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View Full Version : What's up with the lack of pistol caliber bolt guns?


surplus-addict
08-10-2012, 10:48 PM
I mean really. :toetap05:

9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, all of these would be smoking from a bolt gun.

The only thing on the market that is chambered in a pistol cartridge and is bolt action seems to be the Spanish Destroyer carbine which is hard to find, parts are rare, it's expensive, and it's weak. And that is the only PCBG (pistol-caliber-bolt-gun. I coined it myself :D) which is available on the market right now that's not a finicky conversion kit.

Why? :(

They would make perfect pest guns and for small game, perfect for suppressing (at least in a free state), pistol ammo is cheap (compared to rifle ammo) and if chambered in the right caliber (think 10mm) they could be used for hunting larger game. They also could use normal pistol magazines (aka Glock mags), which would bring in the interchangeability factor, along with reliability and magazine price.

So why aren't they being made? This just makes me want to design and manufacture one to fill the niche I've found.

Cannon-Arms
08-10-2012, 11:07 PM
http://www.specialinterestarms.com/index.php?page=home

I really want one of these.

Merc1138
08-10-2012, 11:21 PM
There's a .45 acp kit for enfields made by a couple of companies. There's another .45 acp conversion made for mausers.

They aren't exactly popular enough to have enough demand for a company to make a factory bolt action pistol caliber gun.

elSquid
08-10-2012, 11:22 PM
So why aren't they being made? This just makes me want to design and manufacture one to fill the niche I've found.

Well, if it's handgun rounds in a bolt action...

http://www.ruger.com/products/rotaryMagazine7744/models.html

http://www.ruger.com/products/rotaryMagazine77357/models.html

If you want manual repeaters and are willing to look past bolt guns, there are TONS of suitable lever action rifles. Of course, these also are all chambered in revolver rounds.

Not a huge market for bolt action rifles in autopistol calibers. Most people would rather just buy a semiauto. And even then, the market isn't great - Marlin Camp Carbines came and went, as did the Ruger PCx series. :shrug :

Really, it boils down to: what market are you going after, and what are those people currently buying?

-- Michael

Emdawg
08-10-2012, 11:23 PM
I would say one reason is that there are so many single shot and lever-actions that the need for a pistol caliber bolt-action is unnecessary. Just no demand.

surplus-addict
08-10-2012, 11:25 PM
I'm talking affordable. I could design a bolt action, magazine fed 9mm rifle for probably under $350 MSRP. Auto pistol cartridges are probably the most useful, simply because of cost.

surplus-addict
08-10-2012, 11:27 PM
I would say one reason is that there are so many single shot and lever-actions that the need for a pistol caliber bolt-action is unnecessary. Just no demand.

What about people who hunt pests (up to small boar size), or want a silenced gun? :confused:

Emdawg
08-10-2012, 11:32 PM
What about people who hunt pests (up to small boar size), or want a silenced gun? :confused:

Well that is when small caliber high power rifles come in like 223,222, 22-20, 25-06, 22-50, etc. Who the hell needs a 357 mag in bolt action when you got all these and they can take more diverse loads, in my opinion.

I mean if I wanted to really use a pistol caliber, then I would get my 94 Marlin in 457 or my 92 Win in 45LC and show the hog scum how the Duke did it.

elSquid
08-10-2012, 11:45 PM
I'm talking affordable. I could design a bolt action, magazine fed 9mm rifle for probably under $350 MSRP. Auto pistol cartridges are probably the most useful, simply because of cost.

The problem is that you are bracketed by 22 Mag rifles on one side ( even cheaper! ) and .223-class rifles on the other.

9mm ball is cheap, but how much hunting will be done with that? Quality 9mm HPs aren't inexpensive.

You can buy a Savage 223 for < $350 (http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/axis/), and wind up with a much more capable rifle that isn't really all that expensive to shoot.

-- Michael

surplus-addict
08-10-2012, 11:52 PM
Well that is when small caliber high power rifles come in like 223,222, 22-20, 25-06, 22-50, etc. Who the hell needs a 357 mag in bolt action when you got all these and they can take more diverse loads, in my opinion.


I was talking mostly about auto pistol cartridges, but both work in this case: Interchangeability for the shooter, and doing things on a budget. That was my main point. The only real reason someone would want a bolt action rifle chambered in a pistol cartridge would be for cheap ammo and being able to use the same ammo as their pistol, thus not having to buy and stock up on yet another caliber. Also, magazines: If your pistol uses the same magazine as your rifle, then you only have to buy one magazine, which keeps things simple.

Having a rifle that doesn't cost a fortune, and that takes the same round and magazine as your pistol would make it enticing for the average Joe who just bought a Glock 19/17/26 for self defense, and wants a rifle capability for a low price.

