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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 09-07-2020, 12:21 AM
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Default 9mm Revolvers

Back in the 80s S&W made a sweet little 9mm revolver, the Model 547. Yes, today's revolver lineup has the 929 and the 986 that are chambered in 9mm but they need moon clips. The old 547s had a funky little extractor that held the rimless cartridges in place and extracted them without needing moon clips. Pretty sweet indeed.

So now that 9mm has taken over the world I'm wishing S&W would reintroduce the 547. The cost savings of 9mm ammo compared even to 38 Special is significant and the availability right now is much better too so I'm real interested in getting my hands on a little 9mm revolver. There is a manufacturer in Connecticut (that shall remain unnamed) that claims to own a patent for an extractor that does essentially what the 547 did back in the 80s. Must be a different design. Don't really know. All I know is that their little revolver (that shall also remain unnamed) fires inexpensive 9mm ammo without the hassle of those silly moon clips.

Has anyone heard about S&W bringing back a 9mm revolver that doesn't require moon clips? Maybe if they received enough requests from us average Joe Sixpacks they might consider it. Thoughts?
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:35 AM
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Moonclips make the rounds easier to eject and reload. I have a Charter in 45 ACP and a variety of S&W’s in 45 ACP and 9mm. I prefer the moonclips.
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:03 AM
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Reports suggest S&W spent more on engineering costs for the 547 than any other revolver. I'd bet it's not coming back.

I have a 547 and a 940 (needs moon clips). I agree with reddog -- the clips are a snap.
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:29 AM
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The extractor system on the Model 547 used 6 beryllium extractors inside a specially machined extractor star, and those were not the only parts that were specific to the 547 design. The entire revolver was unreasonably expensive to manufacture. That system will not be returning to the Smith & Wesson lineup

The 547 was a also very poor seller at the time. The Factory even considered making a 547M chambered in 357 Magnum to use up all the 547 frames.

All of the other Smith & Wesson revolvers that fire rimless auto loader cartridges use moon clips. The moon clips are the much better path to go for lots of reasons.

In a defensive role, the moon clips insure positive ejection even in snub nosed revolvers with their shorter ejector rod

They function as speed loaders, placing all cartridges in the cylinder simultaneously. Just watch this video and you can see how fast you can reload with practice and a bit of talent:

Moon Clips allow the use of all shorter cartridges in that family to be fired in the longer chamber. For example a factory original Model 940 can also shoot 380 ACP ammunition thanks to the moon clip (something the 547 and other non-moon clipped 9MMs can not do)



Two of my Model 627s now have second cylinders chambered for 9x23 Winchester that go along with their original 357 Magnum cylinder





Thanks to moon clips, these additional cylinders are capable of chambering and safely firing 9x23 Winchester, 38 Super, 38 ACP, 356TSW, 9x21, 9MM Parabellum, 380 ACP and others.

I have a few cylinders on hand for my 357 Magnum J-frames that are gong to be setup for 38 Super (and all of the shorter cartridges) when I get around to it

Once you get used to moon clips, most people never turn back

Instead of buying a new revolver, why not get a second cylinder for one of your existing Smith & Wessons. That way you are already used to the trigger as well as the weight and balance of the firearm

Perhaps you even already own leather for it
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
Moonclips make the rounds easier to eject and reload. I have a Charter in 45 ACP and a variety of S&Wís in 45 ACP and 9mm. I prefer the moonclips.
With the full moon clips, what do you do if you only fire one or two shots and want to top off the gun? Wouldnít you have to eject the remaining loaded rounds with the fired brass?
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:14 AM
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Even with moonclips a K Frame 9mm revolver would be a handy little revolver (for those of us that can’t afford a Model 547).
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:13 AM
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Here's my split personality Model 10. One cylinder shoots 38 Special. The other uses 9mm in moon clips. I just love shooting this one in either mode. It probably will do .380 ACP also but haven't tried it.
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by smoothshooter View Post
With the full moon clips, what do you do if you only fire one or two shots and want to top off the gun? Wouldnít you have to eject the remaining loaded rounds with the fired brass?

