The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 7, 2010, 01:08 PM   #1
greywalker
Member
 
Join Date: June 27, 2008
Location: the midwest
Posts: 82
Will 9mm para work in charter arms pitbull chambered for 9mm federal

So the thread title pretty much says it all- I have found and am looking at a charter arms pitbull in 9mm federal, but have no desire to reload for it, or attempt to find the mystical unicorn that is a box of 9mm federal.... so I am wondering if this puppy will chamber and fire 9mm para, or if its a paper weight..... I know already that it will not work with moon clips, and that it will of course not extract with para ammo, provided it will fire it...

Thanks for any info.....
greywalker is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 01:59 PM   #2
Jim March
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,309
I've never heard of a chambering called "9mm Federal". Can you link to the gun in question?
__________________
Jim March
Jim March is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 02:34 PM   #3
greywalker
Member
 
Join Date: June 27, 2008
Location: the midwest
Posts: 82
I am not link savy- the cartridge was a bright idea by charter arms and federal, to , in 1989, build a revolver around a new cartridge which was a rimmed 9mm +p- think of .45 auto rim... Only charter made a weapon chambered for it, and federal soon found that you could slide the 9mm federal right into old .38 s+W guns- and in fear of terrible liability, they dropped it immediately... there were few made, and I am a lover of 9mm revolvers, so I have interest if it can work with 9mm para
greywalker is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 02:37 PM   #4
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,985
The main reason why it was dropped is because Charter Arms, the only manufacturer of the gun, went belly up months after announcing it, and after selling only a few dozen to a few hundred of the guns.

Federal didn't see any reason to support an instantly obsolete revolver, so they never shipped the majority of the ammunition that was made for it.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 02:50 PM   #5
hammie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2009
Location: Glendale, AZ
Posts: 570
I'm thinking that 9x19 mm para might chamber and fire in it. I found a table on wikipedia that gave the overall case lengths and the length was 0.754 for both 9 x 19mm para and 9mm federal. The overall loaded lengths were also the same. The question will be if the chamber was also cut to provide headspacing on a 9x19 cartridge mouth at the proper depth.
hammie is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 03:23 PM   #6
WC145
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2008
Location: Downeast Maine
Posts: 1,441
I don't know that the 9MM Para would head space on the case mouth. I'm something of a 9mm revolver buff and have looked up all kinds of history and info on the 9MM Federal and the Pit Bull and have never come across any reference of the rimless 9mm working in a Pit Bull. If it did I think they'd be a lot more popular and more expensive than they are.
__________________
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
WC145 is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 03:36 PM   #7
jhgreasemonkey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2006
Location: 46.199ºN 122.188ºW by way of Tacoma Wa
Posts: 2,236
It turns out the cylinder wall is tapered to accomidate 9x19. Who knew? lol
__________________
S&W 5906 9mm, FN commercial Mauser .270 win, Winchester 94 .30-30, Ruger Redhawk .44 mag, Ruger 10/22 .22lr, Ruger P-95 9mm, Savage 110 .30-06, Norinco SKS 7.62x39mm
I support our constitutional right to arm bears.

Last edited by jhgreasemonkey; August 7, 2010 at 06:38 PM.
jhgreasemonkey is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 04:01 PM   #8
Quantrill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 1999
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 725
According to my latest "Cartridges of the World", 9mm para will fit amd is safe to fire, but there may be extraction problems. The original 9mm Federal had a 115gr. bullet at 1280fps out of a 4inch barrel.
Quantrill is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 04:36 PM   #9
Webleymkv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 9,888
Look into the chambers. If you see a step machined into them, then 9mm will probably headspace and fire correctly. However, as the extractor has no rim to bear against, empty cases will probably have to be poked out of the cylinder with a pencil or similar instrument.

I don't know how collectible these Charter revolvers are, but you could always have a gunsmith machine the cylinder to allow the use of moonclips.
__________________
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures. -J. Caesar
Webleymkv is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 05:18 PM   #10
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,447
The 9mm Parabellum (aka 9mm Luger) will fit and fire in the Charter revolvers chambered in 9mm Federal, but cases, fired or unfired, must be removed manually or by gravity/inertia. That revolver was intended for police officers who preferred a revolver for plain clothes or off-duty carry but wanted to be able to use issue 9mm ammunition if necessary.

The use of 9mm Federal in old revolvers was a real concern; the cartridge is loaded to 9mm P. pressures, and its use in old guns intended for the .38 S&W could damage the gun and injure the shooter. The reverse, use of the .38 S&W in the Charter Arms revolver is precluded because the straight case will not fit in the tapered chamber and also the case is too long.

9mm Federal cases can be made from .38 S&W cases by running them through a 9mm sizing die, trimming to .754" and loading with a 9mm bullet.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is online now  
Old August 7, 2010, 06:21 PM   #11
greywalker
Member
 
Join Date: June 27, 2008
Location: the midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks for that info- If anyone has any more data, or owns one, feel free to chime in- oh, and jim, if you dont mind me asking, where is your data coming from- It sounds like it is correct, and makes sense for what the target market was, but I want to avoid making a $200 mistake.......
greywalker is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 07:13 PM   #12
tekarra
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 26, 2007
Posts: 1,108
Jim Keenan hit the nail on the head. I was looking to buy the Charter, but they disappeared too soon.
tekarra is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 07:18 PM   #13
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,447
My info came from the reviews when they came out, and from the one gun I have seen. I don't own one, because it would have no advantage for me over a regular .38 Special or .357.

In the process of police shifting over to auto pistols, there were a lot of old timers who wanted to keep a revolver. There were also departments, especially in France, who felt that the public would consider a revolver less militaristic and threatening than an auto pistol, yet they did not want to pass up free 9mm ammo from the army.

