15 Second Briefing:
PDWs are a class of compact, selective fire, magazine-fed, submachine gun-like firearms. Their size essentially makes them an “in-between” hybrid between a submachine gun and a carbine rifle.
A PDW can be a good choice as a home defense weapon for smaller adults and children due to less recoil, high capacity, accuracy between 15-25 yards over a handgun, and ease of use and maintenance.
Let’s start with what we mean by Personal Defense Weapons (PDWs) in the firearms world. PDWs are a class of compact, selective fire, magazine-fed, submachine gun-like firearms. Their size essentially makes them an “in-between” hybrid between a submachine gun and a carbine rifle.
The goal is to get the smallest package possible by utilizing shorter barrels and compact stocks or pistol braces. PDWs have become the “hot” new thing within the last few years with no sign of relenting. A PDW offers a lightweight, compact, portable, and powerful alternative to a traditional handgun.
PDWs are recognized by their compact size and short barrels (typically 10” or less) and may be classified as a Short-Barrelled Rifle (SBR), carbine pistol, or pistol caliber carbine (PCC). SBRs require a $200 tax stamp through the ATF to own legally. A PDW classified as a pistol doesn’t require a tax stamp and will have a pistol brace instead of a traditional stock as seen on a rifle or SBR.
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Many firearms manufacturers are now producing a variety of PDWs from AR-15, AK-47, and many other platforms chambered in both pistol rounds (9mm, .45 ACP, FN 5.7, 7.5 FK, etc.), known as pistol caliber carbines (PCCs), and even in rifle rounds including 5.56 NATO, 7.62, and the ever-popular 300 AAC Blackout.
What are the Advantages of a PDW?
The advantages of a PDW over a handgun include the ability to carry more ammo (typically 30-50 per magazine) and more superior firepower while still being portable and easily concealable. PDWs make a fantastic choice for home defense, like a car or truck gun, bike gun, or a backpack gun when extra rounds of firepower may be necessary.
The biggest advantage that a PDW has over your handgun is stability. Handgun accuracy tends to drop when shooting at a target from 15 – 25 yards away. For these types of scenarios, PDWs give you the added stability to hit your mid-range target with more accuracy.
PDWs also offer an easy platform to use as a defense weapon considering the low amount of dexterity and fine motor skills required to shoot quickly in stressful situations compared to a handgun. You definitely need some time behind the controls to effectively use a PDW, but they are generally easier than learning how to shoot a pistol or revolver effectively.
Do You Need a PDW?
Short answer: No.
If you’re a new gun buyer, your first purchase will be better spent on a handgun for both personal and home protection as well as your daily concealed carry weapon of choice. Some may argue that your first purchase should be a shotgun or rifle, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide. Ideally, a handgun and AR rifle or shotgun would be your first two or three purchases.
If you already have a handgun and shotgun or rifle (including an AR-15), then a PDW may be a good choice depending on your specific wants or needs. Do you want more rounds or firepower for home or self-defense? Do you travel by car or truck often? Do you live in a high-crime area? These are all questions to consider when thinking about purchasing a PDW.
However, you may want to consider the fun factor in owning and shooting a PDW. Just because you don’t necessarily need a PDW, it does make for a fun target shooting gun. In addition, a PDW can be a good choice as a home defense weapon for smaller adults and children due to less recoil, high capacity, accuracy between 15-25 yards over a handgun, and ease of use and maintenance.
Now it’s time to decide if a PDW is right for you and your needs (or wants). If you want to browse PDWs or make a purchase, join Big Daddy Unlimited today!
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