PCC vs Roni: Which Platform is Best? [In-depth Comparison 2021]

by Travis Pike

January 8, 2021

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I started this article with the intention of writing a Roni review. But, along the way I figured out that it wasn’t adequate because it’s difficult to talk about the Roni without discussing Pistol Caliber Carbines (PCC) in general and how the Roni compares.

The Roni effectively turns a pistol into a PCC without needing a separate firearm. So, let’s dive into this and compare and contrast the Roni and PCCs.

Roni Background: What’s a Roni?

A Micro Roni is an Israeli invention to turn a handgun into a short-barreled rifle or into a really big braced pistol. The Roni platforms are built for numerous handgun platforms, but Glocks are the most common model you’ll see.

Simply, the Micro Roni is a big plastic shell that a handgun slides into.

What’s a PCC?

PCC stands for pistol caliber carbine. These are rifles, or braced pistols, that fire a pistol caliber. Some are purpose-built as PCCs like the SUB 2000, and others are adopted from SMGs like the MP5 or CZ Scorpion. PCCs are insanely popular these days, and there are tons and tons of different options out there.

Roni Features

Roni Features

1 Integrated Brace

The integrated base of the Roni platform will make shooting more stable and accurate.

2 Charging Handle

Your Roni will come with an ambidextrous charging handle making slide operations super easy.

3 Full Length Accessory Rail

A Picatinny-style rail runs the length of the platform allowing you to maximize your accessories including optics and weaponlights.

4 Forend Grip

Depending on which Roni kit you pick up, you may have a forend grip installed. However, if you don’t, you still have have some kind of forward gripping point in general.

PCC vs Roni: What’s the Big Difference?

When it comes to comparing the two, there’s a number of factors you’ll need to take into consideration.

Price

Price is an interesting category to consider. A Glock costs around 550 bucks on average, and a Roni is 250 for the base package. Eight hundred bucks is a lot of money, and you can buy a rather nice PCC for that.

However, if you already own a Glock, then the 250 dollar investment into a Roni is small potatoes compared to most PCCs. That being said, you can buy something like a SUB-2000 for 350 bucks or a Hi-Point carbine for even less so.

The PCC tends to be the cheaper option when examined as a whole. If you already own and love your specific handgun, then spending 250 for a RONI over a dedicated PCC likely makes more sense cost-wise.

Ergonomics

Unless it’s a total piece of crap, a dedicated PCC offers you a more ergonomic platform. PCCs are built from the ground up, and a Roni simply attempts to adapt a pistol to a subgun. Adapting a pistol to a sub-gun creates a number of challenges.

In my experience, the Roni does not allow for a high grip on the gun portion; it blocks the use of the slide lock and makes reaching the magazine release difficult. The Roni itself does a good job of emplacing excellent ergonomics. A charging handle is placed on the slide, and it’s ambidextrous. The front end of the weapon presents an angled grip, and the brace is quite robust and even folds for an overall smaller package.

Every dedicated PCC I’ve handled, which includes the MPX, Banshee, Scorpion, SUB 2k, and Hi-Point carbine, has better ergonomics than a Roni equipped PCC. The Roni isn’t terrible by any means, but compromises are to be expected with this setup.

Stashability

Stashability is a term I just made up, and it refers to the ability to stash a weapon. Essentially how easy is it to keep this as a truck or trunk gun? In this role, the Roni wins out as far as I’m concerned. This is because I can carry a Glock 19 or Glock 17 as my daily carry gun and just stash the Roni wherever I need it.

I’m not a huge fan of the truck/trunk gun because I think most people who keep one aren’t locking it up. A vehicle isn’t a gun safe; it’s a loot box, and any guns stored in it should be in some kind of safe and should be attached to the car. If I want to stash a PCC in my car, I need a safe and a means to attach the safe to my car.

That’s a hassle. The Roni isn’t a gun.

