February 5, 2013

Thureon Defense Carbine 9mm

When it comes to personal defense, competition, and recreational shooting, the most popular rifle in America is likely the AR-15 chambered for .223 Remington. But there are still plenty of shooters who prefer the light recoil and low expense of 9mm Luger ammunition. Whereas caliber .223 is strictly the staple of rifle shooters, 9mm carbines are often used by pistol shooters who sometimes use a long gun. There are three basic types of 9mm carbine. They are the 9mm AR-15, semi-automatic versions of submachineguns such as the UZI, and purpose-built 9mm carbines that more or less follow their own rules of design. To answer some of those questions, Gun Tests magazine recently fired the $700 Thureon Defense 9mm.

Thureon Defense Carbine 9mm

As far as lightness and compactness, the Kel-Tec has those advantages over the Thureon. But the Thureon would be Gun Tests' first choice as a field gun or a combat gun. Also, they said, the Thureon makes the leap from a good home defender to a carbine effective for area defense of a homestead or farm.

Their choice of test ammunition was Winchester USA 115-grain FMJ rounds and two loads from Black Hills Ammunition topped with 124-grain bullets. One featured a full-metal-jacketed slug and the other a jacketed hollowpoint driven by a +P charge. Each carbine was tested for accuracy from the 50-yard bench using only their supplied open sights.

Here’s what the staff at GT said:

Thureon Defense Carbine 9mm, $700

Thureon Defense Carbine 9mm

With handling like an AR-15, the Thureon is a strong contender for best choice as an all-round 9mm carbine. Lighter weight makes it suitable for smaller-framed shooters.

This is the newest design among the carbines. Someone asked why not simply choose a 9mm upper for your AR-15? There are several good replies. First, we may not have an AR-15. Second, we may not wish to own a .223 rifle. Perhaps the most pertinent answer is that a rifle with two uppers is still just one rifle, and two rifles are two rifles. The Thureon carbine looks like a blend of a Sten and a Colt AR-15. This 9mm has purposeful lines, but it isn’t pretty. The original Thureon used modified UZI magazines, but our carbine was Glock compatible. We remember the 9mm Colt and its seemingly nonexistent replacement magazines, so using the UZI magazine was a good thing. But in the interest of availability, the Glock is even better.

The handguard was a circular, ventilated type that is about 1.45 inches in diameter. The 16-inch-plus barrel featured a flash suppressor. How much of an aid the suppressor was we may only hazard, but the rifle didn’t have much muzzle rise. While it isn’t an AR, it was built on similar handling and should be evaluated as such. The receiver halves fit together well. The trigger action was typical AR-15 in operation but broke cleaner than most, in our view. The buttstock was advertised with adjustments ranging from about 32 inches to just over 35.6 inches. Large- and small-framed shooters or those wearing heavy clothing or a vest will find this carbine fits them with the proper adjustment. The pistol grip, location of the safety and other controls were straightforward AR-15 design. However, our example was fitted with the optional Slide Fire stock. This feature turns the weapon into an externally driven machine gun of sorts. For the purposes of this test we kept this feature locked out. The only downside to our test procedure was that even when locked in the normal position, the stock was a bit loose. We exhibited pressure on the stock to be certain that the accuracy testing was viable.

Thureon Defense Carbine 9mm

This is the basic Thureon carbine without sights and stock. The original Thureon, such as the one illustrated, used UZI magazines.

