Revolver
Overview
A revolver is a repeating firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

 that has a cylinder
Cylinder (firearms)
In firearms terminology, the Cylinder refers to the cylindrical, rotating part of a revolver containing multiple cartridge chambers. The cylinder revolves around a central axis in the revolver to bring each individual chamber into alignment with the barrel for firing...

 containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel
Gun barrel
A gun barrel is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity....

 for firing. The first revolver (flintlock revolver) ever made was built by Elisha Collier
Elisha Collier
Elisha Haydon Collier of Boston invented a flintlock revolver around 1814. His weapon is one of the earliest true revolvers, in contrast to the earlier pepperboxes which were cumbersome and inaccurate multi-barreled guns prone to misfires, or even exploding...

 in 1818. The percussion cap
Percussion cap
The percussion cap, introduced around 1830, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzleloading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.Before this development, firearms used flintlock ignition systems which produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the...

 revolver was invented by Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt was an American inventor and industrialist. He was the founder of Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company , and is widely credited with popularizing the revolver. Colt's innovative contributions to the weapons industry have been described by arms historian James E...

 in 1836. This weapon became known as the Colt Paterson
Colt Paterson
A Colt Paterson is a revolver. It was the first commercial repeating firearm employing a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers aligned with a single, stationary barrel. Its design was patented by Samuel Colt on February 25, 1836, in the United States, France, and England, and it derived its...

. The first cartridge
Cartridge
Cartridge may refer to:* 8-track tape cartridge, a 1960s-1980s music storage format* Broadcast cartridge used in radio stations* Cartridge , a round of ammunition* Cartridge...

 revolvers finally were Smith and Wessons and were produced around 1856.

As the user cocks the hammer
Hammer (firearm)
thumb|150px|Hammer with an integral [[firing pin]] on a [[S&W Model 13]] revolver The hammer of a firearm was given its name for both resemblance and functional similarity to the common tool...

, the cylinder revolves to align the next chamber and round with the hammer and barrel, which gives this type of firearm its name.
Encyclopedia
A revolver is a repeating firearm
Firearm
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically known as deflagration, as opposed to supersonic combustion known as a detonation. In older firearms, the propellant was typically...

 that has a cylinder
Cylinder (firearms)
In firearms terminology, the Cylinder refers to the cylindrical, rotating part of a revolver containing multiple cartridge chambers. The cylinder revolves around a central axis in the revolver to bring each individual chamber into alignment with the barrel for firing...

 containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel
Gun barrel
A gun barrel is the tube, usually metal, through which a controlled explosion or rapid expansion of gases are released in order to propel a projectile out of the end at a high velocity....

 for firing. The first revolver (flintlock revolver) ever made was built by Elisha Collier
Elisha Collier
Elisha Haydon Collier of Boston invented a flintlock revolver around 1814. His weapon is one of the earliest true revolvers, in contrast to the earlier pepperboxes which were cumbersome and inaccurate multi-barreled guns prone to misfires, or even exploding...

 in 1818. The percussion cap
Percussion cap
The percussion cap, introduced around 1830, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzleloading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.Before this development, firearms used flintlock ignition systems which produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the...

 revolver was invented by Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt was an American inventor and industrialist. He was the founder of Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company , and is widely credited with popularizing the revolver. Colt's innovative contributions to the weapons industry have been described by arms historian James E...

 in 1836. This weapon became known as the Colt Paterson
Colt Paterson
A Colt Paterson is a revolver. It was the first commercial repeating firearm employing a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers aligned with a single, stationary barrel. Its design was patented by Samuel Colt on February 25, 1836, in the United States, France, and England, and it derived its...

. The first cartridge
Cartridge
Cartridge may refer to:* 8-track tape cartridge, a 1960s-1980s music storage format* Broadcast cartridge used in radio stations* Cartridge , a round of ammunition* Cartridge...

 revolvers finally were Smith and Wessons and were produced around 1856.

As the user cocks the hammer
Hammer (firearm)
thumb|150px|Hammer with an integral [[firing pin]] on a [[S&W Model 13]] revolver The hammer of a firearm was given its name for both resemblance and functional similarity to the common tool...

, the cylinder revolves to align the next chamber and round with the hammer and barrel, which gives this type of firearm its name. The hammer-cocking happens either directly (via the shooter pulling it back) or indirectly (via the first portion of the trigger pull in double-action revolvers.) In modern revolvers, the revolving cylinder typically chambers five or six rounds
Cartridge (firearms)
A cartridge, also called a round, packages the bullet, gunpowder and primer into a single metallic case precisely made to fit the firing chamber of a firearm. The primer is a small charge of impact-sensitive chemical that may be located at the center of the case head or at its rim . Electrically...

, but some models hold 10 rounds or more. Revolvers are most often handgun
Handgun
A handgun is a firearm designed to be held and operated by one hand. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns ....

s, but other weapons may also have a revolving chamber. These include some models of grenade launcher
Grenade launcher
A grenade launcher or grenade discharger is a weapon that launches a grenade with more accuracy, higher velocity, and to greater distances than a soldier could throw it by hand....

s, shotgun
Shotgun
A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug...

s, and some rifle
Rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

s.

Revolvers have been largely replaced by semi-automatic pistols in military and law enforcement applications. Their lower ammunition capacities and relatively longer reload times compared to autoloading pistols are the main reasons for the switchover, which occurred over the first half of the 20th century for military applications, and in the 1980s and 1990s for police forces. Additionally, the flat profile of semi-automatics make them more suitable for concealed carry. Revolvers still remain popular in the role of back-up and off-duty guns among American law enforcement officers and security guards. Also, revolvers are still common in the American private sector as defensive and sporting/hunting firearms. Famous police and military revolvers include the Webley
Webley and Scott
Webley & Scott is an arms manufacturer based in Birmingham, England. Webley produced handguns and long guns from 1834 to 1979, when the company ceased to manufacture firearms and instead focused on producing air pistols and air rifles...

, the Colt Single Action Army, the Smith & Wesson Model 29, the Smith & Wesson Model 10, and the Smith & Wesson 1917.

Design

A revolver works by having several firing chambers arranged in a circle in a cylindrical block that are brought into alignment with the firing mechanism and barrel one at a time. In contrast, other repeating firearms, such as lever-action, pump-action, and semi-automatic, have a single firing chamber and a mechanism to load and extract cartridges into it.

