Carbines that use the same ammunition as a pistol are nothing new, even semiautomatic carbines.

The Marline Camp Carbine was introduced in 1985 and had a fair amount of success until in was discontinued in 1999. Two versions were available: the one chambered in .45 ACP used 1911 magazines and the 9mm version used Smith & Wesson Model 59 magazines. Of course Colt and other manufacturers offered 9mm carbines based on the AR-15 platform.

Several years ago there was a resurgence in the popularity of pistol caliber carbines. IDPA, ISPC and USPSA have all added a class of pistol caliber carbine courses of fire to their official matches.

Introduced in December 2017 the Ruger PC (pistol caliber) Carbine has proven to be one of the most popular.


The receiver is CNC-machined from a 7075-T6 aluminum billet, and has an integrated Picatinny-style rail and Type III hard-coat anodized. Like the Model A Ford, you can have it in any color you desire as long as it’s black. Camouflage and the flat dark earth model shown here are dealer exclusives although they are not hard to find.

The 16.12-inch barrel is cold hammer-forged chrome-moly steel with a 1:10 twist. While the barrel has a heavy contour, five flutes help reduce weight which translates into quick handling. The muzzle is threaded for muzzle devices (including suppressors). A thread protector cap is included.

The adjustable rear ghost ring sight, in combination with the protected blade front sight offers a fast and accurate sighting system.

The glass-filled nylon synthetic buttstock features a proprietary texture on the pistol grip area and the forend providing a sure grasp. Sling attachment points are on the rear of the stock and the forend.

The stock is capped with a soft rubber buttpad and has three 1/2-inch spacers to accommodate different statures, clothing, gear, etc.

Utilizing the proven 10/22 trigger components, the crisp trigger pull has minimal overtravel and positive reset.


Ruger PC Carbine as it arrives from the factory. Denny changed the charging handle to the left side.


Heavy contour barrel has flutes to help reduce weight for quick handling.




Adjustable rear ghost ring sight, offers a fast and accurate sighting system.


Glock magazine well with magazine inserted.



The PC Carbine takes down for storage or transport simply by locking the bolt back, pushing a recessed lever in the forend, twisting the subassemblies and pulling them apart.

The PC Carbine uses Ruger SR-series or Security-9 magazines even though the SR-series releases from a notch in the front of the mag and the Security-9 releases from the side. Clever.

Going a step beyond, Ruger recognized that the most popular pistol is still the Glock and incudes a magazine well that will accommodate Glock magazines. Switching the mag wells can be accomplished easily in less than five minutes. Magazine wells for the Ruger American Pistol are available at

Both the magazine release and charging handle are reversible. The carbine comes with the charging handle on the right side, but I change it to the left side so I can maintain a firing grip while charging the carbine.

The carbine comes with a manual, one SR-Series 17-round magazine, hex wrenches for rear sight adjustment, buttpad spacer adjustment and charging handle removal and the obligatory gun lock.


I went to my range with several of each of the following: SR-Series, Security-9, Glock 19 OEM, PMAG 15-round and PMAG 17-round magazines. To further gauge reliability, I took several different brands and types of 9mm Luger ammunition.

I fired the carbine with fully loaded magazines, mixing the different types of rounds between mags to see if any had a preference for a particular type. They didn’t.



Carbine will accept magazines from (left to right) Ruger SR9, Ruger Security-9, Glock and (not pictured) Ruger American Pistol.


Firing from 25 yards, tearing the center out of a B8 repair center was so routine it became monotonous. I tossed some previously-emptied adult beverage containers onto the berm and had great fun making them jump in the air only to repeat the process as soon as it landed. Sometimes—OK, twice—I was able to get a second hit before the can landed.

A friend who accompanied me, after seeing me empty several Ruger magazines remarked that it was too bad the carbine wouldn’t accept mags for his Glock. Hold my coffee!

After quickly changing the magazine wells I handed him the carbine and he inserted one of his G17 mags. After shooting the Ruger PC Carbine, and when he finally was able to stop grinning he remarked, “I’ve GOT to get me one of these!”


If the above isn’t enough to make you sit up and takes notice, the PC Carbine represents a bargain at the suggested retail price of $649.00, and I’ve seen them on sale for as low as $550.

Reliable, accurate, modularity, loaded with features and a great price. What’s not to like?