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I know you wrote AR-based, but ...


Apologies for the thread derail.

My Ruger PC Carbine Takedown works for me.
 
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I haven't seen many sub $1000 PCC's hold up well to heavy use, however the ruger seems better than most in the sub $1k category. Most of the ones I'm seeing at matches right now are JP Rifles or builds using a lot of their parts. The Sig MPX is pretty popular too.

Check out https://uspsa.org/magazine/display//2021-00 page 44 for the current USPSA PCC trends. It's a pretty good indicator of what's holding up and running consistently right now.
 

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I waited around for the M&P mag version so I could use my pistol mags and put off getting the glock mag version when they were $250.
Then I wised up and just bought glock mags and got that one. The price was up to 425 by then though.
I found out that's its easier to find mags to fit the gun vs the other way around. Plus the s2k is much more fun with stick mags which are plentiful and cheap in the glock flavor.
Magpul makes very good glock mags.
I'd still rather have one that use the same mags as my pistols, a M&P
 

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I've got a Beretta CX4. I got it because I like the looks of it, and I already had a ton of 92 mags. I like it. If I owned a Glock or any Glock mags, I might go with the Ruger. Any of the Ruger or AR versions will have better accessory support than the Beretta.
 

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I've shot all 3 on your list at one point or another. AR-9's have come in many different flavors from Colt SMG mags to Glock mags, and a few custom guns. The AR platform will give you the most options potentially but the cost factor can exceed the others quite quickly depending on the route you're going.

Personally, I'd opt for whichever takes the same magazines your carry gun does or whichever you have the most for. The Ruger PC carbine is a good gun, a bit heavy for a PCC but good. The CX4 is also a bit heavy but in my hands and it's been a while, always felt lighter than the Ruger but very accurate and reliable. The AR-9's though typically were the lighter of the the options but not all were reliable particularly with Glock mags. I guess it's the angle they have to go into the magwell but some just don't run 100%. However, more and more have come about recently so I'm sure it's been improved by other companies.

Others have already mentioned the Sub-2000 which is another great choice. And depending on the pistol, there are also carbine upper kits out there for them. Like with Glock's for instance, you can get the MechTech Systems uppers which replace the slide and barrel. I owned one when I still had my G20SF and frankly, it worked wonderfully and did everything I wanted it to. But, I can understand if you want a rifle separate from the handgun. Though, buying a Glock lower and a MechTech upper puts you in the range of the Ruger or less depending on which version you go with.

Of your three choices though, I like the CX4 best for shooting purposes. But the Ruger PC carbine probably takes my vote as it's a take down which has perks, but also it is threaded for use with suppressors or other muzzle devices, unlike the Sub-2000 when it's taken down the optic can still sit on there without the use of aftermarket parts companies like M-Carbo, and lastly it takes probably the most common handgun magazines in the United States and possibly the world as a whole... Glock magazines. While you can get extended magazines for a M92 most of those are aftermarket and not reliable and factory Beretta magazines like that are costly. A factory 32 round Glock magazine is costly in today's market but in general it's inexpensive comparatively speaking. You also can get larger 50 rounds and even 100 round magazines for Glocks. So, that's a lot of firepower you can work with for whatever you may have in mind.
 

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I’ve only experience with an ar9. I started with a mag block and couldn’t get it to run right. So I bought a dedicated ar9 lower(PSA) in a Glock version. Its been great.
 

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I'm a fan of the AR-9 and I have several. I've also tried several of the others mentioned. I didn't care for the S2k because of the way it folded when you put an optic on it. They have some tricky kits for the front end that address this but didn't care for them either. As far as the Vector goes, it just doesn't make any sense to me in semi-auto. The recoil system is built to be effective in full-auto; in semi-auto it has zero advantage and is just an over priced toy at that point. The Ruger is over sized for what I want out of a 9mm PCC. I prefer my barrels in the 10" range, especially if adding a can. I( haven't played with the Beretta but my thoughts are it suffers from the same issues as the Ruger; too heavy and too long.

I have both AR-9s styles; Glock mags and Colt mags and prefer the Colt mag style for it's ability to hold the bolt open on last round (some Glock mag examples may do that now, not sure but keep it in mind if you go that route). I don't carry a Glock (don't care for them) so no loss on my part. Also I get my Colt mags for $20 so cheaper than Glock mags anyway.

At the end of the day an AR-9 is infantily more configurable than any of the other options. That is a huge consideration for me.
 

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Price wise...if you want a short barrel like some here mention...a glock with an MCK chassis is an option. I prefer that if I am limiting myself to a short barrel. At least you still have the handgun if you choose to separate.
 

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Another option is a RONI
 

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As mentioned a few times the Ruger PC9 is heavy, at least in it's original form. I've not handled one of the tacticool models. The Glock magazines fed reliably.

There are several AR9s. Some have last round bolt hold open, some don't. Prices and quality are all over the place with AR9s.

I have no experience with your third option.

I would ask that you decide what you really want to do with it. If competing, one of the quality AR9s. If a home/play gun, probably the Ruger.
 

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I have a 16” PSA AR9 that takes Glock mags. It’s reliable enough to be fun but occasionally will dump a round into the feed ramp & jam hard enough to set the bullet back. Polishing the feed ramp might fix it but I haven’t been bothered enough to do it, yet. I would not recommend it for serious work. …but given that it weighs as much as a .556 AR, and recoils about as much (just differently) as a 5.56 AR, the only advantage I find that it has is being able to shoot steel at pistol distances without damaging the steel.
 
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