Totally random question about reloading a revolver

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by Garadex, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Garadex

    Garadex New Member

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    So I've wondered why do SA revolvers have a loading gate on the right side while DA revolvers have cylinders that swing out to the left? :confused:
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Ammo is manipulated by the right hand in both instances.
     

  3. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Garadex,

    I think the reason is simply due to a progression in design over the years. They Revolvers started out with Black Powder Cap and Ball Pistols Like the Navy Officers Model and the 44 New Army styles. Later they became center fire but the basic design in the pistol stayed the same except for centerfire and metallic cartridges which improved the loading time and certainly was less mess. Then came some of the Break Down Revolvers once again speeding up the loading process. Then the swing out cylinders which accessories were made to even speed up reloading evem more like Speed Loaders and Strips. Then we have went from the cylinders for the biggest part to semi-auto pistols faster reloads and now more ammo capacity. The same occurred with military long guns for example. From Flint Locks to Percussion Caps, to Trap Doors and then for example the Winchester Repeating Rifles and Yelllow Boys simply a continual design progression and assumed improvement. So I guess I would have to say it was only due to style, the time period and demand for wanted improvement. Of course if you get a chance Google Jerry Miculek where he shoots a cylinder revolver you will be amazed! Recently he took a semi-auto AR Rifle and competed against a full auto AK and you can not tell the difference in the last shot when both weapons fired the same amount of rounds.
    But I do still love the old single action Army Revolvers and wished I had one! I have only had Rugers that were similar in design!
    03
     
  4. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most people are right handed and the firearms were designed around their needs. Lefties usually have to make do. The cylinder swings to the left because the latch is on the left. The loading gate is on the right because most shooters were right handed. Charter Arms makes a left handed revolver and the cylinder swings to the right.
     
  5. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    Hold a modern Colt or Smith & Wesson double action in your right hand, sort of in a shooting grip. Now activate the cylinder latch with yore thumb. What happens?

    Nothing.

    Now cradle the gun with your left hand and push the cylinder out with your fingers until you wrap your left thumb around it. You can either hold the cylinder stationary with your thumb, or (as I do) rotate it as you load fresh cartridges, loading the topmost chamber with each round.

    That's just the way God intended.

    Bob Wright
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  6. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    Most revolvers have features incorporated into them dating back to their use by cavalry troopers, when reolading a revolver in the thick of battle while mounted on an unruly horse was expected. (This premise, incidentally, was among the objections raised when considering the adoption of the M1911 pistol.)

    The S&W Schofield revolver is a classic example. The trooper held the reins in his left hand, the revolver in his right. He could pull back the barrel latch with his thumb and press the barrel against his thigh to break it open. He then transferred the open revolver to his left hand, still maintaining a grip on the reins. Now he could use his right hand to load cartridges into the cylinder and close the revolver.

    Loading a single action Colt was somewhat the same, hold gun and reins in left hand, poke cartridges into the gun with your right hand.

    Bob Wright
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  7. Garadex

    Garadex New Member

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    Thank you for the clarification everyone, I just noticed it and it was bothering me.
     
  8. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Because Sam Colt was left handed!:)
    Strange, but true!
     
  9. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    Strange, but not true. Urban myth.

    Bob Wright
     
  10. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not according to the historians I read!
     
  11. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    When did Sam Colt die? Around 1860 or so?

    The loading gate/ejector rod was not designed until 1871 for the Richards and Richards/Mason conversions. Left handed or not, Colt had nothing to do with it.

    Common sense would tell you the U.S. Army would not approve a revovler designed only for left handed troopers.

    Bob Wright
     
  12. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well why then is it easier for a lefty to load an old colt???
     
  13. sniper762

    sniper762 New Member

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    who says that is?...........i dont think so.
     
  14. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    I'd have to see that to believe it. Would you explain the process?

    I hold a single action (Old Colt, new Uberti, Old Model Ruger, all the same) with loading gate open and hammer at half-cock in my left hand, gate uppermost. I use my right hand to load a round as my thumb and middle finger rotate the cylinder as I poke in fresh cartridges. Yes, load one, skip one, load remaining four. My right hand closes the loading gate and simply embraces the grip as my thumb cocks the hammer. Holding the hammer back, i press the trigger and ease the hammer down.

    Now how is a left handed shooter going to do better than that? Holding the gun in your right hand with the gate up leaves the grip in the wrong position.

    Bob Wright