There is a whole array of 9mm AR-15 upper receivers on the market to build a pistol caliber carbine (PCC). And, 9mm PCCs are a great way to enjoy an AR-style weapon without having to buy expensive cartridges. But with so many available, which is the best option for you?
That’s where we come in…
In this article, we will look at various high quality and great value for the money 9mm upper receivers for AR-15 rifles or similar builds. And we’ve made sure to include reputable brands and uppers in different price brackets. Plus, we’ll be reviewing some stripped uppers and completed uppers – so there should be something for everyone.
But, before we get to that, you might be wondering…
- 1 What is a PCC?
- 2 Why Build a 9mm PCC?
- 3 Stripped Uppers vs. Completed Uppers
- 4 Top 7 Best 9mm AR-15 Uppers Reviews
- 4.1 1 Angstadt Arms, LLC – AR-15 0940 9mm Stripped Upper Receiver For Glock™ Magazines
- 4.2 2 Foxtrot Mike Products – AR-15 FM-9 Complete Monolithic Colt Style Upper Receiver 9mm
- 4.3 3 Rainier Arms Forged Mil-Spec Upper Minus FA 9mm/.22 LR
- 4.4 4 Foxtrot Mike FM Products AR-15 9mm Complete Side Charging Upper – 7″ (Rainier Arms Exclusive)
- 4.5 5 Stern Defense, LLC – AR-15 SD MOD 4 9mm Upper Receiver 4in M-Lok Complete
- 4.6 6 Spikes Tactical – AR-15 9mm Upper Receiver
- 4.7 7 Angstadt Arms AR-15 9mm Complete Upper Assembly – 4.5″ Suppressor Ready
- 4.8 More components for your next AR Build
- 5 So, What are the Best 9mm AR-15 Uppers?
What is a PCC?
A pistol caliber carbine is basically a rifle or long gun design that utilizes pistol calibers instead of your standard rifle calibers such as .223 Remington or 6mm Creedmoor, to name a few.
Common pistol rounds that are chambered in PCC weapons include .45 ACP, 9mm Luger, and 40 Smith & Wesson. And the best part is, PCCs can accept pistol magazines. This is great for pistol owners who already own a number of magazines that could potentially fit with the right PCC.
But, is it really worth opting for a PCC over a standard AR-15 platform?
Why Build a 9mm PCC?
We’ve already mentioned that the ammunition will be cheaper, and this will be significantly noticeable over time. Plus, the actual 9mm upper receivers are usually very affordable as well.
So, if you’re not too bothered about wanting a serious tactical weapon with a powerful caliber but want to have fun with a similar style of weapon – a 9mm AR-15 upper could be the way forward.
A growing market…
Since 9mm PPCs have become extremely popular in recent times, a huge market has grown with plenty of well-made options on the table. Neither a complete PCC or PCC parts should be difficult to find in today’s online marketplace.
A PCC can be effective for defending your home, something exciting to shoot down at the range, and a good varmint hunting solution. Also, a rapidly emerging competitive shooting scene has come about for these firearms.
If you’re used to only shooting pistols, getting a PCC is a nice way to transition into the AR world. This also makes PCCs a logical choice for beginners who don’t want to go full-blown AR-15 straight away as well.
And not forgetting, if you are a 9mm pistol owner, you may be able to use its magazines for your fully built 9mm AR-15 rifle.
Lastly, there are fewer overall restrictions put upon 9mm PCCs at shooting ranges than standard AR platforms. They’re usually even welcomed in indoor ranges.
Then there’s one more factor to consider when buying an upper receiver…
Stripped Uppers vs. Completed Uppers
The stripped upper…
A stripped upper receiver is just the receiver without any additional components. For example, they won’t come with an ejection port door, shell deflector, and forward assist button in place.
The benefits of this are that you get full control of your assembly and can choose specific components to make a truly custom build. As well, through your own building process, you’ll most likely learn your gun better in terms of strength and functionality.
These have additional parts added to them, making them pretty much ready to install straight off the bat. This should save you a lot of build time and some possible learning curves.
