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  1. #1
    SouthSideScubaSteve is offline Junior Member
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    Rifles / Carbines in “pistol” calibers

    For a variety of reasons I am getting back in to shooting and am beginning to build a collection of firearms. For the time being, I’d like to limit the calibers of my various acquisitions in order to reduce the amount & variety of ammunition I need to keep on hand. I have selected handguns in 22LR & 9mm, so I’d like to focus on long-guns in those calibers for the time being. Obviously finding rifles/carbines in 22LR isn’t an issue, but 9mm appears to be another story….

    From what I can tell, the main players in 9mm Rifle/Carbines today are: Hi-Point & Kel-Tec at the lower end of the price range and Colt, Bushmaster, Calico & Beretta at the higher end. Does anyone out there have personal experience with 9mm’s by any of these manufactures??

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    SouthSideScubaSteve is offline Junior Member
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    Bueller? ... Bueller?

  3. #3
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    "Long guns" in pistol calibers are actually short-range carbines, and are not much more effective than a pistol in the same caliber.
    None of them are particularly effective out past 100 yards.

    There is no particular "penalty" for having to carry two different sizes of cartridge. For instance, there is not a whole lot of weight difference, between a .45 ACP cartridge and one of .30-'06.
    But there is a huge performance difference.

    I suggest that it is life-savingly useful to be able to keep an enemy worried, or even to make him dead, at 300-to-500 yards. This is particularly true if he is a worse shot than you are.
    You can drive him to cover and then escape while he's not able to see you, long before he's within his own comfortable shooting range.

    It is also useful to be able to make a one-shot kill on deer-size game at distances greater than 100 yards. Pistol-cartridge carbines can't do this.

  4. #4
    Tnic is offline Junior Member
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    Interesting topic and something I've wondered about myself now that I'm thinking more about home/self defense.

    Would a pistol cartridge carbine give more bang for the buck in close quarter situations over a pistol? I've seen a few videos on home defense and there's usually a shorter range long gun (AR 15, etc) and a 12 gauge in the mix. I did notice that the calibers were usually different as well.

    Right now, I'm thinking a short barreled 12 gauge and a pistol with JHP ammo should handle most things that go bump in the night.

  5. #5
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnic View Post
    ...Would a pistol cartridge carbine give more bang for the buck in close quarter situations over a pistol?...
    This might be true if you were determined not to practice your pistol-shooting skills.
    Assuming little or no practice, it's easier to, um, connect with a carbine than with a pistol. But it's more difficult to maneuver with a carbine, in confined spaces like a home's interior.
    And you still have to use your sights effectively, and work on your trigger control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tnic View Post
    Right now, I'm thinking a short barreled 12 gauge and a pistol with JHP ammo should handle most things that go bump in the night.
    I prefer that combination myself.
    But both weapons require practice from you, in order to build useful proficiency.
    Also, the longer barrel of the shotgun makes maneuvering within a home much more difficult. Thus, the pistol is the better primary weapon.

  6. #6
    SouthSideScubaSteve is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    There is no particular "penalty" for having to carry two different sizes of cartridge. For instance, there is not a whole lot of weight difference, between a .45 ACP cartridge and one of .30-'06.
    My concern isn't one of weight or carrying, it's more of an issue of flexibility, the thought being that the fewer cailbers I need to keep on-hand, the more "inventory" I can afford to keep...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    "Long guns" in pistol calibers are actually short-range carbines, and are not much more effective than a pistol in the same caliber.
    None of them are particularly effective out past 100 yards. ... I suggest that it is life-savingly useful to be able to keep an enemy worried, or even to make him dead, at 300-to-500 yards. This is particularly true if he is a worse shot than you are.
    You can drive him to cover and then escape while he's not able to see you, long before he's within his own comfortable shooting range.

    It is also useful to be able to make a one-shot kill on deer-size game at distances greater than 100 yards. Pistol-cartridge carbines can't do this.
    All great points, and in the long term, I probably will a real rifle (something bolt-action, .30-'06 or > in caliber & very accurate); however where I live (a suburban development with ~1/4 acre lots), there are very few open/un-obstructed approaches to my property that are greater than 200', so my thought was a "pistol carbine" would allow me to extend my effective range past that and keep 1 big pile of ammo, verses 2 smaller piles ...
    Last edited by SouthSideScubaSteve; 07-12-2012 at 10:31 AM. Reason: typo's

  7. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthSideScubaSteve View Post
    My concern isn't one of weight or carrying, it's more of an issue of flexibility, the thought being that the fewer cailbers I need to keep on-hand, the more "inventory" I can afford to keep...
    My usual sage advice, in this sort of matter, is that you settle upon exactly two, and no more than two*, different rounds: One rifle round, and one pistol round.
    These choices must include the choice of loading, too. Thus, your inventory problem all but disappears.

    If you require cheaper-than-self-defense practice ammunition, its loading should equal that of your primary loading in recoil and approximate accuracy. Therefore, in times of trouble you can use your practice rounds without any recalculation.

    Even in a suburban setting, you may very well need something that will be very accurate and powerful against attackers who are still an entire city-block away. Thus the requirement for a full-power rifle, rather than a carbine.

    *The exception to my two-cartridges dictum would be ammunition for a home-defense shotgun.

  8. #8
    SouthSideScubaSteve is offline Junior Member
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    Effetive range & the debate over the merits of "pistol carbines" vs. legitiment rifles aside; does anyone have any eperience with these weapons, particularly in 9mm?

