Tim Ralston has been the subject of a handful of Discovery Channel and History Channels spots, and was the inventor of the Chiappa X-Caliber as well as other firearms. His niche is survival or “bug out,” and the ability to scavenge ammo is a top priority. The most common feedback from X-Caliber fans was “make it multi-shot!” In answer, Tim presents the Scavenger 6. It’s a rifle that can fire 21 different calibers and swap between them in seconds . . .

The cylinder of this revolver is also a 7″ barrel — a cylinder-barrel or what Ralston Armory is calling a “CB.” Six-shot cylinders are available in 21 calibers. Actually, 23 if you count .45 Colt / .410 gauge and .38 Special / .357 Magnum as two each. 24 calibers if the .44 Magnum cylinder accepts .44 Special, which I assume it would.


In addition to that, there are three, multi-caliber CBs that each shoot six or more different calibers. For instance, the “Survival CB” fires .22, .38/.357, .45 Colt/.410, .223/5.56, 9mm, and .45 ACP. In this case, it’s one shot for each caliber. It would definitely be an interesting experience to load it up with one of each, though, and fire through all six rounds!


The Scavenger 6 is in the early prototyping phase, but TTAG will try to keep an eye on its progress. We’ve invited Tim to pen some updates and give us a bit of a sneak peak into the development and trials process ahead of full production.

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70 Responses to New From Ralston Arms: Scavenger 6 Survival Rifle

    • It might be easier to work with your wife and banker, rather than figure out how to deal with the probable 23 different points-of-impact when using this weapon…

    • I might be wrong but I think it’s just a shroud. Looks like the barrel is actually the cylinder. Looks like a good one to put a brace on. Now that would be something. Reminds me of the weapon used in the “Cyborg” movie.
      I have some of these RIFLED inserts for my 12ga Stoger coach gun. Not going to win any sharpshooting contests but it will hit close to POA. Orentation of the inserts affects POI somewhat at least on the .22. Would be fine for any Zombies you might run into. I’ve shot rabbits @ 25 yards max.

      • I’m wondering if it would ever get approval for production, for one reason: even if it wasn’t designed or intended to do so, I think the shroud would serve to ever-so-slightly muffle the noise of the shot, and that means it would probably end up being categorized as a silencer/suppressor.

        There is a bit of a precedent with the XM177 (Colt model 649) moderator/flash suppressor (also used on the USAF GAU submachineguns). It wasn’t designed to suppress the noise of the weapon like a true suppressor, but it did make the report slightly quieter, and that was enough to get the moderator reclassified as a suppressor at a later date.

        The designer might have to go to 16″ or 18″ cylinders on this gun to get it past the ATF approval stage and make it over-the-counter legal. And the additional weight caused by the extended cylinders would probably kill the concept dead.

  1. So what’s the overall barrel length of it? I’d imagine they would try to make it not an sbr.

    Also, not to nitpick, but .410 Bore, not gauge :p

  2. Okay, I’m sorta sold already, but while you’re there can you ask him the obvious question? I mean, it’s obviously obvious (in an obvious way) that that thing was designed to be a handgun first and foremost, and then for whatever reason he had to stick a “stock” on it in the back and a “barrel” on the front. I mean, the front barrel can’t even be rifled, can it? Isn’t it likely just there for looks and for some manner of NFA compliance?

    So is he going to make the pistol version that’s clearly there in the middle of that tack-on rifle hardware?

    • Maybe. Companies often release 1 version of a product to gain money and interest to produce the next version. Would be interesting to shoot a .223 out of a revolver.

      • *cough, cough*
        I have heard a story of a military person that milled up a 4 shot 5.56 derringer. Just ‘cuz they could.
        VERY LOUD.
        Called it his “belly buster”…

    • It’s for NFA compliance, surely. Remember that barrel length for NFA purposes is measured to the bottom of the chamber, so with revolver it includes the cylinder. So this thing in front, permanently attached, should make it NFA-legal, and hence allow the stock.

  3. What’s the deal, can’t make the Battle CB with a chamber in 7.62x54R. Since it’s chambered in 7.62×63 (30.06 Springfield), 7.62×39 and 7.62×51 so why not 54R and cover all bases?

      • The small print at the bottom of the above image/poster says “CUSTOM ‘CB’ AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST”.

        And after handing over a slightly larger-than-normal sum of money, I assume.

  4. This is why a post-apocalyptic scenario would eventually find us switching to arrows as the preferred ammunition within a decade or two. Too much caliber confusion.

    • Our tech, even at the founding of our country was not stuck on the bow and arrow. In an apocalyptic scenario, we’ll be using flinted black powder muskets and cap and ball revolvers.

        • I saw a video on youtube where someone used the tips of strike-anywhere matches for replacement primers. I think that Filipino guerrillas used a similar technique during the Japanese occupation in WW2.

      • I have to agree. Has anybody gone so far as to tempt the preppers with a Kentucky long rifle built to today’s standards with today’s technology? Seems like buying a dozen might not be a bad idea, hang one on the mantle for decoration, keep the others in the closet. I bet ammo stocks would last decades (post apocalyptic means less than 10% humans survive, ammo usage would be way down), but eventually we’d get back to flint, I’d imagine.

