pistol caliber carbines

so, i went shooting today, and my dad busted out his .40 cal Hi-Point carbine. my wife and i shot this, and fell in love with it.... little to no recoil, uses a decent round, easy to shoot (compared to a pistol, which my wife struggles with), accurate at 50-75 yards, and ammo is pretty common.....and it's cheap! my dad's was about $180 brand new....

from what i've seen on the 'net, these have a pretty good reputation and sell well, but after shooting one, am amzed that they're not more popular. in fact, i'm putting off plans to pick up an AR to get 1 of these...

why are these not more popular? is it because of the "cool" factor attached to the AR series??

Hi points were pretty hit and miss a few years ago. My gun shop sent a LOT of them back. Generally the keltec PCC's seem to hold up better. YMMV.

They are neat guns, but pistol caliber carbines are kind of a small niche market gun. They don't get you out any farther than a handgun can, they don't have the destructive power of a rifle but they're the size of a rifle carbine. Their recoil is close to that of an AR. If I remember, the hipoint uses the pistol mags which limit you to 10 rounds?

For comparison, a hi point carbine is 32.5 inches long. My AR pistol with a 10.5" barrel is 27" long. 30 round mags are standard, 60 and 100 round mags are available. Using particular loads, my gun can reliably get rounds to tumble and fragment in targets at past 75 yards according to military standards for velocity. It's AR accurate out to 200 yards, and been reliable. It's more expensive than the hipoint (around 700 to build), but the benefits to me outweigh the extra cost.

Wanna go cheaper? A WASR 10 ak47 hi cap with a foldin gstock is 34" opened and you can pick them up for around most places $450. I've not priced a hi point before, but the MSRP of the 40 is $315 for the plane jane. So for not a whole lot more, you can get a gun that has legendary reliability, will shoot out to 300 yards reliably, do a lot more damage and hold a lot more rounds in the same sized package.

You might look at the keltec carbines too, same principle, but they fold in half for transport and some models take glock magazines (they make 33rnd glock magazines that feed reliably).

Whatever you get, shoo the piss out of it to test for reliability and have fun.

hey, thanks for the input....

my dad has one of those Keltec carbines as well...interesting concept, but for some reason it looked too frail to me.

for some reason, the Hi-point is really comfortable for me to shoot....it feels amazingly ergonomic, almost like i could clear 50 houses and not mind, but i know my M4/AR or pistol would not be nearly as easy. my wife and mom were both on target from about 15 yards, and my borther and i were hitting 10 rounds on rapid fire from about 25 yards, on the first time we shot this. i'm genuinely amazed by the accuracy and ease of shooting...

from what i've read, this is accurate to 100 yards, but i haven't tried that yet.... but i agree, a rifle is accurate at least 2-3 times that.

i wonder about the results as a defensive round...i've read the studies where they explain how most AR's have less over-penetration than pistols, and it makes me think that's a bad thing, when you're trying to put someone down.

The keltecs have been more robust from what I've seen (never had any break to send back compared to the Hipoints). YMMV.

A 5.56 rnd doesn't penetrate as deeply because it yaws and fragments at high velocities, making a truly gruesome wound track. High velocity handgun rounds tend to punch a hole straight through things. So you get a round that does more damage on it's initial target, don't have to worry about overpenetrating as much, and typically holds more rounds.

Shooting a carbine or rifle vs a handgun should be easier. If you're using a 2 hand grip on the handgun, you have two points of contact to control and aim the gun. With a carbine or rifle, you get 4 points of contact. This is always going to offer you more control and ease of aiming, however, if you're seeing a big difference between your handgun shooting and shooting a carbine at 25 yards, then I would suggest that you need to practice with your hand guns more. With a compact glcok 26, my wife can keep all 10 rounds on a 12" steel target at 50 yards. With a full size glock, she can do it rapid fire.

Like I said, the advantage of a rifle over a handgun is typically more range, more power, and more ammo on board. A Pistol Caliber Carbine negates two of those immediately (range and power, it's the same round, yeah, you do get a bit of a velocity bump with the longer barrel, but it's not some insane increase), with the hi point, you lose the final one, ammo on board with it's 10 round mags. Hence the PCC's generally not being as popular.

That being said, if you like it, go buy one and shoot the hell out of it. That's what I do with my Keltec Sub 2000 PCC. :o)

judging by what you're saying, i do need more pistol practice...unfortunately, my dept doesn't have time for much more than monthly firearms training, and i usually only get out 1-2 mores times a month on my own. i've been looking at picking up some laser-dry fire toys, too.

i just read an article in a LEO publication that echo's much of what you said:

The Role of Subguns In LE

While pistol-caliber subguns still have their place, the short-barreled M4 is finding greater favor in law enforcement.

