h a l f b a k e r y
The phrase 'crumpled heap' comes to mind.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
Semi-automatic pistols have largely displaced
revolvers as the sidearm of choice, due mainly
to their higher ammunition capacity and their ability
to reload quickly. However, this comes
at price, in that they're much more complicatedand
therefore, more dangerousthan the
Semi-autos generally work on a
recoil design, where the reaction force of the bullet leaving the chamber
activates the mechanism for loading the
next cartridge into the chamber and cocking the
hammer for the next shot. Among the
drawbacks to this are that the mechanism must work
correctly after each shot lest a manual
unjamming procedure become necessary, and, more
critically, that the firearm can be left in a
state where it appears unloaded because the
magazine is removed, but you cannot be
certain of that without a physical inspection of the
Consider a handgun designed in the shape of a semi-
auto that is magazine fed, but has a
trigger mechanism more like that of a revolver.
Pulling back the trigger (or manually
cocking the hammer) will cause the empty case to be
extracted from the chamber via an
ejection port and a new round to be loaded from the
magazine, and the firing pin to be retracted into
(similar to a bolt-action rifle). When the hammer is
weapon simply fires, leaving the empty case in the
There would be several advantages to such a design.
It would never require racking the slide
just drop in a magazine and pull the trigger. Under
normal circumstances, there would
never be a live round in the chamber until right
before the weapon fires, so the possibility
of an accidental discharge when the gun is dropped is
effectively eliminated (an advantage
over both revolvers and semi-autos). Jams resulting
from a dud round could be cleared by
simply pulling the trigger again. Perhaps most
critically, the gun could be visually inspected
to determine safety. If it doesn't have a magazine in
it, it cannot be fired under normal
circumstances. Even if there were a live round in
the chamber somehow (perhaps due to
cocking and then de-cocking the gun), there would
be no way to pull the trigger without
activating the ejection mechanism, meaning that
there would be no way that round could be
The functionality of a semi-auto with the safety and
reliability of a revolver, and a couple of
improvements over both of them to boot.
Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver
Intriguing [8th of 7, May 29 2012]
||Salvatore Phillip "Sonny" Bono.
||It would have a very long, heavy trigger pull.
||I like it in theory but the trigger pull would be much too
||// Semi-automatic pistols have largely displaced revolvers
as the sidearm of choice //
||Only in military and law enforcement. Revolvers are very
populars with the concealed-carry crowd.
||I can't see this working without a very complicated
reduction system to convert a 1/4", 3 lb trigger pull into
the 1"+, 5-7 lb slide action, as [8th] stated. That would
probably double the complexity of a semi-auto pistol,
leaving it far more prone to failure.
||Furthermore, while I am as familiar as anyone with the
semi-auto vs. revolver argument and have discussed the
merits and drawbacks of both designs at great length, I
think that you are significantly overblowing the perceived
flaws of the semi-auto.
||//Revolvers are very populars with the concealed-
||True, revolvers are still popular for concealed
carry. This is
due to their simplicity, reliability, and most
their safety relative to semi-autos. This is also the
why security guards (i.e. Rent-A-Cops) often carry
since the odds that most of them will ever actually
use their weapon are substantially less than the
odds of them
shooting themselves in the foot unloading it.
||//I can't see this working without a very
reduction system to convert a 1/4", 3 lb trigger pull
1"+, 5-7 lb slide action//
||There's no slide in this design, so no need to
One reason the slide is so heavy is to provide some
resistance to the blowback action. If it were
lighter, it would run a risk of being blown clean off
||But in this design all you'd need is an extraction
mechanism. My guess is such a mechanism could be
designed that doesn't require an overly long or
pull to actuate. Perhaps the chamber itself could
ejecting the spent brass via a port on the top of the
(preferably sideways so as not to hit the shooter in
face), then when it falls back into place a new
forced into the chamber by the magazine spring. I
could design a mechanism comparable in trigger
pull to your
average revolver. Remember that in this design,
you get the
benefit of the energy stored in the magazine
you don't get in a revolver.
