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Thread: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

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    Senior Member samzhere's Avatar
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    Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    I understand the definition of a submachine gun (an auto carbine that uses pistol ammo).

    And of course there are the Thompson Contender (and similar) single-shot guns that fire all sorts of rifle ammo.

    But are there semi-auto pistols that fire rifle ammo (like .223 for example)? These would be speciality guns, I think. Made more for "show" than for regular carry, due to the necessary frame size.

    Also, is there some sort of requirement that a "pistol" have its magazine inside the grip, or can it be extended from the bottom of the frame? Does having the mag outside the grip somehow change the definition?

    Thanks, just curious

  2. #2
    Senior Member breamfisher's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Ernie Bishop shoots an AR pistol: .223 caliber, takes standard mags. The buffer tube is different.

    The main thing that designates a pistol is lack of a stock and (generally) a shorter barrel.
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    Senior Member shotgunshooter3's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by samzhere View Post
    But are there semi-auto pistols that fire rifle ammo (like .223 for example)? These would be speciality guns, I think. Made more for "show" than for regular carry, due to the necessary frame size.

    The only ones that I know of are AR pistols, and Kel-Tec makes one similar to their SU-16 rifle. PLR-16 maybe?

    Also, is there some sort of requirement that a "pistol" have its magazine inside the grip, or can it be extended from the bottom of the frame? Does having the mag outside the grip somehow change the definition?

    I THINK that there is some legislation against pistols of a certain size having a "forward magazine that could be used as a forward grip." I'm not sure though.
    It won't let me submit it with just the quote thing, so I'm adding this.

    http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/pistols/plr-16/
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
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    Senior Member snake284's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Sam, no offense, but these kinds of questions give me a headache to think about. For one thing, Ernie shoots SPs which are usually pistol type firearms ( those with a pistol grip handle and somewhat shorter barrel) and bolt action, with rifle ammo, such as a 7mm WSM or there of. But now you are taking it to the semi or full automatic style firearm. I look at the M-4 the military uses now as just about a click away from a pistol. It's short overall and has sort of a pistol grip with a butt that fits to your shoulder. But it can be fired from the waste like a pistol so it's close. And it has a shorter barrel than the old M-16. So this is about the only example of what you're talking about that I can think of right off hand.
    I only have YOU guys to blame if things don't work out as planned.

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    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    An action whether a lower on a AR or any kind of an action has to be designated as a handgun action.
    Rock River also made at one time a handgun AR (used to have one).
    Or, you must start out as a non-designated action (in other words, never put together as a rifle), and would stay as a handgun.
    For instance a custom action from BAT, is simply that, an action. If I buy an action (non-designated), I would fill out the 1073 (??? right number?) as a handgun, a person (gunsmith) could build it into a handgun.
    If the action was designated as a rifle action or is an actual rifle you cannot convert it to a handgun without going through some federal paperwork and money.

    It does not matter whether the handgun shoots handgun or rifle ammo--It is a handgun.
    A rifle as well, can shoot either rifle or handgun cartridges--It is still a rifle.
    Long story short. If it is built or designated as a handgun, it is a handgun. Can I legally convert a handgun into a rifle? Yes. They have done it for years with XP-100's.
    Can I convert a designated rifle action or rifle into a handgun? No. Not without going through the paperwork and fee.
    Ernie

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    Senior Member breamfisher's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    I forgot: there were also M1 carbine pistols which had a pistol grip, no butt, short barrel, and used the standard carbine magazine. Ruger's Charger is a 10/22 rimfire autoloader with a pistol grip and shorter barrel. The pistol doesn't need a magazine integral to the grip, at the old Tec-9's had a forward mounted mag.
    Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free. - Maj. Frank Burns

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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    The FN Five-seveN was developed as a companion to the P90, both shoot the 5.7x28mm. There are plenty of Five-seveN users, including the US Secret Service: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_Five-seven#Users

    Al
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    Senior Member NN's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Then there are AK 47's also
    This message has been deleted

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    Moderator Jayhawker's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    AR pistols have been around for more than a few years....check out "Clear an Present" Danger....Willem Dafoe was using in the "escape from the coffee plantation" scenes and that movie was made in 1994...

