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How does Revolver works ?

By:Prayag Nao

The first handheld guns were essentially miniature cannons; you loaded some gunpowder and a steel ball, then lit a fuse. Eventually, this technology gave way to trigger-activated weapons, such as the flintlock and percussion cap guns.
Flintlock guns ignited gunpowder by producing a tiny spark, while percussion caps used mercuric fulminate, an explosive compound you could ignite with a sharp blow. To load a percussion cap gun, you pour gunpowder into the breech, stuff the projectile in on top of it, and place a mercuric fulminate cap on top of a small nipple. To fire the gun, you cock the hammer all the way back and pull the gun's trigger. The trigger releases the hammer, which swings forward onto the explosive cap. The cap ignites, shooting a small flame down a tube to the gunpowder. The gunpowder then explodes, launching the projectile out of the barrel. (Take a look at How Flintlock Guns Work for more information on these weapons.)
The next major innovation in the history of firearms was the bullet cartridge. Simply put, cartridges are a combination of a projectile (the bullet), a propellant (gunpowder, for example) and a primer (the explosive cap), all contained in one metal package. Cartridges form the basis for most modern firearms. The backward motion of the gun's bolt also activates its ejection system, which removes the spent shell from the extractor and drives it out of an ejection port. We'll discuss this in more detail later. But first, let's take a look at how all of this works -- in a revolver.

Click on the trigger to see how a revolver fires.

In the last section, we saw that a cartridge consists of a primer, a propellant and a projectile, all in one metal package. This simple device is the foundation of most modern firearms. To see how this works, let's look at a standard double-action revolver.
This gun has a revolving cylinder, with six breeches for six cartridges. When you pull the trigger on a revolver, several things happen:
  • Initially, the trigger lever pushes the hammer backward. As it moves backward, the hammer compresses a metal spring in the gun stock (the handle). At the same time, the trigger rotates the cylinder so the next breech chamber is positioned in front of the gun barrel.
  • When you pull the trigger all the way back, the lever releases the hammer.
  • The compressed spring drives the hammer forward.
  • The hammer slams into the primer at the back of the cartridge, igniting the primer.
  • The primer sets off the propellant.
  • The exploding propellant drives the bullet out of the gun at high speed.
  • The inside of the barrel has a spiral groove cut into it, which helps spin the bullet as it exits the gun. This gives the bullet better stability as it flies through the air and increases its accuracy.
When the propellant explodes, the cartridge case expands. The case temporarily seals the breech, so all the expanding gas pushes forward rather than backward.
Obviously, this sort of gun is easier to use than a flintlock or a percussion cap weapon. You can load six shots at a time and you only have to pull the trigger to fire. But you're still fairly limited: You have to pull the trigger for every shot, and you need to reload after six shots (although some modern revolvers can hold 10 rounds of ammunition). You also have to eject the empty shells from the cylinders manually.

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