Rifles > Semi-Auto

Just Right Carbine

The Just Right Carbine is a U.S.-made, pistol-caliber carbine that effectively bridges the broad power gap between long guns chambered for rimfire cartridges and those using bottleneck rifle rounds.

Pistol-caliber submachine guns and carbines have become de-emphasized somewhat in military and law enforcement circles for want of firearms chambered in more powerful rifle cartridges, such as the 5.56x45 mm NATO. While this trend toward intermediate rifle rounds has undoubtedly been a good move for the military, more power is not always needed or desired in every civilian application. The Just Right Carbine is a U.S.-made, pistol-caliber carbine that effectively bridges the broad power gap between long guns chambered for rimfire cartridges and those using bottleneck rifle rounds. This modular firearm is chambered in 9 mm Luger, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, and each carbine is interchangeable between all three calibers.

At first glance, the JR Carbine is just another AR variant. Though it shares numerous parts and an outward appearance with the ubiquitous AR platform, the JR is actually of a totally different design. Unlike the AR’s gas-operated action, the JR Carbine uses a simple blowback system similar to that of the Ruger 10/22. The bolt is held forward by spring pressure and is cycled by the energy of the fired round; there are no gas tubes or pistons involved. While it doesn’t use the AR’s operating system, the JR Carbine does share with the AR its modularity and some parts commonality, so many of the myriad of AR accessories can be used on the JR. The carbine uses a standard commercial diameter AR buffer tube so any buttstock compatible with a commercial AR can be fitted to the JR. The buffer itself is not interchangeable with standard AR buffers as the JR uses an extra heavy buffer to counter the inertia of the blowback design. Mil-spec and commercial AR parts are also interchangeable with the carbine’s AR-style trigger, grip, and safety, as well as any accessories that mount to the Picatinny rail such as auxiliary iron sights, scope mounts or lights. This carbine comes ready to accessorize.

Operation of the JR Carbine is straightforward and similar to most traditional semi-automatic firearms. It uses standard cartridge-appropriate Glock pistol magazines (and, in certain models, M1911 magazines) that are inserted into the magazine well forward of the triggerguard. The carbine relies on the magazine catch to hold the magazine at the proper position so it is important not to slam the magazine into the firearm as that can lead to the magazine overriding the catch and causing malfunctions. The side-mounted charging handle is pulled to the rear and released to chamber a round.

The JR uses an AR-style manual safety on its left side, which is disengaged by moving the lever clockwise to the 12 o’clock “FIRE” position. The 6-pound, 8-ounce single-stage trigger is a standard AR model and works like any other semi-automatic. A bolt-mounted extractor and receiver-mounted ejector expend empty cases horizontally through the reversible ejection port just aft of the chamber. The bolt does not automatically lock to the rear on an empty magazine; however, the charging handle can be locked downward into a bolt catch cutout in the charging handle slot.

Disassembly of the JR Carbine for cleaning is a bit more involved than most long guns on the market, and requires a few specific tools to accomplish. Starting with an unloaded firearm with the bolt in the forward position, the buffer tube nut must be loosened using an AR-style stock wrench. The receiver plate is then slid away from the receiver to allow the buffer tube/stock assembly to rotate and the tube assembly is turned counter-clockwise until it can be removed from the receiver. The bolt is then moved to the rear and an Allen-screw inside the bolt handle is removed. With the bolt handle out, the bolt can be removed from the rear of the receiver, which allows access to the breech. If barrel removal is desired, the quad-rail/handguard must be removed using the appropriate spanner wrench before the barrel can be unscrewed using an AR-barrel wrench. It is not necessary to remove the barrel in order to clean it from the breech end as it can be cleaned through the rear of the receiver. At this stage in the disassembly process, changing calibers can be accomplished by changing the barrel, bolt, magazine well, and magazine. Helpful “how to” videos are available on the company’s website.

Unlike most semi-automatic rifles or carbines, the JR is almost fully ambidextrous. The charging handle, ejection port, and magazine release are reversible for right or left-hand operation. Like the basic disassembly steps, this process requires the use of tools and is somewhat involved, but it shouldn’t require professional help for anyone who is reasonably handy and can follow instructions.

Shooting the JR Carbine was enjoyable. It was accurate and both recoil and muzzle blast were virtually non-existent despite using full-power and +P ammunition. Our 9 mm test carbine functioned with 100 percent reliability using a 17-round Glock magazine and three different brands of ammunition, including hollow-points. Accuracy from the bench was excellent and rapid hits on offhand targets were made easy with the use of a low-power optic. The dipped pink, purple, and white “Muddy Girl” camo pattern featured on our test model gave the carbine a unique look. The barrel is threaded for flash suppressors available from the manufacturer; unfortunately the threads do not match the most common threads for sound suppressors, which would make a great accessory for this carbine.