It was that vision of a large contract that led S&W (and others) to develop revolvers with extractors that would extract a rimless cartridge without using moon clips. Ultimately, none were really successful, nor was the Charter Arms/Federal alternative.

Jim
__________________
Jim K

Last edited by James K; August 7, 2010 at 07:25 PM.
James K is online now  
Old August 7, 2010, 09:13 PM   #14
Jim March
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 14, 1999
Location: Pittsburg, CA, USA
Posts: 7,309
Wow. Learn something new every day!

Yeah...I'm thinking having it machined for moon clips would be way cool.

Check one thing first though: make sure this is a five-shot built on 44Spl size frame for strength, and THEN see if moons for a J-class 9mm will even fit.

(scratches head)

I can think of one admittedly weird possibility: take snap-rings that are as thin as you can get, and put them on the shells with a snap-ring tool...kinda like "single moons" sorta-kinda. They're also known as "circlips" and there's a standard tool for stretching them bigger or smaller as you put them on something.

Might mess up the headspace, might not. It'd be worth trying...
__________________
Jim March
Jim March is offline  
Old August 7, 2010, 09:38 PM   #15
WC145
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2008
Location: Downeast Maine
Posts: 1,441
Quote:
Jim Keenan hit the nail on the head. I was looking to buy the Charter, but they disappeared too soon.
When were you looking? The Pit Bulls were made in the early '90s.


Quote:
Check one thing first though: make sure this is a five-shot built on 44Spl size frame for strength, and THEN see if moons for a J-class 9mm will even fit.
They were built on the small .38spl frame.


The quote below is from an old post on Brian Enos' forum, apparently the 9mm Para will not headspace on the case mouth, it may be that the chambers are only tapered and they weren't intended for use with anything but the 9mm Federal. I don't know if anyone cuts Charter cyls for moonclips but you could check with Mark Hartshorne www.pinnacle-guns.com, he did the work on my 9x23 S&W 360J.

Quote:
I guess this is what happens when you have no idea of what "9mm Federal" means. I thought I was buying a small revolver that could shoot the standard 9mm, .... was I surprised to realize it required a rimmed cartridge.

Has anyone owned one of these, and is there a way to get it to fire 9mm? The 9mm ammo chambers fine, but the firing pin won't reach. I wonder if moon clips might help
?
__________________
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Last edited by WC145; August 7, 2010 at 09:46 PM.
WC145 is offline  
Old August 8, 2010, 02:45 AM   #16
natman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Posts: 1,429
There's lots of talk about using moonclips. Where any of the appropriate size ever made?
natman is offline  
Old August 8, 2010, 02:48 AM   #17
natman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Posts: 1,429
Quote:
I've never heard of a chambering called "9mm Federal". Can you link to the gun in question?
Try this:

Last edited by natman; August 8, 2010 at 02:17 PM.
natman is offline  
Old August 8, 2010, 06:41 AM   #18
WC145
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2008
Location: Downeast Maine
Posts: 1,441
Quote:
There's lots of talk about using moonclips. Where any of the appropriate size ever made?
Not specifically for Charter Arms, however, if the cylinder dimensions are the same as the S&W J-frame, S&W 940 moonclips should work once the cylinder is machined to accept them.
__________________
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
WC145 is offline  
Old August 8, 2010, 10:45 AM   #19
EdInk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2009
Posts: 3,967
Sounds like more trouble than it's worth to me. I'd say just keep/sell it as an oddball collector piece.
__________________
Sic Semper Tyrannis
EdInk is offline  
Old August 8, 2010, 02:24 PM   #20
natman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2008
Posts: 1,429
The 9mm Federal revolver was a 5 shot so 940 moonclips might work. Personally I'd contact the seller at this auction who claims to have ammo available:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=183105386

$100 a box is steep, but personally I'd bite the bullet and end up with 50 reloadable brass that should last for quite a while and not have to modify the gun.

Last edited by natman; August 8, 2010 at 02:29 PM.
natman is offline  
Old August 8, 2010, 03:07 PM   #21
Quantrill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 1999
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 725
I wonder if reloading tools are available for it. Probably could use 9mmLuger for dies but what to use for the shellholder. Kind of interesting, eh?
Quantrill is offline  
Old August 8, 2010, 11:33 PM   #22
greywalker
Member
 
Join Date: June 27, 2008
Location: the midwest
Posts: 82
well, I decided to take a pass on the one I found at the shop- I figure that while I could pick it up uber cheap, its not worth the chance that its just a paper weight- btw, for anyone interested, I have found mentions of reloading for 9mm fed by cutting down .38 special or by loading 9mm bullets into .38 S+W cases with the appropriate charge or powder- I dont reload as of yet, so it would pretty well be a wash for me if it doesn't take 9mm para as well.... Thanks to all for the info and ideas, if nothing else it was educational...
greywalker is offline  
Old August 10, 2010, 01:58 PM   #23
Bart Noir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2000
Location: Puget Sound, USA
Posts: 1,618
Jim K is quite right, the .38 S&W can be turned into the 9mm Federal. I've got a few of those 'converted' rounds lying around somewhere.

But not so the .38 S&W Special. The case diameter is not the same as that of the .38 S&W.

Quote:
If you see a step machined into them, then 9mm will probably headspace and fire correctly.
Does not every centerfire revolver have a step inside the cylinder? This is because the bullets fit inside the case and hence there is a step where the case ends and the exposed bullet begins.

Bart Noir
__________________
“There’s a rattle in my glove box,
A Federal twelve-gauge slug.” – Adam Carroll in song Porter Wagoner
Bart Noir is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11321 seconds with 7 queries