5 Best Pistol Caliber Rifles on Planet Earth (Kel-Tec and Ruger Make the Cut)

    Kyle Mizokami

    Security, North America

    We take a closer look. 

    The explosion of interest in the modern sporting rifle, as well as the natural pace of industry innovation, has driven the firearms industry to field semi-automatic rifles in an increasingly broad number of configurations. One of the latest innovations is a new generation of pistol-caliber rifles, which combines smaller pistol calibers with a rifle or carbine-length weapon.

    Pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) are not new: some of the more famous from recent history include the Ruger .44 Magnum carbine and 9mm rifles. The adaptability of the AR-15 platform—as well as those offered by manufacturers including Beretta, Kel-Tec and CZ—has made it possible to adapt them to calibers including 9mm Luger, 10mm Auto, .40 Smith & Wesson and even .45 ACP. There are five of the best PCCs out there.

    Quarter Circle 10 Pistol Caliber Carbine

    The modular nature of the AR-15 weapon system makes it possible for designers to concentrate on perfecting a pistol caliber action without concern for the rest of the weapon. From the consumer side, a familiarity with AR rifles makes adoption of an AR-based PCC a relatively easy matter. Several manufacturers offer their own AR-based pistol-caliber carbine, and Texas-based Quarter Circle 10’s PCCs are representative of industry trends.

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