Wednesday, October 27, 2010
A 9mm Prediction
I note that the Pistol Training blog is showing pixs of the new Sig Sauer P290, an ultra-small polymer frame 9mm pistol introduced this week at the IACP show. Hmmmmmm, methinks. One of last year's big winners for Taurus was their "Slim" 709B-series ultra-small 9mm single stack [below].
I think what we are seeing here is the first salvos in The Next Big Thing, ultra-light little 9mms to appeal to the gazillions of people who have bought into the Great .380 Pocket Pistol Sweepstakes. In short, the staggering success of the Ruger LCP and the flood of pocket .380s it released caught the industry totally by surprise...who were these people buying up all the little guns?
Well, I believe a lot of them were the big wave of next-gen CCW holders who are just now coming into what we think of as the gun culture. By next-gen, I mean they weren't involved with shooting/hunting/whatever until they made the decision to get a carry permit...it's a younger, more female demo than us Old Skol gun guys, and they were draw to the little polymer .380s because...wait for it...wait for it...they are EASY TO CARRY! And they were cheap. Huge round of "duh!" is appropriate here.
So now that they've carried for awhile, gotten used to the "gun every day" thing, had an introduction into the gun culture (hopefully from watching my shows and checking out DRTV!!!), they're thinking the little blasters are, well, little. More importantly, they've got some time in gun-handling and shooting, and they're more comfortable with the bark and bite of small pistols.
What's the next step up?
How about a little 9mm semiauto, a cartridge at least I consider sufficient for my own concealed carry needs? A 9mm built on the pattern of the successful .380s, because, hey, that pattern WORKS! A quick look in the niche reveals the superb Kahr Arms guns (at a commensurate price, essentially double or triple the cost of the current generation of .380s, with the notable excecption of Kahr's entry into the sweepstakes, the P380) and the relatively unknown Kel-Tec PF9/P11 series...and keep in mind that the market had already overlooked the uber-ploymer .380, the Kel Tec P3AT).
So I'm thinking the next wave is marketing a slightly larger 9mm polymer-framed DAO (or the equivalent trigger system) that look a lot like the .380s? It's an obvious up-sell for .380 owners, the perfect 2nd gun...and lots of people, me included, are pushing the "2 guns are better than a reload" meme...you'll see it on TBD and SG in 2011, for example.
I expect to see Taurus really push their Slim line and Sig with their P290 to try and get in from of the big wave I strongly suspect will be coming...we'll see at SHOT 2011. won't we?
And remember, you heard it here first!