Running a PCC
By Robert Davis
So you want to run a Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) at The Gun Run? Welcome to the club! Sort of like a Tesla showing up to a muscle car race, I think PCCs often get dismissed without cause in the competitive shooting world, and that holds true for The Gun Run as well. What possible advantage could a PCC have and why the heck would someone want to run one?
For starters, not only are you saving significant weight both in terms of ammo and the rifle itself, but chances are your PCC is much smaller in size than your normal go-to sporting rifle. That makes lugging it around and maneuvering through barriers and brush all that much easier.
Not to mention running a PCC also gives you the option of round commonality with your sidearm. I’ve already had more than one occasion where I found myself siphoning rounds from a PCC magazine and topping off my pistol mag while running between stages. That benefit is definitely a relief if you’re burning more rounds than an ammo dump on fire as you’re going along the course. Sidebar: When will be the day someone gets clever with a drone and has a buddy airdrop them additional mags or ammo during the race?
Something that gets overlooked with PCCs is that they’re not just for Night Ops. Sure, most people’s comfort level maxes out at 100 yards with a PCC, but you can often successfully push them much further. With a standard 8.9” barreled MP5, you can effectively make hits out to 300 meters or more if you know your holds (approximately 10 feet above the target for that platform – thanks, James Williamson).
Looking for a PCC? There are a multitude of options out there, such as the FN PS90 (5.7x28mm is totally permissible at The Gun Run!), HK UMP-Series, PCC ARs, even old-school lever-action guns, but here are two of my recommendations in no particular order:
- CZ Scorpion EVO S1 (Carbine or SBR) – A sensibly-priced, reliable PCC with plenty of rail space for an optic, light, and grip of your choice. Mags are cheap and the manual of arms is very similar to an MP5 except you get a bolt-hold open device and full ambidextrous capability.
- MP5-Series – Much more expensive on the scale of PCCs, but the gold standard for performance. I know people enjoy clones, however, if you can splurge for a real Heckler & Koch MP5-series firearm you won’t be disappointed (and won’t spend time troubleshooting why this or that doesn’t run right). Be forewarned, mags are pretty pricey so you’ll want to make sure you don’t leave any behind on the course. With lots of modern furniture options popping up, you can easily outfit one of these to run your preferred accessories. For the ultimate in compactness, go with an MP5K.
Now, here’s a bonus bit for those running a full-auto PCC (all NFA rules apply, of course). During the last Night Ops, I found you can save some precious time since one of the stages was all paper requiring a minimum two hits per target. Throwing my MP5K with a tax-stamped sear into 2-round burst mode wrapped up things faster than a Chick-fil-A drive thru.
One crucial piece of kit for The Gun Run is a dump pouch. And contrary to what you might think, wear it in the front. If you wear it in the back, you’ll spend too much time fiddling with getting things in or out. Trust me, I’ve been there. Plus, wearing it in the front affords you a fashion statement that gives you a bit of personal workspace/temp storage if you need to quickly work on some of your gear.
With any luck, this post might make you feel better about running a PCC at the next edition of The Gun Run. Or maybe you’ll come away feeling PCC-curious, at least.
“No matter where you go, there you are.” – Buckaroo Banzai