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Old January 29, 2013, 07:21 AM   #1
GRyder
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9mm in a revolver??

I'm a noob to hand gun so this might be a dumb question. I know revolver ammos are rimmed and semi are rimless but there are some revolvers that shoot 9mm and 45acp. Do these revolvers have special cylinders to hold the ammo or are there no such revolvers
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:26 AM   #2
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They use "moon clips" to hold the ammo. They are an awesome platform for easy ammo carry and fast reloads.
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:38 AM   #3
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Ruger makes convertible Blackhawks that come in .357/9mm and 45 Colt/45ACP combos. I wouldn't mind having one(or both )

http://www.ruger.com/products/newMod...le/models.html
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Old January 29, 2013, 12:17 PM   #4
GRyder
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Doesn't the moon clip just hold the ammo for quick reload? I guess what I'm confused about is wouldn't the 9mm or 45acp just slide around in the cylinders because it's rimless?
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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No, the moonclip is inserted into the cylinder along with the cartriges. So the cartriges do not move around.

Here's a Hickok45 video that shows moon clip use. Right around the 2 minute mark in the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m55H...ture=endscreen
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:35 PM   #6
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It's not a dumb question at all. Since I like explaining things thoroughly, let me try to address most of the major issues.

There are two primary issues that must be addressed when using a rimless auto pistol cartridge in a revolver: headspace and ejection.

Since the OP's post count is low, I'd like to start with a definition. Headspace is most simply defined as the clearance between the breech face and the cartridge case head. Excessive headspace may cause the case to rupture upon firing, but some headspace is always necessary for reliable functioning; in the case of a revolver, the clearance allows the cylinder to rotate freely, particularly once the cylinder begins to heat up and expand from sustained firing.

In most 9mm and .45ACP revolvers, the headspace is determined the same way as with an equivalent automatic: a shoulder is machined inside the chamber, and the case mouth sits on the shoulder. This is why single-action "convertible" multi-caliber revolvers like the Blackhawk use interchangeable cylinders; the auto pistol cylinder has the shoulders machined at the appropriate depth.

OTOH the Colt Model 1917 and the new S&W Governor lack shoulders at .45ACP depth and rely on the moon clips to provide appropriate headspace; on the multi-caliber Governor, this is done primarily because it's relatively difficult to design and manufacture a swing-out cylinder revolver with an interchangeable cylinder to allow the longer .45 Colt round to be fired.

Contrary to some misinformation on the Web, S&W 9mm and N frame .45ACP revolvers do NOT use the moon clip for headspace; it's determined by the shoulders in the chambers. These guns can be safely fired without moon clips, but the empties would have to be manually punched or picked out one at a time with a tool (more below).

The second issue is ejection, which primarily affects swing-out cylinder revolvers that use an ejector star that would normally engage the case rims. On a Colt SAA-type single-action such as the Blackhawk, this is a non-issue, because these guns normally use a plunger-type ejector rod that punches the cases out of the cylinder one at a time through a loading door in the recoil shield.

The original way to handle the ejection problem in a swing-out cylinder revolver was the moon clip; the ejector star simply acts on the clip. Moon clips also allow really fast reloading IF the shooter has a cache of moonclipped rounds at ready. However, moon clips have significant disadvantages- (a) they can cause functioning problems if they're bent, (b) the process of placing the loaded rounds in the clips and (particularly) removing the empties afterwards can be tedious, and (c) the clips may be bent if this process is performed sloppily.

There are two ways to avoid the problems associated with moon clips.

The "new school" way is to design a special ejector star with some sort of tab mechanism to "catch" the extraction groove and eject the rounds. This was used in the S&W K frame 9mm Model 547, and has since been adopted in the new Charter Arms auto pistol revolvers. (I'm not sure about the recent Taurus guns.)

The "old school" way is to use a special cartridge case that has a rim for ejection but is otherwise identical to an auto pistol case. The oldest example is the .45 Auto Rim or .45AR cartridge, which was designed for use in S&W and Colt M1917 revolvers, and remains popular for use in S&W's with the exception of the Governor. (It's set up for .45 Colt rims and therefore is not compatible with .45AR.) Another example is 9mm Federal, which was intended to do the same with 9mm Luger, but was essentially stillborn because Charter Arms went belly-up right when it was introduced and never mass-produced the revolver in which it was intended to be used.
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:50 PM   #7
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Carguychris: I have said many times that a No. 2 yellow pencil, or the red Coca Cola pencils make good ejectors for .45 ACP S&W revolvers.

And, for the record, early Colt M1917 revolvers were bored straight through and did require half moon clips both for headspacing and ejection.

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Old January 29, 2013, 01:54 PM   #8
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As a side note, the .45 ACP adaptation came about as a wartime expedient due to the shortage of M1911 pistols. Other than this there was no advantage to the practice. While modern shooters who shoot autoloaders want the use of the same ammunition for their revolver, there is really no advantage. Revolver ammunition designed for revolvers is equal to, or superior, in performance to auto cartridges adapted to revolvers.

