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American Handgunner Sep/Oct 2010 - Page 69
Almosts: For the time, the SD9 was cutting edge, but alas … it was too soon, too “weird” and too expensive! Sardius N The ehemia Sirkis has done several good autopistol designs for several manufacturers, but often he does not get the credit he deserves. For J.B. Wood designers, this is often the case, unless your name happens to be John Moses Browning. Even so, around 1986 one of his designs had his name on it: a 9mm compact pistol selling briefly in the US. Made in Ramat-Gan, Israel, it was marketed as the Sirkis SD9 and also as the Sardius SD9. The US importer was Armscorp USA, Inc. of Baltimore, Md., and the time period was indeed brief, from 1989 to 1990. I don’t have any exact numbers, but the quantity could not have been large. The SD9 had a frame and slide of formed sheet steel, with the barrel and breech block nicely machined from bar stock. The trigger system was double-action-only, and it was a true hammerless, strikerfired design. It was definitely compact, just 6" by 4.3" and the basic width was only 1.2". A polymer grip with good ergonomics enclosed the frame. A manual safety, at the left rear, directly blocked the striker. At the top rear of the slide, there was a loaded chamber indicator. There was no locking system involved, the power of the 9mm was controlled by the weight of the slide and dual concentric recoil springs. The SD9 I fired worked perfectly, but the recoil could be described as “substantial.” This may have contributed to its lack of acceptance in the market of that time, along with a retail price of around $350. And back then, those were real dollars! Another factor was the takedown for cleaning. It was not difficult, but it was decidedly weird and might strain the capabilities of the average shooter. Still, the formedsteel concept and a “full-nine” in this size were innovations at the time. It was, frankly, a neat little pistol. SD9 * The SD9 was a simply-constructed blow-back 9mm of DA-only configuration — but with a strange take-down procedure, which may have put buyers off. WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM 69