There’s also the knowledge that the assembly of your upper and relevant components is done by professionals. So if you’re a beginner or fairly new to building rifles, a completed upper is a safe bet to start your project with.
Now, let’s get to it and run through some of the great deals we’ve uncovered…
Top 7 Best 9mm AR-15 Uppers Reviews
1 Angstadt Arms, LLC – AR-15 0940 9mm Stripped Upper Receiver For Glock™ Magazines
First on our list is this Angstadt Arms 9mm stripped upper receiver that is specifically made to accept Glock magazines. It weighs in at just 6.5 ounces, making it a lightweight choice to consider.
Various pistol calibers…
As well as this upper accepting 9mm Luger rounds, it can also work with .357 Sig, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and 10mm pistol rounds too. This gives you plenty of options when deciding on how you want to construct your PCC.
The machined construction is made from 7075 T6 billet aluminum, which gives the upper strength and its lightweight design. Plus, the matte black finish is a hard coat anodizing that supports corrosive resistant properties.
As you would expect, it features an ejection port specifically made for pistol caliber sizes. And there is no dust cover door or forward assist in this set-up – which also adds to this upper being more lightweight.
You’ll be pleased to know that this upper will work with any mil-spec and 9mm lower receiver that you wish to use. So you will have lots of flexibility and choice when deciding on which lower receiver you want to pair up with this sturdy Angstadt Arms design.
For the most part, if you’re into your Glock pistols and just venturing into the world of PCC building, we recommend this upper as a solid start. It’s well constructed and gives you plenty of scope for a fully customized build.
- Lightweight design.
- Accepts various pistol calibers.
- Ideal for Glock owners.
- 7075 T6 aluminum.
- Hardcoat anodizing.
- Accepts all mil-spec lowers.
- Made in the USA.
- You might not want a Glock orientated design.
2 Foxtrot Mike Products – AR-15 FM-9 Complete Monolithic Colt Style Upper Receiver 9mm
Now we’re looking at this AR-15 FM-9 Complete Monolithic Colt style upper receiver, which is designed to chamber 9mm pistol rounds. This particular Foxtrot Mike Products upper also comes with an additional M-LOK compatible handguard, and it’s made in the USA.
Choose your barrel…
You get the choice of three barrel lengths with this completed upper design. Obviously, one benefit of choosing the longest barrel is that you are likely to gain more accuracy with your PCC. On the flip side, you might just want to build a more compact pistol style AR-15 with the shortest barrel choice.
Ultra-Light PCC barrels are used for each barrel length option. And, if you choose the 16-inch barrel, you’ll also receive an FM-9 muzzle brake to counteract recoil and muzzle rise. The other 10.5 and 8.5-inch barrel choices come with a highly effective forward blast diffuser instead.
Modeled on the Colt Pattern PCC…
This upper receiver is made to accept Colt SMG magazines due to its modeling on the revered Colt Pattern PCC. However, it’s good to know that it can also deal with Glock magazine-fed lower receivers as well. So you have some scope here to build a PCC with your preferred type of round.
It’s made with 6061 T6 aluminum, which makes for a very sturdy and durable upper receiver. As well, they’ve added a non-reciprocating proprietary charging handle set-up into the equation. In addition, the black finish is in-keeping with mil-spec coloring, and the threads are ½-36 inch types.
- Modeled on Colt Pattern PCC.
- 6061 T6 aluminum.
- 3 barrel length options.
- M-Lok compatible.
- Accepts Colt and Glock mags.
- Made in the USA.
- A monolithic design might not suit your needs.
3 Rainier Arms Forged Mil-Spec Upper Minus FA 9mm/.22 LR
Next up, we’re checking out this incredibly affordable Rainier Arms flattop upper receiver without a forward assist. It is built to chamber both 9mm Luger or .22 LR rounds, which are very affordable forms of ammunition.
Solid build quality…
Even though this can be considered a budget AR-15 upper, it is still constructed to a very high standard. 7075 T6 aluminum machined to mil-spec tolerances and then finally Type III hard coat anodizing added for extra durability and anti-corrosiveness. Also, the matte black finish is in keeping with mil-spec coloring.
