9mm Carbine Matchup: Kel-Tec, Thureon, MechTech, & Norinco
We found several variations of rifles chambered for the 9mm Parabellum round. The Defense Carbine and Sub 2000 rifle are our top picks, but the MechTech CCU fills a useful niche.
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. In this test we’ll fire the $409 Kel-Tec Sub 2000 9mm, the $700 Thureon Defense 9mm, and Norinco’s $800 UZI 9mm carbines. In addition we will also evaluate a 9mm conversion unit, the $505 MechTech Systems Carbine Conversion Unit for Glock. Our goal was to evaluate each carbine on its own merits and then compare the three types of design for personal defense.
Our 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.