Rotating vs Tilting Barrel Locking System


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faizi
October 16, 2009, 03:19 PM
Which system is more accurate,reliable and durable?

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Trebor
October 16, 2009, 03:43 PM
I've been less then impressed with the rotating barrel Berrettas and Stoegers I've had come through my class. I've only seen a few, but I've seen problems with them.

It seems to me they really need to be lubricated carefully or they are much more likely to malfunction then a more conventional locking system.

My theory, yet unproven, is that the addtional bearing surfaces involved in having a rotating barrel requires more lubrication to work properly and is less tolerant of being unlubricated or under-lubricated then conventional locking systems.

Billy Shears
October 16, 2009, 03:50 PM
My theory, yet unproven, is that the addtional bearing surfaces involved in having a rotating barrel requires more lubrication to work properly and is less tolerant of being unlubricated or under-lubricated then conventional locking systems.
This is probably true, and would account for why they are so little used. The only examples of which I am aware are the old Savage pistol that competed with the 1911 (and the pocket pistols that derived therefrom), and the Beretta/Stoeger Cougar. There may be others out there, but they aren't common.

group17
October 16, 2009, 04:29 PM
Since I own a 8000 I have made sure it's lubed properly before going to the range.
I really enjoy shooting mine. Correct maintenance is part of owning a gun.

atblis
October 16, 2009, 05:32 PM
Can't answer your question, but here's a couple more rotating barrel pistols to consider
-Grand Power GP6/K100 Imported by STI. This one looks neat
-Colt 2000 :barf:

The GP6 actually looks pretty neat. I wish we could get the select fire version.
http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg123-e.htm
http://www.stiguns.com/

Rex B
October 16, 2009, 05:37 PM
My Stoeger cougar runs fine. Accurate and 100%.

I sold it a few weeks ago to someone who wanted it worse than I, and then bought another.

I note that they obviously need to be a bit wet, yet they ship bone dry.
Too may close-fitted moving parts in there to run it dry.
Perhaps the examples you saw with problems were being shot as-is, new guns that had not been lubed?

rcmodel
October 16, 2009, 05:38 PM
Which system is more accurate,reliable and durable?

Obviously the Browning designed short recoil system is more of all the above.

Otherwise it wouldn't be used in over 95% of all modern semi-auto handgun designs.

The reason is many and varied, but one of the more important ones is the unlocked barrel drops to a lower angle more in line with the round coming out of the magazine.

They are also cheaper & easier to make, easier to fit properly, and more tolerent of dirt & fouling.

rc

Dirtpile
October 16, 2009, 06:35 PM
Short answer:
most reliable = tilting barrel
most accurate = fixed barrel
most durable = varies by quality but fixed barrel is most durable by design
rotating barrel system is a compromise betwee those two. it combines the accuracy of a fixed barrel with a bit more reliabilty.

rcmodel
October 16, 2009, 06:40 PM
most accurate = fixed barrel
Then how come 1911 match guns hold every NRA Bullseye record in existance and have for about the last 50 years?

rc

Deus Machina
October 16, 2009, 07:19 PM
Because good luck finding a fixed-barrel gun made to the specs that those 1911's are.

Assuming everything is absolutely perfectly made, fixed-barrel guns will be more accurate.

But rotating and tilting-barrel designs are so often so well made, that no human will be able to tell.

rogertc1
October 16, 2009, 07:33 PM
The Colt 2000's were rotating barrel too but failed. Colt took that design from a Styer 1912.

SharpsDressedMan
October 16, 2009, 07:52 PM
Re: fixed barrel. The P7 genre has a good reputation for accuracy. Beretta 8000 series is a little hit and miss. Some are accurate, some a little less. Tilt barrel guns CAN be accurate, and some more so if you pump money into tightening them.

lostinrockford
October 17, 2009, 01:51 AM
I've got a Beretta 9mm PX-4 Storm. It has a rotating barrel and I have no problems with it at all. I've probably put 5000-6000 rounds thru it.

gyvel
October 17, 2009, 07:07 AM
This is probably true, and would account for why they are so little used. The only examples of which I am aware are the old Savage pistol that competed with the 1911 (and the pocket pistols that derived therefrom), and the Beretta/Stoeger Cougar. There may be others out there, but they aren't common.

