Ruger PC Carbine Upgrades

Gun nuts have a soft spot for hard-use rifles. Ruger’s PC Carbine is the perfect example. This rifle isn’t about to win any beauty pageants, but it is built to be tossed in the back of the truck and run-ragged on the range. This is a gun you can train with that won’t shoot holes in your wallet, and a rifle that will still be going strong long after you’re not.

What is The Ruger PC Carbine?

Let’s start with some basic definitions. The Ruger PC Carbine looks like some of its other black-rifle ancestors, but that’s more of a costume than anything. This is, at its core, a straight blowback carbine chambered in a pistol caliber.

Even though it is anemic when compared to rifle calibers, the extra length on the barrel is optimal for pulling out all of the 9mm’s potential. Any ammo you choose for this will be leaving the barrel at a higher velocity than is advertised on the box.

Ruger PC Carbine 9mm Rifle – Adjustable Stock and Freefloat Handguard Model

The 9mm moving faster makes this gun exceptional for self-defense. If you’re looking for a reasonably compact home-defense gun, this one is even better (as the 9mm isn’t nearly as likely to over-penetrate as wayward rifle rounds). In short, this is a rock-solid option for close quarters.

In its stock configuration (shown here with a Ruger mag) the PC Carbine is purposefully designed and well thought out.

Where Does Ruger Get it Right?

This one’s easy. Unlike so many AR makers who cobble together an entry-level gun that almost immediately needs some serious upgrades, the Ruger PC Carbine is a bold design that is highly adaptable out of the box. In this respect, it is like the Ruger ARs.

There’s no need to work on the trigger, exactly, as this is not a bench gun. The handguard, with its M-LOK slots, is a solid platform for the needed additions. It is a takedown gun (it can be broken in half at the push of a button) so storage and transport are always easy. Everything about this gun is good, to begin with, so there’s not much that you would want to replace in the traditional sense.

Can You Attach a Sling to The Ruger PC Carbine?

This question is far easier to answer. There are numerous ways a sling may be attached to the Ruger PC Carbine. It has a QD slot on the rear of the receiver, and MLOK slots all along the handguard, and there are numerous stocks out there that will have a mount point. It’s all about mobility, folks. Find the right sling for you!

The Ruger PC Carbine, just like every rifle, needs a sling. You can’t always carry it in your hands, and dropping it down on your strong side will allow you more control over lights, phones, doors…

Check out the Magpul MS4. This is a robust and easy-to-use design that connects with a QD slot on the rear of the PC Carbine’s receiver. For the forward attaching point, we rolled with our AT3 M-LOK Quick Detach Sling Mount which comes in a bunch of different colors.

The Magpul MS4 is the perfect choice for the Ruger PC Carbine.
Magpul MS4 Dual Multi Mission Quick Detach Sling

Magpul MS4 Dual Multi Mission Quick Detach Sling


Slings allow you to drop the rifle, but what if you want to hold it more securely? Look at adding a vertical foregrip. As this is a rifle and not a pistol, you can add vertical grips or hand stops.

The RVG is a simple foregrip from Magpul. It has clean lines and provides a useful grip on rifles. If you need something MLOK check out the MVG!
Magpul RVG Rail Vertical Grip

Magpul RVG Rail Vertical Grip


Check out the Timber Creek Low Profile Hand stop. This is a nice minimalist option that can give you the ideal place to index your support hand. Hand stops are neat because they can be put on the PC Carbine Charger (pistol variant) or an AR pistol and it does not count as a vertical grip which would turn it into an NFA item (SBR specifically).

Both AT3 and Timber Creek offer hand stops in a bunch of colors!
Timber Creek Outdoors Low Profile M-LOK AR-15 Handstop

Timber Creek Outdoors Low Profile M-LOK AR-15 Handstop


Get a grip! Pistol Grip Upgrade – Ruger PC Carbine

As for the grip, this may be the one place that is actually lacking in Ruger’s stock gun. It comes stock with a very generic hard plastic pistol grip. Since the Ruger PC Carbine accepts AR grips, you have unlimited choices for what you might like to put in there. We rolled with the Magpul MOE+ which features a rubberized feel for better grip and included grip storage.