A single-action revolver requires the hammer to be pulled back by hand before each shot, which also revolves the cylinder. This leaves the trigger with just one "single action" left to perform - releasing the hammer to fire the shot - so the force and distance required to pull the trigger can be minimal. In contrast, with a self-cocking revolver, one long squeeze of the trigger pulls back the hammer and revolves the cylinder then finally fires the shot. They can generally be fired faster than a single-action, but at the cost of reduced accuracy in the hands of most shooters.

Most modern revolvers are "traditional double-action", which means they are able to operate either in single-action or self-cocking mode. The accepted meaning of "double-action" has, confusingly, come to be the same as "self-cocking", so modern revolvers that cannot be pre-cocked are called "double-action-only". These are intended for concealed carry, because the hammer of a traditional design is prone to snagging on clothes when drawn.

Most commonly, such guns have a 5- or 6-shot capacity, hence the common names of "six-gun" or "six-shooter". However, some revolvers have a 7- to 10-shot capacity, often depending on the caliber
Caliber
In guns including firearms, caliber or calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the barrel in relation to the diameter of the projectile used in it....

. Each chamber has to be reloaded manually, which makes reloading a revolver a much slower procedure than reloading a semi-automatic pistol.

The alternatives are a replaceable cylinder, a speedloader
Speedloader
A speedloader is a device used for loading a firearm or firearm magazine that will run out of ammunition very quickly. Generally, speedloaders are used for loading all chambers of a revolver simultaneously, although speedloaders are also used for the loading of fixed tubular magazines of shotguns...

 which can reload all chambers at once, or a moon clip
Moon clip
A moon clip is a ring-shaped or star-shaped piece of metal designed to hold multiple cartridges together as a unit, for simultaneous insertion and extraction from a revolver cylinder...

 that holds a full load (or even half of one in the case of a half-moon clip) of ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 and that is inserted along with the ammunition. In revolvers chambered for rimless cartridges, moon clips are normally required, though a few revolvers have been built with a special extractor with individual tabs to engage rimless cartridges. Another product known as a "speedstrip" cannot reload a completely empty revolver as rapidly as a speedloader, but is less expensive, flatter, and more flexible when it comes to partial reloads.

Compared to autoloading handguns, a revolver is often much simpler to operate and may have greater reliability. For example, should a semiautomatic
Semi-automatic firearm
A semi-automatic, or self-loading firearm is a weapon which performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon's feed device or magazine...

 pistol fail to fire, clearing the chamber requires manually cycling the action to remove the errant round, as cycling the action normally depends on the energy of a cartridge firing. With a revolver, this is not necessary as none of the energy for cycling the revolver comes from the firing of the cartridge, but is supplied by the user either through cocking the hammer or, in a double action design, by just squeezing the trigger. Another significant advantage of revolvers is superior ergonomics, particularly for users with small hands. A revolver's grip is not required to accommodate a magazine, and it can be designed or customized much more than a typical semi-automatic. Partially because of these reasons, revolvers still hold significant market share as concealed carry and home-defense weapons.

In general, revolvers stand up to long-term neglect better than semi-automatics, an example of neglect being the common scenario of a civilian who keeps a weapon for defense but rarely shoots or maintains it. A revolver can be kept loaded and ready to fire without fatiguing any springs and is not very dependent on lubrication for proper firing. However, a revolver is generally not as resistant to abuse as a semi-automatic (abuse meaning dropping the weapon, or allowing severe contamination by dirt or mud). The revolver's clockwork-like internal parts are relatively delicate and can become misaligned after a severe impact, and its revolving cylinder can become jammed by excessive dirt or debris.

Over the long period of development of the revolver, many calibers have been used. Some of these have proved more durable during periods of standardization and some have entered general public awareness. Among these are the .22 rimfire, a caliber popular for target shooting and teaching novice shooters; .38 Special
.38 Special
The .38 Smith & Wesson Special is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. It is most commonly used in revolvers, although some semi-automatic pistols and carbines also use this round...

 and .357 Magnum
.357 Magnum
The .357 S&W Magnum , or simply .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe, Colonel D. B. Wesson of firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. It is based upon Smith & Wesson's earlier .38 Special cartridge. The .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in...

, known for its police use; the .44 Magnum
.44 Magnum
The .44 Remington Magnum, or simply .44 Magnum, is a large-bore cartridge originally designed for revolvers. After introduction, it was quickly adopted for carbines and rifles...

, famous from Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American film actor, director, producer, composer and politician. Eastwood first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide...

's "Dirty Harry" films; and the .45 Colt
.45 Colt
The .45 Colt cartridge is a handgun cartridge dating to 1872. It began as a black powder revolver round developed for the Colt Single Action Army revolver, but is offered as a magnum level handgun hunting round in modern usage. This cartridge was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1873 and served as the...

, used in the Colt revolver of the Wild West. Introduced in 2003, the Smith & Wesson Model 500
S&W Model 500
The Smith & Wesson Model 500 is a five-shot, double-action revolver produced by Smith & Wesson, firing the .500 S&W Magnum cartridge.It is built on S&W's largest frame, the X-Frame, which was developed because none of S&W's existing double-action frame designs could handle the muzzle energy and...

 is one of the most powerful revolvers, utilizing the .500 S&W Magnum
.500 S&W Magnum
The .500 S&W Magnum is a fifty-caliber semi-rimmed handgun cartridge developed by Cor-Bon in partnership with the Smith & Wesson "X-Gun" engineering team for use in the Smith & Wesson Model 500 X-frame revolver and introduced in February 2003 at the SHOT trade show...

 cartridge.

Revolver technology does live on in other weapons used by the military. Some autocannon
Revolver cannon
A revolver cannon is a type of autocannon commonly used as an aircraft gun. It uses a cylinder with multiple chambers, like those of a revolver handgun, to speed up the loading-firing-ejection cycle. Some examples are also power-driven, to further speed the loading process, but this is by no means...

s and grenade launcher
Grenade launcher
A grenade launcher or grenade discharger is a weapon that launches a grenade with more accuracy, higher velocity, and to greater distances than a soldier could throw it by hand....

s use mechanisms similar to revolvers, and some riot shotgun
Riot shotgun
A riot shotgun is a shotgun designed or modified for use as a primarily defensive weapon, primarily by the use of a short barrel. The riot shotgun is used by military personnel for guard duty and was at one time used for riot control, and is commonly used as a patrol weapon by law enforcement...

s use spring-loaded cylinders holding up to 12 rounds. In addition to serving as backup guns, revolvers still fill the specialized niche role as a shield gun; law enforcement personnel using a "bulletproof" ballistic shield (Gun shield
Gun shield
thumb|A [[United States Marine Corps|U.S. Marine]] manning an [[M240 machine gun]] equipped with a gun shieldA gun shield is a flat piece or section of armor designed to be mounted on a crew-served weapon such as a machine gun or artillery piece, or, more rarely, to be used with an assault rifle...

