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On Sale - April 2, 2024
Firearms News - April 2024: On the Cover

Smith & Wesson's Response

A PCC Outlier

Firearms News - April 2024
Cover and Lead Photo by Sean Utley

I was thinking that the FPC (Folding Pistol Carbine), introduced in 2023 and reviewed in Firearms News, was Smith & Wesson’s first pistol caliber carbine (PCC), but a bit of research gave me a surprise. S&W’s first PCC was the Model 1940 Light Rifle. That was a semi-auto rifle, chambered in 9mm and fed by 20-round magazines, made by S&W for Great Britain as they prepared for World War II. It was the opposite of a success, which is why you’ve probably never heard of it. But pistol caliber carbines are currently as popular as they’ve ever been in America, and S&W’s funky FPC was a success, so I was interested to test their newest PCC, the Response. Unlike the FPC, the Response is an AR-15-based design, albeit with some unique features. Currently, there is only one Response model—it is chambered in 9mm and sports a 16.5-inch barrel. Like most 9mm PCCs, the Response uses a straight blowback action, which tend to be simple and reliable. The neat thing about the Response is that it has an interchangeable magazine well. From the factory it is set up to accept S&W M&P magazines, and two 23-round magazines are provided with the carbine, but S&W also provides a Glock magazine well with the carbine too, which accepts all Glock-pattern G17/G19 magazines. I will circle back to the “FlexMag” magazine well in a bit.

[Continue reading "Smith & Wesson's Response " in the April 2024 issue]


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