Function tested the Ruger carbine Friday with a new 33-round Glock magazine with Magtech FMJ to get it hot, then Rem. practice grade JHP, and 25 rounds of Hornady Critical Duty +P JHP. No malfunctions.
Saturday, I went to the 50 yard range with the Ruger PCC and the Beretta Cx4 carbine for accuracy testing. I used the same Bushnell Trophy Red/Green multi-reticle sight on both. Frankly, the one I have mounted on the Beretta was just bright enough, but the other one with a new battery was barely bright enough.
I used 100 rounds of something called Buffalo ammunition (not Buffalo Bore) and 250 rounds of Winchester "USA Forged" steel-cased cartridges. For the Beretta, I used three 30-round factory magazines. I loaded the first with that Buffalo stuff. I loaded the other two 30-rounders with the Win. That was it for the Beretta. The sight was already dialed in and the gun has a long track record of perfect functionality in cold weather and with Wolf and Tulammo. It had no malfunctions in the 90 rounds I put through it Saturday.
Since I only have one 33-round Glock mag. for the Ruger, I used the balance of the ammunition in my numerous SR9 magazines. It had two FTEs, one of which had a FTL at the same time, with the Win. steel-cased rounds. Also, the charging handle unscrewed at one point. That is a problem, since the loss of that one screw would turn the Ruger carbine into a 6.8 lb. plastic club. Since I did significantly more shooting with the Ruger, it may be that its greater dirtiness contributed to the malfunction, but I doubt it.
Accuracy was comparable, but neither was as tight as a Marlin Camp 9. Both of these guns could have benefited from a magnified scope, with presents a different problem for each gun. For the Beretta, the top rail is between the raised posts for the "iron" sights (actually plastic). That means anything that goes on that rail must fit between those posts or else be on a riser that prevents a check weld. So, as a practical matter, one is limited to a red dot. For the Ruger, there is plenty of room for a scope, but it would add to the gun's already excessive weight. At least the pic rail means one is not stuck with Ruger rings, which are apparently made from neutron star material. Nevertheless, with a red dot sight, the Marlin Camp 9 still produced a slightly better group than either, although that was with Federal Am. Eagle, not the crap I used on Saturday. Still, with a small scope, my Marlin .357 Mag. shoots tighter groups at 100 yards than either of these guns do at 50. I shot for accuracy off the bench.
I also tested the ergonomics while standing. Both guns became pretty inaccurate (more of a reflection on the shooter, probably). The Beretta felt a bit handier with its shorter overall length and stock that functions like a pistol grip. This is owning to the fact that the magazines feed into the handle like a pistol. The front sight is not on the end of the barrel, which makes the sight radius unnecessarily short. The Beretta's trigger has a lot of take-up, but is okay after that. Despite a plastic trigger group, it has been extremely reliable. Field stripping is exceptionally easy. Remove the plastic pin from the receiver, and the upper/barrel and lower/stock slide apart. The charging handle removes without a screwdriver and the bolt/recoil sprint slide out in one unit. You are left with three main parts and the pin and charging handle. This allowed access to to the breach to clean the chrome-lined bore. A lot of smoke gets into the space between the fore end grip and the barrel.
The Ruger's trigger is significantly better than the Beretta's with no real take up and a crisp break. Handling is good and it felt well-balanced shooting from a standing position. As I have said already, it is heavy and the weight is all in the receiver, or the bolt, to be specific. The stock and barrel are very light and it feels like two insubstantial extensions on a heavy midsection. The magazines go ahead of the trigger, so it has an overal longer length and a longer sight radius if using the very good iron sights. To clean the barrel from the breach, just use the take-down function, like a 10/22. Unfortunately, field stripping is also like a 10/22, necessitating removing the action from the stock with two screws, then dropping the trigger group with two pins. Finally, removing the charging handle and two more pins allows you to remove the bolt for cleaning. As noted above, even the use of locktite does not guarantee the charging handle will not come loose.
The Ruger targets are on the left. The Beretta's are on the right. The target circles are 6 inches wide.
Yet she persisted.