) sometimes opt for a revolver instead of a self-loading pistol, because the slide of a pistol may strike the front of the shield when fired. Revolvers do not suffer from this disadvantage. A second revolver may be secured behind the shield to provide a quick means of continuity of fire. Many police also still use revolvers as their duty weapon due to their relative mechanical simplicity and user friendliness.

With the advancement of technology and design in 2010 major revolver manufacturers are coming out with polymer frame revolvers like the Ruger LCR
Ruger LCR
The Ruger LCR is a compact .38 Special caliber revolver built by Ruger and announced in January 2009. The LCR acronym stands for 'Lightweight Compact Revolver'. It incorporates several novel features such as a polymer grip and trigger housing, monolithic receiver, and constant force trigger...

, Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson is the largest manufacturer of handguns in the United States. The corporate headquarters is in Springfield, Massachusetts. Founded in 1852, Smith & Wesson's pistols and revolvers have become standard issue to police and armed forces throughout the world...

 Bodyguard 38, and Taurus
Taurus
Taurus is Latin for "Bull" and may refer to:* Taurus , one of the constellations of the zodiac* Bull , the mythological references around Taurus* Taurus , the astrological sign* Bos taurus, a species of cattle...

 Protector Polymer. The new innovative design incorporates advanced polymer technology that lowers weight significantly, helps absorbs recoil, and strong enough to handle +P and .357 Magnum
.357 Magnum
The .357 S&W Magnum , or simply .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe, Colonel D. B. Wesson of firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. It is based upon Smith & Wesson's earlier .38 Special cartridge. The .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in...

 loads. The polymer is only used on the lower frame and joined to a metal alloy upper frame, barrel, and cylinder. Polymer technology is considered one of the major advancements in revolver history because the frame has always been metal alloy and mostly one piece frame design.

Another recent development in revolver technology is the Rhino
Chiappa Rhino
The Chiappa Rhino is a revolver produced by Chiappa Firearms of Italy chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge. Its most distinctive feature is that the barrel is on a low axis compared to most other revolvers, since it fires from the lowermost chamber of the cylinder, rather than firing from the...

, a revolver introduced by Italian manufacturer Chiappa
Chiappa Firearms
Chiappa Firearms is an Italian firearms manufacturing company based in Brescia, Italy. It was founded in 1958 by Ezechiele Chiappa as Armi Sport. Total unit production is around 60,000 per year. Its U.S. headquarters are in Dayton, Ohio. Chiappa is to put RFID tracking chips into their firearms...

 in 2009 and first sold in the U.S. in 2010. The Rhino, built with the U.S. concealed carry market in mind, is designed so that the bullet fires from the bottom chamber of the cylinder instead of the top chamber as in standard revolvers. This is intended to reduce muzzle flip, allowing for faster and more accurate repeat shots. In addition, the cylinder cross-section is hexagonal instead of circular, further reducing the weapon's profile.

Front loading

The first revolvers were front loading, and were a bit like muskets in that the powder and bullet were loaded separately. These were caplocks or "cap and ball" revolvers, because the caplock method of priming was the first to be compact enough to make a practical revolver feasible. When loading, each chamber in the cylinder was rotated out of line with the barrel, and charged from the front with loose powder and an oversized bullet. Next, the chamber was aligned with the ramming lever underneath the barrel. Pulling the lever would drive a rammer into the chamber, which sealed it and held the ball and powder securely in place. Finally, the user would place percussion cap
Percussion cap
The percussion cap, introduced around 1830, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzleloading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.Before this development, firearms used flintlock ignition systems which produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the...

s on the nipples on the rear face of the cylinder.

Loading a cylinder was a slow and awkward process, so soldiers in the field often carried multiple revolvers.
After each shot, a user was advised to raise his revolver vertically while cocking back the hammer so as to allow the fragments of the spent percussion cap to fall out safely. Otherwise, the fragments could fall into the revolver's mechanism and jam it. Caplock revolvers were also vulnerable to "chain fires", wherein hot gas from a shot ignited the powder in the other chambers. This could be prevented by sealing the chambers with cotton, wax, or grease.
Detachable magazine

Some front loading models have a removable cylinder that could be swapped quickly for a full one when emptied of rounds like a Remington Model 1858
Remington Model 1858
The Remington New Model, was a percussion revolver manufactured by Eliphalet Remington & Sons in .36- or .44- caliber revolver used during the American Civil War. Known as it was used primarily by Union soldiers, and widely favored over the standard issue Colt Army Model 1860...

, this in turn becomes one of the first speedloaders
Speedloader
A speedloader is a device used for loading a firearm or firearm magazine that will run out of ammunition very quickly. Generally, speedloaders are used for loading all chambers of a revolver simultaneously, although speedloaders are also used for the loading of fixed tubular magazines of shotguns...

. On a Remington style pistol a soldier could carry with him an extra loaded cylinder with all of its 6 chambers loaded and capped. When his pistol is empty, he can drop the loading lever, slide out the cylinder pin, and quickly pop in a freshly loaded spare cylinder. Then he would slide back in the cylinder pin and snap shut the loading lever. The soldier is now ready to fire 6 more bullets. This entire process can be completed by the gunmen within 5 to 12 seconds, depending on how fast they are. This also helps in making it safer to use and adds more strength.

Fixed cylinder designs

In many of the first generation of cartridge revolvers (especially those that were converted after manufacture), the pin on which the cylinder revolved was removed, and the cylinder taken from the gun for loading. Later models used a loading gate at the rear of the cylinder that allowed one cartridge at a time to be accessed for loading, while a rod under the barrel could be pressed backwards to extract the fired case. Most revolvers using this method of loading are single-action revolvers, although Iver Johnson
Iver Johnson
Iver Johnson was a U.S. firearms, bicycle, and motorcycle manufacturer from 1871 to 1993. The company shared the same name as its founder, Norwegian-born Iver Johnson .- Iver Johnson :...

 produced double-action models with removable cylinders. The removable-cylinder design is employed in some modern "micro-revolvers" (usually in .22 caliber), in order to simplify their design. These weapons are small enough to fit in the palm of the hand.