We think that the Thureon came on board with an advantage in the firing tests. It is difficult to find an interested shooter without AR-15 experience, and every single rater had experience with the AR-15 and plenty of muscle memory to draw from. The other guns had to hit the ground running just to keep up. Everyone liked the way the Thureon handled, which was similar to the AR-15, but most raters felt it handled even a bit faster. That is good handling! The charging handle on the side of the receiver was a departure from the AR-15 norm, but no one criticized. The Thureon was fired without malfunction. Like all other quality firearms, the carbines preferred one load to the other. But the Kel-Tec or UZI-type carbines tend to produce more or less the same results with all types of ammunition. However, the Thureon displayed at least acceptable accuracy with some loads and exceptional accuracy with others. Choosing to experiment with additional loads such as Fiocchi 123-grain FMJ ammunition (a round that one of our raters swears by for good results), the Thureon produced 2-inch 50-yard groups, excellent for this type of rifle. This was despite the fact that some felt that the sights of the Thureon could have been better. Both the front and rear sights were located on the receiver, rather than offering a front sight mounted on the end of the barrel. That the Thureon invites the shooter to challenge the 50-yard line with only open sights is, in our view, a testament to the product.

If we may discuss intangibles briefly, there is a good chance that the Thureon 9mm, coupled with a hard-hitting 9mm loading such as the Black Hills 124-grain +P, may be a suitable weapon for taking out coyote at a long 100 yards. We feel that the 9mm Luger cartridge gives its best performance inside 100 yards, and in that range the Thureon carbine maximizes the caliber. Despite the much touted “hands meeting in the dark” magazine change for both the UZI and the Kel-Tec, the Thureon proved to be sure and positive in magazine changes. Hitting the magazine release and quickly canting the magazine into the well and snapping it into place produced brilliant elapsed times.

A few words on the Slide Fire stock; we did not like it that much. The Slide Fire works by pressing forward on the forend while you keep the trigger finger on the stock. The finger is then pressed into the trigger and the recoil of the carbine keeps the finger moving until you remove your finger from the trigger or release forward pressure to the forend. Under nonstop rapid-fire, a rifle magazine can be emptied in a few seconds. It is a poor man’s automatic fire, completely legal, being delivered with a letter from the ATF stating it is legal. It’s a ball of fun that will appeal to some shooters. But, in our view, there is nothing accomplished by such rapid fire that cannot be achieved by quick, controlled semi-automatic fire.

Our Team Said: The Thureon is the strong first choice for anyone interested in gilt-edged accuracy, allowing the shooter to explore just what a 9mm carbine will do. The Thureon is cost effective and should provide cheap, accurate plinking from long range. A handloading program with +P loads might also allow you to take out a wily coyote far past 9mm pistol range. Either way, as a fighting carbine for the worst-case scenario, the Thureon wins by a considerable margin.

Comments (34)

I too am a proponent of HiPoint 9mm and .40 carbines. I think one needs to be aware that there are stresses in the barrels because they are not hammer forged so it takes a while of heating and stressing to get them to relax. But when they do knocking the 10 ring at 50 yards consistently is no problem. They will take ANY ammo you put in them and with thousands down range I don't recall even one failure. What I did discover tho is that with a 124grn Hornady XTP, and Power pistol I can't shoot anywhere but where the peep and pole show. Would I like a lighter AR platform, absolutely. But for the price and warranty I haven't found anything that beats HiPoint.

Posted by: marineimaging | January 19, 2017 2:54 PM    Report this comment

How do I get one? ????

