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Why do huge caliber bullets always come only in revolvers?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by kellyj00, Apr 18, 2007.

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  1. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Member

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    Every time I go to my local gun shop, I see some monster sized revolvers in the case that shoot 500 s&w or 454 casull... those bullets are Huge!

    I've shot a .357, a .38 and a .44 magnum revolver at the local gun shop where I rented them. All were good guns, though I didn't really test my marksmanship. There's kinda the problem, my aim wiht a revolver is...well...horrible. I've always been afraid to buy one just because I'm decent with an autoloader. but, now I want to test out the bigger calibers and I'd love to have one as a CCW pistol for reliability sake.

    Is there a secret to shooting straight with these beasts?
     
  2. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Member

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    There are "big" autoloader cartridges as well. Given that in this country the ATF realistically prohibits anything above .50 caliber (diameter wise) anyway, there's a ceiling you bump into rather quickly.

    Off the top of my head there's .45 ACP, .50 GI, and 10mm ACP... Also, there are a few autoloaders in other big bore, supposedly revolver only chamberings like .44 magnum, .50 Action Express, et. all in the form of the Desert Eagle and a few other cuiros.
     
  3. kellyj00

    kellyj00 Member

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    true. What I really wnat to know is, why are all these big caliber revolver only? no recoil spring?
     
  4. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    Because real men shoot sixguns. :neener:
     
  5. quatin

    quatin Member

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    Large bore cartridges are usually very long. It is difficult to get an auto-loading pistol to cycle long cartridges. It's not just power. It's hard to find a .22wmr auto-loading pistol too.
     
  6. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    In most cases, the gun would have to be proportionally as big as the cartridge.

    Big cartridge, Big Barrel to contain the pressure,Big slide to contain the barrel and recoil system, Big Magazines, and big Frame and grips to contain the mags etc.

    Don't forget the wheels!!:D
     
  7. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    With a revolver you have a barrel fixed solidly to the stout frame. As long as the cylinder is beefy enough to contain the pressure of the round and has a strong enough lockup to hold it in the proper position, there isn't any upper limit to how hard you can push.

    With automatics there are practical limits to how large a bullet you can feed through one and also how much power a given action design can take. For recoil based system, the springs or slide just get too heavy to be practical after a point. The most powerful automatic is probably the Desert Eagle and it's gas operated to get around some of these issues. And it's still huge of course.

    Technically if you want the really powerful cartridges (like rifle cartridges), all the pistols shooting them are generally single shots like the rolling-block or contender. Then you have a solid frame, a solid barrel, without even a cylinder to potentially wobble.
     
  8. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Easy answer, because thats how God meant it to be.:cool:
     
  9. Bula

    Bula Member

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    Can you imagine the grip width on a 500 S&w autoloader? Most hands couldn't grip it well enough to shoot these LONG cases. Not to mention the amount of steel needed to meet the required strength. Revos can be built to accomodate these offering with ease.
     
  10. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Like has been posted above. Cartrige length is the limiting factor. It HAS TO fit in a magazine you can physically wrap your hands around.

    And as above- There is a very good reason that a 44 automag or desert eagle is so huge. The "auto" components have to be to handle such a large high pressure round.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2007
  11. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Member

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    Barring things like the Kel-Tec PLR-16, the Tec-9 and 22, and other derivative design styles...
     
  12. JesseL

    JesseL Member

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    I'm constructing a mental image of an automatic pistol in 500 S&W. Something resembling a scaled up Mauser C96 with the magazine in front of the trigger guard, gas operated with an enormous locking block. :evil:
     
  13. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    Not really. Semi-autos generally have magazines in the grips, but they don't have to be that way. If the action requires a very long stroke you might want to put the mag in front of the trigger like a Broomhandle. Or you could put it into the top or the side of the gun as well. Nothing is set in stone.
     
  14. Sniper X

    Sniper X Member

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    There are a few good reasons to not chamber AUTO handguns for large magnum cartridges, those I can think of are:

    long overall leinght, makes the frame very long to be able to fit the mag and round inside a frame.

    Punishing recoil, not condusive to auto design.

    heavy frames, barrels, slides, and springs bring overall weight of handgun to un-acceptable levels. Now people complain about all steel standard auto's weight, imagine a 50AE auto loader, what about 5 pounds?

    Expensive to manufacture because of all the above. And company won't sell many, not enough to warrant development.
     
  15. Jimmie

    Jimmie Member

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    Would You Buy It?

    [​IMG]
    :evil: :neener:
     
  16. cmidkiff

    cmidkiff Member

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    Desert Eagles come in .44mag and .50AE. They're HUGE, and with my normal-to-small hands, ergonomics stink. The most powerful autoloader cartridge in a the typical mag through the grips configuration that I'm aware of is 10mm.

    I'd _love_ to see a modern looking mag-in-the-front autoloader in .500s&w... :) What a cool idea :evil: It'd be banned in half a dozen states before it ever made it to the shelves though. Off topic, but I got to shoot a break action handi-rifle in .500s&w, and I was very impressed!

