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Rotary Barrel Systems: Yay or Nay?

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Been reading up on the G46, and was fascinated by the inclusion of the rotary barrel system.

Obviously, by my opening statement, I have never seen one of these in a semi-auto before, and it is said to have possible accuracy and felt-recoil improvements over the standard tilt-barrel design.

My question to the forum: Who has owned/shot a semi-auto with a rotary barrel and have you experienced any of the potential improvements I mentioned?

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A few guys here are really big fans of an Eastern European gun that is rotary. Grand Power.

Beretta has sold the PX4 series which are rotary except for the smallest model.

I have no personal experience, with either, but I would like to try them.


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The gut though is that rotary pistols have been around since semi auto was a thing. There was basically a mexican rotary 1911 as early as the 20s, and a few european examples. If there were a real advantage, I think they would be more popular. I think any advantage is probably mostly perceived. And hey, if you placebo yourself into shooting better, I guess you are still shooting better. 

Half the stuff the precision guys do is on that principle.

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That’s interesting. I had no idea Mexico had one.

I was curious as to any real advantages...I’d like to believe that if there really WAS an advantage of a rotary barrel, EVERYONE would have at least one in their  lineups.


I heard just the other day when talking with a coworker on this subject that if there is a jam, you need to take it to a gunsmith in order to free up the mechanism. This true, you think?

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I think that statement is overly broad. There may be some types of jams which require gunsmith tools and methods, but that's true of every short recoil locked pistol system. It wouldn't be true of all jams, so I don't know which particular type of malfunction he might mean.

I suppose debris completely clogging the camming groove would render the gun very hard to force open, but I think most of them seal that area, so that no objects big enough to cause that could get in there. Thus if it were a lot of fine dirt, the cure would be flushing a lot of water through it.

With most pistols, their locking block, or vertically moving locking surface can be blocked by stuff, but usually either flushing fluid or by rattling the debris out of the way, or simply by applying force to the slide can bash it out of the way. (possibly damaging things if the debris is stone or metal.)


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I have a Grand Power K100 (full-size 9mm). I can't tell a whole lot of difference in recoil impulse, but the gun itself is excellent. Their rotating barrel mechanism is superior to Beretta and Glock's, it's simple and durable. The only problem is magazines are difficult and expensive to aquire.

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