PC Carbine Upgrades
Make sure to check out Hogue grips if you like palm swells and finger grooves.

This modification is typically more of a concern for those with really large or really small hands, but there are subtle adjustments you can make to grip angles or materials if you want to get the best fit for you. If you are unfamiliar with the process behind swapping out an AR pistol grip make sure to check out page 35 in this FREE US Army Manual for the AR15 / M4 / M16.

Magpul MOE+ Grip w/ Storage Compartment – Pistol Grip for AR-15

Magpul MOE+ Grip w/ Storage Compartment – Pistol Grip for AR-15


Stock Upgrade – Ruger PC Carbine

The Ruger PC Carbine as you see it comes with the adjustable Magpul MOE Stock. If you are looking for something slightly more low profile we picked out the Magpul MOE SL-K since it is light, short, and slim.

PC Carbine Upgrades

If the Ruger PC Carbine in this configuration is too long for you, the buffer tube/stock adapter is attached to a piece of rail. It can easily be removed. Also on that note, there are many folding stocks that can attach to that rail section. The Ruger PC Carbine does not use a buffer system.

Magpul MOE SL-K Stock - Mil-Spec - AR15/M4

Magpul MOE SL-K Stock – Mil-Spec – AR15/M4


What Other Mags Can The Ruger PC Carbine Take?

Once you have firm control over the gun, you’ll need to decide what to feed it. The ammo selection is getting better these days, and there are lots of magazines in stock. For the Ruger PC Carbine, this gun is so much fun you’ll want at least 10 mags–and likely more.

Ruger mags are less common to come by. Ruger knows this though, which is why they include a Glock magazine well adapter with these. The adapter will accept any double-stack 9mm Glock magazine.

PC Carbine Upgrades
The Glock Magazine Adapter is included with all Ruger PC Carbine models.

For Glock mag versions of the PC Carbine, you can go with any number of options. For the most reliable, look for factory mags. Otherwise, another well-regarded and reliable brand would be Magpul.

PC Carbine Upgrades
Here is a Magpul 27rd Glock-compatible magazine. If you need even more bang for your buck check out the Magpul D50 Pmag that holds 50rds!
Magpul PMAG 50-Round Drum Magazine - 9mm - Fits Glock Pattern PCC

Magpul PMAG 50-Round Drum Magazine – 9mm – Fits Glock Pattern PCC


The Most Important Ruger PC Carbine Upgrade

The most obvious addition to the Ruger PC Carbine will be sights. This specific SKU needs sights, and the factory set-up is optics-ready. This implies that something other than iron sights are suggested but we recommend the AT3™ Pro Series BUIS in case that’s how you roll. If that is the case you will need an MLOK chunk for the front sight.

As for optics, Ruger has provided two clear options. Above the chamber, there’s a traditional stretch of rail that will allow for the addition of scope or red dot. Forward, above the barrel, is a shorter section of rail for mounting an optic out farther.

PC Carbine
Note: The single chunk of rail above the barrel.

Which would work better? That depends on your needs but we always recommend that optics are mounted on the receiver for the best results. For more information on where you should mount your red dot check out this article here.

Very few scope makers make dedicated scout scopes anymore. Red dots do the same thing (almost) and are smaller and even faster for target acquisition. The Alpha is one of the most popular red dot optics we sell and a definite favorite amongst us employees.

PC Carbine
The AT3 Tactical ALPHA is better suited to harsh use on a rifle, with a sturdy housing and Shake Awake technology to ensure long battery life measured in years.
AT3™ ALPHA Micro Red Dot Sight with Shake Awake and Cantilever Riser Mount

AT3™ ALPHA Micro Red Dot Sight with Shake Awake and Cantilever Riser Mount


The traditional placement of scope will allow a very familiar feel for most of us. With the optic or scope put closer to your eye, you’ll need to establish a good position for eye relief. In this position–especially with scopes–your field of view is typically limited to what you see in the scope.

The AT3 Red Tail allows you to work with minimal magnification at super-close ranges (like inside of buildings) and still provides the versatility of a 4X or 6X for making long shots. This is a great choice for an LPVO, and a perfect addition to the back end of the PC Carbine.