||//I think that you are significantly overblowing the
perceived flaws of the semi-auto.//
||Matter of opinion, I suppose. But the reasons that
are, as you said, popular for concealed carry have a
do with those drawbacks. I think you're
significance of not being able to make the weapon
safe by the simple action of removing the magazine
you carry without a round chambered, which is a
for other reasons). Also, like a revolver, this design
fired from a concealed position, such as inside a
with a significantly reduced risk of jamming
compared to a
||//Webley-Fosbery Automatic Revolver//
||Yeah, I came across that while doing the research on
this idea. Seems like pretty much the exact opposite
the worst of both worlds, really. There's probably a
good reason why not many were made.
||//One reason the slide is so heavy is to provide some resistance to the blowback action. If it were significantly lighter, it would run a risk of being blown clean off the gun.// There's a positive stop at the back of the slide. If the slide were light, it wouldn't leave the gun, but it might break your wrists. Or, at the minimum, become very uncomfortable to shoot and difficult to return to battery for following shots.
||The extra weight in the slide also gathers up momentum to overcome the resistance of stripping the next round from the magazine, and particularly seating the round in the chamber - which happens down at the end of the spring return where the spring has the least remaining force.
||The whole slide motion, both directions, has a lot of things happening. Your //guess is such a mechanism could be designed that doesn't require an overly long or heavy trigger pull// will probably experience a great deal of pain on the drawing board.
||The mechanism doesn't have to be exactly like that
used in a semi-
auto. In fact, I just thought of another mechanism
that could be
used. The rear part of the chamber rotates around
the axis of the
cartridge, and it has a channel the size of of the
through it. In the loaded position, the channel sits
viewed when the gun is held for firing), and the
are sealed shut. When the trigger is pulled the
cylinder rotates 180
degrees. When the channel is horizontal, the brass
is forced out
the top of the pistol by the action of the magazine
the next round into place. The loaded round is
being ejected by the bullet, which is stopped by
the top of the
front of the chamber (the front part of the chamber
The rear chamber would have guides that fit into
the grooves on
the case so that the cartridge doesn't seat at an odd
magazine follower would be designed so that it
ejects the last case
with a trigger pull, but retracts back into the
magazine when the
cylinder rotates back to horizontal. An interlock
necessary in this design that would prevent the
hammer from being
cocked unless the magazine is loaded, and also
magazine from being removed with the hammer
cocked. This is
similar to a revolver, where you can't open the
cylinder with the
hammer cocked, and can't cock the hammer with
the cylinder open.
A release mechanism might then be necessary to
allow the cylinder to free-
wheel, so you can drop a loaded cartridge out the
necessary for some reason.
||"Aha," you might be now saying, "how, exactly, do
you seal the
chamber openings before firing?" Easy. You have a
pair of plates
that fall into place. As the cylinder rotates it picks
up the plates,
which travel along grooves such that they're pushed
from the cylinder as they move upward (the
grooves would look
kind of like the arms on a § symbol placed on its
side). The plates
would be spring loaded so they'd fall back into
place once the
chamber is horizontal. Since the spring travel
perpendicular to the force of the case expansion,
the plates would
sit tightly against the case.
||Rotating a relatively small and light chamber 180
probably take about the same trigger pull as
rotating a large, heavy
revolver cylinder 60 or 72 degrees.
||"probably experience a great deal of pain on the drawing board."
||// The loaded round is prevented from being ejected by the bullet//
||Except this defeats one of the major safety components of your design, because an unfired cartridge in the chamber will not eject when the trigger is pulled.
||No, but it will simply fire if the magazine is
inserted, which is acceptable because if the
magazine is loaded the gun should always be
And if the magazine isn't inserted,
that's what the interlock is for. The weapon will
fire without a magazine inserted. Either the
will simply not cock without the magazine, or the
firing pin mechanism would be held in position by
the magazine, and when the magazine is removed a
spring would push it out of the way.
