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Old March 27, 2020, 02:10 PM   #1
Join Date: February 2, 2016
Location: Minnesota
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Ruger PC9 defensive ammo thoughts.

So I recently bought a Ruger PC9 as a compliment to my G45. The G45 is my get to the carbine truck gun and I have no qualms about using a 9mm carbine.

My question is in regards to ammunition choices. I currently use 147gr HST's as my 9mm defensive round of choice but I recently loaded my last mags worth and need to restock on defensive ammo fairly soon.

I kept giving a mags worth of my stash to my buddies foolishly when they'd buy their first carry gun from me to fund my next purchase.

I was thinking my next batch would be something that would be more tuned for the PC9. I watched a video that wasn't very comprehensive but they got very similar results with the 16" barrel and HST as the pistol.

So that seemed to be solid still but the PC9 really gained nothing terminally from the extra barrel length. Just the better rifle platform over the pistol was the advantage.

The lighter weight faster bullets gained a significant amount of velocity but didn't perform ideally since they weren't designed for those speeds.

I was thinking maybe the Lehigh Defense extreme defender 90gr +p or the same bullet loaded by underwood would be interesting because I should be able to get extra velocity from that with the longer barrel and in theory the solid copper bullet wouldn't have any negative effects from the extra velocity unlike some hollowpoints tent too. I've had no coplaints about the effectiveness of that bullet from the tests I've watched on youtube.

All of that would assume they fed reliably of course. I'm open to ideas and I'm just having fun with this and trying to maximize the efficiency of my current loadout. So more ideas of bullets and loads to try and to play with would be welcome.

I know that a PCC isn't ideal but it's fun and convenient. Still better than just a pistol and not gonna blow my ears out like a AR or AK pistol if I actually has to use it.
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Old March 27, 2020, 06:56 PM   #2
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I've always been interested in the ballistics of liberty's civil defense from a PCC. It's designed to try to imitate a rifle caliber round out of a ~4" barrel. Perhaps you get more advantage from the PCC?

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Old March 27, 2020, 11:23 PM   #3
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I've seen moat likely the same article about ammo in the Ruger PC9. And the heavy 147 grain bullets seemed to perform the same from a short and long barrel. After shooting today my Ruger Carbine ammo choice for hunring,defense,varmint control etc. is Winchester Ranger 147 bonded jhp +p. The water jug performance from 10 yards all the way out to 50 yards has been very impressive.
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Old March 27, 2020, 11:28 PM   #4
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The boost will be more the lighter the bullet and the slower the powder used. It's possible to push 115 grains out at around 1400 to 1450fps with handloads. Not sure if factory ammo will have slow enough powder to yield that kind of boost but I think a happy medium will be 124gr +P . If a 4" barrel gives 1200fps you should be at 1300 to 1350 out of the carbine. I bet the 147 grain load doesn't even get a 100fps bump. Just not enough powder volume. rc
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Old March 28, 2020, 05:50 AM   #5
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When i had one we tried several loads with it.

Federal 9bple 115gr +P+
Accuracy was terrible and several FTFs

Federal 147 gr hst
Accuracy wasnt bad and function okay

Winchester nato 9mm
Accuracy was very good and function was perfect.

I eventually got rid of it cause i had to tighten allen screws a couple times as well as about 75% function and its weight. It was fun to try though.
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Old March 28, 2020, 06:34 AM   #6
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Lehigh bullets are excellent in a 9mm PCC as long as their nose doesn't catch on your chamber wall, as with any sharp-edged projectile. I've pushed their 90 gr extreme defender to around 2000 fps. For hard hitting accuracy at 100 yds I like their 115 gr bullets best.

9mm bullets are tricky things when propelled at rifle velocities. I've noticed after a couple thousand cartridges through a PCC at 100 yds that in general there is a "trajectory transformation zone" approximately between 50 and 100 yds which generally can't be accounted for when using conventional ballistic software. Usually, I can take one or two shots at 25/30 yds or so with a typical rifle bullet and then make an adjustment that will generally get very close to POA at 100. Not so with a 9mm bullet. I've seen the same idiosycracy with some 350 legend cartridges as well.
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Old March 28, 2020, 06:39 AM   #7
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Interesting, I've never been a fan of the liberty defense stuff but it could be fun to get ahold of some gel or water just just to see what happens.

