Thureon Defense is based out of Germantown, Wisconsin and are the makers of various pistol caliber carbines. If having the option of caliber, barrel length, fore-end, Picatinny rail positioning, and compensator isn’t enough, these carbines also come with AR-15 grips and M4-style collapsible stocks which give the user a plethora of choices when it comes to personalizing their firearm. There are options for which type of magazine they accept which includes Glock, Springfield XD, Smith & Wesson M&P, and Sig. Left-handed models are also available.
The model which I am primarily reviewing is their ‘Elite’ pistol caliber carbine chambered in 9mm with a striking electroless nickel plated two-tone finish which has a bead-blasted texture and sheen. Surprisingly the lower receiver still seems to be made out of aluminum, they managed to blend the finish together so well on these two pieces that I couldn’t tell that they were different metals without having a magnet on hand. Not only is this a very pretty firearm, but it helps the Thureon to stand out against the rest of the carbine market (and this model above all of the others has certainly drawn a lot of interest from those passing through the store.) This model also has an enlarged charging handle, a feature which I would highly recommend over the standard one.
Disassembly of a Thureon borrows from the AR only in having a front and back pin holding the upper and lower receivers together. Beyond this point the internals are proprietary and incredibly simple. The action cycles upon a typical AR buffer spring but only utilizes about two inches of travel, relying upon the mass of the bolt to tame the recoil.
As with an AR the lower receiver holds the entire trigger group and magazine well, easily separating as one solid component for cleaning. Unlike an AR, the buffer tube is attached directly to the upper receiver. Removing the bolt involves drawing back slightly to remove it from battery then lifting up and out of the receiver. The charging handle is a separate piece which is held in place when the carbine is assembled and readily separates from the bolt upon disassembly.
From here there’s one easily removed pin within the bolt which holds the firing pin and spring in place. Once those pieces are removed the basic disassembly is complete, coming apart into all of seven pieces. Pretty cool, there is a beauty to simplicity and I appreciate the design they’ve come up with.
Every pistol caliber carbine which I have fired has shared a somewhat unique recoil impulse, being snappy and abrupt but quick to return back to target. This held true in the Thureon as well, shooting both from a rest and standing felt very comfortable and with the extended magazine in particular I felt like I could really brace this little firearm well.
From my time with various Thureon Defense carbines I believe that they are continuing to evolve the design. For example, some of the earlier models available to me seem to have a smaller magwell which could become very snug with factory 30+ round Glock 9mm magazines. This newer version has a much larger opening, allowing the magazine plenty of room to fit into. I’ve found that this makes it much easier to insert and remove a magazine without sacrificing feeding reliability.
Range time with the 9mm carbines is always a fun experience, the accuracy is there if I need it but in such an easily held platform I’m constantly having to resist the urge to just keep tapping the trigger and chucking more lead into the target. Paired with a good red dot sight and you have a fantastic range gun, whether indoors or outdoors. Expect to go through a lot of ammo!