Posted by: mimpresc | November 20, 2014 5:35 PM    Report this comment

While this carbine is interesting and useful as a companion piece for a handgun in the same chambering, my personal choice, which I have owned for 10 years, is the HiPoint Carbine in .40 cal. as a companion to my Beretta Cougar. With the very nice peep sights ithas, I can make sub-2" groups all day at 50 yds, and it feeds ANY ammo. I reload for it using Hornady XTP 180gr. HP bullets and it performs spectacularly. On an embarrassing note, several years ago I was reloading into the wee hours and inadvertently forgot to throw a powder charge into one case. The following day I ended up with three bullets stuck in the barrel after a rapid fire drill. The first bullet was forced to the front of thebarrel where I was able to remove it with my Leatherman, however, their were at least two more behind it that would NOT come out - I called HiPoint and explained the situation - normally, the use of reloads voids a warranty, and this gun was over 5 years old at the time, The Tech at HiPoinbt asked me to ship it back with a note explaining what happened. After a week I called them to find out the status of my carbine - I was told it was sent back and I should already have received it. Immediately upon hanging up I went outside and on my front porch was a box from HiPoint with my carbine. They replaced the barrel, gave me two spare magazines, a new sling, and a scope mount (all of these come with the gun when purchased , and I already had them) - they also included a target with the bulls eye blown out! What is truly amazing is that I forgot to include return shipping when I sent it to them, and they paid the return shipping as well as fix the gun for free! HiPoint makes some real ugly and cheap handguns that I probably would not purchase, but I rank their carbine as the best buy for the money (at the time it cost me $189 new) and their customer service is the BEST in the business - The gun never jams, is extremely accurate, and VERY much fun to shoot - I cannot speak more highly of a gun at any price - it is my go-to gun for home defense, SHTF, and even hunting!

Posted by: RL357Mag | November 20, 2014 10:31 AM    Report this comment

Lon Horiuchi, the sniper that executed Randy Weaver's wife was there at Waco. Before you buy anything from HS Precision, know that he retired from the FBI and works for them now.

Posted by: Anishinabi | February 12, 2013 1:39 PM    Report this comment

I was watching a documentary about "Waco" last night. No one remembers that ATF and the FBI killed 77 with automatics and fire, including 29 kids. Way more than happened in Ct. And I am not certain that the killings by our government were a hell of a lot more illegal than that nutbag at Sandy Hook.

Posted by: Cecil B | February 12, 2013 12:09 PM    Report this comment

I was not offended, Cecil. I was just taking the opportunity to share some information that might be worthwhile for others to think about.

Posted by: canovack | February 12, 2013 11:31 AM    Report this comment

Colonel, I certainly was not implying that YOU are a zipperhead. I too possess more than one in 7.62 and more than 1 in 5.56. Like you, common military ammo is a must in preparing for SHTF day. And of course, the AK is the choice of all the gang bangers, of which there are 500,000 in LA, Chicago and NY alone. So, get off the first round and take the assholes ammo.

Posted by: Cecil B | February 11, 2013 8:48 PM    Report this comment

Hey, Cecil.....Count me among the "zipperheads"! I have a pristine, old Chinese AK-47, a very interesting Chinese SKS-M which feeds from AK magazines, a Hungarian AK inspired SA2000, and a Ruger Mini Thirty.....all in 7.62x39mm! Of course I have several 7.62x51mm (.308) pieces along with a good sampling of 5.56x45mm (.223) items as well. They are all part of my program of keeping common military caliber pieces on hand, since there is still a fair amount of ammo available.

Posted by: canovack | February 11, 2013 5:43 PM    Report this comment

NEVER get rid of a 7.62. Every zipperhead in the world has ammo for it and if I was going to control guns, I would do it by controlling ammo.

Posted by: Cecil B | February 11, 2013 3:46 PM    Report this comment

Better yet, Anishinabi.....Keep the Colt, and keep adding to your collection whenever possible!

Posted by: canovack | February 11, 2013 12:12 PM    Report this comment

I think the concept of a light weight AR type weapon of pistok caliber that you can sling over your shoulder easily and comfortably is imminently practical. If the SHTF, it may be much more practical than carrying around an M1A or a heavier version of the AR that requires the use of separate ammo, especially if you carry a Glock which apparently this one uses. I would swap it in a minute for my 7.62x39 Colt AR-15 rifle.

Posted by: Anishinabi | February 11, 2013 11:09 AM    Report this comment

hahaha, no, no worries, just means "private message" you, lol

Posted by: mitch r | February 10, 2013 1:23 PM    Report this comment

One of the nice things about this forum is that we all get to exchange information, along with our beliefs, concerns, and political views in ways that are unoffensive as well as enlightening. Since I am a relatively senior guy, I sometimes miss the meanings of terms and symbols that may be in common usage. That said, MITCH R, could you please enlighten me as to what it means when you say "I wish I could pm you"? About all that I can think of for that is "post mortem".....as in autopsy.

