New Charter Arms Rimless Revolver (CARR)

charter-arms-rimless-revolver.jpg

Charter Arms have issued a press release heralding their “revolutionary new rimless revolver” the Charter Arms Rimless Revolver (CARR), that will go on sale Q1 2009.

Charter-Arms-Rimless-Revolver

Problem: The major drawback to rimless semi-auto cartridges in revolvers is they require specially made revolvers. These low-production, somewhat scarce and, highly-specialized revolvers are limited to sometimes fragile and expensive moon/half moon ammunition clips. Generally, only revolver aficionados and collectors bother with (.45ACP and 9mm Parabellum) rimless revolvers. While they may sometimes be fired without the specialized moon clips, generally the ejector rod will not eject the free-floating fired cases (got a pencil?).

Solution: Charter Arms has come up with an affordable revolver that chambers rimless semi-auto rounds in the same manner as a standard rimmed-cartridge revolver.

The first caliber on offer will be .40 S&W which will be followed by .45 ACP 3-4 months later and 9mm Parabellum (that will also be able to chamber .380 ACP) 3-4 months after that. All will be able to handle +P ammunition.

Initially only snubnosed models will be produced (2″ barrel for 9mm and 2.2″ barrel for .40 and .45ACP).

The MSRPs are:
9mm: $399
.40 S&W: $449
.45 ACP: $449

Although revolvers that fire rimless cartridges are not new, I am sure these will sell well. I think quite a few auto pistol owners but may balk at the thought of having to stock up on revolver caliber ammunition, but would be tempted by a revolver that chambers their favorite pistol cartridge.

Hat Tip: Ammoland

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • HD

    Sign me up for one, or three if my budget can afford it! Just thinking of getting one in .40S&W sends shivers down my spine. :)

  • http://votefordavid.blogspot.com Vote For David

    If I had the cash, I’d be #1 in line for one of these. I would really like a revolver for my wife to keep around the house, but 6 calibers is enough already…

  • http://xanga.com/ruger22lr 22lr

    Ill buy one for sure, I shy away from having a gun cabinet full of different calipers, this is a good idea and ill be buying one at least.

  • Mike

    I don’t know… moonclips are kinda useful, make loading a revolver much easier than with loose ammo. Even a speedloader is better than loose ammo.

    Rimless moonclips are pretty sturdy too. I know the ones for rimmed 38 spl or 357 mag are a little flimsy, but there are some thicker ones that work with remmington/peters and similiar brass that are not too bad.

    Just a little defence for the simple moonclip or speedloader. I think the moonclip just brings the revolver to a much higher level.

  • OFallon

    For those of us who love the .45acp revolvers, this is a gift. Comparing prices to any such on the market and it sounds like a steal. I certainly hope they get their wits and realize that 4″-6″ in the acp will sell a lot more guns than 2.5″ – at least that is what both Colt and S&W found.

    I want one.

  • Gunfan

    This is an idea that Nick (CEO of Charter Arms) said that his engineers had been formulating. I think that they are going to sell like hotcakes!

    If, as OFallon stated, Nick begins producing these in 4″ and 6″ barreled versions as well, we will likely see a resurgence in revolver sales above and beyond those seen to date.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    FWIW: .40 S&W and 10mm rounds will fit in a Bianchi Speed Strip designed for .38 Special and .357 Magnum. The rim diameters are nearly the same. They will also fit in .38/.357 speedloaders, but I doubt that a J-Frame speedloader will have the correct spacing for a Bulldog cylinder.

    However, if the extractor system is anything like the S&W 547 and Medusa, the spring-loaded extractor will drag on the cartridge case. This can prevent the cartridges from falling into place under their own weight. You will need to press on each cartridge to completely seat them in the cylinder.

  • http://www.geeksoncaffeine.com Scott Maxim

    This is the perverbial best of both worlds!

