Multi-Mag 9mm AR: Nordic Components Glock/S&W Compatible NCPCC – Full Review.

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The Nordic Components NCPCC 9mm carbine is an innovative firearm that has a modular mag well that can be swapped out to accept different types of handgun magazines.

This week, one of my top five from SHOT show finally arrived, and it did not disappoint. I spent the week trying to melt the barrel off the new Nordic Components 9mm NCPCC Carbine, and it was everything I thought it would be. Before we get into the details of the gun, you may be asking yourself, “ Why is Clay so excited about a rifle in a pistol caliber? Has he lost his mind?”

SPECS

  • Chambering: 9mm
  • Barrel: 16 inches
  • Stock: MFT Minimalist
  • Sights: None, rail
  • Action: Straight blowback
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Capacity: Variable
  • MSRP: $1,599

I am usually the death and destruction guy around here; that’s kind of why they hired me. I don’t want to confuse any facts on this one, I don’t look at anything in a pistol caliber as a tool of war. We got over the submachine gun idea real quick in this conflict after we started shooting people. Tell any GWOT Veteran you think an MP5 is a great counter-terrorism weapon, and they will laugh you out of the room. I like the idea of a pistol caliber carbine (PCC) nowadays for a few pretty good reasons, none of which would make it my ideal choice to repel the Mongolian horde.

The heart of the NCPCC is the forged lower receiver and its modular magazine well. Note the AR Gold trigger the author installed.

Number 1, the shooting sports have taken off with a Pistol Caliber Carbine or PCC class, especially USPSA. Pistol range matches really are fun with a rifle, and it gives you a really good excuse to drive as fast as you can. This also opens the sport up to people that don’t have the time or energy to get good with a pistol. Pistol matches can be frustrating when you suck with a pistol, and everyone that plays the game has been there. Some people really just do not have the time to invest, and using a PCC makes it a whole lot easier. It is also a real question of what you are training for. If you use sport shooting as a training vehicle for the tactical employment of weapons, you are correct to go the PCC route. In the grand scheme of things, in relation to open conflict and shooting, pistol skills are right up there with the ability to read recipes in Latin. That is to say, almost completely useless.

The forward portion of the lower can be swapped out to accept different pistol magazines.

Number 2, a PCC gives you some ability to train you would otherwise not get. And it does it cheaper. I live in Idaho and I shoot in a place that has an upper limit of 2500 meters as long as I am willing to climb a hill to get the line of sight. Probably farther if I really worked for it. I still train police officers and the like for CQB though, which means I often have to practice those same drills. Maybe this is just the rifleman in me, but I feel like an idiot blasting paper targets at 12 meters surrounded by open terrain with 5.56. My PCC, in its little baby 9mm caliber, makes me feel less like I am wasting bullets. It also affords me the opportunity to work CQB drills on steel targets, something I could only do in a rifle caliber if I bought very expensive frangible ammunition. Using steel saves a lot of time in pasting targets (especially if you haven’t shot the drills in a while), and provides instant feedback. You need a balance of both paper and steel targets, but steel has a lot of benefits when we are talking about close range engagements. The recoil is similar, unlike with using a .22 LR, which makes multiple shot drills much more realistic. I have done CQB range drills with a .22 conversion instead, but attempting any kind of multi-shot drill is a waste of time. You would be better off putting a picture of your new shoes on Facebook, where self-admiration belongs. CQB drills burn ammo up fast, and this is another strength of the PCC. 9mm is still about half the cost of 5.56 if you are buying new, and the cases last longer if you are reloading.

The carbine came with a Mission First Tactical Minimalist buttstock.

Number 3, these carbines are going to be extremely popular amongst the recoil-sensitive crowd. The bolt is actually heavier than an AR-15, and the recoil is similar in my opinion. But even unsuppressed, 9mm out of a 16-inch barrel is not as loud as 5.56. This part is speculation, but it appears to me this actually tricks your brain into thinking there is less recoil. It sounds dumb, but after you shoot one side by side with an AR, I bet you come to the same conclusion. And appearance is fine when you are teaching a new shooter. As long as they think it recoils less, it does recoil less. And that makes it easier to teach. This particular carbine also feels lighter than a normal 16-inch AR-15. I hope you will forgive me, I don’t have an appropriate scale to measure this. Dimensionally, the Nordic is the same size almost exactly as my AR. The magazine well actually has a lot more aluminum in it, so there is that. My best guess is that since the barrel is similar in profile to an AR, but a lot more steel is removed from the inside to make it 9mm, it actually results in a weight reduction you can feel. However they did it, it makes the PCC a very handy little gun.

