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I was re-watching Heart of Gold and noticed that when Wash and Kaylee were on the ship and Wash was giving Kaylee cover-fire to be able to move he fired off many more than 6 shots. However, in War Stories, Zoe hands Wash a revolver and says, "6 shots then drop it and move on."

So how many shots does a revolver in the Firefly 'verse have?

15

While this was probably just an editing gaffe (or a deliberate nod to classic westerns where firing more than 6 shots was common), there are several possibilities in world.

  1. Mal has a revolver with a cylinder holding more than 6 shots. There are 7, 8, and even 10 shot revolvers in real life, the basic design is the smaller the bullet diameter and the larger the cylinder diameter, the more shots you can have. Wall thickness and cylinder strength come into play as well.

  2. Mal has BULLETS that can fire more than once. His cartridge is similar to the "metal storm" concept where multiple shots are stacked up in a tube. So when he fires only the first shot in the tube fires, then the cylinder revolves (probably for heat dissipation of the just fired round) to the next round. Mal can keep firing as the cylinder rotates round and round, for 6x number of shots per cartridge.

  3. His gun shoots some sort of energy rather than bullets. The cylinder rotates just for cooling, recharging, or some other reason. But functionally it has much more "ammo".

  • While this is a speculative answer, +1 for the "nod to classic Westerns" – Paul Oct 15 '16 at 9:34

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