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The Norinco M-77B and Norinco NP-20 handguns are export versions of the Norinco Type 77 pistol currently issued to the Peoples' Liberation Army of China and to Chinese law enforcement agencies. Built larger and heavier than the Type 77, both the M-77B and NP-20 are chambered for the popular and inexpensive 9mm luger round rather than the Type 77's 7.62x17mm Type 64 cartridge (which is unavailable outside China). These pistols employ a specially designed delayed blowback action which is similar in concept to the Heckler & Koch P7 PSP pistol.
This cartridge was introduced along with the Luger semi-automatic pistol. The pistol and cartridge was first adopted by the German Navy in 1904 and then by the German Army in 1908. This cartridge has since been adopted by the military of practically every non-Communist power. It has become the most popular and widely-used handgun cartridge in the world. Performance wise, the 9mm cartridge has somewhat more power than the .38 Special but falls well short of the .357 Magnum.
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