Smallest Backpack gun? Ruger PC Charger Gets Reviewed

Besides the Holosun HS507C that I mounted, what you see is what you get when you buy the Ruger PC Charger. You will also receive a 17 or 10 round SR-Series magazine depending on which model you purchase.

I got the Ruger PC Charger in for testing and, admittedly, I was very excited about it. This new 9mm pistol can accept a pistol brace, muzzle device, and an optic which makes it easy and convenient to use. Also, this gun has takedown functionality, meaning you can remove the handguard and barrel from the receiver and carry it as a separate package. All of these details add up to make the Ruger PC Charger a great option for carrying a lot of firepower for personal protection in a concealed manner. You could hide it in many places including a backpack, nightstand, or truck console while it remains easily and quickly deployable.

Not only would the PC Charger be a good option for personal protection, but it is also a fun range gun! With a suppressor and subsonic ammunition, I could shoot this gun all day without worrying about my hearing, or getting a headache from the concussion of the blast.

Enough with why I think it might be cool, let’s talk about what exactly the Ruger PC Charger is and how it actually performed at the range!

With a few add ons, this is my ideal setup for the PC Charger. I have attached a Holosun HS507C, SB Tactical FS1913 pistol brace, 33 round Glock-style magazine, and a Rebel Silencers SOS450 suppressor.

Models

The Ruger PC Charger comes in two different offerings: model 29100 and 29101. The difference between these is simple: One is the “State Compliant” model (29101) which has a 10 round magazine instead of a 17 round magazine that is included in the other model. Besides this difference, they both share exactly the same specs, chambering of 9mm, and an MSRP of $799.

While swapping the magazine well from the SR-Style one to the Glock magazine adapter, I took the chance to snap a picture of how it all goes together.

Interesting Features

The PC Charger is very customizable. The end-user has the option to place the magazine release as well as the charging handle on the right or left-hand side. You can also swap the magazine well to convert the PC Charger to accept either Ruger or Glock magazines. All of these changes can be done without the addition of aftermarket parts. But once you open that window, there are endless options for different pistol braces, suppressors, muzzle brakes, pistol grips, foregrips, optics, lasers, and much more. And of course, the PC Charger will accept any buttstock (assuming you have the right paperwork) or brace that attaches via 1913 Picatinny rail.

The PC Charger has a Picatinny section at the rear which can be used for attaching a brace or buttstock (assuming you do that the legal way). Also, notice the QD cup at the rear for attaching a sling.

You can also use the M-LOK slots that are located at the 3,6 and 9 O’Clock positions on the handguard to attach your favorite accessories… and the options here are endless. The PC Charger comes with a hand-stop on the forend so that you have a point of reference in order to prevent your hand from going in front of the short 6.5″ barrel. With that said, do not attach a vertical foregrip on this pistol unless you want the ATF knocking on your door and endangering your dog. I also elected to mount a Rebel Silencers SOS450 can on the end of mine using the 1/2×28 TPI threaded muzzle in order to quiet the gun down, making the shooting experience more pleasurable.

Besides all of that, the main feature that distinguishes this gun from other 9mm pistols that are designed to accept a brace is its ability to be separated at the handguard and reattached in an instant. This takedown locking mechanism is very positive and easy to operate and the barrel extension fits into the receiver with very little play.

What you are looking at here is the receiver (bottom) which is ready to accept the forend unit (top). The silver pin on the forend locks into the receiver, creating a very tight fit.

When operating this mechanism, simply lock the bolt to the rear and operate the lever at the bottom of the handguard, twist the forend, and pull. All you have to do in order to put it back together is insert the barrel assembly into the receiver and twist until it locks. In a bit, I will also show you that it even returns to zero reliably after it has been taken down and is reassembled.

Another angle on the receiver and the forend unit while they are not connected.

The Ruger PC Charger’s receiver is constructed of aluminum, and so is the handguard while the chassis system is made from glass-filled polymer. Basically, the rest of the parts in this pistol are steel, save the polymer magwell and grip. This makes the PC Charger quite hefty, coming in at 5.2 pounds. Note that this weight is without optics and a brace. Because of this fact, you may be limited in where/how you want to carry this pistol if you have it in mind for the purpose of personal defense. On the flip side, the PC Charger has a lot of mass to absorb recoil energy as well as a tungsten buffer weight which helps the user shoot the gun fast and flat. In the end, it’s up to you to decide what application you have for the PC Charger and if it fits that role.