The Savage wasn't a rotating barrel gun in the sense that the Cougar is. The barrel only rotated a few degrees by the action of a stud acting in a milled slot in the slide. This is generally referred to as a "hesitation lock" and, Savages are de facto blowbacks as the hesitation lock was later proven to do little or nothing to lock the breech closed.

Some true rotating barrel locked breech guns, i.e. where the barrels rotate quite a few degrees due to the actions of studs acting in helical cuts in the frame or slide, were two Austro-Hungarian military weapons, the Roth-Steyr Model 1907 and the Steyr-Hahn Model 1911. In addition, the CZ 24 .380 was a true rotating barrel gun as was the Mexican Obregon .45 ACP pistol, and probably a couple more I've forgotten.

HisSoldier
October 17, 2009, 01:24 PM
The browning designed 1911 locks up exactly the same every shot, if it's made correctly. That means the sights are exactly lined up with the bore of the gun for every shot. The gun basically "falls loose" as it unlocks for loading, then locks up tight as it comes into battery.

Very few large bore handguns have the sights actually attached to the barrel, the artillery Luger is one. Theoretically if they didn't have an abominable trigger system they could be extremely accurate.

Rotation barrel handgun must have clearance between the barrel and the slide, if there are any that lock up tight with the last half degree of rotation I haven't heard of it. That means that the axis of the barrel is always moving some tiny amount, and may or may not be pointed the same exact direction as the sights at any given moment.

So, much as I like the concept (I just bought a CZ 24 :)) the rotating barrel cannot be as accurate as a tilt barrel gun if both are tight.

John Browning was a singular genius.

Trebor
October 17, 2009, 03:28 PM
Perhaps the examples you saw with problems were being shot as-is, new guns that had not been lubed?

In one case, yes, it was the first time the owner shot the gun and I'm sure he didn't lube it correctly.

In another case, the owner was a retired Federal LEO and a hobbyist-shooter and the Cougar was his carry gun. He understood gun maintainence and lube, but still had problems. About half-way through the 125 round course of fire his gun started choking. Mainly failures to go into battery. During a break he squired some lube in and it finished the rest of the day OK.

I've seen maybe two or three other Cougars or Stoegers in my classes. I remember at least one other having some problems, but I can't recall the experience level of the shooter.

It is a relatively uncommon gun, which is why I've only seen a few, but so far at least three of the four or five Cougars or Stoegers I've seen have had problems. Not encouraging.

eldon519
October 17, 2009, 04:42 PM
I read a review of the Beretta Storm pistol in .45 where the groups were terrible. The author hypothesized that the slower bullet speed and heavier recoil had the gun partially unlocking before the bullet had exited the barrel. Can't say the truth of it, but he claimed an inverse relationship between bullet speed and accuracy in the rotating Berettas. If that's the case, sounds like an engineering/design issue to me rather than a intrinsic problem with rotation barrels.

unspellable
October 17, 2009, 05:52 PM
<< Then how come 1911 match guns hold every NRA Bullseye record in existance and have for about the last 50 years? >>

1. Because the game is rigged, others need not apply. As practiced in the US, Bulls Eye shooting rules require a 45. Scoring is done from the edge of the hole rather than the center, giving a big bore an advantage. For the last 50 years everybody has been shooting center fire with a 45 rather than have a third gun.

2. There is a cottage industry accurizing 1911s. The money spent on this over the years probably runs to the millions. Nobody has spent anything like that amount of time and money accurizing anything else.

3. As a reliable combat gun, the 1911 isn't accurate. All of that accurizing comes at the cost of combat reliability.

4. Dirty little secret: From a machine rest and with the holes measured center to center, a box stock no mods Luger will shoot as tight a group as a fully accurized 1911. What would have happened if years of effort and millions of dollars had been spent accurizing some other gun. We'd be bragging about how much more accurate than a 1911 it was. The 1911 obtains accuracy in spite of its design, not because of it. John Browning didn't have target shooting in mind when he designed it.

