Del-Ton’s Compact DT20 9mm Pistol Has High Capacity and a Unique Design

Del-Ton has been around in the AR world for a good number of years, first as a parts supplier and later as a manufacturer of complete rifles. It’s always been AR-related products though, so imagine my surprise when I popped in at SHOT to see what kind of retro carry handle goodness they were offering for the show and saw a compact carry pistol on display.

It’s honestly easy enough to write off another new compact 9mm as one of dozens you’ll see at SHOT. They tend to blend together and many have pretty similar specs and features. I’m glad I stopped and got the details on the new DT20 though, because it really is something different.

On the surface the DT20 is a compact 9mm striker-fired pistol. It has a 12+1 capacity, a 3.3-inch barrel, a slide width under one inch, and a weight of about 17 ounces. It’s compact, and feels good in the hand. It’ll probably make a great EDC pistol, but none of that is terribly unique in today’s market, other than the 12-round capacity, which gives it a 2-shot edge over most guns its size with the flush fit factory mag.

Okay, so that’s a nice edge, but still not a huge difference. The difference I found is in how it’s designed, and what that means to the user.

Whereas most striker-fired pistols have the sear in the grip and striker assembly in the slide, the DT20 has both contained in the slide. Generally ATF classifies the frame of the gun the part that needs to be serialized due to the location of the sear thanks to ATF’s arcane firearms definitions that frankly make my brain hurt and doesn’t actually conform to the way most handguns are made today.

What this means is that ATF somewhat arbitrarily decides (although usually in conjunction with the manufacturer) what part needs to be serialized. We’ve come to expect it being the grip frame in most cases (modular designs like the SIG P320 P365 and Springfield Echelon are exceptions). With Del-Ton incorporating both the sear and the striker in the slide, that makes the slide the serialized part by any definition…even the ATF’s.

So why does this matter?

Well for one thing, the proximity of the sear and striker in the slide make for a short, light trigger pull. I’m not an engineer, but if I understood the explanation correctly, it’s basically a shorter travel distance between the sear and striker which requires less effort to disengage. Trigger pull is six pounds (and feels less), but it’s very smooth with a clean break. That naturally enhances shootability and accuracy. That’s a bonus.

The other big bonus is that the user can swap out frames as easily as you can swap out grips on a revolver. Since the frame isn’t a serialized part you can switch out to whatever the market decides it wants.

Want a different color? No problem. A larger grip? Sure. A smaller one? The gun’s already pretty small, but it’s possible. Different grip textures or shapes? Absolutely.

This also allows for third party manufacturers to give you options as well. Plastic is comparatively cheap, so getting new frames should be easy and affordable if the design takes off. Just look at the aftermarket universe of SIG P320 grip modules as an example of what you could see.

The DT20 is a nicely featured, compact EDC pistol at an affordable $499.99 MSRP. When you factor in its unique design and potential for factory and aftermarket options down the road, it should make a very viable competitor for pistols like the SIG P365, GLOCK 43, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, the Taurus GX4 Micro Compact and many many more.

The Del-Ton DT20 is expected to be released in the second quarter of 2024.

DT20 Specifications:

  • 9mm Micro Compact Pistol
  • Chambered 9 x 19 mm
  • Striker fired pistol
  • Double Stack Magazine, Flush Fitting, Capacity 12 + 1
  • Barrel length, 3.3″
  • Nitride Slide, width under 1″
  • Trigger pull, 6 lbs
  • 17oz w/o magazine
  • Single flat wire recoil spring
  • Patented Trigger System
  • Standard industry dovetail to allow aftermarket sights
  • Ships with 2 Magazines
  • MSRP: $499.99



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