With pistol-caliber carbines, or PCCs, becoming ever more popular, it only made sense to turn the world’s most popular firearm platform into one. Enter the WASR-M from Century Arms, an AKM that feeds from 9mm Glock magazines

The fact that this WASR uses Glock magazines is incredibly handy for several reasons. For one thing, Glock 9mm magazines are readily available almost everywhere at a great price, and any model will work in this rifle (G26, G17, G19, etc.). Plus, Glock’s magazines are known for their reliability. So, on top of being able to get lots of magazines at the right price, they are built to perform for years on end. 

Century Arms WASR-M AK 9mm Carbine
WIth its glaringly obvious roots in the AK platform, the WASR-M brings a new way to feed this classic design. (Photo: April Robinson/Guns.com)

But what really makes a pistol-caliber carbine like the WASR-M a great asset is the benefits associated with shooting a PCC. The first, and most noticeable when shooting for the first time, is the controllability. Full-size 9mm rifles are an absolute pleasure to shoot because the recoil is so mild. You can fire quite rapidly without losing proper sight picture. On top of that, they can make great training tools for new shooters. 

The other great benefit of a PCC is the dramatic increase in velocity with a 16-inch or longer barrel. Depending on the brand of ammo and grain weight, standard 9mm velocity out of a 4-inch barrel is traditionally in the ballpark of 1,250 fps. A 16-inch barrel – or 17.5 inches in the case of a the WASR-M –  will increase the velocity by around 200 fps. That means your PCC isn’t just more controllable, it’s also firing bullets at a faster speed and capable of obtaining longer-range hits. 

What are the applications of a PCC?

Century Arms WASR-M AK 9mm Carbine
Glock mags are great, but so is saving on ammo when shooting the more common 9mm round. (Photo: Samantha Mursan/Guns.com)

Probably the most popular use for pistol-caliber carbines is range time. With the price of ammo still much higher than it was just a couple of years ago, shooters have turned to calibers that won’t burn a hole in their pocket…as quickly. No, it isn’t the same as shooting intermediate or full-power cartridges, but it is still trigger time at the end of the day. 

Another very popular use for PCCs is competition shooting. There are specific PCC shooting matches around the country. While they aren’t the most popular competitive shooting division, PCCs have grown immensely in popularity recently. 

Century Arms WASR-M AK 9mm Carbine
Other than the magazine release, which is now a button release, the controls will be familiar to anyone who has shot an AK. (Photo: Samantha Mursan/Guns.com)
Century Arms WASR-M AK 9mm Carbine
The sights and controllability of a carbine also aid in improved accuracy over a pistol at longer distances. (Photo: Samantha Mursan/Guns.com)

The last popular application for pistol-caliber carbines is home-defense and self-defense more broadly. 9mm cartridges, as previously mentioned, are very easy to control out of a rifle. In a stressful situation like a home invasion, the fewer factors – i.e. worse recoil – the better. You’ll be much more likely to hit your target with a rifle than with a pistol. That’s just another reason why it’s so nice that the WASR-M uses Glock magazines. If you own or carry a Glock, you can immediately swap over magazines, helping stack the deck in your favor. 

While the WASR-M will never be more popular than an actual AKM, this is a great firearm to consider adding to your arsenal if you’re an avid shooter. It offers the same rugged reliability that made the AK famous. Plus, it is compatible with all AKM furniture, so you can upgrade it with Magpul furniture or a host of other options if you so choose. 

revolver barrel loading graphic