The loading gate on the original Colt designs (and on nearly all single-action revolvers since, such as the famous Colt Single Action Army
Colt Single Action Army
The Colt Single Action Army is a single action revolver with a revolving cylinder holding six metallic cartridges. It was designed for the U.S...

) is on the right side, which may favor left-handed users; with the revolver held in the proper grip for shooting in the left hand, the cartridges can easily be ejected and loaded with the right.

Since the cylinder in these revolvers is firmly attached at the front and rear of the frame, and since the frame is typically full thickness all the way around, fixed cylinder revolvers are inherently strong designs. Because of this, many modern large caliber hunting revolvers tend to be based on the fixed cylinder design. Fixed cylinder revolvers can fire the strongest and most powerful cartridges, but at the price of being the slowest to load and cannot use speedloaders or moon clips for loading as one chamber is exposed at a time to the loading gate.

Top break

The next method used for loading and unloading cartridge revolvers was the top break design. In a top-break revolver, the frame is hinged at the bottom front of the cylinder. Releasing the lock and pushing the barrel down exposes the rear face of the cylinder. In most top-break revolvers, this act also operates an extractor that pushes the cartridges in the chambers back far enough that they will fall free, or can be removed easily. Fresh rounds are then inserted into the cylinder. The barrel and cylinder are then rotated back and locked in place, and the revolver is ready to fire.

Top break revolvers can be loaded more rapidly than fixed-frame revolvers, especially with the aid of a speedloader
Speedloader
A speedloader is a device used for loading a firearm or firearm magazine that will run out of ammunition very quickly. Generally, speedloaders are used for loading all chambers of a revolver simultaneously, although speedloaders are also used for the loading of fixed tubular magazines of shotguns...

 or moon clip
Moon clip
A moon clip is a ring-shaped or star-shaped piece of metal designed to hold multiple cartridges together as a unit, for simultaneous insertion and extraction from a revolver cylinder...

. However, this design is much weaker and cannot handle high pressure rounds. This design is mostly obsolete today, supplanted by the stronger yet equally convenient swing-out design. Nevertheless, with modern materials, Izhevsk Mechanical Plant
Izhevsk Mechanical Plant
Izhevsk Mechanical Plant or IZHMEKH is a major firearms manufacturer founded in Izhevsk in 1942 for manufacturing small arms. After the end of World War II it continued producing firearms, both for military and hunting applications, and later high-tech weapons and civilian machinery...

 has developed the MP412 REX
MP412 REX
The MP412 REX is a Russian double-action .357 magnum revolver with a break-open frame and an automatic ejector. It was designed for export , but never put into full production due to lack of a market...

, which uses the top break design.

Swing out cylinder

The last and most modern method of loading and unloading is the swing out cylinder. The cylinder is mounted on a pivot that is coaxial with the chambers, and the cylinder swings out and down (to the left in most cases). An extractor is fitted, operated by a rod projecting from the front of the cylinder assembly. When pressed, it will push all fired rounds free simultaneously (as in top break models, the travel is designed to not completely extract longer, unfired rounds). The cylinder may then be loaded, singly or again with a speedloader
Speedloader
A speedloader is a device used for loading a firearm or firearm magazine that will run out of ammunition very quickly. Generally, speedloaders are used for loading all chambers of a revolver simultaneously, although speedloaders are also used for the loading of fixed tubular magazines of shotguns...

, closed, and latched in place.

The pivoting part that supports the cylinder is called the crane; it is the weak point of swing-out cylinder designs. Using the method often portrayed in movies and television of flipping the cylinder open and closed with a flick of the wrist can in fact cause the crane to bend over time, throwing the cylinder out of alignment with the barrel. Lack of alignment between chamber and barrel is a dangerous condition, as it can impede the bullet's transition from chamber to barrel. This gives rise to higher pressures in the chamber, bullet damage, and the potential for an explosion if the bullet becomes stuck.

The shock of firing can also put a great deal of stress on the crane, as in most designs the cylinder is only held closed at one point, the rear of the cylinder. Stronger designs, such as the Ruger Super Redhawk, use a lock in the crane as well as the lock at the rear of the cylinder. This latch provides a more secure bond between cylinder and frame, and allows the use of larger, more powerful cartridges. Swing out cylinders are rather strong, but not as strong as fixed cylinders, and great care must be taken with the cylinder when loading, so as not to damage the crane.

Single-action

In a single-action revolver, the hammer is manually cocked, usually with the thumb of the firing or supporting hand. This action advances the cylinder to the next round and locks the cylinder in place with the chamber aligned with the barrel. The trigger, when pulled, releases the hammer, which fires the round in the chamber. To fire again, the hammer must be manually cocked again. This is called "single-action" because the trigger only performs a single action, of releasing the hammer. Because only a single action is performed and trigger pull is lightened, firing a revolver in this way allows most shooters to achieve greater accuracy. Additionally, the need to cock the hammer manually acts as a safety. The Colt Paterson
Colt Paterson
A Colt Paterson is a revolver. It was the first commercial repeating firearm employing a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers aligned with a single, stationary barrel. Its design was patented by Samuel Colt on February 25, 1836, in the United States, France, and England, and it derived its...

 Revolver, the Walker Colt
Walker Colt
The Colt Walker is a single action revolver with a revolving cylinder holding six charges of black powder behind six bullets. It was designed in 1846 as a collaboration between Captain Samuel Hamilton Walker and American firearms inventor Samuel Colt....

, the Colt's Dragoon and the Colt Single Action Army
Colt Single Action Army
The Colt Single Action Army is a single action revolver with a revolving cylinder holding six metallic cartridges. It was designed for the U.S...

 pistol of the American Frontier era are all good examples of this system.

Double-action

In double-action (DA), the stroke of the trigger pull generates two actions: (1) the hammer is pulled back to the cocked position while the cylinder is being indexed
Indexing (motion)
Indexing in reference to motion is moving into a new position or location quickly and easily but also precisely. After a machine part has been indexed, its location is known to within a few hundredths of a millimeter , or often even to within a few thousandths of a millimeter , despite the fact...

 to the next round, and then (2) the hammer is released to strike the firing pin
Firing pin
A firing pin or striker is part of the firing mechanism used in a firearm or explosive device e.g. an M14 landmine or bomb fuze. Firing pins may take many forms, though the types used in landmines, bombs, grenade fuzes or other single-use devices generally have a sharpened point...

