Pistol caliber carbine shoot-out

Show of hands, how many people would like to see an article about the pro-cons of the various pistol caliber carbines on the market today?  There seems to be a ton of interest in something like this, and if enough people would like to see it, I’ll see what I can do about making it happen.

Here’s the rough idea: vote for a carbine in the poll below, and after I decide I’ve had enough votes, I’ll pick the top three and try to see if I can lay hands on sample items and shoot them all together.  A couple of ground rules though: the calibers will be the same across the board, so if a 9mm/.40 SW carbine wins, then I’ll pick a sample based on what ammo I’ll easily be able to procure a boatload of rounds for.

Voting is “Chicago style” – so vote as much as you want!


  1. I’d very much like to see some ballistics gel, object penetration, and longer-distance tests. As it stands, I’m not convinced there’s much reason for me to care about semi-automatic pistol-caliber carbines.

  2. Looking forward to it. They’re sometimes mentioned as a home-defense option for folks too small/weak to use a shotgun, but there’s not a lot of information. Maybe recruit a small person to help with the testing?

    1. I thought about that, but the thing is I’ve shot a lot of lever action carbines, so for me there isn’t much to evaluate.

  3. Would you drive to Kentucky (2 hours) to add a Kriss Super V and Ruger PC 9 to the mix?

    (The Kriss belongs to my friend so I can’t offer to bring it to Indy.)

  4. Sure.

    I toy with the idea of getting one of the Kel-Tec Sub-2000s. But, the very next moment I realize that I probably wouldn’t shoot one all that much better than a handgun.

    So, what’s it really good for?

    A DeLisle (.45ACP SMLE) clone would be cool! (But would fail in the “buttloads of ammo for cheap” area.)

  5. Lee- having a should stock to work with really does help with accuracy.

    I also have a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 but mine went tits up and needs to go back to the factory.

    Caleb- Are you going to consider carbine/ pistol combs in your test?

    My favorite thing about the Kel-Tec is it runs off the same big pile of magazines as my Glock 17L and 26.

  6. I’m with Matt. If you’re doing a head-to-head I think a lot of people would be interested in a .357 levergun.

    You could also group the M1 carbine in with pistol caliber because it practically is one.

  7. Actually, I think we can do this – I can source the ammo from folk, and I think I’ll put a call out for volunteer guns.

  8. I would really like to see at least some part of the test be just straight reliability. AKA how many rounds can it go without being cleaned before it hiccups. (Or however you want to define that) also I assume your going to shoot some groups and those will be good to see.

    Finally if there is a good way to test “the cheapest ammo the gun will reliably run” because I like both the sub-2k and the hi-point but if one of them required quality ammo and the other I could pick up 500rnd 9mm bulk packs when they are on sale that might make the difference for me.

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