||But that separates it from the rest of the idea, since the exact same interlock could be implemented on an automatic.
||A very similar design already is implemented on a
revolver. Implementing it on a semi-auto would be
problematic, though, because by design you should
be able to remove the magazine when the weapon
is ready to fire. Under this design, you should only
be able to remove the magazine when the weapon
is not ready to fire, but it should only be ready to
fire right before it actually fires.
||But you're basically right, in that it would be a
more elegant design without the interlock. I
strongly suspect such a design is possible, and a
mechanical engineer or a gunsmith could come up
with a clever solution that I haven't considered.
||//Semi-autos generally work on a blowback design,//
||Wrong. The dominant action type in modern auto pistols is the short-recoil, tilting-barrel design, as seen in 1911's, etc. Blowback is used for .22's and crude submachine guns (machine pistols).
||Reading your description I think you're trying to solve a nonexistent problem. The safety advantage of a revolver is that the hammer sits on a (presumably) fired shell, and when uncocked, the trigger pull is heavy and rotates the cylinder before cocking and then firing.
||Have you looked into SA/DA action auto's? Most common example would be a beretta '92, although most autos with an external hammer are SA/DA, now some manufacturers are coming out with SA/DA striker-fired pistols (ie no external hammer). Advantage here is that for duty-carry, they can be uncocked, and most have a trigger-safety that means the transfer-bar is not present unless the trigger is pulled. Of course many of these models come in Double-action only, if you feel the need for a heavy trigger pull every time.
||...Anyhoo, you've also not explained how your ejection device would work. As someone who has intimate knowledge of how the action of a semiauto pistol works, I don't know how you could store the energy needed to run the ejection-feed cycle without putting in a slide stop that would lock the action open upon firing (would be very similar to the slide stop on most auto's, but would automatically lock the action open every shot, instead of on the last shot of the mag). You'd then have to incorporate the eject-feed cycle into the trigger pull, which would destroy any accuracy you might be able to get, because the gun would jump in your hands mid trigger pull. This would be like an open bolt machine gun configured to semi-auto.
||I ask again, why would this be an advantage?
||Just to clarify, what I'm saying is there's no way you could provide the motive force to run an eject, feed, cock operation, just with a single trigger pull. Maybe you could have some kind of racking device, and pull the trigger maybe 4 or so times to cumulate the energy, or maybe you'd fit a windlass or some other device, or just pull the slide every shot - but no way a trigger pull is going to reliably cycle the action in one go.
||// One reason the slide is so heavy is to
provide some resistance to the blowback. If
it were significantly lighter, it would run a
risk of being blown clean off the gun. //
||No. The" resistance" comes from the recoil
spring (as has been pointed out). Most
"sserious" semi-autos are recoil-operated, not
blowback; vide the ramp/cam unlock of the
FN Browning Hi-power (John Moses Browning,
We Are Not Worthy
), the toggle link of the
M1911, the dropping incline-block of the
||[ytk], PUT YOUR HANDS UP AND STEP AWAY
FROM THE IDEA
||We're only trying to stop you getting hurt
||PS the Webley-Fosbery feels a bit weird but
has less kick than the standard Webley
Mk.IV, and those unjacketed .455 lead rounds
pack an incredible short-range punch.
||If the concern here is the potential for negligent discharge due to bumping the trigger or dropping the gun, look into a SA/DA auto with transfer bar safety.
||In those designs 1) the trigger pull when uncocked is comparable to a double-action revolver, ie heavy and long. 2) it is physically impossible for the striker or hammer to contact the firing pin without the trigger being pulled (which inserts a transfer bar and conducts the force through), and the mass of the firing pin would need 1000's of gees to initiate the primer under it's own inertia. The testing procedures for these safety devices is extensive, and often tested post-market by reviewers. It's not unusual to have them dropped from several stories onto concrete without firing, or even struck at the muzzle by a sledgehammer, etc as part of the test protocols.
||I stand corrected. I should indeed have said that
semi-autos operate on the recoil design rather than
the blowback design. I did in fact know this at one
point, but my memory seems to have been playing
tricks on me and I goofed it up. I shall correct it in
the idea, and leave this anno here as an admission
of guilt. However, the specific mechanism isn't
really germane to the proposed idea.
||[Custardguts], I've proposed a couple of possible
ejection mechanisms in subsequent annos.
