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0042-23 Smythbuster - Flipping Revolvers Shut_Thumb

Smyth Busters: Is It Bad To Snap a Revolver Cylinder Shut?

Author Caleb Savant
one year ago
You've seen action movie heros and villains do it. Every TV detective in the 1960s and '70s did it. Maybe you've even seen some internet "gun-tubers" demonstrate it and claim it's OK. They load a revolver's cylinder, grasp the grip with their shooting hand, and snap that cylinder shut with a flick of the wrist. Today's myth has circulated on the internet lately: Slapping a revolver's cylinder closed won't hurt the gun. True or false? Well, Steve and Caleb can't bring themselves to demonstrate it on camera even with an old revolver. Gunsmiths and other folks knowledgeable about double-action revolvers insist you should NEVER violently snap the cylinder shut. The inertia of the cylinder's weight will cause the yoke to bend. The result will be a misaligned cylinder and messed-up timing. (The yoke is also called the "crane.")
See the tiny seam on the front of the frame where the crane meets the frame? If the crane is even slightly bent, that seam will be noticeably enlarged. If the gap is wide enough, the cylinder won't rotate correctly. Maybe you can get away with snapping the cylinder shut a few times with no bad consequences. But if you keep doing it, the yoke WILL eventually get damaged. Both Caleb and Steve have fixed their share of revolvers with bent yokes.
The myth is BUSTED. Revolvers are very precise, finely tuned machines. They're expensive to repair. Save yourself headaches and expense, and just DON'T snap the cylinder shut.
A modern double-action revolver built like a tank, such as a Ruger® GP100® or Redhawk®, MAY be able to handle this abuse. Colts and Smith & Wessons definitely will not. But really, even with a Ruger®, why risk it?