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Old August 9, 2013, 04:54 PM   #1
Cosmodragoon
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Is it possible or good to enclose a cylinder?

Being primarily a revolver guy, I have noticed two things:

(1) pressure is lost at the cylinder gap and;

(2) the bombastic release of that pressure limits firing position.

Issue 2 is the reason that I have not entertained rifle-style revolvers like the Circuit Judge. Nothing like the possibility of hot spray on your forearm!

I found myself thinking about this the other day and a seemingly obvious question presented itself. Why not enclose the cylinder? A mild enclosure should shield the blast. A good enclosure should capture the explosive pressure and send more of it down the barrel. So, has this been done? Could it be done? Is there a reason not to do this, other than boosting your cleaning time after firing such a gun?
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Old August 9, 2013, 05:14 PM   #2
AirCool65
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I suspect that a enclosure around the cylinder could be done, but it would complicate the loading process on a swing-out style revolver and make the gun larger and heavier. A solution to your problem would be a Nagant M1895 revolver... the cylinder shifts forward when the hammer is cocked to help seal the cylinder gap when it's fired, increasing the muzzle velocity.

Here's a good video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh1mojMaEtM

Last edited by AirCool65; August 9, 2013 at 05:27 PM.
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Old August 9, 2013, 06:38 PM   #3
wpsdlrg
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No ! It is VERY dangerous to block the front area of the cylinder of a revolver. Many people have blown up revolvers by nestling the area around the front portion of the cylinder into a soft rest. Restricting the release of high pressure gasses (even somewhat) from the cylinder/ forcing cone gap can cause a large pressure spike, when fired. No revolver (that I know of) is designed to handle this. So, whatever you do, do NOT try adding some apparatus to an existing revolver, for this sort of purpose.

I realize that this idea is probably just a thought exercise, at this point. Perhaps it might be possible to design a revolver, from scratch, which could incorporate some sort of enclosed cylinder/ rotary magazine. But then, wouldn't you just have a variation of a semi-auto ? A rather bulky, perhaps excessively complicated semi-auto/ revolver ? Just sayin'.......
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Old August 9, 2013, 06:44 PM   #4
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It is what it is !!!

Quote:
Could it be done?
Other than flash protection, why would you want to or feel a need to do so? Is it really broken or a problem? ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:40 PM   #5
James K
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I would really like to see pictures of some of the many revolvers that have been blown up by nesting in a rest.

I fail to see how a shield of some kind in that area would increase pressure or cause the gun to blow up. The gas has already escaped from the gap and can't get back in. The worst that would happen is that the shield would be blown off and possibly injure the shooter or bystanders.


The old Nagant system is quite efficient and really does the job; the mechanism is not nearly as complicated as some folks think, but it makes for a very hard trigger pull, is not really necessary and was never (AFAIK) used on any other revolver. It also requires use of special ammunition with the bullet seated below the front of the case.

IMHO, the best way to solve that "problem" is to keep the fingers away from the front of the cylinder. We have too many gadgets and devices now that do nothing but protect people from the foreseeable consequences of their own actions; I am not sure we need any more.

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Old August 9, 2013, 10:13 PM   #6
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wpsdlrg, no worries. That's exactly what I'm talking about. I had wondered if this had ever been done, either as an original design or a careful modification by a responsible smith with precision techniques. I'm not going to try cob-jobbing this in the basement with JB weld or anything.

Pahoo, wasn't that presented in the original post? Relative to the numbered points in the original post, the goal would be to (1) increase efficiency in sending more pressure down the barrel and (2) prevent the flame blast orthogonal to the barrel at the cylinder.

James K, it would have to be specially designed. For instance, the frame could wrap around one side of the cylinder. A door completing a cylindrical enclosure for the cylinder could be mounted to the crane. It could swing open, extract, and load normally. When closed, this door would seal against the frame and enclose the cylinder, forcing cone, etc... It wouldn't have to be that much bigger and would probably be most helpful in the case of those rifles which employ a revolver mechanism.
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Old August 9, 2013, 10:20 PM   #7
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Your point #1 is a great point.
Of course... I gots nothing!