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Old January 29, 2013, 04:07 PM   #9
carguychris
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Quote:
Carguychris: I have said many times that a No. 2 yellow pencil, or the red Coca Cola pencils make good ejectors for .45 ACP S&W revolvers.
I did in fact use the eraser end of the yellow kind the last time I shot a M1917.
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Old January 29, 2013, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Revolver ammunition designed for revolvers is equal to, or superior, in performance to auto cartridges adapted to revolvers.
Very true, although 9mm was once promoted as a good way to essentially split the (fairly wide) power gap between .38Spl+P and full-power .357Mag, without as much recoil and muzzle flash as the latter.

OTOH the introduction of commercial "Low Recoil" or "Short Barrel" .357Mag loads has largely addressed this issue in recent years.
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Old January 29, 2013, 04:20 PM   #11
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I think my head just expandrd a little lol. As a new guy who its getting into this hobby/sport, I truly appreciate all you knowledgeable folks on here!

semi-auto cartridges in a revolver sound interesting but I guess the cons out weighs the Pros for most. I think it would be an interesting reliever to have tho. Thanks for the informations guys. Much appreciated.
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Old January 29, 2013, 08:18 PM   #12
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Allow me to add to gunguychris' post.
The first photo shows some Ruger Speed Sixes with half moon and full moon clips whilst the second photo shows the extractors on a S&W 547. Look closely to see the black parts on the star.

Ruger also made a Speed? Six for a European customer with an extractor similar to that of the Charter Arms. I read that the delay in introducing the Charter was due to a patent infringement on the Ruger design. I just read it and cannot verify the statement.



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Old January 29, 2013, 09:33 PM   #13
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When considering designing a low cost low tech home defense DAO revolver I gave some thought to the best cartridge options and decided that a .32 ACP on the smaller size frame and 9X19 on the larger frame would be the best bet.
Its simply easier to find .32 ACP than it is to find .32 S&W, and theres a wider variety of bullet types to be found. A .32 ACP chamber will also accept a .32 S&W so theres some interchaneability. The .32 ACP being semi-rimmed makes headspace no problem.
One could go with the .32 S&W long for that matter, but I figured to keep the cylinder short and compact.

For the 9MM revolver I'd figured on case mouth headspacing and simple cylinder pin pull cylinder removal and extraction for both models . A house pistol or purse gun is unlikely to require rapid reloads, or have spare rounds easy to hand, and the pull pin system would make it more difficult for a youngster or one unfamilar with the revolver to load it without permission.

A auxillary cylinder with loading stand would allow loading with BP and lead shot (no.1 or 000) with a shotshell primer.

Federal once manufactured a 9mm revolver cartridge with rim, similar in concept to the .45 Autorim cartridge.
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Old January 29, 2013, 10:40 PM   #14
Bob Wright
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Rainbow Demon said:

Quote:
Federal once manufactured a 9mm revolver cartridge with rim, similar in concept to the .45 Autorim cartridge.
Not quite. The .45 AutoRim was designed to chamber in a .45 ACP chambered revolver, which required a thick rim. The 9mm rimmed cartridge was a revolver cartridge from the git-go. That is, no 9mm Parabellum ammunition could be used with clips.

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Old January 29, 2013, 11:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
I think my head just expandrd a little lol. As a new guy who its getting into this hobby/sport, I truly appreciate all you knowledgeable folks on here!
5 years and a few thousand posts in and I just keep sucking up the information.

I shoot 9mm autoloaders. My wife does not shoot much. It might be easier for her to handle a revolver(at least for the first cylinder). For this reason a 9mm revolver makes sense as a "nightstand gun."
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Old January 29, 2013, 11:20 PM   #16
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Huh? 9mm Parabellum (9mm Luger) has been used with moon clips. AFAIK the first such use was by Israel in their copy of the S&W M&P, which used half-moon clips the same way as the U.S. Model 1917 revolvers.

The main reason S&W tried their 9mm revolver was that a foreign police agency wanted to continue to use revolvers for PR reasons, but wanted to get free ammo from the army, which used 9mm. They didn't want to use moon clips. So S&W tried and the guns worked but it was not an elegant solution.

I doubt that there is much of a U.S. market today for a 9mm revolver. The old cops who were married to their revolvers are about gone and the younger generation happily go with 9mm autos.

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Old January 30, 2013, 12:56 AM   #17
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I remember an article on a French police contract for S&W 9mm revolvers, I think they had been using various .32 and 9mm autoloaders before that.
They already had stock piles of 9mm ammo and could get 9mm more easily than contracting for .38 or .357 ammo.

The Israeli 9mm chambered copy of the Model 10 is an odd duck. Not sure if I'd trust it with most 9mm loads. The Israeli standard SMG loads for use in the STEN and other SMGs at the time was one of those that used slower burning powder to obtain higher velocity in longer barrels, which meant much powder was still unburned when the bullet left the muzzle of a handgun. The Finns used the same sort of ammo in their blowback operated 9mm Browning Long chambered 1907 pistols which caused a large muzzle blast but did not damage the slides the way standard 9X19 pistol cartridges would have.
The S&W M&P style frame would likely handle a number of standard pressure 9mm pistol cartridges before any real damage began to show, much as their .32-20 revolvers could handle a few of the .32-20 Winchester loads marked with the for rifles only warning on the box.