Whether or not they'd actually work is another
question, although I think the rotating chamber
idea has at least a chance of working.
||//We're only trying to stop you getting hurt
||How... philanthropic of you, [8th]. Should I feel
flattered, or are you just in a particularly giddy
||[21Q]: *shrug* When the security guards I've seen
are carrying they seem to generally be carrying
revolvers, but maybe I only notice the revolvers
because they stand out. Either way, I doubt most
security guards ever have cause to draw their
weapons, much less fire them, during the course of
their duties. Chances are their orders are along the
lines of "observe and report, and for God's sake
don't hurt anyone who might sue!" The gun, I
suspect, is largely for show.
||//Your generalizations are almost (but not quite)
||Sorry. I'll try harder from now on.
||You'd do better to sign up for [UB]'s next Masterclass
||I did, but I was somehow deleted from the roster.
||The private security firm where I was once employed (one
of the world's largest) issues semi-automatic sidearms to
its armed officers. In a situation where there is a
reasonable expectation of attack by well-armed
opposition, there are numerous reasons why a semi-auto is
superior to a revolver. For a private citizen who is of the
'just in case' mindset, a revolver is a good choice, but
they're not infallible. I know a woman who routinely
carries a double-action .357; many years ago, her purse
strap became snagged on the hammer and drew it back to
full cock, and ever since then she's kept a snap-cap in the
first chamber as an additional safety measure.
||I cannot argue the matter objectively; although I own a
very nice revolver and have fired many others that I liked,
I am hopelessly besotted with the 1911 and will never
entertain the notion that there is any handgun superior to
||My mate just got one (which is quite the logistical feat here in Australia, let me tell you) - and I know what you mean. That thing is a piece of technological artwork. Old Mr Browning (the father of modern firearms) knew what he was on about. People always prattle on about glocks but I just can't abide by their clunky controls, low quality sights and and soggy triggers - (all of which can be modded, but you should really try to get things right from the get-go).
||That said, I do like me some Sig '226 for flawless operation and ergonomics.
||Glocks are shit. Overrated, ugly, dangerous shit. I am
perpetually mystified by their popularity.
||There are many great handguns, both in form and function
(although, to me, the two must go hand-in-hand). There
are some timeless classics, like the Sig p-frames and the
Walther P38, and some really
innovative newcomers, like the Five seveN, but there's
just this wonderful, undefinable quality to the 1911 that I
haven't found anywhere else. People have tried to talk me
out of it, and I can see their points of view. There are
more accurate handguns, more ergonomic ones, lighter
ones, certainly many that are more comfortable to fire...
but they aren't my .45.
||Glocks' chief advantages lie in their simplicity and
reliability. There are no complicated levers or
mechanisms cluttering up the design. Operation is
simple: You point the Glock at it, pull the trigger,
and it dies. The aftermarket support for them is
huge, and many parts are easily interchangeable
with guns of the same caliber, and sometimes
even between calibers. No complicated tools or
training are required to disassemble a Glock, and
they work flawlessly even when subjected to
tremendous abuse by the user.
||They're the Macintosh of handguns.
||//Glocks are shit. Overrated, ugly, dangerous shit. I am perpetually mystified by their popularity.//
//They're the Macintosh of handguns.//
||The reason so many aftermarket parts are available for
Glocks is because they pretty much require a total rebuild
straight out of the box to turn them into a decent gun.
||Glocks have no external de-cocking mechanism and a
safety interlock that is notorious for failure (but still seems
to be functioning after it's broken), making them very
dangerous to carry chambered. That's if you can get a
round chambered in the first place--many gunsmiths make
a tidy profit filing down that Matterhorn of a feed ramp.
