J.S. did a pretty good review of multi caliber weapons (“Introduction to Multi-Caliber Guns by J.S.“) but he forgot the time honored Thompson-Center (T-C) Encore and Contender, now owned by Smith and Wesson single-shot firearms.
The Encore and Contender firearm lines not only allow changing barrels but to convert from pistol to rifle and back again by not only switching barrels but stocks, forearms and grips. Encores are the larger frame and can handle almost any cartridge that you can. You can buy barrels from 12 gauge to sub-caliber Hornet based wildcats and with either an offset barrel or a modified firing pin assembly even .22 LR, Long or Short. There are also muzzleloading barrels in several calibers made for them.
The Contender now being sold in the G2 version is a smaller frame than the Encore that switches between rim and centerfire cartridges with the flip of a lever on the hammer. Earlier Contenders are not as strong as the G2 version and need to be checked for stretched frames if bought used. The contender is a 20 gauge and smaller firearm with many common rifle and pistol rounds chambered in the many barrels that have been made for it. Barrels are interchangeable between Contender and G2 Contender frames but not between the Contender and the Encore frames.
T-C has just introduced a new multi cartridge rifle that is a magazine-fed bolt action repeater with a three-round magazine called the Dimension that has interchangeable barrels, magazines and bolts from .204 Ruger to .300 Winchester Magnum. It is an interesting firearm that fills some needs. – Lowell K.
I just wanted to add to the very well thought out and well-written article, Introduction to Multi-Caliber Guns by J.S.
He mentions that the .454 Casull can also handle .45 Colt, the new Smith and Wesson .460 S&W Magnum revolver will fire .460 S&W Magnum as well as the .454 Casull and .45 Colt cartridges. That gives you three options if you were considering a large bore revolver.
Keep up the good fight. Thank you – Brad M.