Here’s the top 5 9mm Carbines out on the market. These carbines are popular by the quality, ease of use, personal defense capability and of course the availability of the 9mm rounds.
Considered the High End 9mm
What about you?, whats your favorite 9mm carbine?, let us know below.
Video Transcription Eric: Alright guys, welcome back, we’ve got another five-guns video for you here today, we’re gonna be talking about Top 5 9mm carbines; and I realize some of the gun here on the table aren’t carbines yet, one of ’em’s technically a pistol, however, these are kind of candidates that would make a good carbine, a good suppressor hose, possibly a good SBR host, so we’re trying to cover kind of a wide gamut of different 9mm carbines. Pistol caliber carbines are a lot of fun to play around with, they’re awesome to suppress, they are very handy, they’re great for personal defense, great for getting out in the yard and plinking. You know, like me, I cast my own bullets, so you can grab a lee cavity gang mold, and if you got a user-serviceable suppressor, you can grab your 147-grain bullets, load ’em up, get out and grab somethin’ light, have some cheap fun. Ok.
Eric: But uh, we’re gonna go down the list here, they’re not in any particular order, as always, but I would say #1, the kel-tec Sub-2000 is a very very popular carbine.
Chad: Certainly the one you’ve had for the longest.
Eric: Yeah, I would say the uh- the Kel-tec’s probably one of the first 9mm carbine-type rifles or carbine, however you want to look at it, the first carbine I ever really had access to in any kind of number or any amount of time. This one is equipped with a Red Lion rail. Of course, this rotates out of the way and allows it to be folded, so if you want to run a red dot or something you can do so. And then to store the rifle and fold it, simply rotate it out of the way, lock this lock ring down, depress the trigger guard, and it folds in half.
Chad: And you know what’s neat about that is, it’s a little bit less than the overall length of what’s legal, but see the thing is, the firearm can’t be fired in this configuration, so fold it in half, stuff it in a backpack, take it on the trail, or whatever you need to do, you’ve got yourself a– you know, you can stick a 33-round mag in there, like what I’ve got in my little AR here I’ll show you in a minute, but– that’s some serious firepower.
Eric: It is, it is, and it’s nice and compact. This is a great little rifle for folding up, putting in your backpack if you’re out in the wilderness, you want a good little survival rifle, they’re very reliable, all of these are 9mms that we’re showing you, of course, just like the video title says, and a good number of these take block magazines, which is great.
Chad: They do. The one note on the new Kel-tecs, the Gen2 sub-2000s, they’ve redesigned the gun just slightly, they’ve got a new forend, I think maybe like a new grip style and whatnot, but still take Glock mags, but they are coming factory-threaded, so you can use this as a nice suppressor host.
Eric: I gotta pick one of those up as soon as possible.
Chad: they’re kinda neat, we shot it at SHOTshow last year, it’s pretty cool.
Eric: Yeah, s’pretty cool.
Chad: But anyways, moving down the line, no particular order, we’ve got the CZ-scorpion. Now, Eric and I got the first chance to play with one of these at the Quiet Riot Earth Day shoot back in spring of last year, and the Thompson Machine had their little SBR up here, and that’s kinda what prompted Eric to pick one of these up, and we’ve got paperwork done on it right now, but these are just a sweet little gun.
Eric: They are, you know, there’s a couple things that I like about this. Now obviously, this is a pistol, we do have a form 1-N on this to get it over into a folding stock configuration, but I have to admit, it’s a great option, but I do have a couple of complaints. Some of the complaints have been addressed by CZ in some of the newer models. Well, CZ has a new version of this particular gun that is threaded half-by-28 for American-type muzzle devices. This one has some weird 18mm device on the end, which you would think that they would have known better, but the newer versions do have the half-by-28 muzzle adapter on it to be able to use your suppressors and things like that.
The folding stock mechanisms for this gun are awesome, but they are very very difficult to optain. Magazines are difficult to get.
Chad: Well the stock sets that you can find right now, the 922R-compliant sets are like 3-400 bucks.
Eric: It comes with like mag baseplates, followers, a couple of other parts, in order to meet parts count in order to legally convert this over. I think it comes with like, aftermarket grip and other odds and ends too, but the kit is supposed to be like $200, so what is really cool about the Scorpion is that it’s probably one of the least expensive ways that you’re gonna get an awesome SBR, with a folding stock and a suppressor and get something like that set up. This is probably one of the least expensive SBR candidates on the market. Now likewise, it does kinda suck that, the pistol version, kinda what you see is what you get. But, however, they do have a carbine version coming out this year of the scorpion.
