MANUFACTURER(S): Minebea Company (Nambu Arms Manufacturing Company) - Japan
ACTION: Blowback Operated; Full-Automatic
CALIBER(S)*: 9x19mm Parabellum
SIGHTS: Iron Front and Rear; Optional Reflex Sight.
Detailing the development and operational history of the Minebea PM-9 Machine Pistol / Submarine Gun (SMG).
Entry last updated on 2/26/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Israeli UZI went on to become one of the most famous submachine guns of its time after it was introduced in the mid-1950s. Its popularity ensured it a place in nearly all major global inventories and some countries took to local (both licensed and unlicensed) production of this classic firearm. In time, other, more compact, forms emerged in the family line and this included the "Mini-UZI" and "Micro-UZI".
When it came time for the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) to select a compact automatic weapon for its various services in the 1980s, the selection fell to the proven UZI. Local manufacture was through the Minebea (formerly the Nambu Arms Manufacturing Company) and this produced the "PM-9" designation. It is of note that company already produced the Swiss SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic service pistol and this new weapon could be made on the same, existing machinery. Issuance of the PM-9 was primarily intended to second- and third-line elements such as artillery support personnel, logistics vehicle drivers, combat vehicle crews and security personnel. Some were also taken into inventory by Japanese special forces elements who appreciated close-quarters firepower from a compact package better than most.
Service introduction occurred in 1990. The only post-World War 2 indigenously-designed Japanese submachine of note was the Nambu M66 (or SCK Model 65/66) but the gun was only a prototype / trials product. This weapon was influenced by foreign designs such as the Carl Gustav SMG and the American M3 "Grease Gun".
Many traits of the original UZI (namely the Mini-UZI form) were carried over into the PM-9. It was chambered for the ubiquitous 9x19mm pistol cartridge fired through a blowback system of operation while feeding from a 25-round detachable box magazine. The form and function of the weapon were faithful to the UZI with the rectangular receiver balanced over the pistol grip. The magazine was inserted into the base of the pistol grip and a short section of barrel protruded ahead of the gun's body. Iron sights were set over the receiver in the usual fashion.
Overall weight became 6.2lb with an overall length of 399mm. The barrel assembly measured 120mm long. Rate-of-fire was 1,100 rounds-per-minute and effective range fell out to 100 meters.
Unlike the Israeli design, the PM-9 was given an extended foregrip set ahead of the trigger group so as to provide for better two-hand firing in full-automatic mode. These originally appeared in a wood finish but were later modernized to a plastic finish.
The PM-9 continues in limited service with various elements of the Japanese military today. It is categorized as both a submachine gun and a machine pistol.