Monday, September 17, 2012

The 9.4 Dutch Revolver

Two sizes of the 9.4 Dutch The 9.4 Dutch Revolvers Brought out in 1873 as military and service revolver it was used through WWll to some extent. Both the police and military used it to some extent. There doesn’t seem to be any records showing that it was offered commercially. Officially it was replaced in 1911 by the 1903 model Browning but it saw some use through WWll. That generally true with most military hard ware. It was produced by the de Beaumont company. The old (OM) model has an octagon barrel while the newer (NM) one is round. It has one unusual feature that isn’t found on few if any other revolvers. The lanyard ring doubles as a safety. A quarter turn will lock hammer preventing the gun from being fired and the cylinder from turning. In this day of political correctness I am surprised that it isn’t on some modern revolvers. It is a typical double action holding 6 rounds of ammo though the empties have to be pushed out with something as it doesn’t have a extractor. You either solved your problem with 5 or 6 shots depending on which model you have or be able to out run your antagonist. Like many of its contemporaries the double action trigger pull is so heavy that accurate shooting would be impossible though the single action is fairly decent for its time. Like other guns of the period it appears to be a quality item with a good finish.
9.4 Dutch being fired Ammo for it isn’t available nor is there any info on how to make it. I have an original box of the stuff which gives you an idea on how it looks. The bullets are very blunt probably to make the maximum use of the case capacity. Also blunt bullets can be more effective and this cartridge needs some help in that department. The bullets have dates on them an unusual feature. The case is tapered about .017 from the base to the top. That makes it harder to make ammo for it. The bullet diameter is 380 according to my measurements by slugging the barrel. Naturally there are no commercial bullets available. No other handgun that I am aware of sports that diameter. There are a couple of rifles that have that bullet but they are too heavy for the little revolver. As I have done in the past I made my own bullets & cases. The 41 magnum case shortened is the best case to use and the bullets I use are swaged. I obtained a set of dies from CH Tool and Die. They put a little neck on the case but that causes no problems. I imagine it was easier to cut them that way rather then with the slight taper of the original case. I had some 135 and 180 grain projectiles to start with. I swaged them down from 40 calibers which seems drastic but they work fine. No one to my knowledge makes them and if you were to order a mold it would be very costly and probably have a long waiting time. There is no reason to make or use jacketed bullets as they wouldn’t benefit you in ant way. You should not shoot loads hot enough that would expand them and cast lead bullets provide plenty of accuracy. With 2.5 X Herco the 180 were ok though slow. The 135’s were loaded ahead of 3.5 X Unique but the load was too light. The bullets barely came out and in fact one stuck in the barrel. I started on the conservative side as to not risk damaging the gun. At this time I have no way of know exactly when the gun was made. My revolver is the KLM model which is the small version with a 5 shot cylinder and octagon barrel. Apparently is was made in Belgium as far as I can tell. I wanted a few loads that were safe and accurate. My wish was to shoot the gun but not make a magnum out of it. The purpose of shooting such guns is to relive history and for the enjoyment. Ah Yes there is the challenge of making ammo and bullets for this weird gun. For self defense it would be barely adequate with the top loads though better then poking someone with a stick.
Disassembled 9.4 Dutch LOAD BULLET VELOCITY COMMENT 4.5 X Herco 135 grain copper plated 852 accurate 4.5 X Unique 135 grain copper plated 720 consistent 4.5 X Herco 140 grain lead 614 ok 3 X Herco 180 grain lead 541 light 3.5 X Herco 180 grain lead 712 good load 17 X FFFG Goex 180 grain lead 509 slow
9.4 Dutch with ammo Shooting the gun is about like shooting a small framed 38 with lighter loads. Recoil isn’t a bother with any of the loads tested. It does shoot very high especially with the 180 grain bullets but once you get the measure of the sights it isn’t too bad. It isn’t a power house by any standards with the 135 grain load at 852 only produces 217 ft lbs of energy. I have access to a full size model but unfortunately it doesn’t fire on a reliable basis. Since the double action trigger is so heavy the only practical way to shoot it is single action. Doing that the hammer only falls part way when the trigger is pulled then comes down to rest when the trigger is released. Not sure at this time what the problem is but haven’t been able to shoot the gun much. It has the octagon barrel and has an 1898 date stamp on it. There isn’t a lot of info on these fascinating guns in English but I understand that if you read German you might find something on the web. No one to my knowledge make ammo for it on a commercial basis but that’s what makes it interesting.
Factory and reloaded ammo

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