Shooting Sports USA | Top USPSA PCC Guns In 2020
When USPSA added Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCC) to its lines of business (including Steel Challenge) in 2016, they may not have realized how popular it was going to get. But it has been well received and continues to grow and develop. And manufacturers have not been neglectful in providing new equipment to fuel that growth.
JP Enterprises GMR-15 9 mm pistol caliber carbine.
The surge in popularity was seen at the 2020 USPSA Nationals when 44 percent of shooters stated that these were their first Nationals to shoot PCC, although this was obviously not their first USPSA match with a PCC. According to the shooter’s survey data, the equipment options reflect the new products being offered to increase shooting performance. Here’s a look at what seasoned shooters are betting their time and entry money on for the biggest USPSA game of the year.
Among those who opted for a factory model gun, the JP Enterprises GMR-15 was the most popular brand with 22 percent. The SIG Sauer MPX followed with 16 percent. Next came the Lead Star with 6 percent, followed by the MBX Extreme and the PC9 from Ruger with 5 percent each.
These figures show a reduction in the primary use of factory weapons from 2019 onwards and reflect the fact that significantly more shooters are choosing to create their PCC via partial structures. In 2019, 8 percent of competitors opted for the construction route for home improvement parts, which increased to a whopping 20 percent in 2020.
Twenty-two percent of the 2020 USPSA Nationals shot at the JP Enterprises GMR-15.
With lower receiver units, JP Rifles are at the top with 26 percent. QC10 was the second most popular at 16 percent, followed by DaVinci at 8 percent and Palmetto State Armory at 7 percent. The most popular Magwells were Techwell USA with 41 percent, Taylor Freelance with 13 percent, followed by Springer Precision with 12 percent and Taccom with 6 percent. When choosing a buttock, 34 percent used a Magpul, 24 percent opted for a Mission First Tactical, 16 percent for a Hogue, and 11 percent for an Odin.
With the upper units, JP Enterprises is again leading, as 24 percent connect them to the lower ones. QC10 came next with 13 percent, followed by DaVinci and Lead Star with 12 percent each and Taccom with 10 percent. The most popular forearm added to the upper was the JP rifles at 23 percent. Smoke Composites followed with 15 percent, Taccom and CODA with 8 percent.
Compensator of the Competition series from JP Enterprises made of stainless steel.
Those who chose to finish their construction with an expansion joint mostly opted for a JP Enterprises model with 30 percent. Others used the MBX with 24 percent, followed by Brekke Custom with 15 percent and Taccom with 11 percent.
Effective sights are an important component and do not have to withstand the G-forces that arise when a reflex sight is mounted directly on a pistol slide. The Picatinny mount used on PCCs eliminates this handicap and allows many different visors to be used. PCC shooters have largely settled on their preferred choices, although there have been some minor changes from those selected in 2019.
Holosun 510C red dot optics.
The Holosun 510C was the most popular optics with 30 percent compared to 22 percent before. C-More, primarily the railroad model but with some RTS, came next at 31 percent, compared with 31 percent. The Vortex Razor was selected by 16 percent versus 10 percent in 2019. This was followed by the various SIG Sauer ROMEO models with 13 percent (after they were largely absent in the previous year) and the Trijicon MRO with 10 percent, a little less than in the previous year. In the statistics for 2020, the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro, which was used by 9 percent of competitors in 2019, was particularly missing.
Approved cartridges in the PCC division are 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, 10mm and .45 ACP. Regardless of which caliber is used, the speed must not exceed 1,600 fps. This could open the door to a “caliber war”. but the 9mm won that years ago. Given that the power factor for PCC – regardless of the caliber used – is a minor value, the 9 mm with 125 PF turned out to be the universal choice. With the boost in speed that the 16-inch barrel offers, any 9mm load that takes the action and gets the bullet out of the barrel easily creates a 125 PF, even if it’s not from a pistol. Without limiting magazine capacity, the increased number of 9mm cartridges that could be filled made it a logical choice. The more rounds in the magazine, the less time-consuming reloading processes have to be carried out. Beyond this general consensus, there were many differences, although the percentages were not very different as of 2019.
Federal 130-grain 9 mm Syntech PCC ammunition.
Hand-loaded ammunition was used by 58 percent of the shooters, while factory bullets were selected by 42 percent. Among factory loads, Federal was the most popular choice at 61 percent, followed by Atlanta Arms at 15 percent and Winchester at 13 percent. Various nameless manufacturers made up the remaining 11 percent.
The 9 mm has a relatively large selection of bullet weights. The 124/125 grains were the most popular weights with both hand loaders and factory shooters at 43 percent. 20 percent opted for 115 grains and 15 percent for the 147. Interestingly, the 130-grain weight that 10 percent of 2020 competitors used (likely the nationwide 130-grain Syntech PCC load) was missing as of 2019, while that 135-grain weight, used by 12 percent of competitors in 2019, was absent from 2020 stats. Coated bullets, whether lead-coated or polymeric, were preferred by 46 percent of shooters, with jacketed (hand-loaded or factory) bullets being selected by 41 percent and hand-loaded plated bullets by 13 percent.
Magazine base plates
Regardless of the bullet selected or whether factory ammunition or hand-loaded ammunition is used, it is important to put the maximum number of these cartridges in a magazine in order to reduce time-consuming reloading. This includes a base plate for the magazine extension. The three most popular options were Taylor Freelance with 36 percent, followed by Taran Tactical with 26 percent and MBX with 21 percent.
The number of competitors building their own guns in 2020 came as a bit of a surprise. But as the USPSA Pistol Caliber Carbine division evolves, we’ll likely see a few more changes.
Read More: 10 Great New Products for 2021