Our Top Rated 9mm Carbines | Buyer’s Guide 2019

Not all 9mm carbines are created equal, but neither are people. What works for some, may not work for others. However, here's a list of options to look at to get you started.

Our Top Rated 9MM Carbines

Best Overall 9mm Carbine | CZ Scorpion
★★★★★ See Pricing
Best Affordable AR 9mm Carbine | Ruger PC
★★★★ See Pricing

A carbine is a compact, shorter version of a standard rifle (AR 15). A 9mm carbine gives the operator more flexibility, maneuverability, and control than a standard rifle. All of these attributes are great, and a big reason it’s taking its place in the market is the cost of ownership. Since these guns shoot 9mm ammo, the cost of the rounds makes carbines an affordable alternative to a bulkier AR 15 with more expensive rounds. For example, on average it costs $75.00 for 500 rounds of 9mm ammo. Whereas, the same average cost for 50 rounds of 5.56 ammo is $75.00. This makes 9mm ammo at least 10x cheaper than AR ammo! 9mm carbines on the market are incredibly versatile, allowing more Americans to customize them than ever before. Due to its wide range in application, it’s time to review some of the 9mm carbines that we see the most value in.

9mm Carbine vs AR 15 Carbine

A 9mm carbine is less noisy and more compact and flexible than an AR 15 carbine. The reason the 9mm carbine is less noisy is that it shoots a lower caliber round. The 9mm does not have a buffer system or bolt carrier in the back, allowing it to be smaller and ergonomic (flexible). This feature along with the smaller round assists in virtually no recoil, allowing the operator to stay on target with precision and pace. One of the attributes of the 9mm that we love so much is how customizable they are. For example, a lefty may have trouble handling weapons that are built with right-handed shooters in mind. Almost all of the 9mm carbines we review below allow a lefty shooter to switch out the safety, grip, and the sights to make the weapon more practical for each individual. The AR 15 carbine, however, is a great way to use a compact rifle and keep the stopping power of a bigger round. The AR 15 also shoots more accurately from any distance over 75 yards. The AR 15 is going to be heavier and bulkier, which makes it harder to be discreet. If you want more flexibility, concealment, and a practical gun at an affordable price, consider the 9mm carbine your weapon of choice.

Our Rating Criteria 

We will rate each weapon below using the three most important characteristics to our company: reliability, price point, and accuracy.

Reliability

In order for a gun to obtain a high rating in this area, it has to work when you need it most. We look at how each carbine functions with a high volume of rounds fired, along with how it handles magazine changes and weather conditions (i.e. extreme cold vs. heat). Whether the carbine is for home defense, plinking, or a utility gun in your truck it must function properly. 

Price 

9mm carbines range from $500- $2,200 depending on the model and level of customization. This price range allows for the ultimate range in handling and customization for the most advanced gun owners but also gives many options to those on a budget. 

Accuracy

Accuracy is simply hitting the target you are aiming at and doing it consistently. The 9mm carbine increases accuracy compared to a handgun because it allows the operator to use more than just his/her own hands. By using a buttstock with a forward grip, the 9mm carbine gives complete control to the operator.

Our Top Rated 9mm Carbines

Best Overall 9mm Carbine | CZ Scorpion

Specs 

  •  Price MSRP: $1,029
  • Length overall: 24.5in. (Stock Folded), 34.75(Stock Unfolded)
  • Height: 9.4in.
  • Width: 2.3 in.
  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16.2in.
  • Trigger pull weight: 7 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10, 20, 30, 35+ 

Pros

  • Incredibly versatile weapon that has multiple applications depending on your personal need.
  • The level of customization allows users of all skill levels to enjoy and become effective shooters.
  • Compact and easy to conceal with its lightweight and adjustable stock.
  • Adjustable trigger system makes this gun so much more comfortable than a lot of other models.
  • The CZ simply looks more appealing than most other models.

Cons

  • The trigger pull is a little heavy so it could cause some accuracy issues for first-time gun owners.

Why You Should Buy It

With a price point of roughly $1,000, you can own one of the most durable, accurate and beautiful 9mm carbines on the market. With the ability to customize the entire gun exactly the way you want it makes the CZ Scorpion a great buy. The duel safety triggers and sleek design gives you complete control of the gun and helps build confidence in your own ability.

Second Runner Up | SIG MPX Carbine/PCC

https://palmettostatearmory.com/sig-mpx-9mm-keymod-rail-8-mpx-p-9-km-range-model.html?avad=254137_a16729ccd&utm_source=Avantlink&utm_medium=Referral&utm_campaign=df

The Sig MPX is an amazing weapon that was built with adaptability and reliability. This weapon has been field-tested in the harshest environments we have on Earth and still came out on top. My favorite feature of this weapon is it easily converted between left and right-handed operators. The dual-sided selector switch, magazine release and charging handle give us lefties more options for comfort and practicality.

