Swelling like a cresting wave, the pistol caliber carbine market has grown immensely over the past couple of years. Parts to cobble one together, not quite so much. Yeah, they’re out there, but given the niche is defined by idiosyncratic designs AR-parts makers have played coy with the niche. Until now.
Giving PCC builds an enormous boost, AR parts powerhouse Aero Precision recently unleashed the EPC-9 (Enhanced Pistol Caliber). Though it might sound like a complete gun, it’s not. Instead its components system from barrel to buttstock allowing builders to tinker their perfect PCC from the ground up. And, boy howdy, does Aero ever give shooters options.
At present, the company is in its initial phase of the launch, unsurprisingly focused on the most popular chambering of pistol caliber carbines—the 9mm. Technically, the EPC-9 lower is compatible with .40 S&W, but all the other components—BCG, barrels, and complete uppers are all designed for Parabellum. However, Aero gives shooters plenty of reasons to keep tabs in the future with a “Coming Soon” .45 ACP/10mm lower displayed on its website. It’s a sure bet the manufacturer plans to release a full spectrum of support components for the other calibers as time wears on.
On tap right now for 9mm EPC-9, 5.5-, 8.3-, 11- and 16-inch barrels, complete uppers with the same barrel lengths, Atlas handguards and internals. As to some of the EPC’s finer points, it features the very desirable bolt hold open and Glock-magazine compatibility. As expected, it utilizes a straight-blowback operating system, which is standard for PCCs. Additionally, Aero has added some nice touches, such as an upper tension screw to eliminate any rattle between upper and lower, flared magazine well and an integrated trigger guard.