We tend to be a bit provincial here in the US. In other parts of the world where target shooting isn't stacked in favor of the 1911 other guns do win matches. As an example there is at least one world championship that I know of won with a Luger. There is one class of competition where every thing is done with the 32 S&W cartridge in a self loader that doesn't look remotely like a 1911.

kagbalete
December 17, 2010, 11:19 AM
Have to agree that luger's are more accurate than a 1911 or for that matter any browning tilt lock type pistol. I have a ww2 surplus luger (mauser byf) and it out shoots my 9mm 1911 (which is customized) and glock 17. it also out shot my friends beretta 92fs with it's walther type lock-up......

Jim Watson
December 17, 2010, 12:08 PM
Just to stir the pot, there is some activity in accurizing the Beretta with its "prop-up" locking based directly on Walther, indirectly on Mauser. There have been some good scores shot in Service Pistol vs 1911s.

As said, it is not just or even mostly the basic design, it is the development and care put into its execution. Maybe if the Austrians had come out of WW I and II in better shape we would be seeing Steyr Hahn Match guns. STI is pushing the Grand Power as their GP6. Maybe it will show us something about a rotating barrel in IPSC/USPSA Production.

triplebike
December 17, 2010, 12:39 PM
In one case, yes, it was the first time the owner shot the gun and I'm sure he didn't lube it correctly.

In another case, the owner was a retired Federal LEO and a hobbyist-shooter and the Cougar was his carry gun. He understood gun maintainence and lube, but still had problems. About half-way through the 125 round course of fire his gun started choking. Mainly failures to go into battery. During a break he squired some lube in and it finished the rest of the day OK.

I've seen maybe two or three other Cougars or Stoegers in my classes. I remember at least one other having some problems, but I can't recall the experience level of the shooter.

It is a relatively uncommon gun, which is why I've only seen a few, but so far at least three of the four or five Cougars or Stoegers I've seen have had problems. Not encouraging.
Just wondering, when I went through my 1st NRA basic handgun class the 1st thing the instructor did was to sit down with each of us & field stripped our firearms. He then preceded to show us how to clean, lube & maintain our firearm.

My handgun was dry as a bone ( Stoeger Cougar 8000). We then cleaned & lubed the gun ( he did this with everyone's firearm attending the class), this was before any of us were allowed anywhere near the firing range. Also in the following classes we were required to field strip our handguns which he then inspected to make sure they were properly cleaned & lubed before the firing range. I don't remember one person having any problems with their weapons due to being to dry or too dirty.

PS - between my Cougar 8000 & 8045, 4500 FLAWLESS rds have been fired. My Beretta 92FS & my CZ75B each has well over 3000 flawless rds fired. I believe a lot of the excellent reliability I have experienced is because of the maintenance he taught us right from the start.

Lonestar49
December 17, 2010, 02:18 PM
I've been less then impressed with the rotating barrel Berrettas and Stoegers I've had come through my class. I've only seen a few, but I've seen problems with them.

It seems to me they really need to be lubricated carefully or they are much more likely to malfunction then a more conventional locking system.

*My theory, yet unproven, is that the addtional bearing surfaces involved in having a rotating barrel requires more lubrication to work properly and is less tolerant of being unlubricated or under-lubricated then conventional locking systems.


...


*I think you're right, yet wrong, and here's why - 3 reasons: newbie, untrained, over lubrication/not enough lubrication - mixed with lots of rounds/heat and cheap dirty ammo - as I discuss to below

Most newbies to the Px4's or Stoegers make 2 big mistakes, one being either they don't put enough oil on the rotating barrel slot or on the bottom of the return housing "Hub" that clks on-top of it OR they put to much and shoot cheap ammo and the spent black powder flying around mixing with the oil makes a, fast, thick, goo mess that IF not cleaned and re-lubricated, correctly turns into a thick, tar-like, goo and the next time they go shooting, when the mess has had time to cool, thicken, and "set" in place/s, the first cold shots make for jams and they can, in most cases, continue to jam until remedied/cleaned correctly.

With too much oil, mixing with cheap ammo, spent black powder, flying back and "down" (gravity), especially into the interior of the mags, another feed problem area, and remains, especially when it all cools into a tar goo like mess.

The flip side is not enough lubrication, if at all, and, yep, it doesn't take long for the "heat" of the barrel, itself, right there at the slot, to evaporate a too/thin layer of oil.. So what is the fix..?

