IMHO a number of posts have touched on the underlying issue......... gun size...... "SIZE Matters"
Prior to WWII most civilian concealed carry autos were tiny .25 Colts or .32 and .380s..... if you wanted a .38Super or .45 it was a 5" Colt 1911 in 9mm it was a Browning HP ...maybe a Luger if you were a 'bad" guy in a B-Movie........
When I started carrying a gun in 1978........ the most common 9mm and .45 autos in the US were were still the 1911s, Browning HP and WWII bring backs.... such as Lugers and P-38s....... about the only thing new was the Smith model 39.
Small concealed carry guns remained mostly of blow back design..... Colt's in .380 and .32, some Beretta's and of course "the most famous of all" the Walther PP series....... including Mr Bonds PPK.
Keep in mind that the ".380 aka 9mm Kurtz aka 9x17" is about the most powerful cartridge that can be chamber in a blow back design. (OK today there are the Russian 9x18 and the Hi-Point 9mm but not in 1978 in the US)
The smallest/lightest weight,commonly available, guns were the alloy frame 4.25 inch .45 Colt Commanders...... the smallest 9mm I can remember was the Smith Model 39.
Europe was seeing the development of new 9mm Police guns to replace their .32s and .380s ...... which gave us the P5,P6 and P7... all semi-compact...... but still not really small. (Well maybe the P7 but IIRC it was about the most expensive auto going)
The 1980s saw technological advances... and new trends. Several custom gunsmiths were "cutting down" 9mm and .45s..... giving us the ASP and Devel, along with chopped 1911s, Browning HPs and Smith .59s.
The expression "friends don't let friends carry mouse guns" was coined.....
The gun company's picked up on the trend with the Smith 469........ and by 1990 we has the Colt Officer's and CCO models..... Smith 3913s and 6906s.
The race to smaller and smaller guns in 9mm, .40 and .45 was underway in a big way.....
I carried a Walther PPK as my primary concealed carry handgun from about 1985 to 1990 when I got a early Smith 3913 9mm....... Did I feel under gunned with the .380 PPK.....maybe ...... but it was sure smaller and lighter than my Colt Commander or 3" .357 Model 65 at home.
Last edited by BAM-BAM; 03-10-2017 at 09:34 AM.