Last Updated on

When it comes to home defense or sport shooting, a 9mm carbine can be one of the best weapons available.

The round is cheap and easy to get, and it’s effective enough for defensive incidents. Additionally, the longer barrel on a carbine gives you better ballistic performance and accuracy than you’d get from a handgun.

It might seem like a rifle caliber would be best, if you’re going to use a rifle-sized gun. But a 9mm carbine can be more affordable than a rifle-caliber carbine, since you can get one that takes the same magazines as your pistol. So the platform consolidation saves you some money.

And, if you have room for a carbine, you might as well use one, rather than making do with a handgun.

To help you find the 9mm carbine that’s right for you, we checked out the best carbines on the market and reviewed them so you can make an informed decision.

Our Favorite Choice

CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1

  • Numerous attachment points
  • Suppressor compatible
  • Space saving stock

If you want to skip to the action, the best overall 9mm carbine is the CZ Scorpion. It’s an excellent 9mm carbine that will perform well in any context without any modifications.

For those who want to stick around for the whole show, read on.


Top Models on the Market


1. CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 Carbine 16.2IN 9mm - Best Overall

CZ made a name for themselves in the pistol market with the legendary CZ75. CZ guns are renowned for their reliability and build quality.

The CZ Scorpion is CZ’s offering to the carbine gods. It’s become the gold standard for 9mm carbines.

The first nice thing about the Scorpion is that it comes with a 16.2 inch barrel. So it’s legal in more states, and you don’t need an SBR tax stamp to purchase one.

The stock is both foldable and adjustable. So the Scorpion is comfortable and easy to store. The stock adjustment also makes it easy to shorten the gun if you want a more compact platform for home defense.

Up front, the chassis has plenty of M-LOK attachment points to add any foregrip, aiming, or illumination accessories you want. The forend is also wide enough to accomodate a suppressor.

The sights are fixed to the top rail. However, the sights are low profile. So you can mount an optic on the Scorpion without interference from the iron sights. But the stock ghost ring sights are perfectly functional for any shooting context.

The ergonomics of the Scorpion are mostly excellent. The trigger and safety throw are easy to reach and operate very smoothly.

The first struggle is the magazine release. It’s easy to operate. But the release is a paddle on the magazine well that you push forward to release the magazine. For those who are accustomed to an AR-15, it will take some getting used to. Also, those with short fingers may struggle to reach the magazine release.

The second issue is that the ambidextrous safety selector tends to grind on the knuckle of your middle finger when you run the gun. It’s not a deal breaker. But it does cause some discomfort.

The other downside to the Scorpion is the magazines themselves. CZ magazines are difficult to get right now. So you may find that it’s difficult to get extra magazines if you want them. This situation may change in the future.

Overall, the Scorpion is the best option for those looking for a home defense, competition, or recreational carbine. The price point is excellent, especially considering the quality.

Pros

  • Long enough barrel that it’s not considered an SBR.
  • Excellent adjustability and space saving from the stock.
  • Lots of attachment points.
  • Suppressor-compatible forend.

Cons

  • Magazine release might be difficult for some shooters to reach.
  • Ambidextrous safety selector can be uncomfortable.
  • Magazines might be tough to get.

2. Wilson Combat AR9 Carbine 16" Beretta Mag - 9mm AR-15 Carbine

Wilson Combat is one of the most beloved brands on the competitive shooting circuit. Their original namesake was the Wilson Combat 1911.

The Wilson Combat AR9 is the carbine equivalent of the Wilson Combat 1911.

The AR9 is a true pistol-caliber AR-15.

The ergonomics of the AR9 are excellent. The contoured BCM gunfighter grip and the Wilson Super Stock offer excellent adjustability and inherently encourage a good shooting grip.

Up front, this carbine features a carbine length rail with detachable rail segments. You can put rails only where you need them to keep the forebody sleeker and snag-free.

The AR9 comes standard with steel, AR-15 flip-up sights. These are low-profile enough to use with an optic, but functional enough to stand on their own.

On to the trigger. It’s a 2-stage 4.5 pound AR-15 trigger. The trigger is smooth and crisp. Excellent for competition and tactical shooters.

The AR9 can be configured to accept either Glock or Beretta magazines. You specify which magazines you want to use when you order the gun.

Where the AR9 isn’t so friendly is the price. It’s an outstanding carbine. But the performance comes at a pretty high cost.

This carbine is probably best for competition shooters, tactical professionals, and AR-15 enthusiasts who want the strongest rifle they can get out of the box.

Pros

  • Excellent ergonomics.
  • Completely configurable rail system.
  • Outstanding, match-grade trigger.
  • Can be configured to accept either Glock or Beretta magazines.

