considering a full size revolver

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Nov 9, 2009
as im sort of losing faith in automatics (primarily recoil operated automatics) as a go-to all purpose pistol id bet my life on, it has me considering giving those roles to straight blowbacks (9x18 caliber CZ-82 for CCW) and revolvers (for full-size open carry)

besides a charter arms bulldog in .44 special i do not have any other revolvers.. not even sure which caliber im interested in, heck, not even certain if i would discount single actions for that matter for their added simplicity

so at this point im pretty open to options, though id prefer a rimless cartridge i can make from more commonly available brass i may already have on hand (like making rimless .357 mag out of .223 brass, or rimless .45 colt / 454 casull from 308 brass).. and i dont even care at this point if its single action or double

im also willing to consider old milsurp revolvers as well, though, unfortunately the ones available such as the nagant and the webley seem to be rather gutless

any ideas?
I am partial to 7-shot revolvers. I carry one in 357 loaded with 38's. They make them in 357/38 and 9mm. Also in 32sw and 327 fed mag in singe action Rugers.
Look at S&W L frames or Ruger GP100's. Primarily 38 Special/357 Magnum but currently S&W offers a 9mm (M986) and a 44 magnum (M69).

Ruger offers the Blackhawk in all sorts of cartridges including convertible models in 357 mag/9mm and 45 Colt/45 ACP.

In their N Frame, S&W makes the M625 (45 ACP), M22 (45 ACP replica of the M1917) and the M929 (9mm) as well as all the standard rimmed handgun cartridges 357 Mag and up to 45 Colt.

There are some 10mm and 40 S&W revolvers on the used market but the production numbers were not terribly high.
Do you intend to carry your revolver concealed? As always, the intended use should influence your decision. S&W and others make revolvers for 9mm, .40, and .45 ACP. At one time, either Colt or Smith made a 10mm revolver, but they are in the hen's teeth category and expensive if you can find one. I believe the Smiths all require moon clips, but Taurus makes one that will supposedly eject rimless cartridges without one. I'm a Smith guy, so would lean that way although all mine used rimmed ammo from .22 to .44 Magnum.
He wants to cut down surplus rifle brass for his revolver.

Hey, Justin, how are you doing with your previous project to convert your stockpile of 5.56 into Cooper 9 Super?

As for your new project, M. Ayoob once wrote about a Model 29 that had been converted to shoot .44 Automag in clips. And you can make .44 Automag out of .308.

May not have been precisely .44 Automag, it was something called the .44 JAG or .44 Jaguar. Rimless .44s on clips, though.
September/October 1989 American Handgunner, reprint available at

Bert Shea did something similar before the .44 Magnum ever came out. It would not beat Keith .44 Specials by a lot but it was in the strongest brass available.
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why rimless :confused:
so i can use the same cartridges in blowback pistol caliber carbines or short semi auto rifles.. i like to squeeze as much usage out of a single cartridge that i can.. this way i can justify stockpiling tons of ammo for cheap

also allows me to get brass even cheaper.. say i use .223/5.56 brass to make rimless 357 mag or 38 super, then the cost of brass is insanely low, and with some cast lead bullets i could really stockpile tons of ammo for almost no cost
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There is plenty of once fired brass from dealers. Or check at local ranges which might sell you some used brass.
less than $0.06/rd for .223 brass once fired, and about $0.135 per 357 once fired brass

$0.19/rd for 45 colt, $0.60/rd for 454 casull, and 7.62x51 is $0.16/rd

so not only is the rimless version cheaper in brass, making it that much less expensive to stockpile large quantities of but they could also function in a semi automatic, double stack double-feed carbine without issue, giving them a dual purpose.. not to mention i already collect .308 and .223 brass for rifle cartridges, so it would allow me to also consolidate the type of brass i collect..

if i can avoid having to collect a new type of brass, im going to do so even if it means i have to size, trim, and handload each and every cartridge i fire
38 special brass is pretty cheap.

