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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    25

    Default PDW: 9mm vs 5.56

    I know that I'm late to the party....

    I'm interested in getting a braced pistol as a PDW for travel, something with a 7.5" to 12.5" barrel. I'm already set up with traditional 9mm pistols, but I don't own anything in 5.56 NATO. Watching and reading several sources, I know 5.56 loses a lot of velocity when barrel length goes below 14". I also know that 9mm gains a lot of velocity in barrels up to 12" before friction starts slowing it.

    In a PDW at ranges under 100 yards, is the performance of 5.56 worth investing in a new caliber with increased noise? Or will 9mm in a 7.5-11.5" barrel work well enough?

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
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    46,040
    My POV...if it has a stock, it needs to be a rifle caliber. My own is 300 BO
    Gabriel Suarez

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South-Central Idaho
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    3,174
    I guess it depends what you’re going to do with it.

    If it’s for indoor use in your house/hotel room/car, I think a braced Glock makes a lot of sense...assuming you have a reason not to run a Suarez Stakeout or Pointman.

    If you’re going to step outside, I’d be grabbing a 300 Blackout...unless things were close enough for a Stakeout/PointMan.

    A braced pistol-caliber weapon like a braced Glock or a CZ Evo or some such is a great tool, but it’s really just a pistol that shoots more accurately due to more points of contact. If that’s the role, great. But if you want more power don’t kid yourself that a pistol caliber carbine will change things much. You’ll be better off with a rifle caliber.

    I have both 5.56 and 300 Blk AR pistols. I think the 300Blk has notable advantages over the 5.56 in a shorty.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western WA
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    5,943
    IMO the benefit of the 9mm PDW is in being an extremely small package...something much smaller than an AR. The smallest viable PDW right now is still the braced Glock. To me, the PDW needs to be significantly smaller than a rifle.

    If we get a bigger platform like the AR, it might as well be a rifle caliber. In a short barrel, 300 is my choice.

    The greatest benefit I can see of a 9mm AR is as a training tool. Set it up just like your go to AR and it makes a great training weapon that can also be pressed into service as a house gun for other members of the family.
    Brent Yamamoto
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado
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    7,687
    In a short AR .300 blk is the correct answer.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,635
    If you go with an AR platform go 5.56 or 300blk. If you decide that sticking with one round is the most important consideration then get a brace for a Glock with an optic.

    I love the whole pistol caliber SMG PDW trip as much as the next guy but realistically you can do most anything that those guns do with an RMR equipped Glock. If you want to do something that your side arm doesn't quite do you want a rifle. While a 10"-12" 5.56 doesn't do everything a 20" 5.56 does, it does do much much more than a 9mm does from any barrel length. I took a long time warming up to the 5.56 pistol concept but it is really a great gun. 200 or 300 yard hits and with the right ammo they are effective hits.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Exiled in Texas
    Posts
    7,187
    Quote Originally Posted by Dorkface View Post
    In a short AR .300 blk is the correct answer.
    I'm in this camp. The .300 is tailor-made for short barrels. It doesn't sacrifice performance to shoot it through an 8" barrel. The .300 is not a long-range performer, though. It's a comfortable gun out to 300m, and workable to 400m (barely). The 5.56 will vastly out-distance the .300....if it's got a longer barrel. Once you chop the 5.56 tube down to 10.5" or so, it really doesn't offer any more range than the .300. And if you go shorter than 10.5", you start to get into finicky gas systems and your velocity takes a nosedive. For a general purpose rifle--which for me means a 14.5" or longer barrel--the 5.56 is still the better cartridge. But when you go short, the .300 really shines.

    To solve the problem you raise, you first have to figure out just how large a gun can work. The range you offer is still pretty broad. If you can carry a gun as large as an AR with an 10.5" barrel, then a 5.56 might be workable. But if you need to get smaller, then you can immediately dismiss the 5.56 as a contender. The next step down would be an AR with a roughly 8" barrel. While that doesn't sound like a huge step down in size, it matters. I would definitely prefer a .300 at that barrel length. If you add a side-folder (something like the Law Tactical), you can get this package under 20", which makes it small enough to fit into a normal-sized backpack. You are now entering the territory of truly discreet guns.

    The step down from a side-folding 8" AR to something like the Scorpion is a pretty small step in regard to the overall size of the package. But it's a big step down in terminal ballistic performance. 9mm is plummeting downward by the 200m line, and it isn't reliably punching through car doors at any distance. The benefit of 9mm is that you can carry a crap-ton of ammo, you can keep it short even with a silencer attached, and you will be quieter with or without a can (comparing suppressed 9mm to suppressed .300, and unsuppressed 9mm to unsuppressed .300). The PCC is a niche weapon. While there are certain roles in which it reigns supreme, it is less likely to be the ideal choice for a "traveling" gun.

    The Glock PDW may be workable in this role. If you really need small, you can't beat a pistol. I already keep a spare Glock in the truck. It would be easy to add an Endo/brace. That would give me two identical guns--one in a holster and another on a sling with a brace. There are obvious ballistic deficiencies, but also a definite advantage in size. My workable range shrinks from relatively easy 300m hits to workable 200m hits. Barriers that are mere concealment from the .300 become hard cover for the 9mm.

    For a traveling gun, I would propose two options:
    1) 8" .300BLK AR, with Law Tac folder or PDW brace, or
    2) Glock PDW w/ Endo/brace.

    I would only select option 2 if I couldn't get away with option 1. The 8" AR with a side-folder will fit into a medium Sneaky Bags Trick-or-Treat bag. With a PDW, I believe it would fit in the large ToT, but haven't verified that. It would definitely fit in a racquet bag. If you are going in and out of hotels, you can easily go unnoticed with a Trick-or-Treat bag. The racquet bag kind of depends on your appearance. If you are a 260-pound Viking, dressed like a construction worker, a tennis racquet looks a little out of place.
    Virtute et Armis

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
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    10,063
    Its like I post only for my self. Role, niche, envelope. What is the intended role? How far can you stretch the platform for your skillet? What is the actual functioning distance your choice can serve? I can shoot an RMR G19 over 260 yards and make hits, is that right? Does it hold terminal ballistic value? Would I ever do it in a real fight?
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,361
    Quote Originally Posted by LawDog View Post
    For a traveling gun, I would propose two options:
    1) 8" .300BLK AR, with Law Tac folder or PDW brace, or
    2) Glock PDW w/ Endo/brace.
    You know what's funny, this is exactly my approach for portable firearms.

    I have an 8 in .300 BLK AR that will soon wear a pdw brace and a Glock pdw.

    Greg just mentioned role niche envelope. Yours is travel/pdw/under 100 yds.

    .300 in an 8 inch does that and a little more with barrier penetration.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    179
    I'd also add it depends on how short your looking at a 5.56. I have a 9.5 inch 300 BO, and a 12.5 inch 5.56. Not too much difference in length but with the 5.56 I can hit pretty consistently out to 500 yds with a 1-4 LPVO.

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