Cons

  • Expensive

3. PTR Industries Inc. 9R 9mm Carbine - MP5 Variant 9mm Carbine

The MP5 is one of the most legendary 9mm sub guns ever. Unfortunately, it’s no longer imported into the U.S. However, there are a few MP5 variants, like the PTR Industries Inc. 9mm Carbine, that you can get in the United States.

This carbine offers one of the best features of the original MP5: a roller-delayed blowback system. This system of operation produces an incredibly smooth recoil impulse, which makes it easy to keep this carbine steady during rapid fire.

Then, there are a few parts that have been upgraded from the classic MP5.

First, there’s an integrated rail with M-LOK attachment points. So, you can add a light, laser, or any other forend accessories you’re into.

Additionally, there’s a welded Picatinny optics rail on top to quickly and easily mount optics. So, this model offers a bit more customizability than the original MP5.

On the back end, this carbine comes with a fixed stock. This gives you a lot of stability for shooting. 

However, it does make this a rifle-length carbine, which isn’t as maneuverable as a true sub gun.

Final note: this carbine also comes with MP5-style iron sights, which are surprisingly easy and intuitive to line up. So, you’ll be able to run this carbine swiftly, even if you don’t use any optics.

It might not be as compact as a true MP5. But, it offers a smooth, comfortable shooting experience. And, it’s one of the most affordable and reliable MP5 clones on the market.

Pros

  • Roller-delayed blowback system delivers an incredibly smooth and manageable recoil impulse.
  • Integrated rail with M-LOK attachment points.
  • Welded Picatinny optics rail.
  • Fixed stock offers excellent shooting stability.

Cons

  • Non-adjustable stock and full-length barrel make this a pretty large MP5-style carbine.

4. Sig Sauer John Wick MPX 9mm - Competition 9mm Carbine

Don’t let the name fool you. The Sig Sauer John Wick MPX 9mm is designed for serious competition... Tactical competition. It’s got all the cool features of an MPX and a lot more.

There are three key upgrades on this model:

  • The bolt carrier. The bolt carrier group has been upgraded with an Ion Bonded bolt carrier, which offers improved lubrication and reliability.
  • The trigger. This model comes with a tuned Hiperfire 24 Reflex trigger group. The trigger is already upgraded over the standard MCX trigger. But, it’s been tuned for an even shorter takeup, cleaner break, and less overtravel. You’ll easily be able to break any shot without disturbing your sight picture.
  • The magwell. The magwell is a Taran Tactical flared magwell, which makes it easy to do smooth, fast reloads every time.

Additionally, all the furniture, the muzzle brake, the handguard have been upgraded to improve the ergonomics and recoil management. 

This is probably the fastest, flattest shooting 9mm carbine on the market right now.

However, there are two areas where this model isn’t quite perfect.

First up: the action. The MPX uses an AR-15 type gas system. When you shoot the gun, there’s a lot of gas that blows back in your face. It’s especially bad if you’re using a suppressor. The gun is still totally shootable. But wear eye protection.

Next: the magazines. The magazines are fairly easy to find. But, wow, are they expensive. The prices may come down eventually. But, right now, be prepared to shell out some serious dough for extra mags.

This carbine offers incredible performance and outstanding reliability for competitive shooters. The price might be a bit restrictive for defensive and recreational shooters. But, serious competitors are accustomed to stomaching huge price tags.

Pros

  • Upgraded internals add a ton of performance.
  • Bravo Company stock, Magpul pistol grip, and TacCom 3G muzzle brake offer incredible ergonomics and recoil management.
  • Awesome trigger.

Cons

  • Tends to blow gas in the shooter’s face.
  • Magazines are expensive.

5. TNW Firearms Inc. ASR Rifle 9mm - Sporting Carbine

The TNW ASR is designed as an all-purpose carbine. It fits most roles pretty well. But it doesn’t do anything great.

First, the ASR breaks down very easily. Simply loosen the barrel nut and take the barrel off. This reduces the overall length to 16.25 inches for easier storage or transportation.

It’s also a very light carbine. It weighs in at 5.5 pounds. Which is lighter than almost any other carbine on the market.

The stock is a standard AR-15, adjustable stock. This provides good ergonomics and adjustability on its own. But you can easily change out the stock for something more comfortable or with more utility if you want.

This carbine is fitted with a picatinny rail on top for mounting optics. It comes with a fixed power, 4x scope. However, there’s no rail system up front for forend attachments.

The ASR takes Glock magazines of all sizes. So you can feed it with 10, 15, 17, or 30 round mags.