I was able to fit the PC Charger in a conventional sized backpack with a suppressor and a brace attached, thanks to the takedown functionality it has to offer.

Experience at the Range

I had a blast shooting the Ruger PC Charger at the range. Thanks to the way I had the gun set up, recoil was minimal and accuracy was maxed out. After getting a rough zero on some dirt clods approximately 50 yards away (don’t knock it… I’m sure you have done it at least once yourself), I immediately went to banging away at steel. With the 33 round Glock magazine that I was using, it didn’t take long to run through several hundred rounds doing this. Through this process, I noticed that every shot seemed to land right where I wanted it to, making me think that the PC Charger might be fairly accurate!

But how accurate is it? The next step was to answer this question. I set a target out at 75 yards and put several 5 round groups on paper with a variety of ammunition consisting of Norma Hexagon Match Grade 124 grain, Federal American Eagle 115 and 147 grain and Federal Syntech Training Match 124 grain. Below, you can see that I had results that hovered around 1.5 – 2 MOA depending on ammunition. The 124 grain Norma Hexagon Match Grade put down the best groups, which is what I typically see, so I fired two different groups with it after taking the gun down and reassembling it. Based on what I see, it can be gathered that there is no point of impact shift, or that there is a slight shift: depending on if you think my aim is perfect at 75 yards while using a red dot optic. That said, I was very impressed with these results as they exceeded my expectations for most any firearm chambered in 9mm.

1.5 – 2 MOA with the Norma Hexagon Match 124 grain. These two targets are also the results of my return to zero testing. These results would suggest that the shift is under an inch if my shooting is perfect.
3.77 MOA
4.36 MOA
3.23 MOA

The Trigger

This topic is one of the most important aspects of a firearm in my own opinion. A high-quality trigger will help the shooter squeeze every bit of accuracy out of a platform regardless of the type; rifle or pistol. The trigger system in this firearm utilizes time-proven 10/22 components. After extensive use, I’m glad to report that the trigger on the Ruger PC Charger exceeds my expectations on a niche platform like this. I measured the trigger pull to average 4.25 lbs using my Wheeler Trigger Pull Gauge.

I’d describe the trigger in the PC Charger to have a bit of takeup (about 1/16″ worth) followed by a crisp break. The trigger almost gives off a two-stage vibe because the takeup is not creep, it is simply the bit of space that it takes to engage the mechanism. I found that I could quickly and definitively take this space up and hit a wall until the trigger would break crisply. I’ve definitely used many “Mil-Spec” triggers in ARs that are very bad comparatively. Again, to clarify, the trigger in the PC Charger is very good and set at a reasonable 4.25 pound pull weight.

The safety and bolt catch on the PC Charger is located in front of the trigger. Both are easy to operate.

Specifications

  • Receiver Material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Receiver Finish: Type III Hardcoat Anodizing
  • Barrel Length: 6.50″
  • Barrel Material: Alloy Steel
  • Barrel Finish: Blued
  • 5.2 lb Total Weight
  • 4.25 lb Trigger Pull
  • 1:10″ Right Hand Twist
  • 6 Groove Rifling
  • 1/2×28 TPI threaded muzzle
  • Included 17 (or 10 for state-compliant model) round SR-Series pistol magazine
  • 16.5″ Total Length
  • Takedown Style
  • A2-Style grip
  • M-LOK Attachment Handguard
  • QD Cup Attachment Points at the Rear
  • Reversible Charging Handle and Magazine Release
  • Not available in CA or MA
  • $799.00 MSRP
The charging handle is easy to relocate to either side of the firearm using the supplied hex wrench.

Final Thoughts

Most importantly, I gained confidence in the PC Charger’s reliability throughout all of my testing. After firing hundreds of rounds, I’m glad to report that I did not experience any kind of malfunction and the action stayed very clean even while running suppressed. I contribute this detail to the simple and effective dead blow system that the PC Charger operates on. And of course, the takedown system continued to also run flawlessly and smoothly.

When my time ended with the Ruger PC Charger, I was left trying to decide for what purpose I would dedicate it if I were to continue using it. In the end, I’m still not sure… But, I did have a great time using it and I definitely enjoyed just spending time at the range while sending rounds at paper with friends. To some, this is the perfect reason to own a firearm. In the end, I’d like to know what you would use the PC Charger for, or if you would want one at all. Please tell me what you think in the comments!