Get some Tetra white gun grease, put a dab via finger or swirled onto the end of a Q-tip and gently cover the entire barrel slot (top of picture) and with a small amount of "gun" grease mentioned, put some on the entire bottom/top of Hub (bottom) of picture and a very light covering on the sides and bottom, not seen in pic..

http://i217.photobucket.com/albums/cc306/Lonestar49/image008-1.jpg

Remembering, light applications of gun grease "does not fly around" stays put, gravity has no effect NOR does heat evaporate it based on the same, light applications vs the same light application of any gun oil. The gun grease is gonna stay/last a lot longer, giving anyone, if the day's class calls for it, a lot of shooting/rounds time and heat will not be an issue/factor whether student/owner has just inspected, prior to class, one's gun, cleaned and lubed, properly OR has less than 500 rounds on a properly tuned/lubricated gun with rotating barrel, as they will go, without any added lubrication's, an easy 1000 rounds without any issues whatsoever. Mine has done this, and more, time and time again without any unnecessary wear because the grease stays put, along with using good ammo, or good re-loads.. And if only cheap, dirty, ammo is all one can get, then it's but a quick, 1 min "inspection" with one of the easiest guns to dissemble, inspect, clean, reassemble, like Sigs, bar none, out there and takes, but another 10 mins to clean and re-lube and reassemble, with a quick, but good, cleaning of one's Px4 or Stoeger.

This, with clean mags, a light application of oil on the frame guide rails and slide rails, again, using a Q-tip with a few drops of good gun oil (or gun grease) starting from middle of slide rails all the way forward then all the way back, "once" per side is all one needs.. done

For the frame rail guides, very sharp, use one's finger, not a Q-tip, top/side bottom with a dab of grease or oil.. done.

Then these rotating barreled guns work like a charm, for a long time, as my, almost, 4yr old Px4 2yr old Px4 40 with just over 7k rounds has run flawless, using good ammo or good reloads, even cheap stuff during the ammo depression, not long ago, and no problems.. none.

Last, the benefit of the rotating barrel over a tilt-up action (in theory) is with no barrel movement, only "level" rotation, it aids in ongoing accuracy vs the tilt up action on barrels - but - having 6 Sigs, I have seen no difference in my on-going shooting of either make/guns..

But the one real benefit of the rotating barrel is it dampens actual recoil, as my Px4 40 shoots like any 9mm, of which I have 2 Sig P229/40's and 3, 229, 228, and 225 9mms. All 40's, mentioned, shoot nearly identical to my 9mms.

This, because, IMHO, is due to both, rotating barrel effect and on a lighter polymer frame and on the Sigs, because of the heavier slide and frame.

It's all about balance and "effect"s.. gun platforms.

Bottom line: one's students need more "functional training" when it comes to lubrication's and their proper uses with "type gun" they own, are shooting for the classes.

OMMV,


Ls


Ps.. I also, during very cold temps, use nothing but good gun oil on the slot groove and hub and go 1000 rounds with no problems as it is a, somewhat, fine-line between to much oil here, there and not enough - but hardly a tough measurement to figure out once one has the understanding of oils, the good and bad of them, in their applications (use) along with the effects of good clean ammo vs cheap, dirty, ammo, over round counts, heat/evaporation using oil and, most important, the "inspections" of one's guns and its importance, especially when it comes to first "cold shots" or during long, continuous shootings, high round counts in a single day or over a few days, in many gun/classes/courses.. "Bring 1500 rounds" types.

None of this, most of this is not "taught", for the very most part to newbies, be them civi or potential LEO students.

The same fault by many "instructors" that fail to ask "is your gun new, how many rounds, aprox, on it, and when was the last time you cleaned and lubed it, prior to class..? And to quickly inspect any students gun to know and see the answer in the same time it takes to read and finish this post. And with a new gun, there is the ever present possible of break-process in the works as tight parts need time to seat and mesh properly, be it 300 rounds, 500 rounds, 1000 rounds and, for many, needs no break in time (and is properly lubricated going in) with good ammo and some with cheap ammo, as well, work fine from the get-go. But for those same type guns, some do not as each gun is a tad different than another, some better, some worse, some need break in time, some don't. But the newbie is the most clueless in the class and cannot be taken for granted that he did an inspection correctly, incorrectly, or none at all, "unless asked" and then made to, or shown, how to open up ones gun and chk the vital lubrication areas, good, not good, corrected, and shown how to button their guns back up.

