Auto rounds in revolver?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Vladimir, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Issaquah WA
    I have seen very few revolvers that are designed/capable of shooting auto rounds, and I was just wondering why this is. Say what you will about any round, but is there a specific reason no one (or no one big) is making a revolver that can shoot the same rounds I'm putting through my auto? Sure would be nice to only have to buy one caliber :rolleyes:.

    Just wondering if there is an actual reason other than "that's the way it is."
  2. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Interesting. I always thought it was a matter of supply. Given vast quantities of .45acp and not so many .45 Colt, a little machining and some half or full moon clips, and your away!

  3. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Issaquah WA
    Thats what I've seen before, some .45ACP revolvers- not sure if they were manufactured or machined that way, saw them at some gun shows. Specifically I'd love a .40 or even 9mm heh. Seems like there should be a reason they aren't made, otherwise it could be an awfully lucrative business deal you would think. I mean S&W comes out with the first/only 9mm revolver, regardless of what people think about 9mm etc. it is going to sell decently.
  4. artabr

    artabr New Member

    The S&W 547 was a 9mm revolver, the S&W 610 was a 10mm revolver ( I think it also could fire the 40 S&W, I might be wrong on this.)
    Korth chambered their revolvers in 9mm. (if you had about 5 or 6 grand :eek: :D).
    Ruger had the SP 101 and the Speed - Six in 9mm. They also chambered the Blackhawk in 9mm, 10mm, 40 S&W and 45ACP. They also chambered it in .30 carbine, while not a pistol cartridge, it is a rimless semi-auto type round.
    Tarus and some of the lesser known makers also produce or did produce such revolvers.

  5. Vladimir

    Vladimir New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Issaquah WA
    Thanks, there must be a reason they didn't really take off, which would explain why they aren't made much today (at least that I can find).
  6. artabr

    artabr New Member

    I think the main reason for slow sales was the fact with a semi-auto you could carry twice the amount of loaded ammo in a package that was just about the same size. Ruger and Tarus may still make 9mm revolvers, it's just that they are not that common.

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  7. PPK 32

    PPK 32 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2008
    Frickin, Illinois
    Good point, never really thought about it. And just to add to this, my Berreta which will hold 15 rounds has all that weight in the grip, not over your hand. Don't know if this would make a lot of difference, just something else to add.
  8. From what I've seen of Ruger, the .45acp and 9mm revolvers are offered as a combo option to the .357/.38 and .45 Colt. It's really not a bad idea. If your 1911 or XD or whatever is not available for whatever reason, you can just switch cylinders in your Ruger and feed it .45acp or 9mm in a pinch.

    One of my favorite revolvers is a S&W 1917. It's a .45acp that was made to issue during WW1 when 1911 production couldn't keep up. S&W recently began making them again.

    On the .40 S&W in revolvers...revolver manufacturers already have the .45 and .355/9mm barrels, cylinders, dies, tools, etc etc in great quantity. .40 S&W has no common rimmed equivalent, and there is no great advantage in a .40 S&W revolver to create enough demand to design one, so there's not really any reasonable profit to expect from building a revolver chambered as such.
  9. artabr

    artabr New Member

    Years ago I had a Blackhawk .357/9mm combo. I loved it but I sold it. I'm a FOOL.:eek: :D Thats another one for Tanter's list in the G.D. forum.

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2008
  10. Mostly because they are pretty much a PITA, Vlad. The only way to get an un-rimmed cartridge to work properly in a revolver is with a moon or half-moon clip, which is slow to load, rather awkward to carry, and the clips themselves are easy to lose. Most auto rounds headspace on the top of the cartridge case, not on the rim, so they will usually work in a properly chambered revolver even without the moon clips, but unfortunately the revolver ejector won't grab them and eject them; the rim is not wider than the casing as with revolver cartridges. They have to be unloaded one at a time.
  11. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2008
  12. Cool article. How could ya not love a 1917:D

    Isn't the dimensions of the Colt 1917 a bit bigger than the S&W?

    The finish on all of them varied a lot, but I have to say overall the S&W had a better looking finish usually than Colt. Of course that was probably no big concern to the guy holstering it in muddy trenches, but looking at the ones out there about 90 years later I have to say some of those S&W were pretty enough that a German should be proud to get shot by them.

    Here's a pic of a modern S&W 22-4 1917 NIB with color case hardened frame. I've seen pics of a few originals that match.

    Attached Files:

    • 1917.jpg
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  13. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    One advantage that a 45 auto revolver has over a regular revolver with speed loaders is the loaded clips are very fast, read faster on the reload. They can be carried as a speedloader would and the 45 acp is a great fight stopper. Granted the loading and unloading of the moon clips is a pain and a tool us usually used to do so. The revolver will fire repeatedly if it's limp wristed, shot upside down and is safe.
  14. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Couple of thoughts, first I recall seeing an Israeli revolver on 9mm p, looked like a Smith K frame. I think they were around in the 60s.

    Interestingly the overlap between auto's and revolvers goes further than you might think.

    One of the main reasons for the success of the Glock in police sales is that it operates like a revolver, as in draw and fire. Thus they required little in the way of re training. A sort of revolver with more ammunition.
  15. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Back at the original question.....

    The primary reason is that most semi-auto pistol rounds are rimless, and most revolver cartridges are rimmed.

    Rimmed cartridges don't feed thru a box magazine well, so they're not generally used in semi-autos.

    Rimless cartridges generally don't headspace or extract well in a revolver without using "moon clips" (which, as PS says, are a PITA).
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