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Ruger Revolving Rifle?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Ironhand54, Sep 29, 2017.

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  1. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    Seeing all of the custom ROA with deep chambers and even larger calibers I was thinking, how hard would it be to make a Revolving Rifle based on the ROA?

    Would it be worth the effort? Could you make it in 50 cal?

    Revolving Rifles have always fascinated me but seemed under powered. If you start with a ROA that might change.

    Just thinking
    IronHand
     
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  2. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I have wondered about one modified with a stock and 16-18" barrel.

    A standard 7.5" barrel with an energetic powder a bullet can exceed 500 ft/lbs with some claiming closer to 600 ft/lbs with a deepened cylinder or CB cylinder. Add another foot to the barrel and you'll add another 100 ft/lbs or so giving it low .44 Mag performance.

    There's a fella on this forum with a Walker turned carbine that's also quite interesting.

    As an aside I've wondered also about a .31 turned carbine for small game hunting.
     
  3. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Revolving rifles were not a good idea back in the day, and they're still not a good idea today. The problem is that your arm is exposed to whatever comes out of the cylinder-barrel gap (lead shavings, hot gases, etc.).
    Maybe if you're wearing a padded asbestos sleeve you might be OK.
     
  4. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    The proper grip is two hands on the wrist of the stock. Thus the long curly trigger guard.

    I would not want to put my hand in front of the cylinder no matter what protective gear I was wearing.

    IronHand
     
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  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    As you probably all know, Colt made revolving rifles back in the day, up to .56 caliber if I recall correctly.
    They had bad problems with chain fires and with a load that stiff, the results were catastrophic.

    Not a good idea.
     
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  6. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    There's been some fellows who tested a chainfire from an 1860 Army with 30 grns and a ball and found it had something like 7 ft/lbs of energy without a barrel to increase pressure. Which isn't to say I wouldn't be concerned and place my hand up there.

    I wish I could find their site to post a link as they also tested other things concerning chainfires.
     
  7. shunka

    shunka Member

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  8. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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  9. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Taurus was selling a modern Cartridge revolving rifle and shotgun quite well. Not much danger of a chain fire from modern cartridge revolvers and they tamed the barrel /cylinder gap issue with a couple of shields.

    Colt made Root type revolving shoulder arms up to .56 caliber for rifles and 10 gauge for shotguns, though those last are rare. Berdan's Sharpshooters where issued the Colt .56 revolving rifles. Some state raised mounted units bought .44 Colt Root Carbines.

    Savage made a carbine based on their sealing system that was much like on a later Russian Nagant revolver where the Barrel cylinder gap was closed.

    -kBob
     
  10. kBob

    kBob Member

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    rodwa,

    Perchance do you mean something like one of the little Remington "1863" .31s rebarrled with a section of say .303 barrel turned down and threaded to fit the frame and the grip frame modified to be a buttstock? Shoot sized conicals and never worry about .22 rimfire shortages again?

    Would be a Q-T Cute.

    There was someone that did a "bicycle rifle" out of a NAA revolver on either THR or Rimfire Central some time back of course with a cartridge gun he had to go a full 16 inches on the barrel. Perhaps 10 or 12 inches would look nicer on a percussion Remington based little carbine.

    Perhaps we should start a thread to see if New Model Army owners or 1863/.31 owners (or ROAs) have experienced chainfires in those pistols. I have oftern thought that a sheild like what Taurus has done with their modern revolving carbines would work on a Remington NMA and such as one can easily remove the cylinder for loading. Also wondered if a scant sort of scoop system to simply direct any chain fired bullets and cylinder gap gasses and debris up and away might not work on the rear of any sort of forestock.

    One last note on Chainfires. Some models of the Manhatten Revolvers of the 1860s had a thin metal shield between the back of the cylinder and the standing breech of the revolver. Folks seem to think this was mainly to prevent cap debris from entering the action as in Colts. Manhatten appearently put that part in TO PREVENT CHAINFIRES with the secondary benefit of keeping caps out of the action. Wonder how well those worked for chainfires? This would indicate that Manhatten thought most chainfires were started from the nipples rather than the front of the chamber. One of Colt's early patents was those solid blocks of the cylinder between the nipples to prevent chain fires. Again that points to the "cones" and loose fitting caps as the source of chainfires.

    -kBob
     
  11. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Indeed it is precisely what I was thinking. I had forgotten about the little NAA pistols, but I don't care much for the ammo ordeal. Cheap home cast lead balls are more than plenty for small game, though it seems I've seen mentioned somewhere about .177 and .22 lead balls offered by airgun oriented manufacturers.

