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The Western Revolver

The revolver is the type of gun characterized by carrying ammunition, disposed in a more commonly known as barrel drum. The difference with the handgun is that the latter carries the ammunition in a charger.

Flintlock pistol XVIII century - The Western Revolver

The first revolver was built by Elisha Collier for the British Army in 1814 and had to rotate the drum by hand. In 1835, when Samuel Colt patented the first modern five shot, single action, caliber 36 revolver, it was based on a lifting mechanism of anchors that he observed during a sea voyage. The rapid firing of the revolver, compared with single shot guns at the time, immediately popularized worldwide.

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Classification by firing mechanism

  • Single action: Requires hammer-cocking with the thumb of the firing before pulling the trigger; the trigger, when pulled, releases the hammer which fires the round in the chamber;
  • Double action: Can fire with or without hammer-cocking; with the double action the hammer is cocked and then the trigger trips the hammer at the rear of the trigger stroke, firing the round in the chamber.

 Revolver calibers

  • 22 Rimfire – is the second oldest of the surviving rimfire cartridges, dating back to 1871;
  • 38 Special – the 38 Special was the standard service cartridge of most police departments in the United States from the 1920s to the 1980s;
  • 44 Special – the 44 Special and other big bore handgun cartridges were being loaded with heavy bullets pushed at higher than normal velocities for better hunting performance;
  • 44 Magnum – the 44 Magnum case is slightly longer than the 44 Special case, not because of the need for more room for propellant, but to prevent the more powerful cartridge from being chambered in older, weaker 44 Special firearms;
  • 357 Magnum – the 357 Magnum was developed in the early to mid-1930s in a direct response to Colt’s 38 Super Automatic. This cartridge is regarded by many as an excellent self-defense round;
  • 45 Long Colt– was developed by the US Army at Frankfort Arsenal in 1872 as an improvement of the British 476 Eley.

Operating the revolver When the kite is ammunition, the hammer is retracted in order to rotate the barrel and align it with a loaded chamber of the gun. When we pull the trigger, the hammer quickly returns to its original position; it has a small spike called firing pin, that, during the return, violently clicks the fulminate and causes the firing of the bullet.

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Currently, semiautomatic pistols have replaced the revolvers for military or law enforcement use and for its simplicity, easy maintenance and safety it´s been relegated the role of personal protection weapon. The current most commom caliber for sel defence are the 38 Special and 357 Magnum with barrel lenght of 2 to 5 inches. Other calibers like the 44 Magnum and similar are more suitable for hunting or sporting for his great power, weight and size of the weapons that use it.

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