And how is it any different from swapping in a new magazine?

Instead of just dumping that one, stick it in your pocket.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:33 AM
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People are saying moon clips are not a problem but I honestly can't imagine dealing with that extra step. I grab a gun and a couple boxes of ammo and go to the range to shoot. I'm a big believer in the KISS mentality and if I had to preload a bunch of clips or stand at the range reloading clips I know I would just end up taking my 44 and spend fifty bucks on ammo and that's not something I can afford on a regular basis.

The little Pitbull revolver seems to be my best option until S&W arrives at the 21st century and starts manufacturing little 9mm revolvers that can fire and extract without moon clips.

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Old 09-07-2020, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by smoothshooter View Post
With the full moon clips, what do you do if you only fire one or two shots and want to top off the gun? Wouldnít you have to eject the remaining loaded rounds with the fired brass?
It's a fantasy to think you will be reloading a revolver in a gunfight let alone topping one off.
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:50 AM
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Still recall a conversation about 7-8 years ago when I was working p/t at a large, busy LGS.
Periodically, we'd have a big sale and a S&W Performance Center employee would be in attendance for people to bring in their S&W that may have small issues and this fella would fix them. A the time, he'd been with S&W about 33 years - soon to retire.

He was a wealth of S&W info, and recall talking with him about the M547 which I'd sure like to own.
He related that to his knowledge there is not a single employee at S&W that is trained to work on the 547's extractor system, which of course is like no other.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Rammer Jammer View Post
It's a fantasy to think you will be reloading a revolver in a gunfight let alone topping one off.
Gunfight? Seriously? If that post weren't so troubling it would make me laugh. I've been on this earth 62 years and have never been in a "gunfight" and I'm thinkin I could go another 62 years without being in one as well.

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Old 09-07-2020, 12:33 PM
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I would love to have a 547.
Years ago, Urban Legend had it that the Navajo Nation Police went 9mm and some of them balked on Autos and preferred the 547.
So there were a few around these parts but I didn’t manage to get my hands on one.
Also don’t like MoonClips!
I am not a Moonie!
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:47 PM
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We should feel really sorry for all those poor semi-auto shooters who can't shoot without loading magazines. They don't get a choice. Loading clips is not really any different than loading magazines. Plus, with moon clips you get ALL of YOUR brass back without looking like a chicken hunting for bugs to eat. Your brass isn't mixed in with hundreds of other range brass like the semi-auto that throws it everywhere.

For the casual range plinker or target shooter, it doesn't really matter if you have moonclips or even speedloaders. For competition shooters, reloading on the clock, it makes a big difference.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:59 PM
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Why not chamber it in 38 Super? The 9MM is to 38 Super as the 38 Special is to the 357.
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:33 PM
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<<Plus, with moon clips you get ALL of YOUR brass back without looking like a chicken hunting for bugs to eat.>>

I have a grocery bag sitting open next to me, brass gets dumped in there.
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:51 PM
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Why not chamber it in 38 Super? The 9MM is to 38 Super as the 38 Special is to the 357.
Most times, 38 Super will fit in a 38 Special or 357 chamber. You just need the moon clip to headspace on.
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:29 PM
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I was at the shop one day and a friend of my dad's showed up, walked right in and said, "hey, your dad told me you liked 9mm! Check this out!"
He pulls out a 547 4". I held it. IMO a beautiful revolver. I didn't get a chance to check out the beryllium extractor, as proper etiquette would dictate not to mess with a man's gun other than how he handed it to you.

Moonclips are the modern day evolution to a double action revolver. I do believe all modern day revolvers should be moonclipped. The rimmed cartridge will fire if one uses a moonclip or not. Auto rounds will need a clip.
In extraction and insertion, hands down, a moonclip beats anything. Anytime.



I put 11k rounds through my 627 in 2 years time. I'd still be standing in the range loading it, if I didn't have them all on moonclips! That's 11,000 rounds all on moonclips.