    I’m a 9mm shooter and reloader who hasn’t a single wheelgun. When the 9mm version of this gun is released, I’ll be there dropping my four bills!

    Why?

    1) 9mm is still the cheapest ammo out there. What better way to teach yourself effective trigger control and proper usage of a revolver than to shoot one that’s still relatively inexpensive on the ammo side of the equasion?

    2) Ammo standardization. The less calibers I have to worry about the better. Once again, I reload 9mm, so Charter’s inclusion of a revolver into the ranks of 9mm firearms means that I can have a three gun battery when I include my semi-auto pistols and my carbine. 3 different defensive weapons, one standard ammo. Perfect!

    3) A lifetime warranty to boot? It’s a no-brainer!

    While there are those who poo-poo Charter’s offerings, I say let the product speak for itself when it’s released. Charter has shown a willingness to innovate and their quality control seems to be on the rise over the last couple of years.

    This could be a serious home run for Charter!

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Scott, let us know how it performs when you get it.

    • noob

      I wonder if a variant of the extractor could be made so the weapon could digest 9mm, .38 and .357mag…

      maybe by letting the tops of the rimmed cartrides rest on the extractor, while the groove of a rimless cartridge is captured by the extractor spring.

      I remember a weapon called the manticore being advertised that claimed this, but i’be never seen one.

  • Gunfan

    Unfortunately, I’m looking for a position with a correctional facility. I’ll look into one later, when I can afford any of them! (While my preference runs to the .45 ACP, the .40 S&W wouldn’t be a bad bet either!)

    Scott

  • Gunfan

    BTW, already own a Charter Arms “Undercoverette” in .32 H&R Magnum. The .32 Mag snubby isn’t too bad either. about 1000 fps from an 85-grain bullet leaving a 2″ barreled revolver will certainly put the “hurts” (perhaps terminally) on a BG! It is light, fast and provides five quick shots of “.32 caliber goodness” when asked!

    Scott

  • Sam

    I called Charter Arms yesterday, Jan. 5, 2009 and spoke with the head of the company. He told me that Charter Arms is not developing a 9mm revolver. I had wanted to purchase one. What gives? Sam

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      Sam, that is weird. The press release did state that 9mm would not be initially available. Maybe they have dropped plans to offer it. Did you ask about the CARR revolver? What specifically did he say?

      More information should be announced at SHOT Show in a few days.

  • TURNz

    My only complaint is that the .40 should have been chambered in 10mm, with .40 as the “special” option.

  • Sam

    Regarding the question on the development of a 9mm revolver being developed by Charter Arms. The gentleman that I spoke with identified himself as being in charge of the factory. He said the Charter Arms was developing a .40 revolver and, if I remember correctly, he said he knew of no plans to develop a 9mm revolver. Much to my disappoint since I cannot afford a used S&W 9mm revolver. Sam

  • jack jr

    i agree with the comment on barell length for .45acp.since that round is barrel length sensitive.

  • cabopc

    I love revolvers but other than my .22 I’ve held off on buying one because I prefer 9mm ammo (price & convenience). I’ll be seriously considering one of these. A Southpaw model would be a dream come true.

  • Anon

    I’d love to have a QUALITY 9mm revolver, particularly one with a 4″ (or even 6″) barrel, and adjustable sights.

    *IF* you could get it to work, its a great concept. 9mm ammo is cheaper than .38 special, but more powerful, and you can share the same ammo with your semi-automatic pistols. The shorter cases of the 9mm also potentially let you put a longer barrel into the same overall sized gun compared to a .38/.357.

    This isn’t a new concept; both Smith and Taurus have had moonclip-less 9mm revolvers out in the past.

    Unfortunately, these were discontinued because of lack of demand, increased complexity (eg cost) and in some cases decreased reliability.

    The Smith 9mms are scarce, and now command extremely high prices (eg $800 for used ones). The Taurus guns are even scarcer.

