Ruger PC9 that added up to the short 10-year life-cycle of the original Ruger PC9 9mm carbine. In addition to average quality sights — Ruger’s proprietary scope-mount notches were incompatible with the-then red dot sights — and average 15-yard accuracy, one of the biggest complaints was that customers were locked into Ruger magazines far less popular and more expensive than other handgun brands, including Glock. A large number of customers asked for a Glock-compatible version back then, but the concept was never pursued or brought to production by Ruger. The old PC9 design was reliable and customers loved the concept, but the old model was seen as a niche rifle for Ruger handgun owners that didn’t evolve with the market.

The new fully redesigned Ruger PC Carbine design addresses all the little complaints of the original, and subsequently has added other features to make it a competition killer. Most notably is the ability to feed from Ruger SR-series or wildly popular Glock 9mm mags out of the box while leaving the door open for Ruger or aftermarket companies to offer adapters for other magazine brands. The Ruger Precision Rifle was brilliant, but this little PC Carbine will likely capture customer hearts like the 10/22 design has over the years.

The rifle comes ready to accept a suppressor, a great feature that could help make a sale. (Photo: Tony Arnold)

The Ruger PC Carbine functions wonderfully from the SR-format Ruger magazine, but the flexibility to feed reliably from any high-capacity Glock 9mm magazine will likely bring customers in droves. That means Glock G26, G19, G17, G17L, G19X owners can feed the Ruger PC9 with any of their current magazine stockpiles including the extra capacity 33-round magazines. It’s easily foreseeable that creative dealer promotions could include Glock & Ruger packages or Glock or Magpul magazine packages with the little Ruger PC Carbine.

With Glock owning a huge market share of the handgun market and those 9mm models representing the largest portion of Glock’s market, financially Ruger’s thoughtful strategy to take care of Glock owners is brilliant. Glock owners have asked repeatedly for a simple Glock-fed rifle and now Ruger has delivered. Ruger dealers have a great Glock compatible and cross-promotable product to get customers back into the store. To dwell on the Glock magazine compatibility is a bit short sighted considering the flexibility Ruger has engineered into the magazine-adapter design. With other adapters for H&K, Walther, S&W, Beretta, and Sig likely available soon either from Ruger directly or from aftermarket manufacturers, Ruger could own the entire pistol-caliber carbine market with just one model.

The factory rifle includes magazine adapters for Ruger SR and Glock double stack 9mm magazines. Swapping the magazine adapters is less than a 5-minute job requiring the removal of two stock screws and pressing the magazine-release button to slip out one adapter and in a new one. Re-assemble and the rifle is ready to feed from a different magazine.

The new 2018 Ruger PC Carbine is everything customers could hope for in an inexpensive, reliable, and easily serviceable $650 MSRP rifle. The new Ruger PC9 Carbine packs a lot into one affordable little firearm with features including full ambidextrous controls, an amazing feeling 10/22 based trigger design, a warp-free synthetic stock with front picatinny rail, user configurable fit with spacers included similar to the Ruger Scout rifles, integrated top picatinny rail, fluted barrel with ½”x28 threaded muzzle, fully adjustable rear peep/ghost sight, protected scout-style front scout sight, and SR-series and Glock 9mm magazine-well adapters included.

Ruger's 10-22 trigger delivers the feel that we all fell in love with years ago. (Photo: Tony Arnold)

Many outdoor and survival customers will love the PC Carbine take-down feature similar to Ruger’s 10/22-TD rimfire. Disassembly and assembly is a fast and simple process of locking the bolt back, pushing the locking lever forward and turning the barrel about ⅓ turn to remove the barrel. Install is the same 3-second process in reverse and though not recommended for safety, a magazine can be left inserted during either process. The short 16-inch barrel and action of similar length in disassembled state can both easily stow into any typical backpack.

Ruger has concentrated on durability and configurability with the PC Carbine. The integrally milled picatinny top rail assures there are no rail screws to loosen and delivers a more rigid durable mount. The front ramp sight and precision adjustable rear ghost ring sight are excellent, fast, and rugged all without getting in the way of other optics mounted to the top rail. Out front customer can mount any type of picatinny rail attachment such as lights or lasers on the integrated handguard.

In many ways the PC Carbine feels and functions exactly like a slightly beefier Ruger 10/22 rifle. The trigger assembly should feel very familiar to existing Ruger 10/22 rimfire owners as should the charging handle placement and operation. The Ruger PC Carbine also features the same bolt lockback and automatic bolt release feature of the newer Ruger 10/22 rifles. Operation of the Ruger PC Carbine is a simple dead-blow back design complimented with a tungsten weight inside the bolt to reduce recoil and shorten cycle time.

The Ruger PC Carbine magazine release and bolt charging handle is easily ambi-configurable in just a few minutes. Ruger did some serious design work to deliver the elegant simplicity of the magazine and bolt handle designs. My preference on the configuration was an AK/10/22 bolt charging location with the magazine release button on the right-hand side. I found this to be the fastest reload configuration.

Of note, if you swap to a right-handed magazine release, old Gen 2 non-ambi Glock magazines will not work due to an absence of the ambi-latch notch on older magazines. The reach to the magazine release is not trigger-finger accessible, like on an AR-15, without releasing the grip. Sliding either the support hand back and around the magwell to release the mag or sliding the firing hand up while shouldered is quick — not a high speed AR-15 reload process, but it works just fine.

Summing up the Ruger PC Carbine, it’s a 10/22 that fires 9mm rounds. My FFL dealer and I were dying to shoot this. We walked to his back field and unloaded a few magazines containing a varied stack of handload and factory ammunition. My second group at about 15-yards was essentially all in the same ragged hole. Yes, the Ruger PC Carbine is accurate, not SUB-MOA 100-yard accuracy, but certainly hit the can at 100-yard accuracy. Based on my testing observations of the old PC9 versus the new version, the new PC Carbine is certainly proven itself much more accurate during additional testing.

For the suppressor owners, the nicely fluted barrel and factory threaded barrel deliver an excellent host for 9mm suppressors. My tests with Liberty Mystic X and Sig Sauer SRD9 suppressors were quiet and smil- inducing events especially with subsonic ammo.

Ruger has recreated the brutal simplicity of the 10/22 take-down model in the PC Carbine. Many customers have wished for a 10/22 that fired 9mm rounds from a Glock magazine or a PC9 that accepts Glock magazines, and now Ruger has delivered. In the hands of law enforcement officers or homeowner for defense or banging away on cans and steel for smiles, the utilitarian functionality and features of the new PC Carbine will make this one of the most attractive rifles in the Ruger line for 2018.

Stock: Black Synthetic
Capacity: 17
|Barrel Length: 16.12"
Overall Length: 34.37"
Barrel Feature: Threaded, Fluted
Front Sight: Protected Blade
Rear Sight: Adjustable Ghost Ring
Thread Pattern: 1/2"-28
Weight: 6.8 lb.
Length of Pull: 12.62" - 14.12"
Material: Aluminum Alloy
Finish: Type III Hardcoat Anodized
Twist: 1:10" RH
Grooves: 6
Suggested Retail: $649.00


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.