The reason I do shoot the 929 and 986 is because they are moonclipped. Assures me the fastest load and extraction without wasting time. Already logged more than 10k rounds on those. Ofcourse all moonclipped.
I broke the 986 once already. Got it back from the factory good as new. (Broken pin on hand)
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:32 PM
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I had a 3" 547, two actually. That, undoubtedly expensive to manufacture, extraction system functioned perfectly, even with +P and +P+ ammo. But I agree with colt_saa, that system will not be returning to the S&W line. I would be happy if S&W would prove me, and colt_saa, wrong about this.

I still have a couple little 5-shooter 9MM revolvers that use moon clips. I still like the 9MM revolvers in spite of having to load moon clips. Still enjoy semi-autos too, in spite of having to load magazines
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Old 09-07-2020, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by BLACKHAWKNJ View Post
Why not chamber it in 38 Super? The 9MM is to 38 Super as the 38 Special is to the 357.
I wanted to shoot 38s and actually bought an old Model 10 because the ammo even though slightly more money than 9mm won't break the bank. So I take the Model 10 to a smith near my house and he looks it over and tells me there's no evidence that it's ever been fired beyond the test firing at the factory. So now I have this ANIB Model 10 from 1962 that I figure I'll just keep and not shoot which puts me back in the market for a revolver that's affordable to shoot.

Love the old Smiths. Would buy an old 547 if I were made of money but well, I'm just not. So I'm looking at the little Pitbulls but in a perfect world S&W would reintroduce a little 9mm revolver that doesn't need moon clips.

Hopefully the Smith engineers monitor this forum and listen to what we have to say. Maybe I should have titled this thread BRING BACK THE 547!!
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Old 09-07-2020, 03:25 PM
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People are saying moon clips are not a problem but I honestly can't imagine dealing with that extra step. I grab a gun and a couple boxes of ammo and go to the range to shoot. I'm a big believer in the KISS mentality and if I had to preload a bunch of clips or stand at the range reloading clips I know I would just end up taking my 44 and spend fifty bucks on ammo and that's not something I can afford on a regular basis.

The little Pitbull revolver seems to be my best option until S&W arrives at the 21st century and starts manufacturing little 9mm revolvers that can fire and extract without moon clips.
First of all moon clips are no more of a hassle than magazines for an auto and a whole lot less expensive. I bet I have a 100 45 acp moon clips.

Keep it simple. OK. Take a look at your Pit bulls extractor and tell me they kept it simple when compared to a clip revolver. Your Pitbulls extractor fails, one of its little do dads busts or sticks and your done. What you going to use to reload anyway. A simple clip or a speed loader with little parts and knobs? Could just keep it simple with a plain old steel clip. A keep it simple design since 1917
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Old 09-07-2020, 03:33 PM
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I wanted to shoot 38s and actually bought an old Model 10 because the ammo even though slightly more money than 9mm won't break the bank. So I take the Model 10 to a smith near my house and he looks it over and tells me there's no evidence that it's ever been fired beyond the test firing at the factory. So now I have this ANIB Model 10 from 1962 that I figure I'll just keep and not shoot which puts me back in the market for a revolver that's affordable to shoot.

Love the old Smiths. Would buy an old 547 if I were made of money but well, I'm just not. So I'm looking at the little Pitbulls but in a perfect world S&W would reintroduce a little 9mm revolver that doesn't need moon clips.

Hopefully the Smith engineers monitor this forum and listen to what we have to say. Maybe I should have titled this thread BRING BACK THE 547!!
About 9 years too late.

bring back the s&amp;w model 547 9mm revolver
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Old 09-07-2020, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhfromme View Post
People are saying moon clips are not a problem but I honestly can't imagine dealing with that extra step. I grab a gun and a couple boxes of ammo and go to the range to shoot. I'm a big believer in the KISS mentality and if I had to preload a bunch of clips or stand at the range reloading clips I know I would just end up taking my 44 and spend fifty bucks on ammo and that's not something I can afford on a regular basis.

The little Pitbull revolver seems to be my best option until S&W arrives at the 21st century and starts manufacturing little 9mm revolvers that can fire and extract without moon clips.
Don't you have to preload your magazines as well?

Randy
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Old 09-07-2020, 05:02 PM
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The little Pitbull revolver seems to be my best option until S&W arrives at the 21st century and starts manufacturing little 9mm revolvers that can fire and extract without moon clips.
Probably about the same time everyone else arrives at the 21st century and starts manufacturing semi-autos that can fire and extract without magazines.

I have been loading my moon clips a lot of times before a match when someone else who is loading mags says "Isn't that a lot of hassle to have to load those?". When I point out that they are doing the same thing for their gun, (sometimes) the light comes on...
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Old 09-07-2020, 07:31 PM
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Gunfight? Seriously? If that post weren't so troubling it would make me laugh. I've been on this earth 62 years and have never been in a "gunfight" and I'm thinkin I could go another 62 years without being in one as well.
What are you getting at?

Do you top off while shooting at the range? If so, why?
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:05 PM
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Don't you have to preload your magazines as well?

Randy
If you compete or just like moon clips they are not a big deal. But they are definitely more of a hassle than magazines.

I used to have a 610 and disliked moon clips. I usually skipped using them and plucked the empties out with a fingernail instead. I needed them for stiff loads that got sticky and 40 S&W but did not shoot much of either of those types of loads. I still reloaded while I had the 610 and if I wanted a 40 S&W power level I put less powder in a 10mm case. But even so moon clips are one of the main reasons I sold the no-dash 610 I had owned since the early 90s and replaced it with a S&W 69.

It was pretty easy to load moon clips just by pushing in the shell and I had a tool to help unload them. But with a Maglula I can load a semiauto magazine much quicker than the same number of rounds into moon clips. Getting the empty shells out of a moon clip was harder than getting them in. With a semiauto you can skip that step. Since I quit reloading brass is no longer a precious commodity and it only takes a minute or two to sweep it up and throw it away.

Having the right tools helps with both magazines and clips. But the Maglula makes quicker work of loading than any moon clip tool I have seen. And while one Maglula will work with all your magazines the same is not true for moon clip loaders at least not the type that pop out all the empties at once.

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Old 09-07-2020, 08:45 PM
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Luckily, there are enough choices so everyone can do it the way they like best.
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:01 PM
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Was a statement above about most any .38 Super will fit and fire in .38/.357s... I can tell you that there are only two factory rounds I have found that will...one is the Winchester Silvertip and and I can't recall the other but it is one of the foreign makers. The others will not..at least in the guns I have tried them in...

There is also another problem and that is headspace... While they do headspace on their tiny rim, it is not near as thick as a .38/.357 rim and there can be punctured primers and misfires because or it.

For you shooters who have 940s and the Ruger LCRs, have you had any cycling or extraction problems with +P or +P+ ammo.... I saw above where one of the owners of a 547 said he had none but in the one 940 and two LCRs I have had, they didn't want to run with anything over standard pressure ammo.

I think that the gun manufacturers are missing the boat not putting .38 Super into snubbies especially. The Super is a straight walled case while the 9mm has a slight taper. I think this is the reason that 9mm above standard pressure lock up a 940...and I have a friend with a 940 and does the same.

Several years ago I had TK Custom make up extra .38 Super/9mm cylinders for a 66-2 3", 649 and a 60-10... I also have a 686-7 PC limited edition...really great shooters when using .38 Super...

There are three 547s on one of the auction site now...prices start at $1700...one is unfired in the box... Personally I would rather buy a nice 3" 65 and send it to TK or Pinnacle and have a Super/9mm made.. Clips don't bother me...

Bob
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Protocall_Design View Post
Most times, 38 Super will fit in a 38 Special or 357 chamber. You just need the moon clip to headspace on.
Yep!
I shoot 38 Super in my 2.6Ē 627-5, using moon clips.
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:21 PM
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Here are a couple pictures of the M-547 cylinder and extractor.