Specs 

  • Price MSRP: $2,016
  • Length overall: 35.25 in.
  • Height: 7.5 in.
  • Width: 2.4 in.
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16 in.
  • Trigger pull weight: 4.5 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10,20,30

Pros

  • Reliable
  • Great balance provides zero muzzle flip! (stays on target during high rates of fire)
  • Ambidextrous!

Cons

  • Magazines are very expensive at roughly $60-80 a piece! This is about two to three times more expensive than a CZ magazine.
  • Bulky for its class.
  • Over $2,000 without customization

Why You Should Buy It

The Sig MPX is an accurate weapon that doesn’t lose accuracy with rate of fire. With the full-length key mod handguard, you can add any sight or attachment you want to the weapon without losing balance and control. If money is not an issue, this is the gun for you.

Best Affordable AR 9mm Carbine | Ruger PC

https://palmettostatearmory.com/ruger-pc-carbine-9mm-rifle-with-m-lok-handguard-19115.html?avad=254137_b16725095&utm_source=Avantlink&utm_medium=Referral&utm_campaign=df

The Ruger PC is made in the image of the 10/22, except the chamber fits a larger round. The feel to this weapon is nice, but heavy for the model. The ability to easily take the gun apart with its two main pieces allows for simple and quick maintenance. The Ruger PC also allows for different sized magazines to work with minimal adjustments.

Specs 

  • Price MSRP: $649
  • Length overall: 34.3 in.
  • Height: 9.4 in.
  • Weight: 6.8lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16.12”  
  • Trigger pull weight: 3.25 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10, 17, 30+

Pros

  • Great price
  • Breaks down easily making it more portable
  • Great starter weapon with traditional style
  • Takes different magazines

Cons

  • Not very reliable
  • Heavier than the top models

Why You Should Buy It

If I wanted a weapon to hunt small game or to shoot around the range, then this is a great value. This is also a great 9mm to learn on for first time shooters who may have experience with the 10/22. A trigger pull below 3.5 lbs is a great way to teach children to handle a weapon.

Most Inexpensive AR 9mm Carbine | Keltec Sub 2000

https://palmettostatearmory.com/keltec-sub2000-40-s-w-rifle-sub2k40glk23bblkhc.html?avad=254137_c167266f5&utm_source=Avantlink&utm_medium=Referral&utm_campaign=df

The Kel-Tec Sub 2000 is the cheapest model of the 99m carbines. It offers a very sleek and minimalistic design that can be appealing to some gun enthusiasts. The Kel-Tec boasts the ability to hold Beretta, Glock or Smith and Wesson magazines. Unfortunately, the Kel-Tec is the least reliable weapon we have rated.

 Specs 

  • Price MSRP: $500
  • Length overall: 16 in. (Folded), 29.5 in. (Unfolded)
  • Height: 7 in.
  • Weight: 4 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16.25 in 
  • Trigger pull weight: 9.5 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10, 15, 30+ 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Variety of magazine models
  • Easily concealed in backpack or go bag.
  • Accurate and lightweight

Cons

  • Poorly put together
  • Completely unreliable
  • Subject to dozens of recalls

Why You Should Buy It


This weapon is fairly accurate and very lightweight allowing for complete mobility. This weapon is also extremely easy to handle due to its four lb weight.

Best Throwback AR 9mm Carbine | ZENITH Z-5P SB RAIL

Zenith Z-5P SB Rail

The Zenith is a very accurate and reliable weapon that is made by HK. I would always recommend a weapon made by HK due to its durability and design. This also may be the smoothest firing weapon on the list.

Specs 

  • Price MSRP: $2,054
  • Length overall: 14.4 in. (Brace Folded), 23 in.
  • Height: 9.4 in.
  • Width: 2.6 in.
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 5.8 in. 
  • Trigger pull weight: 6 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10, 20, 30 

 Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • No recoil

Cons

  • Trigger pull is heavier than other top models

Why You Should Buy It

This weapon is made incredibly well and easy to use. Its quite and has zero muzzle flip and maintains reliability for many years.

Best Gucci AR 9MM Carbine | Wilson Combat AR9

AR9 Carbine

The Wilson Combat AR9 is built from scratch using the AR 15 platform giving the weapon familiarity and comfort. This weapon is known as one of the most reliable and accurate 9mm carbines on the market today. This is the weapon we would recommend for anyone who is concerned about reliability. It is a great accomplishment to convert an AR-style platform to a functional and reliable 9mm carbine.

