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Old November 22, 2012, 10:07 AM   #1
405FileFound
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Revolver Torture Test

I was just watching the 10000th GLOCK or SIg torture test on youtube, there's so many out there. In one I saw a GLOCK function somewhat well after the mud and sand test, while the M1911 in the same test jammed completely.
Now what about revolvers? They are always touted as being "rugged and reliable" and more resistant to neglect but not abuse. One time I left my S&W 649 locked up in a basement for three months. When I retrieved it the trigger wouldnt budge due to some corrosion, and it took some TLC to get it back to functioning. Now wheelgunners have heard everywhere how "you can leave a revolver in a drawer for 20 years and it will still fire", but that day that idea was seriously challenged.
WHat kind of torture tests have ever been documented to wheelguns? I dont think Ive come across a single one, not in magazines or on youtube. There is a video of handguns being fired underwater, and a S&W 317 .22 rev outdid a series of GLOCKs, Sigs, and Springfields semi's.
But realistically, how would a new S&W, Ruger, or Charter Arms stand up to being dropped 3 ft onto concrete, dumped into sand, etc? I'm sure not nearly to the extent that modern semi's can, but what are the tolerances of a revolver? I'd like to hear personal experiences and ideas, etc.

Last edited by 405FileFound; November 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM. Reason: added some good ideas
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Old November 22, 2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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The video I saw was not a torture test but shooting underwater. Glock 9mm fired 1 out of 4 and S&W M&P fired 2 out of 4 and .22 LR S&W revolver fired 7 out of 8.
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Old November 22, 2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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I've never subjected any of my revovler to a torture test, nor do I intend to. But this Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt has run through the course. It's standing at near 20,000 rounds fired. These have run the range from 185 gr. JHP at around 1500~1600 fps, to 350 gr. cast slugs as around 1300 fps.



Its been frozen, filled with dust and debris from pine needles. I've never dunked any of my guns in sand, mud or water, accidentally nor intentionally.

It did suffer one breakdown, at about 5,000 rounds the transfer bar broke. Simple repair I was able to replace myself. And the breakage occurred after returning home from a hunt, so really was not disabled.

And this is my "second favorite" gun!

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Old November 22, 2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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All those torture tests are completely meaningless unless of course you plan on doing the same with your gun.
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Old November 22, 2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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Please don't put a revolver in sand, at least if you do let me offer to take it off your hands first. Just imagine all those exposed parts around the hammer all full of sand as well as the five cylinders that are gaping open like little sand scoops waiting to wedge grit into the cylinder gap and totally locking up the action. Or maby it would revolve if you forced the timing as hard as you could, I'm sure a few hundred extra grains of sand wouldn't cause a pressure spike completely blowing the gun to bits. Imagine a frozen revolver... water in each cylinder locking the cylinder. If that didn't do it the wear on the timing would eventually cause an off time revolver which is inaccurate and potentially dangerous situation.
I LOVE revolvers but the only thing that makes them tough and rugged is their superior streingth reguarding load capability and the fact that if you get a missfire or failure to extract you just pull the trigger again. Or when a cowboy riding a white horse carrys it.
Revolvers are great defensive guns for home and cc but keep that thing oiled and fire it from time to time.
A revolver torture test would ultimately be testing the shooters ability to keep all his fingers on.
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Old November 22, 2012, 11:20 AM   #6
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All those torture tests are completely meaningless unless of course you plan on doing the same with your gun.
Torture tests originated with the military in an attempt to determine which of several guns would more likely still function on the battlefield. It is very unlikely that a revolver would ever be considered for such duty now, but torture tests were not meaningless in that context. Nevertheless, it seems pointless to consider doing that to a revolver nowadays.
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Old November 22, 2012, 11:26 AM   #7
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Years ago Chuck Taylor wrote up his experiences when testing some semi's and a revolver in extreme conditions. I am sure the article can be found online somewhere. I remember the revolver was a stainless Model 27 Smith. The revolver was the only one to pass with 100% reliability. Sand was not one of the conditions. If I remember correctly, he was still in the 1911 camp at the time and had not yet switched to the Glock. I do not always remember correctly though. Don't tell my wife I said that.
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Old November 22, 2012, 11:30 AM   #8
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how would a new S&W, Ruger, or Charter Arms stand up to being dropped 3 ft onto concrete, dumped into sand, etc?
They'd be non-functional in short order.