The minimalism of the ASR is nice. But it’s also a weakness. There’s no real forend on the rifle. So there aren’t a lot of options for where to put your support hand. You pretty much have to your support hand on the magazine well.

It’s also not very friendly to left-handers, since all the controls are on the right side.

But, the ASR is still a solid performer. It’s an excellent option for those who want a recreational plinker or survival gun that could also serve as a defensive or competition carbine in a pinch.

Pros

  • Very easy to store and transport.
  • Lightweight.
  • Comes with an optic.
  • Takes Glock magazines.

Cons

  • Maybe a bit too minimal.
  • Not great for left-handers.

6. Ruger PC9 Carbine Rifle 9mm 16.12" - For Glock Owners

The Ruger PC9 Carbine isn’t the only carbine that takes Glock magazines. It’s the best option for Glock owners because it’s a combination of two very common guns: a Glock pistol and the Ruger 10/22 rifle.

The 10/22 is one of the most ubiquitous rifles around. Many people grew up shooting the 10/22. So the ergonomics are familiar and comfortable.

This carbine has a standard rifle grip and forend, which is comfortable for most shooters, though not adjustable.

However, the stock is glass-filled polymer, which is a nice step up from a regular wood stock and reduces the weight.

Ruger fitted the PC9 with raised 10/22 sights. They’re surprisingly adjustable for basic rifle sights. The rear sight can be adjusted for elevation, and no zeroing is necessary.

There’s a picatinny rail behind the sights for mounting optics. Unfortunately, the iron sights are fixed. So you may have to co-witness with your sights, depending on the height of your optic.

The trigger is a simple, single-action trigger that has a nice, crisp break. It’s no match-grade competition trigger. But it’s clean enough for most precision shooting.

Although it accepts Glock magazines, the PC9 comes with magazine well inserts that make it compatible with SR-Series and Security-9 magazines as well. So you have a lot of options for magazines.

The only real downside to the PC9 is that there are a very few options for customization. There’s no rail on the forend. If you want to change the grip, you’ll have to replace the entire stock.

Even so, this is a great carbine for home defense or recreation. It’s a really great gun for teaching the kids to shoot. But, those who are looking for a high performance carbine or competition gun may want something with a bit more performance and configurability.

Pros

  • Lightweight, polymer stock.
  • Decent fixed sights.
  • Optics ready.
  • Quality trigger.
  • Multiple magazine options, including Glock magazines.

Cons

  • No adjustability in the stock.
  • Fixed sights do not flip down.
  • Minimal configurability and attachment options.

7. Kalashnikov USA KR-9 9mm Carbine - 9mm AK-47 Carbine

The Kalashnikov USA KR-9 9mm Carbine is the 9mm carbine for AK-47 lovers. And, it even offers a couple improvements over the classic AK-47 design.

All the controls are set up just like a standard AK-47. This is handy because most people are familiar with AK-47 ergonomics. However, those who are familiar with AK-47 controls know that they’re not all that ergonomic. But, it gets the job done.

The stock is a skeletonized folding stock that reduces the weight, and makes transportation and storage a snap.

Then, the top cover is hinged to take the pain out of taking your gun apart and reassembling it. Additionally, the top cover has an integrated Picatinny optics rail. So, you can mount optics without the usual AK-47 mounting hardware.

On the front end, there’s a TPI flash suppressor. It’s nice, and works well on a 9mm carbine. However, many may prefer a muzzle brake.

Lastly, all the furniture is polymer, which further reduces the weight and offers improved durability over the wood furniture on many low-end AK-47s.

So, if you’re an AK-47 enthusiast who doesn’t want to be left out of the 9mm carbine game just because you don’t use an AR-15, this is the gun for you.

Pros

  • Standard AK-47 controls.
  • Skeletonized folding stock.
  • Hinged top cover.
  • Integrated Picatinny optics rail.
  • TPI flash suppressor.

Cons

  • AK-47 controls aren’t that ergonomic.
  • Muzzle brake or compensator would be the perfect muzzle device.

Final Rounds

If you’ve already got a handgun, a 9mm carbine is a great way to get a rifle while keeping all of your ammunition and magazines standardized. This reduces the cost and simplifies shooting.

Pistol-caliber carbines are also excellent for those who want to use suppressors.

Enter your text here...

If you want the best overall 9mm carbine, considering price and everything, pick up the CZ Scorpion. You just can’t beat the quality and performance for the price. The Scorpion costs less than some handguns, and it’s a bona fide carbine.

That covers carbines. Now that you’re in the know, get out, grab your favorite 9mm carbine and sling some lead.