View Full Version : What 9mm carbine should I get?

July 13, 2007, 01:34 AM
I've been considering a 9mm carbine and here are my criteria:

1 - Reliable

2 - Inexpensive

3 - Available mags that are not too pricey and hold at least 15 rounds

4 - Good selection of accessories

So far, I've read some info about the Ruger PC-9, kel-tec Sub 2000, Marlin Camp Carbine, and Hi-Point Carbine.

Anyone have any thoughts on these, experiences, etc.? It appears that the Hi-Point is pretty good on most fronts but suffers in the magazine department. The Sub 2000 is intriguing since it takes glock mags, but I don't know much more than that.

Thanks for the help!

July 13, 2007, 02:43 AM
I have a Cobray M11 with a 16" barrel (conversion).
I get the best of both worlds. I can use the original upper receiver and have an "almost" handgun.

However, to tell you the truth I've never figured out why I have it.
I haven't carried it or fired it in 12 years.

You might consider an M1 .30 Carbine. Its quite small and the .30 Carbine round is a step up from a 9x19mm. I have one. Its a great little carbine. Its accurate for the casual user to 100 yards. It uses a 20 round magazine (30 round mags are also available) and they are quite plentiful.

Now, at the risk of boring you to death, my favorite camp gun is the M6.
Its an over-under .22Hornet / .410 and here in Texas that's enough to deal with whatever wilderness threat / opportunity that may occur.

Take care:)

July 13, 2007, 03:54 AM
I own a hi-point 9mm carbine, and I absolutely love the thing. Relaible (have had zero malfunctions of any kind) and accurate, but the 15 rounders are unreliable (or so I hear).

If you must have more mag capacity, I'd say go with Kel-tec. A friend of mine has one in .40 S&W and though he hasn't fired it yet, it does handle well (if you like REALLY short guns) and it looks very well put together. I also like the location of the charging handle, and how you lock it in the rearward position.

However, 33 round mags are gonna be a tad pricey.

It doesn't have too many factory add-ons, but some things aren't hard to make yourself. You can remove the fore-end and drill on a bit of weaver rail for an AR-15 vertical forward grip, They sell a scope mount for it somewhere, and you can find light/laser mounts that clamp to the barrel or you could just put them on the fore grip with the procedure I descibed previously.

July 13, 2007, 05:11 AM
the kel teck or high point is your best choice....

after that the killer on my first choice (the Ruger PC9) is the word inexpensive.... these are a little over priced and you might could find a new one even though Ruger quit making them....

If you can find a half way decent Marlin Camp Carbine, that might be the way to go.. I've seen them at gun shows in the 250-300 range.

The one thing is... the one big advantage I think when considering a 9mm carbine is that not only does it shoot pistol ammo but you can get a pistol that takes the same magazines... So, I would be looking at this part too. Seems like the Kel tech is made for this if I recall right and might be a part of the whole picture.... unless you are into Ruger P series (95 & 89) pistols.

July 13, 2007, 08:33 AM
Kel-Tec is my recommendation. It folds up to 16", so it can be stowed in any laptop bag (with a laptop!) or in the bottom of a backpack for low-profile carrying if you need it. It's also startlingly accurate, and downright fun to shoot. It has an almost subgun-like look that tends to draw curious onlookers at the range. Tall people would probably want the 1" butt pad extension.

You can get a model that uses the same mags as your handgun if you use a Beretta, Glock, or S&W 59 series. Mags are not pricey if you know where to shop for any of those types of magazines. I regularly get 20rd Mec-Gars for mine for under $17.

Also, Kel-Tec has a fitted lower guard picatinny rail for it (I have a light on mine), as well as a springloaded scope mount, sling, and the aforementioned butt pad. You don't need to improvise any home-made solutions. You don't need to drill or cut anything for a forward grip on it, just get the Kel-Tec picatinny rail, it's like $15, unscrew fore-end, drop rail in slot, put screws back in, attach foregrip or whatever.

July 13, 2007, 09:39 AM
If you have a Glock already then the keltec with Glock mag setup is probably the way to go. I haven't shot one, but they get good reviews. They also offer them with Beretta mag compatibility I believe (maybe others, not sure).

I own a PC9 and love the thing. Shoots and handles well, zero malfunctions not related to crappy aftermarket mag. I also own a P89 so it makes sense for me because of mag compatibility. I got mine very gently used for $360.00 a few months ago. I've seen them NIB at gunshows for around $400.00 within that same timeframe. They aren't much in the accessory dept, though. I bought a weaver rail for it from Jack Wiegand that fits the machined in Ruger scope recesses. I improvised a picatinny rail mount for the underside of the stock for a flashlight (cost $20.00 and looks great)

I know nothing about the highpoints other than what I've read. They seem to have done something right at least with that weapon as it has a lot of fans here and at THR. Not sure about mag compatibility or availability.

45Marlin carbine
July 13, 2007, 10:08 AM
You won't be dissapointed with the Marlin, but since I don't have experience with the others I would have to say get the best value you can keeping in mind the magazine interchangeability with a pistol. the Marlin uses S&W 915 - 5900 series mags and I have the 915 it's a decent mid-sized pistol. that Marlin is accurate, like 1" groups at 25 yards off hand with the iron sights. probably more accurate than is needed for home-defense gun. and 20 round mags aren't hard to find or expensive.

