Watch: Little Tom, the First DS/SA Pistol
Russ Chastain 05.30.17
This is pretty cool. It’s an Austrian pistol known as the Little Tom, which was made in both 25 and 32 ACP. This one in a 32, and after a short tour of the popper we get to see it in action.
Assembly and disassembly is not difficult, and although this gun resembles what we think of today as the standard form for a typical semi-auto, it was made in a time when the technology was new and developing. Which may explain one of the coolest features about this little popper: It loads from the top!
The magazine looks like so many other mags we have seen and it “lives” in the gun’s grip, but you don’t–you can’t–cram it in from the butt of the grip. Instead, you lock the slide back, drop in the mag, and close the action. Voila, you have a fully stoked pistol, ready to rock and roll.
I like this idea for a few reasons, not the least of which is that you cannot lose this magazine as long as the gun is carried with the slide forward. It will never fall out the butt of the grip because you accidentally hit the mag release button while carrying concealed, nor can an assailant dump your mag during a hand-to-hand struggle.
I’m not sure why he thought the 9-round brass magazine would be brittle; steel is usually more brittle than brass.
The grip clearly isn’t ergonomic; our host had to adjust his grip a number of times while shooting this little gun.
The pistol is fired numerous times in this TFB TV video, and we learn how nice it is to have a true DA/SA with second- (or third-, fourth-, or fifth-) strike capabilities; you can keep pulling the trigger and dropping the hammer after a failure to fire, until the round finally goes bang.
This gun may have a misshapen or short firing pin, a weak hammer spring, gunk buildup on the firing pin and its housing, or all of the above; it had a tough time firing the selected ammo in this video. But hey, it’s still cool to watch.