Sure, we all love our Glock handguns, and there are always the extended barrel kits to turn them into a carbine, but somewhere in that murky middle ground between your trusted handgun, and your favorite rifle is the pistol-caliber carbine-- and wouldn't it be great if they offered them in the same magazine options as your Glock. Well about that.
Why would you want one?
The short length and of the carbine when compared to a full sized rifle or home defense shotgun makes it more maneuverable in tight spaces such as hallways. The size also beings it into the realm of keeping stowed away as a "car-gun" in a trunk emergency kit. The lightweight characteristics of the type (as little as 4-pounds) allow one-handed use if the other hand is needed to manipulate cell phones, flashlights, doorknobs et al while moving through a structure.
The combination of a long barrel adds power to even mild-mannered pistol caliber loads, producing harder hitting impacts. The lower cost of handgun rounds vs. assault rifle rounds enables more training sessions per the dollar. The long action and buttstock also mute the recoil considerably. Many people equate felt recoil firing a 9mm carbine to the same as a .22LR target rifle.
With that being said, lets look at what's out there for the Glock fan in the carbine market (since Smyrna isn't making one just yet!)
Nevada-based New Frontier Armory (NFA) made a name for themselves over the past decade as a manufacturer of both polymer and billet AR-15 lowers that have found grudging acceptance with shooters for being priced right and on point.
This week they announced on Facebook that a C-9 billet lower has officially gone into production today-- and it accepts all standard 9mm Glock magazines. Stripped lowers will be starting at just $169.99 which means, when outfitted with an appropriate upper, you could be in the Glock-magged AR biz for around $600 ish (or less depending on how hard you search and what you already have taking up space in the forgotten regions of the man-cave.
Phoenix, Arizona's very own Kalashnacon, a maker of all things custom and AK, has leaked out big time that they are making stamped AK pistol caliber SBRs and pistols that have Glock magwells and are chambered in (wait for it) 40S&W, 10mm Auto, .357, 9mm and 45 ACP.
Yes, they are blowback-action but the guys at big K advise they shoot +p ammo all day just fine. As they are custom, expect prices around the $900+ mark, but hey, you get what you pay for.
In 1996, the Cocoa Beach based Kel Tec workshop came up with a groovy little carbine. Chambered for pistol calibers and made of an aircraft grade aluminum tubing, steel 16.1-inch barrel, simple receiver, polymer forearm, sights and abbreviated buttstock, it could fold to a positively neat 16x7-inch platform. Unfolded the gun was 31-inches long and weighed 4.6-pounds unloaded. The grip assembly was made interchangeable to accept either the double-stack mags for the Smith and Wesson 59, Glock 17/19, or SIG P226 series 9mm handguns, which at the time were the three most popular on the market. This gun was called the SUB9 and it had a $700 MSRP, which adjusted for inflation in today's figures, is about $1040 smackers.
It was an interesting concept but just too expensive for what it was. With that in mind, Kel Tec soon added a Beretta magazine option to the other three available, added an option for a .40S&W variant, and replaced as many aluminum parts as possible with polymer. This had the effect of making the gun a half-pound lighter, an inch or so shorter overall and a lot more affordable. It could be field stripped into its basic components without tools. Its latest version is the much-updated SUB 2000.
This handy folding carbine is just 4-pounds, is 29.5 inches long when open, and compacts down to 16 inches when folded. MSRP $409.00. (However, like most Kel Tecs, street price is about 25-35% higher than this due to demand.)
In Western New York's Ontario County is the small but historic town of Canandaigua. Named after a Seneca phrase for 'the chosen spot' it is home to Just Right Carbines. JRC was founded in 2009 with the stated plan of, "Our goal is to engineer a simpler, more reliable, and more flexible carbine in centerfire pistol calibers." This is exactly what they did and came up with an AR-ish platform for an affordable ($600) pistol caliber carbine.
The up and coming firearms company has only been in business for the six years, but they are making a product that people believe in. The guns were popular. In 2010, just a year after opening the doors, they were presented with the Innovation Award in Firearms and Weapons by Cygnus Law Enforcement Group at the Conference for International Association of Police Chiefs for their carbines. By 2012, they were up to shipping 12,000 new rifles per year. That was, until the SAFE act put a monkey wrench into the works for sales inside New York and leads them to produce a NY-compliant model. So there's that.
Of course, if we missed any, drop em in the box below.