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Thread: What's the smallest centerfire revolver round?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    What's the smallest centerfire revolver round?

    I was at the range yesterday and picked up a couple 25acp brass and got to thinking what is the smallest centerfire revolver round? I guess 218 bee(not really a revolver round) for bullet and 32 short for overall size?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I read some where that a 3mm round was once made for a ladies pistol. I would imagine the intended target was the soft male spots, I imagine not many ladies were that good a shots, so it passed into oblivion.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master trapper9260's Avatar
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    http://www.guns.com/2013/03/04/the-2...-in-the-world/

    I did a search because i was wonder my self after reading this post and here is what I came up with.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The smallest straightwall I have seen is the 22 CCM, which is basically a centerfire 22 mag. Then there is the 14 Squirrel, but not sure if ever chamberd in a wheelgun.
    Last edited by str8wal; 07-20-2014 at 11:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    .22 velo dog. it was a French round.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Artful's Avatar
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    trapper9260 has it correct it's the 2mm Kolibri - as far as I know
    http://www.guns.com/2013/03/04/the-2...-in-the-world/
    The Kolibri round

    In 1910, Pfannl patented a small bullet that he called the Kolibri, the German word for hummingbird.

    .22 Short Kolibri compared to 22 Short, 22 LR and 9mm.


    This is a super small round. In fact, its believed to be the smallest centerfire round ever placed into production as verified by both Barnes and Wilson. To get a grasp of just how small it is, if you line up a 22 rimfire Short on one side, and a 22LR on the other, then place a 2.7mm Kolibri in between these two rounds, it is half as long as the short and about one third the length of the LR. Overall length of a loaded round is 0.43 inches.

    The centerfire primer alone fired the 3-grain, 10-caliber unjacketed lead bullet that headspaces at the chamber, generating a blistering 650-fps when it left the muzzle. The round only generated about 3ft/lbs of energy at its most powerful, which meant it could bounce off thick clothing. For reference, the 9.6-grain Gamo Rocket .177 caliber airgun pellet when fired from a quality air rifle at 800fps generates 17.92 ft. /lbs of energy. A couple of shots to the face however, would be a serious (if not explicitly lethal) deterrent.
    With his patent in hand, Pfannl went to an associate of his, Georg Grabner, and the two discussed putting both the round, and a handgun to fire it, into production.
    The pistol

    With the 2.7x9mm Kolibri round patent secured, and Grabner putting up financing,
    Kolibri pistol, 2.7mm.

    Pfannl went about designing his new Selbstlade Pistole around it. The gun was a single action semi-automatic that used a fixed barrel and reciprocating breechblock. Less than 3-inches long overall with a 1.25-inch smoothbore barrel, the cute little flea shooter weighed 7.7-ounces fully loaded with five rounds of ammunition in a detachable box magazine. At least the super small pistol held a respectable amount of ammunition for follow up shots. Less than 1,000 of these pistols were manufactured before World War 1 interrupted Pfannl’s sales in 1914.
    Not very satisfied with miniature pistols performance, Pfannl designed a larger 3mm gun (firing a 5.3-grain bullet) in the 1920s and produced his magnum opus, the 4mm Flobert, in 1925. Unfortunately, Grabner’s factory located in Donau, Austria fell on hard times and closed by the end of decade, with the Kolibri being its most successful product.
    Clean living and a love of tiny pistols apparently leads to a long life, and old Franz Pfannl lived until 1961 when he died at age 94.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Are there any .22 or .25 cal centerfire revolvers for target or small game-pest shooting?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billairgun View Post
    Are there any .22 or .25 cal centerfire revolvers for target or small game-pest shooting?
    Yes I know of at least one, my Ruger single six 22 CCM. S&W made some in 22 Jet.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    The .22 Velo-Dog was a European production cartridge about like a .22 long; probably the smallest 'common production' centerfire for revolvers(in Europe 1900's). There were the Kolibri's, but the were pretty rare. The .22 Hornet and a few wildcats based on the Hornet and .32's, and the CCM cartridges are the current small centerfires found in revolvers. Taurus chambered the .218 Bee in a huge revolver, .22 Hornet was in single-action Colt clones and custom work on the Colt SA.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    22 ccm sure works good in a revolver.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Great info on the The Kolibri round. Now that is truly useless.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    There was a round an OLD gunsmith/reloader told me about from back in the day. I want to say it was a 11 remington round, I could be wrong. All I know is it used a special primer no longer made that was about half the size of a small pistol primer. The guy was featured in a handloader magazine, and on a Texas Country Reporter episode because he is one of the few men left alive that can still reload some REALLY odd old rounds....

    GoodOlBoy
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    Great info on the The Kolibri round. Now that is truly useless.
    Very true but I like wierd pointless stuff.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Reloading dies and boolit molds for the Kolibri would be a treat to use. As a sniper rifle for mice in the house it would have a point.

  16. #16
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    I think the BFR was availible in 22 Hornet.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    apparently the round I was talking about was also known as the 3mm US. there was a 3mm kolibri as well, and in searching for it I ran across a 2mm kolibri round as well....

    Man the world has had some ODD stuff over time.

    GoodOlBoy
    Yes I can be long winded. Yes I follow rabbit trails. Yes I admit when I am wrong. Your mileage may vary.

    Keep your powder dry. Watch yer Top knot.

    "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"

    Yes there were "Short" 45 Colts! http://www.leverguns.com/articles/taylor/45_short_colt.htm

  18. #18
    Boolit Master fourarmed's Avatar
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    Far as I know, the smallest revolver cartridge was the .22 for the velo dog revolver. There is an interesting footnote to that cartridge. Charles Askins had Pachmayr modify a .22LR autopistol to handle the cartridge, and won the national pistol championship in '36 or '37 using it in the 'any centerfire' category. After that, the NRA passed a rule that the 'any centerfire' had to be a minimum of .32 caliber.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Not to quibble too much but the Kolibri guns were not revolvers--they were semi-autos. I did see reference to a 5 mm round for small Belgian revolvers but that may have been a pin fire cartridge. I have seen a German revolver chambered for 6.35 mm.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Does anyone know the size and type of that Kolibri round's primer? jsut curious how small they could be made and still loaded into cartridges.
    Best Regards,
    Chev. William
    P.S.: A revolver chambered for the .25-10 Halsted might be interesting (similar diameters to the .25ACP but 1.125" case length). It is listed in "Ammoguide Interactive Cartridge database". chev. William

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check