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Old November 27, 2012, 09:49 PM   #1
Deja vu
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Evolution of hand guns.

Today I was at the range talking to one of the old timmers and he pointed out how handguns have evolved.

He talked about how times had changed from revolvers to 1911s to glocks. He was talking about how he feels bad that revolvers have stopped evolving.

I pointed out to him that revolvers are still evolving they are just taking a different path. While Autos have evolved in to plastic double stacked self defense guns, revolvers have evolved more toward hunting. Over time revolvers have evolved from the standard 38 special to the 357 magnum to the 44 magnum to the 454 casul to the 460 and 500 magnum.

I dont know why I am posting this other than to point out that revolvers are still evolving even today, they just appear to be evolving a different direction. For the foreseeable future Automatics will probably be king of the hill but until no body hand gun hunts any more there will always be a place for revolvers.
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Last edited by Deja vu; November 27, 2012 at 09:56 PM.
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:55 PM   #2
RickB
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I've always been fascinated by the "evolution" of the handgun from single action recolver, to double action revolver, to single action automatic pistol, to the somewhat retrograde introduction of the DA auto.
DA in a revolver is a definite advance, but I don't see how un-automating the automatic pistol is an advancement?
After a while, changes aren't necessarily improvements, just something to fill a perceived niche.
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Old November 27, 2012, 10:06 PM   #3
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In my opinion, one of the more prominent reasons to buy a revolver is for the look of a "revolver". It's slick, sexy, and traditional. Semi-autos tend to be more focused on functionality. I feel the same way with bolt-action vs semi-auto rifles.
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Old November 27, 2012, 10:09 PM   #4
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Likely the most significant evolution has been in how they are used.

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Old November 27, 2012, 10:46 PM   #5
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Every type of technology evolves.





Sorry, I just couldn't resist.
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Old November 28, 2012, 02:38 AM   #6
mrt949
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Revolvers ,bolt actions xp 100, & single shot's . Will always work without many problems.
Autos are tempermental but have a purpose.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:37 AM   #7
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Revolvers are not just for hunting. Many of us use them for Concealed Carry. Mine, a pocket gun, M36 S&W, or Taurus 85, both one and seven-eights inch barrels, in .38 Spl. I have autos, but revolvers are "funner" to shoot.
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:58 AM   #8
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I like watching the dueling pistol sets that come thru 'pawn stars'. I don't mean to mention the show; I just enjoy the fact that at one point in time, a husband+father might've had two loaded dueling pistols in his box under the bed or on his wall(one shot each only when loaded correctly) as his family's HomeDefense firearms.

One would make sure they were loaded correctly to avoid misfires which would be more difficult to avoid back then(moisture, length of being loaded without firing, hard to prevent humidity, and so-on).

I learned about these pistols at a very young age(let's skip the tv shows....reference one of the best books ever written circa 1880's Treasure Island when Israel Hands meets his demise - trivia: this fictional character was the actual name of Blackbeard's #1 man in real life who of course was also killed by Blackbeard...)

*edit: fixing historical error: shot, not killed as stated at end of post
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Last edited by therealdeal; November 28, 2012 at 07:07 AM. Reason: fixing historical error: shot, not killed as stated at end of post
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Revolvers are evolving. Fifty years ago, who would have thought we'd have the Judge and Governor today?
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:12 AM   #10
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yes, I meant to mention this too....revolvers are definitely evolving, improving, keeping basics(staying classic), keeping models while producing and/or tweeking new models, etc....
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:15 AM   #11
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7 and 8 shot revolvers, fiber optic sights, light weight polymer frames.... They might not have taken the leap like semi autos have, but I still believe that revolvers are evolving.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:24 AM   #12
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A lot of the improvements are not in the products themselves, but in the way they are manufactured. Investment casting, CNC machining etc.

Take nails for example. The main difference between today's nails and the nails used by the pioneers is that today's nails are spit out by the thousands by a machine that turns a big spool of wire into nails.
Today, nails are so affordable that when a house burns down, people don't sift through the ashes to recover the nails.

Last edited by B.L.E.; November 28, 2012 at 07:36 AM.
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Old November 28, 2012, 09:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
I learned about these pistols at a very young age(let's skip the tv shows....reference one of the best books ever written circa 1880's Treasure Island when Israel Hands meets his demise - trivia: this fictional character was the actual name of Blackbeard's #1 man in real life who of course was also killed by Blackbeard...)
In one of James Fenimore Cooper's Natty Bumpo books the hero and companion are ransacking a trader's possessions , the trader having been a pirate in his younger days.
They find a set of fine dueling pistols and try them out. The barrel bursts on one pistol, they then put both pistols back where they found them.

In the sixties I found a article in American Rifleman with photo spread of George Washington's pistols.
One was a set of very nice dueling pistols that matched the description in the Cooper novel. These pistols had been stolen around the time the Cooper novel was set and later returned under mysterious circumstances with one pistol having its barrel blown out in exactly the same manner as that described in the novel.

