The Ultimate Guide To Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCCs) & Submachine Guns (SMGs)
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Submachine Guns - Where They Came From and What We Know Today
The first rifle chambered in a handgun caliber was the Winchester Model 1873, which was introduced in the late 19th century. This rifle was chambered in the popular .44-40 Winchester caliber, which was also used in many handguns of the time. Cowboys in the American West often used this rifle, as it allowed them to carry a single cartridge type for both their rifle and handgun. This made it easier to keep track of ammunition and reduced the likelihood of running out of a particular cartridge in the middle of a fight.
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The concept of using a handgun caliber in a rifle reemerged during World War I with the introduction of submachine guns. These weapons, like the German MP18 and the American Thompson, were chambered in pistol cartridges like 9mm Parabellum and .45 ACP. They were used primarily by soldiers in trench warfare, as their compact size and high rate of fire made them ideal for close-quarters combat.
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During the same period, many war-time handguns were also designed to be used with stocks, effectively turning them into short rifles. The Mauser C96, for example, was often equipped with a wooden shoulder stock, as were some models of the Luger and the Colt M1911. These stocks provided greater stability and accuracy, making the handguns more effective at longer ranges. Overall, the use of handgun cartridges in rifles and the addition of stocks to handguns demonstrated the versatility and adaptability of firearms technology in the face of changing military needs.
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Submachine guns continued to play a role in warfare throughout the 20th century, from the Korean War to the Gulf War to the ongoing War on Terror. Law enforcement and special operations units also utilize submachine guns for close-quarters battle (CQB) and hostage rescue scenarios. One notable example is the SAS hostage rescue mission in London in 1980, during which the team used HK MP5 submachine guns to successfully free hostages held by terrorists.
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In addition to their military and law enforcement uses, civilian gun enthusiasts also have an interest in firearms chambered in handgun calibers. One popular application is for home defense, as these firearms are often compact, lightweight, and easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Handgun caliber rifles are also frequently used in competition shooting, such as the USPSA PCC (Pistol Caliber Carbine) division, which has gained popularity in recent years.
While the use of handgun caliber rifles in warfare may have originated as a means to simplify logistics and improve versatility, their continued relevance in the modern era speaks to their effectiveness and adaptability in a wide range of scenarios. Whether in the hands of soldiers, law enforcement officers, or civilian gun owners, these firearms remain a practical and useful tool for a variety of applications.
Classic Submachine Guns (SMGs) and Pistol Caliber Carbines PCCs)
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Collectible submachine guns and pistol-caliber carbines have long been popular among firearms enthusiasts and collectors.
Thompson Submachine Gun / Pistol Caliber Carbine
The Thompson submachine gun, also known as the "Tommy gun," is one of the most iconic firearms of the 20th century. It was made famous by gangsters during the Prohibition era of the 1920s and 1930s, and its $200 price tag was also the reason for the $200 tax stamp required under the National Firearms Act of 1934. Today, original Thompson submachine guns are highly collectible and can command high prices at auction. Buy Here Now!
UZI Submachine Gun and Civilian Pistol Caliber Carbine
Another classic submachine gun is the Uzi, which was developed in Israel in the 1950s. It was designed to be a lightweight and inexpensive firearm that could be easily manufactured and fielded by the Israeli military. The Uzi is known for its simple design, reliability, and ease of use. Today, the Uzi is still in production and remains a popular firearm among collectors and enthusiasts. Buy Here Now!
MP5 Submachine Gun and Civilian Pistol Caliber Carbine
The MP5 submachine gun is another iconic firearm that has been in use since the 1960s. It was designed and manufactured by Heckler & Koch in Germany, and is still used by military and law enforcement agencies around the world. The MP5 is known for its advanced operating system, which uses a roller-delayed blowback mechanism to reduce recoil and improve accuracy. This makes it easy to shoot for individuals of smaller stature, and it is also a popular choice for use in close-quarters battle (CQB) and hostage rescue scenarios. Buy Here Now!
Skorpion Vz 61 SMG / PCC
The Skorpion Vz 61 is a Czechoslovakian submachine gun that was designed in the 1950s. It is known for its compact size and distinctive appearance, with its curved magazine and folding stock. The Skorpion was widely used by communist countries during the Cold War and remains a popular collector's item today. Buy Here Now!
PPS43 SMG and Pioneer Arms PCC
Finally, the PPS43 is a submachine gun that was developed by the Soviet Union during World War II. It was designed to be a lightweight and easy-to-produce firearm that could be used by Soviet troops on the front lines. Today, PPS43s are highly collectible and are also available as a clone made by Pioneer Arms. These firearms offer a unique and historically significant addition to any collection. Buy Here Now!
