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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


What do you think about a revolver in 300 AAC Blackout?

It could be in something like the Ruger GP100 with moon clips or something like the Ruger Blackhawk without the need for moon clips.

The brass length difference between 357 magnum and 300 AAC is only 2 mm so the cylinder wouldn't have to be much longer. It would probably look similar to the Taurus Judge type revolvers that shoot 410 shotgun shells.

One advantage a 300 AAC revolver would have is longer range and better accuracy than a 357 magnum revolver.

I handload for both 357 magnum and 300 AAC Blackout. When it comes to bullet weights and velocities of projectiles both calibers are almost the same. Lots of times they both use the same types of gun powders and almost the same powder charges too.

One big advantage 300 AAC has over 357 magnum is the abundance of cheap 223 brass that can be converted into 300 AAC brass. Once fired 357 magnum brass costs 2 or 3 times more than once fired 223 brass.

If manufacturers can make revolvers strong enough to handle 454 casull pressures they shouldn't have a hard time making them handle 300 AAC pressures even if they could only make it with a 6 shot capacity.

The cost of the 30 cal projectiles might be higher if you are using factory jacketed bullets, but if you cast your own lead projectiles and powder coat them or use gas checks the cost is basically the same as 357 magnum, but you have the better accuracy and longer range capability with easier to find brass.

Just something I wish for in 2016
 

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Bottleneck cartridges have been tried in revolvers quite a few times, and always get dropped pretty quick. The shape just does not lend itself to reliability in revolvers.

Pressure limits - no problem...
 

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If whoever made it, put a rail on the barrel and made it "Tactical" they would sell a million of them.

I just don't think it's feasible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
300 blackout brass can be made from 221 fireball brass, not 223.
It can most certainly be made from 223 brass. I've made and fired thousands already.

Bottleneck cartridges have been tried in revolvers quite a few times, and always get dropped pretty quick. The shape just does not lend itself to reliability in revolvers.

Pressure limits - no problem...
If they use moon clips there wouldn't be any need to make the neck area tight inside the cylinder because the case would not need to headspace off it. The taper on the 300 AAC brass necks is very minor too.

If whoever made it, put a rail on the barrel and made it "Tactical" they would sell a million of them.

I just don't think it's feasible.
Being able to add an optic would be good, but I don't care if they call it tactical. I just want one for the shooting range, but it would also make a good deer or hog hunting handgun too.
 

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If you reload, is saving some money on brass enough to offset having to buy a $700+ firearm to achieve that savings? If you don't reload (or shoot factory ammo to create brass), 300 BLK ammo is a lot more expensive than 357. That seems like a pretty marginal advantage to build a whole new firearm around.

It seems to me the only thing 300 BLK does well is run in existing/affordable .223 firearms, needing only a barrel change. The ability to fit in an AR mag, or use the same bolt, etc, doesn't pay any dividends at all in a revolver. When you start cutting the barrel length down a lot, I wonder how different 300 BLK would perform from 30 carbine? I don't know if the 30 carbine works with heavy/subsonic type loads though.

Where'd you get the 2mm length difference from? The max OAL of a cartridge of 300 BLK is 2.26" A .357 is 1.59". That's a fairly big difference.

But companies build all kinds of stuff. Taurus certainly makes some interesting/odd revolvers. Rechamber a Judge and toss a VFG on it, who knows, maybe it'll be an instant hit.
 

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If they use moon clips there wouldn't be any need to make the neck area tight inside the cylinder because the case would not need to headspace off it.
I suspect he means that it will cause the case to back out/grow on firing, which can subsequently bind up the cylinder. If they made the chamber overly generous in the neck area, mighten that just shorten your brass life a lot, negating the advantage of brass cost you cited?
 

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Interesting idea, but their is a revolver that is very close already, the blackhawk 30 carbine. I reload 110 grain sierra hp .308's in mine, as well as 110 round nose extreme's in mine, both cartridges use the same powder h110 and have similiar ballistics, and energy, only difference is the 300 you can load heavier bullets due to overall length. I would think thats as close as you can get with a production revolver, although a new blackout revolver would be interesting. Hey magnum research makes a 30/30 revolver currently, thats a rifle cartridge in a revolver thats successful, so it can be done.;)
 

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It could be in something like the Ruger GP100 with moon clips or something like the Ruger Blackhawk without the need for moon clips.

