Weekend Digest: Unconventional Armament Edition

Chinese police revolver courtesy cri.cn

The Chinese authorities have chosen a rather unusual firearm with which to arm their police forces, a revolver that shoots 9mm. The Wall Street Journal says that several readers contacted them with doubts about the accuracy of the story due to the unusual configuration (and because journalists aren’t known for accuracy regarding firearms), but the WSJ says that the unusual design is purposeful. The move to beat cops carrying guns is a recent one, and the choice of a revolver is to minimize risks associated with introducing handguns into a society that has little experience with firearms. Also, they chose nonstandard ammunition so in the event a police weapon falls into the wrong hands, it will be more difficult to feed it. Chinese authorities are going to great lengths . . .

to make sure that the revolvers aren’t misplaced, including extensive training, signing guns in and out at the beginning and end of each shift, and even (as above) retention chains that keep the gun tethered to the officer’s belt. Officers are even trained to walk their beat with a hand rested on the weapon.

Your Lockdown of the Day™ comes from my hometown, Fort Pierce, Florida. Forest Grove Middle School and Fort Pierce Central High School were both briefly locked down and surrounded by deputies Friday after an observer spotted two boys with what was believed to be a rifle. According to the Miami Herald, deputies flooded the area, sent in a K-9 team, and flew in police aircraft overhead. A 15-year-old boy and an 18-year-old boy were found, and reportedly dropped a BB gun in the woods. The older boy faces unspecified misdemeanor charges, and the younger one will be placed in a juvenile diversion program, also for unspecified reasons.

Here’s a protip: If you’re going to attempt to get rid of evidence, make sure you get rid of all the evidence. Boston police apprehended a man Wednesday night who was seen glancing “furtively” at passing cars and periodically adjusting his waistband. When he saw an unmarked drive into the area, he took off running, discarding a pistol along the way. When officers caught up to him, he was holding a magazine loaded with 10 rounds of 9mm. Officers retraced their steps and found a S&W 9mm handgun without a magazine. Kinda hard to deny it was his at that point. I know ammunition is still somewhat scarce in some areas, but be smart about it.

A 19-year-old Milwaukee man trying to buy ammunition from a seller he met online was shot Wednesday night when he went to complete the transaction. The seller turned out to be a would-be robber, and demanded money at gunpoint when he arrived. The buyer fled, and the seller fired multiple shots that struck the buyer, causing non-life threatening injury. The victim ran home and called police. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Milwaukee police recommend anyone wanting to buy ammunition from a stranger to make those transactions at their neighborhood police station.” Mmkay.

Eric & Chad from Moss Pawn & Gun dropped this yesterday, their “Top 5 Guns For The Ladies.” They say “In this video we discuss some of the best options for the ladies in our opinion. We based our choices on our experience here in the store and what our female customers are most interested in.”



  1. avatar ST says:

    The reason for the revolvers left unsaid by the Chinese; a six shot duty gun cannot be easily employed against the military in the event of a “Ballistic Regime Change” , of which China’s had a few .

    1. avatar BR549 says:

      Well, yeah, because 9mm isn’t exactly an uncommon size.

      1. avatar Noishkel says:

        Unless they’re using 9mm Largo, or something.

        1. avatar TommyinKY says:

          9x29r is what I would bet they are using. We call it 38 special.

    2. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Me Chinese! Me play joke! Me put wrong 9mm rounds in your chamber!

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        God help me, I laughed.

        1. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Yeah, sadly enough I laughed as I typed it.

        2. avatar whatever says:

          Yeah I got a guilty chuckle out of that too.

      2. avatar Vhyrus says:

        Me chinese, me play joke, me put luger in your colt?

        1. avatar JoshtheViking says:


        2. avatar New Continental Army says:

          There we go, that’s a good one. My second attempt:

          Me Chinese! Me play trick! You be better off with a stick!

  2. avatar Pahtun6 says:

    I wonder if the guy who was shot was carrying a firearm himself. Goes to show you don’t know who your dealing with on the interwebz

  3. avatar Another Robert says:

    9mm revolvers aren’t unheard-of, Taurus has made (still makes?) several. But they fire regular 9mm Parabellum rimless cartridges. I take it the Chinese 9mm revolver ammo is different?

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Wow. Just wow. A revolver with a safety.

        1. avatar Gene says:

          Yea, and it look really awkward and impractical to use.

