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Minebea PM-9

Machine Pistol / Submarine Gun (SMG) (1990)

Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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Minebea Company of Japan produces the PM-9 Machine Pistol which is based on the famous Israeli UZI - in its Mini-UZI form.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/26/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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.


Service Year

Japan national flag graphic


Machine Pistol / Submarine Gun (SMG)

Minebea Company (Nambu Arms Manufacturing Company) - Japan
National flag of modern Japan Japan
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Pistol / Sidearm
Compact design for close-quarters work or general self-defense.
Special Forces
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.
This weapon is either inherently silent/suppressed or can be made so through special assembly added at the muzzle, specialized subsonic ammunition or a combination of both.

Overall Length
400 mm
15.75 in
Barrel Length
120 mm
4.72 in
Empty Wgt
6.17 lb
2.80 kg

Iron Front and Rear; Optional Reflex Sight.


Blowback Operated; Full-Automatic

Rounds are automatically ejected from the breech, a new cartridge stripped from the feed and set in the chamber, and rounds are continuously fired so long as the trigger is pulled and an ammunition supply exists.
Blowback Operation
Gas pressure from the rearward movement of the ignited cartridge case provides the needed bolt movement, ejecting the spent case and stripping a fresh case from the magazine.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


9x19mm Parabellum

Sample Visuals**

Graphical image of a 9mm pistol cartridge
Rounds / Feed

25-round detachable box magazine.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
330 ft
(101 m | 110 yd)

PM-9 - Base Series Designation

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