Why You May Want A Pistol-Caliber Carbine For Home Protection


With the Biden administration ramping up their gun control efforts, in spite of all reason and logic, many people are scrambling to buy another gun while they still can.

But maybe you’re not sure what to buy. After all, there are so many options, and it can be difficult to narrow down the choices.

Of course, your choices may be limited to some extent by what firearms are available when you go to buy the gun and by what ammunition that you can get your hands on. Still, given the choices that you have the next time that you visit your firearms retailer, if your primary purpose is home protection, a carbine chambered in pistol caliber ammunition may be the choice that you want to make. Tom McHale gives six reasons why that is the case. Here are McHale’s reasons along with our commentary:

  1. “Ease of Aim.” A rifle can be too long for ease of handling in an enclosed space such as a home. You keep hitting the barrel on walls and door frames as you move in the house or apartment, However, there is an accuracy advantage when your front and rear sight have more distance between them. This means that a carbine can make it easier to be accurate than a pistol without being as difficulty to maneuver as a rifle.
  2. “Recoil.” A pistol caliber bullet is going to have less recoil than ammunition chambered for a rifle. The less recoil from your first shot, the quicker that you can get a second accurate shot off if, God forbid, you have to shoot at someone. That second accurate shot could be the one that saves your life.
  3. “Penetration Issues.” In an enclosed space, you don’t want to shoot a perpetrator and have that bullet exit the perpetrator’s body and hit someone else that you did not intend to injure. You want that bullet to stop with the person that you are trying to stop. No unintended injuries.
  4. “Range.” Pistol caliber ammunition simply has less range than rifle ammunition, and this is a good thing in a home protection situation. See our commentary on “Penetration Issues.”
  5. “Noise Level.” Firing guns in an enclosed environment can be deafening. You want to minimize that issue, not just for your long-term hearing health but also because extremely loud noises near your head (especially in an enclosed environment which can echo) can be disorienting. When you’re trying to protect your family and yourself, you can’t afford for your head to be out of the game while in the middle of the fray.
  6. “Handgun Compatibility.” In some cases, you may be able to use not just your ammunition, but magazines interchangeably with your pistol if chambered in the same caliber. Of course, this means that you’ll likely be shopping specifically for compatible hardware, but this is a bonus that some people may find useful.

McHale’s thinking is smart about this issue, especially if you’re wanting to use the firearm for home defense. If that’s your situation, you may want to consider a pistol-caliber carbine for your next firearms purchase.



  1. Pistol carbines are good for home protection. Also fun for plinking, and coyote and hog hunting.
    I would like to see the gun manufacturers produce pistol carbines in the following cartridges:
    38 Super
    357 Auto Mag
    10mm Magnum
    44 Auto Mag
    45 Win. Mag.
    475 Wildey
    50 Action
    I’m sure the manufacturers would sell quite a lot of pistol carbines in these rounds!

    • You didn’t mention the 9mm Luger; I have an older model Hi-Point in that caliber that shoots well – but I would like to get a few spare mags.

  2. Another option is a pistol version of a pistol caliber carbine. Ruger PC Carbine has a version, the Ruger PC Charger. It’s shorter than the carbine and the butt stock is replaced by an arm brace or a sling pushed forward to stabilize.

Comments are closed.