The brass length difference between 357 magnum and 300 AAC is only 2 mm so the cylinder wouldn't have to be much longer.
Wrong. Case length doesn't mean anything - you're neglecting the difference between a long ogive rifle type bullet and a short ogive pistol bullet. The 300 Blackout won't fit in any Ruger model that has ever been produced.

Although the .357mag has a case length of 1.290" and the 300 Blackout has a 1.368" case (difference of 78thou), the OVERALL LENGTH is what matters in the cylinder, not just the case length.

The 357mag has a cartridge overall length (COAL) of 1.590", whereas the 300 ACC Blackout has a max COAL of 2.260" - good for a difference of 0.670". Even the stretch limousine .357maximum only has a COAL of 1.990", still over 1/4" shorter than the 300 Blackout.

Comparatively, the Ruger Super Redhawks only have a cylinder depth of ~1.751", and when using a standard 60thou headspace, that only allows a 1.81" COAL. The Ruger SRH cylinder is longer than the GP100 cylinder as well. So it would NOT work on a Ruger of any kind - not even an old SBH Maximum.

Even in the Taurus long cylinder Magnum Judge line, or the Magnum Research BFR Long Cylinder line, it won't work...

Other problems:

  • A 30cal 7.5" barrel will not be able to capitalize upon the case capacity of a 300 Blackout. The 300 has similar case capacity to the 44magnum (a bit less than the 44, actually), and can be loaded with similar burn rate powders - however, the 300 only has about half of the bore volume. So you'll get dismal velocities and a great big fire ball out of the front.

  • The tiny shoulder on the 300 Blackout may not be enough to provide sufficient headspace, so the best path forward would need to be moon clipped.

  • High pressure, small bore revolvers have pretty bad flame cutting issues at the BC gap, and experience a lot of energy loss through the BC gap. This is especially exacerbated by small diameter, long ogive bullets.

  • Most importantly - The 300 Blackout runs 55,000psi in a bottleneck cartridge. It WILL set back and jam the revolver. Bottleneck cartridges have caused problems in revolvers, with only a select few ever being successful without case thrust jamming issues, and none of which run 55,000psi!!! Even running in a super-long cylinder Taurus Judge or MR BFR type revolver, cylinder lock up WILL happen. The BRF used to be offered in 243win, it just didn't work - it locked up the cylinders. The 30-30 version has moderate success, but it runs a much lower pressure with a much more gradual shoulder than the 300 Blackout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you reload, is saving some money on brass enough to offset having to buy a $700+ firearm to achieve that savings? If you don't reload (or shoot factory ammo to create brass), 300 BLK ammo is a lot more expensive than 357. That seems like a pretty marginal advantage to build a whole new firearm around.

It seems to me the only thing 300 BLK does well is run in existing/affordable .223 firearms, needing only a barrel change. The ability to fit in an AR mag, or use the same bolt, etc, doesn't pay any dividends at all in a revolver. When you start cutting the barrel length down a lot, I wonder how different 300 BLK would perform from 30 carbine? I don't know if the 30 carbine works with heavy/subsonic type loads though.

Where'd you get the 2mm length difference from? The max OAL of a cartridge of 300 BLK is 2.26" A .357 is 1.59". That's a fairly big difference.

But companies build all kinds of stuff. Taurus certainly makes some interesting/odd revolvers. Rechamber a Judge and toss a VFG on it, who knows, maybe it'll be an instant hit.
The 2mm difference is in the " brass " length not the OAL length of a completed cartridge.

Sure, if you don't reload there wouldn't be much advantage to the revolver aside from the increased accuracy and range it would have for deer and hog hunting. CVA makes a single shot handgun in 300 AAC already, but having 6 rounds in a cylinder would be better than just one. The CVA handgun also doesn't have much loss in velocity with the short barrel. 300 AAC doesn't need a long barrel. 30 carbine uses round nose bullets that don't weigh as much as 300 AAC bullets can weigh. The 300 AAC bullets are a spitzer design so they would have a much higher ballistic coefficient which means faster velocity at longer ranges. 30 carbine brass is also very hard to find just like 357 magnum brass.

It's not just a minor savings in brass cost because I pick up brass off the ground at my local shooting range and 223 brass is found everywhere and it's free, but I rarely find any revolver brass because it always ends up in the brass buckets that the range officers take away. If I want 38/357 mag brass I have to buy it, but 223 brass costs me nothing. I literally have 5 gal buckets full of that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I suspect he means that it will cause the case to back out/grow on firing, which can subsequently bind up the cylinder. If they made the chamber overly generous in the neck area, mighten that just shorten your brass life a lot, negating the advantage of brass cost you cited?
My 223 brass cost that's used for making 300 AAC Blackout brass is zero. I don't think they would need to make the the cylinder excessively loose. Brass can still last a very long time if you anneal it once in a while. Ruger makes a LCR revolver in 9mm that uses moon clips and the brass doesn't push back and bind anything up in that gun.