Given the JR Carbine’s light weight, adjustable length-of-pull, and minimal recoil, it would be a great intermediate gun for inexperienced shooters looking to graduate from the rimfire power level. The JR Carbine is also a perfectly legitimate home-defense firearm, especially if equipped with a quality red-dot optic and a light. The JR Carbine is a unique, functional, and compact firearm that is fun to shoot. It fills an un-crowded niche in an otherwise crowded carbine market.

Just Right Carbine
Manufacturer: Just Right Carbines, P.O. Box 430, Canandaigua, NY 14424; (585) 396-1551
Caliber: 9 mm Luger (tested), .40 S&W, .45 ACP
Action type: blowback-operated, semi-automatic carbine
Receiver: anodized aluminum
Finish: anodizing/black oxide; hydro-dipped “Muddy Girl” camo (tested)
Barrel: 16" 4140 Steel
Rifling: six-groove, 1:16" RH twist
Sights: none; Picatinny rail for scope mountingTrigger pull: single-stage 6-lb., 8-oz. pull
Handguard: aluminum quad-rail
Stock: AR-type collapsible polymer: length of pull, 10½" to 141⁄4"; drop at heel, 1/2"; drop at comb, 1/2"
Magazine: Glock detachable-box, 17-round capacity (tested)
Overall Length: buttstock extended, 331⁄2"; collapsed, 301⁄4"
Weight: 6 lbs., 13 ozs.
Suggested Retail Price: $774

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4 Responses to Just Right Carbine

Paul wrote:
January 09, 2014

I am not sure of the selling price of the JRC. But for $774 I could buy: an entry level AR; an AK; 2 SKS's; 2 Hi Point TS995's plus accessories; at least 2 home defense type shotguns. Or as I did, an SKS with both original and replacement furniture and magazines, and a new Hi Point TS 995 plus extra mags, muzzle brake, and laser. OK, I don't get sub 1 inch groups, but I fire off hand and am not an expert. Just not worth $774 no matter how you slice it.

OldCap wrote:
January 07, 2014

I have a Hi-Point 995 and a JR Carbine 9mm. Both perform flawlessly. I prefer the JR because it shares my Glock 17 and 19 mags, it uses many standard AR-15 parts and I made it into a lefty in about 40 minutes. They are both fine firearms. I also just bought a Hi-Point c9 pistol and it has went through everything from Winchester to Federal to Wolf ammo without a failure...impressive for $170.00

tim roberts wrote:
January 07, 2014

When I first heard of this carbine I was so excited I did not do my research before dumping/throwing away my $720 hard earned money. I got it to the range, I was proud to have it and it turned out to be a huge embarrassing trip, this piece of crap was a major jamming pos. I quickly found out that jr carbine does not return emails but they do answer the phones, the lady was nice and I am sure she gets the crap from thousands of owners. I told her my problem and was polite to her because she didn't make the thing and she even offered to send a pickup ticket so shipping would not have cost me anything. She told me I could send it in or just send in the parts I thought was the problem and she would send me new parts on their dime. Long story short I finally fixed it thank me, no more jams and this thing ejects spent shells like a glock. Those of you that are having problems which no doubt is 99[%] of the owners know how great that is. I fixed this 'was' a piece of junk, now a fantastic firearm, just as dependable as a glock. I know just about every owner is mad about their jr carbine, it is a rifle that you want to love but the jams take over and you sell it to a person like me that just love the looks. I am not going to tell how and what I did because jr carbine still has not been able to figure it out and they have people with college degrees making the big bucks working there that cannot figure it out. I am not going to disclose the fix because jrc is not paying me for fixing their piece of junk and turning it into a fantastic weapon, sorry. My serial # starts with a jrcv04xxxx. If you see serial #'s like so it is a jamming firearm. The first serials start with just a jr and the jrcv's are the second generation 'I believe' of this fine rifle. I really enjoy this now, I will post a YouTube video in the near future to show how it spits out the spent shells and no jams. I am even considering a bump-fire stock something I know other owners will not even think about. Tell the jrc people when you call and complain about your jamomatic that I fixed it and why can they not do it as well. happy shooting.

Stuart Nuss wrote:
December 24, 2013

Your article on the 'Just Right Carbine' concluded with 'It fills an un-crowded niche in an otherwise crowded carbine market'. I have nothing against the weapon that you tested, but, I can find no mention in your archives about the Hi-Point carbine series, which are also produced in 9mm, .40 cal., and .45 cal. (rated +P), and seem to fill that same 'niche' that you describe. I own a 995 TS carbine, and I find it a pleasure to shoot. It has sufficient Picatinny rails to mount any accessory that you might desire. It also costs less than half the price of the JR carbine, even when packaged with additional accessories. Finally, it is also Made In The USA. My only complaint is that I would prefer more magazine capacity. However, that restriction was caused by having to conform to previous 'assault weapon' ban. A Glock-style 50-round drum would make it perfect (IMHO). Have you considered testing weapons, such as the Hi-Point carbines, that appeal to someone with a more limited budget? Kind regards, Stuart Nuss