Normally a muzzle loader would only be left loaded for a few days at most, then either fired and cleaned then reloaded, or the ball drawn using a worm the charge inspected and either replaced or reloaded.
Damp powder was simply dried out and reused.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
A lot of the improvements are not in the products themselves, but in the way they are manufactured.
Revolver accessories, too. They've played (and still play) a key role in revolver evolution by helping the platform realize it's potential.

Speedloaders, full moon clips, kydex holsters, increased capacity, improvements in sights, optics, understanding how to really tune the actions and/or accurize the gun itself, improvements in bullet design are all things that guys like Ed McGivern and Jelly Bryce never imagined, and offer modern wheelgunners the opportunity to do things even they didn't do. Sounds like evolution to me.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:17 AM   #15
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Another way that revolvers have continued to evolve is alternate/advanced materials. Ruger LCR as one example, which mixes polymer, aluminum alloy, and high strength steel. Or the Scandium alloy weapons from S&W.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:50 AM   #16
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I'd classify the Chiappa Rhino as a recent evolution in revolver design. Placing the barrel lower is designed to reduce muzzle flip/rise.
http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/b...ker/Rhino5.jpg
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
I'd classify the Chiappa Rhino as a recent evolution in revolver design.
The jury's still out as to whether it's a real evolutionary step or simple evolutionary "drift". From what I've seen, it's likely to end up the latter, as it didn't come about by any real need, nor does it confer much of an advantage.
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Old November 28, 2012, 01:51 PM   #18
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Oh, i don't know about that. Many people complain about muzzle flip and high bore axis on revolvers, and while ugly, the Rhino definitely addresses that issue.

Unfortunately there's no recoil impulse reduction with revolvers, being similar to a bolt action rifle, so instead of being flipped up the force is transferred directly back into your hand on the Rhino.

I think too, shooters enjoy that SA shot every time you pull the trigger, something not available on a revolver (unless you thumb the hammer back of course).

There was some sort of automatic revolver but was super expensive.
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Old November 28, 2012, 02:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by chris in va
Oh, i don't know about that. Many people complain about muzzle flip and high bore axis on revolvers, and while ugly, the Rhino definitely addresses that issue.
Muzzle flip doesn't represent a real need, since it's not the flip that's the real problem; an improper grip is. A proper neutral grip allows the muzzle to return to the same point every time. Muzzle flip's rise & fall happens faster than most are able to shoot anyway, but a front sight that falls to a different position everytime it comes down will slow one down (assuming they're actually looking at the front sight) and/or degrade their accuracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris in va
Unfortunately there's no recoil impulse reduction with revolvers, being similar to a bolt action rifle, so instead of being flipped up the force is transferred directly back into your hand on the Rhino.
Seems like more a trade-off than a net benefit. It's well-nigh impossible to confer a real net advantage when the trade-offs are essentially par. Compare, for instance speedloaders, full moons, etc. Compared to their benefit, there's little trade-off.
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Old November 28, 2012, 05:46 PM   #20
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The question remains: do you believe that guns evolved, or do you subscribe to "The Big Bang Theory"?
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Old November 28, 2012, 06:00 PM   #21
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There was an episode of Lock'n'Load on the History Channel with R Lee Ermy that covered the evolution of the pistol that I thought was great. Aside from Gunny's amusing delivery, there really was a lot of good info there. Not sure if this episode is available on Youtube or Hulu yet, but it's a great watch if you can catch it.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:11 AM   #22
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I remember when the Glock first came out. Everyone said a plastic pistol would never take off. Now they are mainstream. The same was said about the Para 14/45. All the old salts said there was no need for 14 rounds of .45 in a pistol, not gun snobs look down their noses at you if you show up with a 10 round magazine. I think shooters have evolved even more so than the guns.
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Old November 29, 2012, 01:05 PM   #23
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I'm not gonna say that revolvers have stopped changing but evolving might indicate improvement which may not be the case. Locks, worse trigger, worse fit and finish, poor designs, poor ideas, etc has actually produced products that are inferior in many ways to revolvers of 40-50 years ago. Let's face it, all guns have limitations. You can only do so much, only make them so strong, only go so light, only go so big, only stuff so many rounds in em, etc. What really can be done to make a revolver better? Changes came fast and easy in the early years of revolvers because there were lots of improvements to be made. Get's dang hard as time passes though. Rhino has tried, so has Taurus, Ruger, S&W but are they really better or innovative? For that matter, we're getting close to the point of being able to ask the same question of semi-auto's.

Manufactures have to keep changing things to offer new and so-called innovative things to the market. Doesn't mean the crap they are throwing at the wall is stickin.

Last edited by L_Killkenny; November 29, 2012 at 01:12 PM.
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Old November 29, 2012, 01:29 PM   #24
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MrBorland said:
Quote:
Muzzle flip doesn't represent a real need, since it's not the flip that's the real problem; an improper grip is. A proper neutral grip allows the muzzle to return to the ...


My grip was improper?

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Old November 29, 2012, 01:30 PM   #25
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I think Ruger's use of poly/aluminum material in its LCR is revolutionary. Like it or not, it's advancing revolver materials beyond steel.
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