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Revolver FN Barracuda (Belgium)
FN Barracuda revolver with .357 magnum cylinder installed
FN barracuda revolver with both cylinders removed (.357 / .38 top, 9x19 bottom). Also shown are cartridges of respective caliber and steel clip for 9x19 ammunition
Image: FN Herstal - promotion pamphlet
|Type||Double Action revolver|
|Caliber(s)||.357 Magnum / .38 Special and 9x19 Luger, interchangeable|
|Weight unloaded||1050 g|
|Barrel length||76 mm (3")|
The "Barracuda" revolver was the only known attempt of famous company FN Herstal to produce a revolver. It was developed during early 1970s and offered for police sales in 1974. This weapon was developed as a versatile police sidearm, suitable for both European and American markets. At the time, US police market was dominated by .38 Special and .357 magnum revolvers, and European police market was mostly dominated by pocket-type automatic pistols with trends mowing toward 9x19 Luger caliber. Considering all that, as well as a very close similarity in bullet diameter of all those rounds, FN decided to produce a revolver that could interchangeably fire all those rounds. To change between "American" .357 / .38 calibers and "European" 9mm Luger / Parabellum, one must simply install an appropriate cylinder to a basic gun frame. As the 9mm ammo is rimless, to achieve reliable extraction and fast loading, 9mm rounds are loaded using special star-shaped flat clips that hold 6 rounds together. Rimmed revolver rounds are extracted using their rims, and can be loaded one by one or 6 rounds at once using speedloaders developed for Smith&Wesson K-frame revolvers. 9mm rounds also can be loaded one by one without clip, but extraction would be problematic.
FN revolvers were of good quality, but somewhat heavy and came to the market a bit too late to sell well. It is believed that FN manufactured several thousands of those guns during mid-seventies.
The FN "Barracuda" revolver is more or less traditional double-action revolver with swing-out cylinder. Firing pin is installed in the frame of the gun for better safety. It is of all-steel construction, with solid frame and heavy, lugged barrel. Only one barrel length of 3 inches (76mm) was available. Sights were fixed, with the front sight blade pinned to the barrel.
Barracuda revolvers were promoted as multi-caliber and thus ought to have two removable cylinders, one for .38 and .357 caliber rimmed revolver ammunition, and another for rimless 9x19 pistol ammunition. each cylinder was marked with its respective caliber. It must be noted, however, that 9mm cylinders seem to be quite rare, and most available guns are in .38 / .357 caliber only.
It is NOT advisable to load 9x19 cartridges into cylinders NOT marked for this ammunition.