If you look close (rear of the Beryllium) you can see the umbrella that grabs the shell.
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Old 09-07-2020, 11:55 PM
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Thanks for sharing that old thread Murphydog. Looks like back in 2011 this forum had a lot of guys rooting for a 547 comeback. And now that 9mm is getting even more popular I would think there'd be even more of a ground swell for a good 9mm revolver. Let's make some noise 9 mil fans! BRING BACK THE 547!!

Last edited by Bhfromme; 09-08-2020 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:10 PM
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Back in the 80s S&W made a sweet little 9mm revolver, the Model 547. Yes, today's revolver lineup has the 929 and the 986 that are chambered in 9mm but they need moon clips. The old 547s had a funky little extractor that held the rimless cartridges in place and extracted them without needing moon clips. Pretty sweet indeed.

So now that 9mm has taken over the world I'm wishing S&W would reintroduce the 547. The cost savings of 9mm ammo compared even to 38 Special is significant and the availability right now is much better too so I'm real interested in getting my hands on a little 9mm revolver. There is a manufacturer in Connecticut (that shall remain unnamed) that claims to own a patent for an extractor that does essentially what the 547 did back in the 80s. Must be a different design. Don't really know. All I know is that their little revolver (that shall also remain unnamed) fires inexpensive 9mm ammo without the hassle of those silly moon clips.

Has anyone heard about S&W bringing back a 9mm revolver that doesn't require moon clips? Maybe if they received enough requests from us average Joe Sixpacks they might consider it. Thoughts?
Question, will my s&w mod 940 really shoot 380 ammo?
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:38 PM
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Does anybody have a Charter Pitbull?
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:48 PM
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Does anybody have a Charter Pitbull?
I will hopefully by the end of the week!
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:53 PM
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I will hopefully by the end of the week!
All right!
Itís nice to see a big spender!
Please give us a full report after your first range outing.
Iím especially interested in extraction when hot and dirty.
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Old 09-08-2020, 07:09 PM
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Does anybody have a Charter Pitbull?
I have one in 45 ACP. The fit and finish are noticeably worse than any S&W Iíve owed. The sights are mediocre. The trigger pull leaves a lot to be desired. The ejection system works, but moonclips work better.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:37 PM
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I have one in 45 ACP. The fit and finish are noticeably worse than any S&W Iíve owed. The sights are mediocre. The trigger pull leaves a lot to be desired. The ejection system works, but moonclips work better.
Didnít expect it to have Smith fit and finish.
Ignition and extraction are the key factors here.
Exactly how well does the extraction- ejection work when itís hot and dirty?
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  #38  
Old 09-09-2020, 01:26 AM
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Iíve got a S&W M-940 and a Ruger SP-101 9mm but my guess is the K Frame would be the ďsweet spotĒ for a 9mm revolver.
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:39 AM
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I have always wanted to own a model 547, and hopefully i'll eventually be able to afford one to use as a range gun. I am sure the prices will eventually rise out of the realm of remote possibility for me fairly quickly.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:09 AM
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The 3 inch M-547 is a very accurate revolver.

Here is a picture of one of my range targets at 15 ft.

With the rubber stocks it's very easy to handle and control.
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Old 09-09-2020, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by THE PILGRIM View Post
Didnít expect it to have Smith fit and finish.
Ignition and extraction are the key factors here.
Exactly how well does the extraction- ejection work when itís hot and dirty?
Shooting 45 ACP out of a gun that weighs about 20 ounces isn't a fun experience. I've never put enough rounds down range to get really get the gun either hot or dirty. I've never run into problems, but I've probably never put more than 25 rounds through it in one range visit.

Even when the gun is clean using the proper technique is needed to prevent tying the cylinder up if you allow the cartridge to slip under the ejector. If trying to empty the cylinder and you have the gun pointed down it's possible that the brass will fall back into the charge hole. Make sure to point the gun up so the rounds fall out and away from the cylinder.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by dcopper View Post
Question, will my s&w mod 940 really shoot 380 ammo?
Yes.