Posted by: canovack | February 10, 2013 11:06 AM    Report this comment

canovack and cecilb, you're comments f'in kill me !!! cause you sooo nailed me !!! things i have that will probably mean nothing to my kids, even though i've tried and tried to drill it in their heads !!!! canovack, i wish i could pm you. And yeah, my things I have accumulated will probably have the plastic wrap on them when mine haul me to the ovens, too !!! So don't feel alone, lol.

Posted by: mitch r | February 9, 2013 9:30 PM    Report this comment

Hmmm.....Yes, Anishinabi, I don't know how much higher prices are going to go. Today, as I was driving home from my son's house, I drove past one of our premier local gun shops, and the parking lot continues to be packed. I missed an Austin gun show today, but we have another in Belton, next week end, so it'll be interesting to see what's out there and for how much it's selling.

Posted by: canovack | February 9, 2013 2:51 PM    Report this comment

Sign of the times. The 2-9-13 price of the basic model is now $959.

Posted by: Anishinabi | February 9, 2013 2:37 PM    Report this comment

And in my case, I may need a firearm if I end up where I think I am going. Getting a little drizzle today.

Posted by: Cecil B | February 9, 2013 12:37 PM    Report this comment

Well, yeah.....They all say that ya can't take it with you. With that said, however, I have left instructions in my will to be sure to stick at least one of my favorite pistols and some ammo into the casket with me. It should go over in a very interesting way for those folks who attend my wake and funeral, and hopefully none of them will try to steal any of my casket inclusions. Maybe I'll have to specify that zip ties be used to fasten the stuff to my wrists.

Posted by: canovack | February 9, 2013 10:11 AM    Report this comment

I know. I keep buying stuff that will probably still have the original wrapping when they haul me off to the oven. LOL

Posted by: Cecil B | February 8, 2013 8:58 PM    Report this comment

Yeah, Cecil, I neglected to mention the lack of prices on magazines. Like you, I have steadily amassed several items over a long period of time, so I have been able to avoid all of the current rush to obtain things that I should have obtained long ago, since I have had them on board for quite some time, without having to pay the current high prices. Now, as I attend the usual monthly gun shows, I am free to browse through stuff and determine if I really want something, without the pressure of making any "must have" purchases. The problem now is that I continue to find interesting things that I really don't need, but since I find them so interesting, I keep on adding them to the collection.

Posted by: canovack | February 8, 2013 1:01 PM    Report this comment

I too noticed that Colonel. It also does not show prices for magazines. I have spent way too much money in the last couple of months on ammo, parts and 1 gun, so I need to throttle back. I was a bit ahead of the curve, so my paranioa enabled me to avoid the uber high prices and I am pretty well set.

Posted by: Cecil B | February 8, 2013 12:13 PM    Report this comment

Yeah, Cecil, my latest Cheaper Than Dirt catalog continues to list all manner of ammo, but very significantly no prices are listed.....NO PRICES are shown for ANY ammo in the entire catalog. I don't know what to make of that.....whether they are going to change prices depending on demands or if they are just playing it close to the vest to remain "flexible".

Posted by: canovack | February 8, 2013 11:14 AM    Report this comment

I am wondering, if and it looks like it will, the Obama ban on ARs and AKs and the 30 rnd mags dies a death in the halls of congress, will the price of firearms and ammo and mags ($about $80 now) return to the less insane days of last year?

I was looking at Sportsman's Guide last night and they aren't even going to offer .22 ammo until June. Even the Russian stuff is coming in in a few months. It is just crazy.

