Ruger came out swinging with a 9mm Pistol Caliber Carbine last year, with a design that rocked us back on our heels. Building on that success, they have just released a new chassis version, with all the bells and whistles. We got our hands on one this week, for a full review.
Before we get into the new, what made the original Ruger PCC such a winner? It has to do with what they used as a starting point. PCC’s are hot right now, and we have seen dozens of models come out in the last few years. But almost all of those used an AR-15 as the beginning design. (Except the Kriss Vector, which used a space gun as a beginning design). There is a lot right with an AR, but trying to convert one to a blowback action is a feat. Ruger went a different way.
I think we can all consider Ruger a master of the blowback design in rimfires. They have produced about 5 million 10/22’s, and are by far the market leader in rimfire semi-auto. All they had to do was take that expertise, and scale it up to 9mm. When you look at the new PCC, the 10/22 DNA is obvious. And for the task, I don’t count that as a bad thing.
The new Chassis model retains all the great features of the original, and then adds some new capability. It is a side charger, and you can swap the bolt handle to either side. It ships with an SR-9 magazine, and feeds on such out of the box. A nod to the Ruger faithful, that have a pile of mags laying around. But in a nod to PCC reality, it also includes a Glock magazine well, that is a snap to install. Like it or not, the Glock magazine is dominate in the PCC world. This is a big win for the consumer, as 31 round big sticks and drums are available and cheap. Our test model ran like a champ with an ETS version from Gun Mag Warehouse, at a sale price of $14.99. For a sub gun magazine, that is pretty hard to beat.
Like the original, and some 10/22’s, the new Chassis is also a takedown model. One push of a button and simple twist separates the barrel and handguard from the receiver. With an absolutely new design, this might be cause for concern. But building from a company that has been doing this for years, it is a really nice feature to have. Also looking at the 10/22, it is easy to see Ruger perhaps offering an integrally suppressed barrel in the future. I tested that in rimfire a few years ago, and it was a winner. In the PCC, it would be absolutely amazing. If you prefer a more traditional suppressor, the PCC retains a threaded barrel in the chassis form.
On to our Chassis model changes! The original Ruger PCC was shaped like a traditional rifle, with a straight comb and grip. The fore-end was familiar like a hunting rifle. Which is fine for many people, and worked very well in this configuration. But what about our tactical ninja’s, or people that want to compete in PCC class? Well, the Chassis brings in the features you need.
The stock is now a special adaptor, that takes any AR mil or commercial sized collapsible buttstock. It ships with a Magpul, and has 5 locking positions. The stock adaptor is also attached to a Picatinny section on the back of the receiver, which means options abound. I would bet we see a folding stock from Ruger in the near future. And if you want one now, SIG MPX/MCX folding stocks attach the same way. I didn’t have one to try, but I would bet dollars to donuts it works.
The handguard is also new. It looks like a cross between an AR-15, and the fore-end used on Ruger Precision Rifles. It is M-Lok compatible, and sized nicely for the hand. Having used it extensively on the RPR, I am a fan. Now you can easily attach flashlight, sling swivels, and all the goodies as needed.
Last but not least, the new Chassis model has a pistol grip like an AR. In fact, exactly like an AR. How they attached this to an overgrown 10/22 receiver is another bit of genius. To remove the pistol grip, you actually take a machine screw out of the top of the rifle. Then the grip falls free, and you can see that the grip is actually held on by a special adaptor. If you have a preferred pistol grip, all you need to do is attach it to the adaptor, and stick it back on. Problem solved.
Performance-wise, the PCC did not disappoint. I decided to accuracy test this model, something I did not do with the original. The M-Lok made it easy. First, I slapped on my favorite piece of M-Lok rail, from Maxim Defense. M-RAX is what all rail should be. Next, Accutac BR-4 G2 bipod. And for glass, a Bushnell SMRS 1-6.5. I could have gone bigger on the glass, but I wasn’t really expecting amazing results. I was wrong.
Using Hornady 115 Grain XTP, the Ruger was 1 inch at 50 meters. Not at all what I expected from a takedown gun in 9mm. There may actually be some accuracy left in that equation, which I will be testing next time I go out. But 2 MOA is better than some 556 guns I’ve tested, and certainly good enough to the range you should be slinging 9mm. Overall, a huge win for Ruger.
Next, I swapped the optic to a Bushnell First Strike 2.0 reflex sight. This is more appropriate for a 9mm, and the ranges we expect to be using it. The Ruger PCC was a regular bullet hose at closer ranges. I had forgotten how light the recoil is in the Ruger design. While they were doing all the upscaling magic, they also put a Tungsten dead blow on the bolt. The recoil is so light that my first round, I thought it misfired. It did not. The light recoil means you can absolutely hammer steel targets. I was burning through magazines so fast I couldn’t believe it. If you take this gun to the range, just take a case. You’ll need it.
Overall, the Ruger PCC is one of the most fun guns I have ever tested. Accurate, reliable, and a joy to shoot. If you have been looking for a 9mm Carbine, look no further. This one is an absolute winner.
MSRP is $799
For more information visit Ruger by clicking HERE.