      • Contrary to what is seen in Hollywood TV shows and movies like Revolution, primers and smokeless powder is not that unattainable in a post apocalyptic society where there are coordinated communities of survivors. The chemical composition is not that complicated and the process to manually create it is achievable without today’s modern conveniences. (Yes, I am a nerd who pauses movies to debate their silly assertions. ?

        • same, its also a reason i keep a flintlock pistol and rifle. flint, black powder and lead are not hard toaquire/make

        • Ugh. ‘Revolution’, one of the worst sci-fi apocalypse shows – ever. JJ Abrams is just Michael Bay in a different suit.

          Can’t have electricity? Things obviously still burn, so I’ll be in a compression diesel. No fuel? Plenty of used tires around, incredibly simple rig yields at least a gallon per tire. Steam? Compressed air? I get it, most of the “bright” people were gone – they don’t survive well. But c’mon, air powered rifles and a whole lot more. There will always be tech, we will not return to the stone-age, unless everyone and everything is wiped out.

      • It’s called a Fusil. 60 something caliber. Smooth bore flint lock so you can shove anything down the bore and shoot it.(nails,ashtrays,cans,marbles) But you still need powder to fire it and flint to spark it.

    • I’ve read it credited to Einstein as saying he didn’t know with what weapons WWIII would be fought, but that WW4 would be fought with sticks and stones.

    • The “barrel” on the front is probably just some smoothbore cosmetic waste of space designed around NFA restrictions. I sincerely doubt that the long front barrel does anything whatsoever for performance, or rifling, or anything at all (other than to disrupt and ruin the .410 shot pattern if it is rifled).

      The real “barrel” is in the chamber. The cylinder is host to both the barrel and the chamber, so there are six barrels in each CB. And yes, that means that all the power you’re going to get is whatever can be mustered by a 7-inch barrel.

      I wonder if that front barrel and the stock are made in some sort of “break-away” fashion so that if SHTF or TETWAWKI happen, you can just snap off the useless NFA bits and get it back to what it was originally intended, because the laws wouldn’t matter at that point.

      • Maybe it ships with a “tactical hacksaw” to allow you to remove the false barrel in an end-of-the-world situation. 🙂

        • The “barrel” on the front is probably just some smoothbore cosmetic waste of space designed around NFA restrictions.

          Yep, but it sure doesn’t look like it meets the >16″ requirement.

        • It looks like it meets 16″. Barrel length is measured ‘muzzle’ to bolt or receiver face. 7″ CB+9″ falsie = good 2 go.

    • From the marketing material (I hate it when people go to trade shows with nothing but marketing….) the cylinder IS the barrel. The “barrel” ahead of the cylinder is probably little more than a length of black pipe.

      I would be curious to see the actual patent (engineering nerd). Except for making each chamber a different size, Derringer already did the “cylinder is the barrel” thing.

  5. I had an idea of a revolver with replaceable barrels and cylinders to be able to shoot about any pistol round, but this… there is such a thing as being a jack of all trades and a master of none.

    With my ideas of multi caliber guns, they would be a master of a at least one thing.

  6. Honestly I would probably like it better if it were a hand gun. It would be heavy as ****. But a lot more compact

  7. That looks… Useless…

    I’ll take my chances with a glock in the pocolypse. Two calibers is enough for me (with conversion barrel). Actually it’s probably one too many calibers, but it’s fun and I like it. So there. :p

    Okay, so I guess I get it. It’s just not for me.

  8. I like it. I don’t think I’d buy one, but only because I don’t have the prepper mentality.

    The 7″ barrel certainly limits what velocity you can get coming out of the gun, and I bet some of those cartridges listed are part stun grenade with that short of a barrel.

    7″ barreled 30-06? Whoooo-aaahh

    • Don’t forget that there’s that 9″ pseudo-barrel in front of the actual 7″ cylinder-barrel. It should take care of most of the gases.

      On the other hand, there’s the cylinder gap. That should look very impressive when shot at night. Kinda like a .500 S&W revolver.

      • If the front tube is just a shroud, with nothing to seal the gasses behind the projectile(s), then there is not much pressure to force the flash/gasses out sideways. I’m thinking most of them will travel down the barrel-shroud/tube and exit the muzzle end, same as the projectile(s).

        A small amount of flash will probably still squirt out the gap, as the flash blooms at the end of the cylinder-barrel as the projectile(s) exit, but not nearly as much as with a normal revolver.

        On the other hand, if there is no need to hold the cylinder-to-barrel-shroud gap to a tight tolerance (no pressure loss to worry about), then the gap could be specced significantly larger, which might allow more flash out. The illustration seems to show a gap of around one-eighth to one-quarter inch, and yeah, that might allow some flash to escape…

  9. This is more a fantasy-gun than a realistic weapon. None of us are ever likely to have to go scrounging across the countryside for any available ammo.

