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SAA reload from the right; other revolvers reload from the left... why?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Nozzelnut, Jun 28, 2008.

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  1. Nozzelnut

    Nozzelnut Member

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    I've always wondered why SAA style revolvers reload from the right side of the cylinder; but other revolvers reload from the left.

    Any ideas?


    Thanks

    NN
     
  2. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Because of the way Samuel Colt designed the first revolver. It has to do with direction of cylinder rotation. Easier to reload a partially discharged cylinder, and to use your right hand to manipulate the bullets. Same way you hold it with your left hand and reload it with your right hand with a DA.
     
  3. Brass Rain

    Brass Rain Member

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    I thought it was because Colt was a leftie.
     
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Nozzelnut

    For the Model 1873 Single Action revolver, it would have made sense to set the reloading sequence up for the right side. Since a majority of people are right handed, the ability to reload from that side would have been the most logical and efficient means possible, short of a top-break design. Also more natural for a man on horseback (cowboys and cavalry troopers), to accomplish.

    An interesting sidenote is that the French Model 1892 Lebel double action revolver, had the cylinder swinging out on the right side of the frame. Supposedly the reasoning behind this design was that the principal weapon of the cavalryman was his saber, not his sidearm.
     
  5. HammerBite

    HammerBite Member

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    The SAA was intended as a cavalry arm. It is easier to hold the gun in the same hand as the reins and use the unencumbered right hand to load cartridges, especially when trying to control a fractious horse.

    Similarly for the side-opening DA. It is easier to hold the gun and control the cylinder with the rein hand, and leave the fiddly cartridge loading to the right hand. When holding the gun in the left hand for reloading, it is easier to hold and control the cylinder with the thumb and two fingers when the fingers pass through the cylinder window (left-hand opening cylinder). With a right-hand opening cylinder, the thumb would have to pass through the cylinder window. Opening the cylinder and transferring the gun from the right hand to the left, and then transferring the gun back to the right hand while closing the cylinder can be accomplished very smoothly with a left-hand opening cylinder.
     
  6. Nozzelnut

    Nozzelnut Member

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    Ahhhh ha.


    Thanks

    NN
     
  7. steak2

    steak2 Member

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    Hammerbite has it.
    Most people are right handed so loading using the right hand is the reason .
    The correct way [ at least the way I was taught ] to load a d.a. revolver is , start out by holding the revolver by the grips in your right hand , pushing yje cylinder latch w/ your right thumb. while you left hand is cradling the revolver use the middle and ring finger to push out the cylinder , then capture the cylinder between palm and middle and ring fingers of your left hand . You use the thumb of your left hand to push out the empties then manipulate and load cartridges with your right hand . sounds harder than it is to do .
     
  8. LightningMan

    LightningMan Member

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    Kind of off the topic but I wonder how many cavalry men of old had to do a reload on horse back and in the heat of battle, had an accidental discharge that shot their own horse. Whoops!:eek:
     
  9. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    Which side

    Back when the revolver was a calveryman's secodary weapon, the saber was carried i nthe right hand.

    BTWQ: T.E. Lawrence shot his camel in the back of the head during a charge, although not while reloading. (Top break Webley.)
     
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