With the success of their recent release of the PC Carbine Chassis model, Ruger has once again decided to push the design of its popular pistol caliber carbine even further. The recently revealed Ruger PC Charger is the latest entry into Ruger’s line of pistols and TFB was lucky enough to get an advance copy out for testing and evaluation.
TFB Review: The Ruger PC Charger – Compact Takedown Pistol
As you would expect, the Ruger PC Charger comes in a pistol configuration much like its 10/22 counterpart. Ruger shipped the PC Charger to me in a similar box to the one they shipped the PC Chassis to me – cardboard with nicely cut out foam inserts which kept the various tools, gun lock, manual and SR series magazine in place during transport.
My first impression of the gun is that it gave me a very Warhammer 40K feel in that it looked and felt what I’d expect a Bolter pistol to feel like from that series. As a pistol, the PC Charger is quite heavy but not unmanageable with just a little bit of forearm strength. However, with a supporting hand, this could easily be fired from the hip with an attached laser or held out in front to make more accurate shots through a mounted optic.
Barrel Length: 6.5″ Threaded 1/2×28 RH
Weight: 5.2 lb
Grip: A2 Style
Stock Option: Takedown
Included Accessories: UTG Factory Installed Hand Stop
Capacity: Included 17-round Ruger SR magazine
Out of the Box Modularity
For those keen-eyed individuals who saw my review on the PC Chassis model, you’ll notice that the rear of the receiver has a Picatinny style rail that will accept the same extension that would allow you to attach a pistol stabilizing brace – which is exactly what I did.
Before I headed out to the range, I took advantage of several out of the box features that the PC Charger offers. First I took the charging handle and moved it from the right side of the bolt to the left side. I find that this helps with the flow of reloading as the gun can be supported easily with my right hand while I drop the magazine with the release already being fitted on the left-hand side (although it’s also reversible). After a fresh mag has been inserted, a quick tug on the bolt handle will allow the bolt to ride forward all with very minimal hand movement.
Second, I made use of the Picatinny rail and attached an SBA3 pistol brace using my extension from the PC Charger. The addition of the pistol brace gives you the best of both worlds with the increased stabilization of the brace and the short barrel giving you much better handling. I could see the PC Charger easily being pressed into a home defense situation with its compact size and light weight. Lastly, I took advantage of the threaded barrel and attached a TiOn Inc Dragoon 450B Suppressor – not optimal but it did more than an adequate job.
I took the PC Charger to the range with me and ran it with a couple of types of ammo. I ran everything from 115-grain ball ammo all the way up through some 165-grain subsonics. I didn’t have any feeding or ammunition related failures and the PC Charger performed flawlessly with every ammo type I tried. Ruger is famous for making these PC guns quite robust and the PC Charger lives up to that reputation.
Unlike the PC Chassis model, the PC Carbine lacked several improvements that were made to the PC Chassis model. One of which was the addition of a barrel mounted rail segment. On my PC Carbine, I have my red dot mounted directly to the barrel using this rail segment which I found gives me perfect return to zero after the rifle has been taken down.
Without that feature, I experienced a slight point of impact shift when reattaching the barrel segment of the PC Charger. This isn’t a deal-breaker as I’m not trying to shoot the legs off a fly at 100 yards but I did think it was worth noting.
Trigger and Ergonomics
Not much is different between the PC Charger and its predecessor models and the trigger was acceptable but does leave a bit to be desired for in competition settings or precision shooting. There are many aftermarket parts available already for the PC series of carbines and all of those modifications can be seamlessly installed on the PC Charger.
I am still not a huge fan of the location of the magazine release but at this point, I am accustomed to it and can make speedy reloads without any hiccups thanks in part to the slightly beveled and flared magwell which is a carryover from the PC Chassis model.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
So what do I really think of the PC Charger? I absolutely love it. For the price, I think this is a great replacement for an AR-9 style gun and even offers a few advantages in my opinion. Price aside, if you want an out of the box reliable 9mm pistol, I think you’d be hardpressed to find anything even comparable to the PC Charger.
The Charger has a major disadvantage in the weight department being extremely heavy compared to my AR-9 Pistol. However, the PC Charger can be broken down to fit in almost any small field pack even with the brace attachment. For a small survival gun that you need to have stowed away in your bug out bag, I think this would make a great contender.
In one sentence: I like the PC Charger more than I like the PC Carbine. For the 9mm cartridge, I think not too much is gained past the 5 or 6-inch mark. If you’re trying to tickle targets at 200 yards with 9mm I think you’ve got a different set of problems on your hand besides barrel length. With a competitive price and Glock magazine compatibility, I think this new PC Charger is a winning piece from Ruger.
The PC Carbine will be available from dealers soon, with both CA and MA compliant iterations of the pistol available for sale as well. Let us know your thoughts and initial impressions down in the comments below!