5 Compact PDWs to Consider For a Truck Gun

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.

Maxim Defense PDX

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.

RELATED – The Rifle Christian Craighead used in Nairobi

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.

Tools of the trade. HK MP7 and Elk handle karambit.

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.

Maxim Defense PDX

Prices accurate at time of writing

Sig Sauer MCX Rattler

The SIG Sauer MCX Rattler is available in 5.56 and 300 Blackout calibers. SIG’s MCX Rattler comes with a 5.5 inch PDW threaded barrel and removable tool-less M-Lok Handguard. They are more compact and lighter than ever, making them the ideal weapon for Rapid deployment and CQB.

The Sig Sauer MCX Rattler platform has never been more compact, it‘s the perfect choice for backpacks, a truck gun, and working a variety of tight spaces. For more information, visit the Sig Sauer MCX Rattler product page.

Sig Sauer MCX

Prices accurate at time of writing

CZ Scorpion Micro

CZ Scorpion Micro is an extension of the CZ Scorpion Evo 3 line. Introduced in 2007, the Scorpion Evo 3 became quite popular worldwide on the submachine gun market. CZ USA later introduced a pistol version of the CZ Scorpion Evo 3 to the US market in the early 2000s, intending to compete with the outdated and very expensive HK UMP.

The CZ Scorpion Micro features an SB Tactical Pistol Stabilizing Brace. It also collapses to less than 14 inches. For more information, visit the CZ Scorpion Micro Product Page.

CZ Scorpion Micro

Prices accurate at time of writing


The HK SP5 is an authentic civilian version of the legendary HK MP5 submachine gun. Holding 30 rounds of 9mm ammo, the HK SP5 pistol is sized for dynamic CQB shooting with an overall length of only 13.9-inches.

Features on the HK SP5 include a roller-delayed blowback operating system, an elastic bungee sling that facilitates stability, a 4.53-inch long Navy barrel with threaded tri-lug adaptor, a paddle magazine release, fluted chamber, and chrome-lined bore. For more information, visit the HK SP5 product page.


Prices accurate at time of writing

Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW

Daniel Defense stands out in the crowded AR market because they’ve established a reputation of quality and reliability, AND the DDM4 PDW is no exception. Both the upper and lower mil-spec receivers are CNC machined from 7075-T6 . The mil-spec bolt carrier group is chrome-lined and features a properly staked gas key.

The low-profile gas block is CNC machined from 4140 hardened steel and features a mil-spec heavy phosphate coating. Needless to say, durability and reliability are not an issue with the DDM4 PDW.

The PDW’s pistol-length direct impingement is designed to reliably run a variety of .300 Blackout ammunition. And at a little over 20 inches, the Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW .300 Blackout fits easily into a standard-size backpack, and since it weighs just 5.7 pounds without an optic it isn’t a burden to carry.  For more information visit the Daniel Defense DDM4 PDW product page.

Daniel Defense DDM4 Pistol

Prices accurate at time of writing

Related Articles:

Stay Tuned to the RE Factor Tactical Blog and be part of this all VETERAN-run website. Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn for exclusive content and deals.

Visit our Amazon Influencer Page for more products we recommend: https://www.amazon.com/shop/refactortactical

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *