Gun Review: Altor Corp Single Shot 9mm

Altor Single Shot Pistol

Travis Pike for TTAG

Meet the Altor Corp pistol, a single-shot pistol with a unique design and interesting trigger. The Altor is available in either 9mm or .380 ACP. It’s an American made gun made by a small company in Phoenix, Arizona. 

This is not a gun for everyone, but I found it to be a rather neat weapon that’s quite solid and well made.

The Why

As I’ve pondered writing this review, I’ve tried to come up with a few reasons why someone would want a gun like this. That’s because the limited utility of a single shot 9mm handgun makes it a tough sell.

It’s a very unique concept, and will most certainly appeal to those of us who like odd or unusual guns out there. It reminds me of the CIA deer gun, which itself was a spiritual successor to the famed Liberator pistol.

The Altor pistol only has six parts in total. It’s remarkably simple, and that kind of design intrigues me. As a single-shot pistol, it could be easily suppressed and would be quite quiet without a moving action. There is also a great argument for the weapon as a veterinarian tool for putting down large animals, and B&T makes a single shot 9mm pistol with a similar purpose.

Altor Single Shot Pistol

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The fact that it’s a single-shot weapon means it works well with rat and snake shot and could be a cheap pest remover. I’ve heard many comments of people saying it looks like a hot glue gun, and others have described it as a spray nozzle for a hose. It kinda looks futuristic, but more like a pulp fiction blaster and less like a Kriss Vector. 

It hardly looks like a gun, or at least what people think of when when we say the word “gun.” There is a value in having a firearm that doesn’t look like one, and the Altor barely looks like a gun.

The Price Tag

A lot of problems with interesting concept guns is their prices. I like the LifeCard, but the $299 price tag often turns many off. The good news about the ALTOR is the gun’s MSRP is $129 for the 9mm variant with a predicted street price of about $109. The .380 variant is $119, with a predicted street price of $99 bucks.

That’s a low price for a gun you can toss in a tackle box, or a toolbox, or a truck to use as a utilitarian, special purpose tool. The gun is made of polymer and stainless steel, so corrosion shouldn’t be an issue.

Altor Single Shot Pistol

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

Shooting the Altor Single Shot Pistol

To load the weapon, you have to remove the barrel. First, engage the safety, depress the trigger and twist the barrel counter clockwise to align with the safe line on the frame. Remove the barrel and insert a round onto the shell holder.

Slide the barrel back into place with the word TOP pointing upward. Twist the barrel into the fire position. Now you are ready. Behind and slightly above the trigger is a manual cross-bolt style safety.

Altor Single Shot Pistol

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

I know what you are thinking. There is no trigger guard, and that’s dangerous. In reality, the design of the trigger makes a trigger guard unnecessary.

In addition to the crossbolt trigger safety the Altor pistol has two barrel positions, safe and fire. Altor recommends keeping the barrel set on the safe position until you’re ready to fire. Then rotate it, release the trigger safety and you’re ready to go.

That Trigger

The Altor’s trigger is bizarre. The way it works is simple, it’s just different than any other gun I’ve ever fired.

To fire the pistol, you pull the trigger all the way back and as it retracts, it slides up into the gun’s frame. You reach a certain point as you pull the trigger to the rear that the trigger is fully inside the frame, and your finger has lost all contact with it.

At this point, the trigger flies forward, bringing the firing pin with it and firing the weapon. It’s almost like a slam fire trigger.

At first, I could barely hit the target at 10 yards. Here are thefirst five rounds I shot with the pistol:

Altor Single Shot Pistol

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

But a little practice helps. As you can see this little gun can be quite accurate once you get the hang of the trigger. It also appears I got a keyhole, but that was the only one during my testing so I’m thinking it was a fluke. 

Altor Single Shot Pistol

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

Those targets were at ten yards. At twenty yards, I was hitting a ten-inch gong quite reliably.

Altor Single Shot Pistol

Keep your fingers under the nub (Travis Pike for TTAG)

To master the trigger, you have to understand how to grip the weapon. The nub in the middle of the grip is where your hand needs to stop. If you go higher than that, you’ll likely block your trigger finger from reaching all the way to the rear and keeping the weapon from firing. It’s actually very easy to do correctly after you toss a few rounds downrange.

I prefer to have a weapon that’s not picky about how I grip and fire it. I can easily imagine a violent situation where your grip isn’t great. While the Altor is plenty lethal, I don’t see it being my first choice for a self-defense gun.

Recoil?

The recoil is a little stout, and that’s to be expected from a subcompact 10.5-ounce handgun. Add the fact that you don’t have a reciprocating slide to buffer a bit of the recoil and you get a gun that has a little kick to it.