    Anyway, while I’d love to have one of these, I’m going to sit on the sidelines and wait to see if these actually materialize, and then if they do, if they have any technical or functional problems.

    Apart from the lack of a rim for extraction, the slightly tapered cases of the 9mm luger make the rounds want to back out of a revolver cylinder during recoil, creating another technical issue in designing a 9mm luger revolver.

  • Art

    I’d definitely plunk down the cash for a .45 revolver.
    My Bulldog Pug in .44 Sp. is from circa 1980′s.
    I use it as an example of how an AWFUL TRIGGER feels … stagey, rough, stiff. Has Charter improved their triggers in the intervening decades?

    But I still love that sick lil pup. Bites the hand that feeds it … A revolver to carry much and shoot little.

  • Matthew

    This is pretty awesome news, looking forward to seeing the product. I wish S&W had half the creativity Charter and Taurus are showing, and/or that Charter and Taurus has a little better QC. Then again, I’ve heard reasonably good things about the current Charter guns compared to earlier.

    Not to derail, but since folks mentioned the Undercoverette, is the frame/cylinder even smaller than an S&W J-frame? If so, I must buy one, if only to spite Smith for not making the I-frame anymore. I hate how Smith will put shorter/thinner cartridges in a J-frame, not shrink the frame down to scale, and then drop them when they don’t sell. Of _course_ folks won’t by it if it’s not any smaller than the J-frames they can already buy.

  • Dom

    You know, I don’t think chambering the gun in 10mm would permit use of the .40 like .357 and .38 do. Since rimmed cartridges headspace on the rim, this is no problem for the .357s. But general all semi-auto cartridges I know of headspace on the rim. The rim inside the .357 chamber is only there to make room for the brass, and so, yes, you can shoot over that rim with a .38.

    But, with a .40 in a 10mm chamber, the firing pin is going to make the cartridge move – there’s nothing to hold it back uniformly until it headspaces on the rim. If the cartridge moves too easily, it may not even go off. Certainly, ignition won’t be reliable. This is also likely to hamper the shell’s ability to form to the chamber and seal it, resulting in excessive blowback.

    You would also have to hope the extractor hangs on to the rim through the process. It probably would, but that would require the engineering of that part so that it is not just an extractor but also an improvised headspacer. Plus, since the extractor only grabs part of the rim, the shell could easily become cockeyed.

    What they *could* do is build it to 10mm dimensions and offer a second cylinder, however. That would be much like the 22LR/22WMR revolvers out there. This, of course, may require more sophisticated manufacture and thus would drive up cost from what is a very good price for reliable self-defense.

  • Matt

    I will be quite sad if the news about the 9 mm is true. I definitely would buy one if they were available.

    CHEAP practice ammo
    Lots of quality defensive ammo choices
    Good enough round for carry
    Low recoil

    Unless there are manufacturing and design issues with the 9 mm round, I think that if it were marketed correctly, they would be FOOLISH not to offer it.

  • Dom

    Oooh, I hate it when I do that.

    “all semi-auto cartridges I know of headspace on the *case mouth*.”

  • Jay

    Dom’s comments about cartridge movment are true in theory, but consider the Ruger Blackhawk, which has had 9mm and 45ACP cylinders for decades. I have one, and it is very reliable with 9mm.

  • Snyde

    Bet that I have one as soon as the ACP hits the street. I may have a .40 too since its my PD’s issue caliber. I had been after S&W for a good while to come on with a J-frame in 10/40 so I guess I’ll have to just accept the CARR as a blessing!!!!!!

    I hope the trigger work is better than the other Charters I’ve had……..

  • Atticus

    “Generally, only revolver aficionados and collectors bother with (.45ACP and 9mm Parabellum) rimless revolvers.”

    Really?

    Come to any USPSA match and see how the 5″ 625 dominates the Revolver Division. For IDPA, see how many 4″ 625 shooters there are. Hard to believe there are that many “only revolver aficionados” competing with them.

