6 Nov 18

Rifle-Caliber “Pistols”

At the 2018 SHOT Show back in January, I got a chance to see SIG’s two “pistols” chambered for rifle calibers.

The one most appealing was the MCX “Vertus.” 300Blk with a 9″ barrel and folding “arm-brace”

Extremely compact, particularly with the arm-brace folded to the side. Good choice for a “car-gun,” and for other low-profile travel.

Basically, it is a non-NFA SBR, and a really nice one! 300Blk and 7.62×39 are the best calibers for a gun with a barrel this short. The gun will fit nicely within many “carrying cases” that don’t look anything like gun cases!

An even smaller version, also non-NFA, with a 5″ barrel, and also with a retractable arm-brace, is called “The Rattler.”

Last weekend, a student brought a copy of the Rattler (chambered in 300Blk) to a DTI Urban Rifle Course on the East Coast.

To the gun’s credit, it ran without a single hiccup all weekend!

Its owner had it fitted with a SIG Romeo red-dot optic and co-axial flashlight (under the barrel and in front of the magazine well). Accuracy within 75m was superb, and indistinguishable from that of “conventional” rifles.

Its muzzle is fitted with a vortex-style flash-suppressor, which eliminated virtually all muzzle-flash.

One issue with rifles-caliber guns this compact:

The operator must be careful not to get his support-hand too far forward. It’s easy to do, as the barrel is so short!

Best place for the support-side hand is directly in front of the magazine well, a position I don’t advocate when using full-sized rifles, but necessitated by the compactness of the Rattler!

When I shot it, I had my left hand under the mounted flashlight, which put my index finger just to the rear of the flash-suppressor.

When I fired the first round, a jet of gas from a vent in the flash-suppressor was powerful enough to cut my finger!

My “injury” was not serious, but it did get my attention!

For several seconds, I tried to figure-out what just happened!

In a real lethal encounter, my dithering would likely have been fatal!

I like these compact rifles, arbitrarily classified as “pistols,” as they provide excellent personal protection while remaining essentially invisible.

And, since they’re legally “pistols,” they can be in a car with you, in either “transport-mode” or “carry-mode,” out of sight, and still be perfectly legal so long as you have a valid CCW permit

They will provide their owners with range, precision, capacity, terminal effect, and penetration unavailable with most “conventional” pistols.

However, as I discovered, shooting technique is important, since the barrel is so short.

Flash-suppressors/muzzle breaks are dangerous in all directions, except well to the rear!