Pistol caliber carbines have become extremely popular since the ammo shortage a few years ago. Just recently, the prolific Wilson Combat company released information about their new 9mm rifle the AR9.
At first glimpse the Wilson AR9 has the similar appearance of an AR-15, so obviously an AR clone. It’s a quality-built 9mm AR with a quality AR price of $1,995.
Unfortunately, that price is what’s killing it in the eyes of the buyer.
The Sig MPX is also a quality built AR style carbine: $1,732
The Zenith MKE Z-5 Rifle is based of the classic, reliable MP-5: $1,500
The new popular kid is the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine: $999
We’ve covered the Beretta CX4 Storm 9mm Carbine: $800
Just Right Carbines (JRC): $774
Kel-Tec Sub-2000: $500
MechTech Carbine Conversion Unit: $434
Something that seems to be overlooked in the higher end rifles is that people are not looking for a pistol caliber sniper rifle. A pragmatic approach is shooting on the cheap, and using the same magazines we have for our pistols.
For some it’s finding a nice host for a suppressor.
So here’s what people really want:
Takes pistol magazines (Glock, Beretta, S&W)
Has a threaded barrel for an optional suppressor
Doesn’t spit gas back in the shooters face when suppressed
Cheap is subjective, one person with a higher income would view cheap hihger than the average joe.
Here’s an excerpt from manufacturers comparisons on pistol caliber from outdoor magazine.
From the Beretta down to the Mechtech, pretty much all the options are far less than the AR9. The Beretta and MechTech only take one type of magazine (Beretta, Glock, 1911). So it’s safe to say the JRC and Sub-2000 are looking good. However, the JRC is only available for Glock and S&W magazines. The Sub-2000 is available in Glock, S&W, SIG, and Beretta! That’s variety. “But Crank, the Sub-2000 picture on Kel-Tec’s website doesn’t show a threaded barrel!” They are coming out with the threaded model this year called the Gen 2, and it’s not difficult to have yours threaded at a local gunsmiths shop in the meantime.
Gas in the Face
Suppressors cause a lot of back-pressure inside the action of a firearm. Gas jets back down the barrel and through the cracks and crevices of the internals looking for escape. Unfortunately, for those that love their AR’s and gas impingement systems, this creates a cloud of irritating gas next to the ejection port, and uniquely to the AR’s T-handle charging handle, the gas loves to seep out around that next to your face and burn your eyes with residue.
So far it seems that only the Sub-2000 has a blowback operation. If extra gas comes out of the ejection port, it does so quickly and out of the way. Another one to look for is Kel-Tec, yes there are some negative sentiments of their quality. But, moving forward Kel-Tec is listening to their customers and keeping their hardware affordable.