. Thus DA means that a cocking action separate from the trigger pull is unnecessary; and every trigger pull will result in a complete cycle. This allows uncocked carry while also allowing draw-and-fire using only the trigger. A longer and harder trigger stroke is the trade-off, but this drawback can also be viewed as a safety feature, as the gun is safer against accidental discharges from being dropped.

Most double-action revolvers may be fired in two ways.
  1. The first way is single-action, that is, exactly the same as a single-action revolver; the hammer is cocked with the thumb, which indexes the cylinder, and when the trigger is pulled, the hammer is tripped.
  2. The second way is double action, that is, from a hammer-down position. In this case, the trigger first cocks the hammer and revolves the cylinder, and then trips the hammer at the rear of the trigger stroke, firing the round in the chamber.

Certain revolvers, called double action only (DAO) or, more correctly but less commonly self cocking, lack the latch that enables the hammer to be locked to the rear, and thus can only be fired in the double action mode. With no way to lock the hammer back, DAO designs tend to have bobbed or spurless hammers, and may even have the hammer completely covered by the revolver's frame (i.e., shrouded or hooded). These are generally intended for concealed carrying, where a hammer spur could snag when the revolver is drawn. The potential reduction in accuracy in aimed fire is offset by the increased capability for concealment.

DA and DAO revolvers were the standard-issue sidearm of countless police departments for many decades. Only in the 1990s did the semiautomatic pistol begin to make serious inroads, after the advent of safe action
Safe action
The "safe action" is a firing pin lock system which Glock developed to be used in the vast majority of their pistols. The action is very similar to the quick action used by Walther and other pistol manufacturers....

s such as Glock's. The reasons for these choices are the modes of carry and use. Double action is good for high-stress situations because it allows a mode of carry in which "draw and pull the trigger" is the only requirement—no safety catch release nor separate cocking stroke required. Although those seem simple to a person in calm circumstances, it is considered that less can go wrong with a simpler action when the user is highly stressed. This is a school of thought, not an immutable rule; some users would not make the same choice (preferring, e.g., cocked-and-locked carry), although they understand the logic.

Other

In the cap-and-ball days of the mid 19th century, two revolver models, the English Tranter and the American Savage “Figure Eight”, used a method whereby the hammer was cocked by the shooter’s middle finger pulling on a second trigger below the main trigger.

Iver Johnson
Iver Johnson
Iver Johnson was a U.S. firearms, bicycle, and motorcycle manufacturer from 1871 to 1993. The company shared the same name as its founder, Norwegian-born Iver Johnson .- Iver Johnson :...

 made an unusual model from 1940 to 1947, called the Trigger Cocking Double Action. If the hammer was down, pulling the trigger would cock the hammer. If the trigger was pulled with the hammer cocked, it would then fire. This meant that to fire the revolver from a hammer down state, the trigger must be pulled twice.

Use with suppressors

As a general rule, revolvers cannot be equipped with a sound suppressor
Suppressor
A suppressor, sound suppressor, sound moderator, or silencer, is a device attached to or part of the barrel of a firearm which reduces the amount of noise and flash generated by firing the weapon....

 ("silencer"), as there is usually a small gap between the revolving cylinder and the barrel which a bullet must traverse or jump when fired. From this opening, a rather loud report is produced even when a suppressor is installed on the end of the barrel of most revolvers.

A suppressible revolver design does exist in the Nagant M1895
Nagant M1895
The Nagant M1895 Revolver is a seven-shot, gas-seal revolver designed and produced by Belgian industrialist Léon Nagant for the Russian Empire. The Nagant M1895 was chambered for a proprietary cartridge, 7.62x38R, and featured an unusual "gas-seal" system in which the cylinder moved forward when...

, a Russian military revolver used from 1895 through World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. This revolver uses a unique cartridge that extends beyond the tip of the bullet, and a cylinder that moves forward to place the end of the cartridge inside the barrel when ready to fire. This bridges the gap between the cylinder and the barrel, and expands to seal the gap when fired. While the tiny gap between cylinder and barrel on most revolvers is insignificant to the internal ballistics
Internal ballistics
Internal ballistics, a subfield of ballistics, is the study of a projectile's behavior from the time its propellant's igniter is initiated until it exits the gun barrel...

, the seal is especially effective when used with a suppressor, and a number of suppressed Nagant revolvers have been used since its invention.

There is a modern revolver of Russian design, the OTs-38
OTs-38 Stechkin silent revolver
The OTs-38 Stechkin is a 5-shot, double-action revolver chambered in the silent 7.62x41.5mm SP-4 cartridge. The cartridge employs a captive piston so there is no flash or loud report upon discharge. As the cartridge is rimless, the cylinder is fed via full moon clips.The revolver features a...

, which uses ammunition that incorporates the silencing mechanism into the cartridge case, making the gap between cylinder and barrel irrelevant as far as the suppression issue is concerned. The OTs-38 does need an unusually close and precise fit between the cylinder and barrel due to the shape of bullet in the special ammunition (Soviet SP-4), which was originally designed for use in a semi-automatic.

Additionally, the US Military experimented with designing a special version of the Smith and Wesson Model 29 for Tunnel Rats, called the Quiet Special Purpose Revolver or QSPR. Using special .40 caliber ammunition, it never entered service, at least officially.

Automatic revolvers

Double action revolvers use a long trigger pull to cock the hammer, thus negating the need to manually cock the hammer between shots. The disadvantage of this is the long, heavy pull that cocks the hammer makes the double action revolver much harder to shoot accurately than a single-action revolver (although cocking the hammer of a double action reduces the length and weight of the trigger pull). There is a rare class of revolvers, the automatic revolver, that attempts to overcome this restriction, giving the high speed of a double action with the trigger effort of a single-action.

The Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver
Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver
The Webley-Fosbery Self-Cocking Automatic Revolver was an unusual, recoil-operated, automatic revolver designed by Lieutenant Colonel George Vincent Fosbery, VC and produced by the Webley and Scott company from 1901 to 1915...

 was the first commercial example, introduced in 1901. It was recoil-operated, and the cylinder and barrel recoiled backwards to cock the hammer and revolve the cylinder. It was distinctive in that cam grooves were milled on the outside of the cylinder to provide a means of advancing to the next chamber—half a turn as the cylinder moved back, and half a turn as it moved forward. .38 caliber versions held eight shots, .455 caliber versions six. At the time, the few available automatic pistols were larger, less reliable, and more expensive. The automatic revolver was popular when it first came out, but was quickly superseded by the creation of reliable, inexpensive semi-automatic pistols.

