The term was coined by firearms author Robert Shimek, and became popular in American firearm-related magazines during the 1980s by those advocating for their use by police forces. At the time most American police departments were still using revolvers, chambered in cartridges such as .38 Special and .357 Magnum.
The simplicity of being able to fire the first shot just by pulling the trigger, a feature of double-action revolvers, combined with the high ammunition capacity (13–18 rounds, more than twice of what a revolver holds), are the "wonderful" features of a wonder-nine.
Examples include the MAB PA-15 (1968), Heckler & Koch VP70 (1970), Smith & Wesson Model 59 (1971), Beretta 92 and CZ-75 (both 1975), Steyr GB (late 1970s/1981), Glock 17 (1982), and SIG Sauer P226 (1984).
- Trzoniec, Stanley W. (1981). Modern American Centerfire Handguns. Tulsa, Okla.: Winchester Press. p. 49. ISBN 0876913419. OCLC 7572377.
- Hartink, A. E. (2002). The Complete Encyclopedia of Pistols and Revolvers (first ed.). Edison, N.J.: Chartwell Books. p. 279. ISBN 9780785815198. OCLC 51024327.
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