CENTURY ARMS C93 5.56x45mm

Rifle-caliber roller-lock mega pistol boasting 40+1 firepower!

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Rifle-caliber pistols are growing in popularity as an easy way for the average person to posses a lot of firepower in a small package without a lot of extra paperwork. This is why Century International Arms has recently introduced a pistol version of their popular 5.56mm caliber C93 rifle. The C93 pistol is the firm’s U.S.-made semi-auto version of the Heckler & Koch 53 sub-compact select fire assault rifle complete with military 40-round aluminum magazine.

Gun Details
Like the C93 rifle, the pistol uses the roller lock system developed by the same German engineers that went on to found Heckler & Koch. The Spanish military was an early adopter of this system with their CETME rifles as well. HK also made the short select-fire HK53 equipped with a collapsible stock for U.S. law enforcement agencies but never a pistol version for civilian sales.

The HK33 rifle on which the C93 rifle and pistol are also based is still in standard use by the Malaysian and Thai militaries where they are domestically produced using HK machinery and trained armorers. They were also manufactured under license in Turkey, however Thailand is the only country that continues to manufacture and issue the long 40-round magazines included with the C93 and has placed into service over 50,000 HK33s with their military and police forces.

Those accustomed to more standard gas-operated semi-auto models of said rifles will likely find the roller lock system odd, as it has no gas system. Instead it uses a delayed blowback roller lock system. Normally, a blowback-operated semi-auto requires a heavy bolt and spring to keep the action closed until chamber pressure lowers to a safe level. The HK roller lock system uses two rollers on either side of the bolt head to do the same thing, obviating the need for a heavy bolt.

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Those accustomed to more standard gas-operated semi-auto models of said rifles will likely find the roller lock system odd, as it has no gas system. Instead it uses a delayed blowback roller lock system. Normally, a blowback-operated semi-auto requires a heavy bolt and spring to keep the action closed until chamber pressure lowers to a safe level. The HK roller lock system uses two rollers on either side of the bolt head to do the same thing, obviating the need for a heavy bolt.

When the rifle fires, the force of the case moving rearward under recoil acts as a piston, pushing back on the bolt head and forcing the rollers out of their locking recesses and back into the bolt body. This allows the bolt carrier to move fully rearward where the recoil spring then pushes the bolt carrier and bolt heard forward back into battery.

Since the entire system relies on the full force of the cartridge case retracting under recoil, and since cases naturally expand when fired, a novel solution was developed to ensure reliable operation under various conditions. The rifle’s chamber is fully fluted so that some of the escaping gasses can come back around the case and separate it from the chamber to aid extraction.

The C93 Pistol is assembled by Century in its Vermont plant from military surplus parts kits using a U.S.-made stamped sheet metal receiver and other U.S.-made parts. The 8.5-inch barrel is also made in the U.S. from bar stock with a 1-in-9-inch twist rate and topped off with a very functional flash suppressor.

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The HK Navy-style lower is a black-pebbled polymer with an integral triggerguard. The left side safety selector has three positions; the top position is safe and the bottom two provide only semi-auto fire. Although the safety is not ambidextrous the marking and position can be clearly seen on the right side as well. The safety was very easy to use with the thumb of the right hand and firmly engaged in each position with no stiffness.

Pistol operation is fairly straightforward. Place a loaded magazine in the magazine well, retract the forward left-side cocking lever completely to the rear and release. The cocking lever does not serve as a forward assist if a round is not fully chambered. There is no forward assist although there are serrations on the bolt, which can be pushed forward with the thumb and act as a forward assist.



 

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  • Krut

    This gun runs like a champ! I’m very pleased with this gun.

  • Joe

    Our military should have this instead of that crummy M-16. I’d love to have an HK.