        2. avatar Another Robert says:

          Heritage Arms

      2. avatar Another Robert says:

        Thanks for the info. I’ve heard that the old .38 S&W could be stopped by a heavy wool winter greatcoat, sounds like that may be the case for this one. Wouldn’t stake my life on that tho–the winter coat thing, I mean. Maybe not the revolver either.

        1. avatar Hunter57dor says:

          I ran some sample ballistics math on this new cartridge: it has about 160-180 ft/lbs of energy depending on loading, less than .38 S&W

    1. avatar Herb says:

      Around 1981 Smith & Wesson made a K frame revolver in 9mm with prong extractors for each chamber for the European market. Didn’t do well IIRC. That Chinese revolver looks like the Japanese `New Nambu’ revolvers of 1960 or so, made strictly for police use, of course. And Manurhin also tried a 9mm revolver.

      In the 1940’s the Israeli Irgun made an S&W revolver copy in 9mm with moon clips. Those it was issued to felt they were low on the food chain weaponwise.

      Wouldn’t mind finding a Ruger Blackhawk convertible with.38/.357 & 9mm cylinders.

    2. avatar Don from CT says:

      I have a Smith and Wesson 547. It a 9mm revolver that engages the extractor groove with little spring loaded thingies to extract. Pretty cool. It headspaces on the case mouth.


  4. avatar Kevin J says:

    Tether seems like it would make it hard to draw

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    That’s why I don’t do Armslist. Or Craigslist for that matter. Lots of lowlifes wanting to rip you off. Did the article really suggest meeting at the police station? Not Wal-Mart?LOL

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      Yup, I knew this dude once a few years back that tried to buy drugs of people on CL a few times… hahaha, oh boy were those some stories, he got robbed, ripped off, scammed into buying poppori and salt, and nearly raped once. Yes, raped. Nearly, He finally stopped after that one. He was a real loon.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        All that and he still didn’t get arrested? Folks, the “war on drugs” was lost decades ago, when are we going to put it out of our misery?

        1. avatar 16V says:

          When it quits providing tens of thousands of jobs at DEA, the Prison Industrial Complex, and other alphabet soup agencies. Not to mention providing excuses for all sorts of sketchy behavior, and even sketchier spending.

          So, to answer your question, never.

    2. avatar Vhyrus says:

      I’ve dealt on armslist and craigslist multiple times. The secret? Don’t be stupid… and carry a gun… and bring a friend if possible… who carries a gun.

    3. avatar JasonM says:

      I’ve bought and sold guns, ammo, and reloading components through the internet before. I always make sure we meet in a crowded public place.
      We have gotten strange looks from people as they walk through a mall parking lot, past a couple guys fiddling with a shotgun in the back of an SUV.

  6. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    @ Another Robert, kinda like a 9mm .38 special hybrid, it is rimmed.

    Teaching cops to keep a hand on the firearm while walking the beat, sounds like a NG waiting to happen…I’m sure a joke about idle hands can be found in there somewhere.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      Double action only revolver with a manual safety to release the firing pin – you have to be some kind of special stupid to ND THAT combination.

      1. avatar GS650G says:

        Have the NYPD train them for they are experts in handling guns and using 12lb triggers.

    2. avatar Another Robert says:

      Thanks for the info–Looks more like a 9mm/.38 S&W hybrid as it turns out. They really don’t trust those cops much.

  7. avatar Scottlac says:

    What were the boys with the pellet gun in Florida charged with? Maybe littering from the dropped BB gun? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I was unable to find that information anywhere. Interestingly, I was unable to find any mention of that story at all in the local paper. The Miami Herald is 2.5 hours south of Fort Pierce.

  8. avatar Maineuh says:

    Did they really suggest people should make their ammunition purchases at their local police department? Because that’s just friggin funny right there.

    1. avatar Al says:

      In Milwaukee, the police department maintains a dedicated part of the lobby for ebay/Craigslist/etc transactions, where the receptionist/dispatch can see you.

      They started doing this after a few similar crimes previously.

      1. avatar Chris. says:

        Probably best to call in advance to warn the police when you’re going to be transferring a firearm… Just saying.

        1. avatar Data Venia says:

          probably a good plan. I’ll say this though: as a WI resident I’d actually feel fairly comfortable doing a transaction in police station in Milwaukee, though maybe not Madison. Maybe I just have low standards after living in NYC for a few years, or maybe WI law enforcement really are reasonable -2nd amendment wise.

  9. avatar tdiinva says:

    Smith and Wesson makes a revolver in 45 ACP (Model 325 Thunder Ranch). There is no reason why you can’t chamber a wheel gun in an auto caliber.

