When it comes to choosing a long gun, police departments have to select a weapon that will be the best for officers of all sizes and skill levels and that’s quite a challenge. Ruger’s Police Carbine has been tailor-made to address the unique use for law enforcement.
In all of my years, I have tracked the evolution of long gun choices in police departments. The quite long-standing choice of a pump-action shotgun was standard for decades. The shortcomings of the shotgun are relatively obvious. Wide spray patterns and heavier damage to target surroundings are combined with one heck of a kick. The introduction of the AR-15 was a welcome move for many police departments. Lower recoil was combined with accuracy on target. Paired up with quality red dot optics, maintaining optimum distance from a threat was more feasible.
However, officers tend to struggle with the use of the AR-15, especially novice shooters. So, Ruger took note and made some excellent choices when designing the Ruger Police Carbine. One of the most impactful choices for the Ruger PC is the 9-millimeter ammo used in this long gun. Thanks to an included Glock magazine well, the PC can use Glock magazines. Glock 17, 19, and the extended thirty-three-round mag all function in the Ruger PC. The sharing of ammo and mags from pistol to carbine can make an incredible difference for police officers.
Easy to carry goes beyond the ammo advantage. The compact build of the Ruger PC packs all of the protection in this 34.5-inch long carbine. A sixteen-inch barrel is combined with a Picatinny top rail for optics and an under-barrel Picatinny for lights/lasers. Light, at six pounds and ten ounces, the Ruger Police Carbine is not a burden to carry for even the smallest framed officers. In use, the PC is weight balanced to the middle, thanks to integrated tungsten secured in the bolt.
This good balance of weight reduces recoil and allows for an easier balance than the front-heavy ARs. Qualifying patterns at more than fifty yards no longer have the tell-tale diagonal pattern of the officers who struggle to control the AR-15. Even the best optics can’t help when the rifle is too much for the shooter. Easy to pick up quickly, the Ruger Police Carbine was designed to be effortless on target. Ruger PC is also built for use by left or right-handed officers. The ambidextrous cross-bolt safety is placed directly behind the trigger, and the mag release button is positioned on the left side of the receiver. For further tailoring to lefty’s, the department Armorer can change the mag release over to the right if needed.
Empty brass ejects directly to the right, and not into the officer’s face. I can’t tell you how many right-handed command staff officers have never realized what a big impact this makes for the fifteen percent of left-handed officers. Even the price tag is well-suited for purchase by police departments on a limited budget. The $649 MSRP is quite affordable for a sticker price. In truth, that high of a dollar amount is rarely what police departments actually pay per carbine.
So, for the police agencies working towards moving forward from the pump-action shotgun, the trendy AR-15 is a great rifle. However, the AR has proven it is not the best universal choice for police officers. The Ruger PC has taken the challenges of police department use for safe and effective law enforcement head-on. Excellent design, ease in carry, and intuitive use for police officers of all sizes and skill levels make the Ruger Police Carbine the best long gun for police departments.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller and other publications.