Friday, September 4, 2015

Thing I learned about revolvers

You know how, in the old days, cowboys would only have 5 rounds in their revolver and keep the hammer over an empty cylinder?  A good rap on the back of the hammer could jam the firing pin forward and touch off the cartridge to disastrous results.

You don't need to take that precaution with modern revolvers.  They are designed with that in mind.  It's all in a little hump in the rebounds. Where is meets the hammer bit.  Here:

That place when the hammer is at rest.  Bang on the back of it all day.  Because it meets there when the hammer is down means it can't rotate any further forward.  They aren't in that position when the hammer is back and the pin can swing free all the way to the primer cap.


1 comment:

Barneycb said...

Your article only touches the surface on how a revolver works. The one you describe is referred to as a "transfer bar" type safety mechanism. When the gun is cocked, it rotates a bar in front of the firing pin. When the trigger is pulled and remains pulled the hammer hits the transfer bar pushing the firing pin forward and striking the cartridge and fires the round. If you let the hammer down gently with your thumb and immediately release the trigger, the transfer bar rotates out of the way and even if your thumb slips and the hammer falls, the transfer bar rotates out of the way and the firing pin is not struck since the hammer hits the frame instead of the transfer bar/firing pin.

There is a second type safety mechanism that achieves the same goal. Typically the firing pin is on the hammer in this type of revolver. If the trigger is not pulled and the hammer is down, it contacts a "blocking bar" that prevents the hammer/firing pin from contacting the cartridge. In this case, pulling the trigger moves the blocking bar out of the way so that the hammer/firing pin can contact the cartridge. If the hammer is release with your thumb and the trigger is immediately released, the blocking bar rotates to block the hammer/firing pin so that it cannot fire.

As you mentioned, in either safety design, a cartridge can be under the hammer and striking the hammer or dropping it on the ground will not fire the round.

Now you know more about the revolver.....