Jim Pontillo, the owner of FMK and the designer of the 9C1, is passionately inspired by the U.S. Constitution, with the Bill of Rights and other patriotic expressions engraved on the 9C1’s slide. FMK’s 9C1 is built in California—one of only two new handguns to make it onto the restrictive list of firearms that are approved for sale by that state’s Department of Justice.


Designing a new pistol from the ground up, and then…

Designing a new pistol from the ground up, and then starting a new company to manufacture it is difficult, to say the least. Doing it in California is darn near impossible. That makes Jim Pontillo’s accomplishment all the more impressive. Jim has managed to design a gun and bring it to market in what may be the toughest environment in the United States. His model 9C1 autoloader is one of only two new handguns approved by the California Department of Justice for manufacture or sale within the state. Ruger has the other one, so Jim is in good company.

Jim is an engineer who owns a successful tool and model making company. So he has the technical chops needed to design a new self-defense pistol, and, thanks to his primary business, has the resources to stay in the game for the long haul as the 9C1 gets off the ground. Working with Jim, I started testing the 9C1 about 6 months ago. Like all new products, the early models had some bugs that needed to be corrected, but during the process I was very impressed by Jim’s attitude. He took every complaint and suggestion on board, and re-engineered the gun to correct or improve whatever was in question. He is a guy who definitely wants to get it right.

FMK 9mm is a striker-fired DAO auto, equipped with a bright orange loaded chamber indicator that can be easily seen and noticed.

FMK 9mm is a striker-fired DAO auto, equipped with a bright orange loaded chamber indicator that can be easily seen and noticed.

Gun Details
Visually, the 9C1 is unique. It has a nice clean profile, but your eye will immediately notice that the slide is extensively inscribed with text. A closer look will reveal that most of that text is actually the Bill of Rights from the Constitution of the United States with each of the amendments distilled down to a few pithy words. You might be tempted to dismiss this as just a gimmick, but you’d be wrong. Jim Pontillo cares deeply about this country, about our history, and about our constitution and the liberties it guarantees. Part of FMK’s corporate charter describes FMK’s desire to, “encourage Americans on a journey to embrace and understand American history and our Founders’ intent in setting down into law the philosophies and principles which make the United States of America the greatest nation on earth.”

Load Comments
  • Mark

    I have two of the Gen 2 versions coming as part of a membership package I purchased. I’m hearing so many good things about it I’m really looking forward to getting to fire them. Just went through my first handgun course and loved it. We need more responsible owners out there to counter the others. I love the engraving on this piece, it’s a great touch!

  • Did you ever find lazer sight for 9c1 first edition

  • ed santos

    i have the 2nd gen i love it feels so good when you hold it and pull the trigger………..im gonna buy me another one so i can frame it looks so good………

  • Conrad Novack

    I have a somewhat large collection of many guns of many makes and models. When I attend a gun show, something has to really interest me just to pick it up and look at it, let alone buy it. Since I had seen this pistol in several of the gun magazines to which I subscribe, I was already interested in it, and when I saw it at a gun show this past week end, I was pretty surprised. Once I picked it up, I just had to have it. At the price of $312, it was a lot of gun for the money.

  • Kenneth Mercer

    I own the second generation of the FMK 9C1 model, and love it to death. Not only does it feel right in my hands, but the Bill Of Rights writing on it makes it a “masterpiece” pistol. Cant wait to take it out to the shooting range, and see how she reacts to my shooting. First pistol ever owned and was the best choice I have ever made. Even though I have never shot my new “masterpiece,” I clean it almost everyday and set it back in its new case, waiting for the day I buy the rounds for it.

  • General Jim M

    A gun from California? Meets California requirements?I’ll buy one when California decides to have handgun carry reciprocity with Tennessee.

  • Pierre Perret

    Please send the nomenclature of this gun. I am in NY with lots of regs with pistols. Most pistols I can not have as I am not a police officer.
    Thank you for your kind attention,

    Pierre Perret

  • Chris Kerr

    I tink I have found the holy grail of patriotism!

    I will buy one as my Sig-Sauer P238 Liberty only takes one hip!

    Semper Fidelis

  • Earnie Ferguson

    I saw this gun in the display case at our gun shop, put it in my hand, felt so right I had to have it. I took it to the firing range and had a small problem with the firing pin not penetrating the primer deep enough and a couple rounds didn’t go off. I contacted David Wolfe of FMK through customer sevice and he had me a new firing pin assembly sent out in no time. These guyes are great with the service. He even through in a few extras with the package and fixed me right up. It’s refreshing to still find that kind of customer service and now i’m blowing holes in targets everywhere and love this gun.
    Earnie Ferguson

  • Kit Tang

    Proud owner of this piece. Love it just as much as my Sig.

  • Mark Hamersly

    Well, it took a while after I heard about them to see one. Our local Turner’s Outdoorsman (San Diego) had them on sale for $329, so what else could I do but buy a pair! They are executed with style and class. I just HAD to have them. If they shoot, I will be thrilled beyond belief!

    Jim Pontillo for PRESIDENT!

    M. Hamersly