9 mm Revolvers

by
posted on April 8, 2014
wiley-clapp.jpg

I am often surprised to find few revolvers chambered for the 9 mm Luger cartridge on dealer’s shelves. The old 9 mm round is the nation’s most popular handgun cartridge, and there are dozens of 9 mm loads at many price points. People who like to shoot a lot often turn to the 9 mm for its economic value. It’s just not available in many revolvers and I can’t help but wonder why.

It is possibly because of the 9 mm’s rimless design. In a single-action revolver, there is an ejector rod alongside the barrel, so you don’t have to have to use some form of moon clip for headspacing and extraction. Just cut the chamber to headspace the round on the case mouth and go to town. I note that there are a few versions of the Blackhawk Convertible in the Ruger catalog. Both Charter Arms and Taurus also have 9 mm revolvers in their catalogs, They wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t a demand for them, but those are the only 9 mm revolvers you can find.

There used to be several different makes and models of 9 mm wheelguns, with several coming out of Europe. Astra of Spain made a real nice DA/SA gun that was also sold as the FN Barrcuda. This gun had a unique version of the moon clip that worked well-no tool loading and unloading. Probably the most interesting 9 mm revolver was the S&W Model 547. It came with a complex, but very ingenious extractor that did not require a clip. S&W also made significant numbers of all-steel Centennials (Model 940s) that required a special five-shot moon clip. My favorite was a slick little Taurus that took five 9 mm cartridges in a dedicated clip. This gun was particularly neat because it was built on a shorter version of the company’s Model 85 snubby. It was much like the early I frame S&Ws-except it was a 9 mm.

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