Pistol Caliber vs Rifle Caliber Carbine

Q: Under what circumstances would you choose a Pistol caliber Carbine over a Rifle Caliber Carbine?

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BTT Response:

If all fairness, it comes down to your specific mission or goal objective. Both types of rounds have excellent pros and cons. In addition it also depends on the type of weapon platform you are using.

If you’re going hunting, clearly the rifle caliber carbine would be the better choice. Simply the ballistic on would a rifle be a little more optimal in terms of accuracy and distance. However, that’s not to say you can’t successfully hunt with a handgun. I knew a guy that would only hunt with his 9mm pistol, until one day that hog got right up on his ass. That is when he switched to a 44 magnum on a Desert Eagle. Not sure if that made a difference for him, but whatever floats his boat.

In my opinion, if I was running a 9mm Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC), then it’s really for the purpose of ammo consolidation and the versatility of having a PCC. Not many ranges will let you run a 5.56 round but many will let you run the PCC.

However, that’s not to say that having something like the MP5 in full auto would be welcoming either. But at least having a PCC, I can run that in matches as while still maintaining my rifle skills.

Now in terms of home defense inside the house, I wonder what kind of fantasy do any of these people have to dream up some SEAL TEAM 6 scenario. Maybe they live on a farm and they have plenty of room, but I live in small house. It would be quite useless for me to run any kind of carbine or long gun in my house in the middle of the night. However, lets say that is your choice to do so, so what is the better advantage?

Lots of debate on the words “over penetration”. There seems to be a lot of debate among the range/home defense ninjas. Which ballistic over penetrates and which doesn’t? First of all, what’s your house made of? Steel? Then it’s a mute point.

Now if you live in a condo or a home that’s made of cheap materials, chances are, any rounds will over penetrate. You can be all technical as you want, but unless you make the effort to reenforce your house or living area, you can just forget about the over penetration. You are going to over penetrate no matter what.

But if you want statistics, and don’t go by what I write here. Feel free to Google “R.K. Taubert” and see what he has to say. However these are order of “over penetration” to consider; remember, all bullets will over penetrate. There are no magic bullets.

  • 1. Pistol bullets consistently penetrate the most.
  • 2. Shotgun is next.
  • 3. And rifles in 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem penetrates the LEAST.

So if you’re worried about over penetration, then get a knife and learn how to slice and dice your way out. But where you live and the situation you are in will depend greatly on your choice of a defensive weapon.

Oh, the argument “5.56/.223 is really loud in a closed room or environment” is irrelevant.

Have you ever been in a serious life threatening situation where you stop doing normal things because it was just too loud? More than likely you’re not going to notice once your adrenaline is kicking in and you’re in a heavy stressed moment. Unless you’ve been acclimated in a combat condition, your body’s normal response will shut down for a fight or flight mode. Your hearing will enhance but like most typical response, you won’t feel the effects of it until after the event.

At the end of the day, the choice of having a PCC over a rifle caliber or vice versa, various with your purpose and intent. Either one is fun to shoot. Both comes with pros and cons. And if you can’t decide on choosing either, then get both.