Parts and Pieces

The minimalist sights are built into the frame and easy to use. I think the front sight could use a dab of white fingernail polish to contrast with the blacked-out rear sight. They work well enough to hit your target a the close ranges the gun’s intended for.

The Altor pistol never failed to fire in the hundred or so rounds I’ve put through it. You may think that’s not a high round count, but the time it takes to load and unload a single shot pistol 100 times is substantial.

Altor Single Shot Pistol

(Travis Pike for TTAG)

The Altor’s simple design makes it very easy for it to be reliable. When you examine the few parts the gun has, it’s clear this is a quality, well-made weapon. Attention and care are evident in the assembly of this firearm, and the quality of the components is all very obvious.

Altor did an excellent job of designing the gun, as well as using high-quality parts. The metal components are stainless steel, and the polymer is a high performance reinforced nylon 6.

The Altor single-shot pistol is a utilitarian, special purpose pistol made for tasks more associated with pest control and putting animals down. Its design is what has captured my imagination. Six freakin’ pieces are all that make up this very simple gun.

I’ll never own a deer gun or a Liberator, but I can easily afford to own an Altor. It has proven to be accurate, reliable, and even fun to shoot. While it’s not for everyone, it does have an appeal I can’t deny.

Specifications: Altor Single Shot Pistol 

Length – 6.5″
Height – 3.5″
Width – 1.0″
Weight – 10.5 oz
Rifling – 4 grooves, 1:10″ LH
MSRP: $129 (9mm) $119 (.380 ACP)

Ratings (Out of 5 Stars):

Ergonomics * * *
The downside is you have to grip it in a very specific way for the trigger to reliably work. that’s also a safety feature. Plan on taking some time and ammo to learn the Altor’s trigger. 

Reliability * * * * *
The gun always goes bang. 

Accuracy * * * *
This shocked me the most. The Altor is quite accurate for what it is, more so than it should be. Once I mastered the trigger it was fun to see what the little gun could do. 

Customization N/A
At the moment there is nothing here. I could see a future where you could swap barrels and shell holders to accommodate different calibers, but Altor isn’t there yet. 

Bang for Your Buck * * * * *
The Altor single-shot pistol is remarkably affordable. Just about anyone can afford one. That’s a good sign and selling point for this odd little gun. Rarely do unique weapons succeed if they are also expensive. 

Overall * * * *
The Altor single-shot pistol is a very interesting design. The quality is undeniable and the low price makes it an attractive concept. With only six pieces in its construction, I can’t help but love it. Check it out here.

 

comments

  1. avatar Specialist38 says:

    NO! Full stop.

    But I might buy one as a curio…… but not for shooting.

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      I’d much rather have an old Liberator .45 the US dropped in France during WW2. Then you have a piece of history- piece of shit, perhaps, but…

      1. avatar kevin says:

        I’d much rather have a hi-point, and that’s saying something.

      2. avatar Art out West says:

        This isn’t a weapon. It is a farm tool, and should be priced accordingly. $30-40 sounds about right for this tool.

        Even as a farm tool, a used $100 Marlin 60 would be better.

        For a cheap weapon, I’d rather have a used $130 P3AT. I recently saw 2 at that price at my LGS. Of course I already have plenty of hanndguns.

    2. avatar CA ST says:

      I want to see one in 300blk.

  2. avatar Leslie says:

    Or a substitution for a Veterinarian’s Bolt Gun…

  3. avatar Stev says:

    Not for me, but this is odd enough to tickle someone’s fancy.

  4. avatar cgray says:

    Weapon of war high capacity clipazine you’re a school shooter if you own one Nazi Nazi Nazi.

    BAN IT!!!!!!!!!

    1. avatar Pier Delecto says:

      Shut up Bernie Sanders!

  5. avatar hawkeye says:

    That’s one interesting little heater.

    1. avatar napresto says:

      No no, it’s a gun, not a hair dryer…

      1. avatar hawkeye says:

        First thing I thought when I saw the pic is how much it resembles my heat gun, and also, to a lesser extent, the butane torch we use in the shop. If the the planets are all aligned at the time I see on available, I may get it for the novelty.

    2. avatar JBS says:

      This is a total piece of crap. I wouldn’t touch it, let alone buy one.

      For a low-budget go for a SCCY or Bursa.

  6. avatar Maude says:

    Buying two 9s next month. Neither will be single shot. What’s the point.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      What’s the point of a 4th and 5th 9mm auto-loader? What’s the point of watching the Super Bowl? What is the point of posting comments here? – Same thing.

