Thril Top 5 Pistol Caliber Carbines Feature Image

Fast Action, Run, and Gun with these Awesome Pistol Caliber Carbines

Pistol Caliber Carbines or PCC are all the latest rage on the range. Shooters from coast to coast are picking up short barreled, fast handling auto-loaders built on pistol caliber actions. PCC rifles are a terrific addition to any collection, and they fit many roles that lie somewhere between a pistol and a high velocity center fire rifle. Let’s take a look at some of the best options out there for the shooter today.

Why All the Hype?

Pistol Caliber Carbines fit a unique sweet spot for shooters that suite many use cases and manufacturers are taking notice. By capitalizing on low velocity, light recoil, and light weight pistol rounds, PCC rifles excel in many disciplines, offering shooters options for competition, home defense, tactical work, and range time.

  • Three Gun – Three gun competitions have gained widespread popularity as shooters become more tactically minded. The three gun community quickly realized the usefulness of a short fast handling rifle that can be fired at low velocity targets, and at close range. PCCs chambered in 9mm or 45 ACP are safe to run on ranges built for pistol use, even indoors, and they add a new element of cool to the competition. 
  • Ranch Rifle – A short, easy to handle rifle that can ride in the pickup, stay at the cabin, and be at the ready in camp is indispensable. A good ranch rifle is sturdy, quick to point, and ready for varmints that go bump in the night. The small form factor of pistol ammunition makes it practical to load 20 or 30 rounds in a mag, and keep the rifle light enough to pack around. For varmint action inside of 100 yards, a handy pistol caliber carbine is just the ticket. 
  • Range Time – A good range gun should be fun to shoot, easy to operate, and economical to feed ammunition into. PCC rifles hit high marks on all accounts. Taking a Saturday afternoon at the range and running a pistol caliber carbine through its paces is enjoyable, the recoil is light, and ammo in 9mm is a fraction of the cost of .223 or .308. Putting in some time behind the trigger on a PCC offers versatility to shoot prone, standing, kneeling, or even from a bench; these little rifles have a lot to offer, and on a budget.

The Head of the Class

With the popularity of pistol caliber carbines comes a market full of options. Firearm manufacturers are rolling out handy little rifles chambered in various pistol cartridges with all sorts of features. Collapsible stocks, threaded barrels, take down models, even rifles that accept Glock pistol magazines are on the shelves. How do you make sense of the options? What’s the best fit for you and your budget? Here are 5 exceptional options on the market that will put some bang in your buck!

pistol caliber carbines pic 1

  • Scorpion EVO 3 – CZ USA imports this fantastically versatile 9mm from the Czech Republic. The Scorpion line and action is offered in various varieties including the standard carbine with a folding stock, an arm brace SBR, and even a pistol. The Scorpion platform is chock full of great features like a threaded barrel and ambidextrous controls. Chambered in 9mm, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 is at the top of our list for its reliability, simple design, and price point.

pistol caliber carbines KRISS Vector Super V

KRISS Vector Super V – KRISS USA has turned a lot of heads with their out of the box solution to building a pistol caliber carbine rifle. Their non-linear operating system directs recoil down and away from the shooters shoulder not only reducing felt recoil, but also reducing muzzle jump. Available in 9mm, 45 ACP, 10mm, .40 S&W, and .357; these little rifles accept Glock mags and hit high marks for practicality and usefulness.

pistol caliber carbines Ruger PC Carbine 9Ruger PC Carbine 9 – Ruger is a longtime trusted name in the firearms industry. The iconic 10-22, mini 14, and their American bolt action rifles have been long trusted partners in the field for American sportsmen. Not to let the pistol caliber carbine platform outrun them, Ruger developed a winner in their PC (pistol caliber) rifle. Built on the tried and true 10-22 action, but in 9mm the Ruger PC Carbine is a handy little rifle that takes down to fit into a pack. Closer to a classic style rifle than the others on our list, the Ruger PC Carbine fits a more traditional rifle offering in a pistol caliber.

pistol caliber carbines Taurus Circuit Judge

Taurus Circuit Judge – Taurus took the Pistol Caliber Carbine in a unique direction with their Rossi Circuit Judge revolver action rifle. This little shooter can handle both .410 shotgun loads and 45LC pistol rounds. A handi rifle for home defense, at the ranch, around camp, or in the truck. Built on a 5 shot revolving action, this pistol caliber carbine’s action is simple and reliable with very little to go wrong. Here you may sacrifice high capacity magazines for simplicity. The Rossi Circuit Judge by Taurus is in a class of its own.

pistol caliber carbines TNW Aero Survival Rifle

TNW Aero Survival Rifle – The guys over at TNW Firearms took a lot into consideration when they put together their Aero Survival Rifle. Based out of Oregon, TNW is a young company when it comes to firearm manufacturers, but they’ve developed a real winner in their Aero pistol caliber carbine. Built to be a handy take down rifle, the Aero is based around the Armalite AR-7. The rifle is a lightweight 5 ½ pounds and easily packed into an everyday backpack. The Aero resembles easily without any tools, and accepts Glock mags. This rifle is offered in more cailbers than any others on our list including .22LR, .22Mag, 17HMR, 9mm, 10mm, 45 ACP, .40S&W, and .357SIG.

pistol caliber carbines MechTech conversion

Bonus Rifle – Not technically a Pistol Caliber Carbine, but definitely worth mentioning is the MechTech conversion. Essential an upper receiver with barrel and stock that matches up with the action and lower receiver of a pistol. Turn your “baby Glock” into a sub-compact pistol caliber carbine in just a few minutes. Available for Glocks, Springfield XD, and 1911s; the MechTech conversion will quickly turn your 9mm, 45 ACP, 40S&W, or 10MM pistol into a shoulder stocked carbine rifle.