At its core, it’s a piece of plastic that isn’t capable of harming anyone. If I’m carrying my Glock 19 and someone breaks into my car and takes my Roni, I’ll be mad, but the gun isn’t going to be stolen. If I need something that can help me deliver more accurate and controllable fire than my handgun, I can insert my Glock 19 into my Roni, and boom, and we are off.

Speed-wise unlocking the safe and retrieving the PCC is liking going to take as much time as installing the Glock into the Roni, so that’s not an issue.

Accuracy, Optics, and Zeroing

Here is a weakness many people may not realize the Roni kits have. Heck, I only noticed it recently. When you zero an optic to the Roni but remove and reinsert your gun, your zero may shift slightly.

The gun doesn’t attach at the exact same point every time, and this causes zero shift. Most of the time, the shift is around an inch at 50 yards, but on the far side, I saw a 1.3-inch shift. One problem with that shift is that it’s not predictable. It’s typically a horizontal shift, but not always.

That issue doesn’t occur with a PCC. Once the optic is zeroed, there is no shift, and that’s a pretty big benefit if you want as much accuracy as possible.

Also, a dedicated PCC is often more accurate than the Roni with a Glock. It offers a more rigid platform that’s easier to grip and hold onto. My group size at 25 yards with a Roni was between 2 to 2.5 inches, and my group size with the Banshee Mk17 was less than an inch.

That being said, the Roni still makes the pistol more accurate and easier to control, but not as accurate as a PCC.

Versatility

A Roni packing a Glock fires a pistol round. A PCC also fires a pistol round. Ballistically they are basically the same, so that doesn’t necessarily come into play. The biggest difference in versatility is that I can swap the Roni from a subgun sized weapon to a handgun.

I can’t quite do that with any PCC I know of. A PCC stays a PCC. This gives the Roni a good bit more versatility, and overall it’s quite useful.

Reliability

Experiences are like opinions; everyone has one. My experience with the older generation Roni showed an occasional issue with a shell getting stuck between the slide and frame of the Roni. The new 4th generation model seemingly eliminated this by opening up the ejection port area.

With the Gen 4, I’ve yet to have any issues with either a Glock 19 or 17. Reliability with the Roni will fall to the host pistol, at least with the Gen 4 model. The same goes for the PCC you’re using too. A junky gun is a junky gun, and I’m sure there are plenty of crappy PCCs out there that will stutter and jam more than a Roni with a Glock.

I’ll give PCCs a winning grade against earlier generations of the Roni, but I’ll give it equal marks against the Gen 4 equipped with the always reliable Glock.

Shootability

Shootability is another made-up word, but I didn’t make it up. Shootability is a good way to describe how comfortable and nice the weapon is to shoot. In that role, comparing the Roni to the generic term PCC can be tricky. Some PCCs have more recoil than others, and to make this fair, we’ll use blowback-based PCCs as our basis for recoil and controllability. Blowback operated guns are the most common PCCs.

The Roni has a surprising recoil impulse. It’s more than you’d imagine, especially when using some hotter 9mm +P loads. The Roni will jump and buck just a bit when fired. The recoil, when compared to a Micro Scorpion, is noticeably different, and the Roni seems to have more recoil and muzzle rise than the Scorpion. When compared to something like the radial delayed Banshee or gas-operated MPX, then the recoil difference is more significant.

Keep this in perspective that these are both still just 9mms. There is no massive amount of recoil, and the difference would only be noticed if you tried to.

A dedicated PCC also typically has the ability to mount suppressors and compensators to reduce muzzle rise and make things a little quieter. That’s not possible with the Roni, and man, oh man, do suppressors make every other gun more comfortable to fire.

Who Wins?

In a vacuum, the PCC is an easier handling, softer shooting, and a more accurate platform, so it would win. However, you can’t ignore the versatility of turning a handgun into a subgun in seconds with the Roni.

My choice would be a dedicated PCC, but that’s also an expensive proposition, and if you can’t afford a 600 dollar PCC, then a 250 dollar Roni kit starts looking pretty good.

Roni Kit Deals

Since there’s so many different Roni kits available, we’re going to give you a few of our favorite places to start searching.

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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