Did You Know — Heavier Bullets Works Best in a PCC

Pistol caliber carbines have grown massively in popularity and have become a lot of people’s do-it-all gun. PCCs can be a great choice for defensive use, offering a handy and controllable platform for shooters who might feel intimidated by a rifle. Like any defensive firearm, proper ammo selection goes a long way. So, today we are talking about why heavier ammo is better for the pistol caliber carbine aka the PCC.

Shooting the SPC-9.

What do I mean, exactly, by PCC? 

The term PCC gets thrown around all the time and can mean anything from big braced pistols to lever-action rifles. With that said, I want to limit pistol caliber carbines to rifle barrel lengths. So, 16 inches and up. This is where we’ll start our discussion on how heavier is better ammunition.

Why heavier ammo?

Lucky Gunner did some serious and expansive testing with various loads from a Ruger PC carbine in the Self Defense Ammo for Pistol Caliber Carbines article. They fired a variety of ammunition through the platform, including some of the more popular defensive ammo types.

What they found was that lighter bullets in the 124-grain range reach great velocities but tend to expand early and penetrate less. The 147-grain rounds fired penetrated deeply and expanded consistently. This led to superior performance from a 16-inch barrel.

Additionally, heavier bullets tend to perform better at longer ranges, especially in pistol calibers. Since you’re using a rifle, you can make use of a little extra range, even if it’s outside of standard home defense range.

In fact, I’d go heavier than 147 grain with a pistol-caliber carbine. A company called Seismic Ammo makes 185 grain 9mm ammo. This ammo likely does very well through a standard 16-inch barrel and strikes with some serious power and awesome range.

Prepping the PCC

Sure, subguns and SBRs with short 5 to 8-inch barrels will likely be served a little better by standard 124-grain goodness. Once you step the barrel length up to standard rifle range, or even to 12 inches and up, the higher weight makes more sense for serious self-defense use. Prepping the pistol caliber carbine for defensive use should certainly involve proper ammo selection.


Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

Sign Up for Newsletter

Let us know what topics you would be interested:
© 2024 GunMag Warehouse. All Rights Reserved.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap