I call them “slim nines” — semiautomatic pistols chambered for the 9mm Luger cartridge, with single-stack magazines, and short enough and thin enough to fit inside a trouser pocket. Their short grip-frames, designed with concealment in mind, generally house six cartridges, giving the user a seventh in the chamber.
You’ve already seen the huge demand engendered by the baby .380s, the Kel-Tec P3AT and the Ruger LCP, for example. The mini-nine market feeds off that, driven by customers who want a very small and thin auto with more than the five shots of the typical snubnose .38 Special revolver, but simply don’t trust the “stopping power” of the .380 ACP cartridge. It’s a legitimate concern that brings the customer to you, to purchase the smallest, thinnest pistol you have in stock, which is chambered for the much more powerful 9mm Luger, which sends distinctly heavier bullets out of the muzzle than does the .380 — and usually sends them out faster.
We all know the shorter barrel of a pocket pistol will somewhat diminish velocity from manufacturer’s stated ballistics. When your customer goes out the door with a new 9mm pocket pistol, you want him or her to also leave with some modern, high-tech defensive ammo that was designed to open at lower velocity. Options include Federal HST, Hornady Critical Defense or Critical Duty, Remington Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot (which includes a special 9mm Short Barrel load) and Winchester PDX1.
By Massad Ayoob
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