    I think 16+" makes more sense if for no other reason a better sight radius, especially dealing with such small targets as small game heads. It also helps ensure some game warden or police officer unaware of how laws differ concerning BP arms from interrupting your day/year.
     
  12. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    kBob, do you mean that this gas seal design was invented by Savage, or that Savage used Colts design? Because it is my understanding (and personal observation), that Colt's New Model Revolving Rifle (Colt Root Carbine) never had such a gas seal mechanism.

    Having shot a revolving carbine I must say that I'm not impressed - much prefer a lever action. The idea was that you get the best of both worlds - revolver's fire power in a much more accurate package. But the reality was that you get all the disadvantages of a revolver system - BC gap not sealed, firing system too close to the shooter's face, finicky two point hold, while only partially getting the benefits of a rifle - long sight radius... And that's about it. I like revolving carbines for what they are (cute gimmick), but for me they are a dead end for a design.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
  13. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    I like the idea of the 31cal rifle but I think I would use a steel frame Remington. It would worry me to hang the weight of a 16 inch barrel on a small frame with no top strap. Seems like you would end up with a bent frame.

    IronHand
     
  14. kBob

    kBob Member

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    mizar,

    The Savage revolving rifle used a system that shoved the cylinder forward over the forcing cone as the weapon fired. This was also a feature of their ring finger revolving pistols. As with Colts the pistol and rifles from savage are sort of a chicken and egg thing when it comes to actual production rather than tool room samples. Colt's earliest revolving carbines were used in Florida against the Seminole...then the Texas Rangers got revolving pistols based on those designs. Colt then concentrated on handguns until the Root based designs came out.

    Keep in mind that when the Colt Root 1855 rifles, carbines, shotguns and handguns came out that S&W had not fielded their little rimfires yet and Henry had not developed his .44 rimfire cartridge yet nor improved the Jennings rifle enough for Oliver Winchester (the major stock holder even then) to name the resultant gun the Henry. Some people are unaware that older Winchester rimfire cartridges, used by many of us older THR-ers had a capital H headstamp to commemorate Henry's efforts. You see Henry felt he had a winner with his improvements to the Jennings rifle, but the rocket ball ammo was just not performing. When Winchester, an industrial shirt maker who really under stood machines, got a big chunk of his money involved he told Henry "A rifle is just a machine for throwing balls. If your machine is about as far as it can go you need a better ball." Thus the S&W (where Henry had worked on the Volcanic guns) .22 Rim fire cartridge that he had a hand in inventing got increased in size to .44. But this was a couple of years AFTER Colt had his Root Carbines out and in the public and government eye.

    The Revolving rifle made plenty of sense before metallic cartridges and yes there were pinfire revolving carbines (in Europe) before rimfire cartridges became available as well. Interestingly some of the 12 mm pinfire carbines could use the standard revolver ammo OR a longer Carbine only cartridge interchangeably.

    Today the interest in Revolving carbines is as a toy for the most part and there is no accounting for what folks want to play with. I have tried to talk down a number of folks to be reasonable on a Remington NMA based Carbine such as the company offered AFTER the Civil War. Unfortunatly folks want way to much for them, even the older repros with brass frames.

    In Europe, Belgium mostly, copies of the Colt 1851 pistol were made with long barrels and fixed stocks as carbines. I think they looked nicer than the Colts equipped with normal barrels and taking the removable stock. to the best of my knowledge Colt never offered such a system for sale in the US. What became known as the Buntline special edition of the later cartridge revolver 1873 SAA was offered with a long barrel, ladder sights, and removable skeletal steel butt stock.

    I just think a .31 Remington 1863 based revolving carbine about the size of one of the Cricket or Chipmunk rifles (longer length of pull and shorter barrel) would be a hoot and a half. That small and light it should be easy to handle with a two handed grip on the "pistol grip" and very much like a .22LR in power. One would certainly need eye protection with it but many of us (and all of us should) use such when shooting anything.

    -kBob
     
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  15. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Thank you, kBob!
     
  16. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be happy if they just made the ROA itself. Ruger is marketing driven and I doubt if they would ever make a ROA rifle/carbine. Besides, the liability if some bozo put his hand in front of the cylinder would kill the project from the start.
     
  17. Ephraim Kibbey

    Ephraim Kibbey Member

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  18. entropy

    entropy Member

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    And the Root rifles & shotguns did have a top strap, also.
     
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