Welcome back to TFB’s Wheelgun Wednesday! In this installment, we’ll take a look at the just-released third generation of the Standard Manufacturing S333 Thunderstruck revolver. This 8-round .22 WMR revolver has two barrels and fires two rounds per trigger pull. Simultaneous firing of multiple barrels is known as volley fire and when this revolver was first introduced at the beginning of 2019, it was called S333 Volleyfire. Later that same year, they renamed it S333 Thunderstruck. In 2021, Standard Manufacturing released the second generation of this wheelgun that had slightly longer barrels and improved trigger pull. The new S333 Thunderstruck Gen 3 has several design changes and improvements over the Gen 2. Let’s take a closer look.
Wheelgun Wednesday @ TFB:
The previous generations of the S333 had two-piece aluminum frames with integrated iron sights. The Gen 3 has a polymer lower frame and dovetailed sights. The 2.25″ barrels are now separately installed into the gun compared to the one-piece two-barrel blocks of earlier versions. Last but not least, the third generation of S333 Thunderstruck has a set trigger that lets the shooter pull the trigger to a stop (which presumably rotates the cylinder and cocks the hammer) and then have a second stage of a lighter trigger pull to fire the gun. The set trigger can be safely released/decocked from its first stage stop should you decide not to fire the gun.
The barrels of the S333 Thunderstruck Gen 3 are regulated with the following types of .22 WMR ammunition: CCI Maxi Mag 40 Grain, Maxi Mag 40 Grain HP, and PMC Predator 40 Grain. The company also suggests combining standard rounds and birdshot loads in the cylinder to have a bullet and a cloud of birdshot simultaneously launched downrange.
The S333 Thunderstruck Gen 3 also features a safety blade on the index finger portion of the two-finger trigger and a hammer/firing pin transfer bar safety. The upper part of the frame is made of 7075 aluminum with an anodized finish, and the cylinder is made of steel. The overall weight is 18oz. The MSRP of Standard Manufacturing S333 Thunderstruck Gen 3 revolver is $429.
The concept of this revolver is pretty interesting but the question is how practical it is for the personal protection use which it’s marketed for. It has eight cartridges in the cylinder, but you have four shots as it fires two rounds at a time. Regular snubby wheelguns normally have a five-round cylinder. Even if the S333 had a 10-round/5-shot cylinder, are two .22 Magnum bullets better than one .38 Special bullet? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Pictures by Standard Manufacturing, www.stdgun.com