Other Pictures

PC Charger’s bolt face.
1/2×28 muzzle threads
The receiver face.
The forend unit and barrel extension
As seen, the total length on this firearm is around 35″.

Check out Ruger’s website HERE to learn more about the PC Charger!

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Riley Baxter is an avid and experienced hunter, shooter, outdoorsman, and he’s worked in the backcountry guiding for an outfitter. He also get’s a lot of enjoyment out of building or customizing his firearms and equipment. Check out Riley’s Instagram @Shooter300

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • Vermonster May 13, 2020, 1:03 pm

    The closest this has to competition in terms of function and specs is the CZ EVO and Sig MPX-K, both of which MSRP a full grand over this and take a non-standard magazine (Glock magazines are pretty close to a standard, just like AR and 1911 magazines) that can be kinda pricey and hard to find. The H&K SP5 is even more expensive but it takes an even pricier and harder to find mag the CZ and Sig. AR9s start at this price point and rocket upwards rapidly, with potential political issues. Those prices are usually WITHOUT sights.

    So add a brace, add a red dot, add a light, buy half a dozen magazines you can find anywhere, a couple boxes of home defense ammo, and a case of FMJ for training. Thats around a grand. That means the PC Charger and a year of ammo beats all but the cheapest AR9s price wise, and is decidedly more compact. That’s for as close, functionality wise, to an SMG most of us are every going to be able to afford without taking out a morgatge. Carry a pistol, but at home, this is a better tool. That it splits in half means if you take it with you while travelling covers your butt completely, then assemble at the campground or hotel.

    Yes, technically speaking, an actual SBR is better than a braced pistol PDW of this type for home defense. But legally, this is just a pistol. Easier to deal with from a regulatory perspective, especially if you travel with it (summer home? campsite?). And in many states, you can carry it loaded or with loaded magazines in close proximity in a vehicle, as it is a pistol, not a rifle. And you can still reliably hit targets at 100 yards, which most of us can’t do with a pistol.

    If anyone thinks this is a solution looking for a problem, I have to ask two questions. When you have an old man fart, does your stink go “fuuuuuuuuud”? Do you think that Joe Biden’s double barrelled shotgun with 30″ tubes is a suitable home defense arm?

  • Ben Franklin II April 3, 2020, 1:21 am

    Once again Ruger innovates something new, for that I had to read your well written article that almost made me think seriously I might want to own one someday… if only I could think of a reason! I’m sure it’s made with the cleverness and skill I’ve become accustomed to from Ruger; owning as many Rugers as I do (P85, 22/45, SP101 .357, LC380) I already know this model will probably feature the usual reliability and tank-like heft so characteristic of the brand. It’s an interesting new weapon, sure (and frankly it reminds me of the unusual Bushmaster stockless M16 type “forearm gun” from the late 1970’s in its functionality). For all that though, I can’t for the life of me think of a good use for it. Add the stock and you do have a very accurate (or at least more accurate) 9 mm weapon – good for defensive use at the extreme of handgun range I suppose, but not much else. For close in self defense i.e. as the go-to for situations as described in the article (defending camp if need be) I’d just choose a handgun to begin with, and forego the added weight and bulk of the PC charger. Perhaps Ruger may introduce a full-auto PC charger in the future, aimed at LEO (as they did with their Mini 14 AC556 some years ago) but even if they do it won’t be something I could legally own if I wanted to. Over all, I think the Charger is an interesting new design – but it seems like a novelty gun in search of a job to do.

  • Bobs your uncle March 31, 2020, 10:41 am

    My experience with Ruger has been they build quality products and stand behind them. Where would this firearm be useful? Any close quarters situation, like on a boat, ship, home defense,office, business, any situation where a rifle is too big or a conventional pistol is too small.

  • Ej harbet March 30, 2020, 7:26 pm

    I think of this as a personal defense weapon and ideal to hand to a non combatant or to use yourself in a home defense/close urban situation.as much as i like my g34 with 24rd mag id rather plug that mag into one of these

  • Archangel March 30, 2020, 5:07 pm

    This is one of the most misleading and worthless review titles!
    These “Pistols” are in reality nothing more than rifles that are built specifically to fit the legal definition of a pistol, and most of us just have to wonder what the designers were thinking of other than “let’s make a rifle as short as possible and not go to jail”.
    At least it’s not one of those jokes that are shooting a 5.56 NATO out of a 6-1/2″ barrel!!!!!!!
    A better “Smallest Pack Gun” would be just about any hand gun, like the 1911, Glock, High Point, or any other true hand gun because that “THING is more than twice as long as any true hand gun like a 1911, Glock or High Point!
    A “Smallest Pack Rifle” would be a better consumption of the writers time, like the Ruger take down 22 or if you “NEED” to have a center fire pistol cartridge, review something more like a Kel Tec Sub 2000 in 9mm or .40!

