Revolver / Open Bolt Machine Gun Hybrid

Ryan emailed in this photo of a fascinating pistol. It appears to be a homemade open bolt1 machine gun revolver.

[ Many thanks to Ryan for emailing me the link. ]

  1. Open bolt refers to the fact that the bolt has a fixed firing pin and slams into the primer to fire the cartridge. This mechanism is easier to make than a closed bolt system. 

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.


  • Reg

    It’s unlikely to be automatic, full or otherwise. Much more likely that the “bolt” is just a very crude hammer. Think “repeating zip gun”.

    I’d guess it’s single action w/ manual rotation of the cylinder separate from cocking the hammer.

  • Doug

    That’s pretty sweet. Ugly, but for a homemade job I’m impressed. Unfortunately, it’s probably the fastest leap in revolver technology this year.

  • dogon13

    Your definition of open bolt is incorrect….
    Open bolt firearms do not have the round pre-chambered, like this revolver does. they strip the round from the magazine and chamber it as it is fired. It appears the rounds are allready chambered in the cylinder of this revolver….

    What you have there is simply a striker fired revolver (with a large striker), not an open bolt revolver.

    I also do not see any means for automatically ejecting the fired case and rotateing the cylinder at the same time, so I doubt it is a machinegun either (but that could be internal, and not visible)

    If it is in fact a machinegun, then it is a striker-fired revolver machinegun, not an open-bolt revolver machinegun.

  • An open-bolt gun may or may not have a fixed firing pin, all it really means is that the bolt is open when the gun is ready to fire, rather than closed. Pulling the trigger releases the bolt, chambers a round, fires it, and re-opens the bolt.

  • Tam

    It looks like a zip-gun with a revolving cylinder to me. (A crude, striker-fired revolver, if you will…)

  • Glock Service Revolver

    Ah Ha! we can finally supply the MSM with stock photos. And it’s a machine gun too!

  • Flashman

    Oh how the years doth roll back at the sight of this!

    These sort of things used to be found in Kenya during the Mau Mau. Some of them were incredibly well made – evidently by fellas with access to motor garage class machine tools.

    When arrested in possession, the drill was to tie the homebuilt to a stake, load it and tie a long string to the trigger. If the thing went off when the string was pulled [from behind cover and at a distance], the arrested was charged for a hanging offence. But if it was his lucky day, and it failed to fire, then it was prison only.

    Thanks for posting this article.