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Ruger PC Charger Review

Ruger introduced the PC Carbine a while back. The PC Carbine is basically just a scaled-up 10/22 takedown that accepts 9mm. After the success of the PC Carbine, Ruger decided to introduce the PC Charger. Ruger also has a Charger 10/22, which is essentially a pistol format of the Carbine. This is our Ruger PC Charger review. 

Ruger PC Charger Folded Right

What is the appeal of the gun?

The Ruger PC Charger is a bit different from almost everything out there on the market. It has an exceptionally short barrel for a pistol-caliber style gun of this type and a take-down so you can remove the barrel and handguard from the receiver.

It allows the gun to fold up pretty small and you can definitely fit it in storage spaces, but at the same time, it’s a very bulky and heavy weapon. While you can get the length of the gun short, you don’t really have any way to get rid of the bulk.

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The 10/22 fits within its category of .22-caliber firearms and is similar to a lot of other .22-caliber rifles, but significantly different from every other 9mm pistol out there.

Options

There are other similar brace pistols such as the Stribog, SIG Sauer MPX, and the CZ Scorpion where the difference is more cosmetic.

I’m a big fan of movie guns, and so far I haven’t seen the Ruger PC Charger featured in any movie. That’s somewhat of a disappointment, but could be related to the look of the gun. This gun has a weird futuristic look while also looking incredibly traditional being based on the Ruger 10/22. It’s an incredibly odd mix. It does have a cool sci-fi appearance, but it lacks any sleek or tactical feel. This gun is in an appearance class of its own.

Ruger PC Charger Lynx Defense Bureau Left Concrete

When I initially got the Charger, what it reminded me of was some of the mock-ups that Kurt Russell used as Snake Plissken in Escape from LA and Escape from New York. I can imagine putting a variable power optic or fixed power scope on this pistol and running it as is. It’s a really cool setup, but it’s just unique.

If you’re that guy who wants something that looks different, then you’re going to love it. If you want something that’s going to blend in with what everybody else has, you might want to look for another gun.

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Ruger PC Charger Review Take-Down

Ruger PC Charger Takedown Square

The take-down feature on the Ruger PC Charger sets it apart from most of the other firearms out there. None of its competitors have the ability to take down the gun like the Ruger PC Charger has. The system is very efficient and easy to use. I can take the barrel off the gun in seconds and it has a locking ratchet that allows you to tighten up the fit. This ratchet is adjustable and it allows you to change the amount of fit between the barrel and the receiver.

If you loosen the ratchet up, it’s going to be much easier to install the barrel, but if you tighten it, it will be much harder. You can also tighten it even more once you have the barrel installed in the gun. I’ve shot this gun a lot without having it too tight.

Ruger PC Charger Barrel Locking Nubs

I’ve got the ratchet as tight as it will go while still being able to get the barrel on and off. I haven’t noticed any major degradation of accuracy. It’s definitely accurate enough for my purposes. This isn’t a gun that I’m bench-resting at 100 yards trying to shoot quarter-sized groups.

Practicallity

While the take-down feature is nice to have, I think its real utility is somewhat dubious. This gun is fairly large and bulky. The handguard and barrel assembly only removes a couple of inches from the gun.

When you fold the brace and take off the handguard you are removing a couple of inches. But you’re also creating a whole new piece that needs to be stowed separately. While many might think this is a great gun to throw in a backpack or something for a camping trip, it weighs quite a bit and the bulk makes it somewhat impractical.

Ruger PC Charger Takedown Concrete

If you’re looking at this gun online, then you may think it’s the perfect take-down gun, but when you handle it in the gun store, you’ll realize the feature is more of a gimmick than actual utility.

Ergonomics Ruger PC Charger Review

The ergonomics of the Ruger PC Charger are definitely different from most of the other guns in its class. Again, it mimics a 10/22, but there are some specific differences which I’ll mention below.

