Why a Pistol Caliber Carbine?
The notion of a “carbine” is attributed to the cavalry, generally shorter and lighter than a full length rifle, the length of a curved sword or saber, that can be carried in a scabbard on horseback. Carbine length black powder rifles were considered low performance in terms of velocity and less accurate to a degree, due to the shorter sighting plane. The adoption of smokeless powder minimized the ballistic penalty.
With the current Ruger PC9 Carbine and similar, it is a more accurate platform than a pistol as the shooter has more contact points, offering a more stable shooting platform than non-shoulder fired alternatives. There is less felt recoil as the short barreled rifle has a stock-weld to the shoulder when used and it is also significantly heavier than a pistol.
For the regular shooter, pistol ammo is often cheaper. It should be, as it uses less propellant and brass. As pistol cartridge propellants have relatively fast burn rates, there isn't much velocity increase with a 9mm pistol cartridge rifle as there would be with a rifle cartridge. Ballistics by the inch, http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/9luger.html shows that there often is little velocity gain by using a longer barrel. Using a Federal 115 grain JHP round shows 1188 fps our of a 6 inch barrel, 1253 fps from a 10 inch barrel, and 1295 fps out of a 16 inch barrel. This is still extremely slow for a rifle, for a .22 Win Mag rimfire with a 16 inch barrel using 45 grain Hornady Flex Tip ammo hits 1702 fps.
The 9mm Luger from 1902, or 9 x 19mm pistol cartridge also uses a very poor flying bullet. After all, a 9mm is a .35 caliber round (.0355 inch diameter bullet), about the same diameter as the .357 Magnum. The .357 fares much better out of a rifle, for a 125 grain Federal JHP round hits 1943 fps out of a 10 inch barrel and 2015 fps out of a 16 inch barrel. 2015 fps with a 125 grain bullet (.357 Magnum) versus 1295 fps from a 115 grain 9mm bullet is a huge difference.
As for the 10mm auto (.400 in. bullet diameter, the Glock 20 has a 4.6 inch barrel: velocities with a 5 inch barrel are 1069 fps, 1093 fps from a 6 inch barrel with Federal 180 grain Hydra-Shok, and 1220 fps from a 16 inch barrel. A 240 grain Federal Hydra-Shok from a .44 RemMag nets 1619 fps from a 16 inch barrel, putting the 10mm to shame. Lots of things have taken deer, that's anyone's choice, but to suggest that any pistol cartridge compares to even the ancient .30-30 is wishful thinking, even more wishful at 150 or 200 yards. Now you know why 10mm carbines, as far as I'm concerned, make very little sense. It is more noise, less capacity, more recoil, a higher cost per shot, perhaps why the FBI and the U.S. Military both have stuck with, or have gone back to the 9mm. Common pistol cartridge performance, compared to 110 year old rifle cartridges are anything but amazing, except to say they are amazingly weak.
The .357 Magnum and the 10mm are both greatly, spectacularly under-powered compared to the .35 Remington from 1906. The Hornady LEVER Revolution round gets a 200 grain bullet out of the muzzle at 2225 fps from a 24 inch barrel. Sighted in 3 inches high at 100 yards, it is dead on at 200 yards, still hitting with 1315 ft./lbs of energy at 200 yards. So, don't kid yourself: no 9mm Luger or .357 Magnum is an ideal large deer or black bear cartridge, regardless of what it comes out of.
One of the hits of 2018 is the new Ruger PC Carbine in 9mm. It is a handy, fun gun, good for home defense or just plinking. It is a significant upgrade over the Hi-Point 995 genre of inexpensive 9mm semi-autos, not nearly as pricey as the Beretta CX4 Storm that does look a bit more Flash Gordon, and it is a fraction of the price of the excellent Kriss Vector. Still, the 9 x 19 is no big game hunting round, and no medium game hunting round, either.
Please don't let the facts dissuade you from getting what you want. At the same time, don't let the hyperbole of a pistol caliber carbine sway you into thinking that they are anything more than short range defensive or plinking tools, not remotely in the same league as countless rifle cartridges.
Copyright 2018 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.