I do not know the laws regarding it, but I know for a fact that 9mm will easily take a deer down if you take the shot within 50 yards. It's 115 grains of hollow point traveling at 1,100 FPS. More than enough to stop a deer with the right shot. Better than a .223 in my opinion (at short ranges obviously).

Think of what a .40 S&W could do, or a 10mm. Then bring +P ammo into the equation. The possibilities are endless....

And we haven't even touched on silencers!

Emdawg
08-10-2012, 11:56 PM
I was talking mostly about auto pistol cartridges, but both work in this case: Interchangeability for the shooter, and doing things on a budget. That was my main point. The only real reason someone would want a bolt action rifle chambered in a pistol cartridge would be for cheap ammo and being able to use the same ammo as their pistol, thus not having to buy and stock up on yet another caliber. Also, magazines: If your pistol uses the same magazine as your rifle, then you only have to buy one magazine, which keeps things simple.

Having a rifle that doesn't cost a fortune, and that takes the same round and magazine as your pistol would make it enticing for the average Joe who just bought a Glock 19/17/26 for self defense, and wants a rifle capability for a low price.

I do not know the laws regarding it, but I know for a fact that 9mm will easily take a deer down if you take the shot within 50 yards. It's 115 grains of hollow point traveling at 1,100 FPS. More than enough to stop a deer with the right shot. Better than a .223 in my opinion (at short ranges obviously).

Think of what a .40 S&W could do, or a 10mm. Then bring +P ammo into the equation. The possibilities are endless....

And we haven't even touched on silencers!



Ehhh. That is how they did it with lever-actions and six-shooters. That is still as popular as it was over a hundred years ago.

Also, a bolt in 10mm would be interesting, but it doesn't seem to be very useful. If you wanted to interchange rifle and pistol, then that is where my first point came in.

surplus-addict
08-11-2012, 12:05 AM
The problem is that you are bracketed by 22 Mag rifles on one side ( even cheaper! ) and .223-class rifles on the other.

9mm ball is cheap, but how much hunting will be done with that? Quality 9mm HPs aren't inexpensive.

You can buy a Savage 223 for < $350 (http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/axis/), and wind up with a much more capable rifle that isn't really all that expensive to shoot.

-- Michael

22 mag ammo is cheap? :confused: I bought some a few months ago for $12 a box of 50 FMJ rounds. Basically, 9mm ammo price. And most hunting done with a gun like this would be for pests, which would be done with standard 115gr. FMJ rounds. And a 25 round box of quality 9mm hollow points is like $18-$20. Compared to $20 or more for 20 rounds of hunting .223 or something else, it doesn't seem like much. But then you take the cost of practice ammo into account, the 9mm has the advantage. The more you practice, the better you get. Plus it's a fun round to shoot from a rifle :D And again: interchangeability with your handgun. Still, you're right: it can't completely replace a rifle cartridge.

Emdawg
08-11-2012, 12:11 AM
22 mag ammo is cheap? :confused: I bought some a few months ago for $12 a box of 50 FMJ rounds. Basically, 9mm ammo price. And most hunting done with a gun like this would be for pests, which would be done with standard 115gr. FMJ rounds. And a 25 round box of quality 9mm hollow points is like $18-$20. Compared to $20 or more for 20 rounds of hunting .223 or something else, it doesn't seem like much. But then you take the cost of practice ammo into account, the 9mm has the advantage. The more you practice, the better you get. Plus it's a fun round to shoot from a rifle :D And again: interchangeability with your handgun. Still, you're right: it can't completely replace a rifle cartridge.


9mm has the price advantage and that is about it. It might be good for vermin in the yard but nothing else. A pig at 20 yards would probably just get pissed.

surplus-addict
08-11-2012, 12:17 AM
9mm has the price advantage and that is about it. It might be good for vermin in the yard but nothing else. A pig at 20 yards would probably just get pissed.

Head, spine, or lung shot would take it down pretty fast one would think. And remember: you should have your pistol as a backup anyway. Only a nuts person would hunt hogs without a backup piece.

Emdawg
08-11-2012, 12:28 AM
Head, spine, or lung shot would take it down pretty fast one would think. And remember: you should have your pistol as a backup anyway. Only a nuts person would hunt hogs without a backup piece.

Yes and no. Those things are all 200-400 pounds of rage, especially up close, and having a back up gun is a necessity. That is why I carry my lever and revolver both in 45LC or a 45-70 Gov't with revolver in 45LC.

