The Standard Manufacturing S333 Thunderstruck and the Cobray Pocket Pal are interesting modern iterations of double-barreled (and, in the case of the Pocket Pal, double cylindered!) revolvers. That being said, like many concepts in the world of cartridge firearms, the concept has been implemented before. In the case of the double-barreled revolver, both over/under and side by side double-barreled revolvers existed and had modest commercial success via French and Belgian manufacturers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Let’s take a look at these neat double-barreled blasters, shall we?
- Standard Manufacturing S333 Thunderstruck Gen 2
- Standard Manufacturing S333 VOLLEYFIRE Double Barrel Revolver
- Standard Manufacturing S333 Thunderstruck Now Shipping
The Double Barrels of Lefaucheux – 2 barrels, 20 rounds!
One of the best-known (and most unwieldy) of the early double-barreled revolving weapons was a monster of a double action pinfire from Eugene Lefaucheux that had an over/under barrel configuration, folding trigger, and a 20-shot cylinder. This revolver was unique in that it had 20 rounds of self-contained pinfire cartridges on tap, and was less unwieldy than other high capacity revolvers of the time due to the concentric, offset bored through cylinder. Still, the revolver is rather wide, at 2 3/4″ in the smallest 7mm chambering.
The offset nature of the chambers meant that the cylinder only rotated a little bit with each pull of the trigger, each shot alternating between the outer cylinder’s “over” barrel and the inner cylinder’s “under” barrel. Though a bit odd-looking, the Lefaucheux would have been one of the best ways to have a lot of shots on tap in a relatively weatherproof package, and had the benefit of being based on a combat-tested design of the Lefaucheux action that was widely issued in the US Civil War. Iterations and copies of this design have been found in chamberings from 7mm-9.5mm.
A Belgian Over/Under
Though better known Belgian Over Unders would be Francotte or FN/Browning shotguns, there was manufacture of side by side revolvers in Belgium and France in the late 19th/early 20th century. The Belgian firm of HDH (Henrion, Dassy & Heuschen) was one of the most prolific manufacturers of this type of revolver. HDH’s revolvers were double action, had tip-up frames, and came in either 20-round 6.35mm or 18-round 7.65mm versions. The trade names of these revolvers were pretty funny, the 20-shot version being named the “Wild West”, and another with the moniker of “Machine Gun”, despite being nothing of the sort.
A French Side By Side
Lastly, we have a French side by side revolver, looking like the great-grandfather of the S333 Thunderstruck. The Manufacture Francaise d’Armes et Cycles de St. Etienne (MFACSE) “L’Explorateur Mitraille” was a side by side, double-barreled double action revolver with a single-row cylinder. Though chambered in the anemic 6mm cartridge, its hammer hit both firing pins simultaneously, firing two shots at a time. With 12 shots for only 6 pulls of the trigger, this was a relatively rapid firing weapon for the time. These revolvers had a top-break design, so one could quickly reload the cylinder.
DBDA’s Going Forward
The S333 Thunderstruck is the only double-barreled revolver I know of in current production. Personally, I think the need for a high-capacity handgun that early double-barreled revolvers tried to meet is far better covered by semiautomatics these days. However, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be intrigued to try out a modern double-barreled revolver chambered in larger calibers than .22 Magnum or .380.
As always, thanks for reading Wheelgun Wednesday and TFB!