    Kind of an ill-conceived weapon in my opinion, but they have been around quite awhile...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"

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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    I think general design and usage throughout the 20th century had a pistol carrying the magazine in the grip (as in the 1911, M9, Hi-Power, CZ, S&W, et. al.) purely from the usefulness and compactness of the design. Go back to the old Mauser 96 pistols, developed as a near-contemporary of the Borschardt/Luger pattern in Europe at the time, and you have a general profile similar to the AR pistols, Tec-9, etc. with a magazine forward of the trigger instead of integral to the grip. Generally loaded by stripper clips, but some experimenting was done with removable magazines at one point.

    Legally, "pistol" will refer to a gun designed to be fired by one hand, with a barrel less than 16" long, and overall dimensions less than 26 inches. Michigan law, among others, required any firearm capable of being fired in its shortest configuration with that shortest dimension below 30" (such as a pistol-gripped shotgun) to be registered as a handgun. With a smooth-bore barrel, the barrel length still had to exceed 18" for it to avoid Class III restrictions, rifled barrels can be down to 16" (my own Glenfield 75 .22 wears a 16 1/2" barrel) without falling under Class III, as long as the minimum length is correct.

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    Senior Member samzhere's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Thanks for the info. I was not particularly thinking of a one-off "conversion" build like a lot of you guys do with ARs. I was thinking about a factory-made handgun that was chambered for rifle ammo. And not an antique but a fairly new manufacture.

    Sort of a "show off" weapon, like the Israeli Desert Eagle .50 cal autos. Way too big to carry, but fun to show off at the range. The pistol I had in mind would probably resemble an oversize Sig. No shoulder stock. No upper/lower permit build-out. Not rimfire. And yeah, I know that .22LR is technically rifle ammo but I was thinking .223, etc. And semiauto -- not bolt action.

    Anyway...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Big Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    The Desert Eagle shoots a .50 cal bullet, but it is no where as big as the .50 MG round. I don't think any handgun or shooter can handle that. The bolt rifles and semis weight 30+ ponds to handle it.

    AMT made a semi pistol that shoots a .30 M-1 carbine round, as does Ruger who make a single action cowboy type revolver.

    There are some whoppers out there like the 45-70 Govt SA revolvers by BFR (Big Friggin/Fine Revolver).

    .45 Colt/.357/.44 mag lever rifles can be found, but that's rifles shooting cartridges made for handguns.

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    Senior Member samzhere's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Thanks, Big. So other than the AMT, far as you know, nobody makes a semiauto pistol, not revolver, not bolt action, a REAL semiauto, that fires, say, .223 or other centerfire rifle ammo.

    Just wondering.

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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by samzhere View Post
    Thanks, Big. So other than the AMT, far as you know, nobody makes a semiauto pistol, not revolver, not bolt action, a REAL semiauto, that fires, say, .223 or other centerfire rifle ammo.

    Just wondering.
    Not sure if you saw what I posted Sam, but I answered this question with the FN Five-seveN and the P90. The P90 is an SBR, its civi version is the PS90, which is a rifle. The Five-seveN is a true semi-auto pistol. The US Secret Service use both the P90 and the Five-seveN. These are chambered with the 5.7x28mm centerfire cartridge.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama

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    Senior Member breamfisher's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Pet peeve: folks who ask a question and don't bother to read all the responses.

    Just google "AR pistol." It's a term I and Jayhawker have used.
    Bushmaster:
    http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_ca..._AZ-C15P97.asp
    http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_AP-21.asp

    Rock River:
    http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...ategory_id=231

    Olympic Arms, as per Jayhawker:
    http://olyarms.net/index.php?page=sh...hk=1&Itemid=37

    Then there's the KelTec Shotgunshooter3 mentioned.

    That's just what popped into my mind offhand.
    Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free. - Maj. Frank Burns

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    Senior Member shotgunshooter3's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by breamfisher View Post
    Pet peeve: folks who ask a question and don't bother to read all the responses.

    Just google "AR pistol." It's a term I and Jayhawker have used.
    Bushmaster:
    http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_ca..._AZ-C15P97.asp
    http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_AP-21.asp

    Rock River:
    http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...ategory_id=231

    Olympic Arms, as per Jayhawker:
    http://olyarms.net/index.php?page=sh...hk=1&Itemid=37

    Then there's the KelTec Shotgunshooter3 mentioned.

    That's just what popped into my mind offhand.
    That ^^

    The AR pistols and other similar concepts are not "one off conversions." They are regular factory offerings.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "It's far easier to start out learning to be precise and then speeding up, than it is having never "mastered" the weapon, and trying to be precise." - Dan C

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    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by breamfisher View Post
    Pet peeve: folks who ask a question and don't bother to read all the responses.