Using a bolt in pistol catridges for pigs is a bad idea, at least to me. Where I hunt, they often appear within 20 yards or over 100 yards. Up close a lever-action is best for quick-shots. At range it go big or go home, at least when I have done it.:(

A bolt-action in a pistol catridge would be fun for target shooting though.:D

elSquid
08-11-2012, 12:38 AM
22 mag ammo is cheap?

22 mag bolt action rifles are, in comparison to your $350 9mm rifle.

Compared to $20 or more for 20 rounds of hunting .223 or something else, it doesn't seem like much. But then you take the cost of practice ammo into account, the 9mm has the advantage.

Perhaps, but buy Wolf/Tula/BrownBear by the case and I'm not sure it's a big one. Or just reload.

I might be biased: I just don't have much use for a pistol caliber bolt gun. It doesn't fill any perceived need for me, so I wouldn't buy one.

You want to make something that I would buy?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/99/Pistolet_maszynowy_STEN%2C_Muzeum_Or%C5%82a_Bia%C5 %82ego.jpg/800px-Pistolet_maszynowy_STEN%2C_Muzeum_Or%C5%82a_Bia%C5 %82ego.jpg

A modern STEN pattern featureless carbine that takes Glock mags. Cheap and useful. Heck, I might buy two. ;)

-- Michael

Fjold
08-11-2012, 7:50 AM
Because ballistically they're pieces of crap. They work in full auto, short range rifles, and lever action short range rifles but a bolt gun is built for precision, medium to long range use.

Putting a pistol cartridge into a bolt rifle platform is like putting a Yugo engine into an IROC chassis.

xibunkrlilkidsx
08-11-2012, 10:42 AM
I just dont see enough of a need for it. Obviously the market wont support it.

I could see it as a decent training rifle..but hunting anything larger than coyote, i just wouldnt really feel comfortable with it for anything larger.

IrishPirate
08-11-2012, 11:01 AM
didn't we make a big deal about trying to remove "pistol ammo" from general vocabulary?? i know it's a bit like being a "clip" nazi since everyone knows what you mean, but we did fight a pretty good legal battle about it, so to keep using the term gives merit the the anti's claims.

IMHO, bolt guns are for medium to long range accuracy....small caliber ammo like 9mm, 40sw, 45acp are for short range shooting. its always nice to be accurate, but the accuracy of a semi-auto in these calibers is usually just as good as any bolt gun would be at these short distances.

i could see them being training guns, or Youth models, but i don't see a big push for them in the market...

russ69
08-11-2012, 11:12 AM
... Only a nuts person would hunt hogs without a backup piece.

Handgun cartridges just are not very attractive when you can shoot highpower rounds through a pretty lightweight rifle. Rounds like the 6.8 SPC and 7.62X39 are just way more powerful than any pistol cartridge.
I'm not a hunter but hunting with a pistol is restricted, so you might want to check the rules before you pack that pistol backup.

Fjold
08-11-2012, 12:20 PM
Head, spine, or lung shot would take it down pretty fast one would think. And remember: you should have your pistol as a backup anyway. Only a nuts person would hunt hogs without a backup piece.

I've hunted hogs many times and killed over 20 of them. I've never carried a back up gun and never hunted with someone who carried a back up gun.

How many hogs have you killed?

surplus-addict
08-11-2012, 12:54 PM
I've hunted hogs many times and killed over 20 of them. I've never carried a back up gun and never hunted with someone who carried a back up gun.

How many hogs have you killed?

...You've never carried a backup piece? Interesting. My grandfather has had to use his over 6 times (bad shot one time, it got within like 5 feet before he shot it with the Ruger Blackhawk).

Personally? None. I'm a kid living in a city far away from hogs. But I've killed enough squirrels and rabbits with a weak pellet gun to know that a shot to the brain, central nervous system, or spine takes animals down fairly quickly, no matter what species. If you can't control your own body, you can't fight back. And a heart shot will kill anything, but the question is with hogs: How fast? :D So I believe that 9mm and above would be acceptable on non-predatory species within, say, bow hunting distances.

RobG
08-11-2012, 10:14 PM
Pistol rounds are short range rounds with crappy BC's. And with their ultra fast burn powders, an extra 10-15" of barrel isn't going to help much.

rojocorsa
08-11-2012, 10:19 PM
Why would you waste a perfectly good action on a mere pistol round?


Also, the secondary market has so many inexpensive bolt action centerfire rifles, good luck competing against that.

tuna quesadilla
08-11-2012, 10:25 PM
Because ballistically they're pieces of crap. They work in full auto, short range rifles, and lever action short range rifles but a bolt gun is built for precision, medium to long range use.

Putting a pistol cartridge into a bolt rifle platform is like putting a Yugo engine into an IROC chassis.

Why would you waste a perfectly good action on a mere pistol round?