Pistol caliber carbines have taken the shooting industry by storm over the past several years, and it doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. It is definitely a buyer’s market with more and more options available in carbine rifles chambered in pistol calibers. Whether you are looking for a defensive weapon, are a tactical operator, need a camp rifle, or just a weekend plinker; there is a pistol caliber carbine that will fit your needs.

THRiL CZ Scorpion EVO

The CZ Scorpion EVO | Where it All Started

In 2009 the Ceska zbrojovka Uhersky Brod arms company, better known as CZ in the United States released a modified version of the Laugo LG 205-A submachine gun. Manufactured in the Czech Republic, and imported through CZ USA, based in Kansas City, KS. The new prototype was designed with maneuverability, weight efficiency, and functionality in mind. Chambered in 9X19mm the new CZ Scorpion EVO 3 comes in at just over 6 pounds with a fully loaded detachable high capacity magazine. The CZ Scorpion is designed with urban combat, close quarters, and confined spaces like inside buildings and vehicles in mind. This initial rifle has gained in popularity over the years and has become a keystone of the firearms and shooting industry, much like the M4, AR-15, and AK-47. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 is highly adaptable and versatile, lending itself to be run as a carbine rifle, a pistol, and a short barreled rifle (SBR). The CZ Scorpion platform readily accepts high capacity magazines with OEM magazine options in 10, 20, and 30 round capacities.

Why 9mm Chambering

9X19mm, 9mm Luger, or just 9mm are all names for the same pistol cartridge, the nation’s most popular centerfire pistol cartridge. 9mm is a versatile centerfire, brass cased pistol cartridge that is easy to shoot, is accurate within its limitations, and is widely available with hundreds of millions of rounds on the market today. Offered in multiple bullet weights and designs on the market including full metal jacket, hollow point, and personal defense rounds. CZ’s choice of the 9mm for the chambering in the Scorpion platform is perfectly matched. Light recoil in the 9mm round makes it a pleasure to shoot, considering muzzle velocity somewhere between 1100 and 1300 feet per second with bullets weighing in over 100 grains, there is plenty of knock down for close range work. The 9mm cartridge is lightweight and compact to carry, and easy to load. Sacrificing velocity and range for convenience and recoil, the 9mm load is a terrific fit for the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 use case of close quarter work.

Versatile Options

Originally designed for military and law enforcement use in the A1 variant, the rifle features a select fire switch providing the shooter with 4 firing options. Safe mode, semi-auto, three-round burst and fully auto fire modes. The A1 model give the operator discretion to select the right fire mode for the situation. CZ quickly offered the Scorpion EVO 3 platform in a civilian model and multiple civilian variants. The CZ Scorpion EVO S1 and the CZ Scorpion EVO S2 are offered in the civilian market in multiple configurations that allow for easy customization and adaptation. Proficient as a carbine rifle, pistol, and SBR; with plenty of rail space and a threaded barrel for accessories like muzzle brakes and suppressors. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 product line provides enthusiasts with the options they demand.

The Pistol

First available in the United States in 2015 on the civilian market and imported as a pistol with its short 7 3/4” barrel, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol is an iconic firearm on the market today. The Scorpion pistol works on a blowback semi-auto action and is equipped with low-profile sights. The pistol features a threaded barrel, and simple ambidextrous controls that are easy to use and reliable.  With features like a swappable charging handle and adjustable trigger reach, the Scorpion is full of features with the shooter in mind. Larger than the 9mm concealed carry mini pistols on the market today, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 pistol may have a larger frame than many other 9mm pistols, but it offers detachable high capacity magazine functionality, built in accessory rails, and a rugged frame designed for combat.

Make it a SBR

CZ offers the Scorpion EVO 3 S1 as a pistol, with corresponding classification at the ATF. However, with the appropriate licensing, and consideration of federal, state, and local laws; the Scorpion pistol readily accepts the CZ designed SB Tactical arm brace. Under federal law and ATF policy, attaching a stock to a pistol or a device that is intended as a stock constitutes a short-barreled rifle. Short Barreled Rifles (SBR) require registration with the ATF and a federal tax. If a SBR is on your list, and your willing to do the legal and regulatory leg work, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S2 with the optional micro brace is the perfect fit. A pint sized pistol with a telescoping or folding stock chambered in 9mm is big on functionality, practicality, and on cool!

