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DrJest
On the face of it, the automatic has all the advantages; clip size, rate of fire, reload time (although I realise speedloaders can make that distinction less noticeable).

So what are the advantages to using revolvers? I ask because I'm considering a gunslinger adept packing a revolver or maybe two, and although in-game the distinction is really not that big I am genuinely curious what the advantages would be IRL.
Arethusa
Reliability, lack of ejected casings, higher powered loads (especially in SA pistols) because of the lack of limited grip length, and personal preference.
DrJest
Cheers mate, I knew I could count on you guys smile.gif
hyzmarca
Revolvers are cooler. Other that that, nothing. However, if you have more bullets than you have clips it is faster to reload a cylinder than it is to reload a clip.

It would probably be easier to justify your tricked out 10M burst fire revolver to a GM than a 10M burst fire autoloader, as well.

Remeber, if you rely on revolvers then a crazy cyber-ninja will eventually cut off your hand.
DrJest
QUOTE
It would probably be easier to justify your tricked out 10M burst fire revolver to a GM than a 10M burst fire autoloader, as well.


I am reminded of Deadlands... the huckster hex that let your revolver fire in bursts, coupled with the one that reloaded it from bullets in your pocket...
The Grifter
Revolvers main strength is it's ease of use, reliability, and some models are able to accept multiple cartridge types. They are (typically) slower to reload than an autoloader, and carry less ammunition, but I know I would've taken my Taurus .45 revolver over the P.O.S. Beretta M9 I was issued in OIF any day of the week.
SpasticTeapot
I don't know jack about guns, but I do know that revolvers tend to be a bit harder to gum up or break than semi-automatic pistols. Let's face it; a basic revolver has maybe 10% the moving parts of a modern semi-automatic pistol, and most of them are pretty large. I also have little doubt that blowback and other such mechanisims work oddly under some circumstances; even if one had ammunition that did not require oxygen (or was VERY reactive), gas-based mechanisims will likely not function under the increased pressure.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (SpasticTeapot)
I don't know jack about guns, but I do know that revolvers tend to be a bit harder to gum up or break than semi-automatic pistols. Let's face it; a basic revolver has maybe 10% the moving parts of a modern semi-automatic pistol, and most of them are pretty large. I also have little doubt that blowback and other such mechanisims work oddly under some circumstances; even if one had ammunition that did not require oxygen (or was VERY reactive), gas-based mechanisims will likely not function under the increased pressure.

Actually, a revolver has more moving parts than an autoloader. Pulling the trigger not only has to cock and relase the hammer, it also has to turn the cylinder. This means that it must have many tiny interlocking parts that move at the same time with perfect percision.

With an autolaoder fails it is ususaly because a round wasn't loaded or ejected properly for some reason. This is easy enough to fix, just manually clear the chamber.
A revolver fails much less often, but such failure can be more catostrophic.
Arethusa
Revolvers don't have 10% the moving parts of an automatic. That is a gross overstatement. But more parts and more prone to catastrophic failure than an automatic is just as wrong. You're also confusing double action revolvers with all revolvers. Also, no ammunition requires oxygen. You can fire any modern cartidge in a vacuum, underwater, whatever. They may not be very useful that way and the gun being fired may or may not cycle (or even survive being fired), but any modern firearm will function in the absence of oxygen.
The Grifter
QUOTE
A revolver fails much less often, but such failure can be more catostrophic.


Pull the trigger, rotate the cylinder, and your revolver's ready to rock again. What's catastrophic about that?
lorthazar
Ever seen a cylinder crack in half. Or a top strap disintegrate. I have seen both. not fun.
Raygun
That would almost certainly be the fault of whoever was putting the ammunition into the gun. Especially if they were handloading.

Fault count: Dumbass, 1. Gun, 0.

A modern Smith & Wesson double action revolver (686) has 80 parts. A Glock pistol (17) has 34 parts, including the magazine.

Revolvers are generally considered more reliable because A) they do not depend on the ammunition in any way to cycle to the next round, and B) generally speaking, more attention is paid to the function of the magazine (in this case, cylinder) during the design of the firearm. Revolvers cylinders are integral to the firearm, whereas box magazines are (often for the worse) considered more or less disposable. A good magazine makes a lot of difference.
Krazy
having used both I think one of the only advantages of the semi is that you can take your unused ammo with you, with a revolver a combat reload dumps good ammo on the ground that you may be able to go back and get. as far as anything else goes, I think that they are about even as far as reliability goes, (all other factors being equal) with speed loaders realoding is not hard and is very quick, but I still prefer a magazine, less things can go wrong
The Grifter
QUOTE
with speed loaders realoding is not hard and is very quick, but I still prefer a magazine, less things can go wrong


Let's see:

The speedloader retains a full cylinder's worth of rounds, which are released from the speedloader with a push-button style mechanism. Worse that can happen is the speedloader fails to releae the ammunition, which is highly unlikely due to it's simplicity.

Magazines are notoriously fickle, especially government mags, and require alot more cleaning and maintenance. And if sand even decides to get near your magazines (which it will, thanks Murphy!) they are frickin useless.
FrostyNSO
QUOTE (Raygun)
A good magazine makes a lot of difference

QUOTE (The Grifter)
Magazines are notoriously fickle, especially government mags, and require alot more cleaning and maintenance.


