How to Operate a Pistol Caliber Carbine: PCC 101 Episode 2
The pistol caliber carbine is a unique and enjoyable gun to run. Like any other firearm, there are specific procedures and operating principles connected to it. While not overly complicated, it is a good idea to school yourself in order to effectively and safely run the gun. To help you in the process, I will spend a few minutes and cover the basic operations of the pistol caliber carbine in GetZone.com’s PC Carbine 101 series.
First up we will need to load the magazines. For those new to shooting, this can be an eye-opening event. Long shooting sessions mean a lot of loading that can wear on your fingers. This is especially true with larger capacity magazines. I always suggest that you use a magazine loader if possible. There are many great versions on the market today and your fingers will thank you.
PC Carbine 101 Pro Tip: One note about magazine capacity. Most larger capacity PCC magazines hold 30 rounds. I encourage you to only load 28 or maybe 29 rounds in them. If they are filled completely, they have very little if any spring left in them. This can cause loading issues in the gun as the mags are just too full.
Once your magazine is loaded, we can now insert it into the rifle. Hold the gun close to your body and grip the magazine near the center. Insert it into the mag well firmly and then give it a tug to make sure it locked into place. If the mag comes out, seat it with more energy and it will lock into place. Now we need to actually get a round in the chamber. With the gun still close to your center, grab the charging handle with your support side hand. Pull it completely to the rear and let it go. This action should put a round in the chamber. We can verify this by doing something called a press check. Grab the charging handle once again and very slowly pull it back. At the same time, look into the ejection port. As the bolt moves to the rear, you will begin to see the round in the chamber. Once you have verified that a round is indeed loaded, release the charging handle, and let the bolt go forward once again. To unload the gun, we put the gun on safe and bring it back to our center. Press the magazine release and take the mag out. Now we need to clear the chamber. Grab the charging handle and rack it to the rear several times. This will eject the round currently in the chamber. Now hold the charging handle to the rear and visually inspect the chamber to make sure it is clear. I also encourage you to put a finger inside the mag well as a double-check.
Another method of loading occurs when the rifle bolt is locked to the rear. For this loading method we still insert the magazine firmly and tug to make sure it seats. Now with our support side thumb, reach up and depress the bolt release on the left side of the gun. This will release the bolt and it will drive forward chambering a round. You can do a visual inspection to confirm it loaded if you wish. Using your thumb to accomplish this is the fastest way to get it done. Some people slap the release with their palm or heel of their hand. I discourage this because an optic on the gun can interfere with the action. Keep it simple and you will be successful.
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The PCC is an easy gun to run. Take a little time to familiarize yourself with its operation and it will give you hours of enjoyable shooting.