The big news from Ruger was the compact SR9, but there was a smaller announcement as well: new versions of the Blackhawk and GP-100 chambered in .327 Federal.
Supposedly the .327 gives outstanding performance with a manageable recoil and, crucially, a skinnier cartridge, which allows more rounds to fit in the cylinder. In the case of the Blackhawk and GP-100, that's 8 and 7 shots, respectively. Don't get me wrong; high-cap revolvers are really neat, and may make the difference for somebody who really likes the feel and operation of a compact wheelgun but isn't comfortable with only five rounds. But for me, at least, that relatively fine difference isn't nearly enough to balance out the inherent disadvantages of a new cartridge: rarity, expense, and the gamble that this new revolutionary cartridge won't go obsolete like so many others. One or two extra rounds in the cylinder simply isn't enough to give the .327 the nod over a .357 or .38sp, a gun I can be absolutely certain will have ammo support for as long as I can buy ammo.
But what about going in the other direction?
What if, instead of making the same size guns hold more ammo, somebody were to make a smaller five-shot .327 revolver? I've handled some old H&R and Iver Johnson pocket revolvers and thought "Man, this would be incredibly handy... if it fired something more serious than .32 S&W." That class of guns was extremely popular in its day, and only went extinct because of their anemic cartridges. Now that we can fit some serious firepower in their chambers, isn't it time for a comeback?
Obviously, designing a whole new gun is a much bigger investment--and therefore a much bigger gamble--than just boring the barrel and cylinder of an existing revolver to a new diameter. And it may be a tough market, what with tiny semiautos being so popular. But if Ruger can find a market for cowboy guns, and Nort American Arms is prepared to gamble on a modern miniature rimfire revolver styled like 19th century pocket guns, there must be enough fans of old-man guns out there to make a subcompact carry revolver worth a try. If Ruger or NAA announced a tiny pocket double action tomorrow, I guarantee Danielle would instantly start jumping through Jersey's hoops to buy one.
There's an actual, bona fide empty niche to be exploited here in the world of handguns, a world where dozens of companies compete to offer minuscule variations on 99-year-old designs, and every major manufacturer tries to pimp its compact black plastic framed double action semiauto as superior to every other company's compact black plastic framed double action semiauto. Let's see some innovation, people!