.380 ACP in a 940? Why, yes! Yes, you can.
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Old 09-12-2020, 07:15 AM
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C'mon guys let's keep this thread alive. In fact, I'm going to write to S&W to BRING BACK THE 547 and I encourage everyone to do the same. If the extractor on the 547 was too costly to manufacture I'm sure if their engineers put enough time into it they could come up with a way to design an extraction system that doesn't require moon clips. Yes, they have to be careful not to violate Charter's patent and yes, it may cost more to build but as people continue to buy these cheap semi-autos the market for a high quality revolver designed to shoot rimless cartridges without screwing around with moon clips will continue to expand. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:09 AM
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We need the 547 - it gives us more performance out of our ammo!

Revolver vs. Semiauto Pistol: A Ballistic Oddity

(Never know when you're going to learn something new! )
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  #45  
Old 09-12-2020, 11:27 AM
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Reference SuperMan's post #28 above, like his my 940 exhibits very hard/sticky extraction with some higher pressure ammo. My 9MM Ruger SP101 on the other hand digests +P+, and any other type of factory ammo I've tried in it, with no issues whatsoever.

I tried this years ago, and some factory .38 Super ammo fits in some .38/.357 revolvers, but with the thinner rim headspace was excessive and sometimes resulted in pierced primers,etc. Interesting, but my curiosity about this has been satisfied. Without having the cylinders properly modified with moon clips to properly headspace, and for easy extraction, I don't need to experiment with this anymore.

I'd like to see more revolvers factory chambered in 9MM and .38 Super, even if they used moon clips
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Old 09-12-2020, 12:38 PM
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This conversation was active back in April I believe so much of this has been covered. When I was in the business I got my hands on four of these 547ís and sold off three still have one. These are incontrovertibly one of the finest handling K frames Iíve ever shot. But S&W found out the hard way just how expensive they were to tool up and build. The 547 program was an attempt to make a profitable entrance into the NATO arms market of Europe, Israel, Turkey etc where the 9mm was the standard and revolvers were still alive and well. Timing was wrong as semi auto pistols took the market within a few short years. At the time these guns were introduced the 9mm was not the end all top dog defense cartridge or military standard it soon became here in the U.S. . Therefore there was no reliable domestic market for these guns.

My understanding was the unsold homeless guns got sold off by international merchants and many came back to the states where Iím told they were routed to the bigger dealers. I recall seeing them listed in the Shotgun News and have personally seen local police in Bahrain wearing them back in the mid 80ís. Great handling and shooting revolvers but itís probably unreasonable to think a company with the marketing and bean counting mentality of S&W would entertain building an atypical revolver these days.

Rick
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:16 PM
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re: CA PitBull

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
I have one in 45 ACP. The fit and finish are noticeably worse than any S&W Iíve owed. The sights are mediocre. The trigger pull leaves a lot to be desired. The ejection system works, but moonclips work better.

The first one I tried was the .45 in black nitride. I don't know why I thought it would different from a BullDog, as the ballistics are similar. Suffice to say, unpleasant to shoot, for me. The Bulldog fans here would dig it, I'm sure.

Last year, I found an original run 6-SHOT 9mm, and took the chance. Thankfully, I've not initially found any function issues that seemed to have plagued them. However, my POI is quite off-kilter from POA when going past 7yds. I thought perhaps it may have been designed around the 147gr loads that were en-vogue at the time. I wrote CA, and they said that NO, 115gr is the load. To their credit, they said that filing my front sight would NOT void the warranty, LOL. I think that installation of a driftable dovetailed J-frame sight would be the preference, instead.

Either one had a fit and finish about on-par with a Ruger, say SP101. Ditto the trigger. So, each is quite manageable. The 9mm recoils like a steel J-frame with hot .38, or perhaps 3" K-frame with medium strength magnums.
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  #48  
Old 09-15-2020, 12:33 AM
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The 9mm NATO is quite manageable in a 'snubbie' revolver as others have mentioned. Also, moon-clips are the way to go. I've had mine [Ruger SP-101], since the late-80's.

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