The National Firearms Museum, owned and operated by the NRA, recently released two videos for its Curator’s Corner segment covering five of the rarest and strangest 9mm pistols available. The video was taken at Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Arms Show and features curator Jim Suprica, John Popp, Maj. Richard Keogh, and Jack Valenti. When these firearm experts ran into an exhibit with the claim of having some of the unique 9mm firearms in the world, they knew they had to take a look. To their surprise, that claim was substantiated when they discovered the guns were not only rare, but so rare they were almost unknown.
You can watch part one below, or read on for more information about the guns themselves.
The first pistol shown is a prototype Dreyse 9x19mm pistol. This pistol is also sometimes called the Model 1910 and was originally designed for use by German police and possibly military forces. In many ways, the Model 1910 is similar to its smaller, earlier counterpart the Dreyse Model 1907. Both were designed by Louis Schmeisser and named after Nikolaus von Dreyse, the inventor of the Dreyse Needle Gun. Like the M1907, the larger model had an unlocked breech and a light reciprocating slide and breech block. The 9mm Parabellum cartridge was a noticeable improvement over the M1907’s 7.65mm Browning.
The start of World War One effectively ended its design phase and no known finished models are known to exist. According to firearms auctioneer James D. Julia, a model in good condition would fetch between $10,000 to $15,000 at auction.
Next up is the Tarn 9mm, a pistol designed for the Free Polish Forces during World War Two. Reportedly designed by a Polish exile in Britain and produced by Polish engineers aiding the resistance, only nine have been found. Eventually the British military decided that the pistol was too flawed and instead opted to equip Polish fighters with British-made firearms.
Last comes the Australian Felk. Other than the transparent magazine and its rarity, the Felk appears to be a rather conventional striker-fired pistol. A cursory search online pegs their price at around $300.
Watch part two below:
The first gun in this video is a experimental 9mm variant of the Iver Johnson Pony. According to Spanish gun maker Star Bonifacio Echeverria, the pistol was designed during a partnership in the 1970s between itself and Colt. When that partnership dissolved, so too did the pistol, at least until US firearms manufacturer Iver Johnson bought the right to produce the guns. That company also went into bankruptcy shortly before the 9mm variant of the Pony could be mass produced, so very few copies of the pistol exist.
Last up is the Colt T4. According to the Springfield Armory, these guns were produced and designed in the early 1950s, possibly to replace the 1911 with a lightweight 9mm platform. They are double-action, blow-back operated in an aluminum alloy frame and comes with a staggered box magazine. Especially of note is the movable triggerguard. Currently several specimens of this pistol are kept at the Springfield Armory Museum.