A comment in the "what have you done" thread about hating pistol-caliber carbines spurred this. Admittedly one of my soapbox subjects; I'm a much bigger fan of handgun-caliber carbines than a lot of folks are. First, disclaimers and admissions. I'll probably use the terms "pistol" and "handgun" interchangeably - yes I do know the difference. I also understand and agree that a pistol-caliber carbine isn't an MBR and won't do everything an M14 or an SSG can do. Yes, I do know that there are "cons" to the pistol-caliber carbine; chiefly that they can sometimes be as big as a much more powerful "real-caliber" carbine. But there are also (imo, huge) "pros" to them, pros that a lot of people don't seem aware of; hence this thread. First, is power increase of the bullet over their pistol-launched siblings. In a non-magnum pistol caliber such as 9mm, .40, etc, you "only" gain 30-60% power-wise over a handgun. But that "only" means that a 9mm from a carbine is more powerful than a whole lot of full-house .357 magnum loads from a handgun. My primary 9mm carry load (federal 9bple) runs 1305 fps from a g19, for 435 or so ft/lbs, which is pretty good for a 9mm handgun. The same load runs 1540 from the camp-9 carbine, or 610 ft/lbs or so; more than most full-house .357 handgun loads, even from a full-size 6 revolver. Another advantage is useability (if thats a word) by smaller, weaker users. That 9mm example above is putting out more power than a full-house .357, but its a WHOLE lot easier for kids & small women to shoot than a .357 revolver at the same power level. Just the nature of recoil from a carbine vs. from a handgun. Going to the magnum-handgun-caliber carbines, we see a monstrous gain in power over their handgun counterparts. You can basically figure one magnum-caliber up when using magnum-handgun caliber carbines. What I mean by that is that a .357 carbine will roughly equal a .44 magnum handgun power-wise; and a .44 magnum carbine will (yes, really) roughly equal a .454 Casull handgun power-wise. And anyone whos used both a .44 levergun and a .454 handgun will admit that the .44 levergun is HUGELY less traumatic to shoot. Yet it can take any game that the .454 handgun can, out to even further ranges due to the increased sight radius and better controllability. Now when we get to the .454 Casull carbine, I dont know a handgun to compare it to frankly. Power-wise, its between the .30-06 and .300WM rifle rounds; believe it or not. My simple 20 puma .454 launches a 240-grain bullet at 2430fps, for more than 3,100 ft/lbs of energy. Theres not a thing on the North American continent that that gun cant kill out to a couple hundred yards; and believe it or not, will stay within ¾ of zero, from muzzle out to 110-120 yards, which is pretty good for a .45-caliber handgun bullet from a carbine. Beyond 150 or so, it does drop fast; no denying that, but I already agreed that it cant do everything an MBR can. Another serious advantage the magnum-caliber carbines have over the autopistol-caliber carbines is versatility and wide choices in power level. Those examples above are for full loads, but theres no rule that says you have to always use full loads. (Again, sticking with the .454 carbine as the most-extreme example) Even if using strictly factory loads, you can get rounds loaded from the maximums above, down to .44 magnum levels (Winchesters .454 250-grain JHP is a nice, mildish .44magnum-level load), down more to the .45LC+P such as the Corbon and buffalo bore, all the way down to the ridiculously mild .45LC cowboy loads that feel about like shooting a .22 rifle. So in that one carbine, youve got a gun thats got a logical, factory-available ammo choice for any animal on the continent from rabbit to polar bear out to as far as most folks can hunt with an iron-sighted gun anyway. All with no adapters, no conversion kits, no gas-system adjustments, no barrel inserts, etc. You just simply decide which round to load it with, and go on about your day. If you handload, you not only have multiple power options between those power levels, we have infinite options between those power levels. Try that with an M14, AK, etc; as good as they are, they cant do that. Also, dont forget that the handgun-caliber carbines (magnum or not) also offer ammo commonality between handgun and long gun. Perhaps not a tier-one consideration, but still a valid consideration, especially if travelling on foot. Lastly, linked to versatility and ammo options but rarely thought of concerning leverguns, is suppressability. Ive more than once posted a pic of my suppressed .357 carbine here, With just-subsonic 158-grain JSP or JHP loads, its still putting out more muzzle energy than a mil-spec .45acp load. Yet the suppressor, the sealed breech of the levergun, and the 16 barrel length, all combine to make it literally quieter than my gamo .177 pellet rifle, and will throw those rounds near silently, as fast and often as you can work the lever (which with a red-dot and zero recoil is pretty fast with practice). That makes it not only a phenomenal nuisance-critter gun, but in a shtf situation has all kinds of potential as well. For non-defensive use, the suppressed .357 single-shot is even lighter and handier for dispatching nuisance critters. If (as is often discussed here) I could have only one carbine, one of the magnum-pistol leverguns would definitely be in the top five options. If I knew ahead of time that I was facing a Walking Dead situation, then sure, itd be one of the CAR-15s; but if I knew it was a Castaway, Daniel Boone, or The Road situation, Id actually rather have the levergun. JMO; but it's based on years of actually using them, rather than just reading about them. Wanna kill these ads? We can help!