Ruger PC9 Charger 9mm Pistol

Ruger has a clear winner in the PC9 Charger-especially when the appropriate pistol brace is mounted.

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With the recent change in policy by ATF essentially which ruled that short-barreled arms using a "pistol brace" rather than a conventional "stock" may be fired from the shoulder, "SBR's" (short barreled rifles) are dying on the vine. Pistol type PDW's such as the new Ruger PC9 Charger require no ATF permit to own. This means that there is no longer any such thing as an SBR, unless you already own one-which requires anyone who would want to buy it from you to go through the same Federal Tax Stamp process to purchase it.

About the PC9 Charger

The Ruger PC9 Charger, unlike most of the PDW's available on the market today, is based on the 9mm Ruger PC9 carbine. It ships with two interchangeable mag wells. The well that is mounted on the Charger accommodates Ruger SR9 and Ruger Security 9 magazines. The second well allows the Charger to use 9mm Glock pistol magazines. If you want more versatility, a third mag well is available from Ruger that adapts Ruger American 9mm magazines to the Charger. This magazine flexibility allows the owner of the PC9 Charger to tailor it to several different backup pistols, thus simplifying defensive logistics.

The Charger ships without an included pistol brace. There is a Picatinny rail segment at the rear of receiver for mounting one. If you are going to purchase the Charger, you will want to include the appropriate pistol brace in your plans. Why? Because despite the use on an aluminum receiver and glass filled polymer chassis, the Charger weighs 5.2 lbs., that's why.

The Charger is heavy in part because it is a blowback operated arm, rather than gas operated arm like the AR15's. Blowback arms tend to use heavier operating bolts and springs to safely control the pressure of a high intensity cartridge like the 9mm. Ruger also builds solid arms that give the owner a lifetime of service without fail. The PC9 Charger is no exception to Ruger design philosophy.

The thought that went into the PC9 Charger are nothing short of extraordinary-and extensive. I will only list a few of them here.


  • 6.5 inch cold hammer forged Moly-Steel barrel
  • Flared magazine well and QD cups
  • M-LOK compatible handguard with factory installed handstop for safe firing
  • Easy takedown for transportation and storage
  • Overall length of 16.5 inches
  • "Dead Blow" action with additional Tungsten dead blow weight reduces recoil and muzzle rise
  • Threaded barrel with thread protector
  • Reversible magazine catch and charging handle

Ruger PC Charger 9mm Pistol Specifications

Caliber 9 MM
Magazine Capacity 17 Rounds
Barrel Length 6.5 inches
Overall Length 16.5 inches
Weight 5 lbs 2 oz

Trigger Time

I was able to test the PC Charger outfitted and set up as it should be courtesy of Vance's Andrew Hyder. He had mounted an SB Tactical ( ) FS1913 side folding pistol brace and Vortex ( Strikefire Red-Dot sight, and had replaced the Ruger Mag Well with the Glock Mag well, and had supplied me with a 30 round Glock 9mm magazine for the testing.

I tested the PC Charger using Fiocchi 124 FMJ practice ammo. After lighting up the Strikefire red-dot sight, I loaded the magazine up and positioned the target at the 21-foot line.

I did my shooting from a braced position, resting my elbows on range ammo tray, with the pistol brace locked into my shoulder. Firing five round strings achieved the following results;

Distance in Feet Group Size in Inches
21 1
41 1
51 2.5

The Vortex red dot sight worked very well. At the 51-foot mark, but at the red dot covered the small bullseye target I was using, making precision a bit more difficult, but that is typical of all red dot sights.

The trigger pull on the PC Charger was reasonably crisp, which also contributed to the PC's accuracy. Fired from an actual rest with a scope sight mounted should produce some excellent groups out to 100 yards-which is probably the maximum effective range for a 9mm round being fired from what is a pistol length barrel. Reliability was flawless.

Wrap up

Ruger has a clear winner in the PC9 Charger-especially when the appropriate pistol brace is mounted. It is extremely versatile, and built like a tank, meaning it can withstand the hardest use-and its hardest times. Hopefully things will turn around soon, and the PC9 Charger and other defensive arms won't be needed for hard times.