Acting on market demand for an economical 9mm AR, American Tactical introduced the MilSport Carbine in 2016 with a forged aluminum upper, a billet aluminum lower and a buffer that allows you to use 115- to 147-grain bullets. It comes with a threaded, 16-inch, nitride-finished barrel; a 10-inch, free-floating KeyMod handguard; a six-position Rogers Super-Stoc; and a 31-round ETS magazine. It is also compatible with most Glock magazines.
Proving more popular than ever, this 9mm carbine has an upper and lower made of 7075-T6 aluminum, a 16.1-inch, chrome-lined barrel with an A2-style front sight and a Magpul MBUS adjustable rear sight attached to the full-length rail. It also has an A2 pistol grip, a collapsible buttstock and dual heat-shield handguards. It comes with a 32-round stick magazine and standard AR controls, though the safety selector is reversible. The carbine’s blowback operating system provides for accurate fire with less muzzle climb.
JP Enterprises has taken its hot-selling GMR-13 and made it even better. The new GMR-15 is designed so that the bolt locks back after the last round has fired, and it comes with an improved magazine release and a flared magazine well for quick reloads. The dual-charging upper has a 9mm Silent Captured Spring that virtually eliminates recoil and assures fast follow-up shots. The cryogenically treated Supermatch barrel is guaranteed to offer 3-MOA accuracy out to 100 yards. JP offers several furniture, muzzle and receiver options.
With a forged aluminum upper and lower, this carbine is designed for serious shooters. It has a two-stage match trigger; a 16-inch, stainless steel, cryogenically treated, chain-link-fluted barrel with a 1-in-10-inch twist rate; a threaded muzzle and a 9mm Mini-Brake. The top rail stretches across the top of the upper and vented handguard, and Rock River Arms includes a Hogue pistol grip and one of its Operator CAR buttstocks. This LAR-9 is guaranteed to deliver 1.5-inch groups at 50 yards.
The “B” designation on this 9mm PCC means it takes Beretta 92FS/M9 magazines. The blowback-operated AR9B features a 16-inch barrel with a 1:10 twist and Wilson’s Q-Comp flash suppressor; 7075-T6 billet aluminum receivers; enlarged trigger guard; flared mag well; traditional charging handle; no forward assist; Wilson/Rodgers Super-Stoc; Wilson Combat TRIM handguard with a full-length rail on top and sides and bottom which are drilled and tapped for additional rails.
Some 35 years ago, Colt decided to enter the submachine gun market that was dominated by Heckler & Koch, Uzi, Beretta and other mostly European arms-makers at the time. The company took the familiar AR platform and modified it to shoot 9mm cartridges. It basically operated via blowback, firing from a closed bolt for better accuracy. Law enforcement and military units already using the AR took to it, and a civilian-legal, semi-auto version was produced as sales increased. ARs in 9mm were cheaper to shoot, safer in urban environments and potent enough for self-defense and some hunting applications with the proper ammunition and shot placement. Since that time, the pistol-caliber carbine has become a mainstay of gun manufacturers that produce AR rifles. There’s even a new pistol-caliber carbine division in USPSA competition. With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at five of the best pistol-caliber carbine models currently available.
For more information about the five pistol-caliber carbines featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.
American Tactical MilSport Carbine
JP Enterprises GMR-15
Rock River Arms LAR-9 R9
Wilson Combat AR9B
This article was originally published in “AR Rifleman” 2018. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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