Posted by: Cecil B | February 8, 2013 1:03 AM    Report this comment

Several years ago having tried my son in law's CX4 in .40S&W I got a good deal on a 9mm version. Absolutely delightful gun in all respects despite some nit-picking reviews (Box o'Truth loved it). I also have two USGI M1 Carbines in 30 carbine (surprise). Both guns are light both in weight and in recoil, easy for a small frame person to shoot comfortably and accurately. Range and impact better with the M1 but higher wall penetration. Love em both and for SHTF these would be my easy choice.

Posted by: techfan | February 7, 2013 9:10 PM    Report this comment

Again, just to keep up with the comments.

Posted by: CT dave | February 7, 2013 8:54 PM    Report this comment

Hey, whooziss, I have a PPS 43C, and it's a little dandy! The 7.62x25mm round is a sizzler, and with five 35-round magazines, I carry the little guy around in my cars in a Bulldog zipper case, easily accessible for whatever occasion may arise. What a fun little gun it is, for only $350.00.....

Posted by: canovack | February 7, 2013 8:06 PM    Report this comment

I've been pretty satisfied with my Beretta CX4, and the Hi Point carbine takes lots of abuse and still shoots. Both of these pieces are available in .45 ACP. If you're into .30 Carbine, Auto Ordnance makes a pretty nice one, and at last look it was pretty reasonably priced, but due to current circumstances, it may have gotten significantly higher in price. I also have a Marlin Camp Carbine in .45 ACP, which is a nice handy sized piece that is pretty well built to take as much abuse as the average service weapon might be expected to endure.

Posted by: canovack | February 7, 2013 3:30 PM    Report this comment

Mister E, check out one of the replica, semi-auto PPsh 41's in 7.62 x 25. 25 or 30 round stick mag, nasty little round.

Posted by: whooziss | February 7, 2013 3:27 PM    Report this comment

45ACP or 30 Carbine would be better for defense. A Tommy Gun would fit the bill, but there ought to be something more weather-resistant and less expensive. Something that can be stored for long times and kicked around and still function.

Posted by: Mister E | February 7, 2013 12:43 PM    Report this comment

I had this on my radar about six months ago. Gave up on trying to find one for sale. BTW right now there are two on Gunbroker one priced at $1,300+ and one for $1,700+

Posted by: JFrankO | February 7, 2013 12:02 PM    Report this comment

I would prefer the ruger pc9, had a pc4 sold same and wished I hadnt. In todays gun world is it evan available? things are a little crazy price wise and availability is a joke.. stay safe

Posted by: jim kelly | February 7, 2013 11:32 AM    Report this comment

How is this piece better than a Hi-Point carbine, at about half the price? Paying a bunch of extra $ for a little extra sex appeal is silly.

Posted by: whooziss | February 7, 2013 11:00 AM    Report this comment

Interesting weapon. But for a few dollars more, my son purchased the Beretta CX4 in .40 S&W. He has the picatinny rails and added a red dot, laser and light (aftermarket). It has a bit more punch and a 14 round magazine w/extra in a nice case. To me, MHO, it looks like it should be in the same price range as the Hi Point.

Posted by: Tigerbeetle | February 7, 2013 10:43 AM    Report this comment

Pistol caliber carbines have always held a degree of fascination for me. They provide an intermediate capability for home and personal defense, as well as a handy piece for small game hunting and recreational shooting. I got into the fun of these firearms with the purchase of a Hi Point 9x19mm carbine back in 1996. It wasn't much to look at, and I did manage to improve its appearance and handling a number of years later by restocking it with an ATI stock, making it look very much like the Beretta CX4 Carbine. As if that wasn't enough for me, I searched for, and finally found a Beretta CX4 in .45 ACP. Now, due to the modest price for which I purchased the Hi Point M995, it has a permanent place in one of my cars, and the Beretta CX4 hangs at the ready in my bedroom closet.

Posted by: canovack | February 6, 2013 12:16 PM    Report this comment

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