Inside the upper, a dry lube coating has been used to prevent wear, and it allows for smoother functioning of the upper. As well, this Rainier Arms upper receiver has been engraved with T markings on the Picatinny rail, so you don’t have to count every rail segment.
Overall, choosing this stripped upper receiver will save you a load of cash when you think about all the parts you need to buy to make your PCC. Also, it’s left open for you to choose your upper parts as there is no upper parts kit supplied.
That being said…
Rainier Arms has a strong reputation for its products. And we think this upper is no exception to their usual standards and offers incredible value for the money.
- No forward assist.
- 7075 T6 aluminum.
- Type III hard anodizing.
- Internal dry lube coating.
- Smooth functionality.
- Mil-spec design.
- T markings added.
- No upper parts supplied in this package.
4 Foxtrot Mike FM Products AR-15 9mm Complete Side Charging Upper – 7″ (Rainier Arms Exclusive)
Next up, we have this Foxtrot Mike FM Products AR-15 9mm Complete Side Charger Upper. This is a high end AR-15 upper receiver, made to be very accurate and ultra-reliable – especially for competition purposes.
This upper has been machined using high-grade 6061 T6 aluminum to give it rugged and long-lasting qualities. And since this is a complete set-up, it comes with a seven-inch premium match grade 4150 chrome moly vanadium steel barrel, to help give you the accuracy you need.
Plus, there is an FM Products forward blast diffuser added to the set-up to prevent muzzle rise and recoil effects. Also, due to the proprietary interlock with the handguard and the upper, the result is a proper monolithic type complete upper receiver.
And speaking of handguards, the one used here is an 8.5 inch free floating slimline design with M-Lok compatibility. This means that you’ll have a huge array of accessory choices to mount on your completed PCC. You also get FM Grippz rail covers included as a nice little addition.
Ambidextrous charging handle…
Instead of this Foxtrot Mike upper featuring an M4 style charging handle, they’ve added an ambidextrous a non-reciprocating forward charging type for convenience of use.
All-in-all, if you’re searching for a complete premium 9mm upper that’s made in a monolithic style, this upper receiver should fit the bill. It has excellent build quality, as does the premium match-grade barrel that comes with it.
Plus, we really like that they’ve added the ambidextrous charging handle for all you lefties out there.
- Complete upper package.
- 6061 T6 aluminum upper.
- 4150 steel barrel.
- Monolithic design.
- Ambidextrous charging handle.
- FM Products blast diffuser.
- It could be a little pricey for some people’s budgets.
5 Stern Defense, LLC – AR-15 SD MOD 4 9mm Upper Receiver 4in M-Lok Complete
Now we’re checking out this Stern Defense AR-15 SD MOD 9mm Upper Receiver, which is a high end complete upper package. It’s made perfectly to use 9mm Luger rounds to their full potential in a PCC.
Which magazines will it take?
This US-made receiver is designed with a Stern Defense 9mm bolt to enable both Colt SMG and Glock magazines to work with it. And, whichever you choose, you should expect an incredibly smooth functionality. This is due to its quality of design, and Melonite finished 7075 T6 forged construction.
Additionally, you get a Melonite finished four-inch free-floating barrel added into the equation. The barrel has a 1/10 twist built-in to provide the right amount of bullet spin for super-accurate shooting for a relatively short barrel.
Also, there is a 1.75-inch long blast-can mounted on ½-36 inch threads to prevent the blast affecting you as you’re shooting. Plus, there is a smooth functioning charging handle and full-length Picatinny rail included in this upper receiver package.
We think this is a good receiver choice for anyone who wants to build a more compact style of PPC but still requires good accuracy. As well, this Stern Defense upper is incredibly solid and should work for a number of applications such as competition shooting, hunting, and home defense.
- Uses Colt SMG/Glock mags.
- 7075 T6 forged construction.
- Melonite finishes.
- Free-floating barrel.
- 1/10 twist rate.
- ½-36 inch thread.
- Compact yet accurate.
- The barrel could be too short for your requirements.
6 Spikes Tactical – AR-15 9mm Upper Receiver
Moving on, we’re now looking at another surprisingly affordable upper receiver from Spikes Tactical. And, this is the one that they use for their own builds. It caters for 9mm rounds and comes in an assembled form with some useful additions.