They have mushy triggers that give very little to no
feedback; fine for speed shooting, but crap for aimed
shots. That hardly matters, however, because the huge
sights damn near obscure whatever you're trying to hit
anyway, and they're so imbalanced that they jump around
like a coked-up grasshopper, making re-acquisition a
bother; you shouldn't have to manhandle a gun to keep it
on target. People install underslung tactical lights on them
just for the added weight. And on top of all that, they're
the fugliest pistol available on the market today.
||As for disassembly, no tools _whatsoever_ are required to
strip and clean a 1911. I usually clean mine with a couple
of toothpicks and a scrap of linen.
||I could go on, but I'm sure that's more than enough to fuel
an argument. If it's not, I can always start airing my
opinion of Berettas.
||//No tools...dissasemble a 1911// though a bullet could come in handy to pop the safety lever out so you don't have to wiggle it back and forth for half an hour.
||I assume you mean the slide release (some people call it
the slide lock, action lock, or lockback lever), and yes, it
have something to get it started, but as you pointed out,
any number of found objects will do the job nicely. You
can sit down _anywhere_ and field strip the 1911 by
removing _one_ part, clean all of the vital componentS
a bit of cloth and a splinter of wood, or a coin, or
you find lying around, and have it back together in about a
minute. The only thing you need to have with you is a
little bit of oil. I don't see how it gets any simpler than
||// any any number of found objects wil do the job nicely. //
||Easy enough to shift the clip with the bottom rear corner of the
mag, although you risk scratching be bluing on the frame. A
flattened spent case is better.
||My firearms toolbox contains a lot of wooden implements--
chopsticks, bamboo utensils, bits of hardwood dowel--that
I use as punches and scrapers specifically to avoid marring
the finish on guns. As long as you're careful not to leave
any splinters behind, it's a great way to pamper your
babies. I also have a plastic automotive fuse extractor that
is good for grabbing little sharp-edged bits, instead of
breaking my fingernails.
||and interlock that prevents the removal of the magazine unless the final shell has been discharged from the chamber would achieve the same result. implementation would be quite simple given the fact that many semi-automatic designs already allow the cocking mechanism to move to a second position after the magazine is empty. Combine this with a system that disables the trigger when the slide is worked manually and you have resolved the problem.
||Note: Possession of a firearm is the top indicating risk factor for firearm injury for you or your loved ones. The moment a gun enters your home, the chances that you yourself will get shot nearly double, the chances that your preteen child will suffer a gun injury go up far more.
||While I acknowledge the risk factor involved in firearm
ownership, I find those figures to be a little outrageous
when stated in such a broad, general manner.
||Also, it seems like kind of an unnecessarily inflammatory
statement to make in a room full of people who love guns.
Are you trying to tell me I should throw all my guns away
because the only possible outcome is that one of my family
members will get killed, or do you actually labor under the
misapprehension that we haven't heard things like that a
hundred times already? It's a bit like going to a dog show
and warning people that they're at risk of being bitten or
||Well, they're falling on the ears of people who disagree with the implication of causality inherent in the statements.
||Correlation =/= Causation. Take a statistics course.
||//I could go on//
And Lord! you do.
||While I have some reservations about the application of my country's rather draconian gun laws (Canada), mostly because of feedback loop problems (people don't know what a gun is or how to use it, so having one becomes that more dangerous, so then tighter laws are required, rinse and repeat), I just rewatched a YT vid about an idiot who discharged a battle rifle (frankenFAL, semi-auto) in an apartment building while playing with his really badass-looking toy.
||Bad apples. The same kind of idiots raise nasty-ass dogs
and give Pit Bulls a bad name, or crash their tricked-out
cars and turn everyone with a customized vehicle into a
pariah. He's part of a tiny minority whose thoughtless
actions get blown far out of proportion. He's the reason for
the kind of dubious statistics [WcW] felt the inexplicable
need to start spouting.