World's smallest revolver doesn't have the world's smallest price
By Brian Dodson
August 6, 2012
Here's one for gun collectors with an eye for detail. The SwissMiniGun C1ST is a double-action .09 caliber six-shooter that's just over two inches (5.5 cm) long weighing 0.7 oz (19.8 g). And the price? We think you ought to sit down first ...
The first product of the SwissMiniGun company of La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the C1ST is a miniature double-action (shoots each time you pull the trigger – no cocking of the gun required before shooting) six-shot revolver.
The level of detail on such a small gun is amazing – the Swiss gunsmiths are experienced in jewelry and watchmaking crafts, and have orders to produce works of art that happen to be fully functioning guns. (Photos of the gold and diamond versions appear in the image gallery.)
The C1ST has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's smallest working revolver. (Full disclosure - the Xythos double-action six-shot revolver is smaller and uses 2 mm pinfire cartridges, but it is only designed for firing blanks.)
The SwissMiniGun is similar to, although about 23 percent of the size of, the .357 Magnum Colt Python. Most of the dimensions scale properly with size:
The C1ST revolver comes with a fine leather holster for unconcealed carry. If nothing else, it keeps the revolver from getting lost in your pocket change.
"Since the product's launch three years ago, the firm had sold around 300 of the guns, mainly to collectors in the Middle and Far East," says Paul Erard, owner of SwissMiniGuns. "We are producing in very small quantities – perhaps 25 gold guns and 100 steel guns a year, and there is a six month waiting list to get one."
SwissMiniGuns will customize the pint-sized shooter to customer wishes. The options to date include guns made of gold (save for the chamber, spring, and barrel), ebony grips, diamonds in pave, colored precious stones, and the like. Photographs of such ornamented guns appear in the image gallery.
Ammunition? The C1ST is sold with 24 live 2.34 mm rimfire cartridges, costing a bit over $10 per round. This makes target shooting an expensive outing – oddly enough, only slightly less expensive than buying 600 Nitro Express rounds for the world's largest revolver, the Pfeifer-Zaliska 600 Nitro. This revolver weighs over 13 pounds (6.0 kg) and is 22 inches (55 cm) in length. At 3 1/2 inches in length, the 600 Nitro cartridge is about 60 percent longer than the entire C1ST, and weighs almost six times more.
The bad news for collectors living in the U.S. is that the C1ST cannot be imported legally. (Yes, that includes bringing it in on your keychain.) It is too small to pass the ATF's standards as a "sporting gun" and AFT import regulations are seriously discriminatory against foreign-built guns – neither of the U.S.-made guns mentioned in the first paragraph would be legal to import if of foreign manufacture.
Oh, right – the price. The C1ST SwissMiniGun sells for just over CHF6,500 (approx. US$6,705). No, not a gold and diamond version, just the basic gun. We told you to sit down.