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Altor 9mm Single-Shot: You Better Make It Count

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Most of our Crap Shoot articles deal with used firearms that can be had for under $200. Sometimes you score, sometimes you get a fixer-upper that may need a few parts and some elbow grease, and sometimes you just wasted two Benjamins. In this case, we found something new from a manufacturer
in the form of the Altor 9mm single-shot pistol. This handgun is unlike any other single-shot we’ve used. 

At first glance, the Altor 9mm resembles an air compressor, garden hose nozzle, glue gun, or maybe even a small hairdryer. But it doesn’t look like a typical pistol, aside from the fact it’s roughly shaped like one. 

This is good because it may be less intimidating to new people. But it’s also bad because it could be easy for a child to mistake for a toy and do something stupid. If you have little ones, be extra careful with one of these around.

Be forewarned — this isn’t a pistol for everyone. However, it can fill several niches, and it’s fun to shoot. 

altor 9mm single shot


The Altor 9mm retails for $119. That’ll make most shooters run away from it, but the quality of the build with respect to workmanship and materials puts it head and shoulders above others in this basement price bracket. 

To load the pistol, you need to remove the barrel. Yes, you read that correctly. With the safety engaged, slide the round onto the bolt/breech face while pulling back on the trigger slightly to retract the firing pin. This procedure isn’t as sketchy as it sounds, but it should still bring you pause. Then, place the barrel over the live round; the top is marked to aid in doing this correctly. The barrel has two positions: safe and fire. Turn it to the safe position until ready to shoot.

To fire your (hopefully) one-hit wonder, deactivate the frame-mounted, cross-bolt safety and rotate the barrel to the fire position. Then, retract the trigger fully and when you’re ready to shoot, release it. It’s a bit like a binary trigger or a fire-on-release shotgun trigger. That’s to say, it’s very strange. 

Because the Altor 9mm is so light, there’s a bit more felt recoil than a semi-auto of the same size. For the extremely recoil sensitive, another model is chambered in the milder 380 ACP. And for all you daredevils who hate your eyebrows, Altor told us a 5.56mm may be in the future!

For sights, it has a front and rear all black set with no contrast molded into the frame. 

We grew fond of the look of this one. It has a minimalist sci-fi vibe going for it. It looks like something Captain Kirk would carry if they never invented the phaser. Or perhaps one of the red shirts who always dies first. 

altor 9mm


While not for CCW, a single-shot handgun of this type is perfect to stow in a backpack, bug-out bag, or even in a tackle box. It’s so small and lightweight that it can go virtually anywhere.

As a woods or hiking companion, it can be loaded with 9mm snake shot for varmints and pests. It can also fill the role of graduating new shooters from a 22 to a centerfire cartridge before going to a revolver or semi-auto.

Single-shot firearms of virtually every type have the most inherent accuracy, and teaching a new shooter by the numbers with a pistol like this will do wonders as a confidence builder. A longer sight radius with better sights could offer more potential here.

Altor plans to release models with assorted frame colors and barrel lengths, including threaded barrels. Fixed-barrel, single-shot subsonic, and suppressed weapons are always fun. 

This one will live in a small portable survival kit as a backup to a backup.


  • Very well-made pistol using quality materials
  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • It’s so inexpensive you can’t afford to not have one.


  • Reloading is slow; you’ll need to make that single shot count.
  • The manual of arms is quite different from just about any other handgun out there. This may be one of our only reservations about using it as a trainer.


In CQB, if you need a follow-up shot with this gun, you’re screwed. In an ideal situation, you can probably fire four rounds per minute — slightly better than reloading during the Civil War. In a defensive situation, you won’t have that kind of time, and unlike a typical service pistol or revolver you don’t have enough mass in the gun to properly beat someone about the face and neck with it.  

Altor Single Shot Pistol

Caliber: 9mm
Weight (Unloaded): 10.5 Ounces
Sight Radius: 2.25 Inches
Length: 6.5 Inches
Height: 3.5 Inches
Width: 1 Inch
Barrel: 2.75 Inches
MSRP: $129 (9mm), $119 (.380 ACP)

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  • Dano S. says:

    I see no point to this whatsoever. I think I would rather take my chances with the hairdryer or air compressor mentioned in the article. And if you are going to manufacture a one-shot gun, at least make it in an effective caliber.

  • Secundius says:

    Upon first sight, I thought it was an alternative to a Veterinary’s Bolt Gun…

  • Jim B Brannan says:

    Guns are an investment. i think in the future, this would be well worth the money.

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  • I see no point to this whatsoever. I think I would rather take my chances with the hairdryer or air compressor mentioned in the article. And if you are going to manufacture a one-shot gun, at least make it in an effective caliber.

    • 99 times out of 100, you don't have to shoot your weapon, just point it at the person as a deterent.

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