The multi-caliber Scavenger 6 rifle is a survivalist’s dream gun. It’s a stocked revolver with each chamber cut for a different cartridge. By using multiple cylinders, it’s possible to have one design fire a dozen and half or more cartridges.
The Scavenger 6 is the dream child of Air Force veteran Tim Ralston. In development for more than a year, Ralston plans to have a working model on display at the 2017 SHOT Show. Ralston had non-working Scavenger 6 components at last year’s industry expo.
The core of the Scavenger 6 is the CB, or Cylinder Barrel. The CB is an extended, rifled multi-barrel cylinder, like a pepperbox but of modern construction. The rest of the “barrel” forward of the frame is a fixed muzzle shroud that may help guide gas away from the cylinder gap but it is really there to comply with legal barrel length requirements for rifles in the U.S.
Each cylinder measures in at 7 inches long — enough to stabilize a projectile but not weigh a ton, either. Like with a lot of survival gear, some performance is sacrificed for portability and versatility. The cylinders can be swapped out at a moment’s notice to ensure that users can fire the ammo they have that’s right for the purpose needed.
When the Survival 6 was first announced Ralston predicted that the design could fire as many as 23 different cartridges but for now it looks like it’ll be closer to 18. Three cylinder barrels each with six different chambers. Some of the chambers can fire multiple cartridges but they are duplicated on two of the CBs.
The first CB is the “Hunting” cylinder barrel, with chambers for .243 and .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, .30-30 Winchester, .223 Remington and .45 Colt/.410 bore.
The second CB is the “Battle” cylinder barrel, chambered for popular intermediate and full-power rifle cartridges. It’s chambered for 5.56mm and 7.61mm NATO, 7.62×39mm, .30-06 Sprg. and .270 and .308 Win.
And finally, there’s the “Survival” CB chambered for rimfire and other small and medium game cartridges. It’s cut for .22 Long Rifle, .38 Spl./.357 Mag., 9mm Luger, 45 ACP and .45 Colt/.410 bore.
With the right loads any of these CBs would be adequate for self-defense in an emergent situation. In a without-rule-of-law/natural disaster/zombie apocalypse-type situation the Survival 6 would be the ultimate firearm for living off the land. It also looks like an extremely fun range toy for when everything’s holding together just fine.
It’ll be interesting to see if Ralston comes out with other CBs based on demand and feedback. Some users are sure to want other cylinder barrels more suited to their needs, such as a revolver-caliber only CB. Other people may want to focus solely on intermediate cartridges or automatic pistol cartridges.
Future cylinders may also be chambered for .17 HMR, .380 ACP, .40 S&W or .10mm Auto. There’s a lot of room here for development.
The Survival 6 also stands out for other non-conventional features. It has two rails at 6- and 12 o’clock for a forward pistol grip and an optic. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to put sights on the gun because they can’t possibly work with so many different loads and cartridges. If a user needs to make precision shots it would be better to install an optic that can be quickly adjusted for elevation.
This is a design with real potential. Hopefully, we’ll get to lay hands on one soon.
Here is an early video announcing the Survival 6 earlier this year.