Simple, functional, flexible, and fun! This new offering from Ruger is bound to be very popular. HERE’S WHY…
by Major Pandemic
Brilliant! I would like to congratulate Ruger on making the Glock-magazine-feed carbine we have all been waiting for Glock to make. Sure, a Glock design may have looked different, but the Ruger PC Carbine is everything we want in a basic magazine fed carbine, and with a swapable magwell adapter design, it can also currently accept all Ruger brand mags as well.
Ruger has done something few companies have done outside of the AR15 market: they designed and offered the Ruger PC Carbine with out-of-the box functionality compatible with another competing manufacturer’s magazines along with its own SR-series magazines. The 10/22-influenced design is everything we could hope for in an inexpensive, reliable, and easily serviceable $650 MSRP rifle.
FIT, FEEL, FEATURES & FUNCTIONS
The Ruger PC Carbine offers full ambidextrous controls, shares the 10/22-based trigger design (which feels better than any 10/22 factory Ruger trigger I’ve tried), a take-down barrel design similar to Ruger’s 10/22-TD rimfire, a warp-free synthetic stock with front picatinny rail and user configurable spacers similar to the Ruger Scout rifles, integrated top picatinny rail, fluted barrel with 1/2×28 threaded muzzle, fully adjustable rear peep/ghost sight, protected scout style front scout sight, and SR-series & Glock 9mm magazine well adapters all included. That is a mouthful of features for a gun with a street price under $600.
The gun features that apocalypse-surviving rugged Ruger feel at 6.8-lbs with the upgraded design appearances of being made with the “new Ruger machining capabilities.” This is a more refined fit and feel precision finish like that seen on the Ruger Precision Rifles. The Ruger PC Carbine take-down action is rock solid and looks like a Ruger 10/22-TakeDown and an H&K tri-lugs setup had a baby. It is VERY solid and super fast to disassemble and assemble.
From a feature perspective, most would say it is well appointed. The front and rear sights are excellent, fast, and rugged all without getting in the way of the typical types of red dots and 1-4 power optics many would attach. Ruger milled the entire receiver from billet aluminum and integrated a full 1913-spec Picatinny rail. The rear sight is precision-adjustable with marked increments of windage and elevation.
I didn’t attempt to swap out an aftermarket 10/22 trigger, the trigger unit appears to be compatible with 10/22 triggers. Based on the feel of the very good trigger, I probably would not waste money on an upgrade. The trigger and trigger safety should feel familiar to all the Ruger 10/22 rimfire owners as should the charging handle placement and operation. The Ruger PC Carbine also features the same bolt lockback and automatic bolt release feature of the newer Ruger 10/22 rifles. Operation of the Ruger PC Carbine is also similar to the Ruger 10/22 with a simple blow-back design. Ruger has shorted cycle time and reduced recoil with a tungsten weight inside the bolt.
The Ruger PC Carbine departs from a 10/22 based design with easily ambi-configurable magazine release and bolt charging handle via a simple 10/22 style disassembly with only two screws. Some serious design work was done to deliver the elegant simplicity of the magazine and bolt handle design. My preference on the configuration was an AK/10/22 bolt charging location with the magazine release button on the right hand side. I found this to be the fastest reload. Of note, if you swap to a right-handed magazine release, old Gen 2 non-ambi Glock magazines will not work unless you do some Dremel work. The reach to the magazine release is not trigger finger accessible without relinquishing the grip, but I found it easy to either slide the support hand back and around the magwell to release the mag or slide the firing hand up while shouldered. Not a high speed reload process, but it works just fine.
Now, the beauty of that Glock mag-swap capability: with only a quick disassembly, the owner can slide out one magazine adapter and slide in another. Currently Ruger includes both Glock and Ruger SR-Series magazine adapters in the box with one SR-series 10- or 15-round magazine included, depending on the model chosen. Ruger offers optional Ruger American magazine adapters as well. If Ruger does not offer magazine adapters for various other brands of magazines, I imagine that the aftermarket accessory manufacturers will have them available very soon. Due to the design flexibility, the Ruger PC Carbine has the opportunity to grab market share with an inexpensive rifle from Sig, H&K, S&W, Glock and many other brand loyalists. After all, who would not want an accurate little rugged carbine that can be disassembled to fit into a backpack that can shoot from the same mags as a sidearm? This seems like an automatic win for the LEO, survival, and home defense markets.
ACCURACY & FUNCTIONALITY
Summing up the Ruger PC Carbine, it is a 10/22 that fires 9mm. My FFL dealer and I were dying to shoot this. We walked to his back field and unloaded a magazine full of rounds. My second group at about 15-yards was essentially all in the same ragged hole. Yes the Ruger PC Carbine is accurate, not SUB-MOA 100-yard accuracy, but certainly hit-the-can-at 100-yards accuracy. My initial comment which held true through testing was that it blows the Keltec Sub2000 out of the water from an accuracy perspective. Add in a nicely fluted barrel with factory support for muzzle devices and suppressors, and it’s clear that the Ruger PC Carbine features some nice upgrades that many people would not expect in a $650 rifle.
After an initial break-in period the Ruger PC Carbine was perfectly reliable with a wide variety of ammo. Initially we did have some issues with trigger reset when the trigger was pulled and held back solidly. It was an odd malfunction, however after 100 or so rounds of break in that issue has not re-appeared.
The take-down feature is elegantly simple. Lock the bolt back, push the locking lever forward and turn the barrel about 1/3 turn to remove the barrel. Install is the same 3-second process in reverse. Yes, you can leave a magazine in the disassembled state for fast deployment. With the 16-in. barrel off, the entire rifle can easily stow into any typical Eddie Bauer backpack which seems like a handy feature for backpackers.
Honestly, I love the Ruger PC Carbine. The rifle is just brutal simplicity paired with elegantly rugged functionality — it just plain works. It is an awesome fun and accurate rifle that is just as at home in the hands of LEO or homeowner for defense or banging away on cans and steel for smiles. It is not beautiful but the utilitarian functionality and features will make this one of the most attractive rifles in the Ruger line for 2018.
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[Major Pandemic is an editor at large who loves everything about shooting, hunting, the outdoors, and all those lifesaving little survival related products. His goal is simple, tell a good story in the form of a truthful review all while having fun. He contributes content to a wide variety of print and digital magazines and newsletters for companies and manufacturers throughout the industry with content exposure to over 2M readers monthly. Click HERE to learn more.]