I love PCCs, probably more than I should. This is especially true in a day and age where the short carbine rules and .300 Blackout is a thing. Pistol caliber carbines are just fun, and they tend to be cheap to shoot, and the best models will use a common, easily available magazine. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a company called GunMagWarehouse wants to talk about magazines.
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PCCs are in an interesting space. You either make a PCC or subgun with an affordable and typically common magazine, or you charge out the butt for your proprietary magazine. Sometimes proprietary mags do not suck and end up becoming quite common, but that’s rare. With this in mind, as a PCC connoisseur (yeah, the crayon eater knows big words), I’ve been thinking a lot about PCC magazines.
PCCs occupy a special place in the world of magazines, and it’s wise to have a good understanding of the various PCC mags on the market. To be completely honest, the magazine a PCC takes can influence my decision to purchase it or not. So what are the best magazine options for PCCs?
What to Look for in PCC Magazines
To answer that question, we have to break down what makes a PCC magazine stand out. We have to review the individual features and factors that can make it a good choice. Like most things related to guns, it starts with reliability.
Any magazine-fed weapon depends on the magazine to work, and work well. Reliability is a must. Reliability goes beyond just feeding your gun. A good magazine platform should be able to take some tumbles, falls, and bruises and keep working. Debris shouldn’t lock it up, and it should be capable of feeding various ammunition types, including ball and hollow points, as well as case types, including steel, brass, and aluminum.
Who the hell wants to pay $50 for a magazine? Well, I guess B&T, Sig MPX, and MP5 owners, but the rest of us don’t want that smoke. Your magazines shouldn’t double the cost of the gun to get a combat loadout. That doesn’t mean they are dirt cheap, but they should be plenty affordable.
Most proprietary magazines work well but only work in that one weapon. For most other categories of guns, that’s fine. However, with PCCs, you’re firing pistol rounds, so using a dedicated pistol magazine isn’t out of the question. That doesn’t mean you should be stuck with pistol mags. There are a number of double-stack, double-feed, and dedicated SMG mags that have become both common and popular. You also shouldn’t have to hunt high and low to find magazines made by one company in small numbers.
Commonality helps drive prices down and will often help create an aftermarket for more magazine options and designs from reputable companies.
The Best Magazines for PCCs
With these factors in mind, I’ve chosen what I think are the best magazine platforms for your next PCC.
CZ Scorpion Magazines
My favorite magazine platform for PCCs and Subguns has quickly become Scorpion mags. Specifically the EVO 3 9mm magazines. These mags were proprietary to the Scorpion but were always affordable and easy to find. For $20, you have 30 rounders at your fingertips. Their popularity has led to Manticore Arms, PSA, and Magpul producing CZ Scorpion mags with a variety of features, including metal feed lips, windows, expanded capacities, and more.
These magazines offer a true rifle-type mag for your platform with a double-feed design. They give shooters a last-round bolt hold open on top of a very modern magazine design. They’ve found their way into a number of PCCs, including ARs and AKs. On top of that, there is a dedicated aftermarket producing lowers for weapons like the APC9K and Stribog to allow it to take Scorpion mags.
“DoEs It tAkE GlOcK mAgS?” is a phrase that haunts my dreams from the mid-2000s. Luckily, These days it very likely takes Glock mags. Glock pistol magazines are a favorite due to their commonality, affordability, and available options for a wide variety of calibers. This includes standards like 9mm and 45 ACP, but they also embraced .357 Sig and 10mm. A pistol design makes it easy to store them in pistol grip PCCs like the SUB-2000.
On top of that, Glock magazines are so popular that plenty of companies have jumped on the bandwagon to produce magazines in varying capacities. You can get mags from KCI, Magpul, ETS, ProMag, and many more. Drums are common, and Magpul even produces two Glock drums, with one being specifically designed for PCCs. They are also reliable and fit in all manner of PCC mag pouches.
The ole Colt SMG mags are seriously underappreciated. Colt modified Uzi mags to work in their 9mm SMG decades ago, and for many years if you wanted a 9mm rifle, these were the mags you used. In recent years they’ve waned in popularity, but they shouldn’t be ignored. They are double-stack, dual-feed mags that are made from metal.
They are tough and reliable and also quite affordable. It might just be me, but I think the straight design is superior to the slight rearward angle of Glock mags. In recent years these magazines have gotten more affordable, and the ASC models are the way to go.
Mean Arms Endo Magazines
This is my wildcard choice. It’s not necessarily a magazine but a kit to retrofit your Gen 2 or Gen 3 P-MAGs to fire 9mm. This allows you to use a standard Multi-Cal lower receiver with a 9mm upper. If you like one lower with multiple uppers, this is an easy way to go. If you live in a ban state, you can convert your Freedom Week-acquired P-MAGs to 9mm for your next carbine build. (Although, check local and state laws.)
These kits are simple to use and affordable. They allow you to keep your same magazine pouches and kit and feed your 9mm carbine. These kits are a great way to save a little money in your PCC quest.
The World of PCC Magazines
When you pick a PCC, you’d be wise to consider the magazine platform it utilizes. This can solve some headaches for you down the road. A reliable, affordable, and common mag type will make life easier all around. Your magazine choice shouldn’t make you feel constricted, so shop smart.