U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Sturm, Ruger & Co. (most commonly just Ruger) is a famous name in American firearms, and has revamped their line-up multiple times over the last 70 years to keep their products relevant with the times. Now Ruger has released the Ruger PC Charger, which despite being a pistol will challenge others for space in the Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) market.
Originally a design based on the popular 10/22, the Charger was a buttstock-less, short barrel variant that was typically outfitted with a bipod. While the PC Charger (and the very similar Ruger PCC) shares these characteristics, it adds others to present a loaded package. Taking cues from the 10/22 Takedown, the PC Charger includes a quick method of removing the barrel. In a move sure to please fans of magazine compatibility, the PC Charger also includes two different magazine well inserts (a third is available), allowing shooters to use Glock mags, SR9/Security 9 mags, or Ruger American mags. Add on an ambi-capable bolt and ambi-mag release, and you’ll start to see how much thought Ruger put into the PC Charger. Here’s the full breakdown.
- Weight: 5.2 lbs
- Barrel Length: 6.50″
- Overall Length: 16.50″
- Barrel Thread Pattern: 1/2″-28
- Barrel: Cold Hammer Forged, Chrome-Moly Steel
- Barrel Finish: Blued
- Receiver Material: Aluminum Alloy
- Receiver Finish: Type III Hard-Coat Anodized
- Rear Mounted Picatinny Rail for Stock/Braces
- Twist:1:10″ RH 6-Grooves
- Compatible with AR-15 grips
- CNC-milled handguard features Magpul® M-LOK-compatible slots at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions
- 6 o’clock position of the CNC-milled handguard features a factory-installed handstop for secure support hand placement
- Dead blow action features a custom tungsten dead blow weight that shortens bolt travel and reduces felt recoil and muzzle rise.
- Light, crisp trigger pull with minimal over travel and positive reset utilizing proven 10/22® trigger components.
Pulling the PC Charger out of the box, I noticed hold solid it felt. Nothing chintzy or wobbly. The PC Charger feels a little on the heavy side, but at 5.2 lbs it’s really not out of line in that respect. It’s a little heavier than an HK Mp5k, and even a little more than the B&T TP9, but less than many AR15 based PCCs. Mentioning the Mp5K is no accident, given that the PC Charger in left-hand bolt configuration feels very similar, minus the “HK slap”.
I took the PC Charger out for its first range trip on a family shooting-date/picnic, which ended up getting shut down early when a storm moved in. I just wanted to start breaking the PC Charger in, and to get a feel for it. I screwed on an AAC TiRant suppressor and tossed on a red dot optic that I can’t talk about until later this month. I put in the Glock magazine-well insert, but only had spare 10-round mags. A couple of notes from that trip:
- The PC Charger has an interesting recoil impulse. There’s not much rearward force, as one would expect from a 5 lb 9mm, but a little more torque than I’m used to. The gun wanted to rotate a little in my hands. Not a negative, just an interesting and unique trait.
- The trigger took a little getting used to. I should have been thinking “10/22” but instead was thinking “AR15 PCC”, so the first mag went poorly. After that, the gunshot well at the limited distances available, proving I was the limiting factor for that first mag.
- This really feels like the 10/22’s big brother, and that’s a good thing. You’re going to see some clone builds soon, with a 22 Charger acting as a .22lr “trainer” to its 9mm sibling. With the same trigger, safety and (right-handed) bolt operation, there are similarities galore.
- Hollow-point? Round nose? The PC Charger shows no preference yet, feeding both happily.
Before heading out for a more full-figured range day, I wanted to bump the PC Charger up a couple notches. I got a package from KCI, containing some 17-round stick mags and a Glock compatible 50-round drum. Also, a side-folding triangle brace came in from Palmetto State Armory, which provides a fantastic method with which to
shoulder brace the gun for a more stable firing platform. The only downside is that this specific brace folds to the left side, interfering with left-handed bolt operation.
The next range day was far more extensive. Shooting the Ruger PC Charger with the PSA triangle brace was a vastly improved experience, which is the obvious reason braces are so popular. Using a Primary Arms SLx MD-25 red dot sight (RDS), the PC Charger routinely shot groups around an inch at 25 yards (3-4 MOA) using Federal’s 115 gr American Eagle 9mm round. For a rifle shooter used to the “1 MOA or bust” internet rule of accuracy, that may not sound great. Compare the PC Charger to other PCC’s and you’ll find that 3-4 MOA is certainly ahead of the curve, especially when that includes flyers.
Traversing the PC Charger side-to-side to engage multiple targets in one string really shows how well balanced the Ruger PC Charger is. With a light brace and a short barrel, the vast majority of the weight is centered between the shooter’s hands, keeping the gun from being too front- or back-heavy.
A quick side note, the KCI 33-round Glock 17 mags that were generously provided for use in testing this gun? Worked perfectly with the PC Charger. Smooth feeding, every time. Next range trip I’ll work out the 50-round drum and see how that works!
Bottom line, the Ruger PC Charger can definitely compete in the PCC market, providing many of the features that guns in that category sport, and a number of others that they don’t. Combine that with Ruger’s history as a quality manufacturer and a competitive price point, you’re left with plenty of reasons to consider picking one up. The Ruger PC Charger has an MSRP of $799, with a current street price of $699. What do you think of the PC Charger? Hit the comments section below!
About Rex Nanorum
Rex Nanorum is an Alaskan Expatriate living in Oregon with his wife and kids. Growing up on commercial fishing vessels, he found his next adventure with the 2nd Bn, 75th Ranger Regt. After 5 tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, he adventured about the west coast becoming a commercial fisheries and salvage SCUBA diver, rated helicopter pilot instructor (CFII) and personal trainer, before becoming a gear reviewer and writer.”