Chad: The Carbine version did look pretty dang cool.
Eric: So you could run the Carbine version, and I’m pretty sure they’re running those 1/2-by-28. So if I could give any advice to CZ -I doubt they care what I have to say, but- if I could give them any advice, it would be to make the magazines more available, make the stock sets more available for people that’re wanting to deal with these things, and it seems that they’ve taken people’s complaints into account with the fixing the 18mm threads and fixing the 1/2×28, they should’ve known right out of the gate that that’s what people would want to do, and that’s one complaint that I have with CZ in general is, they’ll release a gun and they’ll sell them like hotcakes and they’ll release them at like a nice low price point, and then when they get a bunch of complaints, they’ll fix the problem, and then rerelease the gun and up the price, like they did with the PO7 Duty. The one that I have with the crummy finish and the serrations, the really bad fit-and-finish, crummy sights, but overall a good gun with generous magazine capacity. But then they went back to the drawing board, probably after seeing people like me in my video and they said ‘Oh well you know yeah this gun was screwed up, so let’s fix it, oh now let’s up the price another $80.’
Chad: Not only that, it takes different mags! I mean what?!
Eric: It takes different mags. So anyway, that’s off on a different territory, but guys, the CZ-scorpion is a great SBR candidate, it’s a great carbine, and for those of you that don’t want to go into NFA territory, you can buy the Scorpion in a Carbine form this year, throw your can on it -or not- and there it is.
Chad: Well what I like so much about these guns too is just the simplicity. They’re easy to take down, it’s just a blowback, so it’ll pretty much run everything you wanna throw in there–
Eric: They won’t gas you in the face, that’s one of the things I like, if they suppress everything really well.
Chad: I mean, there’s another gun that we’re gonna discuss a little bit later on, but we shot both of them suppressed at this point, and the CZ suppressed is a much better gun.
Eric: At half the cost.
Chad: And it’s half the cost. But anyway, so, a lot of people have built like 9mm ARs over the years, they’ve used magwell blocks, they’ve used proprietary lowers and such like that, but one of the things that I got into a while back was a glock-fed 9mm. Lone Wolf Distributers, they were producing a lower receiver that was cut for Glock mags. And I bought this receiver probably four years ago with the idea to SBR it and whatnot, and set it up just like this, but it took me this long to get the gun done, and I tell you what, this gun has been the bane of my existence for the past, like, three months.
Trying to get it set up right, to run right suppressed, it has been a pain. I mean, buffer weights– I ended up going with like a real heavy buffer from heavy buffers. It’s an 8.5 oz buffer with an extra-heavy spring to get this thing to run right and be quiet. But I’ve got it running pretty good now. But this is a 5in barrel 9mm SBR with a tri-lug adapter. So I can run my Liberty Mistic here with a 3-lug adapter on it, and just right up under the rail and boom. Done.
Eric: So with this gun, you have the tax stamp on the suppressor, which is removable and can be used on any firearm, but then you also have the tax stamp on the short-barrel rifle configuration to contend with, so it’s a two-tax gun in its configuration, but you have the modularity of being able to take the suppressor off and use it on different platforms, which is awesome. His tri-lug adaptor, in theory, blam, pull his suppressor off and I can run it on my MP5 here, which we’re gonna talk about in a minute.
Chad: But yeah, this gun, I kinda went all-out on this. I mean this is like a $2,000 deal. I mean I’ve got a side-charging ASA upper, so I don’t have a T-handle back here for gas to leak out in my face and whatnot, pretty much everything is self-contained, comes out of the ejection port, Knights Armament URX-4 rail, got an EDCO barrel, the Liberty Mystic-X suppressor, I’ve got surefire appointments on here, and I’ve got one of the Surefire scalped lights, the 300Vs so it’s got that IR function on it too so we can use our nightvision stuff out there too and play with it at night.
Eric: That rig right there, man, it’s kinda hard to upgrade from that.
Chad: And I will tell you, one thing I did experiment with last night was that MVB stock, the real compact collapsible stock that they produce, and I’ll tell you I had some issues with it. I had some problems with the buffer getting locked in the rear, running it suppressed and whatnot, buffer’s just not heavy enough.
