Storing a loaded SA .22LR cylinder? Bad juju?


April 30, 2007, 01:43 AM
A friend of mine might buy a .22 SA revo, and was considering storing it with the loaded cylinder kept separate from the gun (like a loaded mag) so that he could grab cylinder, drop it into frame, and fire within a few seconds in an emergency.

Problem: if you have a detached SA cylinder full of .22LR rimfire, and drop it on a floor or hard object, how possible is it that 1-6 cartridges will fire?

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Jim March
April 30, 2007, 02:33 AM
Ghaa. Huh. Yeah, it could happen I guess, though not on multiple cylinders unless you were having a REAL bad day. But regardless, they'd come out at lethal velocity, so this is a concern. Let's see...a 22LR minirevolver with a 1" barrel can spit the fastest ammo at 800fps. So without the barrel, figure...I dunno, 700fps? That can kill somebody.

Some 22 cylinders are recessed, probably for exactly this reason.

If the SA in question has a transfer bar safety, I would just keep it loaded myself. While I don't recommend them, the Heritage guns with the funky manually-applied safety would be another choice...

Brian Williams
April 30, 2007, 10:38 AM
How fast can he put that cylinder in the gun find the center pin and insert it and have it ready to shoot.
Have him put his hands and guns parts on a washing machine that is in the spin cycle and find out how fast he could reassemble it. The vibration of the washing machine will give an added stress level similar to an emergency.

If he dropped it and a round went off, the case would fly out faster than the bullet.

April 30, 2007, 10:45 AM
Everything has already been said

Even Clint did not switch out cylinders in a few seconds while cool and collected,
That pin only goes in one way and performance issues dictate that it be fairly close tolerances, a shaky hand will not be able to accomplish it without much training and practice

Most if not all .22 cylinders are recessed so that an AD if dropped is not a probability, but still a possibility
The greater probabilty would be spilling the rounds out of the cylinder when he panics and picks it up upside down

Why not just keep the gun loaded and just not shoot anything that you don't want to

April 30, 2007, 10:54 AM
Since I'm relatively new to this entire "guns with wheels" area, take any observation of mine with liberal salt. When I'm cleaning the Uberti, the reassembly with the "replace cylinder / insert base pin / fiddle with spring thingie" isn't something I'd care to do in the dark, much less in a hurry.

In my case, there's a significant lag between inserting basepin and finding the exact center of the cylinder with the basepin. Presumably this goes away with practice.

A scenario wherein a SA cylinder is kept separate is one of those cases where the S&W clock-key lock looks like a far better alternative. And you get DA in the bargain.

April 30, 2007, 11:40 AM
I think in the event he needed that pistol, his hands would be shaking so badly he would very likely be unable to put it together in time to employ it effectively, and could very well accidentally dump the rounds on the floor while trying... just my experience with massive dumps of adrenaline speaking here.

April 30, 2007, 05:35 PM
Why take the cylinder out of the frame? Whether the revolver has a transfer bar or not it still can be made safe (non-transfer bar models you keep the hammer down on an empty chamber) and the hammer has to be cocked to fire the revolver.
People should really take the time to understand their manual of arms.

April 30, 2007, 07:48 PM
Matthew- You know how fond I am of the .22lr, but if your friend is looking for something to plink with as well as use for defense then I think the .38spl (or .357)is the logical choice. While it'll never be as cheap to shoot as the .22lr, with a Lee hand press setup he (or she) can load darn near as cheaply and have an incredible performance increase.

As to the separate loaded cylinder- are they looking for safety around kids? If so, a semi-auto with mag disconnect or a Smith/Taurus with a built in lock will be quicker and as safe. Get this person to the range and get them really comfortable with all types of firearms so they can make a truly educated decision.

May 1, 2007, 04:23 PM
seems like a bad idea to me. i'm pretty quick at swapping cylinders on my single six, but if you mess up just a little(like you would in a shakey situation) it takes several seconds to get it right.

May 1, 2007, 04:53 PM
Why not just load 5 leaving the first "click" empty. That way, ifins he does pull the trigger upon removing it from a drawer or the likes - no biggie, but the next round is ready for firing. Just my thoughts...


May 1, 2007, 06:29 PM
Sounds like someone should get carpeted floors :D

May 6, 2007, 12:22 AM
Okay, seems not to be the best idea. Got it.

Update: these friends of mine came by a few days and bought the revolver from me. A little solid-frame H&R sixgun in .22LR. I had about $55 into it, so sold it to them at cost.

It was pretty cool, because these two kids are pretty far into the left/progressive camp politically (pro-Palestine, Amnesty International, Oxfam, etc). They came to the UT range a couple months back and loved it, so this is a big step for them.

It took some explaining to convince them that they could just buy a revolver from me without any legal paperwork. However, it was very cool to watch them think through the process: "There's no registration required to buy a handgun? Whoa! Well, I guess if someone was a criminal, they wouldn't register it anyway, to having a law to register it wouldn't really accomplish much."

The initial question turns out to be kind of a non-issue, as they still feel safer keeping it unloaded and with the cylinder stored separately. I showed them how to put a padlock through the frame, and explained how that's _way_ safer than a triggerlock (which doesn't prevent someone loading the gun, with a chunk of plastic sitting right on the trigger).

They're not overnight Jeff Coopers or anything, but I'd say this is a good step in the right direction for them. And now whenever folks in their progressive social circle discuss firearms, there'll be at least one couple to say "yeah, we've got a revolver at home, it's a good thing to have around."

May 6, 2007, 02:11 AM
Good on ya Matthew- keep spreading the word. Man I wish I could find an H&R around here, especially at that price.

May 7, 2007, 02:54 PM
Though I don't practice this method, I've always thought that the best way to keep ammo away from a pistol for reasons of safety and yet still be able to access it quickly for self-defense is to have a round already chambered in a pistol that incorporates a magazine safety design. The pistol won't fire (all standard safety practices observed, of course) with the chambered round and no mag in it but a loaded mag nearby can be quickly inserted making the pistol good to go.

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