Quote:
more resistant to neglect but not abuse
Means they can sit untouched in a sock drawer, or under your bed, for 30 years, and likely the revolver will still function.
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Old November 22, 2012, 05:14 PM   #9
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I must have seen a hundred of these silly torture tests. Some doofus flushes his down a toilet then shoots it. The Glockbots are probably the most guilty in this regard. Doing all manner of utterly preposterous things to try and PROVE their supposed superiority.
Personally I've NEVER allowed any gun of mine to be abused like that, and with only a reasonable amount of maintenance, all work perfectly.
If you want to do those stupid things to your guns by all means go for it.
As for me. I take CARE of mine, and they take care of me.
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Old November 22, 2012, 09:10 PM   #10
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These guys are right. no sense in messing up a perfectly good gun on purpose only to cause it to fail when it would have worked flawlessly if only youd taken care of it however, i read once i believe in a book by ayoob about a gp100 being tested for police service way back when. The gun supposedly was thrown in the dirt, smashed against a brick wall, ran over with a patrol car front to back, then the front wheel placed on the gun itself, steered lock to lock a few times now the gun was reportedly banged up and missing its sights but still fired. Thats the only "torture test" on a revolver ive read about. Personally if it happens to mine which it wont, my babys going to the smith before i shoot it again.
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Old November 23, 2012, 06:26 PM   #11
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No personal experiences with so-called Torture Tests, but if I may interject a personal opinion ...BIGGEST BUNCH OF B...... EVER DEVISED !!!
Look at Bob Wright message (Post # 3) and tell me that the man has fired almost 20K of rounds and that is not a true picture of what a revolver can stand up to with reasonable care. No mud tests, no dropped from a tall building, no run over by a herd of stampeding kangaroos just doing what it is supposed to within reason. Oh but I forgot, it did have a transfer bar break after ONLY 5K rounds. Forget the BS Tests, that revolver is an tank, and I'm sure that Bob Wright's grandkids will still be using it years from now. Keep 'em clean and keep 'em shooting.
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Old November 23, 2012, 06:54 PM   #12
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Old November 23, 2012, 08:00 PM   #13
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I'd have thought the trenches of WWI alone would have been sufficient to prove a revolver is perfectly capable of surviving the rigors of extreme field conditions. How many troops carried Gasser's, Nagant's, Webley's, S&W's, Modele's & MAS's, Reichsrevolver's (sp ?) and others I've probably never heard of?

Plus, I think internet torture tests make for some okay entertainment, but are pretty meaningless otherwise. Unless someone is willing to provide a sample of at least a few hundred identical guns, and control the conditions for all the tests, all they tell you is how that one, single gun performed in that one, single test.
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Old November 23, 2012, 10:53 PM   #14
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Around WW1, possibly earlier, infantry weapons designs were tested by submerging the weapon in a mixture of very loose mud and pea gravel, sometimes for up to 48 hours. They then took the weapon out of the mud and opening the action they sluiced away as much mud as possible from bore bd action using one or two canteens of water. They then tested how well the weapon would fire, and if an autoloader kept a record of any malfunctions.

I rather doubt that a milspec 1911 would fail any mud and sand test that a Glock would pass. A commercial clone of the 1911 or a 1911 pistol smithed for matchgrade accuracy might, since these are already well known to be less reliable than the milspec pistols.

As for revolvers, the only time I've heard of a S&W revolver failing in combat was when a friend took a tumble down a mud bank. He was a medic and carried a old police .38 in a old style open topped police holster and gunbelt, his dad had bought it at a garage sale and mailed it to him.
When he tried to fire the revolver at two approaching NVA mud from around the frame fell into the hammer opening blocking the firing pin hole. Luckily mortar rounds dropping all around sent the NVA scurrying or he'd have been dead meat.
Had he carried a cocked and locked 1911 in a similar open top holster the result would have been the same.
There was a 1911 style prototype with enclosed hammer, but they did not pursue that.

Theres alot of places that mud can get into a revolver.
The chamber mouths can collect crud as well.

If properly cleaned and oiled a revolver can lay in a drawer for decades and be perfectly safe to fire.
If not properly cleaned and oiled almost any revolver or autoloader will rust up or be glued shut by a mixture of fouling and congealed oil.
I've cleaned up pump shotguns that were glued shut by old fouling and congealed oil, had to soak them in carburetor cleaner before the bolt would retract. The stuff inside was like half dry black paint.

With modern lubricants congealed crud is less likely, but back in the old days they were not so lucky in available lubes.

PS
If you check old outdoor catalogs you'll see many sporting type hunter's holsters with full or half flap.
A gun intended for carry in the woods was well protected from debris. Now days most seem to think that an outdoor revolver or auto should be carried in a gunfighter type rig then wonder why the pistol ends up rusty or gummed up.
In Canada the mounted police found that tree sap and pine needles could jam a Winchester lever action tight, and even the Lee Enfield failed its first outdoor testing by Canadian militia in sub zero weather due to lack of proper lubricants.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; November 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM.
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Old November 23, 2012, 11:04 PM   #15
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So called "torture tests" make some sense for the military where a gun (regardless of type) is expected to function in heat or cold, snowstorm or sandstorm, dry prairie or dripping jungle. For most of us, they are meaningless; I have never carried a gun in a desert or a jungle and, at close to my eighth decade don't expect to.

