[Review+Video] Faxon Bantam 9mm PCC: Glock Mags, LRBHO, & Indestructible

Yet another pistol caliber carbine up on the chopping block – but what sets this one apart, and why should you care?

Well, it runs for one – and it may well be just about unkillable? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

6. Faxon Bantam Desert Shot 4
blap.

Check out the full video below, or read on for more!

Table of Contents

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Bantam PCC

When it comes to selecting a pistol caliber carbine, it seems like just about every manufacturer you can think of has a 9mm AR-style offering.

975
at Faxon Firearms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And somehow, they all profess to reinvent the wheel with some kind of new game-changing feature.

2. NFA Sidecharger in Desert 2
Even though we’re still fans of NFA’s side-charging 9mm uppers.

While that’s to be expected considering firearms technology has essentially plateaued and there’s likely not going to be any radical departures from existing gun dogma until we get like… plasma rifles or whatever.

There’s still something to be said for doubling down on what’s arguably one of the most important aspects of functional gun design – reliability. 

Coming soon. Maybe.

Faxon has cut their teeth on high quality barrels for a ton of different platforms, and that’s essentially the centerpiece of their 9mm Bantam AR-15 style pistol caliber carbine.

Perhaps most notably, this is the barrel that Iraq Veteran 8888 attempted to kill with 5,000 rounds of 9mm on a full auto lower… and couldn’t

BEHOLD

Although our own testing was nothing near that rigorous, we put this little hitter through its paces and are likewise pretty damn pleased with the results.

Range Report

You know the drill – if you’ve handled an AR-15 or an AR-9 before you’re going to be in pretty familiar territory here. 

3. Faxon Bantom 16 Inch PCC in Desert
You know, considering it’s essentially the same thing.

The gun runs on everyone’s favorite dumb meme – you guessed it, Glock mags!

16. Faxon Bantam Paddle Mag Release
Featuring direct blowback carbon-scoring goodness 😎

Get yourself some here…BIG STICKS.

We also had no issues with feeding or ejection across a variety of different brands.

Including the legendarily shitty Winchester Forged chalky, steel-cased 9mm that runs so poorly, folks sometimes recommend lubricating the casings themselves in order to facilitate proper function.

7. Winchester Forged Chalky 9mm
Pictured: 😬

Yeah, they’re really that bad — but the Bantam chows down on that stuff like a basement-dwelling gun dork inhales rubbery, microwaved tendies.

29
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

We shot a series of groups with a few different types of 9mm at 25 yards, and are pretty pleased!

Blazer 124 Grain Group
Blazer 124 Grain Group

Everything from Blazer 124gr, to Federal American Eagle 115gr, to Federal Hydrashok HST 147gr grouped decently in our books, save for a flyer or two.

Federal American Eagle 115 Grain Group
Federal American Eagle 115 Grain Group

Ultimately, it’s a 9mm pistol caliber carbine – you’re not really going to be stretching the legs on this bad boy or driving tacks with it, but performance wise it’s perfectly acceptable for what we do.

Federal Hydrashok HST 147 Grain Groups
Federal Hydrashok HST 147 Grain Groups
Best 9mm Self-Defense (147 gr)
22
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Weirdly enough, Faxon doesn’t mention any details regarding the trigger itself, but it does feel quite a bit nicer than your standard milspec fare to me.

8. Faxon Bantam Trigger Pull
A lot of information to be gleamed from this still photo of a thing in motion, surely.

You’ve got an almost negligible amount of takeup before a nice clean break and a loud, audible reset.

Not entirely sure what exact trigger this is, but consider me a fan!

The gun’s reasonably lightweight overall – about what you’d expect, but we tossed on a Cloud Defensive OWL for cool guy points and that chunky ass light is going to add a little bit of heft upfront.

9. Faxon Bantam Cloud Defensive OWL
We dig it.

We’ll finish up our review of it soon but in the meantime check out Best AR-15 Lights.

You’ve got a pretty standard M-Lok handguard with a pic rail up top, and slots cut at the 3, 6, and 9 positions, and QD sling attachment points on the right and left sides of the forward most portion of the rail.

10. Faxon Bantam Cloud Defensive OWL 2
Nothing out of the ordinary, really.

We’ve actually got a bit of a specialized setup here that features a 16” barrel with an integrated muzzle brake, but the gun ships from Faxon with a standard A2 Birdcage style flash hider.

11. Faxon Bantam Integrated Brake Barrel
The integrated brake itself.

While not catastrophic by any means, the Bantam also comes with an older LE style stock and A2 pistol grip.

But for the price point of about $950 or so, we’d definitely like to see a some nicer furniture paired with the gun considering how absolutely out-dated A2 accessories are at this point.

11. Faxon Bantam LE Stock
Mehhhh.

In a world where Magpul CTR and MOE accessories are generally the standards, it feels a bit odd to have some older parts slapped on what feels like a much more modern gun design.