Eric: The spring was binding up-
Chad: The spring was binding up, it’s a two-piece spring assembly, and I wanted the gun to be reliable, I mean it’s not like life and death, but I want it to be reliable enough to take out and shoot and play with, but I wound up switching to one of the LWRC ultra compact stocks, and this is a nice tiny little setup. I love it, it’s so much fun.
Eric: Well I’ll tell you what, there seems to be a lot of snake oil around the whole 9mm-AR thing, and it’s like, unless you buy a factory Colt, or something like that, it just seems like the ones that people build, especially when you’re gonna suppress them, it seems that there’s a bit of difficulty in getting them to run right, but once you get them to run right, they’re generally kinda good to go. And there’s everything from having to, like, machine his bolt to accept Glock magazines and pick up off a glock magazines, and that’s fine. He had a Colt, it was a Colt bolt that he cut for Glock mags.
Chad: Yeah, the upper came with a bolt, but see, the Glock magazines, since it’s a single-stack at the top, the bottom of the bolt has to be thinner to feed inside that groove there, you can’t just use a standard double-stack bolt. I had to have it actually machined and whatnot. It’s–like I said it’s been the bane of my existence, but the gun is great. And we were shooting over at 100 yards the other day, and I was nailing that little gopher target.
Eric: It’s an awesome little setup you’ve got. That gun represents kind of what you would consider the upper tier of the 9mm Carbine in terms of what you could throw at it price-wise, the Kel-tec kinda being on the bottom in terms of features– but price too, mind. When you start getting to something a little more simple, you’re also saving a lot of money. I mean like, this Kel-tec as set-up could probably be had at like around $650 or so?
Eric: So you know not too bad. The Red Lion kit is like another $200, for the little break that’s on it, and then the guns if you’re lucky, you can get ’em ar around $400.
Chad: Yeah the Gen2s are supposed to be around $400 just when you can find ’em.
Eric: And that Scorpion was only about six-and-a-quarter.
Eric: I mean they’re well south of $700 which is awesome. Alright, so another kind of top-tier build if you wanna kinda get–
Chad: If you want to talk about the upper-eschelon of 9mm…
Eric: Yeah, the upper-eschelon of 9mm would definitely be something like an MP-5. This is a Zenith Z-5P SBR, and of course we have a tax stamp on the suppressor and a tax-stamp on the Short-barreled rifle. Has a B&T folding stock, which, I’m a really big fan of B&T, they make awesome stuff, not so much in the civillian world so much right now, but they are trying to branch off more into the civillian market, the only minor detriment to running something like this MP-5 is the lack of Magazine compatibility with an actual handgun. So with an MP-5, MP-5 is MP-5, so this magazine has only worked in this gun, there’s no handgun that will operate this particular magazine, so it’s pretty much a one-trick pony. But we’ve got a B&T forward grip, so you see you’ve got your charging handle there, I mean, it’s got a tri-lug adapter on it, which is pretty cool.
Chad: It locks on there nice and tight.
Eric: It does. Almost a little too tight. But not bad. Let’s see. That’s it.
Chad: Got it right? There you go.
Eric: That’s on there. And then we’ve got it topped off with an Aimpoint T-2 Micro. I got this through Optics Planet. It’s kinda hard to hate that. That’s a pretty cool setup. We did do a video on this pistol when it was still in its pistol configuration, and the gun shot quite well. Many of the guns you see here are available as a pistol. I mean you’ve got the CZ, obviously is a pistol here, this I purchased as a pistol, and then you could also build that into a pistol configuration if you wanted to. That exact rig, no tax stamp, just build it as a pistol.
Chad: If you guys remember, we showed you the little 9mm pistols that were available through ATI at SHOT show, and that would make a perfect SBR candidate.
Eric: It would.
Chad: I mean already ready to go, drop your stamp, get your stock on it, get you a suppressor on it, boom, done.
