Unlike the semiautomatic bolt action rifle* which is purely an invention of gun grabbers there really is a semiautomatic revolver!

As you might suspect, this is a very good example of an answer to a question no one asked. If I recall correctly, it was a Soviet design and was peculiar in that it used the gas generated from the firing of the cartridge to recock the hammer. In effect it was a gas operated semiautomatic revolver. This gun is an extreme oddity and should be displayed alongside the other weird european guns like the rifle that had a curved barrel for shooting around corners. I am not making this up.

This revolver, aka the Webley Fosbery worked just like any other except that after every shot, the hammer would reset to the single action position, meaning it is cocked, and the operator would have to use less force in pulling the trigger to set off the next round. Ordinarily the hammer on a revolver would stay in the lowered position until cocked by hand or, if the revolver is double action capable, when the trigger is pulled again.

Traditional revolvers are single action, like those used by cowboys in the movies, that's why they need both hands to fire quickly, one hand to aim and fire the other to cock the hammer, also called fanning a quick six. Modern revolvers now are either double action or double action only and only needs one hand, or rather one finger, to operate. Traditional double action can also be operated in single action mode by manually cocking the hammer before every shot.

*There is no such thing as a semiautomatic bolt action firearm.

Incidentally, there is a modern semiautomatic revolver that is still in production. Produced by Mateba in Pavia, Italy, it is a rather blocky looking handgun. It also features an inter-changeable barrel , and fires the bottom cylinder (as opposed to the top one in most revolvers; much like the weapon in the anime Trigun).

I happen to own the .357 Magnum version (Model:Unica6), which also fires .38 special bullets, albeit in non-semiautomatic mode. This is due to the recoil of the .38 special being too feeble to cycle the mechanism, which makes it function like an ordinary double action revolver. It is also available in .44 Magnum.

In semi-auto mode firing .357 Magnum, the recoilless gun IMHO to at least 1/2 of what it would have been. This is because the top half of the gun, with the exception of the handle, hammer and trigger mechanism, slide back from the recoil of each shot, softening the impulse transferred to the user. It also allows six shots to be fired off in rapid sucession without missing a a tactical "human-shaped" target at 25 yards. A typical spread is about 4 inches at 25 yards.

It retails for anywhere between $600 to $1000 or more depending on its caliber, barrel length and accessories.

Ping me if you are interested in finding out more!

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