Brownells 75th Anniversary - A Shooting Heritage

Smyth Busters: Revolvers Don't Jam... Do They?

"Six for sure beats an iffy 17." "There aren't many aftermarket parts for revolvers because they're built to work right in the first place." Many of the Revolver Fraternity's reasons for the continued relevance of their favorite platform in the 21st century revolve (ahem!) around its reliability - a revolver is less likely to jam than a semi-auto pistol. "Not so fast!" says the Smyth Busting Dynamic Duo of Caleb Savant and Steve Ostrem. Revolvers can and DO jam, usually due to ammunition problems related to recoil. A primer backs out or a poorly crimped bullet moves forward in the case until it stops the cylinder from rotating. The ejector rod can work loose and wreak havoc too. Think a "simple" single-action revolver is less prone to jams? Think again. One out-of-spec or damaged part, a squib load, or a piece of debris landing in the wrong place can gum up the works in any revolver, single- or double-action. Fixing these problems often involves disassembly, while a semi-auto pistol jam is usually cleared simply by dropping the mag and racking the slide. Bottom line: ANY firearm can jam, including a revolver.

WARNING: Never attempt to disassemble or reassemble a firearm unless you are absolutely certain that it is empty and unloaded. Visually inspect the chamber, the magazine and firing mechanism to be absolutely certain that no ammunition remains in the firearm. Disassembly and reassembly should follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

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