The 9mm Revolver – Bizarre, but Useful?

The words 9mm revolver seem strange, don’t they? The 9 mm projectile developed in 1902 was developed for semi-automatic handguns, SMGs and PCCs and was used almost exclusively in these. It’s an eclectic round and has found its way into Revolver once or twice. I own and enjoy a 9mm revolver, and it’s one of my favorite weapons. Today we’re going to dig deep into the reasons why a 9mm turret makes a lot of sense and give you the top six currently in production.

Why a 9mm Revolver?

Let’s look at some of the top reasons a 9mm revolver might be the right weapon for you. If you’re already a gunslinger fanatic, you might see the light. If you’re a fan of automatic handguns, it’s finally time to add a revolver to your collection. In either case, let’s examine the why.

Ammunition selection and price

At the time of this writing, 9mm is the most popular handgun ammunition on the market. Anyone can do it and you can choose from cheap stuff from the bottom of the barrel to incredibly well-made defensive ammo types. It outperforms every caliber revolver on the market, and you can choose from a wide variety of rounds for defense, planking, or training.

Guess what? All of this ammunition is considerably cheaper than any other caliber revolver and easier to find.

More and less

The 9 mm bullet offers shooters more speed and more energy than a .38 special bullet. It goes deeper, tends to expand more, and just has a little more recoil than a 38 Special. It is obviously less powerful when compared to a 357 Magnum. However, a 357 Magnum offers significantly more recoil, muzzle blast, and concussion. This multiplies significantly when you talk about snub nose revolvers.

The 9mm sits happily in the middle between the 38 Special and 357 Magnum. You get a lot of power to stop the person without excessive recoil and a concussion. A 9mm revolver offers more with fewer disadvantages.

Fast reloading

Moon clips are the be-all and end-all of a 9 mm revolver. Because 9mm cartridges do not have the pronounced rim you see on revolver cartridges, the grenade ejector will not capture them properly. Moon clips hold 9mm cartridges on a rim that engages the ejector for smooth ejection. They also act as speed loafers, making reloading a revolver almost as fast as reloading an automatic.


Nothing is perfect, and one of the advantages of a 9mm revolver is also a disadvantage. Most require you to use moon clips to properly eject cartridges. You can shoot with the revolver without moon clips, but to reload you will need a stick to push out empty shells. So you’ve got stuck with moon clips which tend to be a little fragile to keep your revolver going.

In addition, ammunition with a steel housing is a no-go. Steel-cased ammunition often expands and gets stuck in the turret chambers. This requires you to loosen the stuck case and it’s never easy. Most ammunition pops straight out of a 9mm revolver, but not with a steel case.

After all, most 9mm cartridges don’t have the crimping of a revolver cartridge. Sometimes the crimp fails and the projectile loosens from the housing and falls out of the gun. This usually happens with lighter weapons and faster loads. It’s a rare problem, but one that needs to be mentioned.

The best 9mm revolver?

The 9mm revolvers are niche weapons right now, so finding a wide variety of options can be difficult. To save you some time, I’ve found some of the better, more versatile models for self-defense, home protection, and just plain good ol ‘plinking.

The Gray Man Gun of choice

Continue reading: The Gray Man Gun of choice

Ruger LCR

The Ruger LCR is my first choice for a 9mm revolver. This concealed short-nosed carrying pistol offers one of the best standard double-action triggers on the market.

Its polymer frame reduces weight and keeps the price relatively affordable. It’s a super smooth snub nose that is perfect for concealed wear. The little gun gets the most out of the 9mm round without being too difficult to handle.

S&W 929

My second choice is the absolutely captivating S&W 929. This full-size 9mm revolver contains eight rounds of 9mm. It is designed for competition but also works in home defense.

Its large size makes it a breeze to control and offers excellent accuracy. It’s painfully easy to shoot and insanely accurate. Although you can find some smaller versions for concealed carry. The S&W 929 also comes at a pretty high price, but believe me, it’s worth it.

Ruger SP101

If a polymer revolver doesn’t get you going, let’s go back to heavy metal. The SP101 is a classic combat revolver, now with a chamber of 9 mm. This all-metal 9mm revolver offers five shots with the option of a double-action trigger or a manually cocked hammer for single-action.

A 2.25-inch barrel offers more speed and less concussion than a snub nose without pulling it out of the concealed carry area.


The Rock Island AL9 comes from the Czech Republic and offers shooters a 9 mm full-size revolver. It’s a bit big for concealed carry, but good for home defense and targeting.

It’s a nifty revolver that offers a good level of control and accuracy. The right sights also ensure that you can reach your target quickly and reach far beyond the reach of the snub nose.

Bull 692

Taurus has a strange quality control problem. Some guns are great, some are not so. The new 692 seems like one of their better weapons, however.

This 9 mm revolver can also chamber 357 magnums with a quick change of the barrel. The full-size design makes it nice and bold, and even packs seven rounds over the typical six.

Pit bull 9mm

If you want a 9mm revolver with no moon clips, the Charter Arms Pitbull is for you. They have a unique system that allows 9mm cartridges to be ejected without the need for moon clips.

The pit bull presents a medium-sized snub nose with a full-length handle, exposed hammer and five 9mm shots for social work.

The new six cannon

A 9mm revolver is still a rather rare sight, but it seems to be becoming increasingly popular with revolver shooters. That seems strange to say because they’re usually a grip that happily got stuck in the past.

What do you think of 9mm revolvers? Let us know below.

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