In 1997, the Mateba company developed a type of recoil-operated automatic revolver, commercially named the Mateba Autorevolver
Mateba Autorevolver
The Mateba Model 6 Unica is a semi-automatic revolver, one of only a few such models ever produced. It was developed in Italy and sold by the Mateba company. Emilio Ghisoni is listed as the owner of US Patent #4,712,466 which details the operation of the weapon.-Design:The Mateba Mo...

, which uses the recoil energy to auto-rotate a normal revolver cylinder holding six or seven cartridges, depending on the model. The company has made several versions of its Autorevolver, including longer barrelled and carbine variations, chambered for .357 Magnum
.357 Magnum
The .357 S&W Magnum , or simply .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe, Colonel D. B. Wesson of firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. It is based upon Smith & Wesson's earlier .38 Special cartridge. The .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in...

, .44 Magnum
.44 Magnum
The .44 Remington Magnum, or simply .44 Magnum, is a large-bore cartridge originally designed for revolvers. After introduction, it was quickly adopted for carbines and rifles...

 and .454 Casull
.454 Casull
The .454 Casull is a firearm cartridge, developed in 1957 by Dick Casull and Jack Fulmer. It was first announced in November 1959 by Guns & Ammo magazine. The basic design was a lengthened and structurally improved .45 Colt case...

. The Pancor Jackhammer is a combat shotgun
Combat shotgun
A combat shotgun is a shotgun that is intended for use in an offensive role, typically by a military force. The earliest shotguns specifically designed for combat were the trench guns or trench shotguns issued in World War I...

 based on a similar mechanism to an automatic revolver. It uses a Blow-Forward action to move the barrel forward (which unlocks it from the cylinder) and then rotate the cylinder and cock the hammer.

Six gun

A Six Gun is a revolver that holds six cartridges. The cylinder in a six gun is often called a 'wheel', and the six gun is itself often called a 'wheel gun'. The classic six gun was commonly carried by Old West cowboys and gunfighters. A well-known example of the six gun is the Colt Single Action Army
Colt Single Action Army
The Colt Single Action Army is a single action revolver with a revolving cylinder holding six metallic cartridges. It was designed for the U.S...

, or Peacemaker, in .45 Long Colt caliber. The six gun has many modern incarnations, such as the Ruger Vaquero
Ruger Vaquero
The Ruger Vaquero is a six-shot single-action revolver manufactured by Sturm, Ruger based on the .357 Magnum New Model Ruger Blackhawk frame that was introduced in 1973...

 and Beretta Stampede
Beretta Stampede
The Beretta Stampede is a single action revolver manufactured by Beretta comparable to the Colt Peacemaker.- Stampede Old West :This is the second Stampede. It has a fixed front sight, wood grip, and holds .45 Long Colt rounds, the same as the Colt Peacemaker. It has a 4¾ or 5½ inch barrel, which...

, as well as the currently produced Colt Single Action Army.

On six guns made in the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries, it is unwise to load all six chambers as a normal mode of carry. With the hammer in the uncocked position, the firing pin rests on the primer of the cartridge immediately under the hammer. This means that if the gun is dropped or something bumps the hammer, the gun may fire. Most revolvers made today have drop safeties (such as firing pin blocks, hammer blocks, or transfer bars) that prevent the firing pin from contacting the cartridge's primer unless the trigger is pulled, which correlates more closely to an intentional firing. Safe carry of old-style revolvers requires carrying on an empty chamber.

The basic operation of the six gun is:
  1. The hammer is cocked with the thumb, which rotates the cylinder to line up a new cartridge with the barrel, and positions the hammer for firing.
  2. The trigger is pulled, which causes the hammer to drop and drive the firing pin into the cartridge primer, firing the gun.
  3. The hammer must be cocked again for the next shot. This is called 'Single-Action'.


Modern six guns are used commonly by Single-Action Shooting
Cowboy action shooting
Cowboy Action Shooting , also known as Western Action Shooting or Single Action Shooting, is a competitive shooting sport that originated in California, USA, in the early 1980s...

 enthusiasts in shooting competitions, designed to mimic the gunfights of the Old West, and for general target shooting and personal defense.

History

In the development of firearms
History of firearms
Gunpowder was invented in the 9th century and firearms in the 12th century in China. These inventions were later transmitted to the Middle East and to Europe.-Firearms in China:...

, an important limiting factor was the time it took to reload the weapon after it was fired. While the user was reloading, the weapon was nearly useless, and an adversary might be able to take advantage of the situation and kill or wound the user. Several approaches to the problem of increasing the rate of fire were developed, the earliest being multi-barreled weapons which allowed two or more shots without reloading.
An example of these is the 3-Barrel Pole Gun, invented by the Chinese during the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

. The weapon consists of three barrels arranged in a triangle, with metal rings around the barrels. The barrels were mounted on a single wooden handle, which rested on a wooden pole. It is fire two handed by igniting the black powder through a touch hole on the barrel.. The weapon is then rotated one-third of the way to bring the next barrel into the rotation. The ability to fire multiple shots before reloading it gave it great value for its time.

The first real revolvers were partly an attempt to improve on pepper-box
Pepper-box
The pepper-box revolver or simply pepperbox is a multiple-barrel repeating firearm that has three or more barrels grouped around a central axis. It mostly appears in the form of a multi-shot handheld firearm...

 type weapons, which used a revolving cylinder with one set of firing mechanisms, but which had multiple barrels as well. Firing through a single barrel saved the expense and weight of having the multiple barrels of the pepper-box.

The earliest example of a revolver is a revolving arquebus
Arquebus
The arquebus , or "hook tube", is an early muzzle-loaded firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries. The word was originally modeled on the German hakenbüchse; this produced haquebute...

, produced by Zane Irrizary in 1597. Another early specimen, now in the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 armories, is dated to the middle 17th century and attributed to John Dafte of London. This example, a flintlock
Flintlock
Flintlock is the general term for any firearm based on the flintlock mechanism. The term may also apply to the mechanism itself. Introduced at the beginning of the 17th century, the flintlock rapidly replaced earlier firearm-ignition technologies, such as the doglock, matchlock and wheellock...

, uses a single lock, with a flash pan for each of the six chambers. The cylinder is rotated by hand, and locks in place for firing. This was still not perfected, however, as it was apparently destroyed by a misfire.

