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Single action v.s. double action revolver strength?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by rhatimi, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. rhatimi

    rhatimi Member

    I was wondering....
    Are single action revolvers more durable/stronger than double action revolvers? Keeping the comparison limited to modern day versions of the two. For example would a Ruger gp100 .357 mag have the same strength (mechanical and physical) as a mid-sized .357 mag black hawk? :confused:

  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    the Rugers are an interesting comparison as they come from the same manufacturer and are both overbuilt.

    the SA, having fewer parts would have a smaller chance of anything going wrong. also since it has a solid frame...the only part that swings out is the loading gate...it is ultimately stronger.
  3. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    I would agree. The crane has always been the weak point of the DA revolver, if you can call a GP-100 or Redhawk weak.
  4. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Well-Known Member

    As far as Ruger goes, the new model 357 Blackhawk would be stronger than the GP100. The new model is built on a 44 mag frame. I would still give the edge to the single action on the Vaqueros and the 50th additions of the Blackhawks. They were built on the medium frame. Simply because of crane weakness on double action revolvers.

    In general, I would give the edge to the single action revolver in just about any caliber.
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    If you are talking about blowing one up?
    The crane has nothing to do with strength.
    The weakest link on any revolver is the strength of the cylinder, and the thickness of the chamber walls over the cylinder bolt cuts.

    For that reason, a five shot revolver with the same cylinder diameter can be much stronger then a 6-shot revolver because the bolt cuts are between the chambers rather then directly over them.

    In simple terms, the strongest revolver would be the one with the thickest chamber walls, be it a SA or a DA, and a five-shot cylinder.

    If you are talking about fair wear and tear, the Single-action wins because of fewer parts and a solid frame & base pin. (No crane or DA lockwork)

    On the otherhand, there are probably more very old S&W & Colt DA revolvers still around in great working condition then there are old S&W & Colt Single-Actions. BUt there were a lot more of them made too.

  6. Nicodemus38

    Nicodemus38 Well-Known Member

    well you can look at strength issues on several levels

    Frame, most da revolvers use a frame where only one side of the grip frame is continious from handle to the area around the cylinder. the weak part is the removable side plate, that does weaken the weapon.

    single action revolver of classic SAA configuration have a solid base pin holding the cylinder in place, that means you dont have to worry about heavy loads shooting the locking mechanism of a swing out cylinder up.
  7. TargetTerror

    TargetTerror Well-Known Member

    Bear in mind that, as has been stated, more can go wrong than just a catastrophic frame failure. I actually had to send my 4 5/8 inch SBH (44 mag) back to Ruger because something related to the transfer bar broke. Basically, if the gun was not tilted back, the bar would hit the firing pin upon cocking and jam.

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