  • Matthew McGaughey March 30, 2020, 3:25 pm

    I can think of a perfect use for this gun I’m a rideshare driver in Houston Texas and you could pop that bad boy under the seat and a way you go. Already have 9 mm, this just gives me a little bit bigger package with 33 rounds! I’m good with that on the mean Streets of H-Town. Shotgun is good but too much spray in an urban area. In town you need to be concise and accurate. This platform seems to have good enough accuracy, if not very good for the package. Seems to me this is just a really good fit for somebody in an urban area. I’m a buyer.

  • DK Deuel March 30, 2020, 12:32 pm

    A solution in search of a problem.

    Personally, I’m getting bored with the endless stream of tactical tupperware, Ninja wannabe guns that are being produced, this is just one more Wildebeast trying to crass the river.

    • FirstStateMark March 30, 2020, 1:45 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • Paul March 31, 2020, 11:59 am

      I couldn’t disagree with You MORE !!! I’m a Retired Disabled NYC Firefighter and at 70 years Old I need a personal defense weapon that I can use in a home defense/close urban situation.

      The main thing is this “THE PRICE” at under $750 at street price – this RUGER PC Charger is a steal. I own the RUGER PC CARBINE in 9MM. and this is Smaller and can use the same Ammo and Magazines, so this is the right setup for ME.

      Personally, I’m NOT getting bored with the endless stream of tactical tupperware, Ninja wannabe guns that are being produced, this is just one more Wildebeast trying to crass the river. With so many GUNS Like THIS AT $1500/$2000 and Up it’s GREAT TO GET THIS RUGER SETUP AT THIS LOW PRICE. At a Price that the Regular Guy can aford this Gun Setup is a real Blessing to us that need to protect our Family in these times of a Crazy Virus that has JUST started to make many people CRAZY !!!

      And this a the PERFECT Personal Defense Weapon for these times at the RIGHT PRICE !!! If this is NOT SO ? Please tell me a beter 9MM. Defense Home Setup !!!

      • Bill March 31, 2020, 11:23 pm

        Totally agree. I have the PC Carbine in 9mm. Put a Sig Romeo5 and a light on it and to me it’s a great home defense weapon. The PC Charger is even better.

        • Roy Adamson April 5, 2020, 9:39 pm

          I feel the same way, as a 100% disabled vet these types just make sense and they are just plain fun.

      • Steve April 9, 2020, 10:48 am

        Totally agree. Having a gun that can be shouldered, offers the use of optic’s and is short enough to use in locations without much room (cars and homes) is awesome. Hand Guns are great but when your heart is beating fat with adrenaline and your shaking it’s hard to aim them. Keep bringing out these great alternatives for defense.
        Great article by the way. Keep them coming.

  • Tommy Taylor March 30, 2020, 12:04 pm

    As my FFL said when I picked up a certain gun: “Why?” Then “oh yeah, this is America. No reason needed. “Just seems like a solution looking for a reason

  • Gordo March 30, 2020, 11:46 am

    I already have the PC9 Chassis model. Great gun! Super accurate and so much easier to get on target than a handgun. I have a red dot mounted and, it’s just so easy to hit the mark.

    Question: does anyone know if the 6.5″ barrel from the PC9 Charger will fit on the PC9 Carbine Receiver? I would really like to acquire the 6.5″ barrel and be able to choose…

    • Bob March 30, 2020, 6:31 pm

      That would be a no no, cant put a short barrel on a rifle, now you can put longer barrel on pistol, so when you buy an ar lower always register it as a pistol

  • Aaron March 30, 2020, 11:36 am

    One in 10mm would immediately make it into my survival kit for flying here in Alaska…

    • Matthew McGaughey March 30, 2020, 3:17 pm

      I can’t figure out for the life of me why manufacturers overlook the 10 mm when talking about pistol carbines. It just seems like that is the perfect platform for 10 m m

      • Dan April 1, 2020, 8:11 am

        Aaron, Matthew,
        I could not agree with either of you any more!! The 10mm is the perfect round in a package like this one. I’m a buyer in 10mm.