As a former U.S. Customs Service agent in South Florida during the Miami Vice era of the drug war, I can tell you that well-made pistol caliber subguns such as the Heckler & Koch MP5 still have their place in law enforcement.

The first time that I trained with the Heckler & Koch MP5 in 9mm, I became an instant fan of this well-made, accurate, reliable, and soft-shooting pistol caliber subgun.

The HK MP5, which takes a 30-round magazine, is lightweight and easy to wield, especially when used with a lightweight collapsible stock. When used with a retractable stock, the HK MP5 is compact and easy to carry in a confined area, such as during a raid on a residence or while boarding a vessel. An accessory lets you carry two magazines clipped together when operating the weapon. This makes it possible to carry at least one spare magazine and offers an easier combat reload without having to pull a spare magazine from a pocket or load-bearing vest.

When used in select-fire mode, the HK MP5 is very controllable. This makes it possible to put multiple rounds on target in a short period of time. The fact that the MP5 reliably feeds hollow-point ammunition also makes this subgun an effective platform to carry in harm's way for law enforcement officers and special ops personnel who also carry a 9mm pistol. The MP5 is available in a number of variations including the HK MP5SD Model that utilizes an integral suppressor.

I was later issued a Walther MPK subgun (also 9mm) that was an all-steel Cold War era subgun predating the more modern HK MP5. In addition to carrying the Walther MPK while working air smuggling cases on the ground, I also carried it while working undercover. I did this in case a deal went bad, and I needed immediate access to greater firepower. Both the HK MP5 and the Walther MPK were ideal for this application because these subguns were equipped with high-capacity magazines and were very compact when stocks were folded.

The 9mm subguns have been popular in law enforcement for many years because these firearms were basically all we had unless you wanted to carry a shotgun, rifle or carbine such as a M-16, an AR-15, Ruger Mini-14, or Colt CAR 15/M-4. If you needed to be more heavily armed while operating in a confined space, your choices were more limited than they are today. As firearms manufacturers began producing reliable M4 carbines in 5.56mm, these subguns started to fall out of favor. Even the relatively lightweight FN SCAR Heavy MK17 in 7.62mm is controllable in select-fire mode.

Currently the weapon of choice when you need more firepower is typically an M16 rifle or the M4 carbine including select-fire models equipped with a barrel from 10.5 to 16 inches in length.

That returns us to my statement that a pistol caliber subgun can still be an effective firearm when you need more firepower. The caveat here is that it should be deployed only in the rarest of circumstances—when you need the most compact select-fire weapon possible.

One military unit that performs dynamic tactical operations similar to some law enforcement units continues to carry pistol-caliber subguns. This unit is made up of members of the U.S. and NATO/Coalition Special Operations Command. The U.S. Navy SEALS are one example of a USSOCOM unit that effectively use an array of firearms that suit their mission template. The HK MP has been made famous by the U.S. Navy SEALS.

Another new firearm that seems to be earning an excellent reputation is the HK MP7A1, which is chambered in 4.6mm. With its compact 7-inch barrel, the MP7A1 uses a caliber that produces 50% less felt recoil than a subgun chambered in 9mm, while being accurate enough to deliver sub two-inch groups at 45 meters while being fired in semi-automatic mode.

Even though I'm not a fan of the FN P90, this subgun arrives in 5.7x28 caliber with a 50-round magazine capacity that's capable of putting an incredible number of rounds on target in a short amount of time. The FN P90s is used today by several law enforcement and military organizations.

The popularity of the subgun in U.S. law enforcement seems to be fading, as more and more LE agencies transition to semi-automatic and select-fire M4 carbines. One factor that's contributing to the transition to M4s with different barrel lengths is that many of the older HK MP5s are wearing out. Also, the DOD is giving away warehouses full of Vietnam vintage M16s in brand new or excellent condition to interested LE agencies.

The M16/M4 has now become the top patrol and tactical rifle/carbine in U.S. law enforcement because agencies allow sworn personnel to carry an agency issued M16/M4 variant. Tactical teams are also adopting short barreled M4s.

Because of U.S. gun laws, it's not possible for an officer to buy and carry a short-barreled subgun, unless it's a semi-automatic version with a long civilian-legal barrel. This would defeat the purpose of using such a weapon. Thus, it makes it more practical for officers to buy and carry a 5.56-caliber M4 with a 16-inch barrel and a six-position collapsible stock (also civilian legal).

Even LE agencies that have used the 9mm Colt Commando—an M4 variant chambered in 9mm—are transitioning to M4s in 5.56 because it makes sense to have one platform that can easily be kept up and running by department armorers.

