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Silencer. Why Not?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by DaveP (UK), Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. DaveP (UK)

    DaveP (UK) Member

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    There are times when a chap has no option but to go public with his ignorance. This is one of those times...
    I have both read and been told that silencers cannot be used with revolvers. I'm quite happy to believe it. But no one has ever told me why.
    Could someone spell it out for me?

    Perhaps I ought to add that I have no desire to fit a silencer to any gun - I enjoy a good BANG! as well as the next man. I'm just naturally curious :)
     
  2. Fryerpower

    Fryerpower Member

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    Someone who knows please come along and explain. I cannot think of a reason why it would not work.

    Jim
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Because there is a gap between the cylinder and the back of the barrel necessary to let the cylinder turn freely.

    A tremendous amount of gas loss / flash / noise comes out of that gap before the bullet has made it to the muzzle where a silencer would be located.

    http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTtIHRUzt-pvdiJW_V6C6wQBNMZH8Z0iDy_DmJwOrzXfLk7Kg3Icg

    The Russians had a silenced Nagant revolver at one time.

    But is uses a unique design with a long case and sliding cylinder that seals the gap before the round goes off.

    rc
     
  4. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    The gap between the front of the cylinder and the back of the barrel provides a 2nd avenue for hot gas to escape. In other platforms, there's only 1 route out (the muzzle), so all escaping gas can be routed through a silencer.

    The Nagant revolver seals the cylinder gap when it fires, btw, so it can be silenced.
     
  5. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    The gap, small as it it, between the front of the cylinder and the barrel (or, more precisely, the forcing cone) allows quite a bit of superheated, supersonic gas to escape. Silencers work by slowing gas escaping from the end of the barrel, but if a bunch of gas comes out the side of the gun, the silencer doesn't make the gun quiet. Make sense?
     
  6. DaveP (UK)

    DaveP (UK) Member

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    Yes. That does make sense.
    So its just because it wouldnt actually work properly?
    I had wondered if there might be dangers associated with excessive gas escape between cylinder and forcing cone. I'm not sure why that might come about, as revolvers have been made with very long barrels... Well you see why questions have to be asked sometimes!
    Thankyou!
     
  7. brnmw

    brnmw Member

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    ^^^^^^^^ Right there.
    I believe in very small numbers they were issued to Soviet assassins along with some in Vietnam (Viet Cong) from what I have heard > but don't know if that is true.
    Cool revolver I love mine, I don't have one "Silenced" though.
     
  8. adelbridge

    adelbridge Member

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    aside from b/c gap
    most revolver barrels dont lend themselves to threading due to front sights, underlugs etc
     
  9. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    You could actually put a silencer on a revolver but it would cut down on little or no noise because of the aforementioned cylinder gap. Most suppressed firearms are semi-auto or even full-auto. However with those, you do get the sound of the cycling action. Imagine cycling the action on your M1 or your AR or your 1911 pistol manually. "KER CHUNK!!!". It is not deafening but it is certainly audible. For near-to-silent operation, I think some special forces type units have special firearms that are locked breach on demand...a semi-auto with a lock...or are bolt action. Then the only mechanical sound would be the hammer striking the firing pin.

    So silencers on any gun aren't silent. Thus they're called sound suppressors which more acurately describes their function to attenuate the blast from the muzzle.
     
  10. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

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  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The Nagant doesn't use a piston cartridge.

    It uses a long case and a sliding cylinder to seal the gap.

    But it fires a conventional bullet that is enclosed inside the case until firing.

    The PSS works on an entirely different principal.
    The piston in the cartridge seals the cartridge after ejecting the bullet so there is no gas escape from the muzzle.

    rc
     
  12. BaltimoreBoy

    BaltimoreBoy Member

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    Actually DaveP, there is a danger associated with even the regular gas escape between cylinder and forcing cone. I have seen one fool hold his hand near that gap when firing (don't ask me why, I have no idea) and get a pretty severe cut from the expanding gases.
     
  13. Magnumite

    Magnumite Member

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    Many competitive shooters using revolvers and a hold which places the support hand next to the barrel/cylinder gap wear a glove on that hand to prevent injury. And that is on tuned, tight revolvers. You only need to be stung once to appreciate it.
     
  14. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Not only all that has been mentioned above, but also a suppressor often retards a lot of gas pressure (in semi auto blowback weapons, this gas increases blowback at the ejection area, increasing blast and noise there) and would also increase pressure and gas at the cylinder gap, creating increased danger of burn, blast, or even possible structure damage to the revolver in that area (flame cutting, etc).
     
  15. strange246

    strange246 Member

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    Has anyone here tried it? Gotta wonder if its hearsay saying it wont work? Love to see a video of someone trying it...
     
  16. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    The thumbs forward pistol grip is popular among competitive wheelgunners, but I've personally never seen a glove used. Really, hot gas can become an issue with magnums, but it's no biggie with standard pressure ammo such as .38spl (or even +P) and .45acp. As you can see below, the gases don't really get that close to where the thumb rests.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    I shoot 38/44s loaded with 2400 (in 38 Special cases) with that thumb forward grip. The end of my left hand thumb has gotten dirty but I've never felt a single instance of pain or discomfort in over a thousand rounds of this load. The claim that the gases escaping from the barrel/cylinder gap will cause injury are greatly exaggerated in my experience.

    Now if the revolver's timing is off and it "spits", i.e. particles of bullet shaved off by mis-alignment with the forcing cone, then you could indeed get a nasty wound. But the solution isn't changing your grip...get the gun fixed!

    Dave
     
  18. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I saw a silenced Smith and Wesson revolver, in a magazine, years ago. The silencer came back, over the frame, and encapsulated the cylinder.
     
  19. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Mythbusters did an episode demonstrating just this. Comment in relation to hot gases from fat could your finger if held Wong.
     
  20. rondog

    rondog Member

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    See the YouTube video in post #10? Suppressed Nagant revolver. Actually pretty quiet, but not exactly a powerhouse to begin with.

    And FWIW, there were some VERY gory photos on the 'net a few years ago about a guy that fired some big revolver like a .460 or .500, and had his left thumb in the "blast zone" near the front of the cylinder. It was a horrible injury, not much left of his thumb. You gotta respect the front of any revolver cylinder.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  21. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    This was one of the closest thing to a totally silenced firearm. You could distinctly hear the firing pin hit the primer, it was inaudible past 50 yards, and was used with a velvet lined shell catcher.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  22. blahpony

    blahpony Member

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  23. brnmw

    brnmw Member

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    Because he is "Superman!" :D
     
  24. U-235

    U-235 Member

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  25. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Well, gee, thank The Lord that Hickok45 cleared all this up, and once again saved us from ourselves! :rolleyes:

    Look, folks, as I wrote - yes, the pressure can do damage with magnum-power rounds (anyone notice Hickok45 chose a .44mag for his demo?), but as I, DaveT, and many others find it's not a problem with standard-power ammo. My thumb doesn't even get dark from residue, let alone damaged.

    I suppose there's nothing wrong with adopting a universal thumbs-down grip, but internet hysteria and/or ignorance is misguided, IMO, when it suggests that a thumbs-forward revo grip is always and categorically wrong because your thumb will get blown off. One is better off getting the whole story, then deciding for themselves which grip to adopt given their situation.
     
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