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Number 4, I didn’t really get until I put the suppressor on. The Nordic Components carbine suppresses extremely well, especially when fed the new HUSH ammo from Freedom Munitions. Both the 147- and 165-grain offerings were borderline Hollywood quiet, which is pretty amazing. The only thing I didn’t get a chance to do on this test timeline was shoot it side by side with 300 AAC in subsonic. We will have to get back to that one. It beats the pants off of 5.56 in this department though, hands down. I was really impressed by this, especially how the HUSH stayed subsonic in the 16-inch barrel. If you are looking for a fun toy to play with but hate earplugs, this set up is for you. For my testing, I ran a Gemtech GM-9 in direct thread configuration, and it did a fantastic job. This would make an outstanding spotlighting rig, if that is legal in your jurisdiction.

Currently, the NCPCC can accept either Glock (left) or Smith & Wesson M&P (right) pattern magazines. Note the Taran Tactical magazine extensions.

The Nordic Components 9mm Carbine is the best of the PCC bunch that I have shot so far, by a margin. It comes out of the box wearing an MFT Minimalist stock on a full length, five-position carbine buffer tube. This is a great little stock, with absolutely no bells and whistles. It has two options for where you attach your sling, neither of which is a QD. This lack of options also makes it extremely light, which is great. There is just enough rubber butt pad to make a long day of shooting doable, and nothing else. The pistol grip is a MagPul MIAD, which is pretty much ubiquitous on an AR platform these days.

The trigger in the Nordic is another feature I appreciate. It comes with a Mil Spec, or what I call a placeholder trigger. No manufacturer in their right mind would ship a gun out without a trigger, but anyone playing the PCC game is probably going to change it on day one anyway. Instead of making us pay for the trigger they want, Nordic ships the carbine with a mil standard trigger group. This probably costs about $45 at the manufacturer level, and prevents you and me from paying the $200 for a premium trigger that we might not want. I immediately swapped mine out for an AR Gold PCC trigger, with excellent results. This flat-faced, short-reset wonder breaks at 2.9 lbs, and makes the carbine run like a scalded cat.

The NCPCC employs a straight blowback system of operation, so there is no need for a rotating bolt head or gas key.

How It Works

Like most pistol caliber carbines, the Nordic Components is a straight blowback design, instead of a direct impingement with a locking bolt. If you take the bolt carrier group out out, you will notice that it is both heavy, and wildly different looking than an AR-15. The Nordic version is high energy polished to a mirror like surface. It was so pretty, I almost didn’t want to get it dirty.

The NCPCC features a full-length free-floated hand guard.

The hand guard is a full-length job, going all the way to the start of the flash hider like a modern gun should. It is technically a decagon, which is a word I had to look up. That means it is round with 10 edges, which works out to be pretty cool. Your hand doesn’t notice the flat edges, because they are so subtle. But it does give you enough bite to use effectively on support you find in the field. The whole length is M-LOK compatible, so you have all kinds of options for mounting accessories. The barrel is a 1/10 right-hand twist, of what looks to be close to government profile. Thick enough to be rigid for accuracy, thin enough you don’t need to spend more time in the gym than on the range.

So, what did we miss? There was something else, I’m sure of it. Oh yeah, the most important part. The thing that truly makes the Nordic Components carbine different. It feeds off of Glock magazines. Or M&P magazines. And I am quite sure other options are on the way. Out of the same gun. Depending on what magazine you like or have, you can swap which mag well with the press of one pin. Underneath the magazine release is what looks like an oversized takedown pin. Press it out with your finger, and the entire mag well comes off. Slap a new one on, and off you go. It takes less than 30 seconds. This is a pretty neat option. You can match your carbine to your sidearm, and carry spares that work for both. I see this as especially helpful with LE, one of the applications I am sure the Nordic will see use in. Your department switches handguns? For $150, your carbine can stay the same. I ran my test model with both M&P and Glock magazines, and had zero malfunctions with either. I have Taran Tactical extensions for both models, and they also ran flawlessly. 15 rounds of 9mm might feel a little silly, but 41 is enough to have some serious fun.

The author tested the carbine with Freedom Munitions Hush ammo and a Gemtech GM-9 suppressor.

All in all, I was extremely impressed with the Nordic Components Carbine. It is very well built, with the kind of quality you can feel when you pick it up. It is a very useful tool, but there is another reason you are going to want this. It’s fun. I giggled like a schoolgirl the whole time I was shooting close-range steel with it. It’s just one of those things you have to feel to appreciate, and I recommend that you do. And at 9mm prices, it’s something you can actually afford to shoot.

To learn more, visit https://nordiccomp.com/categories/nc-pcc/.

To buy a Nordic Components 9mm on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?Keyword=Nordic%20PCC.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Don June 20, 2017, 9:03 pm

    Did I miss comments on the last round bolt-hold open device? I’ve got a 16″ 9mm carbine and it didn’t take too long for the heavy blow-back bolt to beat the hold-open latch silly, bending it and rendering that feature moot.

