Cylinder Rotation


PDA






dullone
January 18, 2014, 07:08 PM
This question just came to mind, on double action revolvers do the cylinders on all makes and models rotate in a common direction???


All my revolvers (2 Rugers, 2 Smiths and a Taurus) all have their cylinders turn counter clockwise when looking at the gun from the back end.

I saw a picture of a Charter Arms revolver and from the way the stop notches and leads were cut it appeared that it would rotate clockwise.

If you enjoyed reading about "Cylinder Rotation" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
XTrooper
January 18, 2014, 07:10 PM
Colts rotate clockwise.

dbmjr1
January 18, 2014, 07:12 PM
No. Smith and Wessons, along with the clones, rotate in the wro, . . . other direction from Colts, Rugers, Dan Wessons and other quality firearms.:D

This is a concern if you plan on shooting your revolver at distances of over 1,500 yards, as the left hand rifling and the torque of the cylinder rotating in the wrong direction, will multiply the error of the spinning of the earth. Of course, in Australia, this is not a problem.:p

HexHead
January 18, 2014, 07:34 PM
The new S&W Bodyguard .38 cylinder rotates clockwise. Nice to see them finally get it right.

JRH6856
January 18, 2014, 07:53 PM
This is a concern if you plan on shooting your revolver at distances of over 1,500 yards, as the left hand rifling and the torque of the cylinder rotating in the wrong direction, will multiply the error of the spinning of the earth. Of course, in Australia, this is not a problem.

Not a problem if you turn around and shoot in another directions. :uhoh:

Driftwood Johnson
January 18, 2014, 10:35 PM
Oh please, not that tired old argument about which one rotates the right direction. Smiths rotate counter clockwise because the hand is on the right side, Colts rotate the other direction because the hand is on the left side. They are built opposite. The force of the hand rotating the cylinder is not enough to force the yoke open, unless the cylinder is bogged down with gunk.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20colt%20comparison/smith_colt_compare01.jpg

Jim K
January 18, 2014, 11:26 PM
And the hand is put wherever the designer chose to put it, based on the general design of the lockwork.

Jim

45lcshooter
January 19, 2014, 09:05 AM
My nagant pistol, Uberti 45lc, Pietta black powder, Plinkerton 22 all spin clockwise. Come to think of it, all the revolvers i've owned over the years all spun clockwise from the shooters standpoint

BSA1
January 19, 2014, 09:33 AM
Driftwood Johnson is commenting on the debate in gun rags B.A. (before autos) about which is made stronger; S&W's or Colts.

It was as endless of debate back then as the 9mm vs. 45, Glock vs 1911's debate are today.

p.s. Just for the record the Colt cylinder rotation is stronger. :neener:

el Godfather
January 19, 2014, 03:10 PM
Driftwood Johnson is commenting on the debate in gun rags B.A. (before autos) about which is made stronger; S&W's or Colts.

It was as endless of debate back then as the 9mm vs. 45, Glock vs 1911's debate are today.

p.s. Just for the record the Colt cylinder rotation is stronger. :neener:
Based on what?

savit260
January 19, 2014, 03:34 PM
There are examples of Colt's that rotate counter clockwise, and examples of S&W's that rotate clockwise. Rugers go both ways depending on if it's a single action or double action model.

The general rule is typically Colt's clockwise, S&W counter clockwise.

dbmjr1
January 19, 2014, 03:35 PM
Dan Wesson's solution to securing the cylinder is superior to both Colt and S&W's. :evil:

I'm a huge Colt fan. I joke often about S&W's cylinders revolving the wrong way. Even though I have a 10-6 and a Rossi. Fact is that Skeeter liked his S&W's and that's enough for me.


Oh, and while a 9mm might expand, a .45 will never shrink.:o

savit260
January 19, 2014, 03:36 PM
I would add that when loading an extra round or two in a swing out cylinder double action, the clockwise rotation is a lot more intuitive than the counterclockwise rotation.

Seen many a shooter load the last two of a box of 50 in a S&W and go click, click, click.

Old Fuff
January 19, 2014, 06:30 PM
p.s. Just for the record the Colt cylinder rotation is stronger.

Based on what?

Based on Colt advertising of course.

