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Why aren't 9mm revolvers more popular?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Smaug, Nov 20, 2022.

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Why isn't 9 mm more popular in revolvers?

Poll closed Dec 4, 2022.
  1. Because not enough people like moon clips

    24 vote(s)
    21.1%
  2. Because 9 mm is not as versatile as 38 Spl / 357 Mag

    23 vote(s)
    20.2%
  3. Because it's easier to shoot from auto pistols

    29 vote(s)
    25.4%
  4. Other

    38 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Don't forget the short-lived Taurus 905C - it's a real shame they dropped the short frame, only to be reintroduced several years later with the model 380, but this time in .380 ACP.

    278711468-10225051759108497-706659408128740310-n.jpg
     
  2. JimCunn

    JimCunn Member

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    "For me it’s just the opposite with my 929. The taper means easier extraction and with moon clips no problem with binding. The short cases means a very short extraction stroke. So there are definite advantages to revolver shooters".

    Same here. I convert 637-2 Airweights to .357 Mag and then ream them for 9mm.
    Power is adequate, 147 gr avg 952 fps and 292 ft-lbs energy. After conversion, guns weigh between 11.5 and 12.5 ounces depending on grips.
     
  3. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    This is the real answer for my guess.
     
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  4. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    I wish I would have come across one of those when they were being made. I would have snapped it up.
     
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  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have an a S&W 986 5" barrel and 2-1/2" barrel plus an SP101 2-1/4" barrel, all chambered in 9x19.

    I do not compete so any advantage the 9x19 revolver is lost on me here.

    The 5" gun is fun to shoot particularly with the moon clip reloads.

    I cannot see carrying less than 4" in the woods but the 5" 986 would make a good woods gun. Concealment would not be an issue with a longer barrel gun. Mister Bear or Mister Wolf would not be checking me for a concealed carry gun regardless of barrel length.

    As to the popularity, 45 ACP revolvers have a following in part due to the S&W and Colt 1917's made during the great war. Then S&W made target versions of the Model 25's that could shoot targer 45 ACP ammunition. 9x19 just never has that kind of following in revolvers where 38 Special wadcutters are the target ammunition kings.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
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  6. KyJim

    KyJim Member

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    Excluding hand loads and boutique ammo makers, finding good defensive ammo for snubby revolvers is easier in 9mm. That’s why I have a Ruger LCR in 9mm. It’s one of those guns I carry when I don’t want to carry one. I also have a SW Model 547 but it is mostly a safe queen
     
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  7. Old Hobo

    Old Hobo Member

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    Factory loads in 9mm are using fast-burning powders and so even the short 2" or 3" barrels allow the 9mm to get up to velocity. Depending on the revolver's barrel-cylinder gap, a tad bit of velocity could be lost. The 9mm in a revolver has better ballistics than most .38 loads and this in a short barrel (I'm talking factory ammo here). Legally speaking, factory loads do not entail the risk that some ambulance-chasing attorney will condemn the self-defense shooting party for "loading-up killer cartridges" -- in some states, a jury will believe any dirty lie concerning firearms and ammunition.

    For more power than a .38 Special, most go with the .357 firing reduced loads -- low flash & lower recoil.

    I can see somebody who has standardized on the 9mm maybe wanting a revolver in that caliber. Maybe a guy might want it for his wife who doesn't want to shoot an automatic (?). Maybe someone wants a revolver because he doesn't want to risk a jam.
    .
     
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  8. Tall

    Tall Member

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    9 mm is a foreign cartridge that is incompetent to compete with a rimmed cartridge.
     
  9. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Yes...but...9mm revolvers make sense in a limited number of ways.

    1. You carry a 9mm semiautomatic as a primary. If your primary goes out of action the 9mm revolver as a backup makes sense. You can even use your spare magazines as "kind of" a speedloader.

    2. You have a lot of 9mms in the inventory. However, you think a revolver is better for some applications. IIRC, this is what Israel thought when they bought Ruger 6s for their police.
     
  10. Tinman357

    Tinman357 Member

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    I would dearly love to have a 3" S&W 60 in 9mm.

    I have a 2" M60 in .357. I wonder what it would cost to get it converted. :thumbdown:
     
  11. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    You can have it cut for 9mm and moonclips. See TK Custom.
     
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  12. JB111

    JB111 Member

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    The only 9mm revolver Ive ever shot is my convertible Blackhawk, no moon clips required. I find myself shooting more 9mm out of it than 357 not only due to cost, but also because it is very soft shooting, very light recoil and is accurate.
     