Specs 

  • Price MSRP: $2000
  • Length overall: 31.75 in.
  • Height: 9.4 in.
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Barrel Length: 16.2 in.
  • Trigger pull weight: 4 lbs.
  • Available Magazine Capacities: 10 to 30+ 

 Pros

  • Stress-free reliability
  • Consistently accurate
  • 4 lb trigger pull offers improved accuracy from the first shot

Cons

  • Very expensive

Why You Should Buy It

This is the weapon that we believe our brothers in blue need during patrols or raids. The Wilson AR9 gives the operator full confidence in the weapon to do the job if and when needed. The Wilson AR9 also gives homeowners the peace of mind they chose a reliable and accurate gun.

Honorable Mentions 

Hi-Point 995 TS 9mm Carbine 

A very inexpensive weapon that has good value as a training weapon or truck gun. Hi-Point also has a great warranty with each weapon.

Hi-Point 995TS Specs

  • Barrel length: 16.5″
  • Overall length: 31″
  • Weight: 6.25 lbs.
  • Sights: Fully-adjustable
  • Capacity: 10-shot magazine standard
  • Stock: All-weather, black or hydro-dipped molded polymer depending on model
  • All-weather, polymer skeletonized stock
  • Sling, swivels and scope base
  • Internal recoil buffer in stock
  • Weaver style rails
  • Fully adjustable sights (rear peep & post front)
  • Quick on/off thumb safety
  • Grip-mounted clip release
  • 100% American-made parts and assembly
  • 10-shot magazine (45 caliber comes with a 9-round magazine)
  • Last round lock open

Marlin 9mm Camp 9 Carbine 

The Marlin 9mm Camp 9 Carbine hasn’t been produced since 1999, but is a fun weapon to shoot. Unfortunately, it looks bland and is not a very durable weapon. Either way, it’s a nice gun to add to the collection. You can purchase them through places like gunbroker.com or check out your local pawn shop.

Beretta 9mm Cx4 Storm Carbine 

This weapon was designed to be indestructible to handle the hard conditions of law enforcement. Ambidextrous magazine release with the ability to add any attachment makes this a great carbination for the price.

Action Single Single
Barrel length (mm) 422.5 500
Barrel length (in) 16.6 16.6
Caliber 9×19 (PARA) 9×19 (PARA)
Magazine 10 > 15 10 > 15
Overall height (mm) 190 190
Overall height (in) 7.5 7.5
Overall length (mm) 755 800
Overall length (in) 29.7 31.5
Overall width (mm) 63 63
Overall width (in) 2.5 2.5
Sight radius (in) 12.9 12.9
Sight radius (mm) 327 327
Weight unloaded (g) 2575 2575
Weight unloaded (OZ) 90.8 90.8

Colt 9mm Carbine 

Looks and feels like a compact M4 with a forward grip to add control. Highly accurate at any rate of fire. It may look rather bland, but there are plenty of accessories available to change up the look and feel of the weapon.

Colt 9mm Carbine Specs

  • Type: Ar
  • Finish Color: Black
  • Grips Stock: 4 Position Collapsible
  • Action: Blowback Operated Semi Auto
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Length: 16.1″
  • Capacity: 32+1
  • Trigger: Two Stage
  • Safety: Reversible Safety Selector
  • OAL: 35″
  • Weight: 6.35 lbs
  • Stock: M4 Buttstock
  • Metal Finish: Black
  • Muzzle: A2 Flash Hider
  • Receiver Material: Aluminum
  • Sights: A2 Front, Magpul Rear
  • Twist: 1:10″
  • Purpose: Personal Defense/Sport

Conclusion

The 9mm carbines are hitting the market at an accelerated rate relative to standard rifles and handguns due to their versatility. The carbine offers more power and control than a handgun while eliminating the recoil of an AR model. As a smaller guy, the 9mm carbine offers me the ability to handle a rifle with supreme confidence. The selling point for the 9mm carbine is undoubtedly the cost of the 9mm ammo.

Best Overall 9mm Carbine | CZ Scorpion

★★★★★ See Pricing

Best Affordable AR 9mm Carbine | Ruger PC

★★★★ See Pricing

5 Comments

    1. POG Level is being an internet warrior and anonymously leaving trolling comments on a post. If you’d like to discuss our article feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call, we’d be more than happy to talk to you about your frustrations. 🙂

  1. Yikes. 100% agree with Nick above. “SOF led company”…but do current or former SOF write these blogs? Why keep these anonymous? It would be beneficial to see actual testing, drills, etc. – rather than some nonsense that’s easily found online and thrown together. Let’s see a real professional run some of these guns, so we can actually get opinions based on first hand experience, not just clickbait articles.

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