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R1145
June 24, 2008, 12:24 AM
(I posted originally under semi-auto handguns, but think this is more appropriate here)

What is the purpose of the small projecting tip of metal that protrudes from the 12 o'clock position of the breech end of the barrel? When the slide is in battery, this "nose" rests in a corresponding hole in the breechface.

Scorch
June 24, 2008, 12:39 AM
I believe it is a loaded chamber indicator.

SDC
June 24, 2008, 07:48 AM
If this is the piece I'm thinking of, it's to make sure that the barrel is assembled correctly, and that it doesn't spin out of alignment as you're firing the pistol; when a bullet travels down the barrel, the rifling twists the bullet in one direction, and the bullet twists the barrel in the OTHER direction. That lug at the rear of the barrel keeps it aligned, and makes sure that it returns to the proper locked position when the slide goes back into battery. Otherwise, the only thing keeping the barrel in position are the radial lugs at the bottom of the barrel, which you have to be able to twist to disassemble the pistol.

R1145
June 24, 2008, 11:05 AM
It's not a loaded barrel indicator (good guess, but no cigar...).

I received a reply on the semi-auto board noting that Hi-powers have it, too (at least the early ones).

The same post suggested that perhaps it either help with feeding or ensured the barrel didn't twist during firing (the pistol takes down by rotation of the barrel).

I've never owned a Hi-power; Do they take-down using the same rotating barrel lug system?

James K
June 24, 2008, 11:08 AM
Hi, SDC,

I admit that I always thought that piece was a bullet guide, but in reading your post and examining guns, I think you might be right. The only thing is I can't figure out how the barrel could turn in firing. The only place the slide will let the barrel turn is at the disassembly point, and if it turns there, the slide will not go forward. There is no such piece in the Colt M1903/M1908 Hammerless Pocket Model. Could it be that torsion from the spring around the barrel could cause the barrel to turn? Even then, the barrel should not allow the slide to go into battery if it is turned.

I also note that if the barrel does turn and the slide tries to go into battery that way, the extractor should serve the same purpose as that guide piece.

But R1145 has a good point. The BHP does have the same thing and that gun certainly does not have a rotating barrel (it is a cam-actuated dropping barrel). But the piece in the BHP seems too short to act as a bullet guide.

So I am now puzzled. Any other ideas?

Jim

Tom2
June 24, 2008, 03:29 PM
Probably put there by sadistic Belgian gun designers so that if you have your pinky in there and accidently release the slide, it is much more painful.:p

R1145
June 24, 2008, 04:05 PM
I think it's a cartridge guide.

First of all, although the barrel twists to takedown in the Browning 1910-series, the slide cut for that is up the slide, and the projection would not even be locked into the bolt face when the slide was back. The hole in the breechface seems to be just milled out, with no lever, spring or other connector. Also, as Jim noted, the extractor in the barrel cut would serve the same purpose.

I think there would be better ways to ensure the barrel did not rotate when the slide was in battery.

I'm still stumped, though. I might have to buy another barrel, remove the projection, and do some tests...

SDC
June 25, 2008, 06:41 AM
Running this through in my mind (I don't have one of these pistols to look at, so I'm just going off of memory here), I thiink it may also be sort of a protective mechanism for the extractor. Since the extractor is a relatively fragile piece, and is held only by a small pin, it's possible that the barrel pin ENSURES that the extractor lines up with the cut-out for it in the barrel, otherwise I can see it snapping right off if it were to slam into the rear of the barrel. That barrel pin obviously costs something more to produce than the same barrel without the pin, so they must have tried a "simplified" version of it at one time, and found that it was needed.

James K
June 25, 2008, 08:56 PM
That doesn't explain the very similar setup in the BHP where the barrel can't turn and the extractor (the original type) won't reach the barrel in any case. I even thought that maybe the "thing" on the 1910/1922 was to protect the extractor if the barrel slipped somehow with the recoil spring compressed and the slide off the gun, but I can't get the barrel to turn in that situation either. If the barrel is turned out of the disassembly cut, it can't turn any further than the normal position. So, maybe we will just have to await someone with better info.

I agree that it has the look of a "quick fix" to some problem or other and it certainly cost enough that the problem had to be a fairly big one.

Jim