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Gas Seal Nuts?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by AbitNutz, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. AbitNutz

    AbitNutz Well-Known Member

    So there are some revolvers that are subject to gas cutting the top strap. The one that comes to mind is the 357 Maximum. I understand that the reason for this is that some folks loaded very light, 110 & 125 grain bullets and launched them at huge velocities. The 357 Max was said to be designed to shoot heavier bullets at 357 Mag velocities and if that was done then gas cutting was not a problem.

    I have a Russian Nagant revolver. I think most folks here are familiar with the gas seal it uses. The idea was to eliminate all gas escaping from between the cylinder to barrel gap and get an increase in velocity. I saw a test where revolvers with a tight barrel to cylinder gap were tested against single shots and the velocity gain was minimal. So going to the added complexity of the Nagant was pointless...hmm but maybe not.

    However, a gas seal like the Nagant's would pretty much eliminate all gas cutting problems.

    My ideal pistol would be a Freedom Arms Model 83 chambered for some derivation of 30/454 or perhaps a 357/445. The case would have to span the gap for true gas seal like the Nagant's but you could obtain warp speed velocities and no worries ever of gas cutting....and it would just be incredibly cool.
  2. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    In the end Freedom Arms would need to build a version of the Nagant to do this. The Nagant uses a rather complex setup to slide the cylinder forward after indexing it and then lock it into place to resist the pressure of the round being fired. All of this is rather heavy duty to be able to deal with the pressure. And it shows up as a hellishly tough DA pull or an only semi hellish SA pull if you cock the gun first. The semi hellish trigger pull could likely be modified to be nice but nothing will reduce the DA pull since there is a lot of stuff happening and it all takes energy to get the job done.
  3. gofastman

    gofastman Well-Known Member

    forgive my ignorance, but why exactly is gas cutting a bad thing? is it more than just a cosmetic issue?
  4. steveno

    steveno Well-Known Member

    gas cutting is going to happen with any revolver and high pressure ammo. think of it as high pressure gas going through an orifice just like a welding torch. the only difference is that it lasts a very short period of time. the gas cutting will only go so far and then it will stop because it is beyond the focus point of the flame. there isn't any safety problem.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  5. AbitNutz

    AbitNutz Well-Known Member

    I've really not seen a problem with gas cutting and it may just be hysteria. I do believe that Ruger recalled their 357 Maximum because of that issue...perhaps they succumbed to the hysteria.

    The Nagant I have is absolutely as you described. It takes two hands for double action and something less for single action. I agree that making the double action pull acceptable would be almost impossible. The single action is just not a problem. I was able to to twiddle with it till it was really quite decent.

    So since my dream revolver, the Freedom Arms 83, is single action only and those guys make the finest revolver on the planet. I can't imagine that making a gas seal version of the model 83 would be insurmountable and still have their usual excellent trigger.

    And it would still be incredibly cool....
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    That the Nagant is the only gas seal revolver ever made in large numbers since the invention of the cartridge revolver, I wouldn't hold my breath.

    If it were really necessary, or a good idea, every manufacture would be doing it already.

    And besides, I have heard nothing at all about Freedon Arms having any issues with gas cutting anyway.

  7. AbitNutz

    AbitNutz Well-Known Member

    So few things are ever necessary...especially in guns. But I still contend it would be very cool. Sometimes being different is a very good marketing scheme. S&W now has gain twist rifling. There is no evidence to show that has any meaningful difference but the idea of gain twist appeals to the gun geek in me.
    It's just wish...
  8. Norrick

    Norrick Well-Known Member

    Slightly related, I once saw a video on youtube of a man who had fixed a silencer to one of those revolvers, just to prove that it was possible. The argument was of course, that you can't silence a revolver because of the cylinder/barrel gap allows sound to escape even if you put a can on the end.

    The revolver was very quiet, of course because of the unique gas sealing mechanism.
  9. AbitNutz

    AbitNutz Well-Known Member

    I saw the same video! I've also seen slow motion videos of revolvers firing and I'm always a bit stunned by the huge sheet of flame blooming out of the barrel/cylinder gap. Like I said. Necessary? Certainly not...but what about this sport is? There is an endless variety of interesting guns, which is one reason I like collecting and shooting. I think the gas seal is a novel ideal, that while not required in any way, shape or form is just really neat and adds value in unique ways.

    I have to look at what the forcing cone on my Nagant looks like. I know that one of the challenges on revolvers is getting the forcing cone right. I had the forcing cone on my Ruger Od Army opened up and I understand that some high end revolvers actually use carbide for the forcing cone material (I swear I read that somewhere). The gas seal may make the forcing cone quite a bit different or even non-existent, since the the forward end of the brass is actually in the barrel.

    If the cylinder moves over the breech of the barrel and the forward part of the brass is in the barrel. Maybe it could be treated more like a single shot. No real forcing cone and the bullet wouldn't have to jump so far to get to the barrel.

    I think that's a wonderful Idea. Now all I have to do is buy that winning lottery ticket...

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