Far too many "classes" never mention to the buyer/student's "make sure your gun is cleaned and freshly lubed, properly, let alone really checked by any instructors until TSHTF/jams, continually, occur, for the one or 2 day class.. Nope, just pay for it and bring your gun/s and ammo, for the very most part, and newbies, for the most part, of such beginner classes, haven't a clue one way or another as to their guns, and mags, actual conditions.. good or bad, mostly bad with to much oil and to much cheap ammo prior to class or simply not enough lubrication or none.. bone dry guns.

And, the sad part is, all it would take is about the same time, or less, that it took to read this reply.. as mentioned

SharpsDressedMan
December 17, 2010, 02:55 PM
The older MAB PA15 has a rotating barrel, has been around for a long time, and has a following of fans that really like it. I have never owned one, but a friend of mine did for a number of years, and he never complained about function or accuracy.

GLOOB
December 17, 2010, 03:57 PM
When it comes to accuracy, there's one obvious advantage to a rotating barrel. A tilting barrel needs leeway for the barrel to tilt. This means the barrel/slide lockup surface area needs to rather small in certain dimensions, else the barrel would get stuck. A rotating barrel could essentially have unlimited barrel/slide lockup area in theory. But for practical reasons, like assembly and pulling out the barrel for cleaning, it is also limited to more or less the same degree as tilt-lock barrels.

Now there's 1 theoretical disadvantage to the rotating barrel. If the crown isn't perfect, the bullet won't leave the muzzle perfectly straight. In a rotating barrel, an asymmetrical crown could be at slightly different angle of rotation (albeit very, very silght) as the bullet leaves the muzzle, depending on the projectile weight and speed, and even changing with the weight of the recoil spring.

In the end, I'd say both are equally accurate. And the Beretta 92FS (which isn't rotating, but also doesn't tilt) is good evidence that feeding reliability isn't a concern. As for needing more oil, that's possible. But conventional hammer pistol designs need a lot of oil for the trigger/hammer group, anyway. Not a big deal.

As for this:
I read a review of the Beretta Storm pistol in .45 where the groups were terrible. The author hypothesized that the slower bullet speed and heavier recoil had the gun partially unlocking before the bullet had exited the barrel.
I'd better dollars to donuts this theory is complete nonsense.

xr1200
December 17, 2010, 04:18 PM
Fixed barrel guns are always the more accurate Luger p08, hkp7, fixed barrel 22 target pistols. Any time you have a movable barrel your accuracy suffers.

Service grade pistols can only be made to shoot between 2.5-6" groups on average for military and dependability issues, from dirt sand etc.

There are some service grade pistols that are very accurate out of the box, but most fall into the 2.5-6" group range at 25 yrds.

The most accurate moving barrel pistol you will find is a match 1911 like a les baer pistol.

Even a slight variable movement of an 1/32" can really effect accuarcy at 25 yrds plus.

Lonestar49
December 17, 2010, 04:33 PM
When it comes to accuracy, there's one obvious advantage to a rotating barrel. A tilting barrel needs leeway for the barrel to tilt. This means the barrel/slide lockup surface area needs to rather small in certain dimensions, else the barrel would get stuck. A rotating barrel could essentially have unlimited barrel/slide lockup area in theory. But for practical reasons, like assembly and pulling out the barrel for cleaning, it is also limited to more or less the same degree as tilt-lock barrels.

Now there's 1 theoretical disadvantage to the rotating barrel. If the crown isn't perfect, the bullet won't leave the muzzle perfectly straight. In a rotating barrel, an asymmetrical crown could be at slightly different angle of rotation (albeit very, very silght) as the bullet leaves the muzzle, depending on the projectile weight and speed, and even changing with the weight of the recoil spring.

In the end, I'd say both are equally accurate. And the Beretta 92FS (which isn't rotating, but also doesn't tilt) is good evidence that feeding reliability isn't a concern. As for needing more oil, that's possible. But conventional hammer pistol designs need a lot of oil for the trigger/hammer group, anyway. Not a big deal.


As for this:
I read a review of the Beretta Storm pistol in .45 where the groups were terrible. The author hypothesized that the slower bullet speed and heavier recoil had the gun partially unlocking before the bullet had exited the barrel.