Interesting idea, but their is a revolver that is very close already, the blackhawk 30 carbine. I reload 110 grain sierra hp .308's in mine, as well as 110 round nose extreme's in mine, both cartridges use the same powder h110 and have similiar ballistics, and energy, only difference is the 300 you can load heavier bullets due to overall length. I would think thats as close as you can get with a production revolver, although a new blackout revolver would be interesting. Hey magnum research makes a 30/30 revolver currently, thats a rifle cartridge in a revolver thats successful, so it can be done.;)
Yeah, I agree it can be done. 30 carbine brass is just much too hard for me to find. I would have to buy it instead of having access to buckets full of free 223 brass I can use to make 300 AAC blackout. I mostly cast my own lead 160 grain, 180 grain and 230 grain 30 cal bullets for 300 AAC. I wouldn't see much of a need to shoot any bullets lighter than that. Especially if they are round nose because the spitzer designed bullets I use now have a much higher ballistic coefficient which means faster velocities at longer ranges.
 

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Ruger makes a LCR revolver in 9mm that uses moon clips and the brass doesn't push back and bind anything up in that gun.
There's a lot of things different about 9mm and 300 BLK. And there are some reports of people experiencing that with some ammo in LCR's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wrong. Case length doesn't mean anything - you're neglecting the difference between a long ogive rifle type bullet and a short ogive pistol bullet. The 300 Blackout won't fit in any Ruger model that has ever been produced.

Although the .357mag has a case length of 1.290" and the 300 Blackout has a 1.368" case (difference of 78thou), the OVERALL LENGTH is what matters in the cylinder, not just the case length.

The 357mag has a cartridge overall length (COAL) of 1.590", whereas the 300 ACC Blackout has a max COAL of 2.260" - good for a difference of 0.670". Even the stretch limousine .357maximum only has a COAL of 1.990", still over 1/4" shorter than the 300 Blackout.

Comparatively, the Ruger Super Redhawks only have a cylinder depth of ~1.751", and when using a standard 60thou headspace, that only allows a 1.81" COAL. The Ruger SRH cylinder is longer than the GP100 cylinder as well. So it would NOT work on a Ruger of any kind - not even an old SBH Maximum.

Even in the Taurus long cylinder Magnum Judge line, or the Magnum Research BFR Long Cylinder line, it won't work...

Other problems:

  • A 30cal 7.5" barrel will not be able to capitalize upon the case capacity of a 300 Blackout. The 300 has similar case capacity to the 44magnum (a bit less than the 44, actually), and can be loaded with similar burn rate powders - however, the 300 only has about half of the bore volume. So you'll get dismal velocities and a great big fire ball out of the front.

  • The tiny shoulder on the 300 Blackout may not be enough to provide sufficient headspace, so the best path forward would need to be moon clipped.

  • High pressure, small bore revolvers have pretty bad flame cutting issues at the BC gap, and experience a lot of energy loss through the BC gap. This is especially exacerbated by small diameter, long ogive bullets.

  • Most importantly - The 300 Blackout runs 55,000psi in a bottleneck cartridge. It WILL set back and jam the revolver. Bottleneck cartridges have caused problems in revolvers, with only a select few ever being successful without case thrust jamming issues, and none of which run 55,000psi!!! Even running in a super-long cylinder Taurus Judge or MR BFR type revolver, cylinder lock up WILL happen. The BRF used to be offered in 243win, it just didn't work - it locked up the cylinders. The 30-30 version has moderate success, but it runs a much lower pressure with a much more gradual shoulder than the 300 Blackout.
I realize the cylinder would need to be longer. That's why I used a picture of a Taurus revolver that already has a long cylinder. The existing Rugers aren't long enough, but it wouldn't be hard for Ruger to make one with a longer cylinder. I was specifically talking about the 2mm difference in " brass " length. Magnum Research makes a 30-30 win revolver that has a longer cylinder than 300 AAC would need.

When you start using heavy bullets in 300 AAC the case capacity starts to go down a lot. CVA already makes a single shot in 300 AAC and it doesn't lose much velocity because 300 AAC doesn't need a long barrel. Heavy 230 grain bullets only use around 9 grains powder. There wouldn't be any huge fireball with heavy bullets.

