Understanding the Disadvantages of Pistol Caliber AR15s: What to Consider Before Buying
While Pistol Caliber AR15s (PCCs) boast many benefits, it's essential to consider the drawbacks before deciding to invest in one. In this article, we'll cover the main disadvantages of PCCs, which include accuracy limitations, dirty operation, shorter effective range, and increased parts wear.
1. Accuracy Limitations
PCCs don't have a locked chamber, so they're not as accurate as rifle caliber AR15s. However, they're typically accurate enough for use within 100 yards and often outperform handguns in terms of precision. Although suitable for many applications, PCCs may not be the best choice for long-range shooting or precision marksmanship.
2. Dirty Operation
PCCs tend to run dirty due to their chamber opening quickly. This design allows more smoke and carbon to accumulate on the bolt and inside the upper receiver. While not a deal-breaker for many firearm enthusiasts, this does mean that PCCs may require more frequent cleaning and maintenance compared to other firearms.
3. Shorter Effective Range
As one might expect, PCCs have a shorter effective range than locked-breach, rifle caliber guns. The limited range can be a disadvantage in specific applications where long-range accuracy is required. Nonetheless, PCCs still excel in close-quarters engagements or self-defense scenarios.
4. Increased Parts Wear
PCCs run hard, which means they're harder on parts, and some components may wear out faster. Blowback-operated PCCs run the bolt more aggressively than gas-operated, locked-breach guns. For instance, a 9mm PCC will run the bolt harder than even an AR10 in .308. This is because more of the cartridge's energy hits the bolt in PCCs, as opposed to gas-operated firearms where a small amount of gas is bled off to run the bolt.
Due to this, PCCs hit the buffer, hammer, and (without proper buffers) bolt catch harder. As a result, PCCs need a good buffer to reduce pounding and a high-quality PCC trigger designed specifically for blowback guns. Standard mil-spec AR15 triggers will wear out and fail quickly in a PCC, no matter the setup, emphasizing the need for a dedicated PCC trigger.
In summary, Pistol Caliber AR15s have some notable disadvantages, including accuracy limitations, dirty operation, shorter effective range, and increased parts wear. However, with proper maintenance and component selection, PCCs can still be an excellent choice for many firearm enthusiasts. Always weigh the pros and cons before making your decision, and choose the firearm that best suits your specific needs and preferences.
5. Finding the Right Pistol Caliber AR15 for You
Despite the disadvantages, Pistol Caliber AR15s remain a popular choice among firearm enthusiasts, especially for those who value compactness, lower recoil, and cost-effectiveness. To make the most informed decision, consider the following tips when searching for the perfect PCC:
- Research different PCC models: Not all PCCs are created equal, so it's essential to research various models to find the one that meets your specific needs. Look for reputable manufacturers and read reviews from other firearm enthusiasts to gain insights into performance, reliability, and durability.
- Choose a PCC with the right caliber: Consider the caliber you prefer or the one that matches your handgun's ammunition. Common PCC calibers include 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP, with 9mm being the most popular choice due to its affordability and availability.
- Ensure compatibility with magazines: One of the benefits of PCCs is their compatibility with widely available magazines, such as Glock, Sig, and HK MP5. Make sure the PCC you choose is compatible with your preferred magazines to avoid issues with availability or interchangeability.
- Consider the PCC's length and size: If you're looking for a compact and lightweight firearm, make sure to take note of the PCC's overall length and weight. Smaller PCCs are easier to handle and carry, making them an excellent choice for home defense or close-quarters shooting scenarios.
- Invest in quality components: As mentioned earlier, PCCs can be harder on parts, so investing in high-quality components such as a good buffer and a dedicated PCC trigger is crucial. Check out Blitzkrieg Components for reliable and durable options that can withstand the demands of PCC use.
By considering the disadvantages and weighing them against the advantages, you can make an informed decision when purchasing a Pistol Caliber AR15. With proper research, component selection, and maintenance, a PCC can be a valuable addition to your firearm collection, providing a versatile option for various shooting applications.