Also, 9mm is becoming less standard a caliber for duty pistols. Excluding the NYPD, law enforcement agencies have transitioned en masse to .40 S&W caliber pistols, .45 ACP, and .357 SIG. If your officers carry pistols in these calibers, it makes no sense to buy a 9mm subgun when it's just as easy to buy M4s in 5.56.

Other resources will be expended by stocking your armory with subguns.

The agency must dedicate time to train sworn personnel to use the weapon. Also, agencies must purchase spare parts and send an armorer to school to learn how to maintain that firearm. When budgets are tight, it makes more sense to use M4s and not bother with allocating money from an already strained budget just to support a few subguns.

If your department still issues 9mm pistols and your armory has subguns in fine working order, I see no reason to stop using these firearms in certain situations. Properly trained LEOs with a reliable subgun who are posted in public view can effectively react to a potential terrorist threat. I also believe that one or two properly trained members of a backup team who provide tactical support to an undercover agent could certainly benefit by being armed with a subgun or a short-barreled M4.

If subguns work for you, then train hard and use them with tremendous effectiveness. In the end, all that really matters is that you're proficient with the firearms you're authorized to use.


BshMstr - judging by what you're saying, i do need more pistol practice...unfortunately, my dept doesn't have time for much more than monthly firearms training, and i usually only get out 1-2 mores times a month on my own. i've been looking at picking up some laser-dry fire toys, too.

I had a grand master level shooter tell me that he could take any normal, healthy person who'd never fired a gun in their life and make them a grand master shooter with a single brick (500 rounds) of 22 ammunition. As long as they fired 100 dry rounds for every round of live ammunition they fired.

The best shooting I ever did in my life was after I started more dry firing, NOT by putting lead downrange. If you do a hundred dry fires a day, perfect ones, you'll be a great shot in a short time period. I would "buy" my range ammo with dry fires. Every 25 dry fires (all had to be perfect to count), would get me one live round for practice. Once a month I'd hit the range with my accumulated live ammo, and I was shooting like I'd never been before. Keep a log and keep honest and you'll be amazed at how well you'll be shooting in a short period of time.

Oh, don't just work your trigger control, add in drawing from your duty holster, malfunction drills, reloads, slicing the pie (going around corners), getting off the X (explosive movement at the start of a confrontation to get you out of the line of fire), etc. For safety, you can get a blade tech training barrel for your gun so that it cannot have any ammuntion in it if you goof up and put a live mag in the gun. Or, do what I did and just make sure the ammo is out of the room you're dry firing in.

Edit: oh yeah, this book is quite helpful too: http://www.amazon.com/Refinement-Repetition-Dry-fire-Dramatic-Improvement/dp/1930847769 the author went from an A class shooter to a grandmaster in a year using the dry fire drills he put in the book.

thank you very much for the advice!

i'm the type of guy that has no problem training on my own, and even seeking out the knowledge, but need to know how it applies to what i do. this helps a lot, actually...i'm gonna check that book out, too.

Rhymenoceros -
Skpotamus -

With a compact glcok 26, my wife can keep all 10 rounds on a 12" steel target at 50 yards. With a full size glock, she can do it rapid fire.

This part is absolutely not true.

Sorry, but it is. Her dad was a master class shooter and one of the founding members for shooting leagues around here (his favorite trophy is the match scores where he beat ernie langdon). He taught her to shoot the right way as a kid, and she kept practicing her whole life (side note, really pissed him off when she decided to shoot glocks instead of 1911s).

Now, is she firing as fast at the 50 yard target as she is at a 5 yard target? No, but she's resetting the trigger during recoil and firing as soon as her sights get back on target, Pisses me off when we shoot because I'm nowhere near as good as her, pisses her dad off because she won't shoot in comps and she out shoots him. Next time we hit the range (her dad has a 100 yard range at his house where he'd setup the cof's and practice for his comps), I'll try to remember to bring my camera and video tape her.

As an aside, I was going through some old posts and saw you recently made GM (a few months ago maybe?), congrats.

Oh yeah, for safety you can also get a bladetech training barrel and swap it out. That way even if you screw up and put a live mag in the gun, there's no chamber to fire the round from. (I use them for force on force training).

Dry dire drills add to your capabilities. If you dont compete or do dry drills, try it to see how long it takes to get on target to fire. I was supprised when I started.

Here is a video


But more important is safty. I have a story on a guy that accedently shot his wife cat (no longer married)

Here is a great product for dry fireing


just got that book in the mail...gonna start the drills as soon as i read through it!