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  13. Old Hobo

    Old Hobo Member

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    Here is Paul Harrell comparing a snub nose chambered for 9mm vs. a snub nose chambered for .38 special. He also compares 9mm data from 4" barrel and the .38 from a 4" barrel. The .38 snub lost well over 100 ft sec vs. the 4" barrel. The 9mm lost much less. Even out of a snub nose, the 9mm hollow points (premium ammunition) on Harrell's meat target blew ribs apart and cause a watermelon behind those ribs to be destroyed. These bullets went on through the back meat. In the 9mm, the hollow point bullets expanded very well. I wished he had tested some .38 Specials on the meat targets. So, I've included a Paul Harrell video showing ammunition selections for the .38 special. In that video he chronographs different rounds and then tests them on his meat targets. In the second video, one will see that the Hornady Critical Defense 110 gr did best. Looking at both videos, from a snub nose revolver, the Hornady 9mm ammo caused more damage to the meat targets, than did the .38 special +P ammunition. He also found the 9mm moon clips easier to use than the .38 Special speed loaders.



     
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  14. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Slug a Colt Python barrel and you'll find they run 0.354
     
  15. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    The fact that it has foreign origin is irrelevant here. The other part is false without a lot of qualification.

    Read Old Hobo’s post a few down from yours.
     
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  16. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    We're gun people. We know that 9mm is a semiauto cartridge. We know that 38 special is more or less the equivalent revolver cartridge. We know that 38 revolvers can't extract 9mm ammo, and that moon clips would be necessary.

    People who are not gun people don't know any of this. The clerk at the gun counter in a big box store may not understand all of it completely.

    So 9mm revolvers are really for gun people. The ordinary person buying their first handgun for SD will probably not end up with one.

    I have two and enjoy them. They're a great idea, but you have to have a certain amount of knowledge to understand and appreciate them.

    A picture or it didn't happen:

     
  17. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    An interesting side question:

    Would you rather have a longer cylinder and frame, but with a longer jump for the bullet inside the cylinder

    …or a shorter cylinder, same long frame and the barrel extending back to meet the short cylinder, thus creating an unsightly gap between the cylinder and frame?

    Pick your poison.
     
  18. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Function over appearance appeals to me greatly, but I also recognize the ease of manufacturing by just leaving the cylinder long enough for a rimmed cartridge like .38 special and simply machining it for an auto pistol cartridge.

    Can you imagine how short the cylinder would be for something smaller, like .32 ACP? Now that’s getting into finger roasting range like @Kleanbore mentioned.
     
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  19. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    It's because revolvers aren't that popular now. The reason there are so many .38's and .357's is they've been around a long time and during an era when revolvers were king. If 9mm revolvers were around in the 50s and 60s, it might be a different story.
     
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  20. Archie

    Archie Member

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    The 'fact' is relevant here. The question is "Why aren't 9mm revolvers more popular?" Popularity is dependent on opinion. An opinion, even if indefensible is relevant.

    To the question: I voted 'other' as in my mind it is all three and perhaps other things.

    It's not like 9mm revolvers haven't been tried. S&W made one, Ruger made one, Carter Arms made one, possibly others. None - except the Ruger, built for a specific foreign power - was particular successful. Basic rule of manufacturing is one only produces the items that are profitable.

    I cannot speak for others but I have no need. I don't particularly use 9mm Parabellum in the first place. I consider (popular opinion notwithstanding) properly loaded .38 Special to be superior to 9mm Parabellum. Paul Harrell acknowledged. I consider preparing speed loaders simpler than preparing (full, half or third) moon clips.
    Others may disagree, this is the United States. Opinions are one's own. (So far.) It seems a majority of the buying public seem to agree with my bottom line, if with all the details or not.
     
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  21. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    How do you convert to 357?
    Why convert to 357 first then ream to 9mm?
    Why not just ream to 9mm?


    I took a 642 pre lock and purchased a 940 cylinder from S&W that matched the frame size and had Mark Hartshorn of Pinnacle High Performance fit the cylinder to the 642. I sold a 940 I had and that paid for the 642 and the 940 cylinder along with the fitment. I am also fortunate that the 940 cylinder fits in a 60-4.

    942.jpg m60c.jpg
     
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  22. jar

    jar Contributing Member

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    I have a 9mm cylinder for one of my 38/357 SAA clones but I cannot remember ever even trying it out. I have lots of 38 Special and 9mm ammo available and do shoot my 9mm semiautomatics at times but simply have no desire or incentive to shoot 9mm in a revolver. I've even shot the SAA and a 9mm semiautomatic on the same day at a range. The cylinder was there in the range bag and there it stayed.
     
  23. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Well, I'm not sure about that. I feel like there's a Revolver Renaissance at the moment.


    Lack of desire I understand.

    As for incentive: Are you a handloader? Because if not, the fact that 9 mm costs half as much as 38 Special seems to be an incentive, not to mention superior ballistics out of a shorter barrel.
     
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  24. jar

    jar Contributing Member

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    Nope, not a handloader. And as I stated, I cannot see how the annual cost differential is significant enough to sway my use.
     
  25. starnbar

    starnbar Member

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    Any thing I carry starts with a 4
     
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