Written by Greg Ellifritz
A reader recently contacted me with a very simple question:
“What Red Dot would you recommend for my 9mm pistol caliber carbine?’
The pistol caliber carbine (PCC) has been the new hotness in recent years. Small carbines with folding or collapsing pistol “braces” allow rifles to essentially be labeled as “pistols” under a loophole in Federal law. These short barreled “pistols” look very similar to the short barreled sub-machine guns chambered for handgun rounds that very popular in years past.
As for the red dot, the absolute best I’ve seen is the Aimpoint Micro. As I don’t need a sight that can be fired underwater or having night vision settings, I prefer the cheaper H-1 to the more expensive T-2.
However, all the things that make it a great optic for your 5.56mm rifle probably aren’t as necessary for a PCC. With a chamber pressure of 55K PSI, the 5.56 mm rifle needs an overbuilt red dot. In 9mm, the chamber pressures are much more gentle at 35K PSI. Some of the durability with regards to internal components meant to serve on 5.56 mm rifles isn’t needed in a carbine that creates 20K less PSI of pressure.
The Aimpoint is very durable, waterproof, and has lots of different brightness settings to cover everything from pitch black indoor conditions under night vision to the bright sun outside.
With a 9mm pistol caliber carbine, the recoil stresses on the optic are far less than with a .223. You really don’t need the most robust sight on the market. If you are primarily using it for indoor home defense, you also don’t need it to be waterproof. Likewise, you can also get away with a more narrow selection of brightness settings.
While I don’t personally own one, a lot of my friends also like the Bushnell TRS-25. It’s not quite as durable as the other options, but probably perfectly adequate for your PCC. And it’s only $56.
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