This paper presents the experimental studies on self-breakdown-based single-gap plasma cathode electron (PCE) gun (5-20 kV/50-160 A) in argon, gas atmosphere and its performance evaluation based on particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code OOPIC-Pro. The PCE-Gun works in conducting phase (low energy, high current) of pseudospark discharge. It produces an intense electron beam, which can propagate more than 200 mm in the drift space region without external magnetic field. The profile of this beam in the drift space region at different breakdown conditions (i.e., gas pressures and applied voltages) has been studied and the experimental results are compared with simulated values. It is demonstrated that30% beam current is lost during the propagation possibly due to space charge neutralization and collisions with neutral particles and walls. © Indian Academy of Sciences.