But obviously this is easily rectifiable.

The Bantam also features a skeletonized… brass deflector… for reasons?

We’re not complaining per se, but it does feel a bit akin to putting a racing stripe on a completely stock Civic.

15. Skeletonized Brass Deflector
but y tho

Lastly, the gun’s got a specialized magazine release that operates a bit more as a fulcrum than the standard press-in style of a traditional AR-15.

This release is also different than the New Frontier Armory or PSA designs that tend to be the norm on PCCs.

22. Faxon Bantam PCC Mag Release
A good shot of the lever itself.

The paddle-style release does appear to help with both retention and mag dropping with Glock style magazines.

Brutally Tested Budget Red Dot
149
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Thankfully, the Bantam’s bolt does lock back reliably on an empty mag – a feature that many PCCs choose to bypass, but a functional addition that we find useful.

13. Faxon Bantam Shooting in Desert 5
more blap.

By The Numbers

Reliability: 5/5

We had zero issues with feeding or ejection during our testing sesh with the Bantam, and it guzzled down less than stellar quality 9mm with ease.

Again, while we certainly didn’t attempt to run this thing into the ground like others have, we’re pretty confident that this boy’s going to continue to run without issue.

Accuracy: 4/5

While our group results aren’t anything too crazy impressive, your most likely use-case scenario for something like a 16″ 9mm AR is probably in the realm of casual competition runs, a varmint gun, or plain old-fashioned plinking.

Considering those parameters? Works for us!

Ergonomics: 4/5

It’s essentially an AR, so to a certain extent, the ergonomics are up to you. While we’re not huge fans of the A2 grip or LE stock, those can be swapped out quite easily.

Other than that, it’s what you’d expect from an AR-platform rifle.

19. Faxon Bantam PCC Desert Profile View

Looks: 3/5

Once more, nothing too crazy to comment on here, but if you’re a fan of AR type guns with the distinctive silhouette of a big stick of 9mm protruding from the bottom, you’re going to be pretty stoked on the Bantam.

It certainly isn’t as flashy as some of the other, higher speed PCCs on the market, but presumably, that’s not what you’re interested in if you’re considering this gun.

Customization: 5/5

As with any AR-type platform, the world is essentially your oyster when it comes to upgradeability!

Pretty much any part you might want to swap out is readily able to do so, from the muzzle device, handguard, pistol grip, stock, and many of the internal bits and bobs as well. A no brainer.

Bang for the Buck: 4/5

While a 9mm AR can certainly be had for a little bit less from other manufacturers, we’d say the Bantam is still pretty reasonably priced for the level of performance and reliability you’re getting out of it.

975
at Faxon Firearms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Overall: 4/5

Conclusion

While priced slightly higher than some other 9mm PCCs, the Faxon Bantam offers proven reliability, good accuracy, and last round bolt hold open (LRBHO). We’d recommend swapping out the furniture to newer stuff but overall the Bantam is great for a self-defense or even competition pistol caliber rifle.

Overall, if you’re looking into picking up a 9mm rifle in the familiar shape of the AR-15, to us it makes a bit of sense to snag something that’s going to last as you use and abuse it.

18. Faxon Bantam Shell Ejection in Desert`
Like so

Considering direct blowback PCCs tend to run dirty as hell, you’ll also probably want one that’s nice enough to where upgrading it when the time comes makes sense.

For us, the Faxon Bantam 16” ticks both of those boxes pretty nicely, and if you want a plinky boi that’ll run on glock mags – this might just be the gat for you.

5. Faxon Bantam Desert Shot 3
nyoooom.

What do you think about the Bantam? Not quite sure what PCC to get? Check out our Best Pistol Caliber AR-15s.

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6 Leave a Reply

  • Zak

    I own the pistol version (FX910) and had the bolt catch break after 161 rounds. I sent all the details to Faxon customer service, it took them over two weeks to respond. They stated: "This is a known issue and we will cover under warranty. We recently discovered that part of a batch of bolt catches that we ordered were not made to the correct strength for a 9mm blowback system. This resulted in the catch breaking or warping with very few rounds through them." The representative stated they would get a new one out to me asap. That was over two weeks ago and their HQ is about 3 hours from where I live. While running it was great, just hope you don't need to deal with service/warranty.

    6 days ago
  • Connie in KC

    Tough $950.00 9mm pcc? Maybe, but so is my indestructible $300.00 HiPoint 995TS

    2 weeks ago
    • Ralph

      Hahaa, that’s true! High point takes a licking and keeps on ticking...

      2 weeks ago
  • Gregory Metty

    So, how is it for lefty’s?

    2 weeks ago
    • Mike

      Excellent question! Or you could also say how is it for the top 10% of the population.

      2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    The question I still have is why PCCs exist, beyond magazine/ammunition commonality for a patrol weapon. But that said, I'm still building up an AR 40 for my wife.

    2 weeks ago
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