In August 1958, David Dardick received a patent for a magazine-fed revolver. His design featured a cylinder with openings on each exterior edge, creating U-shaped chambers instead of traditional O-shaped chambers. This allowed rounds to be automatically fed into the chamber from a magazine loaded with a stripper clip, instead of being loaded manually like in a traditional revolver. Additionally, extraction was also done automatically.
Dardick soon realized that his U-shaped chambers would require it to be fed in a very specific fashion in order for his revolver to function properly. By the end of 1958, he was issued a second patent that shows his ammunition now being three-sided like a triangle. The uniform size of the round on each side enabled it to feed into the cylinder more easily, thereby increasing the gun’s reliability.
The new triangular ammunition needed a name, so Dardick called them “trounds,” a combination of the words “triangle” and “round.” The bullet, powder, and primer were all loaded into the triangular-shaped plastic case that created the outer wall of the revolver’s cylinder.
Dardick’s first gun, the Model 1100, was only chambered for the proprietary .38 Dardick Tround. However, a cylinder adapter could be purchased, which allowed the shooter to fire traditional handgun ammunition. Next up was the Model 1500, which had interchangeable barrels and could fire .38, .30, and .22 caliber trounds. This model was also available with a carbine conversion kit to turn the revolver into a rifle.
Shortly after introduction to the public, Mechanix Illustrated magazine featured an article on the new gun. Its author called it “as versatile as a six-armed monkey.” While the analogy may seem to be an unusual way to praise Dardick’ s creation, it proved to be accurate in a way the author never intended: just like there’ s no such thing as a six-armed monkey, there’ s also no such thing as a commercially-successful, magazine-fed revolver that fires rounds from a plastic triangle.
The public never embraced his concept and Dardick’s trounds remain little more than a footnote in the advancement of ammunition.
Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.