*I'd better dollars to donuts this theory is complete nonsense.



+1

*Even the last statement..

To add, I've owned a Px4 40 for a long time with a lot of flawless rounds thru her, good ammo, good re-loads, cheap ammo during the ammo depression year/s.. with no problems but -

I've tried, many a time, and of late, with newbies, most pre-LEO's with new Px4 45's and both exact problems, jamming or accuracy problems and both times, in 98% so far, including many civi newbies 9mm's and 40cals, both problems have been fixed/cured by either lubrication's mentioned above for both slot groove and hub and greasing or oiling exterior of barrel and internal parts of slide mentioned above for cleaner/smoother, more complete, friction-free, lock up.. along with conveying new shooters to polymer framed guns, for the first time, even though they have a lot of time with other all metal guns, that there is a learning curve, like it or not, when it comes to polymer framed guns, for most, new or experienced shooters.. It's just the way it is.. About 300 - 500 rounds with a 9mm and about 500 - 800 rounds with a 40cal and somewhere in-between with a 45cal and the_reminder that Beretta's combat sights, be them 2-dot or 3 dot, still, requires putting front sight up, ON/over the target at closer ranges and slightly lower with the longer distance accuracy, but one needs to learn/understand this type gun along with choices of weight/velocity type ammo to be used - regularly


And for all calibers mentioned, starting close and then work your way out to find one's guns accuracy and to quit carrying what others think when one's target is the closest of all the others within the lanes.. Get over it and get to work, crawl, walk, then run.

OMMV,


Ls

GLOOB
December 17, 2010, 06:23 PM
I just thought of a really big possible con when it comes to the rotating barrel. Bullet spin. The rifling of a pistol is what... 1:12-1:20 twist? The actual ~15 degree rotation of the barrel may seem neglible at first, but it occurs in a very short time frame. I have no idea exactly where/when the barrel does all its rotation, but for the sake of argument let's say it is halfway done rotating by the time the bullet leaves the barrel. This means it twisted maybe 7-8 degrees from the time the bullet started to when it exited the muzzle. Furthermore, the barrel was still moving while the bullet exited. This seems like it would be significant in terms of bullet spin.

On the other hand, this effect should be greater for heavier/slower bullets. If the barrel twists in the right direction, this effect might be used to differentially stabilize different weight projectiles? :)

tercel89
December 18, 2010, 12:16 AM
I have the Stoeger Cougar in 9mm and .45ACP . They are my best DA/SA pistols next to my CZ75 . The accuracy is like a 5 inch barreled gun instead of their barells which are less than 4 inches . Here is my Cougar in .45ACP with the new rail . Also the Cougars have chrome-lined barrels too .

http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx328/tercel89/001.jpg

Lonestar49
December 18, 2010, 01:59 PM
...

Great pic.. Dog and gun, what a classic.. :)

On the question of bullet spin-up & rotating barrel movement..

Has no effect as the barrel rotates to eject and receive, almost straight-in, the next round and as the slide shuts and barrel rotates/clockwise back, you have barrel lock-up as well as closed breach before one can take a shot. Bullet spin-up remains the same, per shot, and is part of another reason, being the barrel is always straight, their accuracy is a cut above..

And bullet/s leave the barrel before any, actual, breach opening/slide movement back (enough) to cause any barrel spin/rotation while the fired bullet is spinning up and heading out of the barrel.

OMMV


Ls

mec
December 23, 2010, 10:28 AM
The author hypothesized that the slower bullet speed and heavier recoil had the gun partially unlocking before the
He might have been right. The Cougar I tested (this month's GUNs Magazine) showed a preferance to 185 Grain DPX over Ball. The gun in the article quoted was a early .45 Storm -he mentioned that it was a pre-production example. The author said that he though Beretta might make some modifications to make it shoot better with ball. Last month, i got a sample 45 storm from current production. It was not a bit "ammo sensitive" and put loads ranging from 185-230 in similar three inch and smaller groups. This reasonably good accuracy but does nothing to support the notion that the rotating barrel actually promotes enhanced accuracy as it's not unusually to find tilt barrel designs that display the same or better 25 yard groups.
Both the Beretta and Stoeger pistols were totally reliable and easy to shoot unsupported.

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