Last Saturday an coworker of mine and darned good guy to boot showed me something that had very recently been shown of at the 2014 SHOT Show. For those of you who don't know the SHOT Show is a gigantic expo where firearm, ammunition, and general firearm manufacturing companies go to show off all their shiny new and innovative hardware to enthusiasts with the means to distribute information, and thus promote cool things to the firearm community. I've wanted to sneak into there for years, but so far have had little luck.
Anyway, I was shown a picture and some information on one of the newest and coolest firearms I've seen in a good while: The Crye Precision Six-Twelve, a revolving shotgun that can be attached to the underside of an AR or its own bullpup platform. http://blogs.militarytimes.com/gearscout/2014/01/14/crye-precision-six12-breaching-shotgun/?repeat=w3tc
Ain't that just the neatest thing? Burning powder, I want one of these bad! It's a darned innovative contraption that gives yet another layer of firepower to the already versatile AR platform. Sadly there don't appear to be plans on attaching these to lever guns, and I somehow doubt that duct tape will solve this problem. Ah well, I can dream! The ideas running through my head on what you can load into this and in what configurations make me salivate. It is a double action system, meaning that it is all finger powered. No gas feed, no pump, no ejection, just a robust cylinder and six rounds of twelve gauge influence. Obviously this setup is a boon to police and military forces who need to breach doors. How delightful to see that innovation is still alive!
While I haven't yet found any live fire demonstrations, we can identify some of the pros and cons of this fairly quickly.
Pros: A reliable system with virtually no chance of malfunctioning during firing, a compact frame that can fit on many modern combat rifles, and can handle just about any modern twelve gauge shell on the market from low powered stuff to high pressure shells all the way to specialty off-the-wall shells. The cylinder can be switched out for a fresh one a bit like older cap and ball revolvers back in the day.
Cons: A somewhat fat profile with the cylinder, no way around it. Reloading will be less convenient than conventional pump action and magazine fed shotguns. Although a fast reload can be managed by having a spare, it's still a cylinder with six twelve gauge shells. That'll be a bugger to lug around. Low ammunition capacity, although you certainly can't expect any better from any other shotgun of the same length and in the same mounting, so I suppose this isn't quite a con for its current application.
Overall this is a darned fascinating invention that is already drawing the interest of not just gun nuts, but of military and police forces, who will most certainly find it to be of good use.
I'm very optimistic of its future and hope that I can eventually get ahold of one myself some day and find a way to Frankenstein it to a lever action repeater.
It tickles my nostalgic and engineering heart that 179 years, in the age of fully automatic rifles, rail guns, coil guns and lasers that the concept of a revolving cylinder to hold ammunition by Samuel Colt
It tickles my nostalgic and engineering heart that 179 years after Samuel Colt made the first practical revolver, that the concept is still being utilized effectively in the age of fully automatic weapons, rail guns, coil guns and lasers. Imagine if Samuel Colt and Elisha Collier could see the basic principle surviving even now!