    I shoot a 625 at matches – UNLESS I’m shooting Limited or L-10 that day.

    Note that the 610 will happily fire both 10mm and .40 S&W. However, it uses moon clips to hold the cartridges in position.

  • Gunfan

    Matthewon 16 Feb 2009 at 5:07 pm link comment\

    This is pretty awesome news, looking forward to seeing the product. I wish S&W had half the creativity Charter and Taurus are showing, and/or that Charter and Taurus has a little better QC. Then again, I’ve heard reasonably good things about the current Charter guns compared to earlier.

    Not to derail, but since folks mentioned the Undercoverette, is the frame/cylinder even smaller than an S&W J-frame? If so, I must buy one, if only to spite Smith for not making the I-frame anymore. I hate how Smith will put shorter/thinner cartridges in a J-frame, not shrink the frame down to scale, and then drop them when they don’t sell. Of _course_ folks won’t by it if it’s not any smaller than the J-frames they can already buy.

    The Charter Arms “Undercoverette” is slightly smaller than a “J” frame S&W. (This effectively “splits the difference” between an “I” and “J” frame revolver frame.) On the other hand, the Charter Arms “Patriot”, chambered for the .327 Federal Magnum revolver cartridge is built upon the same frame used for their .357 Magnum “Pug” and .44 S&W Special “Bulldog revolvers.

    I LIKE my little “Undercoverette”. As I said before, the .32 H&R Magnum will “put the hurts” on a BG pretty quickly. If you need the power provided by the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge, buy it! If I bought the revolver, I’d want with the 4″ barrel acccompanied with adjustable sights. Low recoil, plenty of penetration, (a good thing to employ during a gun fight) and great expansion. What’s not to like?

    Scott

  • Jesse

    Dom,

    I have a S&W 610, and I shoot 10mm and 40S&W back to back. It is completely short sighted to not chamber this for the 10mm.

  • http://www.charterfirearms.com/products/CARR.html Lancaster

    Charter Arms Rimless Revolver (CARR) will be available late Fall 2009!
    Charter Arms announces an affordable revolver that chambers rimless semi-automtic rounds the same way as a standard rimmed-cartridge revolver.

    Now the average gun owner can own an affordable, trouble-free revolver chambered in these popular semi-auto rounds without the need for specialized ammunition clips and a specialized gun.

    With the patent-pending Charter Arms Rimless Revolver Round System a round is loaded into the chamber and a specialized spring engages the cartridge’s ejector groove. When the cylinder is opened and the ejector rod operated, it extracts and ejects the fired cases.

  • Gammon

    I have been waiting for a 45 ACP revolver for many years. I shoot a lot of 45 and would love to have a revolver (carry gun) that I could practice with using my every day practice ammo. I do think, however, that CA has dropped the ball on this one.

    Full moon clips are not “fragile”, they are the best way to reload a revolver. Rather than the rimless extractor, I believe that full moon clips are the way to go. These clips should at least be offered as an option in the CARR. S&W offers this system on several revolvers and it has become very popular; I love my Model 625.

  • http://seirra5@bellsouth,net paul

    I would like to see one before I buy one , do anybody have one, if so let me know about it thanks

  • http://none Dan

    These revolvers are not in the Charter Arms catalog yet but one in 9mm is FOR SALE here:

    http://www.gundirectory.com/more.asp?gid=20860&gun=Revolver

    Does this mean they are in production or is this a demo that escaped?

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    Dan,

    That looks more like a reference/review site than a store.

  • Jason m

    I have a .45 auto that is a finicky eater. It does not like some of the rounds I try to feed it and would love to have a .45 acp revolver to take care of the left overs.

  • looking closely

    Q1 2009 has come and gone and so has Q2 2010, but I haven’t heard of nor seen any of these revolvers yet.

    I’d assume Charter arms has quietly dropped plans for production.

