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  1. #1
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    Notes on the 9mm Revolver

    During World War I the U.S. Army purchased many revolvers chambered for the .45ACP. This was made possible by increasing the headspace to allow a steel clip, holding three cartridges, to be used. This clip was necessary to allow the cartridge to seat properly in Colt revolvers, the S&W revolvers headspacing on the case mouth. (Colt revolvers were ultimately so chambered.) However, both guns depended on the clips for ejection.

    While a stopgap method, at least one gun was tried during WW II in .30 Carbine.

    In the late 'forties, Israel adapted a double action revolver, a copy of the S&W Military and Police Model (Of late dubbed the Model 10) in 9mm. This because of the popularity of 9mm as a SMG round.

    Ruger offered a Blackhawk revolver with in .357 Magnum with optional 9mm cylinder. The rod-ejecting Blackhawk didn't require any clips, so no problem. Then both Smith, Ruger, and Charter offered 9mm revolvers, though these required clips. Smith toyed with an extraction system that eliminated the need for clips, but it never worked as expected and was short livesd.

    Somehow, the logic of using auto pistol cartridges in auto pistols, and revolver cartridges in revolvers, momentarily escapes the best of designers. These lapses are primarily of benefit to the arms collectors.

    Bob Wright

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  3. #2
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Revolvers that use auto pistol rounds with full-moon clips are much faster to reload than guns demanding conventional push/twist speedloaders. Auto cartridges are also generally shorter that revolver cartridges (9mm vs. .357, for example), and this also makes them faster to load.

    I like the idea of 9mm and .45 ACP revolvers. The faster/simpler reloading ameliorates at least one deficiency of the revolver compared to the auto as a fighting tool. If I had to carry a revolver for defense or duty, rather than my preferred Glock, I'd vastly prefer one using an auto cartridge and moon clips. I'd probably choose 9mm, since .45 ACP revolvers are generally pretty big and unwieldy (though I used to have a Smith 625-2 that I liked).

    I don't really see a disadvantage to the moon clips, unless you are dextrous and cool enough to accomplish a "tactical" revolver reload under fire. Even then, I guess you could carry a combination of full-moon and half-moon clips.
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  4. #3
    hberttmank's Avatar
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    I have a 625 that I am quite happy with. It is very accurate and will shoot any 45 auto load no matter what bullet profile or load, something not all autos will do. I don't think there is a revolver made that is quicker to reload. Just ask Jerry Miculek.

  5. #4
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Yep and I seen it. 12 shots in 2.9secs with 1 reload and in the target. JM is amazing.

  6. #5
    Revolver's Avatar
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    I agree with you Bob. Moonclips give the revolver a severe disadvantage that the auto pistol already has pretty well covered. Demand is low for such a design so that manufacturers don't see a lot of profit in it. There are a larger amount of revolver chamberings available that an automatic round chambered revolver only fulfills a logistical purpose.
    That's why they won't pursue such a design.

  7. #6
    jimg11 is offline Member
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    Unhappy 9mm Revolver

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wright View Post
    During World War I the U.S. Army purchased many revolvers chambered for the .45ACP. This was made possible by increasing the headspace to allow a steel clip, holding three cartridges, to be used. This clip was necessary to allow the cartridge to seat properly in Colt revolvers, the S&W revolvers headspacing on the case mouth. (Colt revolvers were ultimately so chambered.) However, both guns depended on the clips for ejection.

    While a stopgap method, at least one gun was tried during WW II in .30 Carbine.

    In the late 'forties, Israel adapted a double action revolver, a copy of the S&W Military and Police Model (Of late dubbed the Model 10) in 9mm. This because of the popularity of 9mm as a SMG round.

    Ruger offered a Blackhawk revolver with in .357 Magnum with optional 9mm cylinder. The rod-ejecting Blackhawk didn't require any clips, so no problem. Then both Smith, Ruger, and Charter offered 9mm revolvers, though these required clips. Smith toyed with an extraction system that eliminated the need for clips, but it never worked as expected and was short livesd.