Eric: Now, last, but certainly not least by the least stretch of the imagination is the JR carbine. You guys know that we’ve been working with these particular guns for quite a while. This one is a full-rifle configuration. I do plan on Form1-ing one of these, both the .45 I’ve got on the wall over there and this 9mm. It takes a lot of mags, so it’s a glock-fed carbine. 9mm. Interesting thing about the JR is the modularity. So with a bolt change, magwell change, barrel change, you can swap this gun to different calibers no problem. So you could order one gun, order all the caliber conversions, and you could literally have a gun in everything from 40-cal, 357-sig, 45ACP and 9mm. I don’t think they’re doing any 10mm stuff, but they might eventually, so.
Chad: Or we might, eventually.
Eric: This one is a takedown, So the way it’s set up is it has kind of a UZI-style configuration. I mean the barrel drops right off, and of course you can see it’s outfitted with a TiRant, and this one is a TiRant-45, but I do have a 9 on the way for it. There’s basically like a little index mark, you line the barrel back up just like on an UZI.
Chad: [Arnold Schwarzenegger accent] UZI nine milimeetah.
Eric: Da Uzi. 9mm. So this is set up as a takedown, but you can also run like a Yankee Hill-style rail. So when this thing ends up getting SBRed, what’ll probably happen is I’ll go back to like a Yankee Hill rail and I’ll put it on a milling machine and cut it down nice and small to the exact length I want, and then I’ll actually take this barrel, shorten it to 5 and a half inches on the lathe, and then thread it .5×28, and then that way I’ll have a configuration very similar to what Chad has– but here’s the kicker– for about half the price. Now that doesn’t mean that it’s inferior in any way, it’s just that his is set up for more of a true AR-15 erganomic, whereby the manual of arms of this particular rifle are a little different than the AR. But it’s certainly there, I mean the mags lock up pretty nice and tight, your charging handle is more of a blowback style that can be changed out–
Chad: Ambidextrous, too.
Eric: It is ambidextrous, you can put an ambidextrous safety in this gun if you wanted to, it’ll take all your standard AR-15 fire control groups, so if you wanted to run you a gisely trigger, something nice like that, you can do it. Finally, this gun is topped off with the Vortex SPARC II. This particular gun with subs is extremely quiet.
Chad: You know, I would compare it to– we were out shooting the 10-22 a little bit earlier, with my liberty regulator, and I held the bolt closed on it, and all you could hear really was the sound of the round striking your target. That’s it. Surprisingly enough, with this long barrel, I’m wondering if maybe the bolt’s dragging a little bit and slowing down even more, because these are like starting out subs, and I’m hand-loading for these things.
Eric: I’d be curious to compare, too, apples to apples, once this thing has the same barrel length as your G-9.
Chad: Yep, and run the same suppressor on there and run ’em side-by-side for the most part.
Chad: It was really really quiet. I mean really quiet. 1022 quiet.
Eric: So um, these rifles you see on the table, although some of them are SBRs, and they are form-1 guns, this should give you a pretty solid example of what we feel is a nice, well-rounded 9mm, whether it’s a 9mm carbine you’re looking for, a short barreled rifle candidate, a suppressor host, we always have a wildcard now. Unfortunately, I don’t have one here to show you because I don’t own one yet: The Sig MPX I think definitely deserves to be in this run.
Chad: It’s a popular gun. I mean there’s a lot of people that really love the Sig MPX. I mean we’ve shot it and played around with it a lot, and we’ve actually gotten the chance to shoot one suppressed quite a bit. To be honest with you, like I said, I think between the two, between the MPX and the Scorpion, I think the Scorpion is the better suppressor host. All-around better gun? Eh, it’s got some good points and some bad points, the same thing with the MPX, but if you looking for just a 9mm suppressor host, that thing’s hard to beat.
Eric: Especially for the cost. I would say that out of all the guns that are on this table right now, you would be pretty dang hard-pressed to beat the Scorpion or the JR in terms of cost. Now we’re looking at cost vs. what you’re getting in the way of features, the JR if you’re wanting more of an AR-15 ergonomic and an AR-15 look, the JR is very very hard to beat for the money. If you want something collapsible, something tiny, the Kel-Tex Sub2000 is right up your alley if you’re wanting a suppressor host, SBR candidate, I mean that’s kinda where this all comes down to.
Chat: The thing about trying to find something that doesn’t gas you out, that suppresses very well, doesn’t have a lot of port noise, that sort of thing… no T-handle for this thing to gas leak out of. This thing is a great host.
Nothing on the backside for anything to leak out of, great suppressor host. I mean it’ll work with just about anything you throw in it.