Still, one does hope that dropping one's gun into a mud puddle or a snow drift won't put it out of commission. So, I would say that some tests are valid, while others are just something to write about, if someone else is providing the gun(s) and ammunition.

Jim
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Old November 24, 2012, 02:41 AM   #16
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I will say this, I think my double action only SP101 would fare better than some of my other revolvers. Additionally any enclosed hammer models like the 642/442, 340, 640, etc would hold up better than most as far as drop tests and less places to get gunk in.
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Old November 24, 2012, 06:04 AM   #17
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the torture tests are gimmicks.

its like buying a good quality 4x4, putting on 32 inch tires, and having no issues driving through a foot of stagnant water. and then comparings the results to driving a toyata prius though the same water.
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Old November 24, 2012, 05:16 PM   #18
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Some Texas agency tortured a Ruger Security Six. It still worked.
The Colorado State Troopers tried the same with a Ruger revolver they had to destroy. So they abused it, dragged it and even ran over it. It still worked.

Ruger are like Russian tractors. In Mother Russia, Ruger shoot you.
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Old November 25, 2012, 02:26 AM   #19
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I'd have thought the trenches of WWI alone would have been sufficient to prove a revolver is perfectly capable of surviving the rigors of extreme field conditions. How many troops carried Gasser's, Nagant's, Webley's, S&W's, Modele's & MAS's, Reichsrevolver's (sp ?) and others I've probably never heard of?

Plus, I think internet torture tests make for some okay entertainment, but are pretty meaningless otherwise. Unless someone is willing to provide a sample of at least a few hundred identical guns, and control the conditions for all the tests, all they tell you is how that one, single gun performed in that one, single test.

Thats why revolvers went out ot style as they did not do well there.
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Old November 25, 2012, 08:16 AM   #20
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Not by accounts I've heard. The Webley and Nagant, for example,were renowned for their durability under field conditions. Revolvers went out of style because auto-loaders offer more firepower and faster reloads, not because they are more reliable or durable.

If anything, some military's resisted giving up revolvers because of perceived lack of reliability in auto-loaders. Magazines could be clogged by dirt and debris was one complaint, and the (perceived) need for constant or frequent cleaning and lubrication being another.
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Old November 25, 2012, 08:26 AM   #21
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I believe that torture test do have a valid purpose. Not the toilet or sand or “I shot 10,000 rounds out of my Glock and never cleaned or oiled.”

My idea for a true torture test would be to see what Jerry Miculek’s shoots.
That man puts more rounds through a gun a week than most put through in a year.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLk1v5bSFPw
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Old November 25, 2012, 08:37 AM   #22
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Never cared for torture tests...if you're going to let your gun sit in a muddy bog overnight or freeze it in a block of ice, you're probably better off with a club.

What I do like are "accelerated wear" tests where a gun is fired 500 rounds, cleaned & inspected, fired 500 more rounds, etc....until 2000-5000 are expended and you can see where & how a gun will wear. And what I'd like to see are more practical wear tests like exposure to intense UV rays while holstered, guns coated in pocket lint, or even guns covered in cola, kool-aid, or even blood.....things the average CCW would experience.
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Old November 25, 2012, 09:54 AM   #23
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While I can see merit is some torture tests like firing a large number of rounds without cleaning or oiling or dropping the gun in a mud puddle, many others are just plain silly. Over the years, I've read of guns that were whacked with baseball bats, frozen in blocks of ice, soaked with gasoline and lit on fire, drug behind a truck with a chain, and even thrown out of an airplane. Such nonsense is the reason that I quit paying attention to torture tests a long time ago. The fact that a gun can survive falling 5,000 feet from an airplane doesn't prove to me that it's superior, it just proves that the person throwing it has too much time on their hands.
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Old November 26, 2012, 07:21 AM   #24
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Revolvers have been "torture tested" since about 1836. They've been dragged through mud, dust, snow, salt water, fresh water, from the Amazon to the Artic, and every place in between. They've been carried on horseback, in airplanes, on tanks, in patrol cars, on ships, boats, canoes and on foot. They've ridden patrol in Indian Country and in the heart of every city, on every continent on this planet, and every ocean to get there. They've been used by soldiers, sailors, cops, crooks, shopkeepers, husbands, wives, hunters, trappers, cowboys, and Indians. They've been stored in holsters, saddle bags, sock drawers, purses, under car seats, on top of refridgerators, under pillows, on nightstands, out in barns, on tractors, under garter belts, and in bib overalls.

They've passed just fine.
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Old November 27, 2012, 11:02 PM   #25
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In the mid 80's when I worked in Ft Worth a Ruger rep showed up with a GP100 and trashed it, throwing it, dropping it etc. Everything he did and it still worked.
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