Why wouldn't the 300 AAC have enough of a shoulder to provide headspace when it's enough to work in all other guns chambered in that caliber?

Flame cutting shouldn't be a big issue when you are using heavy bullets. It shouldn't be much more if anymore of an issue than it already is with a 327 magnum revolver.

The 30-30 win revolvers run at a lower pressure and so does the heavier 300 AAC blackout loadings. They both run around 35,000 psi when you use heavy 300 AAC bullets.
 

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You're missing the point that razadp, Aurora40, and I have brought out - which happens to be the point that 100% kills this idea, so I'll elaborate in detail:

When a bottleneck cartridge is fired in a revolver, the obturating case stretches outward to seal the chamber, but the shoulder also stretches FORWARD against the shoulder of the chamber. Since the rear of the case is not firmly supported (because it needs to slide across the recoil shield as the cylinder turns), this forward expansion at the shoulder pushes the case rearward.

This is known as "case thrust".

When the case is "thrust" backwards and the case shoulder stretches to fit against the chamber shoulder, it creates a wedge between the cylinder and the cylinder frame.

This is a well known, well documented, common problem for bottleneck cartridges in revolvers. It's even a problem for many straight-wall cartridges, especially high pressure cartridges like 454 Casull or .475 Linebaugh (and to a lesser extent, the 48kpsi 480Ruger). Bottlneck cartridges do not need to be very high pressure before this becomes a problem - the 22 Hornet, 22 Jet, 256win mag, 357-44 Bobcat mag, even the straightwall 30 carbine sometimes has issues. The 30-30win BFR has lock-up issues too, been there, done that.

So again - your idea won't work - the high pressure bottleneck cased 300 Blackout will jam in a revolver.

You're not the first to think of this kind of thing.
 

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When you start using heavy bullets in 300 AAC the case capacity starts to go down a lot. CVA already makes a single shot in 300 AAC and it doesn't lose much velocity because 300 AAC doesn't need a long barrel. Heavy 230 grain bullets only use around 9 grains powder. There wouldn't be any huge fireball with heavy bullets.
So have you actually fired a 300 Blackout in a short barrel? I have. Big fireballs and crap velocity out of AR pistols.

Been there, done that.

Why wouldn't the 300 AAC have enough of a shoulder to provide headspace when it's enough to work in all other guns chambered in that caliber?
It would not have enough shoulder to prevent case run into the neck OR case thrust. Shortening the shoulder (looser neck) would help prevent case thrust, but it would allow the shoulder to flow upon firing, or allow excessive headspace. It'd be a balancing act at best. Plus, all other firearms chambered for it have extractors - that's not ideal, but it DOES help prevent over-depth insertion (i.e. headspace).

Flame cutting shouldn't be a big issue when you are using heavy bullets. It shouldn't be much more if anymore of an issue than it already is with a 327 magnum revolver.
The 300 Blk is higher pressure than the 327FM (55kpsi vs. 45kpsi). Yes, indeed it WILL have higher gap flash than the 327FM.

The 30-30 win revolvers run at a lower pressure and so does the heavier 300 AAC blackout loadings. They both run around 35,000 psi when you use heavy 300 AAC bullets.
If you're loading reduced subsonic loads, why do you need such a large case? Now we're just back to talking about an equivalent round, or nearly so, to existing rounds - like the 357mag. It's wasted money and effort. Why would I carry a 2.5" cylinder stretch frame custom revolver when I can get the same performance out of a shorter standard revolver?

Saving a little money on practice ammo really isn't worth all of that trouble.

Again - you're not the first guy to think about a 300 Blk pistol (lots of us have them in AR's), and not the first to think about a high pressure, bottleneck cartridge revolver (lots of us have them in other cartridges).

The facts are the facts - you don't have to like them.
 

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I'd also comment - at the range that anyone can actually shoot a "heavy" 300blk, ballistic coefficient won't matter at all.

Here's some food for thought:

.357mag 200grn at 1100fps with a BC of 0.160 will only drop 6-7MOA more at 300yrds than a 300blck 200grn at 1100fps with a BC of .635 (A-max). Considering that the 300 has dropped 24MOA under a 150yrd zero at that range, you're really not going to notice the advantage of the greater BC.

