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Shooting Industry July 2012 Digital Edition - Page 24

Defense Personal Defense Market Selling 9mm Pocket Pistols 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 gripframes, 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, Massad Ayoob I The ideal super-small 9mm for a given customer might be hammer fired, like the Kel-Tec PF9 (left), or striker fired, like the Beretta Nano. to purchase the smallest, thinnest pistol you have in stock, which is chambered for the much more powerful 9mm Luger, bulwhich sends distinctly heavier bul lets out of the muzzle than does the .380 — and usually sends them out faster. We all know the shorter barrel of a pocket pispis tol 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 defen defensive ammo that was designed to open at lower velocity. Options include Federal HST, Hornady Critical Defense or Criti Critical Duty, Remington Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot (which includes a special 9mm Short Barrel load) and Winchester PDX1. Matching Choices With Needs ome owners will certainly carry these 9mm guns in belt holsters. Of course, with that type of carry, you might want to steer them into something with a bigger grip that has better shooting characteristics and holds a larger magazine: the Glock 26, the Smith & Wesson M&P Compact, and the Springfield XD and XD(M) Subcompacts all come to mind. In large part, though, slim-nine pistols are going to be carried in pockets, mostly trouser pockets, and the guns I’ve just mentioned are a little thick for that application. Make sure the customer has a dedicated pocket holster for this pistol, and knows the importance of having nothing else in that pocket but the gun in the pocket holster. Loose keys, a small lighter and other kinds of pocket paraphernalia can find their way into the triggerguard and, in the course of ordinary movements, exert rearward pressure on the trigger. Most of your customers already know this. Some of them are concerned about the trigger getting fouled in a keychain hanging from their belt, perhaps causing an accidental discharge. It’s a concern that you, the dealer, can address easily. One option is to sell them a pistol with a manual safety, such as Kimber’s Solo or the Ruger LC9. The thumb safety on the LC9 is set up for righthand use, while the one on the Solo is ambidextrous. Another option is a hammer-fired slim nine. Because the hammer has to rise on these double-action-only pistols before it can fall and fire the gun, unintended discharge upon holstering can be prevented by the user simply pressing his or her thumb firmly 24 JULY 2012 S These 9mms are nicknamed “slim-nines” for a reason. From left are the SIG P290, Beretta Nano and Kahr CM9. against the hammer as they slowly holster the pistol. This will allow them to feel the hammer if it starts to move, and prevent it from doing so. Hammer-fired slim nines that allow this procedure include the Kel-Tec PF9, the Ruger LC9 and the SIG P290. Most people aren’t match-grade accurate with these type of firearms, but the slim little 9mms aren’t all that inaccurate. I’ve Subscribe to SI DIGITAL

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