CarJunkie what kind of hunting have you done with your ruger carbine on a side note?

I might have to tinker some and pick up a few boxes to experiment with. I've typically always favored heavier for caliber bullets in all my uses be it defense or hunting. This might be one of those times I go lighter though just because there seems to be no on paper benefit to the heavier bullets.

Allegedly underwood is getting 1400-1500 fps from the 90 grain extreme defender in a pistol. I'll probably pick a box of that up and see what kind of speeds I get and how the bullet holds up. Definitely getting more HST's but I might try the 124 +p instead of the 147's next time.
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Old March 28, 2020, 04:16 PM   #8
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I haven't done any hunting with my Ruger PC Carbine. I haven't owned it all that long. If i was to do any hunting with it, it would be late night Armadillos or maybe even some close range Varmint hunting.

I keep it loaded around the house for the occasional rabid raccoon or vicious dog that may come up. My wife will also use it for home defense because she won't go for my short 12 gauge.
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Old March 28, 2020, 05:03 PM   #9
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The topic of defensive ammo for a PCC has been largely overlooked for many, many years and no companies produce an ammo meant for PCC's.

Maybe Federal will in the future, they seem to always be the tip of the innovation spear. No pun intended.

As for what's out there right now, I have seen evidence that Hornady Critical Duty resists over expansion better than other hollow points. Lucky Gunner did do a video on ammo in PCC's and I mentioned this too them and Chris replied to me and said that he tried it and the results weren't much different that other ammo, so IDK.

My recommendation is use the heaviest bullet available for Critical Duty. It may work for you.

That said, another option is any of the solid bullets with fluted noses like Lehigh or Inceptor. Inceptor may actually be better because it's frangible and would be traveling at extreme high velocities and be less likely to penetrate multiple walls in a home while a solid piece of copper will.

The more I think about it, the more I think Inceptor would work very well considering it is so light and would be moving so fast that once it hits soft tissue it will start tumbling immediately and violently.

.40 S&W and .45 ACP would probably be better options considering they don't gain as much velocity in a rifle as 9mm does. Going by, non boutique .40 and .45 standard pressure ammo is a consistent 70 to 90 fps increase from pistol barrel to rifle barrel, but 9mm is 100 to 150 fps more with 200 fps not unheard of with boutique +P and +P+ 9mm ammo.
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Old March 28, 2020, 06:32 PM   #10
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What you think will happen does not always actually happen with blowback 9mms.

Slow powders and heavy bullets lose a lot through the ejection. At the same time, they are hard on the triggers and hammers (and brass if that matters). We have seen some 147 to 160 grain loads chrono slower from 16" carbines than from 5" pistol barrels. They also run a lot dirtier. Almost all of the catastrophic failures I have seen involved 147 or heavier bullets with slow powders in standard configurations. Sure, you can use .308 springs and heavier buffers and get most of the way there. In a test, with the SAME 147 +P factory ammo, we added 160 fps by going with a heavy buffer and .308 spring.

Lighter bullets and faster powders are the ticket for significantly increased performance in blowback 9mm PCCs and being safe. I start at 124s and go lighter from there. I have pushed 80/90 grainers past 2000 fps, but I too like the 115s the best. They maintain the accuracy out past 100 yards and just tend to be the best overall match for the blowback 9s.
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Old March 29, 2020, 10:06 AM   #11
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I was just thinking last night that maybe the critical duty would be a good option since I can find the stuff everywhere most of the time.

I'm not familiar with the interceptor ammo. So I'll add it to my list of stuff to experiment with and see what happens.
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Old April 7, 2020, 02:47 PM   #12
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I suggest you look for some "Bonded" rounds. The Bonded loads seemed to be typically more accurate at 100yds.

I did a big Chrono test with a 16" Colt Pattern PCC ( with a 7.5oz'ish buffer weight and a 308 Tubbs Flatwire recoil spring.

FWIW.. here are the results ... ( YMMV )
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