  7. avatar Username says:

    So these will be made for a year, Altor will go out of business, and we’ll start seeing these in the hands of [redacted]?

  8. avatar Wiregrass says:

    You could throw it in your tool box and pass it off as glue gun I suppose.

    1. avatar David Bradford says:

      Kind of reminds me of something like this screwdriver handle. I think it would be easy to disguise this gun as a nut driver by fixing a socket over the barrel. https://m6w7e3p6.stackpathcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/18pcs-ratchet-t-handle-mini-screwdriver-multi-bit-socket-hex-tools-handle-diy-33317.jpg

      1. avatar Ken says:

        Really??? Hey! Wait a minute…That form factor would actually make MORE sense, if the trigger were on top of the gun, it could have a better grip factor with less interference on the trigger finger motion!

  9. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    The most obvious use for it is swap it for your ex wife’s hair dryer.

    1. avatar Benzo says:

      I was wondering what the point of this was, and you ‘splained it – thanks!

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      wicked good.

    3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Snot. Right on my phone.

    4. avatar jwm says:

      Nicely done.

  10. avatar JOHN THAYER says:

    It looks as if it could form the handle of a walking cane. Muzzle down into the shaft of the cane, grip serving as the cane’s handle.

    1. avatar GDog says:

      I really like this idea! If you were to increase the barrel to the length of the cane you would inherently increase the accuracy as well as the potency of the cartridge. If you took the specs to a machine shop you could have the handle made to fit your hand as well as have it made out of a more decorative material. You would have to design a recessed, sacrificial plug at the bottom to make sure you didn’t inadvertently obstruct the barrel while using it as a cane, but that wouldn’t be too difficult. With a +P Defensive hollow point loaded, you would have one formidable personal defense option that doubles as a striking weapon up close.

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        And chamber it in .357 mag.

      2. avatar Coolbreeze says:

        Cane that shoots. Already been done in the late 1800s.

      3. avatar Datahut says:

        Cane gun possibly, but not with a longer barrel. Just one that fits in the handle snugly. Not regular cane though, DME (Durable Medical Equipment) for seniors and disabled that need one.

        Even better, use two for a walker. Attacker gets up close, a concealed weapon is of no use to many handicapped needing a support. But perhaps yanking these out and using at close range is an option. Some may say it’s bad enough when someone who has one, raises cane. However, this is worth thinking about if I was in that position.

        1. avatar UpInArms says:

          I don’t know about that walker idea. How ya gonna attach the tennis balls so they don’t get in the way of the shot?

        2. avatar Datahut says:

          I think a tennis ball would be considered a suppressor requiring the usual tax, paperwork and waiting period.

      4. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “I really like this idea! If you were to increase the barrel to the length of the cane you would inherently increase the accuracy as well as the potency of the cartridge.”

        Registered as an NFA ‘Any Other Weapon’ for a 5-dollar tax stamp, 100 percent legal to own in most states…

  11. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    I could see this being a “vet pistol” as the B&T costs $2500! Otherwise I would see the Hi-Point C9 getting the nod tbh. Would buy one as a curio as mentioned. For $129 why not? I’ll bust it out and put 20 rounds through it once a year or something.

    1. avatar Tom Carlson says:

      Why not? Because it is $100 I could put toward a real firearm that has a real world use.

  12. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Neat! The only thing it needs is a threaded muzzle.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      …hold my beer

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Wasn’t that your last comment before your last visit to the ER?

    2. avatar Mater says:

      Wouldn’t that be neat… I really want a bolt action 9mm or 45 acp that isn’t custom.. would be quiet and cheap to shoot… 1911 or Glock mags would sell like hot cakes

  13. avatar MrBob says:

    No, just no.

  14. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    fits right on your work belt in a screw gun holder at the jobsite. no one the wiser.
    could be a jersey gun.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “fits right on your work belt in a screw gun holder at the jobsite. no one the wiser.”

      Cerakote it yellow with a DeWalt logo, you should be good-to-go…

  15. avatar Bill says:

    Um the B&T Vet pistol you linked is 5 shot, not single shot.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      While I think this gun is silly, it’s fair to note that the B&T costs thousands of dollars more.

  16. avatar turn about says:

    Is there really a large and willing market for this? The only use that I can see is (please excuse me) suicide.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      Ya, the main use I can think of for that is ‘ticket puncher’.

  17. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    and the cia deer gun has the wamo powermaster beat for value appreciation. one of them sold at auction for $22,000, a 628,500% increase over amf’s original cost (to produce).

    idjit.