    Eric and Chad did the typical little lady gun recommendation. I understand some of the issues surrounding hand strength but they overplay it. My wife broke her strong [right] hand in a sking accident 25 years ago but she has figured out how to rack the slide with her left hand.

    My wife’s primary pistol is an M-9. She is 5’4″ with a light frame. I am not suggesting that that women should go out and buy a full sized combat pistol but there are many compacts like the Px4, XD/m or XD/s that are perfectly suitable for a woman to carry. She will carry our Nano or XD/m when it is appropriate.

    If a woman has an issue with hand strength or is recoil sensitive, the last pistol I would recommend would be a light weight snubbie.

    This old fashion MCP thinks we should stop treating women like weaklings when it comes to guns. They generally can handle anything a man can. It isn’t that hard.

    1. avatar Fler says:

      Doesn’t everyone who shoots with their right hand rack the slide with their left?

      1. avatar joe says:

        unless I’m practicing racking with the shooting hand.

      2. avatar tdiinva says:

        I have to re-edit this. I rack with my right hand and I am right handed. And that’s how I taught her.

        1. avatar Skeptical_Realist says:

          This still doesn’t make sense to me.

          Do you shoot right handed? If so, do you switch hands to rack the slide after a reload? What purpose does that serve? And why would you teach someone such a nonstandard, backwards method?

          I hope I’m missing something here. Wait, you aren’t Inigo Montoya, are you? Or perhaps the Dread Pirate Roberts?

        2. avatar Stinkeye says:

          I’m confused. You switch the gun to your left hand, rack the slide with your right, then switch back to shoot?

        3. avatar tdiinva says:

          yeah, I am probably naturally left handed but was treated as a righty. I don’t know if I would rack left handed if I ever was in a DGU.

    2. avatar 16V says:

      Revolvers in ‘auto cartridge’ chamberings have been around since the dawn of time. This is what half-moon and full-moon clips are for.


    3. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      I agree with your women and guns comment.

      No women, not one, I’ve ever shot with enjoyed shooting revolvers or pocket guns. But, all of them handled, operatored, and enjoyed shooting compact/full size 9mm pistols.

      The she’s “too weak” or “semi autos are too complicated” comments are BS, it’s just idiotic, macho nonsense.

      1. avatar Joe M says:

        I have to agree with you…..my wife is 5’4″ and 125 lbs with wrists so small I can reach my fingers around them with inches to spare. lol And she carries a S&W SD40ve Sigma .40 cal and has no problems at all with recoil or operating the gun itself. Maybe these folks just aren’t teaching their women properly…….

        1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

          It’s not improper training, it’s the lack of training all together…

          Some men pigeonhole women to lesser capabilities, and in doing so, give them a lesser weapon. I can teach a trained monkey to operate a semi auto pistol, and the perceived strength needed to do so is highly over-perceived.

          Load: Put the mag thing into the gun thing, and rack the slide thing.

          Unload: Pull out the mag thing, pull back the slide thing, and check the hole for shiny bullet looking things.

          Shooting: Put the sight things over the target thing and squeeze the bang thing, repeat as needed.

          Malfunction (click noise instead of bang noise): Slap the mag thing, rack the slide, and remember the “shooting” thing? Do the “shooting” thing.

          Still get a click noise instead of bang noise. Remember the “reload” thing? Do the “reload”thing. Then, do the “shooting” thing again, at this point, I know you remember the “shooting” thing.

          Training for a semi auto pistol complete.

    4. avatar Ing says:

      Guess I might as well jump in… Grip strength is a bit of an issue for the women in my house, but not so much that they can’t work the slide on a 9mm. They just needed some practice. I taught my 12-year-old daughter how to shoot my wife’s Springfield XD compact a few weeks ago, and she absolutely rocked it.

      The single biggest issue for women is going to be grip size, NOT the size of the gun. The average grip that fits the average guy might not fit an average-to-smallish woman, and if you can’t grip the gun properly, you’re in for a whole cascade of handling, operation, and accuracy problems. That’s why I started my daughter on the XD and not my larger XDm — she’s a tall girl and has big hands for a 12-year-old, but not big enough for the chunkier grip of my gun. The XD just about fits her hand. She has to work at it a bit, but she can operate the slide pretty well. She can shoot magazine after magazine without pain or fatigue. And she can even hit what she’s aiming at.

      Any handgun in any standard defensive caliber will work just as well for a woman as it would for a man — if it fits her hand.