    A revolver _should_ be mechanically more accurate than most locking lug types of autoloaders, since the barrel and sights are fixed. If you can't hit with a revolver, I'd suggest you pick one up and get some practice. They're not known for being inaccurate.

    Revolvers are much more flexible in their loadings than autoloaders, since you aren't depending on consistent recoil to cycle the action. This allows the same revolver to use 38spl/357mag, 45colt/454casul/460s&w, or hand loads well above and below what's considered standard. I'd be _very_ difficult to allow this type of flexibility with an autoloader.
     
  17. JesseL

    JesseL Member

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    We're talking about guns that commonly have 8" barrels in revolver form. Non-issue.

    One of the benefits commonly associated with autos is that the action absorbs recoil energy and reduces felt recoil.

    A 50AE autoloader weighs about 3.8 lbs, a 500 S&W X frame with an 8-inch barrel weighs 4.5 lbs.

    Have you seen what a Freedom Arms revolver goes for? Also there is the fact that automatic rifles are produced economically in far more powerful calibers.
     
  18. cmidkiff

    cmidkiff Member

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    Jimmie :)

    As a Glock/S&W/AR15 frankenstein? No... As a modern re-creation of a broomhandle mauser type of an action? Probably not, but I'd love to see it!

    I present for your review:

    The H&K MP500, in .500 S&W Magnum :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2007
  19. RonJon

    RonJon Member

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    Wrong!

    REAL MEN shoot fiveguns!

    [​IMG]
     
  20. .41Dave

    .41Dave Member

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    Yes, the Desert Eagle is about 10 ounces lighter than an 8" S&W 500. However, real men shoot revolvers, as has been stated previously. Real men have superior wrist and forearm strength, so the extra weight is a non-issue (as is the extra muzzle flip and perceived recoil in the case of the 3.5 lb 4" S&W 500). It should also be noted that the .50AE deagle being fired (probably at something harmless, like a fluffy bunny) by a wasp-waisted smooth-chinned man-wannabe is throwing a puny 325 grain bullet at about 1300fps. Meanwhile, the S&W 500 being fired by a bearded, chiseled-granite-featured real man is throwing a gigantic 700 grain anti-tyrannosaur bullet at that same 1300fps!

    Need more proof that real men shoot revolvers? When was the last time you heard a revolver shooter say; "My gun jammed, I think I may have limp-wristed it." :neener: :D
     
  21. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    In addition to points covered:

    Y'all missed a big problem.

    All guns have a maximum horsepower level they can cope with before blowing up. But revolvers have no lower limit to power. Autoloaders have a MINIMUM power floor needed to cycle the action...and it's not that far south of the maximum. If you want to run extra-light ammo in an autoloader you can, but only by swapping to lighter recoil control springs. And then shoot hot stuff with the mild springs and you'll break the gun.

    All these various "handcannon class" revolvers have lower powered alternative ammo available. It either made that way special in that caliber (as in the S&W 500) or it's designed in from the get-go via compatibility with a milder cartridge.

    The 454Casull is compatible with 45LC ammo, some of which is barely hotter than warm 38Spl. The 445Supermag can eat 44Magnum, 44Special and for that matter 44Russian if you want to go back that far. At each step along the way the case was lengthened for more power yet retain the ability to shoot milder stuff. The 357 (of 1937) was designed to eat 38Spl (dating to...1898 I think?). So this has been going on for a real long time.

    Sometimes it goes the other way. The Ruger 480 was designed as a shortened 475Linebaugh and 475 owners can shoot 480s as a reduced power load - but the 480 came later, able to use the projectiles already designed for the 475. And there are a number of "500Spl" critters competing to be the reduced-power alternative to the 500S&W.

    Trust me: owners of handcannon-class guns do NOT shoot full-power stuff exclusively, if they're getting any degree of practice in. They'd bust themselves silly.

    There really is no autoloader handcannon made now. The 50AE isn't as potent as the 44Mag and has only a fraction of the case volume of the 500S&W. The last time autoloader handcannons were tried was the Wildey critters and those are still way overmatched by the 454 and above.

    Ummm...well wait, looks like somebody is trying to make a go of it again...good luck, guys, you'll need it! Back in the day they had more success as a movie prop than as usable guns...

    http://www.wildeyguns.com/index.html
     
  22. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Member

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    The reason: physical impossibility. To make a viable .500 Mag in an autoloading pistol, the grip would have to be so massive that most human beings could not hold it securely.
     
  23. Working Man

    Working Man Member

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    There is a good selection of large caliber bullets in autoloaders.

    10mm
    .45 ACP
    .45 Super
    .45 Winchester Magnum
    .460 Roland
    .475 Wildey Magnum
    .50 GI
    .50AE

    Also there are autoloaders for the:

    .357 Magnum
    .44 Magnum

    and there are still others I have not listed.

    I think those who stated grip size hit the nail on the head.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
  24. Myself

    Myself Member

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    I believe the 475 wildey is still being made.
     
  25. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    Hell, I'm trying to imagine what it would be like trying to rack the slide with the springs you'd have to have in place. :evil:
     
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