    Just google "AR pistol." It's a term I and Jayhawker have used.
    Bushmaster:
    http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_ca..._AZ-C15P97.asp
    http://www.bushmaster.com/catalog_AP-21.asp

    Rock River:
    http://www.rockriverarms.com/index.c...ategory_id=231

    Olympic Arms, as per Jayhawker:
    http://olyarms.net/index.php?page=sh...hk=1&Itemid=37

    Then there's the KelTec Shotgunshooter3 mentioned.

    That's just what popped into my mind offhand.
    I think Sam re-stated the question to exclude these, 1 post before his last. I think the Five-seveN fits the required description.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama

  18. #18
    Senior Member breamfisher's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Read Shotgunshooter3's response. He's asking for factory jobs, not customs. As SS3 stated, these are factory AR pistols.
    Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free. - Maj. Frank Burns

  19. #19

    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by samzhere View Post
    I understand the definition of a submachine gun (an auto carbine that uses pistol ammo).

    And of course there are the Thompson Contender (and similar) single-shot guns that fire all sorts of rifle ammo.

    But are there semi-auto pistols that fire rifle ammo (like .223 for example)? These would be speciality guns, I think. Made more for "show" than for regular carry, due to the necessary frame size.

    Also, is there some sort of requirement that a "pistol" have its magazine inside the grip, or can it be extended from the bottom of the frame? Does having the mag outside the grip somehow change the definition?
    Nope. All of the following are considered "Pistols"

    PTR PDW in .308


    PTR PDW 32 in 7.62x39


    MP5 Clone in 9mm


    Bushmaster Carbon 15 in .223

    The only thing that separates a Pistol from a Rifle, legally, is that the pistol as manufactured from the start to BE a pistol, and that it be designed to fire from one pistol grip and not have a shoulder stock.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member mythaeus's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by shotgunshooter3 View Post
    That ^^

    The AR pistols and other similar concepts are not "one off conversions." They are regular factory offerings.
    The Keltec PLR is a factory designed one, but the others, while are factory made, are essentially "converted". An AR pistol is (almost) just an AR without the stock. I may be over-interpreting Sam's question, but his intended question may not be as clear initially. From a practical typical carry perspective, the PLR is not a typical carry gun. It's also piston driven and is really an AK/AR cross over "pistol" design that is essentially a stock-less rifle.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama

  21. #21

    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by samzhere View Post
    Thanks for the info. I was not particularly thinking of a one-off "conversion" build like a lot of you guys do with ARs. I was thinking about a factory-made handgun that was chambered for rifle ammo. And not an antique but a fairly new manufacture..
    Taurus Raging Hornet in .22Hornet:
    http://www.taurususa.com/product-det...ategory=Pistol


    Taurus Raging Thirty in .30 Carbine:
    http://www.taurususa.com/product-det...ategory=Pistol


    Magnum Research BFR in .45-70:
    http://www.magnumresearch.com/Expand...Code=BFR45-707


    Whoops, just saw in another post that you were looking for Semi Auto.

    A semi in .223 with the mag in the grip? You will be relegated to the pistol versions of the AR-15, AK, CETME, HK, etc... that I posted earlier
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov

  22. #22
    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    I get what Sam is after here and the Five-SeveN is the best example I can think of for a purpose-built semiauto that shoots a true bottlenecked round from a traditonal, semi-auto handgun platform. The rounds are complete interchangable between said handgun and the personal protection auto-rifle with which it it's designed to accompany.

  23. #23
    Member deadeye's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    How about the CZ-52 that shoots the 7.62x25 Tokarev round that was made originally to shoot in a submachine gun? They only made them 3 years from 1952,53 and 1954
    No Need To Run, You Will Only Die Tired

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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Keltec PMR-30 fires the .22 WMR which is typically a rifle cartridge. Or one of these in .223:


  25. #25
    Senior Member bruchi's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    That 45-70 revolver has to kick some, I have wanted one since I first saw it!

  26. #26
    Moderator Jayhawker's Avatar
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    Re: Pistols that fire rifle ammo?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadeye View Post
    How about the CZ-52 that shoots the 7.62x25 Tokarev round that was made originally to shoot in a submachine gun? They only made them 3 years from 1952,53 and 1954
    Doesn't wash, the thing that makes a sub-machinegun a submachinegun is that it's designed to shoot pistol ammo...so even if it was developed for the submachine gun first, it's still pistol ammunition..
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"

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