Basic Rifle Class with an SBR PPS-43C

| September 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Last Saturday the She-Shepherd and I attended QSI Training‘s last basic rifle class of the season. There’s less than a month before the outdoor training season ends here; we’ll be indoors doing force and force and “square range shooting” from mid-October until April.

I had to make a difficult choice: what should I shoot? I still wasn’t happy with the reliability of my .300 Blackout handloaded ammunition, and I was eager to try out my new Gen 3 Law Tactical folding adapter. I had yet to run my SBR PAP M92 AK-47 in a full class. There were a lot of doubts in my circle about the US Machinegun stock adapter that was bolted in between the receiver and the grip. I also wanted to give the JMeck PPS-43C rail another try. Plus, the PPS-43C is a lot of fun to shoot.

My friend JC was in town for the class, and he volunteered to shoot the M92. I chose the PPS-43C, and we were off to the races.

The Class

I’m going to be brief here, because I’ve described the class in a prior post.

The class covered:

  • how to properly mount and hold a rifle
  • how to safely verify the rifle was unloaded or loaded
  • working with a sling
  • reloading while moving
  • moving and shooting
  • clearing malfunctions while moving
  • a 3-magazine continuous move-and-shoot drill that tested our rifles and exposed weaknesses in several rifles
  • moving and shooting at half-man-sized targets at ranges from 25 to 90 meters while avoiding “no shoot” targets
  • how to move safely around other people while carrying a rifle

QSI teaches us to fire two rounds from a rifle caliber weapon, and four rounds from a pistol caliber weapon. This was my first time running a pistol caliber carbine in class, and after the first magazine I decided to fire a four round burst. I think this is the right decision. The 9.8″ barrel spins up the 7.62x25mm round pretty well, but we’re still firing a pistol round.

Shooting Impressions

At 6 pounds, 13 ounces the PPS-43C ate up all of the recoil from the 7.62x25mm round. The perceived recoil from the PPS is less than any of the Glock SBR enclosures I’ve tested, which also have pretty low recoil impulse.

Almost every underfolder-style stock is wobbly, and the PPS-43C’s “over folder” was no exception. However, it was rigid enough when it was time to go to work and allowed for a consistent cheek weld. I used my red dot sight all day, which obviously helped with aiming. Despite having just a bare metal buttstock the PPS43C was comfortable to shoot all day.

The JMeck mount stayed secure the entire class and the Primary Arms MD-07L held zero. I recommend the JMeck mount for you PPS-43C owners out there; it was an affordable, easy-to-install accessory.

Reloading the PPS-43C under slight stress is more cumbersome than reloading an AR15 but much easier than reloading an AK-pattern rifle. Even though the PPS43C magazine is curved, it inserts directly into the receiver. In contrast, the AK magazine has to be “rocked” into place, which can be fun depending on how much practice you’ve had. The magazine release is located directly behind the magazine, and if you’re used to manipulating an AK mag release you’ll do just fine with the PPS-43C.

My main gripe with the PPS-43C is that the grip is just a little too short. I had some difficulties keeping ahold of the PPS at times. During a reload near the end of the day the rifle started to slip out of my hand and nose dived (you can see it in the video). I readjusted my grip before the barrel went off line or too far down, but a longer grip would help a lot.

The other weird thing was the ammunition I fired. It was made 45 years ago, and even when new probably wasn’t very good. I could feel the difference in recoil between rounds. Sometimes the bolt would fly back and forth quickly, sometimes I could feel the action unlock, creep backwards, and then amble forwards. The first time it happened I had to check to make sure I didn’t have a squib round.

I did experience one failure to feed malfunction due to this situation. I made it worse by doing a tap-rack-ready and forced an extended stoppage.

Overall, I was exceptionally pleased with the PPS-43C. I think the SBR would make an excellent firearm for people who have small bodies or would benefit from lesser recoil. You can still buy the 7.62x25mm version for less than $300, but if you’re considering buying one I would recommend the 9mm version. The 9mm version can be purchased for $430 as of this writing, but I’ve frequently seen it on sale for about $325.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

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