Pistol Caliber Carbine

Pistol caliber carbine rifles have been popular for years, and for good reason. A short rifle chambered in a light recoiling, yet effective centerfire pistol cartridge is a practical tool that fits many uses. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 fits just that bill. Utilizing the proven Scorpion action, fit with a 16.2” barrel and a factory folding adjustable stock, CZ has built a practical and reliable pistol-caliber plinker. The rifle is setup factory with M-LOK attachment points, keeping the profile low and ergonomical while allowing for easy customization. The cold hammer forged barrel is cut with 1/2X28 threads to accept a flash hider, muzzle brake, or suppressor. CZ built in low-profile adjustable aperture and post sights for use as a primary or backup sighting system, providing accuracy and practicality without bulk. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 Carbine is a lightweight, low recoil, shoulder fired rifle that accepts high capacity mags ready for range time, tactical training, or for things that go bump in the night.

Final Thoughts

A fast handling, lightweight firearm with low recoil and a tough proven action will find its place in the hands of tactical operators, law enforcement, and range time plinkers the world over. The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 is no exception. Law enforcement, Special Forces, and shooting enthusiasts from Egypt to Poland, and Vietnam to the United States have adopted the Scorpion platform in at least one of its versatile forms. Highly adaptable, practical, and versatile from pistol to SBR and carbine too, the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 deserves a hard look. Practical use cases are plenty for this sturdy little transformer including home defense, tactical application, law enforcement, and paper punching range time. Whatever your reason to squeeze the trigger on a CZ Scorpion EVO 3 9mm, it’s sure not to disappoint.

CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol and Carbine Reviews

Recently, shooters have taken interest in Short Barreled Rifles (SBR), pistol caliber carbines, and pistols like the CZ Scorpion EVO with arm braces. Gun enthusiasts, collectors, and operators alike have quickly found that these pistols and carbines chambered in popular pistol calibers are versatile, effective at many uses, and enjoyable to shoot. The recent resurgence of pistol calibers in short action rifles fits a niche in tactical, combat, and home defense arms. These small and versatile weapons offer the versatility of an AR or AK with the adaptability of rail systems, and the compactness allowing it to fit in spaces AR or AK’s could not.

The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine and the CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Pistol chambered in 9mm luger offer low recoil, cost effective, and accurate shooting with plenty of firepower. Capable in the hands of tactical shooters, law enforcement agents, and range shooters; the CZ Scorpion offer versatile rifles that are highly customizable, ergonomic, and a pleasure to run and shoot.

With a variety of aftermarket features and accessories on the market designed around rail systems, customizing the CZ Scorpion EVO is straightforward and uncomplicated. Adding on night vision or thermal systems, flashlights, laser sights, red dot optics, and even sound suppressors is easily done with these highly customizable pistols and carbines. The Scorpion EVO by CZ is offered with several different customizations.

CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine

The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 Carbine has a 16.2” barrel fitted with the option of a muzzle brake or a suppressor specifically built for the model by SilencerCo. The 9mm Carbine has M-LOK attachment points to keep the carbine slim and lightweight.

CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Pistol

The CZ Scorpion sub-gun is a semi-auto pistol chambered in 9mm with a short 7 ¾” barrel. An 11’ Picatinny rail sits on top of the pistol as well as a new arm brace adapter which allows the addition of an AR style buffer tube for added stability.

CZ Scorpion 3 S2 Pistol Micro with Brace

The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S2 Micro is a 9mm pistol featuring a 4” barrel and a telescoping SB Tactical arm brace allowing it to collapse to just over 16 inches. The Micro also has a NoOsprey faux suppressor from SilencerCo.

CZ Scorpion EVO Reviews

Tune into Youtube personality Iraq8888’s channel for a review of the CZ Scoprion EVO 3. He lays out multiple scenarios and use cases running the Scorpion through its paces!

CZ ScorpioEvo 3 Pistol | Budget Friendly Pistol review is done by DevildogGamer. He reviews why he chose this sub-gun over other competitors like the MP5. He explains how light the gun is yet still keeps up with the quality expectations you would expect for the price point.

In CZ Scorpion EVO “Essential Upgrades” Vol 1 Mayor Fuglycool goes over the upgrades he recommends for the CZ Scorpion EVO. He discusses the trigger, charging handle, safety selector, mag release lever, and silencer upgrades of the CZ Scorpion he feels are best for this particular firearm. They’re many different styles and colors of add-ons to choose from various manufactures as well as CZ.

The Ideal Backpack Gun: CZ Scorpion by Tactiholics discusses the versatility of the CZ Scorpion as a concealed carry piece, personal defense gun, or truck gun. They test the Scorpion from close range out to 50 yards with it finding its mark at all of those distances. Overall they leave you feeling that its performance is worth the price tag.

CZ Scorpion EVO 3 Carbine by sootch00 explains the history of this firearm and its advantages and disadvantages on the range. The Scorpion’s handling qualities create for a fun experience on the range with only a mild recoil being felt. He feels they’re plenty of applications for this firearm because of its versatility. 

This video by FirearmFreedom discusses the CZ Scorpion Upgrades that are available for the Scorpion.