If you're shooting revolvers accurately at 600yrds, then more power to you. But I'd reason you wouldn't be posting questions about it on this forum if that were the case - a custom gunsmith would be making you a gun for free for you to showcase in exchange for endorsing him, and someone would be paying you to shoot, so you wouldn't be worried about the cost of .357mag plinking ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sure, it would still be worth it even though it would be very similar to 357 magnum because I get 223 brass is free, but have to buy 357 mag brass. I shoot both days on the weekends so I like being able to use all that free brass and I like being able to tinker around with 300 AAC loadings.

You probably have a fireball out your barrel because you need that extra gas to cycle the bolt in your AR15, but that's not needed for a revolver. Being a handloader I can tune the load to be 100% efficient with hardly any fireball if I want.

Some loads for 300 AAC are above 45,000 psi, but the heavier ones I shoot are only the same psi as 9mm.

Even with a case thrust problem engineers are very smart. I'm sure they could figure out a solution if they wanted to. One might be just a simple support ring that moves forward when the hammer is cocked and is locked in place with the action of the transfer bar when the trigger is pulled. After the gun is fired and the trigger is released the support ring can unlock and a simple spring similar to one on firing pins could push it back out of the way so the cylinder could rotate. The firing pin protrusion would have to be increased to reach through that retracting support ring, but that shouldn't be hard to do either.
 

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You probably have a fireball out your barrel because you need that extra gas to cycle the bolt in your AR15, but that's not needed for a revolver. Being a handloader I can tune the load to be 100% efficient with hardly any fireball if I want.
Your revolver will have it's "gas port" at a higher pressure position in the bore than an AR-15. The B/C gap has the same effect as the gas port - it vents pressure.

As a handloader, you should also realize that you'll get around a dozen, maybe 20 loadings on low pressure 300blk cases, whereas you might get 100 loadings on middle of the road 357mag. And if you save 5 cents per round - it takes a long time to pay back a $2500 custom revolver a nickel at a time. Even at 10cents saved per shot, you're talking about 25,000 rounds to break even on the revolver.

Even with a case thrust problem engineers are very smart.
Yeah, I know. I am one...

If it was that easy to fix this problem - and if shooting bottleneck cartridges in revolvers was a real problem the world needed fixed - it would have been fixed more than a hundred years ago when DA and SA actions were getting developed and bottleneck cartridges were coming onto the scene.

One might be just a simple support ring that moves forward when the hammer is cocked and is locked in place with the action of the transfer bar when the trigger is pulled. After the gun is fired and the trigger is released the support ring can unlock and a simple spring similar to one on firing pins could push it back out of the way so the cylinder could rotate. The firing pin protrusion would have to be increased to reach through that retracting support ring, but that shouldn't be hard to do either.
And now you've just arm-chair engineered your way from a Taurus Judge or Ruger GP100 clear up to a mechanized recoil plate... So a $500 revolver now costs $2500 because the extra moving parts diminished reliability and added engineering costs, added extra tooling and production costs, and added extra labor of assembly costs. All so you can save a couple pennies per shot and get free range brass.

You've also made the revolver incredibly unsafe to fire, as any failure in the mechanical recoil shield would cause the cartridge to fire unsupported, and even with a moderate pressure round, the cartridge case will rupture between the web/base and the wall, venting hot gas and particulates out along the recoil shield, which happens to be directly within the shooters hands.

Like I said before - a low pressure version could be made to work, but it won't do anything that existing revolvers won't do, and it's cost prohibitively expensive, so no major manufacturer would ever release a stretch limo revolver just to shoot low pressure 300 blk - KNOWING that shooters would buy standard pressure ammo, lock it up, then point the finger at them.

Also as I said before - these are the facts. You don't have to like them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Where am I saving 5 cents? I don't use gas checks. I powder coat my 30 cal bullets and use plain base molds. If you were talking about the brass cost, the savings is much more than just 5 cents because the cheapest I've seen once fired 357 magnum brass is around 10 cents. The 223 brass I use to make 300 AAC is free.

I doubt the revolver would cost $2500. It shouldn't be much more of a cost than adding a transfer bar safety has been. If it's too complicated and expensive they can just make a manually operated one that has to be locked before the gun will fire and it has to be unlocked before the cylinder can rotate. I think making an automatic one that works off the trigger and hammer operation shouldn't be hard to do and with the way Ruger makes their revolvers so strong I'm sure they could make it very durable.

Just because something hasn't been done already doesn't mean it can't be done or that there wouldn't be a use for it.
 

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A waste of time and effort!
 
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