Also, the secondary market has so many inexpensive bolt action centerfire rifles, good luck competing against that.

These are the correct answers.

To put it bluntly... pistol rounds suck.

9mmrevolver
08-11-2012, 10:32 PM
Why would you waste a perfectly good action on a mere pistol round?


Also, the secondary market has so many inexpensive bolt action centerfire rifles, good luck competing against that.

Same can be said about pistol calipers in the ar platform. If legal I'd use a pistol cal bolt gun on squirrel and defenatly on yotes. It would be fun for punching paper too. I wouldn't mind one in 9 or 10. Now if only they made it to fit a beta mag....

mydogsmonkey
08-11-2012, 10:49 PM
i have to agree with the others, seems pointless to have a bolt action pistol caliber rifle. maybe a semi auto would make a little more sense.

Cannon-Arms
08-11-2012, 10:54 PM
Forget the practicality, these just look *****en! and there is some WWII history to a .45ACP silenced Enfield conversion.

http://i1165.photobucket.com/albums/q585/Cannon-Arms/ce265e27.jpg

http://i1165.photobucket.com/albums/q585/Cannon-Arms/e16e2749.jpg

http://i1165.photobucket.com/albums/q585/Cannon-Arms/8cb5738a.jpg

http://i1165.photobucket.com/albums/q585/Cannon-Arms/36464a3c.jpg

surplus-addict
08-11-2012, 10:58 PM
You reaaaaaally like those conversions don't you Cannon? :p

Cannon-Arms
08-11-2012, 11:11 PM
You reaaaaaally like those conversions don't you Cannon? :p

Yup! Gotta No.5Mk1 carbine not going to touch. Seriously thinking of getting a few No.4s just to do this to them.

Can't explain why I like the looks.....mostly eye candy for me.

voiceofreason
08-12-2012, 6:57 AM
I know there is at least one on the market for Glock...

I think there is a definite market for pistol caliber semi-auto carbines which utilize the same magazines as popular pistols such as Glock, Ruger, S&W

Alternative for people that don't want to deal with the recoil of a shotgun

many new shooters are uncomfortable with the idea of a rifle or shotgun and a pistol caliber carbine would bridge that while allowing them to use the same mags as their pistols

VegasND
08-12-2012, 7:05 AM
I have always thought it would be cool to make a DeLisle carbine
http://www.prexis.com/sten/delisle.htm
http://www.weaponeer.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3319&PN=1&TPN=1
Forget the practicality, these just look *****en! and there is some WWII history to a .45ACP silenced Enfield conversion.

http://i1165.photobucket.com/albums/q585/Cannon-Arms/ce265e27.jpg
http://i1165.photobucket.com/albums/q585/Cannon-Arms/e16e2749.jpg
http://i1165.photobucket.com/albums/q585/Cannon-Arms/8cb5738a.jpg
http://i1165.photobucket.com/albums/q585/Cannon-Arms/36464a3c.jpg

a1c
08-12-2012, 7:59 AM
Handgun cartridges just are not very attractive when you can shoot highpower rounds through a pretty lightweight rifle. Rounds like the 6.8 SPC and 7.62X39 are just way more powerful than any pistol cartridge.
I'm not a hunter but hunting with a pistol is restricted, so you might want to check the rules before you pack that pistol backup.

Hunting with a pistol is perfectly legal for just about any game or non-game, birds excepted.

Cannon-Arms
08-12-2012, 8:23 AM
I have always thought it would be cool to make a DeLisle carbine
http://www.prexis.com/sten/delisle.htm
http://www.weaponeer.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3319&PN=1&TPN=1


That's the one! I knew I'd read about it somewhere. Thanks for the links.

That's exactly what I'd want to go for in a reproduction, I don't understand the reason I like it so. I figure, why fight it, it's just money(except I never have enough!).

russ69
08-12-2012, 10:20 AM
Hunting with a pistol is perfectly legal for just about any game or non-game, birds excepted.

I was thinking about national forest areas where handguns were, in the past, prohibited. I saw a lot of hunters being written up for that. Like I said, check the laws, because I'm no expert.

Fishslayer
08-12-2012, 10:34 AM
Supply & demand. Almost nobody wants 'em.

Try looking up bolt guns in 7.62x39. Hard to believe there's nothing besides the CZ 572 but there ya are. :shrug:

Plenty of lever guns in pistol calibers.

Fjold
08-12-2012, 12:51 PM
I was thinking about national forest areas where handguns were, in the past, prohibited. I saw a lot of hunters being written up for that. Like I said, check the laws, because I'm no expert.

That was National Parks not National Forests. I hunted National Forests with hanguns in the 80's and 90's.