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Never knew cylinder gap could blow off your finger. (Shooting from the pocket?)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by cleetus03, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. cleetus03

    cleetus03 Well-Known Member

    I know I’m going to get reamed for this but I never knew the cylinder gap in a revolver discharged basically molten plasma to the sides! The recent myth buster episode on discovery explained this issue oh so visually for me. From there I took it on my own to educate myself on the issue extensively.

    My question today is the following; if the cylinder gap releases such powerful damaging gas then why do so many people advocate the ability of shooting a revolver from the pocket if needed? I mean with what I know now sure you could shoot a .357 snub through your pocket reliably, but you could also set your pocket on fire in addition to blowing a nice chunk of flesh off. Am I right about this?:confused:
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    There is a huge difference between the gap flash of a .38 Special (17,000 PSI) or .357 (35,000 PSI) in your pocket, and a .460 S&W (65,000 PSI) with your thumb in the way.

    If the gun is in a coat pocket, I assume it would be pointed out away from you when you fired it, and flash would miss all the important parts of your body.

    Yes, it might make a smoldering hole in your pocket, but in a life or death situation requiring firing from a pocket, that would be the least of your worries.

  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    I believe the cylinder blast slicing a support hand thumb was from a .460 S&W Mag, not a .38 Special. In any event, when you grasp the gun to fire it inside a pocket, your thumb and fingers will not be near the flash gap.

    What firing from inside a pocket will do is make three holes in the pocket - one from where the bullet exited, and a rip/tear on either side of the flash gap.
  4. tackleberi

    tackleberi Well-Known Member

    Shooting a .38 or .357 from inside a pocket is a warming, but not scorching experience. It is something one should try, if they hope to utilize a revolver from an inside the pocket position.

    Michael DeBethencourt includes shooting from inside the pocket in his revolver courses, and having done so, I would not think twice about doing it if necessary. I am, however, appreciative for the chance to have done it in his class, since it makes me confident in my ability to do so.
  5. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    visual effects

    to demonstrate cyl gap & the respect it needs i take news paper & cover the revolver then shoot it , effects are greater as pressure goes up!!

  6. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    There's a guy on Youtube that held his thumb over the gap of a .357 and the resulting cut looked like someone stuck a sharpened screwdriver into the meaty part of the end of his thumb and pried up to lift the meat along with a flap of skin. A .38Spl would likely cut the skin but not to the same extent.
  7. goodtime

    goodtime Well-Known Member

    You could get a Nagant to carry in your pocket; it has a mechanism that moves the cylinder forward when the action is cycled pushing the cylinder face against the forcing cone, creating a seal that eliminates sideblast.:)
  8. Invisible Swordsman

    Invisible Swordsman Well-Known Member

    +1 on Tackleberi's comment. I took a snubby revlover course at Tactical Defense Institute in Ohio a couple of weeks ago, and we fired multiple rounds through a jacket pocket. Tough on the pocket but not a problem for your hand.
  9. yeti

    yeti Well-Known Member

    No one messes with the man with half a thumb and a chared, pocket.
  10. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    Note the emphasis on a coat pocket when shooting this way. Shooting from a front pants pocket is liable to be a bit more disconcerting.
  11. waterhouse

    waterhouse Well-Known Member

    +1. I've never thought of my pants pockets as tight fitting, but I'd have a hard time grabbing a J-frame and pointing it in the right direction while still in my pants pocket.

    A jacket pocket on the other hand is larger, the gun tends to be pointing closer to the right direction, and the jacket isn't right next to my skin.

    Also, if there was enough space in my pants pocket to maneuver a revolver, and I needed to, I think I'd be OK with a burn on my outer thigh in order to save my life.

    I wouldn't choose to subject myself to a finger injury caused by improper grip, but in a life and death situation sometimes you can suffer a little to gain a lot.
  12. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    A good deal of my early skepticism over the "pocket shot" concept was in thinking of pants pocket where they were driving at coat pocket.

    I was still skeptical but for a different reason: if the weather and circumstances are such that a coat is appropriate, it would seem that more traditional carry would be a non-issue. One could conceal a largish N-frame easily when wearing a coat. Secondly, the idea of getting a shot off "from concealment" as it were, seems to fly in the face of the conventional wisdom which holds that the deterrent value of a firearm is substantial. "Pocket shooting" negates that as one never "brandishes" - one goes from concealment to firing with nothing in between.

    No doubt there are valid scenarios for a "zero presentation" deployment but it would sure put a hicky on that statistic of "2 million DGUs - most all resolved without a shot being fired" - we'd go from "most all" to "hardly any" if the technique caught on. It pretty much quashes any notion of a "non firing resolution".

    Grist, perhaps, for a "how would that look in court" thread?
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    That has occurred to me, also. If I can wear a coat, all concealment problems disappear. So no need for pocket carry.

    At the same time, taking the coat off also means taking the gun off. And it's not a good idea to leave your gun hanging on the coat rack.
  14. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    The magazine article I read (in Handguns, by a Jim Dickson, some 10-12 years ago) citing the three holes blown in the pocket was specifically about shooting from a coat pocket. He had some other interesting findings. One, a shrouded (not enclosed) hammer revolver, after having fired a couple or three shots in succession from the pocket, got a piece of shredded cloth in the mechanism which stopped it from working. Two, he was not able to set any pockets on fire, even after adding tissue paper as "kindling." Cotton and wool fabrics are much harder to set afire than polyesters.
  15. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Well-Known Member

    Yes...having to lift one's leg high, to aim more or less by pointing one's knee...is undignified...

    Old Fashioned Overcoat side Pocket, it's easy to have a 1911, or a Colt Model 1903 Pocket ( Hammer ) and, a Hand already 'in' the Pocket at any intimation or whiff of trouble ahead...
  16. nitetrane98

    nitetrane98 Well-Known Member

    I remember an old gangster/comedy movie where the tough's holding a guy at gunpoint with the gun in his coat pocket. He says," I can shoot you and not even put a hole in this coat." The dummy says, "Oh no, you can't do that." "Yeah I can, I've done it before."
  17. marv

    marv Well-Known Member

    The fingers and thumb may be safe but other protruding parts of the anatomy might get in harm's way.

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