Modern Military Submachine Guns and Their Civilian PCC Counterparts
B&T Submachine Guns and Pistol Caliber Carbines
B&T (Brügger & Thomet) is a Swiss firearms manufacturer known for producing a range of high-quality firearms, including submachine guns. The company's submachine gun models are popular among law enforcement and military personnel, as well as firearms enthusiasts. One of their most popular submachine gun models is the APC9, which is chambered in 9mm and known for its compact size, reliability, and versatility. The APC45 is a similar model, chambered in .45 ACP. Another notable submachine gun model from B&T is the APC10, which is chambered in 10mm. This model is particularly popular among law enforcement officers who require a more powerful round. Additionally, the GHM9 is a popular submachine gun model from B&T that is chambered in 9mm and features a unique blowback system that reduces felt recoil. All of these submachine gun models from B&T are designed to be lightweight, reliable, and easy to operate, making them popular choices for military, law enforcement, and civilian use.
B&T APC9 Submachine Gun / Pistol Caliber Carbine
The APC9 is one of the most popular submachine gun models from B&T. It is chambered in 9mm and is known for its compact size, reliability, and versatility. The APC9 is a favorite among law enforcement and military personnel, as well as firearms enthusiasts. Its features include a low-profile folding stock, a full-length Picatinny rail, and ambidextrous controls. This model is well-suited for close-quarters battle (CQB) scenarios, and its accuracy and ease of use make it a popular choice for civilian competition shooting as well. Buy Here Now!
B&T APC45 Submachine Gun / Pistol Caliber Carbine
The APC45 is another popular submachine gun model from B&T. It is chambered in .45 ACP and shares many of the same features as the APC9. This model is designed for use by law enforcement and military personnel who require a more powerful round. The APC45 is known for its reliability and accuracy, and it features a low-profile folding stock, ambidextrous controls, and a full-length Picatinny rail. This submachine gun model is well-suited for use in a variety of environments and scenarios. Buy Here NOW!
B&T APC10 Submachine Gun / Pistol Caliber Carbine
The APC10 is a submachine gun model from B&T that is chambered in 10mm. This model is particularly popular among law enforcement officers who require a more powerful round. The APC10 is similar in design to the APC9 and APC45, with a low-profile folding stock, ambidextrous controls, and a full-length Picatinny rail. It is known for its accuracy, reliability, and ease of use, and is a popular choice for use in CQB scenarios.
B&T GHM9 Submachine Gun / Pistol Caliber Carbine
The GHM9 is a unique submachine gun model from B&T that is chambered in 9mm. It features a unique blowback system that reduces felt recoil and allows for faster follow-up shots. The GHM9 is a compact and lightweight firearm that is well-suited for use in CQB scenarios. It features a low-profile folding stock, a full-length Picatinny rail, and ambidextrous controls. This model is also popular among firearms enthusiasts for its unique design and advanced features. Buy Here Now!
Beretta Submachine Guns and Pistol Caliber Carbines
Beretta Cx4 Storm
The Beretta Cx4 Storm is a popular pistol caliber carbine designed and manufactured by the Italian firearms company Beretta. The Cx4 Storm is chambered in either 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP, and features a polymer frame and a rotating bolt system. The carbine is known for its accuracy, reliability, and ease of use, and it is a popular choice for civilian use in home defense, competition shooting, and plinking. Additionally, the Cx4 Storm is used by law enforcement agencies around the world for tactical and patrol purposes. The carbine's compact size, lightweight design, and low recoil make it a favorite among law enforcement officers for use in close-quarters engagements. Buy Here Now!
CMMG Submachine Guns and Pistol Caliber Carbines
CMMG is a well-known firearms manufacturer that produces a range of rifles, pistols, and carbines. One of their popular product lines is their pistol caliber carbines, which are designed to accept popular handgun magazines and offer the versatility of a rifle while using less expensive ammunition
CMMG Banshee Pistol Caliber Carbine
The CMMG Banshee is a popular line of pistol-caliber carbines. They are available in a range of calibers, including 9mm and 45 ACP.. The Banshee is known for its reliability, accuracy, and overall performance. It features a lightweight design, a variety of barrel lengths, and a variety of handguard options. The Banshee's compact size makes it well-suited for use in a variety of scenarios, including home defense, competition shooting, and plinking. Buy Here Now!
CMMG Resolute Pistol Caliber Carbine
The CMMG Resolute is another popular line of pistol caliber carbines. They are available in a range of calibers, including 9mm, .45 ACP, and .40 S&W. The Resolute features a durable construction, an ambidextrous charging handle, and a variety of barrel lengths and handguard options. This line of carbines is designed to be highly customizable, with many different accessories and modifications available to tailor the carbine to the user's preferences. Buy Here Now!
