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.22 Auto Nine pistol.

The Auto Nine .22 pistolis a truly tiny piece measuring just 4-3/8 inches long, 3 inches high and with a width of only 7/8 inches. In keeping with its size it weighs only 9-1/4 ounces empty and the loaded weight adds only 3/4 ounce. Magazine capacity is eight, with the ninth round resting in the chamber.

Sights are redimentary, as you would expect in such a small arm, and consist of a grooved slot in the rear and a miniscule post forward. Since this is certainly not meant as a target arm but rather for close range defense, or for use by the casual plinker, hunter, angler or back packer, the sight package is really of little concern. At combat ranges, say 15 feet, it was possible to keep all nine shots in the head area of a standard silhouette target.

The pistol was fired with both high-speed and hyper-velocity ammunition, including hollow points, with nary a failure to feed or fire. In fact it seemed to be a very reliable pistol. The grip is so tiny that, in my hand, there was room for just a single finger for support. Since the .22 Long Rifle has negligible recoil, even in an arm of this size, controllability was easy.

Ever since S&W introduced the fist .22 caliber rimfire handgun in 1857 there has been a steady demand for diminutive arms in this caliber. Now that's almost 130 years of popular acclaim and this new .22 is certainly going to uphold that tradition.

It is a natural to ride along in a fisherman's tackle box or even in a big-game hunter's pocket. Big-game hunter? Yes, unfortunately sometimes an animal has to be given the coup de grace and a .22 can do the job without damaging either trophy or destroying valuable meat. I have often wondered why some hunters carry a large, heavy magnum sixgun in addition to their rifle. The rifle will do anything the magnum pistol will do, only much more efficiently. A far better companion is an unobtrusive and practical little .22 pistol.

One feature of the Auto Nine that I did not particularly care for was the takedown. Unlike most modern autos which can be stripped without the use of tools, this arm requires a screwdriver and a wooden dowel, pencil or other non-marring instrument to remove the breechblock. This is obviously nothing major, just a minor irritation.

To strip the Auto Nine, first remove the magazine and make certain that the chamber is clear. Leaving the hammer in the cocked position (you cocked it when you checked the chamber for a round) and with the magazine removed place the safety in the "on" position. There is a small screw located on the right side of the slide just ahead of the finger serrations which should now be removed. Then take a piece of wood small enough to enter the magazine well and press against the breechblock. On or test gun I found that it took a sharp rap to pop the breechblock out. The slide can then be moved forward to rest against the barrel. Then turn the pistol upside down and tap it against your palm; the barrel will drop free and the slide can be slid forward off the frame. For normal maintenance and cleaning this is as far as the gun should be stripped. Reassembly is in the reverse; just make sure that the barrel extends about 1/4 inch from the slide before replacing the breechblock.

The Auto Nine appears to be a well made gun-it comes with a one-year warranty for the original purchaser--amply suited for informal plinking and other casual uses. Suggested retail price is $199.95. For more information contact: Auto Nine Corporation, 12521 Oxnard Street, Dept. GA, North Hollywood, CA 91606.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:evaluation
Author:French, Howard E.
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Dec 1, 1984
Words:638
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