    If you really want a survival rifle for wilderness hiking/camping/riding, you want a gun with one useful general-purpose caliber. The weight of all those cylinders represents a lot of carried ammunition.

    • Yeah, I have a hard time seeing the necessity for something like this. Even if I were a prepper my belief would be that if I “found” a significant amount of a certain type of ammo, it would be very likely that a bit of looking around would reveal the gun, and possibly the former owner as well. Investing the cost of a toy like this one into a bulk purchase of ammo for what you already own, instead, seems like a better bet, and while you wait for the end, you can SHOOT it!

      • The guns would be there, inside of a fort knox triple xxx mod2 600 lb. gunsafe with a dead battery. But you could pick it if your skill was high enough.

    • Exactly. In a SHTF world, you are more likely to die of starvation and disease than lead poisoning. In the area I live, I chose a .22 caliber survival rifle. I can carry tons of ammo, and small game is rather abundant. Big game is hard to find, and there are few easy options for preparing the meat for long term storage.

    • Up here in Canada there’s a small but viable market for backpacker shotguns, with 12-13 inch barrels, mostly in 12 gauge (but I’ve seen a 16 gauge and 20 gauge one). Combine that with a decent chamber insert for .22 and you’d pretty much cover all the bases in a compact package. Having said that, if someone was willing to pack a bit more weight/bulk, there are models with 20 inch barrels available, with screw-in chokes.

      • 12-13 inch barrels; those must be super deadly shotguns; they would be NFA items here in the US. And, since they are shotguns, would be illegal in Washington state (no short barreled shotguns allowed here). That is, of course, unless they do not have a butt stock, then they are perfectly legal, not super deadly, “firearms”.

  10. Then one would need 21 different scopes for different drop rates?
    I imagine the front barrel would be of some use for shot loads.

    • Okay, now that the first impression excitement has passed, how much is this going to cost? A $1500 price tag would make me want to stick to my 40 s&w tactical Tupperware and a over-under scatter gun with barrel inserts for different calibers.

      • Yeah, the machining on those “CBs” isn’t exactly going to be cheap, so there’s no way this thing could be a budget gun. Seems like it might be better to just buy a couple of reliable, inexpensive guns and a stockpile of ammo for them. That strategy also has the advantage of not requiring you to roam the countryside, trying to scavenge ammunition, dragging a bucket full of steel cylinders with you.

  11. Sighting this thing in would be a nightmare. A different poi for each round, and in the heat of the moment try to remember which round is going to fire when you pull the trigger and adjust your aim for it…

  12. So with this gun, a backpack stuffed with forty pounds of cylinders, and a baby-blue velour tracksuit, I can be ready to take on the apocalypse? Sign me up!

    That picture is just cracking me up. “I don’t always carry a ridiculous gun because I don’t understand that movies aren’t real, but when I do, I carry a Ralston Scavenger 6.”

    It’s a cute idea, but I’ll be really shocked if this gets past the prototype stage and into gun stores.

  13. Hmm. I like it because I love offbeat guns and oddball calibers, but for practicality… no.

    Seems like an AR lower with several different caliber uppers and magazines in the most likely to be encountered calibers would be more practical. (.22 LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, 7.62×39, 5.56mm, etc etc)

    Thompson Center’s had the multi caliber thing down for decades. Several others: Mauser, Blaser, and Sauer have had multi caliber rifles over the years (all rather expensive.) A Contender in an appropriate caliber set makes a good survival gun, and also a good “With one of these, I can get all of those I need from bad guys” gun.

    Still, from a “this is just cool” perspective, that is nifty.

  14. Need this in 44 magnum, 10mm & 357 Magnum & .308… Zombie survival gun, SHTF gun, emergency hunting gun capable of taking elk, hog & deer… Love it.

    • So, a Rossi Circuit Judge in .357. That wouldn’t be bad.

      I’ve got the .45 LC/.410 Circuit Judge, unfortunately my experience has been that the long gap between the .45 Colt round and the forcing cone ruins the accuracy (at least that’s how I’ve seen it explained). I wouldn’t trust it for hunting past 50 yards. 🙁

      The gun would have been way better if they’d simply abandoned the silly .410 part of it and made it a revolving .45 colt carbine. (They made a .44 Magnum version for a while, but I’ve never seen any real-world examples).

      • Check out Ozzie reviews on YouTube. I have seen it for order on Davidson’s. I really have no use for a 44 mag rifle.

  15. For the stated purpose, I’d much prefer a single gun that would let me shoot .22 LR, .223, and 12ga.

    So basically an over/under in .223 / 12ga, with a chamber insert to also handle .22 (or perhaps a cylinder like this that could be manually rotated back and forth, and with just two chambers).

    Between .223, 12ga shot, 12ga slugs and .22, is there anything that you couldn’t possibly do with such a gun?

  16. Flip the stock in the picture so it is actually the top so i can get my cheek to sit somewhere and get properly lined up with the bore of the rifle and add at least a bead or post sight on the front i see a rail but red dots have batteries which run out of power and fail and a front sight is better then nothing to reference

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