AT3 Red Tail
The AT3 Red Tail Scope is an ideal option for precision at close quarters.
AT3™ Red Tail™ Rifle Scope with Locking Caps - 1-4x or 1-6x Magnification - BDC Reticle

AT3™ Red Tail™ Rifle Scope with Locking Caps – 1-4x or 1-6x Magnification – BDC Reticle


The AT3 3xP is a good option for a compact scope that will provide the speed of a red dot along with some minimal magnification.

The AT3 3xP will be good for those looking for a fixed magnification.
AT3™ 3xP Scope - 3x Prism Scope with Illuminated BDC Reticle

AT3™ 3xP Scope – 3x Prism Scope with Illuminated BDC Reticle


The forward section of the rail provides a great way to mount an optic–especially a red dot–farther away from your eye. This opens up your field of view and allows you to keep a clean picture of all of your surroundings while also keeping your eye on your target.

This grew out of the old Scout Rifle concept–which predates practical red dots–in which a 1.5 power scope was placed forward of the action on rifles designed to be used at close quarters. The increase in the field of view allows for exceptionally fast target acquisition (if you train with the design) and allows for both eyes to remain open. If you need surgical precision at longer distances, you work with Kentucky windage, but it still works.

The AT3 ARO is great for a minimalist option that you can run farther down the barrel.
AT3 ARO™ Micro Red Dot Reflex Sight with Optional Riser Mount

AT3 ARO™ Micro Red Dot Reflex Sight with Optional Riser Mount


What Do I Use The Threaded Barrel For?

Man, as much as we would all love to have a silencer to toss on this beast, the reality is that most rifle owners don’t pursue this option due to the time, cost, and legal registration involved. Rather than leaving the muzzle threads unused, owners can explore practical accessories like flash hiders, compensators, and our personal favorite – muzzle brakes to enhance the rifle’s performance.

The VG6 Gamma is one of our top-selling 9mm muzzle brakes that would suit the PC Carbine just fine. It’s basically a muzzle brake/compensator hybrid making it the best of both worlds.

Want to have a better understanding of the differences in muzzle devices? Check out our dissection of the bunch!

VG6 Gamma 9mm Muzzle Brake - 1/2X28

VG6 Gamma 9mm Muzzle Brake – 1/2X28


The Possibilities are Endless – Ruger PC Carbine Upgrades

There’s no doubt that this is a unique gun. From its adaptable mag wells to the versatility and ambidexterity of its controls, this is an ideal way to build out the perfect PCC for home defense, or for an ideal truck gun.

And there’s not much that you need to really make it sing. After the optics and ergonomics are addressed, this gun will be fully functional. That said, as this is not a ubiquitous design, you’ll need more range time with it in order to push its limits and become proficient.

PC Carbine


What sights does the Ruger PC Carbine come with?

The bas model Ruger PC Carbine as well as the mid-tier free float model will have iron sights and rail space for optics. The Ruger PC Carbine we used as well as the Ruger PC Charger do not come with iron sights. They are “optics ready”. If you would like Ruger PC Charger or PC Carbine iron sights, any piccatinny mounted sights will work.

What type is the Ruger PC 9mm Carbine stock?

The only model of Ruger PC Carbine that has a stock you are able to replace would be the model with the Magpul® MOE® buttstock. The other PC9’s will have fixed stocks or in the case of the PC Charger, it does not have a stock at all.

Can I change the stock on my fixed stock model Ruger PC Carbine?

Yes! There have been many different options popping up recently. Magpul has their Magpul PC9 Backpacker stock. There are also companies that have begun to manufacture chassis systems much like the one on the premium tricked out model or even Ruger PC Carbine Bullpup stocks.

Can the Ruger PC Carbine use Glock magazines?

Yes! The Ruger PC lineup can use Glock magazines. they come stock with a Ruger magazine well but the package includes a Glock 9mm magazine adapter. It will use any double stack Glock 9mm magazine

Does the Ruger PC Carbine come in 40 S&W?

At the time of this article the Ruger PC does not come in 40 caliber. Only 9mm.

One Last Tip

If there’s anyone that knows the AR-15 platform, it’s the US military. As a special offer for our readers, you can get the Official US Army Manual for AR-15/M4/M16 right now – for free. Click here to snag a copy.