July 13, 2007, 10:19 PM
I have a Hi-Point and like it but I would rather have a Marlin Camp Carbine. I had one of their .45 models and loved it, but had to sell it due to a divorce.
And as stated above the Marlin uses S&W 59 series mags.

July 13, 2007, 10:49 PM
I'm going to recommend the Ruger PC9. They're built like tanks, relatively inexpensive, digest +P and +P+ ammo with no problems, have readily available 15 round magazines and other aftermarket hicaps for purchase too. I have two MecGar 20 round mags I use in conjunction with the 15 rounder that came with the carbine. I picked them up online.

As RantingRedneck noted, you can find them for around $400 NIB, though unfortunately, they've been discontinued by Ruger so you may want to jump on one if you see it before they become hard to get. :)

Best Wishes.

July 13, 2007, 11:28 PM
http://www.bushmaster.com/shopping/Carbon15/ ;)

July 13, 2007, 11:46 PM
I had a M11/9 and it was cheap and fun, but as far as carbines go, my Rock River 9mm CAR-A2 provides as much cheap fun as an American adult is allowed to have.

It's not the cheapest option, but it's cheap to shoot and it's a real tackdriver inside of 75 yards. Aside from my target 1911s and my obscure target rifles, it's the gun I take to the range most. It's insanely reliable with even the cheapest of ammo and points like a big finger. Fun.

The Colt 32 round magazines are great but Promag actually produces a functional 32 round polymer mag for it. Amazing. Promag is usually to be avoided like the plague, but they actually got one right. Both look a lot nicer than the converted Uzi mags in the photo.

I put a Lasermax rail-mount laser and a vertical fore-grip on it and named it "Chuck Norris".:D


Te Anau
July 14, 2007, 10:03 AM
Id get a Kel-Tec sub 2000 using S&W 5900 series mags.;)

July 14, 2007, 11:20 AM
The Masterpiece Arms 9mm Carbine.


I have their MPA971 Carbine which uses the same receiver & barrel, and it is a very reliable piece. Since the gun uses an AR15 foregrip you can add on any railed foregrip you want. If I'm not mistaken, these are set up to use Sten magazines as well which are VERY cheap and easy to get.

July 14, 2007, 02:15 PM
The hi-point is hard to beat for the money. I have replaced the stock with an after-market one and I think it is an awsome little gun. I have been eyeing a Kel-Tek for some time too.

July 14, 2007, 04:47 PM
Like Ocraknife said, they are good guns. Maybe not stock out of the box, but with a stock from Advanced Technology and some 15 round magazines from Promag and we're talking business! (well...maybe not the Pro-Mag magazines, ut they are the only 15 rounders I know of.) :)

July 14, 2007, 10:24 PM
but will the Kel-tec that using the Sig P226 mags work with P229 mags also?

July 14, 2007, 10:30 PM
The kel-tec. IMO, pretty much the ultimate in utility, and it's FUN to shoot, too. Like "M1 carbine" level of fun. Negligible recoil, easy handling, dead-on accurate, good sights. (aperture rear, firesight-like fluorescent front)


July 15, 2007, 04:56 AM
Plus, with the way that the blot locks back, you can do a modified "HK slap" to chamber the first round of a magazine provided you want to engage the bolt lock between mags.

July 15, 2007, 11:20 PM
I own both the 4095 and 995 Hi-Point and have a PC-9 on layaway. I love the Hi-Points. Do not buy any magazines made by Pro-Mag, they are crap. (I say that from first hand experience.) Stick to factory mags on the Hi-Points.

From what I have read, the Ruger is good, but overpriced. If you find one for a deal, like I did, I would snatch it up.

john in jax
July 16, 2007, 10:18 AM
I owned a PC-9 and regret letting it go, it was a good feeling, quick, accurate, light little carbine that never gave me any problems. Uses any of the wide variety of 9mm "P" series mags which are cheap and plentiful. If you like shooting a 10/22 you'll love shooting a PC-9.

July 16, 2007, 03:22 PM
I've got an AR Sporter by Colt in 9mm. It eats any ammo I put in it and is eerily accurate out to 75-100 yards. Tons of fun and cheap to shoot. But neither it nor the mags are cheap today. I got it back before Billary gave the gun makers an excuse to jack up prices. It also weighs a ton for that kind of gun.

Does Marlin still make the Camp carbines? I looked on their website a while back and couldn't find them.

July 16, 2007, 03:37 PM
The Marlins were discontinued years ago.

July 16, 2007, 10:12 PM
If I was gonna get any 9mm carbine, it'd be one of those crazy franken-FAL looking rigs that accept these:


Or a Calico. Maybe a hi-point. I can't see paying a lot (i.e. paying more than a hi point costs), for an essentially useless (but fun) gun unless it's REALLY fun -that is, it shoots a LOT of rounds without stopping - 50 for the Calico, 71 for the suomo rifle.



July 16, 2007, 10:21 PM
I have the Camp 9 and it does pretty well until you use remanufactered ammo that doesn't chamber all the way. Sent half the receiver and most of the right side of the stock whizzing past my brother-in-law's face. Pretty hairy. Repaired it myself and it has troubles extracting now. Before the incident it was very smooth and accurate.

The Calico mentioned above actually has magazines of 50 AND 100. Awesome weapon!