      • I Love Liberty April 1, 2020, 8:43 pm

        If only ammo manufacturers would load 10 millimeter to its true specifications. Most ammunition manufacturers load 10 millimeter ammo with less powder in it than is in .40 Smith & Wesson so it has worse performance.

      • Roy Adamson April 5, 2020, 9:41 pm

        Two reasons, price, and availability.

  • Michael March 30, 2020, 10:30 am

    Whmmm – a solution for exactly what problem? I love firearms as much as the next guy (and probably more from the looks of my gun safe!). However, what does this Ruger pistol accomplish that can’t be better met with any of the many AR pistols already on the market? And if personal defense is the goal, why not an AR pistol in .300 BLK with a suppressor shooting subsonic rounds? Additionally, with the number of short semi-automatic shotguns out there now, this Ruger seems fairly lame. I think the author pretty much summed up a lot of readers’ thoughts when he wrote, “When my time ended with the Ruger PC Charger, I was left trying to decide for what purpose I would dedicate it if I were to continue using it. In the end, I’m still not sure… “. Me either!

  • Ricky Price March 30, 2020, 10:28 am

    No Thanks.

  • Steve March 30, 2020, 9:47 am

    WHY only 6.5 barrel?! I’d be way more excited with an 8″ or 10″ option. And maybe a larger caliber like .45 or 10mm.

  • Dan March 30, 2020, 8:37 am

    Interesting article but one major issue……..

    I have no idea how this rifle functions. Is it straight or delayed blowback, does it have a locked breach????? I have no clue how it works.

    • PC March 30, 2020, 11:08 am

      5 seconds on google………Dead blow action features a custom tungsten dead blow weight that shortens bolt travel and reduces felt recoil and muzzle rise. Bolt is machined from heat treated, chrome-moly steel to ensure strength, structural integrity and durability.

    • eric March 30, 2020, 11:54 pm

      Dan, if you read the article, it states very directly how the action operates.

  • Ron Page March 30, 2020, 8:20 am

    I would love to have one. Just for fun. But If I were looking for a home defense gun I would seriously look at this one. It’s easily accessorized with lights and sights and its compact enough to secure it in your nightstand.

  • Baron March 30, 2020, 7:51 am

    IMHO, this is a “fun gun”, with little advantage over current high-capacity semiautomatic pistols, except perhaps for a more stable platform for accurate shots, if used with a brace. A firearm with this take-down capability would otherwise seem appropriate mainly for situations such as vehicle carry and especially for a security guard scenario where concealability is needed, and where visibility provides enough time for quick assembly- such as a church “sheepdog”. In that case, I’d rather have a firearm using a more-powerful cartridge as a backup to my EDC 9mm. Since neither seems to be readily available right now, I’d wait for the Saint Edge EVAC as a better choice.

    • Philip March 30, 2020, 10:15 am

      A 40 S&W model will surely follow as with the PCC.

  • Brad March 30, 2020, 7:50 am

    LRBHO???

    • Tracy March 30, 2020, 11:48 am

      Yes, of course.

    • Hondo Bolecky April 4, 2020, 12:22 pm

      If this has LRBHO you should so state in plain English up front. That’s an important piece of info as not all AR9s have it.

      • Jack McCarty April 5, 2020, 4:17 pm

        Plain English users would give the full-blow description for the acronym LRBHO as a courtesy to the less knowledgeable.

  • Anthony Q. Caban March 30, 2020, 7:42 am

    Looks great please send me more information

  • Robert Shirley March 30, 2020, 7:33 am

    I will have to see how much they come in under retsil, once they are available and the new wears off. This gun, as tested, is $1200+ retail, and I likw it, but not for $1200. I have a couple of subguns, a dozen SBR’s, and at least another dozen braced pistols. I am a big fan of this style firearm, and the Ruger is overpriced. You can put together a lot of similar guns for significantly less coin, including dedicated Glock receiver AR platforms. And Masterpiece Arms truly foes build some masterpieces in this segment.

    • Ron Page March 30, 2020, 8:23 am

      The article claims retail is $799.00

      • Bob Smith March 31, 2020, 7:32 am

        But retail isn’t “as tested” as it doesn’t include the brace, optic, and suppressor.

  • Jake March 30, 2020, 7:32 am

    I am getting one and plan to use it as an additional home defence piece and may at times in my truck.

  • Steve March 29, 2020, 10:12 pm

    Problem is I want one but nobody has any in stock. They are saying that Ruger has not shipped yet.

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