    Whether its because they don’t think the guns will sell in this bad economy, or more likely because they could actually get working guns out at their stated price point is unclear, but again . . .no guns.

    Personally, I’d be thrilled to drop $400 on a quality 9mm luger snubnose. or even a .45ACP. . .(“quality” being key) but I’m not holding my breath here. I

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com Steve

      looking, I suspect they had major problems with the design. Assume it does not exist until otherwise proven.

  • Denton

    Unless Charter is planning to make a shorter frame for these chamberings, the only advantage of 9mm over .38 Special is cost of ammo. If you reload, that disappears. A .38-length gun chambered in 9mm provides no reduction in size, and the “jump” from chamber to barrel will provide poorer accuracy. A 5-shot 9mm (or .380) could be a really small gun, if it is sized to the cartridge.
    BTW, I like my S&W 1917. It’s very quick to reload with full moon clips. I made shotshells for it by shortening and trimming .30-06 brass.

  • scott t

    “….on barell length for .45acp.since that round is barrel length sensitive.”

    isnt every cartridge barrell length sensitive??

    para makes diminutive .45acp pistols as do others

  • scott t

    “I certainly hope they get their wits and realize that 4″-6″ in the acp will sell a lot more guns than 2.5″

    why??? isnt 4 to 6 inch covered well in the market by the semiautos with more ammo capacity already?? 10+ rounds?

    do many carry a revolver as a primary and a semi auto as a backup?? or is it more likely to be the other way around??

  • scott t

    “Full moon clips are not “fragile”, they are the best way to reload a revolver. Rather than the rimless extractor, I believe that full moon clips are the way to go. ”

    why??

    doesnt every rimmed cartridge fiirng revolver have a speedloader available for purchase somewhere??

    did the hks 547 speedloader that i have seen mentioned online work as well as any other speedloader???

    and if you happen to have neither moonclip nor speedloader for rimless cartridge wouldnt it still be easier to extract casings from for faster hand loading if necessary??

  • scott t

    “My only complaint is that the .40 should have been chambered in 10mm, with .40 as the “special” option.”

    why?

    how prevalent is te 10mm to the 40 sw?? would i tmake more sense to provide a carr revolver for the most widely used cartridges and if successful then add more???

    hasnt the 10mm lost favor with many police ??? either power or cost issues?? i believe raleigh nc quit using it years ago

    • noob

      The point is that you would have one gun that can digest both 10mm and 40s&w.

      that is a capability that no gun on the market has.

      A lot of people who own .357magnum revolvers load them with .38 special to save their wrists and their hip pockets. Why have a .357 magnum revolver when you’re going to use .38 special for plinking, target shooting and defence?

      because you like the feel of the more solidly constructed handgun, the weight helps with the recoil and because it’s pretty darned cool to just buy a box of .357 once in a while for fun. (remember to clean the fouling off the chambers where it will accumulate after firing a lot of .38 special in a .357 mag cylinder or you might have problems ejecting the empty cases).

      Likewise it would be nice to know that although you mostly use 40 S&W for everything, you have the capability in this hypthetical 10mm revolver to put a moose that you hit with your truck out of its misery simply by loading a single round of “magnum” ammo.

  • scott t

    the “jump” from chamber to barrel will provide poorer accuracy………….

    maybe you can contact the company if that if frame size is an issue for you.

    isnt the 38spl shorter than a 357mag and they can be fired in the same gun??? do all bullets jump from cylinder to barrel??

    the only advantage of 9mm over .38 Special is cost of ammo. If you reload, that disappears. …………….

    reload the gun? or handload new bullets into casings??

    what if you dont reload?

  • scott t

    and would love to have a .45 acp revolver to take care of the left overs……..

    400 dollars worth of bad 45acp??

  • scott t

    looking, I suspect they had major problems with the design. Assume it does not exist until otherwise proven………

    would a company release information about a new product that didnt even work???

    letting other manufacturees aware of their plans and giving a release date based on a non working firearm design???

    why assume it doen not exist?? why not say i dont know.