  9. #9
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    Sgt45 is online now Member
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    Back in the old days, you had .38-40 or .44-40 in rifle/pistol (you had others too but I think .32-20 is a bit anemic). I know 9mm is all the rage (I hate them) but just think of a 92 Winchester in .45 Colt for example and a nice SAA or 1917 DA colt in .45. Or you could opt for one of the Lightning models in .45LC. No question about stopping power and I'd think the .45LC would be OK for deer or smaller close in. You can also go the .44 Magnum route with both rifle and pistol or .357 for that matter.

  10. #10
    SouthSideScubaSteve is offline Junior Member
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    And now back to the original topic of this thread.....

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthSideScubaSteve
    From what I can tell, the main players in 9mm Rifle/Carbines today are: Hi-Point & Kel-Tec at the lower end of the price range and Colt, Bushmaster, Calico & Beretta at the higher end. Does anyone out there have personal experience with 9mm’s by any of these manufactures??
    Last edited by SouthSideScubaSteve; 07-15-2012 at 07:43 PM. Reason: typo's

  11. #11
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    I own several "carbines" in both pistol and rifle caliber. I have a Calico Liberty 9 that I got a great deal on years ago. It ranks high on the "cool" factor, but it has one of the heaviest trigger pulls I've ever experienced. It'll wears my trigger finger out in about 50 rounds. I bought a Kel Tec Su-16 last year and it's a nice rifle. Light, accurate, and reasonably rugged. The wife loves shooting it, and it's her go to gun in an emergency. Personally, I like the AR-15 platform. There is nothing else that is as versatile. I have a basic 5.56 upper,and a 6.8SPC upper. I'm a big fan of the 6.8. It's good for close range work as well as longer distance shooting, and the recoil isn't much more than the 5.56. The AR does require more knowledge and trigger time, but that's pure enjoyment.
    Cost is the other thing you have to factor in. The Kel Tec runs about $500-650 depending on model, while a basic AR is generally a couple hundred more. Once you start adding accessories, the AR can get real expensive. Again, that's part of the fun.
    I'd say start with an SU-16, then go from there.

  12. #12
    plp
    plp is offline Junior Member
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    You can add a lot to a Kel Tec Sub 2000 as well, and they too can get pricey.

    Best carbine ever made IMOHO is the Ruger 10-22. If I were ever in a situation where I had to put a weapon in the hands of someone who had never shot or trained with a weapon before, this one will do as well as anything made. Gun of choice among the local deer poachers, according to the game warden, as they can always claim (if not caught red handed) they were hunting in season small game.

    You can get the occasional used one for under 200, and can put over 4 grand into one if you want the ultimate tactical wet dream, next to the AR-15 platform the most accessorized rifle made.

    Drawback is range, pretty much really stretching it at 150 yds unless you really tweak one to improve ballistic efficiency. Then again, you are asking about carbines and that will be true even with .40 S&W unless you've added a lot of weight to the frame. At that point, why have a carbine when there are much better long guns?

    I've had the opportunity to fire both the Hi-Point in 9mm and a Kel Tec in .40 S&W. Recoil was about the same for both, less than with a pistol. Then again, I've been shooting less than a year, even though it has been every weekend, and am still fighting flinch with larger calibers. Accuracy with both were much better than with the same caliber handgun, so there is an advantage in being able to hit what you aim at.

    I'm thinking about getting a Kel Tec in 9mm fitted for Glock mags, should I ever get a Glock or find 9mm ammo again.....

  13. #13
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    FAB Defense KPOS Generation 2 - (PDW) Pistol Rifle Platform

    Here's a cool option. I wish I could get one for my Desert Eagle. Zahal makes good stuff. I have their hardware on my CZ.

    Cannon

  14. #14
    niadhf's Avatar
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    Rifles / Carbines in “pistol” calibers

    I have both the Kel-tec sub 2k and a high point 995. Both have been very accurate and flawless in function.
    I like the KT better for it's ability to fold, and use the same mags as my Glock. I also like the light weight.
    The HP is ugly as sin. Accurate, heavier, and feels like shooting a .22 due to weight and recoil pad. It is a 10 round single stack 9mm.
    Both have long heavy trigger pulls. For some reason, I notice it less with the KT.

    Now, my other pistol caliber carbine that I have a pistol on is .357 magnum. Lever action. Slower to load, but just as accurate and, living in NY, it has other advantages also. And the longer barrel does a nice job of maximizing .357 potential.

  15. #15
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    While it looks like this thread is moot at this late date, I enjoy the subject, so I'll share my experience anyway.

    One of my favorite rifles is the Ruger 44RS .44 Magnum. It's a dandy and fun as heck to shoot. I also have a Ruger PC9 semi- carbine. Also pure joy to shoot.

    Other pistol caliber carbines I have experience with are all manner of .22 S, L, LR & WMR ranging from pump-action, semi-auto to lever action. I also have a revolving carbine by Uberti in .44-40.

    Personally, I believe there to be a place for such rifles. I'd much rather shoot one of the above from 50 to 100+ yards far more accurately (and with more punch) than I could with one of my pistols. Furthermore, I'd rather not waste my more expensive rifle ammo on short range stuff.

    I didn't purchase the guns I have with some sort of survivalist mentality. I began building my collection at a young age, so each one has and contiunues to serve a very valid purpose from simply being fun to shoot, to store of value, to survival, to what I'm best at shooting for a particular game - be it birds or larger game, etc, etc, etc...

    Approaching your purchase from a SHTF perspective should be tempered with a little reason. I live in the city. Unless I want to try and knock someone off the roof of a high-rise a half mile away, my longer range rifles ain't gonna help much, or at least, not as efficiently or easily. If you live in the country, longer range capability is a benefit and necessary.

  16. #16
    muskyjohn is offline Junior Member
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    Thureon Defense.

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