CMMG Dissent PCC
The CMMG Dissent is a popular line of pistol caliber carbines designed with the needs of the modern shooter in mind. It is available in a range of calibers, including 9mm and 5.7x28. The Dissent features an aluminum receiver, with a 1913 Picatinny rail on the rear to accommodate the addition of a folding stock. It is available in both 6.5-inch and 10-inch barrel lengths, making it highly maneuverable and ideal for close-quarters engagements. The Dissent also features a Triggertech 2-stage trigger, which provides a crisp, clean trigger pull for enhanced accuracy. Its aircraft-grade aluminum construction, precise tolerances, and lightweight design make it well-suited for use in a variety of scenarios, including home defense, competition shooting, and plinking. The Dissent is designed to be highly customizable, with many different accessories and modifications available to tailor the carbine to the user's preferences. Overall, the CMMG Dissent offers shooters a reliable and accurate pistol caliber carbine that is designed for modern use. Buy Here Now!
Springfield Armory PCC
The Springfield Armory Saint Victor 9mm uses Colt SMG magazines, which are widely available and well-regarded for their reliability and durability. This allows the carbine to be easily fed and makes it highly versatile for a variety of shooting scenarios. The Saint Victor also features an M-Lok handguard, which allows for easy attachment of accessories and modifications, and B5 Systems furniture for a comfortable and ergonomic grip. The 16-inch barrel and highly effective SA Forward Blast Diverter make it well-suited for a range of shooting activities. Buy Here Now!
Sig Sauer Submachine Guns and Pistol Caliber Carbines
Sig Sauer MPX
The Sig MPX is a highly versatile and reliable pistol caliber carbine that is widely regarded for its accuracy, durability, and adaptability. The MPX comes in several different models, including the MPX PCC, MPX Copperhead, MPX K, and MPX Rattler.
The MPX PCC is a popular choice among civilian competition shooters. It features a 16-inch barrel, a free-floating M-Lok handguard, and an adjustable stock.
The MPX K is another highly popular model that is favored by law enforcement and military units around the world. It features a 4.5-inch barrel, an M-Lok handguard, and an ambidextrous charging handle. The MPX Rattler is a highly compact and lightweight model that is ideal for covert operations and other scenarios where a highly concealable firearm is necessary. It features a 5.5-inch barrel and an overall length of just 16 inches.
The Sig MPX has been featured in a number of movies and TV shows, including the John Wick series. The firearm's highly advanced operating system and adaptability make it a favorite among shooters of all levels of experience. With its impressive accuracy, reliability, and versatility, the Sig MPX is sure to continue to be a popular choice for law enforcement, military units, and civilian shooters for many years to come. Buy Here Now!
CZ Submachine Guns
CZ Scorpion Submachine Gun
The CZ Scorpion is a highly popular submachine gun that is widely regarded for its reliability, accuracy, and versatility. Despite its direct blowback design, which is often associated with lower performance and increased recoil, the Scorpion has become a favorite among both military and civilian users because of its reliability.
The Scorpion is highly reliable, thanks in large part to its direct blowback design. This design allows for performance under adverse conditions. This has made the Scorpion a popular choice among military units, including special forces and other elite troops, who demand a high degree of performance and reliability from their weapons.
In addition to its popularity among military users, the CZ Scorpion has also become a favorite among civilian shooters in the United States. The firearm's highly adaptable nature, combined with its accuracy and reliability, has made it a popular choice for competition shooting and home defense. Buy Here Now!
FN Submachine Guns
The FN P90 is a compact personal defense weapon (PDW) designed and manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal (FN), a Belgian firearms company. It was produced to address the growing need for a weapon that could defeat body armor while providing better performance than 9mm pistols. The P90 was developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and it entered service with the Belgian military and law enforcement agencies in 1991. The weapon uses a unique 5.7x28mm cartridge, which was specifically designed to penetrate body armor at short range. The P90's compact size and high-capacity magazine also make it a popular choice for special forces and counter-terrorism units. The P90's innovative design and powerful cartridge have made it a successful replacement for the 9mm submachine gun in NATO countries. Buy Here Now!
The SMG 45 is a submachine gun manufactured by LWRC International, a Maryland-based firearms company. It was designed to provide a reliable and compact weapon system for military, law enforcement, and civilian users. The SMG 45 is chambered in .45 ACP, a popular pistol cartridge known for its stopping power and versatility. The weapon features a lightweight, collapsible design and a modular handguard system, allowing users to customize the weapon to fit their specific needs. The SMG 45 also has a low recoil and a user-friendly trigger system, making it easy to control and shoot accurately. Its ergonomic pistol grip and folding stock make it comfortable to handle for extended periods. Overall, the SMG 45 is a high-quality submachine gun that offers exceptional performance and versatility in a compact package. Buy Here Now!
