A personal defense weapon (PDW) is a compact rifle similar to a submachine gun but now in an AR15 pistol or SBR rifle configuration.
The Personal Defense Weapon as it exists today evolved as a hybrid between a submachine gun and an AR15 rifle, retaining the compact size and ammunition capacity of the sub-gun while adding the power, accuracy, and penetration of the AR15 platform.
The ability of the PDW to be concealed under a coat or in a backpack gives it a distinct advantage over a rifle. There may be times when you are traveling that you want to keep a low profile and not be bothered. Paired with the right backpack, the PDW would be perfect for these low-vis situations. If you come into contact with an active shooter or lone wolf attack, you have sustainable firepower to back you up.
Also, with limited space in your vehicle, the compact size of the personal defense weapon makes it the perfect truck gun.
The Origin of the Personal Defense Weapon
In 1991, the FN P90 was announced, paired with its unique 5.7x28mm cartridge. The FN P90 was the first modern Personal Defense Weapon. Its armor-piercing ammo (restricted to MIL and LE) could easily penetrate a soft Kevlar vest. The FN P90 was a sales success. The United States Secret Service purchased large numbers of this specific weapons system. The civilian-legal semi-auto with a 16-inch barrel became a popular sales item amongst the civilian firearm industry due to its unique design and compactness.
In 2001 another Personal Defense Weapon entered the arena, with a more traditional appearance, and another proprietary cartridge. The HK MP7 was much more traditional in appearance than the FN P90, with a magazine that inserted into the grip like other common sub-machine guns. Its 4.6x30mm cartridge would also defeat soft body armor, but the overall package of the HK MP7 was far more compact than the FN P90. During the Global War on Terror, the HK MP7 was used by several Tier 1 military units.
The modern Personal Defense Weapon has evolved quite a bit 30 years after the FN P90 was launched. The modern PDW is a 5.56 or 300BLK rifle that can fit inside a backpack. While we mention other quality brands in this article, Maxim Defense has led the pack in the technology and development of this platform. On top of that, 20 years of warfare has been a proving ground of firearms technology. Whether you choose an AR Pistol or SBR rifle, these guns are designed to provide serious firepower in a compact package.
Maxim Defense PDX
Born from the SOCOM PDW solicitation, the Maxim Defense PDX is designed to handle the fierce demands of Tier 1 military units. The PDX dominates CQB encounters and achieves maximum terminal ballistics on target. At just 18.75" in overall length, the PDX delivers groundbreaking power and performance in a subcompact platform.
At the heart of the award-winning PDX is the Maxim SCW stock system. This patent-pending system cuts down the length of the stock to just 4". The integrated BCG with interchangeable buffer weights gives you maximum performance and versatility without sacrificing form and functionality.
The PDX is also equipped with the Maxim HATEBRAKE muzzle booster. This patent-pending device significantly reduces recoil, decreases the flash signature, pushes gasses and concussion waves downrange away from the operator, and improves overall performance in short barrel pistols and rifles.