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Safety

The safety of the Ruger PC Charger is just like a Ruger 10/22. It’s a cross-bolt-style safety that sits in front of the trigger guard. As a right-handed shooter, you’ll need to press the safety in and the gun will be hot. To re-engage the safety, you’ll need to press it to the other side of the receiver. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this style of safety as I think it’s less intuitive to know if the safety is on or off than an AR-15-style variant. 

Ruger PC Charger Safety Off

I think it’d also be easier to inadvertently bump the safety, especially if you were carrying this gun loaded in a bag or throwing it on the back of a four-wheeler. This is not a gun I would be likely to keep loaded with one in the chamber. The safety on it seems to work fine for the range, but I just wouldn’t trust knocking this gun around and trusting the safety to stay engaged.

Pistol Grip Ruger PC Charger Review

Ruger PC Charger Pistol Grip

The pistol grip on this firearm uses a standard AR-15-style pistol grip. The one they have on there is a Ruger-branded pistol grip that is a mix between a Magpul MOE and an M1682. Overall, it feels good in your hand. It works well, but I would probably add a grip on it that has less of a steep angle so it’s better for QCB-style shooting.

Mag Releases

The magazine release on this gun is quite different from almost anything else out there.

The well of the gun sits very far forward, even farther forward than it would on a 10/22. There is a magazine release on the left side of the gun that you can use with your support hand thumb as a right-handed shooter. It’s fine and it’s easy to access, but you’re not going to be doing any speed reloads with this gun.

Ruger PC Charger Magazine Release

I don’t see that as a big hindrance or issue. It’s just a different style of gun than what you’re used to if you’re used to shooting AR-15s. If you’re a left-handed shooter, you can definitely come up and use your index finger to press it in and strip out the magazine. That’s another thing: the magazines on these do not always drop free, so that’s something you’ll want to keep in mind.

Magazine Well

The magazine well on the Ruger PC Charger is definitely different from most other options out there. Part of that is because it has the ability to switch from taking a Ruger SR series mags to Glock mags.

You place an insert inside the magazine well that allows it to use Glock mags. It ships with a Ruger SR series mag. Like most people, I’ve decided to run Glock mags because I have a lot of them and there are a lot of extended and affordable options when you decide to do so.

Ruger PC Charger Magwell

The magazine well itself has a nice bevel that allows you to quickly insert a magazine. It’s not as good as some of the other options out there, but honestly, it’s pretty darn good. I would like to see a little bit more beveling. The great thing about how the mag well is set up isthat you could use Glock 26 mags, or you could use 50- or 100-round extended drums.

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This will take pretty much any Glock magazine out there. Reliability is going to depend on the magazine itself, though.

One thing to keep in mind is that some of the aftermarket magazines may or may not have issues that are not related to the gun. If your gun is not reliable with some extremely large-capacity magazine or drum that holds 50 rounds, it might not be the gun and actually might be the magazine.

Ruger PC Charger Review Bolt Release/Hold-Open

Ruger PC Charger Bolt Locked Back

There is no bolt release on this Ruger PC Charger, but there is a bolt hold-open. That hold-open is actually used when you take down the firearm. If you’re going to take the handguard and barrel off the gun, you’re going to want to make sure the bolt is locked to the rear. That bolt hold is located in front of the trigger guard, just like on a 10/22. It’s just a piece of stamped sheet metal and works fairly well.

Charging Handle

The charging handle on the Ruger PC Charger is ambidextrous and it sits in the middle of the Picatinny rail on the gun. The position of it is not my favorite. If you’re running a wide optic like an EA tech, the chances of you knocking your knuckles when you go to charge the weapon are very high. You’re definitely going to want to make sure you’re running the right optic on this firearm.

Ruger PC Charger Charging Hanle

The charging handle itself is just a rounded piece of steel and it works. It’s nothing exceptional, but it’s not horrible either. It’s very fast to actuate, and on a locked back magazine, it’s very quick to drop and let the bolt run.

Handguard

Ruger PC Charger Handguard With Handstop


The handguard on this gun is pretty small and compact. It pretty much covers the entire barrel, and there are two M-LOK slots on the sides and a slot and a half on the bottom of the gun. It’s a reasonably ergonomic handguard and I can’t really give you any major complaints about the gun when it comes to the handguard. It works fairly well.

