Firepower - - NEW AGE -

Most know that 9mm self-load­ers are com­mon. On the other hand, Ar-type pis­tols are not so com­mon.

The adop­tion of 9mm for SMGS (of­ten called ma­chine pis­tols) be­gan prior to World War II. Af­ter the war, 9mm SMGS and pis­tols be­came prac­ti­cally uni­ver­sal with NATO coun­tries. (The Thomp­son and M3 .45 were in use with the United States un­til at least the Viet­nam War.)

The adop­tion of the 5.56mm ri­fle fi­nally gave United States sol­diers a go-any­where, do-any­thing long gun that was use­ful for pre­ci­sion fire as a ri­fle and area fire as an au­to­matic ri­fle. It re­placed the 9mm sub-ma­chine­gun. For many years that is where the sit­u­a­tion stood. The su­pe­ri­or­ity of the 5.56mm car­tridge made the 9mm SMG ob­so­lete. Then Colt re­sponded to LEO re­quests for a 9mm AR to fill a tra­di­tional SMG niche. Less ex­pen­sive than the Heck­ler & Koch MP5, the Colt 9mm SMG en­joyed some pop­u­lar­ity but was eclipsed by 5.56mm vari­ants.

To­day there are 9mm AR con­ver­sions avail­able, and there are many good rea­sons for own­ing a 9mm AR. The 9mm of­fers in­ex­pen­sive prac­tice, am­mu­ni­tion that is avail­able ev­ery­where, and it pro­vides good ac­cu­racy up to 100 yards—or even a lit­tle more.

Ad­mit­tedly, I have been re­sis­tant to the con­cept of a 9mm AR based on the su­pe­rior power, ac­cu­racy and wound po­ten­tial of the 5.56mm. That’s fine for LEO and oth­ers, but for most of us, the 9mm does just fine. My friend Dar­rell has a great deal of ex­pe­ri­ence with the AR, in­clud­ing mil­i­tary ex­pe­ri­ence, and he en­joys his 9mm AR. He asked me what the like­li­hood of me need­ing the ri­fle in a per­sonal de­fense en­gage­ment or for hunt­ing game. I had to ad­mit that it was pretty slim … and I had other ri­fles for those chores.

He also asked if I had used a ri­fle dur­ing critical en­gage­ments. Dur­ing that time in my life, it was the ri­fle and the shotgun. The AR pis­tol is a great recre­ational hand­gun, he said, and this is true and more than enough rea­son for choos­ing the 9mm.

On the other hand, if per­sonal de­fense is the chore, the Wil­son Com­bat AR9 is far su­pe­rior to stan­dard hand­guns and will give a home­owner an edge in a de­fen­sive sit­u­a­tion. For area or site de­fense, the AR pis­tol has many ad­van­tages, in­clud­ing in­creased range over a shotgun.

It does not sur­prise me that Wil­son made this. The Ar-type pis­tol is very pop­u­lar so it makes a lot of sense that a 9mm Ar-pis­tol vari­ant would be in­tro­duced. The 9mm of­fers in­ex­pen­sive, eas­ily found am­mu­ni­tion; and good ma­neu­ver­abil­ity in tight quar­ters, such as ve­hi­cle de­fense and in the home. This is an ideal role for a short, fast-han­dling AR.

The 9mm has the ad­van­tage of less flash and blast, and light re­coil, too. The 9mm with the most pow­er­ful loads of­fers good wound po­ten­tial, more so from the AR pis­tol’s longer bar­rel. There are fir­ing ranges that pro­hibit ri­fles and ri­fle-cal­iber pis­tols, but the 9mm AR pis­tol is just fine.

This al­lows more prac­tice. As an ex­am­ple, my pis­tol range is less than 20 min­utes away, but the ri­fle range is a solid hour. There are also a num­ber of venues for com­pe­ti­tion with the 9mm AR ri­fle and the AR pis­tol, as well. An Ar-type plat­form is far more ac­cu­rate than the Uzi-type pis­tol and most 9mm car­bines. The AR9 is a cred­i­ble piece, well-made, and with more ap­pli­ca­tions than we might first think.

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