When it comes to self defense weapons, be it for personal defense or for defending one’s home from invading criminals, most people tend to automatically think of handguns. However, the fact is that handguns do require a significant amount of practice in order to become proficient in their use and, even then, it is sometimes difficult for even highly experienced shooters to hit their target when suddenly confronted with a combat situation; especially one involving multiple and/or moving targets.

But, fortunately there is another class of compact self defense firearms that is absolutely perfect for home defense called “Carbines”. Thus, for those of you who are not familiar with firearms nomenclature, a Carbine is simply a rifle fitted with a shorter than normal barrel and butt stock so that it is more compact and thus, more easily maneuvered in tight quarters.

Consequently, carbines are often known as Close Quarters Battle (QCB) weapons and thus, they are often a far better choice for home defense than handguns are! So, below you will find a list of the five best 9mm carbine rifles for home defense.

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Reviews of the 5 Best 9mm Carbines

Heckler & Koch MP5

Originally developed in the 1960’s by a team of H & K engineers, the Heckler and Koch MP5 quickly became the single most popular submachine gun among military and police personnel around the world. However in its semi-automatic version, it is actually a perfect choice for home defense.

Technically classified as a carbine, the MP5 is designed to chamber the 9mm Parabellum pistol cartridge and thus, many shooters feel that it is the best possible choice for a home defense weapon.

In fact, the H & K MP5AE model is an excellent choice for home defense since it features roller-delayed blowback, semi-automatic, operation combined with an 8 7/8 inch barrel and fully adjustable combat sights along with a crisp, single action trigger and, your choice of either a 15 round or a 30 magazine.

Plus, a retractable stock makes it a very compact little package that is perfect for maneuvering in tight quarters. Thus, it is no wonder that the H & K MP5 is universally favored around the world as one the best 9mm carbines for home defense.

Angstadt Arms UDP-9 SBR

Angstadt Arms UDP-9 SBR

For those of you who are enamored with the AR-15 platform for home defense but, who would prefer to have an AR-15 carbine designed specifically to chamber and fire the 9mm Parabellum semiautomatic handgun cartridge instead of the .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO rifle cartridge, the Angstadt Arms UDP-9 Short Barreled Rifle is the ultimate choice!

Differing only slightly in external appearance from an AR-15 carbine, the UDP-9 is easily disassembled in the field by simply removing two pins to separate the upper and lower receivers and it incorporates standard AR-15 internal components for super simple maintenance.

Plus, it also features a 6 inch chrome molly barrel with a continuous Picatinny rail on top for mounting your choice of combat sights or optics combined with a Magpul MOE collapsible butt stock and Magpul K2 pistol grip. Plus it also features an oversized trigger guard for use when wearing gloves as well as a flared magazine well for faster reloading and, it accepts any double-stack Glock magazine.

Consequently, the Angstadt Arms UDP-9 SBR is essentially a sub-compact AR-15 carbine that is specifically designed to fire the 9mm Parabellum pistol cartridge and thus, it may one day very well come to rival the H & K MP5 in popularity!

Rock River Arms LAR-9 CAR A4

RRA LAR-9 CAR A4

On the other hand, for those of you who prefer a full-sized AR-15 9mm carbine for home defense, it is difficult to choose a better rifle than the Rock River Arms LAR-9 CAR A4 which is essentially a copy of the U.S. Military M4 carbine.

A well known and highly respected manufacturer of AR-15 rifles, Rock River Arms has a longstanding reputation for producing superior quality AR-15 platform rifles and the LAR-9 CAR A4 is no exception since it starts with standard Rock River Arms forged lower receiver and combines it with your choice of an A4 or A2 forged upper receiver and a 16 inch, chrome molly lined, barrel with your choice of one of three different types of flash suppressors.

In addition, you have the choice between 19 different RRA buttstocks as well as two different ACE and two different Magpul buttstocks and, your choice of 11 different pistol grips combined with a single stage trigger.

Thus, when you purchase a RRA LAR-9 CAR A4 9mm carbine, you not only get one of the best full sized AR-15 9mm carbines on the market today, you also get to customize your rifle to suite you!

Beretta Cx4 Storm Semiautomatic Tactical Carbine Rifle

While the first two 9mm carbines listed above are specifically designed to combine the compact size and ease of maneuverability of a handgun with the butt stock and extended sight radius of a rifle to create a unique style of firearm for close quarters battle, the Beretta Cx4 Storm is a significantly longer carbine that is better suited to slightly more open environments and slightly longer combat ranges.