    Somehow, the logic of using auto pistol cartridges in auto pistols, and revolver cartridges in revolvers, momentarily escapes the best of designers. These lapses are primarily of benefit to the arms collectors.

    Bob Wright
    There were the 547 k frame S&W guns in the early 1980s that did not require a half or full moon clip which were pretty neat but not something anyone really needs unless there is an ammo requirement but not a gun style requirement. Smith & wesson also made the 940 DAO j frame in 9mm that did use a clip. While the 1917 and etc. .45 ACP revolvers could use the .45 Auto Rim round instead of .45 acp+clips I believe that the 9mm rim revolver round was not thick enough in the rim to be used in the S&W 940 or the Ruger 9mm revolvers. Kind of a silly concept.

  8. #7
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolver View Post
    I agree with you Bob. Moonclips give the revolver a severe disadvantage that the auto pistol already has pretty well covered. Demand is low for such a design so that manufacturers don't see a lot of profit in it. There are a larger amount of revolver chamberings available that an automatic round chambered revolver only fulfills a logistical purpose.
    That's why they won't pursue such a design.
    Huh. I wasn't aware that greatly increased reloading speed was a "severe disadvantage."

    Demand is indeed relatively low, except among shooters who need to reload revolvers quickly (as in ICORE, IDPA, defense, etc.). It's not simply logistical. It's highly practical if you need to shoot and reload quickly, and prefer a revolver for whatever reason, whether it be the rules of a particular game or because you think revolvers are better for defense.

    Obviously it's not relevant for hunting or casual range shooting, but it's not impractical.
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  9. #8
    Revolver's Avatar
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    I didn't say it was impractical. The requirement of an ammunition holding device is a disadvantage. I like being able to top of the cylinder and be able to load my revolver when I've emptied my Safarilands. Moonclips don't allow for this just as a magazine does not.

  10. #9
    hberttmank's Avatar
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    You can load and shoot the 625 without moonclips. The moonclips do make it a lot easier to extract the empties.

  11. #10
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolver View Post
    I didn't say it was impractical. The requirement of an ammunition holding device is a disadvantage. I like being able to top of the cylinder and be able to load my revolver when I've emptied my Safarilands. Moonclips don't allow for this just as a magazine does not.
    Right - a tactical reload, like I said. You can get half-moon clips that allow you to reload three rounds - a tactical reload that seems much less likely to cause fumbling than juggling a couple of loose rounds.

    Autos are far simpler to tactically reload (or "top off"), of course. Assuming you have a spare magazine, which you should.

    Of course my perspective is defensive; none of this matters in casual range shooting or hunting. For those uses, a conventional revolver is just as good as one that uses moon clips. For anything that requires speed of reloading, a conventional revolver pales next to one that uses moon clips.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  12. #11
    Spenser is offline Member
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    I've thought for quite awhile that a revolver cylinder should be able to be adapted to kick out auto cartridges like 9mm and 45 acp, so as to dispense with the moon clips altogether. I'd love a swing-out cylinder revolver chambered in .40 that I could reload with a speed loader, and I think quite a few of us would as well.

    I wonder what Smith has tried to pull this system off? I also wonder what the failures were, how long ago, and could they be fixed now?

    If there's a market force driving the research, it can be done.

  13. #12
    jimg11 is offline Member
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    Talking notes on 9mm revolver

    Quote Originally Posted by Spenser View Post
    I wonder what Smith has tried to pull this system off? I also wonder what the failures were, how long ago, and could they be fixed now?

    If there's a market force driving the research, it can be done.
    The S&W Model 547worked quite well and they made up a fair number (10270) of 3" & 4" barreled M&P revolvers which sold between 1980 and 1985. But why do you need a 9mm revolver unless there is some reason you are issued 9mm ammo that you need to carry and you prefer a revolver. Most would prefer a 15 round semi auto with the same round. If I am to carry a M&P revolver I would prefer it to be in 357 magnum.

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