  10. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    M1917 revolver. nuff said.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Or the venerable S&W model 25

      1. avatar Jim says:

        Or the SP 101 in 9mm

  11. avatar dwb says:

    Maybe the chinese saw Jerry Miculek shoot the 929 9mmm revolver, 16 downrange in 4 seconds with reload. Not really all that unusual at all.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I’m disappointed. I was sure the target would be 300 yards away.

        1. avatar dwb says:

          if you catch the middle, he is actually slower than he used to be or the reload. .2 secs or something. damn.

  12. avatar Pulatso says:

    About the guy trying to ditch the piece but keep the mag, I can respect not wanting to leave a loaded weapon where it can be found, but maybe ditch the mag separately? Or not be shady at all to begin with?

  13. avatar S.CROCK says:

    I think our police should learn from the Chinese. I really like how they are requiring a lot of training and are making sure they don’t “misplace” any of guns. There have been a few stories of late about our enforcement officers “misplacing” M16s.

  14. avatar Hannibal says:

    That little cord will make it difficult to do anything with the gun other than have it around. Truly a country frightened of its citizens.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      I suppose the round gizmo on his belt that the cable is attached to is spring loaded, so when he draws his weapon, the cable will be pressing against his body, and wanting to pull back on the gun.
      That’s got to give the cop real confidence.

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      aren’t you a cop?

      are you telling me you haven’t noticed how common coiled lanyards are now in some departments and even military?

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        I haven’t noticed such a thing among regular police officers in the United States. Level three retention holsters? Sure. But straps or lanyards going from the belt to the gun? Haven’t seen that as common at all.

      2. avatar Vhyrus says:

        retention laynards were all the rage for a very brief period about 7-10 years ago and then I stopped seeing them completely. My guess is too many people broke a skylight trying to quick draw with the cord somewhere it shouldn’t be.

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      I believe the British, and possibly the Canadians as well, used lanyards on their service pistols during W II. don’t think they had any clever mechanical rewind devices, however.

      1. avatar Anon in CT says:

        Not a bad idea in the mud-filled trenches.

        I seem to recall French cops having them on their pistols back in the 90s.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Yeah I can actually see more advantages in a military application (in the trenches, no less), especially when it is a secondary weapon; that said, holsters have advanced quite a bit since then.

      2. avatar Another Robert says:

        If I’m not mistake, most–or at least a great many–military pistols have a lanyard ring. My Nagant certainly does.

  15. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    Ruger Blackhawk convertibles in .357 come with a 9mm cylinder. It is a handy revolver being able to shoot three different calibers in one handgun.

    When did it become illegal to go shoot BB guns? That was once a fun thing to do as a kid. I used to run around with my Crossman air pistol and shoot .22 wadcutters at junk at the rock quarry. I even *gasp* open carried it in my hand. I didn’t have a holster for it so it was the only way. I carried the box of pellets in my other hand. Pant wetters with 911 on speed dial have ruined everything.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      My Blackhawk came with two cylinders. .45 Colt and .45 ACP.

      1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        It’s nice having choices. I want a convertible .357 like my dad has. I have a GP100 but I like the Blackhawk also just because you can shoot it with some dirt cheap ammo. .38spl and .357 are not as cheap as they once were but I can find a box of 9mm for around $13 still. It also doesn’t chuck brass all over the place which makes collecting it up much easier. There is a .357 convertible for sale at the LGS, but I don’t think I will have the money saved up to buy it before I move this summer.

        I don’t have a revolver in .45 colt but I have a Colt M1917 in .45ACP. It is fun to shoot! I’m sure it is nice being able to swap cylinders for the larger .45.

  16. avatar VSN says:

    Sooo, how long until CAI starts importing those wheel-guns?

  17. avatar jamesii says:

    Way off topic. Anybody use Tru Glo and what do you think.

  18. avatar AaronW says:

    They weren’t issued with .9mm sidearms?

  19. avatar Smith says:

    One thing worth noting about those revolvers is that they are 9mm caliber but not 9×19. The cartridge is ballisticly similar but has a rimmed case. The also use an 18.4mm shot shell with a really thick rim that cannot be chambered in a normal 12 gage shotgun. The Chinese police use only proprietary cartridges so that they cannot be used for extended periods if stolen.

  20. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Isn’t stealing them illegal? Or maybe just stealing the proprietary ammo is illegal.

  21. avatar KCK says:

    Being from Wisconsin, there is no ID check for ammo purchase so why are you doing the Triple Stupid?

    But geez that salesman really didn’t want that sale to get away.

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