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Review & engineering: Melcher ME 38 Magnum blank-firing revolver

Cuno Melcher ME-Sportwaffen is among Germany’s preeminent brands in the blank-firing gun segment. But the manufacturer from Solingen has no intention of servicing the mass market like its competitors from Turkey. Its focus is more on quality than quantity. 

Following up last year’s release of a well-received 1911 in antique look, the company has now released a blank-firing revolver, the ME 38 Magnum. It comes in the same finish as the pistol. Hendrik Hiepas-Aryus, CEO at Melcher, answered our request for information by stating: “We are responding to customer wishes for a revolver with the same look as the 1911 pistol.

Melcher ME 38 Magnum: a blank-firing revolver in antique look

Besides a user manual, the revolver comes with a plastic case, a cleaning brush and a firework adaptor – all the accessories that customers more or less expect when purchasing a modern blank-firing gun.

Melcher ME 38 Magnum blank-firing revolver with open cylinder
The blank-firing revolver’s delightfully finished cylinder has a capacity of five rounds.
Aside from the usual accessories, the Melcher ME 38 Magnum blank-firing revolver also comes with a cleaning brush and a firework adaptor for New Year’s Eve.
The ME 38 Magnum accessories include a brush and a firework adaptor that is bound to come in handy on New Year’s Eve.

Melcher calls its used finish the “antique look”. The revolver draws heavily from legendary paragons from Smith & Wesson. And it’s no coincidence. The grip panels are made of real wood and are attached by two Phillips head screws. There are three finger grooves on the front of the grip to ensure firm purchase. But there was a minor blemish on the grip panels. The right half of the grip rested flush against the metal part of the frame, while a broad gap was found on the left-hand side. 

The cylinder release is fitted on the right. It is also attached to the frame by one Phillips screw. The cylinder takes five rounds and has a slight play to the front and the back, causing the cylinder gap to vary between 0.6 and 0.35 mm. Locked in place, the cylinder has minimal lateral play that really doesn’t make much difference. 

The ejector works reliably and without any friction. The iron sights are flat and discrete. 

The legal markings are on the right-hand side of the revolver. The PTB number 796, the “Made in Germany” mark and the caliber details are located on the frame, between the trigger and the cylinder. The serial number and proof house certification etc. are found on the frame, above the cylinder. Otherwise the blank-firing revolver catches the eye with its compact look. Weighing 635 g, it is just 200 mm long.

Melcher ME 38 Magnum Schreckschussrevolver Detailaufnahme der nötigen Beschriftungen und Markings
All the required legal markings are on the right-hand side of Melcher’s antique look, blank-firing revolver.

Handling the Melcher ME 38 Magnum revolver

Hammer des Schreckschussrevolvers Melcher ME 38 Magnum
The hammer cocks easily using just one thumb, even with an outstretched arm. There’s nothing wobbly here.

The dimensions and outer features ensure that the revolver rests snug in the hand. Purchase is wonderful thanks to the woodi grips. The “blank gun” is safe and easy to use in single and double action mode. The trigger has slight travel, but discharges crisply. 

The weight of the revolver is distributed evenly across its entire length without feeling at all top-heavy. If anything, the gun pulls straight downward. 

As expected, there were no “infeed problems”. Unlike blank-firing pistols, revolvers can cope with pretty much any reasonable type of cartridge. So if the shot is a dud, it’s probably due to the ammunition. It’s best not to pick the cheapest option.

Melcher ME 38 Magnum in .380 R.K.: technical data

Model: ME 38 Magnum
Manufacturer:Cuno Melcher ME-Sportwaffen GmbH & Co. KG
Type: Blank-firing revolver in antique look    
Caliber:.380 R.K.
Lenght:200 mm
Barrel lenght:80 mm
Trigger: Single/Double Action
Weight:635 g
Capacity:5 rounds
Safety: Drop safety    
Price:159 euro

So is the new revolver by Cuno Melcher up to scratch?

Customers receive a firearm with absolutely convincing quality for a recommended retail price of 159 euro. 

What’s more, the used look gives the revolver a befitting and certainly charming appearance. So the minor blemish on the grip of the (review) gun is not the end of the world. 

Der Lauf des Schreckschussrevolvers Melcher ME 38 Magnum in Nahaufnahme.
The barrel of the ME 38 Magnum alone accounts for 80 mm of the gun’s overall length.

But do remember: it’s a firearm, not a toy. Handling the gun requires practice. 

Users should research the right ammunition in advance. There’s no point in owning a blank-firing gun that – literally – just produces hot air. People looking a for a high-quality blank-firing gun can’t go wrong with the ME 38 Magnum. It delivers real value for money.


For more information about the Melcher ME 38 Magnum blank-firing revolver please visit the manufacturer’s website. 

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