What’s made with?
Spikes Tactical has used 7075 T6 aluminum in this construction, which allows this upper to be relatively lightweight at 7.5 ounces and super strong. They’ve also added a black finish that should match other parts that you will inevitably use in your own build.
Other features include an ejection port door, spring, and rod. You also get a shell deflector built into this set-up. So there are many aspects on this receiver that have been dealt with, so you don’t have to, giving you more time to focus on the overall build.
No barrel included…
We also like that they’ve not included a barrel in this package, so you can select your own to personal preference. When you consider the pricing of this upper, it should leave you with plenty of available budget for a well-made barrel option too.
And then there’s the full-length Picatinny rail that Spikes Tactical has added so that you can mount a huge array of different AR-15 accessories. Whether it’s a rifle scope, red dot, magnifier, or whatever else you fancy, you should have no issues.
Overall, this is a simple, affordable yet well built 9mm AR-15 upper receiver in assembled form. It should kickstart your PCC build perfectly if you are a beginner or a seasoned builder.
- Assembled upper receiver.
- Lightweight design.
- 7075 T6 aluminum.
- Ejection port door/spring/rod.
- Shell deflector.
- Very affordable.
- No barrel or charging handle.
7 Angstadt Arms AR-15 9mm Complete Upper Assembly – 4.5″ Suppressor Ready
Lastly, we have this unique Angstadt Arms AR-15 9mm Complete Upper Assembly, which comes suppressor ready. There is no need to complete any assembly of this upper – it’s ready to install as soon as you get your hands on it.
Solid design and construction…
Like all good upper receivers, this one is machined out of 7075-T6 billet aluminum. It’s also built as a slick side pistol upper with the correct sizing for pistol calibers, which in this case should be the 9mm Luger round.
It also features a 4.5 inch 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel, made for use with 9mm rounds. It has a 1/10 twist built-in for super-accurate shooting with a relatively short barrel length.
Great for accessories…
Attached to the barrel is an ultra-lightweight M-Lok compatible handguard that’s four inches in length and has two QD swivel mounting points. The M-Lok positions are at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, which is fantastic if you want to add a variety of accessories to your completed PCC.
Also, the 1913 Picatinny rail that runs the full length of the handguard is lightening cut and built to mil-spec.
The handguard has been made so that it will accept a multitude of suppressors that are 1.39 inches in diameter. There is a large aftermarket for these types of suppressors. And this is the perfect upper to get if you want one, but don’t want to have to go through extensive processes to add it to your set-up.
Other great features include a black nitride 9mm AR-15 bolt carrier group, an Angstadt Arms 3-Lug muzzle brake, and Blastwave blast shield. You also get an ambidextrous LT charging handle made by Radian Weapons. Plus, this upper has been made to handle both Glock and Colt style lower receivers and magazines.
- 075-T6 billet aluminum.
- 4140 chrome-moly steel barrel.
- 1/10 twist rate.
- M-Lok Compatible.
- Mil-spec Picatinny rail.
- Suppressor ready.
- Accepts Colt/Glock lowers.
- Might be too short for your particular needs.
More components for your next AR Build
Looking for something else for your next build? If so, check out our reviews of the Best AR 15 ACOG Scopes, the Best Scope Mounts For AR 15, our Best AR-15 Charging Handles, and the Best Aimpoint For AR15 currently available.
So, What are the Best 9mm AR-15 Uppers?
So we’ve now run through our seven best 9mm AR-15 uppers. And we’ve included a variety of offerings, including budget options, stripped uppers, and complete upper packages. As to the overall winner, well, they are all winners because they are, after all, the best of the best. Therefore decide on your budget and whether you want a stripped upper or a complete one, and we will have included that option.
Some of these uppers are more suited for specific PCC purposes, such as competition shooting. While others are the basis for good all-round performers in home defense, hunting, target shooting, and more.
To finish up, we’d like to say thank you for reading through our thoughts and research on this strong set of 9mm AR-15 uppers. And we hope you find what you’re looking for.