The Kriss Vector is a series of pistol-caliber carbines designed and manufactured by Kriss USA, a Florida-based firearms company. The weapon features a unique operating system, known as the Kriss Super V System, that reduces felt recoil and muzzle climb. The Super V System works by redirecting recoil energy downward and away from the shooter's shoulder, which reduces felt recoil and improves control over the weapon. This allows for faster follow-up shots and greater accuracy, making the Kriss Vector an effective weapon for both tactical and competitive shooting applications. The Vector is available in a variety of pistol calibers, including 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, and it features a modular design that allows for customization and easy maintenance. Overall, the Kriss Vector is a high-quality pistol-caliber carbine that offers exceptional performance and accuracy thanks to its unique operating system and modular design. Buy Here Now!
The Gen 4 N9 is a 9mm pistol caliber carbine produced by Noveske Rifleworks, a renowned American firearms company. The carbine is designed to be reliable and accurate, and it features a unique upper and lower receiver design that improves the gun's durability and reliability. One of the key features of the Gen 4 N9 is its compatibility with Colt SMG magazines, which are known for their reliability and widespread availability. The carbine is available in various barrel lengths, including 10.5 inches, providing options for different applications and preferences. The Gen 4 N9 also features a free-floating handguard and a collapsible stock, which make it easy to handle and customize. Overall, the Gen 4 N9 is a high-quality pistol caliber carbine that embodies the same commitment to quality and innovation that Noveske is known for in their AR rifles. Buy Here Now!
The Kalashnikov USA KP9 is a pistol caliber carbine designed and manufactured by Kalashnikov USA, a Florida-based company. The weapon is a direct replica of the Russian military Vityaz submachine gun, which is used by various special forces units and law enforcement agencies in Russia. The KP9 features a 9mm chambering and a blowback operating system, which provides reliable and smooth performance. The weapon's design includes various barrel lengths, a Picatinny rail for optics and accessories, and a folding stock, which makes it highly versatile and user-friendly. Overall, the KP9 is a highly accurate and reliable pistol caliber carbine that closely mirrors the design of the Russian military Vityaz submachine gun. It is an excellent choice for those who appreciate the Vityaz design but cannot buy a Russian made gun due to the ban in the United States. Buy Here Now!
The Pros and Cons of Submachine Guns
Submachine guns are a popular weapon platform that has been used by the military, law enforcement, and civilian shooters for decades. These weapons are chambered in pistol calibers, which are generally less lethal than rifle calibers. However, pistol-caliber carbines have some advantages over rifles that make them a compelling choice for certain applications. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of submachine guns, and examine how these weapons compare to rifles in terms of lethality, recoil, and other factors.
One of the main advantages of submachine guns is their compact size. These weapons can be configured to be much smaller than rifles, making them ideal for use in close quarters or urban environments. Pistol caliber carbines are also generally less expensive to shoot than rifles, since they use less expensive ammunition. Additionally, certain operating systems, such as delayed blowback, can reduce felt recoil and make the weapon easier to control.
However, there are also some disadvantages to using a submachine gun. One of the main drawbacks is that pistol calibers are generally less lethal than rifle calibers. This can be a significant disadvantage in situations where the user needs to stop a threat quickly. While submachine guns are effective at close ranges, they may be less effective at longer distances than rifles. Additionally, some smaller caliber rifles, such as the 5.56, can have less felt recoil than some pistol caliber carbines in the right configuration..
In conclusion, submachine guns have both pros and cons that should be carefully considered when choosing a weapon platform. While these weapons are generally smaller, less expensive to shoot, and can have less felt recoil, they are also generally less lethal than rifles and have smaller magazine capacities. Ultimately, the choice of a weapon platform will depend on the user's specific needs and preferences. Whether you choose a submachine gun or a rifle, it is important to train with your weapon regularly and understand its strengths and weaknesses in order to use it effectively.
Choosing the Right Submachine Gun For Your Needs
Choosing the right pistol caliber carbine (PCC) for you depends on your intended use for the firearm. If you are on a budget, you may opt for a direct blowback firearm, such as the FX-9 by Freedom Ordnance, which is usually less expensive but has more recoil.
If you are a collector, you may want one of the classic guns that we spoke of.
For PCC competitions, you may prefer a customized gun like the Taran Tactical MPX.
If you shoot pistols in 45 ACP, then you may want a firearm that uses the same magazines and caliber as your pistol.
For self-defense, you want a reliable, military-proven weapon.
Finally, if you want the lightest recoil, you may want a gun with a delayed operating system, like the Century Arms AP5 MP5 clone.
Ultimately, it's essential to consider your needs and intended use carefully before purchasing a PCC.