Altor Pistol: Bizarro Single-Shot Pistol

The Altor pistol is chambered in either 9mm or .380 ACP. (Photo: Altor Corp.)

Every now and then, you come across a gun that causes a double-take. “What is that?” You ask. The Altor pistol is one such gun. I was curious to find out more about Altor, so I  headed to the source -- inventor, Alex Malcolm. 

Alex Malcolm, the inventor of the Altor pistol. (Photo: Altor Corp.)


As a biochemist with a degree in business, the Altor is Malcolm’s first foray into the firearms world. Prior to this, he focused primarily on health and medical products. The Altor design stemmed back to Malcom's formative years in Newark, New Jersey. Feeling somewhat unsafe, especially at night, he wanted a carry gun of sorts; but at the time, he couldn’t afford one.

“I wish that I had an Altor pistol back then,” he said.

Fast forward a few years, Malcolm saw the need for a simple and inexpensive self-defense gun. “My initial design criteria that it would be accurate at 3-yards,” he said.

Cut-away sketch of the Altor. (Courtesy: Altor Corp.)

Having no experience making guns, he hired competent people that did. Over the course of a few years, they designed, manufactured, and tested various designs until the pistol was ready.

On Jan. 22, 2020, the Altor was unveiled at SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. A simple, affordable and strange-looking piece, it created a buzz.


A striker-fired, single-shot pistol chambered in either 9mm or .380 Auto, the Altor features six parts in total. To load, rotate and remove the barrel, fix a live round on the firing pin, and then replace the barrel. There's even a holster for carry. 

The Altor holstered for carry.  (Photo: Altor Corp.) 

Although it's marketed as a "single-shot self-defense pistol," Malcolm doesn't intend for it to compete with revolvers or semi-automatic handguns. He offers it is an affordable alternative or backup gun.

According to Malcolm, the gun is very safe. “You have to take three actions to fire the gun. You have to release the button safety. You have to turn the barrel safety to fire. And then you have to pull the trigger,” he explained.

The gun comes with a lifetime warranty. “We’ve had remarkably few people complaining about anything at all,” Malcolm told Six months into selling it, the Altor is doing well. 

The Altor pistol is available at

In the near future, Malcolm plans to add more colors and barrel lengths to the Altor lineup. He’s even considering chambering one in .223 Rem. 


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