The Home Defense PCC and Min-Maxing Your Setup

There are some attitudes in the world of firearms I find a little weird sometimes. In terms of home defense, there seems to be a bit of a min-maxing attitude. Min-maxing is a term generally applied to gaming and RPG-style video games in particular. Min-maxing is where you attempt to focus your character on one particular, highly effective, skill (the ‘Max’) and ignore all others (don’t invest attribute points or whichever game metric) that would not do as much damage or succeed (the ‘Min’). The gun world has a mini-max attitude towards home defense, especially when we talk about the Home Defense PCC.

If you were to post on a social media platform and ask about using a PCC for home defense, you’d get a ton of responses, and most will tell you to get a rifle, completely ignoring your question or rationale behind using a PCC. Some who might be a little more willing to your rationale will just say get a .300 Blackout.

Does a rifle offer a more powerful weapon than a PCC? Yep, it sure as heck does. However, does that mean the home defense PCC is magically an ineffective tool? Nope, and today we’ll explore why.

…But the Rifle

Yes, the rifle is a better option and is more likely to do a one-hit stop. Yep, it works better against armor, with more penetration and damage with the projectile and all that.

However, not everyone is comfortable handling a carbine, especially in tight quarters. The 5.56 is less likely to penetrate through numerous sheets of drywall. A trained shooter has no problems, but the weapon still feels large for some shooters.

To which many give the 300 Blackout reply. 300 Blackout works exceptionally well in short barrels, and as a PCC, it can be relatively small. It’s an awesome choice. However, we have a Kardashian-sized but. The ammo is pricey. Super pricey and pricey ammo means less training. Even at the current cost of 9mm, it’s still 71% cheaper than 300 Blackout.

Why would anyone consider the home defense PCC over the rifle? 

It’s Friendly

What the hell does that mean? Well, a PCC tends to be less concussive, have less muzzle blast, and in many models, less recoil. I know direct blowback guns still recoil a lot, like 5.56 caliber guns, but there are tons of alternative options. CMMG has the radial delayed blowback, the MPX has a short-stroke gas piston, MP5 clones have roller delayed systems, and even the B&T series uses hydraulic buffers to reduce recoil from their blowback guns.

These modern PCCs present an extremely comfy and soft shooting firearm. Who doesn’t love less recoil, less muzzle rise, and more control? This makes it faster and easier to engage with follow-up shots and to engage multiple targets rapidly.

A good home defense PCC can provide shooters with a very easy to handle weapon for home defense shooting.

Size, Size, Size

A home defense PCC with a brace or in SBR status can be incredibly short. Look at the APC9 or even the APC9K or any of the Scorpion pistols. These teeny tiny guns are super easy to use indoors and are often very appealing for apartment dwellers. Small guns are handy guns.

The lighter weight and light recoil of these guns make them easier to handle with a single hand. You may need a single hand to navigate the environment inside your home. Something like the CMMG Banshee provides you with a sub-5 pound weapon that’s ultra-short and easy to maneuver.

Suppress It

The 300 Blackout can be suppressed quite well, but then we go back to a buck per round ammunition. Finding subsonic modern handgun ammo isn’t tricky. You can easily suppress a 9mm, 45 ACP, 40 S&W, or whatever. Handgun-rated cans tend to be more affordable and tend to be lighter and shorter as well.

Factor in the size of PCCs, and we have another advantage. A home defense PCC equipped with a suppressor is still super short and sweet for close-quarters use. A suppressor can be damn handy in a home defense situation. Not only will it save your ears, but it will make your weapon easier to control.

The Big World of Pistol Rounds

The problem with PCCs is obviously the pistol round. A pistol round simply doesn’t stop a target like a rifle round. That’s very true. However, I find it hard to believe that a couple of rounds of 9mm won’t stop a threat inside your home. I can’t seem to find any reports of a handgun or PCC failing to provide adequate firepower to repel a home invader.

Incapacitation Rates for reference

The home defense PCC isn’t perfect, but I don’t think it’s the squirt gun social media makes it out to be. Yes, you should use the most capable weapon you can, but not everyone can use a 5.56 caliber rifle. A PCC or braced pistol makes a lot of sense for shooters on the smaller side or those who wish to maximize their maneuverability. It doesn’t need to be discounted just because it doesn’t fire 5.56.

So, why would anyone consider the home defense PCC over the rifle? The real question is why wouldn’t you consider it, even if you decide on the rifle in the end a PCC should be considered. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.