James Puckle
James Puckle
James Puckle was an English inventor, lawyer and writer from London chiefly remembered for his invention of the Defence Gun, better known as the Puckle gun, a multi-shot gun mounted on a stand capable of firing up to nine rounds per minute...

 patented a revolving chamber gun in 1718. This gun, which had a 1.25 inch bore (30 mm), was tripod mounted, and the 11-shot cylinder was operated by a hand crank. It is often cited as the first machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

. By changing cylinders to reload (an early example of a speedloader
Speedloader
A speedloader is a device used for loading a firearm or firearm magazine that will run out of ammunition very quickly. Generally, speedloaders are used for loading all chambers of a revolver simultaneously, although speedloaders are also used for the loading of fixed tubular magazines of shotguns...

), the gun was fired and reloaded to fire a total of 63 rounds in seven minutes. Elisha Collier
Elisha Collier
Elisha Haydon Collier of Boston invented a flintlock revolver around 1814. His weapon is one of the earliest true revolvers, in contrast to the earlier pepperboxes which were cumbersome and inaccurate multi-barreled guns prone to misfires, or even exploding...

 patented a flintlock revolver in Britain in 1818, and significant numbers were being produced in London by 1822.

In 1836, Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt was an American inventor and industrialist. He was the founder of Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company , and is widely credited with popularizing the revolver. Colt's innovative contributions to the weapons industry have been described by arms historian James E...

 patented a revolver mechanism that led to the widespread use of the revolver. According to Samuel Colt, he came up with the idea for the revolver while at sea, inspired by the capstan winch, which had a ratchet and pawl mechanism on it, a version of which was used in his guns to rotate the cylinder. Revolvers proliferated largely due to Colt's ability as a sales
Sales
A sale is the act of selling a product or service in return for money or other compensation. It is an act of completion of a commercial activity....

man. But his influence spread in other ways as well; the build quality of his company
Colt's Manufacturing Company
Colt's Manufacturing Company is a United States firearms manufacturer, whose first predecessor corporation was founded in 1836 by Sam Colt. Colt is best known for the engineering, production, and marketing of firearms over the later half of the 19th and the 20th century...

's guns became famous, and its armories
Armory (military)
An armory or armoury is a place where arms and ammunition are made, maintained and repaired, stored, issued to authorized users, or any combination of those...

 in America and England trained several seminal generations of toolmakers
Tool and die maker
Tool and die makers are workers in the manufacturing industry who make jigs, fixtures, dies, molds, machine tools, cutting tools , gauges, and other tools used in manufacturing processes...

 and other machinist
Machinist
A machinist is a person who uses machine tools to make or modify parts, primarily metal parts, a process known as machining. This is accomplished by using machine tools to cut away excess material much as a woodcarver cuts away excess wood to produce his work. In addition to metal, the parts may...

s, who had great influence in other manufacturing efforts of the next half century.

Early revolvers were caplocks and loaded like muskets: the user poured powder into a chamber, rammed down a bullet, then placed percussion cap
Percussion cap
The percussion cap, introduced around 1830, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzleloading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.Before this development, firearms used flintlock ignition systems which produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the...

s between the hammer and cylinder. After firing a shot, the user would raise his pistol vertically as he cocked the hammer back so as to let the fragments of the percussion cap fall out and not jam the mechanism.

Revolvers have remained popular to the present day in many areas, although in the military and law enforcement they have largely been supplanted by magazine-fed semi-automatic pistols such as the Colt M1911, especially in circumstances where reload time and higher cartridge capacity are deemed important.

Patents

Elisha Collier
Elisha Collier
Elisha Haydon Collier of Boston invented a flintlock revolver around 1814. His weapon is one of the earliest true revolvers, in contrast to the earlier pepperboxes which were cumbersome and inaccurate multi-barreled guns prone to misfires, or even exploding...

 patented a flintlock revolver in Britain in 1818, and significant numbers were being produced in London by 1822. The origination of this invention is in doubt, as similar designs were patented in the same year by Artemus Wheeler in the United States and by Cornelius Coolidge
Cornelius Coolidge
Cornelius Coolidge was a real estate developer in early 19th-century Boston, Massachusetts, who constructed buildings in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, and elsewhere. Described variously as an architect, housewright, builder, designer, and real estate broker, Harvard-educated Coolidge brought...

 in France. Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt was an American inventor and industrialist. He was the founder of Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company , and is widely credited with popularizing the revolver. Colt's innovative contributions to the weapons industry have been described by arms historian James E...

 received a British patent for his revolver in 1835 and an American patent (number 138) on February 25, 1836 for a Revolving gun, and made the first production model on March 5 of that year.

Another revolver patent was issued to Samuel Colt on August 29, 1839. The February 25, 1836 patent was then reissued as entitled Revolving gun to Samuel Colt on October 24, 1848. This was followed by on September 3, 1850 for a Revolver, and by on September 10, 1850 for a Revolver. was issued to Roger C. Field
Roger C. Field
Roger C. Field is an inventor with over 100 patents, an award winning industrial designer and a guitarist.He is best known as the inventor of the Foldaxe folding electric guitar. He has also been written about in Playboy magazine in ten countries and in Penthouse magazine four times in Europe...

 for an economical device for minimizing the flash gap of a revolver between the barrel and the cylinder. In 1855, Rollin White
Rollin White
Rollin White was an American gunsmith who invented a revolver with a bored-through cylinder which allowed metallic cartridges to be loaded from the rear.-Early life:...

 patented the bored-through cylinder entitled Improvement in revolving fire-arms . In 1856 Horace Smith & Daniel Wesson formed a partnership (S&W), developed and manufactured a revolver chambered for a self-contained metallic cartridge.

Notable brands and manufacturers

  • Robert Adams
  • Armscor
    Armscor (Philippines)
    The Arms Corporation of the Philippines is familiar to many firearms enthusiasts for its inexpensive 1911-pattern pistols, revolvers, shotguns, sporting rifles, firearms parts and ammunition. It traces its beginnings to a Manila gun retail store in the year 1911, though the present corporation...

  • Astra
    Astra-Unceta y Cia SA
    Astra Unceta y Cía. was a Spanish weapons manufacturer founded on July 17, 1908 under the name of Esperanza y Unceta by Juan Esperanza and Pedro Unceta...