Back when... They claimed that cockwise rotation helped keep the crane tighter against the frame, and increased accuracy.

How dare you doubt them... !! :cuss: :D

788Ham
January 19, 2014, 11:32 PM
Amen Old Fuff, amen !

PJSprog
January 20, 2014, 03:01 PM
While many of us grayer shooters have heard and read this "tired old argument" beat to death, many newer shooters have not. For many of them, it's a valid question.

Personally, I still get a kick out of it ... especially the responses from us old grouches. Frankly, that's 99.44% of the reason I read this thread.

...and for the record, I'm a S&W guy.

rswartsell
January 20, 2014, 09:59 PM
In the days before shrouded ejector rods, this issue did apparently convince Smith and Wesson to add a locking underlug with a spring detent where the Colt ejector rod was left "bare". The counterclockwise momentum of the Smith cylinder used the mass against the lockup of the cylinder where the Colt clockwise rotation was in harmony with the crane's locked position.

Was there enough of a practical reason to justify this? If not why the added expense of production?

Shawn Dodson
January 21, 2014, 08:31 AM
The easiest way to visually tell which direction the cylinder turns is by looking at the bevel on the cylinder stop notch. The cylinder turns in the direction of the bevel. The bevel can be thought of as an "arrow" that points in the direction of rotation.

Driftwood Johnson
January 21, 2014, 09:38 AM
Was there enough of a practical reason to justify this? If not why the added expense of production?

Because it is simply a better design! The end of the ejector rod is protected. This is a S&W Model 1899. The last Hand Ejector that Smith made before going to the underlugs in 1902. I can assure you that hand on this gun does not try to open the cylinder. It just does not apply that much force. As I said earlier, if the cylinder is gummed up and resists rotating, that is one thing. If the cylinder is free to spin, the yoke ain't going to be wedged open.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/Model1899.jpg

SeanSw
January 21, 2014, 11:44 AM
My H&R 929 Sidekick would also turn clockwise, if it turned at all. Something is amiss.

Old Fuff
January 21, 2014, 01:11 PM
Well according to Colt's advertising.... :uhoh: :evil: :D

Smith & Wesson's were prone to unlocking if one rested their thumb on the cylinder release thumb piece and the revolver pushed rearward in recoil. They even claimed to have hi-speed movie film footage to prove it.

It is great fun to read 1920's and 30's catalogs from both companies as they go after each other with no holds barred. :eek:

rswartsell
January 21, 2014, 08:55 PM
Thanks Fuff!

Knew I could depend upon you for context! And Driftwood, I had my tongue in my cheek and as usual your posts are highly illuminating. Did you ever think you might have a knack (talent) to be a pretty easy to read gun-writer?

I think the trick is trying to find someone to pay you even when you tell the truth.:banghead:

P.S. You will find far fewer vintage Smith revolvers with bent ejector rods than Colts. The real reason IMHO for the underlug.

Jim K
January 21, 2014, 09:19 PM
Hi, Driftwood,

If you have not pulled the sideplate on that 1899, I suggest doing so. It is an education on how far S&W has come in improving their lockwork over the years, while at the same time making it simpler and less expensive WITHOUT changing the overall frame shape (frames made for the lock excepted, of course). The old time assemblers must have had microscopes for eyeballs!

Jim

Driftwood Johnson
January 22, 2014, 09:21 AM
Hi Jim

Yes, I did take the side plate off of the Model 1899 a while ago. I even took some photos demonstrating how the trigger lever and rebound lever worked together to wedge the hammer back not too differently than the rebound slide does when the hammer is at rest.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/interior%20views%20and%20parts/hammeratrest_zps333beae8.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/interior%20views%20and%20parts/hammerdown_zps27aaa060.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/smith%20and%20wesson/interior%20views%20and%20parts/fullcock_zpsfde79c71.jpg

Yes, ya gotta hand it to the S&W engineers, they really knew what they were doing. Sorry, I have to apologize for the over polish my 1899 was subjected to when it was refinished.

Jim K
January 23, 2014, 07:08 PM
Did you also notice the tiny spring and plunger in the cylinder stop and that the trigger-hammer interface does not have the second engagement that provides the S&W with a non-stacking trigger pull. IMHO, that change was sheer genius!