In addition, molded polymer has enabled firearms manufacturers to create some rather unusual stock designs and, Beretta has certainly embraced this concept with the Cx4 Storm because it looks more like a prop from a Star Trek movie than a working semi-automatic 9mm carbine!

Nonetheless, the buttstock and forestock all flow together very gracefully and encompasses both the receiver and the 16.6 inch, cold forged, chrome lined, barrel for a very futuristic look.

In addition, it also features an adjustable length of pull and adjustable front and rear sights and, is fully ambidextrous with your choice of left or right ejection with the push of a button, a reversible operating handle, a reversible magazine release and, a reversible safety and, it is easy to accessorize with a fixed Picatinny Rail on top of the receiver and retractable Picatinny Rail that extends from the fore-end. Plus, it accepts Berretta PX-4 and series 90 magazines.

RRA LAR-9 CAR A4

Also featuring a radically different appearance from what we have come to expect from self defense carbines although, somewhat less space age in appearance than the Berreta Cx4 Storm 9mm carbine, the High Point 955 TS is last but not least on our list of best 9mm carbines for home defense.

Specifically designed to be a less expensive alternative to its more well known cousins, the High Point 955 TS 9mm carbine features a stamped steel upper receiver and a molded black polymer buttstock, integral pistol grip and, forestock combined with a 16.5 inch barrel and a 10 round magazine that inserts into the pistol grip and, the buttstock stores and extra loaded magazine for quick access in a combat situation.

In addition, it also features an integral recoil absorber between the buttstock and the buttpad and, it has a removable, fully adjustable, rear peep sight combined with an adjustable front post sight and a Weaver style rail for mounting optics. Plus, it also has rails on all four sides of the foregrip as well as on an under-barrel extension for mounting a laser or a flashlight

So, for those home owners who would like to have an inexpensive 9mm carbine as a backup for their favorite self defense handgun, the High Point 995 TS is the perfect choice.

So, although there is no doubt that having a handgun for home defense is a wise idea provided that you are familiar with its operation and proficient in its use, the fact is that most people require a significant amount of practice in order to become proficient at shooting a handgun accurately.

Thus, due to the fact that carbines have rifle stocks and significantly longer sighting radiuses than handguns do due to their receivers and longer barrels, many people find that they are able to shoot carbines far more accurately with far less practice than they are a handgun and therefore, choosing a 9mm carbine for home defense is often a far better choice than choosing a 9mm handgun because carbines not only generate more power from the same cartridge, they also tend to enable people to fire more accurately at multiple and/or moving assailants.

Plus, 9mm carbines generate significantly less recoil than 9mm handguns do which can be a major issue for inexperienced shooters. Thus, if you don’t already own one, then you should definitely consider one of these handy little firearms from our above mentioned list of the best 9mm carbines!

Written by Bill Bernhardt

Bill Bernhardt is a professional outdoor/wildlife writer and is a professional fly fishing instructor and guide as well as a professional hunting guide. He is an avid outdoorsman with expertise in fly fishing, hunting, firearms, archery, cutlery, outdoor survival, camping, and kayak touring.​

The 5 Best 9mm Carbines for Home Defense (Written by Bill Bernhardt)
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5 COMMENTS

  1. The article begins with a picture of a CZ Scorpion EVO3 which i am interested in but there is no mention of it in the article. Wondering if it did not make the best carbine list but used the pic because it looks cool or hadn’t reviewed it at the time of article or something? Do you have a review for this particular carbine? Thanks for all of your work!

  2. FYI on the Beretta, you can purchase a 30 round mag in the 92 series. I carry one with my handgun.
    Was not that pricey.

  3. This article must had been written pre the release of the PX4 BY Freedom Munitions 9mm ar carbine taking glock mags . I believe this gem will give the other over priced varients a run for their money . It is sold at this time only at Classic firearms .com

  4. Hi, what about the Colt,Wilson Combat these guns are 9mm in a carbine style.
    Also can you do an article for the AR15 carbine 9mm that accept Glock mags. I am looking to buy one , but I am very new to this market and I have been looking . I’m just afraid to purchase the wrong rifle. I carry everyday 9mm Glock 19 or 26 (depending on the task that day). Almost everyone make Glock mags so getting them in a fair purchase seems easy.
    Thank you very for your time

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