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SHOT Show is a great place to get some media coverage for your product. If you are a company that produces solid, but somewhat uninteresting firearms, there’s a proven tactic to get it some pub. Introduce something zany, silly, or downright weird. You’ll get gun writers like me streaming to your booth to see the weirdness, and you don’t even have to actually bring the product to market.

I’ve seen the tactic used a time or two. I kept making that joke about the Zenk RZMK-357. The thing is, this small company doesn’t have any other products to show off.

The Zenk RZMK-357 – A Bullpup Blaster

Zenk gained some serious attention when they issued a press release detailing the RSMK-357. It’s a double-action-only revolver that is predictably chambered in .357 Magnum.

What makes it different is that they bullpupped it. Yes, a bullpup revolver.

It’s also a top-break revolver and barrel breaks upwards with the gun and cylinder. (Edit I orignally stated the barrel aligned with the bottom cylinder, this was a mistake.) It’s interesting and it’s odd, but seemingly it could be a nice gun with a purpose.

A .357 revolver with a barrel length of 4.75 inches, but an overall length of only 6.85 inches sounds nice. It’s about the size of a J-frame without the downside of a 1.87-inch barrel. The Zenk booth was located in the basement at SHOT and was my very first stop this year. The booth is small, just a couple of tables with some brochures.

And no guns around.

Okay, it was the first day. It was early. Maybe they were still waiting for them to arrive. Who knows, maybe they shipped the guns, and they got hung up in transit?

I asked. Two of the three people didn’t really speak English, but a nice young lady acted as a translator. I asked and, sadly, they didn’t bring any guns with them to SHOT Show.

Instead of an actual firearm, they had a 3D-printed model that showed the features of the gun. It was just white plastic. They walked me through the features, and while nice, I can’t help but think we’re likely to never see an actual Zenk RSMK-357.

Maybe the company needs an investor, and that’s their real purpose for being at SHOT. I can’t tell you, but sadly the gun isn’t here, and we can’t give you much more information than that.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. Flame-cutting from the cylinder is gonna be a bitch to mitigate.

    As in, how many rounds before factory overhaul (TBO)?

    • Maybe out it’s like the old Russian design, where the cartridge is pushed into the barrel before firing. That, and electro-primers would make this gun a force to be ignored!

      /!!!

    • The pictures show the cylinder is fully shrouded at the front.

      The stupid part is going to be ejecting empties and reloading. It looks like “six and done”.

  2. I applaud them for their out of the box thinking.

    Wait and see if it ever comes to reality vs the board table, or CAD.

  3. Yeah I’ve seen YouTube video on this “thing”. My 1st question was “why”?!? Sure the dimensions are small but revolvers are fatter than micro semiautomatics. Perhaps it’s an elaborate hoax…

  4. I’d like to have one, if for nothing more than a conversation piece at the range. Guaranteed to be a memorable moment for anyone – newbie or veteran – who tries it out. They will not forget you. 🙂

    “Hey, I’ll bet you’ve never seen one of these…wanna try it?”

    • Yeah, they won’t forget you… “Hey, you’re the jackass with the wierd revolver that gave my thumb a third-degree burn when I fired it. Oh yeah, I remember you.”

      • Possible. But then, Derringers exist as well, and I don’t feel confident in their safety-worthiness, either.

        Sometimes a range toy is just a range toy.

        • “But then, Derringers exist as well, and I don’t feel confident in their safety-worthiness, either.”

          Huh? Single-action is one of the safest actions (provided a floating firing pin is used)…

  5. Looks like it’d be a pain in the ass to clean, but in a world filled with boring but practical Glock-alikes, anything unique is going to at least pique my interest a little.

  6. How bad is it going to destroy your hand with the cylinder right above it? When those gasses escape the cylinder gap at those pressures, it’s going to be dropped faster than a French rifle.

    • The gasses can’t escape the cylinder, because the cylinder is fully contained within that black metal housing. It’s a brilliant idea, combining the benefits of firing from the bottom barrel to reduce recoil (like the Chiappa Rhino) and a bullpup design for a longer barrel (like the Boberg pistols). I bet the design also cuts down on the amount of noise, blast, and velocity loss from the cylinder gap on normal revolvers, possibly even making the 4.75″ barrel give the velocity of a 6″ barrel.

      Why is this better than a 9mm subcompact pistol?
      Because it has .357 Magnum power and a 4.75 inch barrel!
      The closest thing to .357 Magnum in the pistol world is the 10mm Auto or .357 Sig, but you’ll never find a 10mm Auto or .357 Sig that’s only 6.85″ long (subcompact) and has a 4.75″ barrel (at least not until Boberg makes a bullpup semiauto in 10mm or .357 Sig).

      • “That black metal housing” is very clearly two pieces that cannot “fully contain” gas pressure without several extras not shown / hinted at in any of the pictures.

        It also very clearly does not fire from the bottom of the cylinder like a Rhino.

      • Excellent points and the fact this is a revolver that could be suppressed. The design would have to be changed to allow for a faster reload that a top break can give you.

  7. The barrel is clearly aligned with the topmost chamber so I don’t know what you’re talking about. From the photos it appears that it’s using the bottom chamber opening to lock the cylinder in place, which makes me wonder what the limit on cartridge OAL is.

  8. Gonna be a whole new market of Kydex holsters, again and the word ‘hybrid’ in relation to holsters is going to take on a whole new dimension … “is the holster for a Glock, for a revolver… its for both! Its a ‘hybrid!”. I’m surprised they didn’t stick a red dot on it.

  9. I looked at the photos carefully: I don’t see any way that this revolver could strike cartridge primers with enough impact to reliably fire them. In fact I don’t readily see how this revolver could fire at all.

    Remember, something with appreciable mass and a LOT of spring force behind it has to hit the primer to fire. There simply isn’t enough room in the tiny space at the back/top of that revolver for any significant mass nor spring.

    Second, I don’t see any interconnect between the top-break barrel and what would have to be the bull-pup trigger mechanism. All I see is a latch for releasing the top-break barrel to swing open.

    • My guess is a U shaped “action bar” that strikes a small firing pin at the base of the U and runs the two long legs “shroud” that interact with levers that reach up from the two rectangular holes above and on either side of the trigger.

  10. The revolver pistol as we know it has been around for almost 200 years. A revolving cylinder firearm is centuries older than that. If having the cylinder that far back actually worked, with almost no room for some kind of forceful hammer drop, you not only would have seen that gun at the show, you would have seen it in production long ago.

  11. “I can’t help but think we’re likely to never see…”

    Looking at the pics, if they ever do come to market as drawn, they better come with a pair of welding gauntlets and a face shield. Figure out a way to seal that cylinder housing, and channel the gas forward and up/out near the front sight, like a ported barrel, and maybe then they’ll have something. Interesting concept, but thankfully is still in the development stage.

    • This could easily end up in movies, at least in blank-firing form. Or maybe just CGI-firing form. It’s definitely novel enough for Hollywood, and perhaps too dumb for anyone else.

  12. But, why?

    Is there a large demand for high bore axis revolvers that look like semi-auto pistols but have much lower capacity and are substantially wider than a similar overall size magazine fed handgun?

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