Trigger Ruger PC Charger Review

Ruger PC Charger Trigger and Safety

The trigger on the PC Charger feels pretty much like your standard 10/22 trigger. You’re going to have just a light little bit of take-up as you pull out some slack and no real creep as the trigger breaks fairly cleanly. It’s a decently heavy trigger, but not crazy heavy. I’m going to say it’s a similar weight to what you’ll find on most mil-spec AR-15 triggers.

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The reset on this is very spongy and not authoritative at all, so you’re likely going to want a little more of a reset on the trigger. That said, this is not a trigger I see myself needing to replace. It’s not horrible like the trigger on the CZ Scorpion. It’s a decent trigger, but it could be improved upon.

Brace/Stock

Ruger PC Charger Brace Right

It’s very easy to mount a brace to the Ruger PC Charger as the chassis has a 1913 Picatinny-style rail on it. I’ve mounted an SB tactical M1913 brace, but you could also SPR the gun and mount an actual stock.

Ruger PC Charger Charging Handle Touching Brace

This gun will work with pretty much any 1913-style brace, so you can mount a tail hook or a PSAAKV-style brace.

There are lots of options, and all of them will work decently well. However, your brace may or may not work folded with the charging handle. That’s the good thing about being able to switch to the side of the charging handle. My SB tactical M1913 brace barely clears under the charging handle, and there’s actually a mark on the handle because I have to press it underneath it when I’m shooting. The amazing thing is the bolt on the gun will still operate, so I can shoot the gun with the brace folded.

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Ruger PC Charger 9mm Accessories

Finding the right accessories to the Ruger PC 9mm Charger will definitely enhance your experience. You might want to turn this into a Snake Plissken gun as I mentioned earlier, or you just may want it to be something that’s fun to shoot at the range. Accessories will make a big difference and we’re going to go over to them right now.

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Optics

As we said earlier, optics fit on a 12 o’clock rail that sits on top of the receiver. This rail is milled to the receiver itself, and it’s going to work well with pretty much any optic out there as long as it does not have a wide base. You’re likely going to want to avoid optics like the EOTECH or a Holosun 510. Any optic that has a wide base is probably going to be better suited on a different gun. The aim point micros and clones like the Holosun work great, though.

Irons

There are no iron sights on this gun. It shifts without any iron sights whatsoever, and the handguard itself does not have the provision to add a front iron sight, so you would have to run the iron sights on top of the receiver, which would give you a very short sight radius at somewhere around eight inches. Personally, I’d rather see a longer sight radius and I don’t see myself adding iron sights to this gun.

Lights Ruger PC Charger Review

Ruger PC Charger Handguard With Light Mount

Mounting a light to the Ruger PC Charger is not an easy feat. You could fairly easily mount one that you could activate with your thumb, but it’s hard to find a light that you can activate using both hands. I like having all my guns set up for ambidextrous use and to do this I had to mount a Picatinny rail to the M-LOK slot on the right-hand side of the handguard and from there mounted a stream light TLR-1 HL. This actually works surprisingly well.

Ruger PC Charger Light Mount

When shooting it right-handed I use the support hand middle finger to activate the lever. I can either do momentary or constant-on easily. If I’m shooting with my left hand, I can then use the thumb of my right hand to activate the light. It’s a very good and fairly intuitive setup that almost anybody can easily use.

Control Devices

Ruger PC Charger Light

Due to the fact that you only have an M-LOK slot and a half on the bottom handguard, you’re going to have limited options for control devices. It ships with a UTG hand stop which really works well and I can’t see any reason that I would replace it with anything else. I’m actually really happy with that option, and even if I could find a control device that would fit there, I probably wouldn’t change it out for the UTG stop.

Sling

Ruger PC Charger Brace 1913 Mount

Mounting a sling to the Ruger PC Charger is not as easy as you would think. You can easily mount a sling to one of the QD mounts on the rear of the receiver they have on both the right- and left-hand side.