  • Charter Arms
    Charter Arms
    Charter Arms Co. is an American manufacturer of revolvers that are relatively inexpensive yet serviceable handguns. The original Charter Arms produced revolvers chambered in calibers .22 Long Rifle, .22 Winchester Magnum, .32 Long, .32 H&R Magnum, .327 Federal Magnum, .357 Magnum, .38 Special and...

  • Colt's Manufacturing Company
    Colt's Manufacturing Company
    Colt's Manufacturing Company is a United States firearms manufacturer, whose first predecessor corporation was founded in 1836 by Sam Colt. Colt is best known for the engineering, production, and marketing of firearms over the later half of the 19th and the 20th century...

  • Royal Small Arms Factory
    Royal Small Arms Factory
    The Royal Small Arms Factory was a UK government-owned rifle factory in the London Borough of Enfield in an area generally known as the Lea Valley. The factory produced British military rifles, muskets and swords from 1816...

  • Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
    Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
    Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal — self identified as FN Herstal and often referred to as Fabrique Nationale or simply FN — is a firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium....

  • Griswold and Gunnison
  • Harrington & Richardson
  • Iver Johnson
    Iver Johnson
    Iver Johnson was a U.S. firearms, bicycle, and motorcycle manufacturer from 1871 to 1993. The company shared the same name as its founder, Norwegian-born Iver Johnson .- Iver Johnson :...

  • Magnum Research
    Magnum Research
    Magnum Research Inc. is a privately held corporation based in Fridley, Minnesota which manufactures and distributes firearms. The majority owners, Jim Skildum and John Risdall , have been with the company since its founding in 1979...


  • Mateba Arms
    Mateba Autorevolver
    The Mateba Model 6 Unica is a semi-automatic revolver, one of only a few such models ever produced. It was developed in Italy and sold by the Mateba company. Emilio Ghisoni is listed as the owner of US Patent #4,712,466 which details the operation of the weapon.-Design:The Mateba Mo...

  • Nagant
    Nagant
    The firm Fabrique d'armes Émile et Léon Nagant was established in 1859 in Liège, Belgium, to manufacture firearms.Émile and Léon Nagant were brothers, and probably best known for their important contributions to the design of the Mosin-Nagant Russian service rifle, adopted in 1891...

  • North American Arms
    North American Arms
    North American Arms is a United States company, headquartered in Provo, Utah, that manufactures small pistols and mini-revolvers.The company was originally named Rocky Mountain Arms...

  • Remington Arms
    Remington Arms
    Remington Arms Company, Inc. was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, as E. Remington and Sons. It is the oldest company in the United States which still makes its original product, and is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in North America. It is the only U.S....

  • Sturm, Ruger & Company
    Sturm, Ruger
    Sturm, Ruger & Company, Incorporated is a Southport, Connecticut-based firearm manufacturing company, better known by the shortened name Ruger. Sturm, Ruger produces bolt-action, semi-automatic, full-automatic, and single-shot rifles, shotguns, semi-automatic pistols, and single- and double-action...

  • Smith & Wesson
    Smith & Wesson
    Smith & Wesson is the largest manufacturer of handguns in the United States. The corporate headquarters is in Springfield, Massachusetts. Founded in 1852, Smith & Wesson's pistols and revolvers have become standard issue to police and armed forces throughout the world...

  • Taurus Firearms
    Taurus (manufacturer)
    Forjas Taurus is a manufacturing conglomerate based in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Beginning as a tool and die manufacturer, the company now consists of divisions focusing on firearms, metals manufacturing, plastics, body armor, helmets, and civil construction.-History:Taurus produced its first...

  • United States Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company
  • Uberti
    Uberti
    A. Uberti, Srl. is an Italian manufacturer of replica American firearms.Uberti produces high quality replicas of American percussion revolvers, cartridge revolvers, single-shot, and lever-action rifles....

  • William Tranter
    Tranter (revolver)
    The Tranter revolver was a double-action cap & ball revolver invented around 1856 by English firearms designer William Tranter . Originally operated with a special dual-trigger mechanism later models employed a single-trigger mechanism much the same as that found in the contemporary Beaumont-Adams...

  • Webley & Scott


See also

  • Antique guns
    Antique guns
    An antique firearm is, loosely speaking, a firearm designed and manufactured prior to the beginning of the 20th century. The Boer War is often used as a cut-off event, although the exact definition of what constitutes an "antique firearm" varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction...

  • Colt Diamondback
    Colt Diamondback
    The Colt Diamondback is a revolver manufactured by Colt's Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, in calibers of .22 LR, .22 WMR and .38 Special....

  • Gunspinning
    Gunspinning
    Gunspinning refers to the old west tradition and Hollywood legend of a cowboy gunslinger twirling his pistol around his trigger finger. Gunspinning is a western art such as trick roping, and is sometimes referred as gunplay, gun artistry, and gun twirling...

  • Handgun effectiveness
    Handgun Effectiveness
    Handgun effectiveness is a measure of the stopping power of a handgun: its ability to incapacitate a hostile target as quickly and efficiently as possible.-Overview:...

  • List of handgun cartridges
  • List of cartridges by caliber
  • List of revolvers
  • Rat-shot
    Rat-shot
    Rat-shot is very small lead shot which is loaded into a cartridge not generally considered a shotgun shell. Such a cartridge with a shot load is often called a "shot shell". The most common cartridges loaded with rat-shot are the .22 Long Rifle or pistol or revolver cartridges...

  • Revolver cannon
    Revolver cannon
    A revolver cannon is a type of autocannon commonly used as an aircraft gun. It uses a cylinder with multiple chambers, like those of a revolver handgun, to speed up the loading-firing-ejection cycle. Some examples are also power-driven, to further speed the loading process, but this is by no means...

  • Russian roulette
    Russian roulette
    Russian roulette is a potentially lethal game of chance in which participants place a single round in a revolver, spin the cylinder, place the muzzle against their head and pull the trigger...

  • Semiwadcutter
    Semiwadcutter
    A semiwadcutter or SWC is a type of all-purpose bullet commonly used in revolvers. The SWC combines features of the wadcutter target bullet and traditional round nosed revolver bullets, and is used in both revolver and pistol cartridges for hunting, target shooting, and plinking...

  • Table of pistol and rifle cartridges by year
    Table of pistol and rifle cartridges by year
    Table of selected handgun, submachine gun, rifle and machine gun cartridges by year....

  • Wadcutter
    Wadcutter
    A wadcutter is a special-purpose bullet specially designed for shooting paper targets, usually at close range and at subsonic velocities typically under 800 ft/s . They are often used in handgun and airgun competitions...


External links

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