The Sub-2000, haven’t shot one of those suppressed yet. But I can imagine…
Eric: I would imagine with that heavy bolt, though– see the mass, it’s a blowback, so the mass on a Blowback bolt has to be relatively heavy, because not only does it need to stay closed long enough for the firing cycle to complete, but the combination of forces between the mass of the bolt carrier and the power of the recoil spring all equate to how soon the gun is gonna unlock, and when you’re getting additional backpressure from the suppressor, you generally–like, technicaly, in this MP-5 I’m supposed to be running in different rollers in it for running a suppressor because of the increased backpressure. It is a delayed-roller blowback firearm, which means that the rollers kinda have everything to do with everything from headspace to recoil bearing surfaces in the receiver, as well as when the bolt actually drives to the rear when pressures reach a certain point. So that’s why it’s always important to check your bolt gap and roller geometry on your MP5 and, as these things wear out, you take the rollers and they just get bigger and bigger and bigger until you just can’t get any bigger on the rollers, then you just–
Chad: You replace the barrel.
Eric: No you just replace the gun. There really is no easy way to change a barrel on an MP5. Not simply. It could be done but– remember guys, the MP5 was made to be manufactured, used, and disposed of. It’s like an AK. It wasn’t ever really meant to easily– the barrels and everything were really meant to go a really long time, and the barrel life on them was meant to wear along with the roller replacements, to where the time you changed out rollers in your gun, where you can’t get any bigger rolers in it, by that time your barrel’s shot out, but honestly–
Chad: You’re probably talking about 40,000 rounds, right?
Eric: Yeah! You’re talking about an obscene amount of rounds, like a LOT of rounds, and at that point, you may even start to develop anomalies in the receivers such as stretching, cracking, to the point where the gun probably needs to be replaced anyway. So.
Chad: You wanna put that to the test?
Eric: No. [laughter] Not with my gun! Now if Zenith wants to bring one down, we might. But out of all these different platforms, I think that maybe, we kinda lay things out in a way that I believe makes it pretty clear.
Chad: Well with what I was getting at like with the blowback and such is, my AR without a T-handle on here, you’re not getting blowback in the face. the CZ doesn’t have anything like that. the MPX has got that traditional T-handle style charging handle, so gas just comes out of that thing, you know?
Eric: I have to say too, it’s awkward. I mean, it’s awkward to operate, especially on like, ok say you’re running like a handgun version of the MPX. It’s not like there’s any buffer back there to run. Like you can get the arm brace for one, for the MPX, but it’s not like there’s any type of actual buffer that needs to be there, but when you charge it and you pull that charging handle to the rear, it’s like, there’s nothing there. There’s just space under it. To me it just feels awkward, it’s strange to operate. The manual of arms, although familiar, in many ways, is almost unfamiliar. Especially in pistol form. I think with some minor design changes that MPX could be way, way btter.
Chad: Oh yeah. I don’t doubt it. It’s just, seeing that pistol and shooting that pistol out that they had at that SilenceCo Shoot recently, that thing was just a smoke bucket. It just [whoosh] just, god almighty.
Eric: It’s a neat gun and I do like it and I do want to own one, but I think that, you know, finding like an aftermarket– like one of those gas buster charging handles… maybe you could get something like a charging handle that helps kinda seal in the gas.
Chad: Remember that charging handle is proprietary, it’s a tiny little guy. So, maybe Sig will come out with something or that’ll redesign.
Eric: Yeah, I imagine they will. Most of these companies, they realize when something needs to be changed, and they’ll generally fix it, so. Guys, there’s your top five carbines. And this also encompasses suppressor hosts and SBR hosts, we hope you enjoyed today’s video, we had a lot of fun making it. It’s always fun to talk about things like this, especially when– you know these firearms here represent a certain amount of investment, and various investments of different types. And the purposes of each of these can kind of lend themselves to different things, depending on what you’re looking to do, so hopefully this kinda encompassed that idea a good bit. Thank you guys for watching, we appreciate the support, and many more videos on the way. We enjoy being the top 5 guns channel, we really do a lot of stuff with the Top 5 concept, we’ve gotten a lot of support for this idea, a lot of these ideas come from you guys, so when you want to see a fve guns video let us know and we’ll get to it. Thanks guys, take it easy.
Here are some other 9mm carbines looked at by Youtuber Top Army