They’re at it again! Those anonymous firearm experts on the Internet are saying a pistol caliber carbine (PCC) is not a good choice for a home defense gun. What do our favorite Seekers of Truth, Brownells Gun Techs™ Caleb and Steve, have to say about that? Many (though not all) PCCs are AR-15s chambered in 9mm Luger, and they are a heckuva lot of fun to shoot with FMJ “ball” ammo at the range. But self-defense pistol ammunition may perform differently when fired from a PCC. Self-defense bullets are designed to expand at very specific velocities. Bullet expansion may not be as reliable at the faster velocities generated by a longer barrel. Likewise, the powder in handgun ammunition is designed for optimal burn in short sub-6″ barrels. The longer burn in a longer barrel may affect bullet performance. But how serious are these concerns?
Having ANY firearm in a home-defense emergency is better than having none. If you must fire the PCC, the bullets are far less likely to over-penetrate than a high-velocity .223 / 5.56 bullet. A PCC tends to be easier to control than either a handgun or a full-power rifle. Caleb thinks an AR-15 pistol or SBR is an excellent choice for a home defense gun. The shorter pistol / SBR barrel is closer to the barrel length self-defense ammunition is designed for. So yeah, myth BUSTED. A PCC is a very good home-defense gun.