  • Michael June 20, 2017, 12:14 pm

    Nice, but I will stick with my tricked out Kel Tec Sub 2K Gen 1 in 40 S&W, with the Red Lion and Mcarbo upgrades, and my new Gen 2 in 9mm!

  • Inidaho June 19, 2017, 12:04 pm

    Great review! Thanks! Thanks again for your military service!

  • Patrick Duffy June 19, 2017, 10:16 am

    Comment on the MP5 – horses for courses. The Met.Police find the MP5 is an excellent tactical weapon for their application.

    • Peyton June 19, 2017, 11:56 am

      The 9mm is far deadlier than most realize. I used the SW 76 (copy of the Carl Gustav) in combat. OK it is an smg and so the bullets hit very close together time wise so the Temporary Stretch Cavity (TSC) is not relived before the next slug amplifies it or maintains it amplitude. A semi auto pistol or carbine may or may not achieve this as well, I do not have any experience there. But with JHP ammo the 9mm will I feel do the job fine, most especially out of 16″ carbine BBL. In carbine recoil is so recovery is very quick with the 9mm. The SEAKS have the MP5 in 40SW and it has very good record in close in combat. My feeling is that under 75 meters or maybe eve 100 a 9mm JHP is fine on soft targets (no body armor). If there range is well beyond that then .223 is my choice first as well. Remember when the battle rifle had to fire a 30:06 to be seen as ‘effective,’ then battle experience proved otherwise, then we went to 308 and then .223 (5.56mm). THe 9mm FMJ is not nearly as good a man stopper as a JHP and with the dded velocity of a 16 inch BBL it is likely to expand well and create that hydrostatic shock wave that ruptures organs and arteries not touched by the bullet. This is assuming the cavity is nit oplugged on entry by a leather jacket or other heavy clothing before it enters the body.

  • Wade Gillis June 19, 2017, 10:09 am

    I would love for you to get a Freedom Ordnance FX-9 and do a comparison based on price point, this gun is available at $599 and all reviews have been excellent, including shooting it suppressed.

  • Tom Reigle June 19, 2017, 9:51 am

    While watching you switch out the mag wells from one to another, a thought occurred to me, does that release pin have any type of detent or snap-in friction lock to hold it in place while I am trying to set a Guinness record for burning up 9mm? It just looked too easy for you to release that mag well and swap out for another. I’d sure hate to be showing off my new “long pistola” at the range and have the mag well drop out on the ground. And in a home protection situation, it could well become a deal breaker for the homeowner leading a long and happy life.

    And they simply HAVE to get some Sig magwells online before I will turn customer. That’s mostly all I own for personal carry. Down here in FL, the summers are brutal sometimes and I do carry a little rat gun under my T-shirt when it gets really warm. I have a little PT-109 Slim in 9mm with stainless slide that is fairly effective at shorter ranges. Realistically, in a personal encounter threat, the other guy is close and, if you do your homework on stance, breathing, and grip, it can be a point and shoot situation many times. My theory is, if you feel comfortable with your weapon in all aspects of handling it and you have a dedicated mindset to protect your own personal safety at any cost, that perp may be scared shitless and trying to take some possession of another person without realizing that there is MORE to a gun encounter than what they show on TV.

    We have spawned a generation of misinformed youngsters, via the miracle of modern TV and all it covers, fact or fancy both, and I can only assume that, when they pull a gun on someone who they feel doesn’t really like or deserve whatever possessions they own, and they mean to take possession of it for themselves, I truly think that some of them automatically assume that, when the encounter goes south and shots are fired either in fear, retaliation, or protection of one’s life, they will be able to get up and to back to the “dressing room” at the end of the scene. Both parents are working in search of the Almighty Buck and don’t have the inclination or time to spend with their children so they learn from their peers who don’t know any more than the rest of the bunch know and the whole thing becomes a made for TV real life drama only someone gets killed for real somewhere during the scene. The worst part is that the passersby sometimes are the victims and the “kid with the gun” gets an emotional “kick in the balls” and panics and then it becomes a real live death dealing free for all.

    Sad but true and the responsibility of a concealed carry gun owner is one of tactical decision, rightful use of deadly force, and split second control of a deadly situation. I really wonder how many armed citizens, and I am one of those armed citizens, could handle all of that in a matter of seconds?? It becomes a very complicated situation and one that most people will never have to face, but …………..

    Well, that doesn’t add anything to this range test so let’s go on ……….

    • Inidaho June 19, 2017, 12:10 pm

      Good comment!!!

  • Daniel June 19, 2017, 7:51 am

    Is the push pin that you can “Press it out with your finger, and the entire mag well comes off. ” directly below the magazine release? Did you find any issues with this? I know we all like to think we are without fault but unless it’s recessed and you need the tip of a bullet or key tool that may mess some people up under duress. Hrmmm

  • Thomas June 15, 2017, 5:31 pm

    Awesome review.

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