The similarity between the 9mm Federal rimmed case and the .38 S&W case brings up possibilities. They say you can trim a .38 S&W case to work, and some have tried the fit of the .38 S&W cartridge in the chamber of the Charter Arms Pitbull and seems to fit. If the case mouth is not obstructed by the chamber mouth it might work, or if one deepened the chamber a tad then the lack of new manufactured 9mm Federal ammo would not make the pistol useless.

An auxillary cylinder in 9mm would be a good thing to have, for .357 revolvers at least. They make a few convertibles already.

Being able to use .38 S&W as well as 9mm and .380 ACP ( & possibly the slightly larger Makarov cartridge ) with moon clips would make ammo supply easier in some areas and the pistol slightly more versatile. The chamber would be a tad loose I suppose.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:30 AM   #18
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I ran across one of those cool K-frame 9mm Smith & Wesson revolvers at a November gun show. I don't recall what price he had on it, but it wasn't outrageous.

I could really see me buying that if I spot it again, or spot another. It's pure Smith & Wesson, but different than most any you've seen. Really interesting is the breech face of the revolver-- there's the hole for the firing pin and a second hole there as well. I believe it was meant to hold or steady the 9mm cartridge.

I'd like to own one and give it a twirl.
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Old January 30, 2013, 09:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Really interesting is the breech face of the revolver-- there's the hole for the firing pin and a second hole there as well. I believe it was meant to hold or steady the 9mm cartridge.
IIRC the second larger hole accommodates a rebounding hammer-actuated plunger that prevents the 9mm case from backing out on firing due to its slight case taper.
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Old January 30, 2013, 08:34 PM   #20
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The limit pin is above the firing and its purpose is to prevent setback of the case against the recoil shield during firing.



Look at the top of the cases and not the indent from the limit pin.

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Old January 30, 2013, 08:37 PM   #21
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Rainbow Demon,
Do have information on the Israeli modified model 10s? The Israelis acquired 547s, but I don't know who used them. I have two 547s from a surplus shipment from Israel.
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Old January 30, 2013, 10:13 PM   #22
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I never could understand the objection to using moon clips. They are not hard to load, they are not hard to unload. 9mm ammo is the cheapest centerfire ammo by far, offers excellent performance, and is available anywhere(well... maybe not recently). The Taurus 905 uses moon clips. Mine has been fantastic. Second pic, next to S&W J frame




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Old January 31, 2013, 01:38 AM   #23
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If GRyder is still reading let's add to his confusion (excuse me 'his enlightenment') by telling him that many traditional revolver rounds, .44 magnum, .357 magnum and .38 special have semi-auto pistols that fire the rounds - Desert Eagle, Coonan, S&W 52.
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Old January 31, 2013, 02:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
Rainbow Demon,
Do have information on the Israeli modified model 10s? The Israelis acquired 547s, but I don't know who used them. I have two 547s from a surplus shipment from Israel.
Only seen photos with descriptions in old gun book articles on Israeli built weapons. That was in the late 60's long before I ever heard of any other 9mm chmbered revolvers.
From the photos these looked like early S&W Model 10 revolvers, something about the grip was off a bit from the originals.

I found images of the 547 and they are not the pistols pictured in those old articles.
The pistols I mentioned had the old style slim barrel and looked pretty rough.
PS
These were not modified S&W products, they were made in Israel.

Heres the only mention of these I found online.
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Israel...s.-a0226665767
Quote:
The first Israeli-made handgun was a copy of the S&W Military & Police revolver manufactured by Israeli Military Industries (IMA) in 1952-1953. These were unique in that they were chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge and used "half moon" clips. Reportedly, only a small number were produced, primarily for presentation purposes.
Probably none have ever hit the market.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; January 31, 2013 at 03:03 AM.
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Old January 31, 2013, 04:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
I never could understand the objection to using moon clips. They are not hard to load, they are not hard to unload.
I had a moon clip gun for a very short time (had to sell it shortly after getting it) and though I did not sell the gun because of the moon clips, I sure didn't care much for them in the time that I had it. The revolver was a S&W 625 so we are talking .45 Auto and loading the moon clips was very much NOT enjoyable in any way. As for de-mooning them, I had the simple sub-$10 tool, basically a short pipe with a rubber handle and removing them wasn't a big problem, but I wouldn't say it was a heap of fun. Certainly, it was better than picking up scattered .45 brass from a semi-auto, but compared to dealing with .38/.357 brass, which I could eject easily in to my hand, it was no treat, either.

I really thought I'd love the gun, but I had a few roadblocks and it was just as well that I said good-bye to it. I doubt that I'll venture down the moon clip road ever again... but if I run in to a Smith & Wesson 610 with a decent price on it, I'll be back to eat my words.
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