  • scott t

    *IF* you could get it to work, its a great concept……..

    i was told on another borad that it isnt a concept but an actual product. why the delays i dont know.

  • scott t

    The major drawback to rimless semi-auto cartridges in revolvers is they require specially made revolvers…………

    i dont really understand this. the lcr is a specially made revolver with a plastic fire control mechanism.

    moon clips are specially made, etc.

    i have read that a speedloader exists for the sw 547 made by hks….

    if the gun is real it seems that it will perform as any other rimmed cartridge firing revolver with the same type of speedloader and if without a speedloader or moonclip it can be hand loaded and extracted easier.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    As I said earlier, the spring-loaded extractor in the S&W 547 prevents the cartridges from dropping freely into the chamber, even when the HKS speedloader is used. It would be significantly slower than a revolver using a speedloader with rimmed cartridges, which is slower than revolver using full moon clips.

    Charter is not the first company to experiment with a wire extractor. S&W played with the idea back around the 1900s-1910s before settling on the half-moon clip for the M1917. If I remember correctly, Manurhin used it for the 9mm cylinders for the MR73, and Ruger played with the concept with the 9mm revolvers submitted for the same French contract. My worry with the spring wire extractor is that you could experience the same problem occasionally encountered with conventional revolvers and rimmed cartridges. During extraction, a cartridge case can tip and slip under the extractor. At least with the S&W 547, the extractor’s tapered shape allowed it to retract past the rim of the 9x19mm case and pick it up for a second try. There is no such issue with full moon clips.

    The prime complaint with full moon clips is the possibility of them bending, and then binding the rotation of the cylinder. The current clip loading/unloading devices help prevent the abuse caused by ham-handed users when they attempt to force the cartridges on and off the clips manually. The rigid carrying cases also go a long way in preventing the clips from being bent.

  • scott t

    other issues with moonclips perhaps.

    if the cartridges drop freely why even need a moonclip..they should freely fall out???

    i doubt the spring would be so difficult as to make one have to jam a cartridge in the cylinder. and with a speedloader on would have extra leverage.

    somehow i dont think that translates into a fast-loading-problem issue.

    in the photo i saw of the carr there wasnt anything protruding into the cylinder….somehow i guess when the cartridge is already pushed into the cylinder some distance the spring loaded clip engages.

  • http://www.thegunzone.com/556dw.html Daniel E. Watters

    scott t: Fired cartridge cases do not necessarily fall out under their own weight. The higher the operating pressure, the more likely they are to stick. Ejectors are there for a reason.

    The HKS speedloader for the 547 covered quite a bit of the cartridges. Thus, it couldn’t force the cartridges all the way into their chambers. Even the magazine reviews of the time noted this issue. I seem to remember that reviews of the Medusa and the Phillips & Rogers conversions noted the same issue. Nothing short of a SL Variant-type speedloader design is likely to force a cartridge past a spring-loaded extractor.

  • scott t

    “Nothing short of a SL Variant-type speedloader design is likely to force a cartridge past a spring-loaded extractor.”

    i am not sure what a sl variant type speedloader is.

    “The HKS speedloader for the 547 covered quite a bit of the cartridges. Thus, it couldn’t force the cartridges all the way into their chambers”

    i dont know if thats true or not. it seems if they made a speedloader for a rimless cartrige they would have taken that into account and it would have been developed to push the cartridge until the spring caught the groove in the casing.

    the product sounds like a liability rather than a speedloader.

  • http://none Si

    The Pit Bull is out as 40S&W, Charter Arm model 74020 SS 5 shot 2in barrel, 20oz, typical Charter Arms design. The 9mm is for late 2011 and the 45auto after that. This is per correspondence from Charter Arms mfg. It has been a long time since the 2009 announcement. Could e a good Taurus 905SS2 substitute.