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The FCP (Fast Cycling Pistol) uses a Tanfoglio polymer frame with some similar firing mechanism parts. The slide is fixed in place. The rear portion forms a standing breech and the forward part houses a fixed 4-inch barrel. The barrel has no chamber. A large port occupies the space between the standing breech and the rear of the barrel. A special 'tube chamber' containing a loaded cartridge can be inserted to fill this space, with additional loaded chambers in the magazine below. The FCP can only be fired double-action, as nothing reciprocates to cock the hammer. When the cartridge in the tube chamber is fired, some gas from that shot is diverted back to expel the spent cartridge and tube chamber.
Designed by John Browning and introduced by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium, this cartridge has achieved world-wide acceptance and has even been adopted as the standard pistol cartridge by several governments. One reason for the round's success is that it is the largest practical cartridge that can be easily adapted to small automatic pocket pistols. Ballistics fall far short of even the 9mm Luger, but still prove adequate for most self-defense situations. The round has established quite a niche position in this role, often being chosen over more traditional small calibers such as the .25 and .32 Autos.
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