As of late, it seems like at least some of the gun community has an unhealthy obsession with pistol caliber carbines. While I do agree that they are fun at the range, sometimes it's just refreshing to get something else in the door for review. This time around, I've got a rifle caliber pistol from PTR Industries and Atlantic Firearms.
The PTR32P Gen II is a pistol with an 8.5 inch barrel. And, to my benefit, it is chambered in the super affordable, hard hitting 7.62X39.
In fact, while talking about the cartridge's affordability, I tested this firearm with the cheapest steel casing ammo I could find. Because the ammo is so so very cheap, I've been able to run over 1,000 rounds through it, all without a single malfunction.
This no frills pistol accurately lobs rounds down range at distances up to (and way past) the 50 yard mark. I'm an old school Marine who loves shooting with steel sights, even when there is an option to install an optic. Needless to say, I chose not to put a scope on it. Utilizing those sights, I was able to hit tight groups when on the bench (no rests), and never missed the paper while shooting offhand.
And at one point, I punched it out to 150 yards and rang the gong of a 12” steel plate 8 out of 10 times. Considering that this roller delayed blow back pistol only has an 8.5” threaded barrel with 1:9 twist, that ain't too bad.
I'm not a big fan of the trigger. After the initial slack is gone, an uneven and gritty trigger pull presents itself, even offering a false break that takes a bit to get used to. However, after it's all said and done, I did get used to it. After all, this isn't exactly precision instrument.
Dis-assembly of this PTR Industries pistol is a breeze, and while most folks will tell you that you need a special tool to put the roller lock bolt carrier back together, simply spinning and pulling it at the same time is the best method.
Of course, I don't love everything about this pistol. Truth be told, manually charging the gun after each mag change gets old because there is no bolt hold open. Furthermore, the cocking handle folds out of the way and is not tuned for fast use.
But, then again, I'm not exactly fighting off hoards of mindless zombies, so that sort of thing doesn't really matter. And it isn't exactly a competition gun. So what is it for? Well, I suppose you could use it for self-defense, if you feel like donning a massive trench coat for concealment.
However, if you don't feel like hiding some serious hardware under your trench like Keanu Reeves did in the Matrix movies, having a fun and cheap way to send some rounds down range works, too. Then again, it also makes a great survival tool as it can be used for hunting with the 7.62X39 rifle cartridge and is still small enough to fit into a backpack.
One of the most appealing aspects to this pistol is the fact that you can easily SBR it. All I had to do was remove the rear sling swivel, install a pig-nose adapter, and voila—instant buttstock—er—stabilizing brace.
Ya know, not that I fired it like that or anything. Because, that would be bad. And, illegal. And, potentially upset the wrong people. Ahem.
Anyway, I digress.
The PTR32P comes with a 30 round Magpul magazine, an el-cheapo padded case and lots of fun. Oh, and while on the subject of magazines, this weapon will accept most of the AK style mags available on the market, just as long as they're not bolt hold open magazines. Though, as a bit of a disclaimer, Atlantic Firearms does state that not all AK mags will work with this firearm, so keep that in mind if you decide to give it a go.
The recoil of this 9 lb pistol was very manageable, even though it lobs 7.62 projectiles down range. My guess is that it has less to do with the fact that I'm 6'4” and 310 lbs, and more to do with the recoil spring and overall design of the firearm itself. Either way, rapid fire sure did upset some of my fellow range companions, to the point where one of them obviously thought I had a machine gun and watched me a like a hawk with his binoculars to make sure I wasn't damaging the range target stands.
Oh, I almost forgot, this thing doesn't eject ammo off to the side. Instead, I felt kinda bad because it would fling spent casings across the shooter's path next to me. On more than one occasion I watched as my steel flew across his field of view. Oops.
Overall, I think this is some of the most fun you can have at under the $1,000 MSRP mark with an accurate and super reliable firearm chambered in the cheapest “kill something” cartridge available. Anyone who has been sitting on the fence about whether it is a good purchase or not, I say go ahead because while it isn't perfect, I've never met a gun that was.
Want to see it in action? Here is a video of me shooting and talking about it:
Barrel: Threaded 8.5 inch 1:9 twist
Magazines: Standard AK
Action: Roller, delayed blow back
Weight: Just under 9 lbs
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