Your point #2 has already been addressed, and even by the very firearm you already mentioned yourself in the opening post. The Circuit Judge has built-in deflectors specifically mounted so that you can hold this long arm as you would any rifle or shotgun, with your primary hand on the grip to manipulate the trigger while your off hand is on the fore end to support the long gun.

I can tell you that at the very first moment I heard of the Circuit Judge and saw the picture on the 'net (news was likely broken at the SHOT show some time ago), my first reaction was... "uhh, now HOW do you shoot a revolver without blowing apart your forward hand?!" And that must have occurred to them as well, as they designed shielding in to it.
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Old August 10, 2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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Sevens, good to know! I may rethink purchasing one of these. Of course, I should ask about the degree of effectiveness for those shields. Is it a situation of "it helps a little" or "it does the job"? I ask just because I've seen some members here mention problems with shooting prone. I don't do that often but I like to have my bases covered.

On point 1, I really started thinking about this when I started shooting .460. If you've never done it, you can feel the energy loss as heat over the entire upper surface of your grip. Photos of the blast also show a lot of flame escaping. Take a look at this example I found on Google Images:

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Old August 10, 2013, 10:18 AM   #9
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I think he means the pressure he would lose as the bullet enters the barrel, in which you do loose some behind the bullet through the gap. How much it is slowed down, with the compression of the bullet into the rifling, and the lowered pressure, I have no clue.

The problem lays with the design itself. The cylinder has to turn, so there has to be a gap. Could the gap be sealed with some sort of gas seal on the end of the barrel, so the pressure raises higher in the barrel? Really, I don't know how much good it would do, to be honest.

I do know this, if the cylinder is faced perpendicular to the frame, so at no point it will rub the barrel, and the barrel to cylinder gap is as close as possible, with the gun in time, it will not hurt the gun. I experimented with this, myself, but did no other testing (increased velocity, etc.). I could not tell you any gain it made, if any. To me, it wasn't noticeable.
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Old August 10, 2013, 02:30 PM   #10
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" I would really like to see pictures of some of the many revolvers that have been blown up by nesting in a rest."

Just look at You Tube.... more than mere pictures.

It is common knowledge among hard-core revolver shooters, that one should never blanket, cover or trap a revolver in a rest (or anything else), such that the release of gasses from the cylinder/ barrel gap is restricted.

Saw it happen once myself (a "blow-up" for this very reason), though I didn't take pictures (sorry 'bout that).

Last edited by wpsdlrg; August 10, 2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old August 10, 2013, 03:10 PM   #11
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I ought to add this too. Theoretically, the best revolver design is a pepperbox. There is no gap, as the barrel and chamber are one. The problem arises with the accuracy of each barrel, or will the bullet strike the same, or close to the same place, with each shot. Plus, there would be the extra forward weight. The originals didn't have a front sight, but that could be added by modification. However, the precision that the barrels bores would have to be made, would be great, for them all to shoot close to the same. I wouldn't mind seeing one come to life, as in say a .38 special, just for fun.

Last edited by Vanya; August 13, 2013 at 01:19 PM. Reason: language.
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Old August 10, 2013, 04:23 PM   #12
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I regret not buying a M1895 Nagant when they were available everywhere. Especially now that there's modern non-corrosive ammo available for them.
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Old August 10, 2013, 10:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Sevens, good to know! I may rethink purchasing one of these. Of course, I should ask about the degree of effectiveness for those shields. Is it a situation of "it helps a little" or "it does the job"? I ask just because I've seen some members here mention problems with shooting prone. I don't do that often but I like to have my bases covered.
The Taurus/Rossi guns are thus far only chambered for "relatively" low-pressure rounds as far as I've seen. .45 Colt/.410, .22LR, .22 Mag I know for sure... none of those are nuclear. I'm not sure if they've ventured to others?