Jim

Old Fuff
January 23, 2014, 10:16 PM
Did you also notice the tiny spring and plunger in the cylinder stop and that the trigger-hammer interface does not have the second engagement that provides the S&W with a non-stacking trigger pull. IMHO, that change was sheer genius!

Yup, and I agree with you. That's one reason I prefer the older revolvers that have a "long action."

I've also noticed that Ruger copied the feature you mentioned in their new DAO LCR series of pocket revolvers. No surprise that the trigger pull gets rave reviews.

rswartsell
January 23, 2014, 10:29 PM
^Amen.

Flechette
January 24, 2014, 09:34 PM
I don't know if this is an official complaint about S&W counter-clockwise rotation, but long ago I had a .44 Mag S&W that kicked hard enough to start pulling the bullets out of their casings that were still in the cylinder. After a couple of shots the bullet came out far enough to touch the front of the barrel/frame and effectively jammed the revolver :eek:

It took a bit of work to get the cylinder to even open!

I think that such a jam would be easier to clear if the cylinder rotated clockwise as the stuck bullet would not have to cross the forcing cone to open the cylinder.

This is one of the reasons I have a fascination with break open revolvers: such a jam would be easy to clear.

Anyone else have a similar jam?

JRH6856
January 24, 2014, 10:27 PM
^^^ Lighter load or heavier crimp is an easier fix.

Driftwood Johnson
January 24, 2014, 10:41 PM
That is not a problem with the revolver, that is an ammo problem. Bullets pulling out from recoil are due to crimps not holding them in place securely enough. It simply should not happen. The direction the cylinder rotates should not matter because the bullets should not be pulling out.

Jim K
January 25, 2014, 09:47 PM
Hi, Fuff,

Not many folks still on this side of the Pearly Gates remember the big controversy over the "long" and "short" S&W actions. Of course, the Internet was way in the future, but things got heavy in the gun stores and in the pages of the few magazines of the time that published anything about handguns. IMHO, the change was a good one, but some folks never did get reconciled, sort of like the anti-lock people or the old-time southerners.

Jim

Old Fuff
January 26, 2014, 12:21 AM
IMHO, the change was a good one, but some folks never did get reconciled, sort of like the anti-lock people or the old-time southerners.

Well yes, I lived through some of that. At the time bullseye shooting was popular and a force that could drive sales. Colt had an edge, because ways had been found to shorten the thumb-cocking stroke to make cocking quicker. So far as double-action was concerned they often simply eliminated it.

Smith & Wesson had by far, the best out-of-the-box double action, and it was promoted by Ed. McGivern, a famous exhibition shooter during those days. But the bullseye boys proved to have the stronger influence on sales.

Being as that was, just before World War Two started, S&W started experimenting with making a short action, and in doing so moved the location of the hammer stud (pin the hammer rotates on) which improved the thumb-cocking feature at the expense of the D.A. pull. However further development had to be set aside until after the war.

Then they introduced the series of K-22,32 and 38 Masterpiece target revolvers with an improved "click" adjustable rear sight, ribbed barrel, wide spur hammer, and of course the new "short action."

But sometimes you can't win. It wasn't long before target shooter started switching to self-loading pistols. I still say that those long action revolvers offered "the best" double action ever offered on a mass produced revolver.

rswartsell
January 26, 2014, 06:42 PM
To guild the lilly,

Old Fuff has it, but the critics of the "long action" (in a bullseye sense) brought in the "lock time" factor. This is a real issue based on the time between perfected sight picture and the actual ignition of the round. Far more "real issue" for flintlocks and the like with uncertain intervals between spark, pan flash and load discharge but nonetheless real between trigger break and primer strike.

The increased lock time from long action to "improved" would well be measured in nano-seconds in single action, and hard to even quantify in double action with a complete follow through of a superior double action revolver. There isn't any reason that the controversy between the 2 S&W actions for non-Olympic or hardcore bulls-eye shooters would not be germane even today.

Hondo 60
January 28, 2014, 12:23 PM
I owned 6 S&Ws before I had a Colt.
That Colt still seems backwards to me :neener:

(OK, I admit, I like the Colt (Army Spl 38) just as much as my 10-5, 38, 65-2, etc)

If you enjoyed reading about "Cylinder Rotation" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!