A S&W 625 might be exactly what you're looking for though.

The JM model is especially nice. 45acp, easily changed DX front sight, works with or without moon clips. I'm not a big fan of the grips, but those are easily changed as well.
I always carried Two Snubs. Lately I replaced the IWB Snub with a 4" 7 shot Taurus Tracker. I still carry a 2" in my pocket but decided to add the 4" incase I need to reach out and touch something.
problem is a 38 special is REALLY weak.. like barely a step above .380 weak.. if im going with a full size 4.5-5.5" revolver, id rather have some power behind it.. 9mm MINIMUM.. preferably something more along the lines of 357 magnum, 44 magnum, .45 colt pistols that can handle higher pressures.. if im going to take the hit on mag capacity, id like some more muzzle energy to compensate

any .45acp revolvers that can handle 45 super and 460 rowland pressures? or 9mm revolvers that can handle 9x23 pressures?
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If you want a revolver for personal defense your best choice is a medium frame double action in 357 Magnum. The 357 Magnum isn't called "the king of the manstoppers" for nothing. In Duncan Long's book "Combat Revolvers" he rates the GP100 as the best overall.

A rimless cartridge is a poor choice in a combat revolver and cutting down rifle cases to make them work is going to be the least of your worries. You'd need extensive modifications to the revolver to control for headspace and allow for ejection of spent cases, not to mention having to have custom dies made to reload your cut down cases. Easier and cheaper just to save once fired brass from factory ammo or order from Starline and use the money saved to buy ammo/components and range time.

Just get a quality DA in 357 Magnum that you can feed with ammo that is carried anywhere that sells ammunition, and can be reloaded with dies that are carried anywhere that sells reloading equipment, and call it good.
i wont need custom dies made, i already chop down .308 to 45 acp dimensions, good for 460 rowland loads as well if i had a pistol that can handle them.. extraction/ejection may be the issue, but with moon clips they should eject just fine.. though, if i wasnt going to use moon clips i guess it would certainly make a case for single cartridge extractors like those used on the SAA

also, this isnt for concealed carry purposes, i have other weapons for that.. this is more for a combat/duty role, open carry
8 shot 357 revolvers are built on 6 shot 44 mag frames, am i right?.. would it be possible to convert a 45acp revolver to an 8-shot 38 super with a new cylinder, barrel, and a couple other modifications?
justin22885 said:
would it be possible to convert a 45acp revolver to an 8-shot 38 super with a new cylinder, barrel, and a couple other modifications?

It'd be easier to just buy an 8-shot .38Super.

Though they're in .357mag now, S&W offered their 627 in .38 Super at one time. You'll likely be able to find one on Gunbroker, etc.
ill probably decide against getting back into revolvers, i really have no use for 357 magnum or 44 mag.. i would only end up using rimless variants anyway with moon clips and i have no idea how well that would even work out at this point and im not going to start stocking up on calibers i have no other use for.. and frankly 6 shots of 9mm just doesnt seem worth the added weight
"Ruger offers the Blackhawk in all sorts of cartridges including convertible models in 357 mag/9mm and 45 Colt/45 ACP."

They are single action, and have zero problems with ejection, since the ejector rod doesn't care if a cartridge is rimmed or not. I have one of the 45's and love it.

To me the most useful all-around revolver is a medium-framed 4" 357, but that's just my opinion.
This made no sense from the start. What's the point in cutting down .308 brass, to save money? Ok, then why consider an expensive conversion if you're trying to get off cheap? Better off buying 1000rds of the right brass and being set for the foreseeable future. Is there a practical reason for using cut down brass, or is it just a fetish?

problem is a 38 special is REALLY weak.
On what planet is a 158gr SWC at 1000fps "barely a step up" from a 90gr at the same speed???
For totin' a "full size" revolver it's hard to beat a Ruger Vaquero.45 Colt Talo edition - 6 shots, easier to carry than the big double actions:

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