Modern Firearms - Mateba Model 6 Unica
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Mateba Model 6 Unica auto-revolver (Italy)

Mateba Model 6 Unica auto-revolver in .454Casull caliber

Mateba Model 6 Unica auto-revolver in .454Casull caliber

 

Drawing from original patent (US 4,712,466 to Emilio Ghisoni) which explains the basic design of Mateba Model 6 Unica auto-revolver

Drawing from original patent (US 4,712,466 to Emilio Ghisoni) which explains the basic design of Mateba Model 6 Unica auto-revolver

 

 

Type Double Action semiautomatic revolver
Caliber(s) .357 Magnum, also .44 Magnum and .454 Casull
Weight unloaded 1250 g and more
Length depending on barrel length; 275mm with 152mm (6") barrel
Barrel length 76mm (3"), 102mm (4"), 127mm (5"), 152mm (6") and 205mm (8")
Magazine capacity 6 rounds

 

Mateba Model 6 Unica is one of the more unusual modern weapons, which combines advantages and disadvantages of two different types of handguns - semi-automatic pistols and traditional revolvers. Obviously based on 1900-wintage British Webley-Fosbery semi-automatic revolver, Mateba Model Unica adds several novel features to this old and relatively unsuccessful design. Mateba Model 6 Unica auto-revolver has been developed by Italian designer Emilio Ghisoni by late 1980s, and put into limited production by Italian company Macchine Termo Balistiche, now Mateba Srl. Basic design was developed in three calibers (and sizes), as well as in carbine versions, fitted with long 457mm (18") barrels and shoulder stocks. Revolvers of Model 6 Unica line-up apparently are still produced on limited basis.

Mateba Model 6 Unica auto-revolver utilizes two-part frame, where upper part is allowed to recoil on the rails, machined on the lower frame. Upper frame holds cylinder and barrel; lower frame hosts the trigger and hammer unit and a grip. Six-shot cylinder swings to the left for reloading, but, unlike most revolvers, cylinder crane axis is located above the cylinder (not below), and cylinder swings up and to the left, instead of more traditional down and to the left. Also unlike most other revolvers, the barrel is located co-axially with lower chamber in the cylinder (not upper); this is done to decrease muzzle flip through smaller bore axis to grip distance. Barrels are easily removable, with separate barrel jackets; therefore, barrels of various lengths can be installed on a single gun using special wrench. Upon discharge, upper frame recoils against it return spring, automatically cocking the hammer and rotating cylinder; if necessary, revolver also can be fired for first shot in traditional single or double action mode. Sights are adjustable, but again unlike most other guns, it is front sight that is fully adjustable, and rear sight is fixed; this is necessary because front sights are fixed on removable barrel shrouds.
Like its much older predecessor, the Webley-Fosbery semi-automatic revolver, Mateba Model 6 Unica has advantage of significantly reduced felt recoil; however, there are some serious penalties for that, as it is also somewhat heavier than traditional revolvers of similar caliber and barrel length, is more complicated and sensitive to proper grip during discharge - gripping it too weakly may produce failures to cycle the action through insufficient recoiling movement. Also, it is sensitive to weak and mild rounds that may generate insufficient recoil, and the gun will fail to cycle the action.