Last week I covered the basics of the Ruger PC9. Today I’m setting it up for self-defense. The goals for any weapon defensive weapon are reliability and weight – the PC9 has both of these covered right out of the box – plus simplicity. Obviously the “simplest” way to run the PC9 would be without any accessories, but adding a couple of parts is going to make it better suited for defensive applications. Finally, as individuals there are some mods needed to make a weapon “fit” us.
The PC9’s stock comes with spacers to adjust length of pull, plus a rubber recoil pad. For defense I like a shorter stock than “normal;” even after removing all the spacers the stock was still a little too long for me. Plus, for quick defensive applications - grab the carbine and address the threat - a rubber pad is a little too grippy. When positioning the stock into the shoulder pocket it tends to get caught up on my clothing. (Keep in mind, these things apply to me. You may be different.)
My first mods were to make the PC9 fit me. I replaced all the spacers on the stock and the rubber recoil pad with a homemade G10 end cap. This brought the LOP down to twelve inches, just about the same as my AR’s with the A-1 stock. Now the stock is short, and quick to mount into the shoulder for low-ready position or on target to fire. I also added a sling mount to the left side of the stock so the carbine hangs flat against the body when slung.
Any defensive long gun/carbine should have a light. Remember safety rule #4 – Always identify your target and what’s beyond and surrounding it. Each year people shoot friends/family/non-threats in the dark due to a failure to identify the “threat.” Weapon mounted lights cure this problem. I mount the light at eleven-o’clock. I work the tail-cap switch with the thumb on my support hand. The eleven o’clock position places it in the right place to work to the left, right or over the top of cover and corners.
Another essential for me is a red dot sight. I can still work irons in the light, but the dot is essential for me in low-light conditions. I stay away from magnified optics. Remember, carbine use in defensive work is short range – bedroom to the end of the hall. Magnified optics restrict your field of view, so 1x is the way to go.
The top of the PC9’s receiver has a rail, so bolting on a sight is no problem. The model I have – 19115 – comes with an aluminum handguard with M-Lok slots, so attaching a light is simple too. My final changes were to swap the bolt handle to the left side, and replace the factory Ruger magwell with the supplied Glock magwell, creating the ability for pistol and carbine to use the same ammo and magazines.
“My” PC9 is ready to hit the range. And I apologize, but I got so deep into the reasons for my modifications that there’s no more room left. And, I have a feeling that this range trip is going to require more than just a paragraph or two to cover the details. Bear with me, and I promise a full report next week.
Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. He is the author of The Book of Two Guns, AR-15 Skills and Drills, has a regular column in American Handgunner and makes some cool knives and custom revolvers. Visit Shootrite’s Facebook page for other details.