Turning the APC9K Into a Home Defense Weapon

Travis Pike

Travis Pike

In the home defense world, there are lots of schools of thought on which gun works best. I don’t think one is better than the other, but they typically revolve around traditional pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Rarely do I see the humble large format pistol brought into the equation. Large format pistols like the APC9K offer numerous advantages, and I think they can be excellent home defense weapons.

This gun, in particular, is superbly small, lightweight, and very maneuverable. It’s light enough that a shooter could engage with a single hand. The recoil is low, as is the muzzle rise. The gun is ultra short and well-balanced with very minimal recoil. It’s a pistol caliber, which is a downside, but the advantages are numerous.

APC9K home defense weapon
The gun has light recoil and hardly any muzzle rise.

This lightweight carbine is quite potent coming out of the gate, but a few upgrades can send it over the top. Today we are going to discuss how to turn the APC9K into an awesome home defense weapon, but first, let’s discuss the gun itself. 

Break Down the APC9K 

The APC9K is the compact variant of the APC9. The APC9 series are modern submachine guns turned into large format pistols. The civilian APC9K is semi-auto only but retains the features that make the APC9K so appealing to military and police forces. Speaking of, the APC9K is the firearm adopted by the United States Army for the Subcompact Weapon contest.

Our little variant features a 4.3-inch barrel, a 14-inch overall length (with brace collapsed), and a weight of 6.7 pounds. The gun runs on a direct blowback system and features a recoil buffer that removes the sting of a direct blowback gun. What makes the APC9K so appealing is not just its small size, lightweight, and low recoil but the extreme quality of the gun.

APC9K
The APC9K is ultra compact and compatible with numerous braces.

We get ambidextrous controls, an amazing trigger, and outstanding accuracy. The ultra-small size of the weapon works fine with 9mm and doesn’t create excessive concussion or muzzle flash. The barrel is threaded, making it a natural choice for suppressor use. Right out of the box, you have a great gun that’s ready to be tossed into a defensive role. 

However, we can optimize the gun for the role of a home defense weapon with a few upgrades. 

Optic — Reflex Sight

First, let’s get an optic in place. A reflex, so it’s either a red dot or a holographic. I would go red dot just because they can be smaller and lighter, and we don’t need to get crazy. I went with a micro Aimpoint, but even something as small as a Trijicon RMR would work.

Micro Aimpoint red dot sight
A red dot is a must have on a home defense PCC or subgun.

A red dot is perfect for home defense purposes. Put the dot on the target and pull the trigger. These sights are very easy to use, and ease of use is pretty critical when it comes to dealing with threats under stress. They don’t require a particular degree of eye relief and have very generous eye boxes. A good red dot is the ultimate optic for home defense. 

Weapon Light — Streamlight TLR RM-1 or RM-2 

A good light is a must-have on a home defense firearm. You have to establish positive identification before you take a shot. If the home defense event happens at night, you need to make sure you are shooting a bad guy and not a cat making noise. A light does that. With the APC9K’s small size, you have to be picky about your lights. 

Streamlight TLR-RM 1 on APC9k home defense weapon
A WML is another must-have on a home defense gun.

There are two new weapon lights from Streamlight that are perfect for subguns and PCCs. They are small, light, and designed for times when you have less room for a weapon light. On a gun like the APC9K, you have very little room. The RM-1 and RM-2 offer you either 500 or 1,000 lumens, respectively. The less powerful light is even smaller but still usable for indoor ranges. 

The design of the lights uses a ramping button that is massive and perfect for thumb activation. It works well with the small size of this gun. If you prefer a pressure switch on a cable, that’s also an option. It attaches under the ramp and uses a standard Streamlight pressure switch. It works well, and Streamlight produces high-quality lights.

Streamlight TLR RM 2
The big switch on the TLR RM 2 makes it easy to use.

Magazines — More Is Better

In a home defense scenario, you can’t toss on your chest rig and do work. The ammo you have in your gun is what you have. The APC9 series comes in three magazine configurations. You can get lowers that work with SIG P320 magazines or Glock magazines on top of B&T’s own proprietary magazines. Regardless of which platform you have, more is better.

APC9K magazine
More ammo is handier than less ammo.

More ammo is more options, and choosing a 30-round magazine is most certainly the right choice. This isn’t a big deal with B&T magazines, but Glock and SIG offer a variety of different capacities. Go big, or go home. 

It wouldn’t be out of sorts to use a magazine clamp to hold two magazines together. This allows for a rapid reload in the event you need one. The likelihood of needing to reload is very small, but you may need to fix a malfunction or broken magazine as well. Having two mags is never a bad thing. 

Ammo — Federal 147 Grain HST 

You can be more selective with ammo. I like the Federal 147 grain HST for a few reasons. First, it’s reliable, and that matters. Next, the projectile penetrates fairly deep and meets the FBI standard for penetration. Additionally, the round expands sufficiently to create a larger wound channel, and this prevents overpenetration. 

Additionally, the 147-grain round is subsonic, which ties in well with my last suggestion, a suppressor. 

Suppressor — Osprey 2.0

I’m not exactly making waves by saying guns are loud. Guns are very loud inside a small building like a home. The APC9K is a natural suppressor host. It’s already got a threaded barrel, and it’s super short already. One of the problems with adding a can to anything is the overall length. Since the APC9K is already superbly short, adding a suppressor is possible while keeping the gun remaining at a short overall length. As a blowback weapon, it’s not sensitive to suppressor use either.

APC9K with SilencerCo Hybrid 46M modular suppressor
A suppressor saves your ears while reducing recoil and muzzle rise. The APC9K is shown here with the Hybrid 46M.

I like to chase performance, and with that in mind, the Osprey 2.0 is the quietest option out there. The Omega 9K wouldn’t be a bad choice to trim weight and length, but the Osprey does offer the quietest overall option. 

SilencerCo Osprey 2.0
An Osprey 2 combined with subsonic ammo will make sure you don't lose some of your hearing. The can will also help reduce recoil and muzzle rise on top of helping cap muzzle flash.

Ready To Roll 

A little accessorizing and some smart ammo and magazine selections will take a great gun into an amazing one. A purpose-built APC9K is a short, light, and quiet option for home defense. While it might not offer the same ballistics as a rifle or shotgun, it’s more maneuverable and easy to use one-handed while calling the police. Setting it up just right will make it even easier to use and, ultimately, more effective. 

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