revolvers and semi autos?
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Thread: revolvers and semi autos?

  1. revolvers and semi autos?

    So I've always been curious and just did a google search and couldn't find an answer to this...so why are certain calibers only revolvers and not made into semi autos? Like if a .38 is such a good women's gun, why not make it into a modern gun so it can hold more rounds? The answer may be very simple but I just can't think of a good reason off the top of my head.

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  3. Probably so that people don't mix up shells. Not everyone may know the difference between casings and using say a semi auto type casing in a revolver or visa versa could be disasterous.

  4. #3
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    It's primarily the rim on revolver rounds. Yeah, the .22lr has rims, but the round is narrow and short enough that the rounds can sit banana-like inside a pistol grip. In a pistol, you want rounds that stack in a straight line.

  5. Aye, that's it, rounds designed for revolvers work great in that platform but not so great in semi-autos. A .38 special that is long, relatively slender, straight walled and rimmed is no good for semi-auto feeding. Semi-auto rounds are generally tapered, shorter, fatter, rimless, and sometimes bottle-necked, all good features for reliability in semi-auto and automatic weapons. Granted there are some exceptions such as .44 Automag and Desert Eagle however these weapons are still bulky and complicated to operate around these revolver cartridges and really don't offer any capacity advantage over their revolver counterparts.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by BenC View Post
    Probably so that people don't mix up shells. Not everyone may know the difference between casings and using say a semi auto type casing in a revolver or visa versa could be disasterous.
    This is silly, there's no difference as long as you're using a round that weapon is chambered for. A 9mm casing in a 9mm revolver is the same as a 9mm casing in a semi-auto. 9mm just aren't as popular in revolver format because A the rimless case requires moon clips or some other contrivance for ejecting and B the smaller case capacity allows for fewer choices of bullet and powder load compared to a traditional revolver caliber like .38

    I like .357 sig in my P226 because it duplicates one specific .357 magnum load I like in a very reliable platform but I'd never want a .357 sig in a revolver when the .357 Mag is so much more versatile. Likewise I wouldn't really trust the reliability of a .357 mag auto-loader, nor would the capacity be worth the trade. Different design criteria require different ammunition, simple as that.

  7. So, to sum up, you can chamber a revolver for pistol cartridges and they work reliably, but revolver cartridges in an auto loader have feeding problems because of the rimmed case.
    "...on any given day there are bad people in the world who are able and willing to hurt you." --Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

  8. S&W reportedly regarded their short-lived 9mm revolver (can't remember the model #) as the worst engineering nightmare they ever had.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    So, to sum up, you can chamber a revolver for pistol cartridges and they work reliably, but revolver cartridges in an auto loader have feeding problems because of the rimmed case.
    That is essentially correct. Semi-auto's and revolvers are two types of pistols. The pistol group includes revolvers, semi-auto's and a few others.
    War to the Knife, Knife to the hilt.
    If we don't want to live in a trashy area, we all have to be willing to help pick up the trash.

  10. #9
    If you're interested in a nice, expensive, EXTREMELY ACCURATE, semi-auto 1911 type that shoots 38 spl & 357 ... take a look through these links...

    Coonan .357 Magnum 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol & FAL Type III Receiver

    http://www.coonaninc.com/images/PDF/priceSheet.pdf

    The recoil is supposed to be about like a sub-compact 9mm in 357 mag, and when shooting 38spl , its like a heavy 38spl revolver...eg, hardly any recoil... I have read a bunch of articles published in the last 2 years... seems all good, except that the Coonans are not cheap.

    Also you would have to consider the fact that the grips will have a greater girth...

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndeyHall View Post
    So I've always been curious and just did a google search and couldn't find an answer to this...so why are certain calibers only revolvers and not made into semi autos? Like if a .38 is such a good women's gun, why not make it into a modern gun so it can hold more rounds? The answer may be very simple but I just can't think of a good reason off the top of my head.
    The reason why .38 Special isn't used in most semi-auto handguns is that it's a rimmed round and doesn't feed well from magazines.

    I have a Giles .38 Special M1911 bullseye target pistol. The magazine only holds five rounds and then only flush seated full wadcutters.

    The .38 Special is a great target round out of a semi-auto. Not so much for self-defense.

    If you want to use .38 Special for self-defense, stick with a decent revolver.

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