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25 thoughts on “The Ruger PC Carbine Upgrade Guide [2024 Update]

  1. Magazines for CZ-75, Beretta 92, and SIG P365 can be used with an appropriate aftermarket adapter.

    1. That is true, I have the cz75 mag adapter, but be aware some may damage the mags

  2. Now that S&W has released their variant of a PC Carbine we need to convince Ruger to make an M&P magazine adapter.
    The FPC is lighter and uses the magazines I already have. It also deploys quicker. I do about the longevity though. A lot of plastic in the wrong places.

    Not everyone is a Glock Fan Boy…

  3. Do they sell muzzle breaks for this??

    Where would I shop online for one?

    1. Hi Joe! There is very little in the way of 9mm muzzle brakes since 9mm carbines have jumped in popularity in the last 10 years. Compensators will usually have side cuts or vents to aid in gas dispersion. The VG6 Epsilon 9mm is a muzzle brake/compensator hybrid of sorts and it is made for PCCs like the Ruger.

      That particular one can be found here:×28-muzzle-brake-compensator-flash-hider

      Other 9mm muzzle devices that we offer can be found at the link here:

      Otherwise to our knowledge, there are a few companies (Tandemkross and M Carbo) out there that market a 9mm muzzle brake as a “PC Carbine muzzle brake”.

  4. can an adjustable stock be put on this Ruger pc mine has a regular stock with nothing but spacers to adjust the stock

    1. Hi Roger!

      Unfortunately, the fixed stock models are stuck as is and Ruger (as of right now) does not sell the necessary pieces separately. The main issue is that the magazine assembly is built into the forward part of the stock so if Ruger did decide to sell different stocks or ways to change the stock on fixed-stock guns they would probably be fairly spendy.

      I have seen that there are companies out there that offer new chasiss but I would be hesitant to steer from the brandname when it comes to a major component such as that.

  5. No sig Romeo for optics. Fail. No iron sights at all, fail. Adding a rail to the front for a sight. Fail. Great firearm. Eats anything.

  6. Is there an 18 inch barrel available for the PCC 9?

    1. Hi Lloyd!

      As of this comment Ruger does not manufacture barrels longer than 16″ for the PCC. They do however have a custom shop that may be able to help with that request but keep in mind that any time something is “custom” it is usually reflected in the price tag.

      I am unaware of any other manufacturer making longer barrels.

      1. Ruger make 18″ barrels for Canada and other export markets. But they do not sell them in the U.S.

  7. I have the Ruger pistol grip, collapsable butt stock, model 19122 I believe.
    Any suggestions on the best way to add some length of pull for a tall guy.

    1. Hi Stephen!

      Excellent question! Most Magpul AR15 stocks (which can replace the adjustable Ruger stock) are able to accept their recoil pads.

      I would imagine that these would add about a quarter or half an inch. Beyond that, I am unsure of how well some of the longer fixed stocks would work. Most require the backend of an AR15 to kiss against it.


    This is what I will be buying for mine pretty soon, along with the 14″ hand guard to make it more tactically proficient.

  9. Hi

    Im looking for the the screws that hold on the front factor sight. Mine came loose, and I lost them on the range.

    1. Google bro.

  10. I would like to purchase a vertical fore end grip for a 9mm Ruger PCC with a barrel shroud. I do not know which will fit. Please advise.

    1. There’s a Magpul grip in this thread.

    2. If you have the mlok barrel shroud/hand guard the “MLOK vertical foregrip” will fit. Any vertical foregrip from magpul that is mlok and not picatinny will work just fine.

  11. How fo I change the pistol grip on the ruger pc carbine chassis? Several people on youtube says you can put a magpul grip on the gun but I cant find any videos or instructions on how to do it

    1. How about steel sights

    2. You can replace the stock grip with any AR-style handgrip (with beavertail). One screw is all it takes to replace the grip and it is very easy to do. There are a number of videos showing how to replace the grip on AR’s on YouTube. The process is identical for the chassis model PC9

    3. Just like any AR-15. Get a long allen-key and screw it through the bottom of the pistol grip. Its in the manual for the PC Charger/Carbine also.

    4. Just like any AR grip.

    5. you change it like your standard AR15 grip(the screw through the bottom of the grip)

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