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That’s great if you want to run a single point, but if you want to run a two-point sling your options are a little bit more limited. You could mount a QD cup in the front M-LOK slot on the left-hand side of the gun as a right-handed shooter and that would actually work pretty well ergonomically, but I’m not sure if I’d want to do that. It just depends on what you’re looking for in a sling, but know that there are options.

Shooting Experience

When you go to load this gun, it’s fairly intuitive. It really handles just like a 10/22, except the magazines are much easier to load ammunition into. Take your Glock or Ruger SR series mag, insert into the mag well, and go back to charge the weapon. Pull it up on target, and then as you go to the fire, you feel a decently heavy trigger pull.

It breaks and the recoil impulse is surprisingly soft. You can definitely feel the gun operating, but it has a much lighter recoil impulse than other guns like the CZ Scorpion.

Ruger PC Charger Lynx Defense Bureau

To be a blowback-style firearm, it’s incredibly soft-shooting. This is a really fun gun to shoot. Considering the price point of this gun, this might be the most reliable and soft-shooting gun until you get into a much higher price range. Personally, I find this shoots much softer than the Stribog, which is really the only non-AR-style platform that’s even in the same price range as this gun. 

Suppresed

Now, if you’re a fan of suppressed shooting, this is probably not going to be the gun for you. 

For some reason, this gun unlocks extremely quickly when it’s shooting, so the bolt immediately comes back and ends up being a lot louder when shooting suppressed than other options. It’s louder than shooting my Stribog with the same ammo, and obviously, it’s not as quiet as a rotating bolt gun like the SIG MPX.

If you plan to suppress this, I’d probably look for something else, but if you don’t have a suppressor, then this is going to be a great fun option to shoot the way that the gun really keeps is nice and mild.

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This gun is somewhat of an enthusiast’s gun, but at the same time, it can be a great gun for beginners. While I personally don’t care for the manual of arms as much as other options, they’re very simple and easy to understand for most shooters. You just have to push a button, take it off, and pull the charging handle back.

There’s no bolt lock that’s going to lock back on the last magazine that you can’t just easily drop by running a charging handle. This is like the AK of pistol-caliber carbines. It’s very simple to understand.

Final Conclusions Ruger PC Charger Review

In my opinion, this is a great gun for the range, but it’s not a good gun to use as a backpack gun. The best purpose for this gun could really be home defense. If you have somebody that is not that interested in firearms but wants the ability to defend themselves with an easy-to-use weapon, this is probably going to be one of the best choices.

This is a gun you could easily load a magazine in, keep the safety off and then keep an empty chamber. From there, you could teach that person just how to come up, grab the gun and rack the charging handle before using it for home defense. 

Ruger PC Charger Takedown Bed Cover

Obviously, make sure the gun is stashed in a safe area, but this is a very easy gun to use. To unload it, the user would just have to press the magazine, pull it out, and then rack the bolt a couple of times to ensure a live round is not in the gun. This is as simple as it gets and easy to understand. The gun is also reasonably lightweight and easy to use with a good brace.

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If you have an older loved one that has problems with arthritis and they don’t want to use a handgun and they find an AR-15 just to be a little bit intimidating, then it’s going to be hard to beat this for home defense in that care as well. 

Value 

MSRP on this gun is $799, but I picked this one up for under $600. Right now, the market’s a little bit crazy, but when it comes down I think we’ll again see this gun in the mid-$500s range. At that price, when you add a $150 brace and an optic, the gun is set up really well. For under a thousand dollars (including the light), you can have an awesome home defense setup that is easy for almost anybody to use.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Ruger PC Charger Review.

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Pros

  • Take-down
  • Great recoil impulse
  • Manual of Arms is simple
  • Price
  • Just a big 10/22
  • Takes Glock mags

Cons

  • Wide setup
  • Bulky
  • Heavy
  • Odd manual of arms
  • Mounting accessories aren’t great
  • Loud when suppressed

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