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.
Table of contents
- What is The Ruger PC Carbine?
- Where Does Ruger Get it Right?
- Can You Attach a Sling to The Ruger PC Carbine?
- Get a grip! Pistol Grip Upgrade – Ruger PC Carbine
- Stock Upgrade – Ruger PC Carbine
- What Other Mags Can The Ruger PC Carbine Take?
- The Most Important Ruger PC Carbine Upgrade
- What Do I Use The Threaded Barrel For?
- The Possibilities are Endless – Ruger PC Carbine Upgrades
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Want to have a better understanding of the differences in muzzle devices? Check out our dissection of the bunch!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.