There’s no denying the world of Pistol Caliber Carbines – PCCs for short – are all the rage on ranges, competition circuits, and even some hunting circles. 

When we define PCCs not only as a small field of semi-automatic short-barrels in 9mm, but in broader terms as compact, fast-cycling, shorter-barreled carbines in rounds traditionally found on handguns, life gets even better. 

Having spent some time behind new and interesting PCC designs in 2023, we’ve compiled an impressive list of American-made PCCs. 

Related: Why Buy a Pistol Caliber Carbine [PCC]?

Henry Homesteader

The Homesteader, youngest on this list, is also the most modern throwback with American walnut stocks, reversible charging handle for ambidextrous operations, classic styling, built around a semi-automatic blowback action chambered in 9mm. The 16.37-inch threaded barrel is compact, threaded for cans, and touts an overall length of only 35.75 inches. 

Multiple mag wells allow easy interchangeability with Glock, Smith & Wesson, and SIG Sauer pistol magazines in addition to Henry’s own proprietary sticks. Run it on the range or pack it around the ranch, the Homesteader is old-school, do-all cool

Ruger PC Carbine

Ruger’s PC Carbine has long been setting the standard in blowback-action semi-automatic PCCs in 9mm. Most of the dozen-plus variants use a 16.12-inch threaded barrel, synthetic stocks, and sporty 10/22 triggers. The Takedown/Backpacker, Chassis, & state compliant models make the platform instantly applicable to many shooters. 

In addition to accepting most Ruger pistol mags, the PC Carbine offers an adapter for Glock mags. With a reversible magazine release and charging handle for ambidextrous use, partnered with a shorty overall length of 34.37 inches, Ruger’s PC Carbine is at home in competition as on the range or tucked in a backpack.

Hi-Point Carbine

If budget is your name, Hi-Point needs to be in your game. Call them clunky or ugly, but these affordable carbines just plain run. Plus, they’re available in a wider range of chamberings, including .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 10mm. 

The semi-automatic blowback action is fed by Hi-Point magazines, dressed in either a 16.25- or 19-inch threaded barrel, and synthetic stocks with multiple color finishes. It’s hard to believe the company can offer a lifetime, no-questions-asked warranty at such pocket-book friendly price point. There’s no better entry point into PCC waters. 

Henry Big Boy

If you’ve never thought of short-barreled, lever-action carbines as PCCs, you’re missing the big boat. Henry Repeating Arms’ Big Boy family of carbine-length, revolver-chambered lever guns are the cat’s meow. Chamberings include traditional wheel gun rounds like .44 Rem Mag, .45 Colt, .357 Mag/.38 Special, .41 Rem Mag, and .327 Fed Mag. 

Add in the 16.5-inch octagon barrel, ambidextrous friendly controls, and wieldy overall length of only 35 inches, and we have a cowboy winner. Plus, the Big Boy’s list of rounds is far more practical for hunters. Best of all, there’s a look for every shooter with finishes available in Brass, Steel, Case Color, All Weather, blacked out X-Model, and special editions. 

POF USA Tombstone

If you’re in the crossover generation between AR-15 rifles and lever guns, best feast your peepers on the newly introduced POF-USA Tombstone. The AR builder’s first foray into the lever-driven market is a unique one. 

The 9mm lever gun is compact with its 16.5-inch barrel, packs a punch with both 10- and 20-round detachable magazines, and plays host to a list of neat features including a 3.5-pound trigger, muzzle brake, M-LOK slots, Picatinny rails, and XS Ghost Ring sights. Buyers have a choice of either Black or Flat Dark Earth finishes at the time of launch, though company reps assure us more chamberings and offerings are in the offing. 

Smith & Wesson M&P FPC

Smith & Wesson's M&P FPC carbine stems from its family tree, logically using the grip, magazines, and surface controls of the M&P9 M2.0 pistol. The upper half, however, is radically different, sporting a 16-inch barrel inside of a lightweight handguard complete with M-LOK accessory slots. 

The carbine is both optics and suppressor ready, with a 1/2x28 TPI threaded barrel and a full-length top Picatinny rail for sights or glass. Meanwhile, the side-folding barrel prevents loss of zero. With double magazine storage in the buttstock, this folding carbine is ready for a day on the trail or truck. Simple, efficient, and comfortable, the FPC packs plenty of firepower in a compact package. 

Marlin 1894 Classic

Just as this piece was headed to press, Ruger leaked out its inaugural shipments of its first Marlin 1894 Classic. The .44 Magnum/Special lever gun maintains the same old-school charm but is backed with an improved quality-control process. 

The 1894 Classic is recognizable with its black walnut stocks, blued steel metalwork, and 20.25-inch round barrel. The old Marlin black-and-white stock bullseye has been supplanted with red-and-white, and the newbies are being built at Ruger’s Mayodan, North Carolina plant, as marked on the barrel. 

AR Platforms

We’d be remiss to omit perhaps the most popular PCC platform out there – the AR design. Listing just our favorites would take up an entire article of its own, so with space and time constraints, we’ll mention a handful of our favorites that both American-made and with many of the AR-friendly features that modern sporting enthusiasts demand. 

Think of brands like CMMG, Daniel Defense, Kriss USA, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Aero Precision, Spikes Tactical, Stag Arms, Wilson Combat, Just Right Carbines, Anderson, and more. These feed from detachable magazines, pack 9mm and related pistol rounds – and like other PCCs on this list, function with little recoil, rapid firepower, and a whole lot of range time and competition joy. 

revolver barrel loading graphic