I can tell you I'd like to see an industry representative shoot a revolving carbine in, say, .460 Smith & Wesson Magnum, right in front of me, before I'd agree to do it!
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Old August 10, 2013, 10:38 PM   #14
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So, don't anyone ever rest a revolver in anything that looks like a blanket; the gun will blow up if gas is not allowed to escape through the barrel-cylinder gap. Sure.

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Old August 11, 2013, 05:06 AM   #15
4V50 Gary
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If that pressure spike argument is valid, then pistols and bolt action rifles, lever action rifles and single shot rifles would all be inherently dangerous.
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Old August 11, 2013, 09:59 AM   #16
Dixie Gunsmithing
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Gary and Jim, I agree.

It would be impossible for there to be a pressure spike, or build up of pressure inside the barrel, when the bullet passes the gap, as the gap will lose probably 1/4 of the charges pressure. Any jump over the bullet swagging into the rifling would be negligible. Of course, this is according to how big the gap is, and some have a pretty wide one, so they spit a good bit.

My guess is, that somebody tried to hold a revolver in some form of holder that trapped the gas from the gap inside it, and probably did move it apart, maybe a bit violently, but the gun would have remained a happy shooter. A blanket, though, maybe started a fire.

Some tales out there, too, may have been from fear of a revolver, or where somebody had their off-hand forward, and was bit by one. I saw this happen, and the guy actually had tattooed skin along his left index finger over it. The guy sold his revolver, saying it was dangerous. I asked him if he held a lit sparkler by it's burning end, too.
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Old August 11, 2013, 10:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Just look at You Tube....more than mere pictures.

It is common knowledge among hard-core revolver shooters, that one should never blanket, cover or trap a revolver in a rest (or anything else), such that the release of gasses from the cylinder/ barrel gap is restricted.
This got me curious. So I searched YouTube for "revolver blows up". I saw several videos of guns that indeed blow up. Only 1 video showed a revolver nestled into a soft rest. His gun came apart at the barrel. This is a problem with the threads that hold the barrel in the frame.

IMO this had nothing to do with the cylinder gap being partially covered by a rest. Several other factors must be ruled out before making a blanket statement about why any gun blows apart. Manufacturing flaws in the firearm and ammunition would be my first suspects.
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Old August 11, 2013, 11:05 AM   #18
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I thought that I should post a link to the video. For the sake of a common example for discussion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vftq9...e_gdata_player the gun in this video is a Taurus. They have had problems with this happening before.

wpsdlrg, was this the kind of damage you witnessed, or was it different?
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Old August 11, 2013, 11:21 AM   #19
Dixie Gunsmithing
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big al hunter,

I've got to agree, as that video looked to me like that either the threads failed, or maybe the barrel fractured at the neck, and left the threaded end inside. That was clearly the fault of something wrong with the gun. The video didn't show down into the front of the frame, or the end of the barrel, though I wish it had.

One can see, too, that the sandbag is parted a good bit, so they weren't close to the barrel gap, or gun in that area.
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Old August 11, 2013, 02:25 PM   #20
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Hi, wpsdlrg,

Those look like two different incidents. In the first, the gun is not "nested" in anything; it is being held in two hands. In the second, the gun is "nested" in the rest, but there is no indication that the pad encloses the frame; there appears to be plenty of room for the gas to escape.

So, not "many" guns blown up because they were "nested" in padding or blankets. In fact, none. If you have other or better links, please provide them.

Jim
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Old August 12, 2013, 09:46 PM   #21
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I would guess it's an expensive proposition.

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Old August 12, 2013, 11:03 PM   #22
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That is about sealing off the b-c gap for use with a silencer. The OP was mainly concerned about escaping gas limiting the ways in which a revolver can be held. I guess that solution would work in any case, but would be expensive.

There could be an easier solution, though, if any company would do it. That would be to machine a flange around the front of the cylinder like the old Iver Johnson Sealed 8. They had to cut a notch to allow the cylinder to be removed because the gun was a solid frame, but that would not be needed with a swing cylinder revolver. Of course, the cylinder would have to be without flutes, but some folks like those anyway. I don't know when/if the gas would cut through the flange, or if it would.

Jim
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