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Why do Barrels Float?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 44, Jan 10, 2004.

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  1. 44

    44 Member

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    I've seen semi-autos with fixed barrels, while others have the floating barrel.

    What is the point of the floating barrel?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Nero Steptoe

    Nero Steptoe member

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    Fixed barrels are usually either gas-operated or, in the case of .22's, blowback. Barrels on semi's that are not fixed generally (Browning A-5, for example) move back when the shot is fired, causing the action to cycle.

    Free-floated barrels, of course, is a different subject.
     
  3. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    It isn't really a floating barrel. Non-fixed barrels in autoloading pistols are typically recoil-operated, mechanically locked-breech weapons based on a variant of the Browning design or something similar.

    http://www.m1911.org/images/searanimHR.gif

    The barrel doesn't really "float," but pivots on a link or a cam/lug, and locks in place at the time of firing.

    Fixed barrels have some advantages, but are normally used in simple unlocked blowback designs that can't readily cope with more powerful cartridges like a mechanically locked breech firearm can (think wee pocket pistols like a Walther PPK).

    There are exceptions that use fixed barrels and some kind of relatively exotic delayed blowback/locking systems to handle more powerful calibers like 9x19 (the gas-retarded blowback HK P7 series guns), .45 ACP (roller-locked delayed blowback HK P9 guns) or even Magnum cartridges (the gas-operated Desert Eagles in .357, .41 and 44 Magnum and .50 AE). But they all tend to be complex and/or expensive.
     
  4. Longbow

    Longbow Member

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    If you are reffering to free floated barrels on rifles, its done to improve barrel harmonics for better accuracy.
     
  5. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    Your all wrong.


    Because they weigh less than a duck.
     
  6. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    It's a fair cop. :neener:
     
  7. 44

    44 Member

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    I was thinking semi-auto pistols.

    Is the barrel "floating" so it can open and close an extra strong breech lockup - compared to the breech on a gun with the barrel fixed in place?

    Thanks.
     
  8. La Pistoletta

    La Pistoletta Member

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    Mmm, the Walther WA2000...
     
  9. Shake

    Shake Member

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    speaking of floating/fixed barrels, whatever happened to Handy?

    Shake
     
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