Other Full Size Pistols

FN Five-seveN      CZ 75 B      Glock 17        KBI PJK-9HP

Full size pistol are the most popular size of pistol for target shooters, military forces, and law enforcement.  Unless concealment is required, a full-size pistol confers several advantages.  First the larger size increases accuracy due to longer barrel length and sight radius (distance between front and rear sights).  At the same time it reduces felt recoil due to the greater mass to absorb the recoil.  Finally, a full size pistol can carry up to 20 rounds in 9mm or smaller calibers and up to 15 rounds in .40 S&W or .45 ACP.

Though full size pistols are chambered in 5.7 x 28mm, .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP; 9mm is by far the most common choice.  This is because it represents a good balance between leathality and shoot ability.  It is also, by far the most common pistol round in the world’s militaries, in large part due to its adoption by NATO.

The 9mm cartridge was specially desingned for military pistols and was in fact called the 9mm Parabellum.  Para bellum is latin term "for war".  Though not near as powerful as the .45" ACP in the Colt 1911 the 9mm was far more powerful than the standard military and police calibers of the day.  

The first widely issued military gun with this caliber was the famous German Luger pistol just prior to World War I. In World War II both of the standard issue German Pistols, the P.08 Luger and Walther P.38 were 9mms.  The  Belgian, Canadian, and British forces also used the 9mm in the excellent Browning Hi Power, a variant of which is shown below.

In the post war era most of the major modern pistols have been chambered in 9mm first including the:  Beretta 92 Series, CZ-75, Glock 17 and 19, H&K P7, H&K USP, SIG P210, SIG P226 Family, and Springfield XD series.  Though all of these guns have variants in other calibers, 9mm remains, by far, the most popular caliber.  In fact, 9mm is the most widely used pistol caliber in the world today.  With the U.S. Military's recent order of 600,000+ Beretta 92s can be expected to remain the dominant caliber for years to come.

However, lately, due to interest in improving lethality, while increasing capacity and shoot ability, several armies and police forces have turned to pistols that fire small caliber, rifle type bullets at extremely high velocities.  The high velocity makes up for the small size and results in stopping power similar to much larger rounds.  The most successful of these new calibers has been 5.7 x 28mm which is chambered in both the FN Five-seveN pistol (20rds) and FN P90 Carbine (50rds).  This round and handgun has been adopted by several militaries and police forces, including the U.S. Secret Service.

PJ9HP

KBI PJK-9HP - Browning Hi Power Clone.


© Richard Murphy 2011 - 2017 - No reuse or reproduction of the pictures or content on the Radarms site is permitted without the express written permission of Richard Murphy.   If you are interested in a license to reproduce any the pictures or content, contact Richard Murphy at radmacs@mac.com.