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Old June 27, 2011, 11:47 AM   #1
BGutzman
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Why to Magnums and Supermagnums have such few offerings in Semi Autos?

Magnums and Super Magnums always seem to be far more available in Revolvers than Semi Autos, so my question is why?

As just one example the 45 Win Mag seems to me in concept to be a teriffic idea but then when you do a little reading on it the concept seems to have been almost stillborn from birth and yet the idea itself has a lot of value.

Just to be clear I am not making this about any one design but rather as a general statment of Magnums and Supermagnums overall.

What do you think?
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Old June 27, 2011, 11:57 AM   #2
kurmudgon
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It's the power/energy to weight ratio.

More energy requires weight/mass to resist it.
Then the slides get wide and/or tall in an effort to get the weight. Grizzly with the stepped sides comes to mind.

Recoil springs are not as big a factor as most shooters think.
They help, but they are there to feed the next round.

Best, Kur
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Old June 27, 2011, 12:27 PM   #3
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Also the length of the cartridge can become a factor, necessitating grips with a long front to rear measurement which a revolver avoids.
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Old June 27, 2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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Exactly. A revolver passes the recoil energy on to the shooter to absorb, while autos must utilize that energy for function, while still maintaining a practical size and weight (and level of durability). I'd say a lot of the "super" magnum revolvers are pushing the practical size/weight limit, too. A buddy of mine hunted with a slick little Contender carbine that could be slung over the shoulder, and that seems a lot more practical than a similar-sized revolver with no buttstock.
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Old June 27, 2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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.500 S&W Overall length 2.250 in
.45ACP Overall length 1.260 in

Since many people have complaints about the circumference of a 1911 grip which was designed for the .45 ACP; imagine if you added the needed amount to the circumference for the .500 S&W! Very few people could grip the handgun.

This assumes a design which has the magazine contained in the grip of the handgun, and not something like a boomhandle design.
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Old June 27, 2011, 01:39 PM   #6
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Great pic!
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Old June 27, 2011, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Since many people have complaints about the circumference of a 1911 grip which was designed for the .45 ACP
The combination of grip circumference and trigger reach - which really determines how readily a gun can be handled - is smaller on the 1911 than on a lot of modern 9mm pistols. Of course, you don't get something for nothing, and having 15-20 little bullets on tap will create a large grip frame. Someone who can comfortably shoot a 1911 may have trouble with its replacement, the M9.
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Old June 27, 2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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Two other reasons that haven't been mentioned...

Most Magnums originated as revolver rounds and have rims. It's harder to make rimmed cartridges feed well in an autoloader, and they stack in an arched shape, which makes reliable high-capacity magazines difficult to design. One of the major reasons people prefer automatics is their ability to hold 10-17 rounds vs. 5-7 rounds; if a pistol can only hold 7-9 rounds, the advantage over a revolver is much less significant.

Autoloaders generally can't utilize lower-powered alternate cartridges for low-recoil practice unless the shooter is willing to cycle the action manually and/or continually clear jams. Sure, you can use lower-powered rounds in some pistols by swapping recoil springs, but most shooters don't have the initiative or desire to swap parts before they can switch ammo, and one has to figure out which springs work with which loads before this is a viable strategy.
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