Over the past weekend, I have had the opportunity to get to know the Mitchell Defense “Rat Dog” PCC. There are a lot of interesting features to this SBR and I got a chance to take a deeper dive into it.
Before we get to the gun, let’s first take a look at Mitchell Defense as a company. Mitchell Defense was founded in 2019 after Nathan Mitchell, a former Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, noticed there was an area of the market that was left underserved. That is where he began working towards the company’s three pillars. Accuracy, Durability, and Reliability. That is exactly what they have achieved.
The Rat Dog is an interesting PCC as it gives you the feel of a regular AR SBR but all the fun of shooting a 9mm round through it. The gun itself is relatively light, coming in at 5.8 pounds; this beats its Sig counterpart the MPX, which comes in at 6.1 pounds. Going by the rule of thumb that the lighter the gun the higher the barrel lift on recoil, the Rat Dog makes an exception to this rule. The recoil is consistent allowing for more lead and tighter groupings thrown down range faster.
One of the exemplary out of the box aspects of the Rat Dog is the Timney AR PCC Two Stage Trigger . I was skeptical of the trigger at first glance as I was expecting just a stock MIL-spec trigger, and triggers for 5.56 AR rifles don’t always mesh with a PCC. Much to my surprise the Timney AR PCC Two Stage Trigger was smoother than a hot knife through butter allowing for a consistent straight pull each time. The Timney Trigger is smoother than most stock AR-15s I have shot which goes against the stigma that PCC needs a lot of work right out of the box.
I was able to test out the Rat Dog’s durability in wet and sandy conditions. Out of 200 rounds, there were zero jams and only one dud round, but the ammo is to blame for that. The Rat Dog seemed to have no issues in the cold rain and cycled just as smoothly as if it had been shooting in warm and dry conditions. The real test of the Rat Dog was after it was dropped in the wet sand. The PCC held up extremely well as the sand did not cause any problems for the next 100 rounds. The best part was once I returned home to clean the gun there was a lack of gunk and sand built up inside, meaning the tight fitment of the gun as a whole held up and did its job. Dirt stayed out.
Speaking of doing its job the barrel of the Rat Dog comes in at an 8.3-inch barrel made out of 4150 Chrome moly vanadium steel with a 1:10 twist. The barrel did its thing in the cold conditions while passing a few hundred rounds through it. There seemed to be no change as the barrel heated up in the grouping from 50 yards out, something that could be even more noticeable in the cold. The barrel also comes suppressor ready for those who enjoy that option, 1/2×28 or tri-lug.
Let’s talk about the practical application of the Rat Dog PCC. The Rat Dog offers increased range out of a 9mm round due to its longer barrel and increasing the stability of being able to shoot with both hands and a shoulder as compared to a conventional pistol in the same caliber. In terms of training in a controlled range or shoothouse, the Rat Dog excels in this category. It takes standard Glock pattern magazines, allowing versatility for the user with round counts. Being 9mm it can be shot in more places and spaces safely than a 5.56x45mm carbine. The light weight and length of the Rat Dog also make it the perfect indoor PCC, it allows for quick off-hand switches and moves well in narrow spaces. The Rat Dog also makes a fun gun to shoot outdoors as it can hold a plenty of accuracy, grouping nicely at 50 yards even after a few mag fulls. I would give the Rat Dog a 9.0 out of 10, overall all versatility, ease of use, and plenty of fun practicality mixed in. The only minor complaint is the design doesn’t allow for an easy last round bolt lock, only a manual one, so it reloads more like an MP5 than an AR.
The last question of Mitchell Defense’s final quality control check before leaving the factory is “Would I trust this rifle with my life?” They clearly answered yes, I agree.