Talk about brilliant! Ruger deserves a hearty congratulations for designing and offering a Glock magazine-feed carbine—that we have been waiting for Glock to create. While, a Glock design may have looked different, the Ruger PC Carbine fills every need in a basic Glock magazine-fed carbine. As a bonus, thanks to the swappable magwell adapter design, the Ruger PC Carbine also accepts all Ruger and potentially other brand mags as well in the future.
Ruger has done something few companies have ever done outside of the AR-15 market by designing and offering the Ruger PC Carbine with out-of-the box functionality with another competing manufacturers magazines, along with Ruger’s own SR-series magazines. The brilliant 10/22-influenced design is everything we could hope for in a inexpensive, reliable, and easily serviceable $650 MSRP rifle.
Fit, Feel, Features, & Functions
The Ruger PC Carbine rifle will likely retail on the street for just under $600, and I can imagine it easily being one of Ruger’s biggest sellers in 2018. The Ruger PC Carbine offers full ambidextrous controls, shares the 10/22 based trigger design, features a take-down barrel design similar to Ruger’s 10/22-TD rimfire, has a trigger which feels better than any 10/22 factory Ruger trigger I have tried, a warp-free synthetic stock with front picatinny rail and user configurable spacers similar to the Ruger Scout rifles, integrated top picatinny rail, ambi-configurable controls, fluted barrel with 1/2×28 threaded muzzle, fully adjustable rear peep/ghost sight, protected scout style front scout sight, and SR-series & Glock 9mm magazine well adapters all included. That is a mouthful of features for a gun with a street price under $600.
The gun features that apocalyptic surviving rugged Ruger feel at 6.8lbs with the upgraded machining design appearances of being made with the “new Ruger machining capabilities.” There the more refined fit and feel precision and machining finish like that seen on the Ruger Precision Rifles that just was not possible on the old Ruger equipment. The Ruger PC Carbine take-down action is rock solid and looks like a Ruger 10/22-TakeDown and a H&K tri-lugs setup had a baby. It is solid and super fast to disassemble and assemble.
From a feature perspective, most people would say it is very well appointed. The front and rear sights are excellent, fast, and rugged—all without getting in the way of the typical types of red dots and 1-4 power optics people would attach. Ruger did not mess around with the Ruger PC Carbine design, milling the entire receiver and integrated a full 1913-spec picatinny rail out of billet aluminum. The rear sight is precision adjustable with marked increments of windage and elevation.
Though I have not attempted to swap out an aftermarket 10/22 trigger, the trigger unit appears to be compatible with 10/22 triggers. Based on the feel of the very good trigger, I probably would not waste the money on an upgrade. It seems logical, if the 10/22 design trigger is reliably igniting hard to detonate .22LR rounds, then it should be more than sufficient for centerfire rounds. The trigger and trigger safety should feel familiar to all the Ruger 10/22 rimfire owners as should the charging handle placement and operation. The Ruger PC Carbine also features the same bolt lockback and automatic bolt release feature of the newer Ruger 10/22 rifles. Operation of the Ruger PC Carbine is also similar to the Ruger 10/22 with a simple dead-blow back design. Ruger has shorted cycle time and reduced recoil with a tungsten weight inside the bolt.
The Ruger PC Carbine departs from a 10/22 based design with easily ambi-configurable magazine release and bolt charging handle via a simple 10/22 style disassembly with only two screws. Some serious design work was done to deliver the elegant simplicity of the magazine and bolt handle design. My preference on the configuration was an AK/10/22 bolt charging location with the magazine release button on the right hand side. I found this to be the fastest reload. Of note, if you swap to a right-hand magazine release, old Gen 2 non-ambi Glock magazines will not work unless you do some Dremel work. The magazine release is not trigger finger accessible without releasing the grip, but I found it easy to either slide the support hand back and around the magwell to release the mag or slide the firing hand up while shouldered. Not a high speed AR-15 reload process, but it works just fine.
Oh, that gloriously brilliant magazine adapter setup. I can hear it now, half the folks in the design meeting at Ruger are carrying Glocks and just whining because the gun only accepted Ruger mags. Finally the lead designer says, “OK. If it will shut you up, we will make the magazine adapter swappable for Glocks.” At least that is how I imagine it. It could have also been the finance guy noting that the most popular pistols on earth are a Glock 9mm and noted that Ruger would sell about 20x as many if it also accepted Glock mags. Whatever the reason, Ruger is sure to hit a home run since the only other widely produced non-AR15 Glock mag compatible rifle is the Keltec Sub2000 which is often backordered.
The beauty of the mag swap design is that with just a quick disassembly—hit the mag release button—the owner can slide out one magazine adapter and slide in another adapter. Currently, Ruger includes both Glock and Ruger SR-Series magazine adapters in the box with one SR series 10- or 15-round magazine included depending on PC Carbine model chosen. Ruger offers optional Ruger American magazine adapters as well. I can certainly imagine that if Ruger does not offer magazine adapter for various other brands of magazine, that the aftermarket accessory manufacturers will have them available very soon.
Due to the design flexibility, the Ruger PC Carbine has the opportunity to grab market share with an inexpensive rifle from SIG, H&K, S&W, Glock and many other brand loyalist. After all who would not want an accurate little rugged carbine that can be disassembled to fit into a backpack that can shoot from the same mags as a sidearm. This seems like an automatic win for the LEO, survival, and home defense markets.
Accuracy & Functionality
Summing up the Ruger PC Carbine, it is a 10/22 that fires 9mm rounds. My FFL dealer and I were dying to shoot this. We walked to his back field and unloaded a magazine full. My second group at about 15-yards was essentially all in the same ragged hole. Yes the Ruger PC Carbine is accurate, not Sub-MOA 100-yard accuracy, but certainly hit the can at 100-yard accuracy. Add in a nicely fluted barrel with factory support for muzzle devices and suppressors, and the Ruger PC Carbine features some nice upgrades that many people would not expect in a $600 rifle.
After an initial break-in period, the Ruger PC Carbine was perfectly reliable with a wide variety of ammo. Initially, we did have some issues with trigger reset when the trigger was pulled and held back solidly. It was an odd malfunction, however after 100 or so rounds of break-in, that issue has not re-appeared.
The take-down feature is elegantly simple. Lock the bolt back, push the locking lever forward, and turn the barrel about ⅓-turn to remove the barrel. Install is the same three-second process in reverse. Yes, you can leave a magazine in the disassembled state for fast deployment. With the 16” barrel, with the barrel off the entire rifle can very easily stow into any typical Eddie Bauer backpack which seems like a handy feature for backpackers and those suspicious about world collapse.
Honestly, I love the Ruger PC Carbine. The rifle is just brutal simplicity paired with elegantly rugged functionality—it just plain works. I have often wished upon a star that Ruger would make a 10/22 that fired 9mm rounds from a Glock magazine—no really, I actually have. They did and it is a freaky awesome, fun and accurate rifle that is just at home in the hands of LEO or homeowner for defense or banging away on cans and steel for smiles. It is not beautiful, but the utilitarian functionality and features will make this one of the most attractive rifles in the Ruger line for 2018.
- Stock: Black Synthetic
- Capacity: 17
- Barrel Length: 16.12″
- Overall Length: 34.37″
- Barrel Feature: Threaded, Fluted
- Front Sight: Protected Blade
- Rear Sight: Adjustable Ghost Ring
- Thread Pattern: 1/2″-28
- Weight: 6.8 lb.
- Length of Pull: 12.62″ – 14.12″
- Material Aluminum: Alloy
- Finish: Type III Hardcoat Anodized
- Twist: 1:10″ RH
- Grooves: 6