  18. avatar jwm says:

    It’s a range toy. No problem with that. Make it in .410/.45 colt and it might be a decent pest gun.

    1. avatar Tom Carlson says:

      My range has a minimum of 7 yards to target. This is hardly good enough for that. At the reload speed this will take, the loading steps, poor trigger, terrible accuracy, terrible ergos… I would take most anything else as a range toy.

      This is $100 wasted on a curio that will be fired a few times and forgotten about. Better use for that $100 would be for ammo for something you already own.

      1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

        You just said what it is…a curio. There are definitely other, more superior guns for EDC, but this isn’t meant for that. It’s just a curio. Either buy it, or don’t.

  19. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    I can’t wait for the “EDC” video from some YouTube guru that has a rail, light, suppressor and red dot on it in a AIWB in FDE doing timed draws.

  20. avatar Connie says:

    I see the hair dryer in the photo. Where’s the gun?

  21. avatar Dan W says:

    Integral suppressor on it would be really cool.

  22. avatar what would spock say says:

    Vet gun, or maybe something a contractor hides in plain sight in his tool bag. has to be 2 or 3 other things that look just like it and arent firearms. at that price, who cares if it gets scratched up-just makes it look more like a hand tool of some sort.

  23. avatar Silphy says:

    hey TTAG, why are so many of your gun reviews no longer up but still linked? Broken links, or are the reviews actually gone?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Still linked where?

      1. avatar Silphy says:

        under reviews. Quick example is the review for the Arsenal 2011. It’s still up, but when I click the link, it goes to the front page and says “page not found” in my address bar.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Weird. Thanks.
          The reviews are not gone. Just broken links I guess.
          https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/gun-review-arsenal-af2011-a1-double-barrel-45acp/

          BTW, you can get to all of my reviews by going directly to jonwaynetaylor.com

  24. avatar George says:

    Maybe the Governor of Virginia will allow us to own one of these and maybe a musket when he’s done banning stuff .

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      He wouldn’t even let you keep a plastic straw for spitball use.

      1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        True enough Albany banned plastic drinking straws last year.

  25. avatar former water walker says:

    Nah…but I’d get one for 40bucks. OR I could customize my glue gun😃😎😏

  26. avatar Larry Dishong says:

    This article got me to thinking. So I took a look at The Gun Zone list of best Home Defense handguns for 2020. They had great choices from the Glock 19 Gen 4 ($499.99) to the Heckler & Koch VP9 9mm ($668.99). The seven guns that included prices averaged $580. Not bad for your primary home defense weapon. But if you find yourself in the bathroom when the intruder breaks in, and the Glock is in the bedroom – what would you do? Altor is the answer. At $129, you can have one stashed in the kitchen, one in the garage, one in the living room and, for this scenario, one in the toilet tank. The 100% stainless and nylon six construction guarentees the Altor will come out of the tank ready to fire as you retreat to the Altor in the living room and then to your Glock in the bedroom. For the cost of your Glock, you could buy 4 Altor ($516) – or stash four more Glocks for $2,000, The Altor is NOT your primary home defense weapon, but it IS a very, very inexpensive backup. And, according to Travis in his article above – the ALTOR NEVER fails to fire.

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      ” But if you find yourself in the bathroom when the intruder breaks in, and the Glock is in the bedroom – what would you do? ”

      I’d keep a Glock in the bathroom, too. Well, not a Glock ’cause I’m a Walther fan — but you get the idea.

      1. avatar Larry Dishong says:

        Thanks UpInArms. I totally agree – Except I don’t have $2,000 to stash Glocks (or Walther’s) around the house. What I really like about the Altor is Idea that for $516 I can get four emergency backup pistols and, if one shot is not enough to drop or discourage the bad guy – which it almost always is – I’ve got options to get to my way-more-expensive primary weapon. But more than that – the really interesting thing about the Altor is that it’s indestructible – 100% stainless / Nylon six and only has six moving parts. It can’t corrode, the trigger mechanism can’t fail and it’s reliability can’t be beaten at any price. This is an amazingly inexpensive, never-fail option for when your kids are asleep and the Walther is too far away. Of course, if I could afford it I would station those auto–tracking machine guns from the movie Aliens around the house. But for now I plan to stash Altors!

    2. avatar Chris says:

      A turd looks better than this gun. Which is probably what I’ll accidentally grab if I’m in a panic and sticking my hand in the toilet tank for a gun.

  27. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    For that price and novelty factor, I think I’ll get one just to throw in the safe and bust out in 20 years.

  28. avatar David says:

    The modern version of a zip gun

  29. avatar Tony Gracia says:

    First thought- it looks like a zip gun

  30. avatar Texican says:

    I like the cane gun idea! Anyone up to the task?

