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Old September 10, 2011, 12:35 AM   #70
Bill Akins
Senior Member
Join Date: August 28, 2007
Location: Hudson, Florida
Posts: 1,130
I've been thinking about something that didn't occur to me before.
In thinking about the cylinder recoiling in my below rendering I may have overlooked something....

I'm thinking that I may have overlooked the possibility of when the cylinder recoiled to the rear, that the projectiles in the chambers might come forward away from the powder charge. I'm not sure if the squeezing of them into the chamber where they cut a ring would be sufficient to keep them from being forced forward under the cylinder recoiling. I know the Webley Fosbery didn't have problems with its projectiles coming out of their cartridge cases, but then perhaps they had a heavy crimp on the cases, really cutting into the projectile precluding it from coming out. And a heavy crimp on a case digging into the projectile would hold that projectile better than just chamber wall tension would on a percussion revolver. Know what I mean?

One thing going in my favor with the spring loaded zig zag cylinder, is that for is spring loaded which would slow down its recoil. Another thing is the zig zag slots would also slow down the cylinder's recoil just like the inclined lugs on a Steyr Hahn 1912 pistol's barrel's lugs slows down the recoil of that barrel, making the Steyr Hahn actually a delayed blowback pistol rather than a locked barrel like a Colt 1911. The Steyr Hahn also used a very powerful 9mm Steyr cartridge which was the most powerful 9mm cartridge used by any combatants in WW1. So that delayed blowback system worked pretty good for the powerful Steyr Hahn pistol (I used to have and shoot one). Which makes me think the spring behind the cylinder and the zig zag slots slowing the cylinder down as it recoiled might have a similar effect of delaying the blowback of the cylinder enough to preclude dislodging the projectiles in the other chambers.....maybe. It's all theory at this point.

Another thing I have been thinking about is going a completely different direction with the design without using a zig zag cylinder that recoils. But instead sticking with a standard cylinder and just increasing the hole diameter in the nipples among other things. Around 40 years ago without the knowledge I have today, on a few occasions I overloaded my first Confederate round barrel, brass frame, 1851 copy, with so much black powder, that there was just barely room for the ball in the chamber. On more than one occasion I found after firing that my hammer had recoiled to the half cock position. Luckily I had no damage to the revolver.

But those incidents of the force from the nipples half cocking the hammer way back then make me think. Perhaps I could drill out the hammer channel on a '58 Remy, so that I could weld a small cup on the hammer face that would allow a cap on an enlarged nipple hole to blow back and just for a fraction of an instant, some gas along with the force of the cap itself, would be caught in the hammer cup, causing the hammer to go to full cock and the bottom of the hammer cup would be inclined and the side of the cup cut out, so that the cap would be expelled to the right as the hammer was being cocked. Almost like a direct gas impingement system but slightly different.

If memory serves me, it was either Pederson or Garand who was experimenting on operating a semi-auto rifle using only primer setback, where the primer setback a very short distance into a cutout in the bolt face, but without actually coming all the way out of the cartridge But then I wonder if the cylinder pawl would take the stress of being operated that quickly/violently, without any spring behind the cylinder or zig zag slots to slow the operation down. It might also cause the cylinder to rotate faster than the bolt could drop to lock it, causing over rotation.

The advantages would be that I wouldn't have to do too much modification to the revolver and I wouldn't have to have a short cylinder so it could recoil rearward. The disadvantages would be the stress imparted to the cylinder pawl and what problems that might cause, along with possible over rotation of the cylinder due to the speed that it would be rotated that might be faster than the bolt could drop to lock it. See what I mean?

In both the recoiling cylinder (ala Webley Fosbery) system, and in the stationary cylinder with drilled out nipple holes with hammer cup system, the operation of either system would be dependent on a specific powder load to make sure that in the recoiling cylinder system, that the cylinder did not recoil with undue force. And in the stationary cylinder with drilled out nipple holes with hammer cup system, it would be the same thing to make sure that the hammer was not cocked with too much force. So a specific load would have to be found with experimentation that worked best for either system. Starting with a light load first and then working up. Of course the diameter of the drilled out nipple holes would be a factor too in that specific system.

Another thing I could do would be to get a "Forester tap-O-cap" punch system to make my own percussion caps. That way I could make the caps out of slightly thicker copper or even steel. Then maybe that would prevent the cap from splitting on detonation (as it frequently does) and instead of having to build a cup on the face of my hammer, the non split cap itself would act as a cup, which by being un-split, would hold the gas pressure better for the cap to blow to the rear and re-cock the hammer. That sure would be simpler than putting a cup on the hammer face. Then all I'd have to do would be to relieve some metal off the upper right of the recoil shield on the '58 Remy, and angle the face of the hammer or extended striker so that the cap ejected out the right side. Actually that would work with either the zig zag recoiling cylinder system or the just blowing back of the cap system.

Also with either system the lockwork would have to be modified to where the hammer would stay cocked after the first shot before you released the trigger. Then when the trigger was released, the trigger would reset and functioning it again would drop the hammer. Otherwise the hammer would just automatically go back forward after each shot. Which on the cap only blowing back system would cause it to be a six shot full auto, and on the recoiling zig zag cylinder system would cause the hammer to follow the cylinder forward and either go full auto, or not have enough inertia to pop the cap because it followed the cylinder forward instead of dead falling against a cap.

Just trying to work the best design concepts out in my head. Like the old adage says...."measure twice, cut once".


"This is my Remy and this is my Colt. Remy loads easy and topstrap strong, Colt balances better and never feels wrong. A repro black powder revolver gun, they smoke and shoot lead and give me much fun. I can't figure out which one I like better, they're both fine revolvers that fit in my leather".
"To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target".

Last edited by Bill Akins; September 10, 2011 at 05:21 AM.
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