Obsolete Arms and Ammo
By Bob Shell
Apache Junction, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- The 9.4 Dutch Revolver was brought out in 1873 and it has been somewhat difficult to find information in English about this unique duty revolver.
Sometimes called the Chamelot-Delvigne revolver it was known as the M73 OM and the model 73 NM both being 6 shots.
The old model has an octagon barrel while the new model’s is round. There is also a KLM model 5 shot with an octagon barrel. It is a small frame revolver that is double action resembling a small 38 in size. A company called de Beaumont produced it until it was replaced by the 1903 Browning in 1911. As far as I can tell it was never produced for the commercial market.
Like many of its peers the double action trigger is heavy and you have to have something to poke out the empties in this 5 shot gun.
I guess you solved your problems with the first cylinder full or you were in trouble.
One really unique feature is if you turn the lanyard ring ¼ turn it completely locks up the gun which is a safety. There is a rod going from the lanyard to the action enabling it to perform this function and it works as designed.
The revolver was used in some capacity by the police and military until about 1945. I have examined and shot both sizes and they all appeared to be well made. Like many nations during that time side arms were not considered serious combat weapons.
It would be impossible to buy shootable ammo for this gun as the bullet is .380 in diameter and cases have to be made from 41 magnum brass that is shortened and necked down.
I obtained a set of dies from C-H Tool & die company which was a stroke of luck as that was the last set on hand and Dave told me that they were sitting around for some years. . The Bullets have to be hand made as I couldn’t find any on the market. I developed a method for swaging them which works well and makes good bullets.. I also developed the loading data as there is little or no info listed that I could find.
To make matters more interesting the case is tapered by .017 from head to lip. The loading dies, however give the case a slight bottleneck which doesn’t hurt anything. My guess is it was easier to make the dies that way. The factory bullet is blunt to make use of the available powder space. I have loaded for and shot it and it is fairly accurate at close range. At 7 yards I can shoot a 2” group which is about all I can expect from this gun.
It would be ok for close range self defense but would lack the power for big game and due to the rudimentary sights and poor trigger hitting small game could be a challenge. My revolver is the KLM with a 5 shot cylinder.
LOAD -Bullet – Velocity – Energy – COMMENT
- 4.5 X Herco – 135 grain – copper – 852 – 217 – Shell – accurate
- 4.5 X Unique. – 135 grain – copper – 720 – 154 – Shell – consistent
- 3 X Herco – 180 grain – lead – 551 – 121 – Shell – light
- 3.5 X Herco – 180 grain – lead – 712 – 203 – Shell – good load
- 17 X FFFG – Goex – 180 grain – lead – 509 – 104 – Shell – slow
- 13 X 209 – 135 grain – copper – 619 – 136 – Shell – high es
- 11 X 209 – 180 grain – copper – 557 – 129 – Shell – ok
As you can see the loads are fairly anemic. I kept them low as there is no point in risking damaging the gun to get a few extra FPS. I regard this as a historical piece to be enjoyed and not a working gun.
Since I am a sucker for such guns the 9.4 Dutch Revolver will always have a place in my collection.
About Bob Shell
A Custom Reloader of Obsolete and Antique Ammo, Bob Shell, writes about the subject of Guns, Ammo, Shooting and Related Subjects. Visit: www.bobshellsblog.blogspot.com