definite adoption of the 9 mm calibre " para. bellum "
for the automatic pistols issued to the Armed Forces and Police
detachments during the last war, was not only caused by the necessity
to unify the calibres of pistols and light machine guns (especially
Sten gun type), of ever increasing diffusion with the Armed Forces
of the various countries, but also by the excellent ballistic
characteristics of this calibre.
difficulties in supply and adequate training as well as the serious
inconveniencies produced in the logistical sector of operating
units, and caused by the existing differences in calibre of the
small arms, are well known.
need for the unification of the small arms calibres was felt most
strongly by the Navy and Air-Craft Forces it their special detachments
often engaged in isolated raids, landing operations, command actions,
police service, etc. And the considerable supply difficulties
aggravated by the special displacements of these units (such as
bridgeheads, ports, observation points, airports, etc.) made it
necessary to reduce the types of ammunition to be issued to each
group to the absolute minimum.
satisfy above-mentioned requirements the " Pietro Beretta
" Weapon Factory decided to study and to realise a "
9 mm. long " calibre automate pistol, answering to the above
characteristics, and which does represent not only the experiences
gained by its staff in the manufacture of over 2 million pistols,
but also the results of the studies and experiences of the best
pistol uses as locking device a vertically sliding, catch, the
recharging system is based upon the recoil of the barrel; both
operations have already been proved with excellent results by
the construction technique here and in the best foreign industries.
presents, in addition, and compared with that based upon fixed
barrel and single gas utilisation, with equal cartridge and weight,
the considerable advantage of a sensible reduction of the recoil
speed with the consequent reduction in the jumping of the weapon
during the firing. Outstanding are the excellent results obtained
through the use of the light alloy "Ergal" in the manufacture
of the body, which made possible the reduction of the weight of
the 9 mm long to an only 0,720 kg. (25.4 ozs), using at the same
time the ammunition of the light machine gun which is considerable
more powerful than the normal 9 mm. long ammunition as used before
despite its reduced weight, has been especially studied for this
ammunition which develops a maximum pressure of 2100 kg/cm' (29,862
cartridge, weighing 7,45 g. (0.25 ozs), possesses an initial speed
of 340 m/sec (1164 ft/sec) with a considerable stopping power
up to 150-200 m. (500-650 ft).
The 9 mm.
short pistol, which forms part of standard equipment of the Italian
Army, weighs 0,710 kg. (25.1 ozs), its cartridge, of 6 g. weight
(0.21 ozs), develops a pressure off 1200 kg/CM2 (17,064 lbs/sq.
in.) with an initial speed of 280 m/sec (920 ft/sec). Thus the
9 mm. long, though only very slightly heavier, possesses by far
superior ballistic characteristics.The experiences of the recent
Corean war proved that an individual defence weapon of high ballistic
qualities is still required, the more so against the dangers of
enemy raids and partisan warfare met with during the supply and
contact service, and which demands a ready reaction based upon
efficient weapons of outstanding offensive power.
in fact, created the phenomena of guerrilla warfare which takes
place at the flanks, of the operational army units, and the use
of pistols and light machine guns, despite the development of
new weapons possessing a very high destructive power, cannot yet
be considered as obsolete even in modern theatres of war.