  31. avatar RedFlagRising says:

    Leave them lying around the makeup room on The View.

  32. avatar GS650G says:

    Buy one and turn it in to a gun buyback for 150 or more.

    1. avatar Jerms says:

      Good idea!

  33. avatar Bemused Berserker says:

    Not for me. It’s very much a niche gun.

  34. avatar Fredz says:

    A single shot pistol needs to be able to stop a truck, or it’s worthless!

  35. avatar IdahoBoy says:

    Looks like something you could blow your hand off with. “Rotate the barrel from safe to fire”.

    Even if not, this is just plain stupid.

  36. avatar Gerard says:

    The Federal Government should buy thousands of these and leave them laying around low income neighborhoods. It would solve a lot of problems…

  37. avatar Greg says:

    Why does this site have advertising from a company that is trying to sell a concealed carry firearm detection system? They claim it will save lives because it will give the police an 15 fifteen seconds of response time.

    1. avatar David Bradford says:

      Are you confusing Altor Corp with Athena Securty? I could not find anything related to Altor at all other than the single shot pistol.

  38. avatar Dick karr says:

    I want one

  39. avatar Hannibal says:

    I can see no role his gun could conceivably fill that another gun cannot do better for only slightly more cost.

    Take dispatching animals as an example. Why depend on a crude single shot 9mm for dispatching animals when there are so many better options at only slightly higher prices? Oops, I messed up the shot and now this horse is wounded and even more scared than it was before, let me just take the gun apart and fidget with a single cartridge while trying to avoid getting kicked in the head. At what point is the savings of a hundred dollars actually meaningful in this sort of situation? It’s not like someone deciding to get a hi-point because their ex is stalking them and they literally don’t have enough money to get anything else. Unless, of course, you’re in a jurisdiction where literally everything else is illegal.

    Not much of a range toy either. A novelty? I guess. People have odd tastes. An assassination weapon like the liberator? That’s certainly the idea behind this kind of gun. But even assassins can find much more effective firearms in the US. I doubt most criminals would try and use this, might as well just make a zip-gun.

    Cheap suicide? I suppose. Don’t miss, though, or it’s going to be embarrassing trying to reload that thing for another try (there’s a lot of people who screw up even firearm suicide).

  40. avatar Wally1 says:

    Sorry, I don’t get it. not when I just saw a single shot 20 gauge break open shotgun for $119 at my local Sportsman’s Warehouse. Hard to beat a breach break open shotgun for that price, makes much more sense for a cheap home defense weapon than this ridiculous pistol. .

  41. avatar Brace of pistols says:

    As a backpacker and backcountry hunter, weight is a primary interest. If these could get the weight down a few more ounces or lengthen the barrel enough to hit a grouse at 40 ft. I’d be interested.

    If it came as a pack of 4 in a clamshell at the Cabela’s checkout for $99, I’d stash them here and there with the cheap flashlights and multitools.

    Might be a lightweight useful option when trapping or when hunting with a high powered rifle, as a less meat ruining Coup de grâce tool.

    For self defense- talk about New York reloads.

  42. avatar Brace of pistols says:

    Flare cartridges?

  43. avatar Mike says:

    I love how this website has turned into just another shill gun publication, who spreads it for sponsorship and free swag.

    1. avatar Travis Pike says:

      What has Altor sponsored? I have to return this gun too. What free swag did I get? I had to pay the transfer fee and background check, and pay for the ammo to shoot it. I’m curious if you can tell me where I’m supposed to get all this free stuff at?

  44. avatar Fun Gunner says:

    Basically, this is a cane gun without the cane.

    I wonder if some enterprising individual will offer “holsters” that are three feet long, made of painted hollow aluminum, with a durable but open lower tip.

    1. avatar Fun Gunner says:

      ….and I clearly didn’t see all the other comments about cane guns before writing this. Doh.

  45. avatar PHILLIP JOSEPH KLEINMANN says:

    Way overpriced for what it is.

  46. avatar Roger says:

    I just got a 9MM Altor for my collection. Pretty cool to get something new for only 130 delivered. It is very well made. I got a Standard Mfg 22Mag 2 barrel S333 and holster in Feb 2020. Last year 2019 I got the Trailblazer Life Card 22LR and a 22Mag barrel. The Cellphone gun touted the last couple years never materialized. Again I like the different guns. Life is good.

    1. avatar HoundDogDave says:

      Always wanted a Freedom Arms 22lr belt buckle…just because.

  47. avatar Carey J says:

    It’s a factory zip gun.

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