From what I've experienced, a bad magazine is about the most common reason for a failure to feed in an automatic.

QUOTE (Krazy)
having used both I think one of the only advantages of the semi is that you can take your unused ammo with you, with a revolver a combat reload dumps good ammo on the ground that you may be able to go back and get. as far as anything else goes, I think that they are about even as far as reliability goes, (all other factors being equal) with speed loaders realoding is not hard and is very quick, but I still prefer a magazine, less things can go wrong


There are all sorts of "combat reloads", dependant on the situation at a given time. I believe Krazy is referring to a tactical reload, or a "topoff" reload (inserting a fresh, full magazine but not discarding the old one in regards to automatics). Much easier to do with a weapon that takes magazines. Difficult, but not impossible, for a revolver, just takes longer and you have to try not to drop your unused rounds while you fumble with everything else.
Krazy
yes tactical was what i meant as opposed to the "oh shit" reload. As far as problems with speedloaders, I had one dump on me during a fire course. not fun to have to still make the course while hand feeding spare rounds out of my pocket, granted that doesn't happen often, but the fact that it can, and is likely to happen the more the loaders get tossed around (mine were locked in a pouch, not just dropped in a pocket) isn't reasuring. and of course I wouldn't willingly go into a combat stuation with a mag that wasn't tested and tuned, IG I presume that some characters depending on background would have the background to make sure theat their gear was up to snuff.
Grinder
Personal preference, i guess. My chars prefer autmatics, like the good old desert eagle or the classical ares pred, but there are es well chars who chose revolvers.
Raygun
QUOTE (The Grifter @ May 1 2005, 02:13 PM)
Let's see:

The speedloader retains a full cylinder's worth of rounds, which are released from the speedloader with a push-button style mechanism.  Worse that can happen is the speedloader fails to releae the ammunition, which is highly unlikely due to it's simplicity.

These days even the good old HKS-type speedloaders are a bit outmoded by simple, stamped metal or plastic disposable clips that can hold either a full magazine or half a magazine at a time. Given, most revolvers have to be very slightly modified to use them.

QUOTE
Magazines are notoriously fickle, especially government mags, and require alot more cleaning and maintenance. And if sand even decides to get near your magazines (which it will, thanks Murphy!) they are frickin useless.

Well, that would depend on the design and construction of the magazine and the amount of sand.

Government magazines, specifically those for the M9 pistol, are utter shit, I agree. They have a gritty finish on them that's designed to prolong the life of the magazine body, but also gives sand something to grab onto and get stuck in, binding the follower to the mag body as rounds are pushed up to the action and the double stack converges into a single feed. The commercial magazines you get with a Beretta 92FS are of vastly superior construction, and at least as far as I've seen, aren't anywhere near as finicky. Of course, there's only so much sand they'll cope with before they ass-out, too.

In comparison M1911 magazines, being single stacked, are not quite as picky from the get go. But still, some mags are better than others.

QUOTE (FrostyNSO)
From what I've experienced, a bad magazine is about the most common reason for a failure to feed in an automatic.

Same here.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Reliability, lack of ejected casings, higher powered loads (especially in SA pistols) because of the lack of limited grip length, and personal preference.

That's pretty much it. If you jam you don't need to rack the slide back. Just keep firing.

It's preference, too. I actually like revolvers for recreational shooting simply because I often find them more comfortable to grip.
Wounded Ronin
OK, I just had a thought.

If you're going with a gunslinger who uses two revolvers, why not go all the way and houserule in some blackpowder Colt Single Action Army revolvers?

I hear they're pretty accurate at, like, 50 feet, but I have never used one. They're still plenty dangerous to be shot by. I think Raygun has written up stats for them.

The best part, of course, is how you have to eject the casings singly before reloading. I sure hope you have quickness 6.
Edward
If your going as far back as black powder you may as well not bother against the body armour of the 2060s. they may have unusually good accuracy but penetrating power on black powder weapons was low compared to today and I always assume that by 2060 there has been another improvement (and improvements in armour also).

If your saying reasonably accurate at 50 (17m) I am thinking that you could model a reproduction with modern ammunition as a heavy pistol with the extended barrel option.

Edward
shadow_scholar
While I'm not really adding to the topic, I had always wanted to make an old Gunslinger type character who used a pair of these:

Webley-Fosberry automatic revolver

edited to add: **WOOT!! I finally made "Moving Target"!
Shadow
In my personal experience (ie no scientific accuracy, or articles written by brains) I have noticed that Revolvers tend to be more accurate at long ranges and pack a bigger punch. I have also noticed that they are easier to "get on target" then a Automatic.

Having said that I vastly prefer automatics like the Walther P-22 and the Glock 20. Easily two of my favorite guns in the world. And neither have ever failed on me (after putting thousands of rounds through them).

I did have a SW .44 mag for a long time before some bastard who will rot in hell stole it. I loved it, but it would not be my combat weapon of choice.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Edward)
If your going as far back as black powder you may as well not bother against the body armour of the 2060s. they may have unusually good accuracy but penetrating power on black powder weapons was low compared to today and I always assume that by 2060 there has been another improvement (and improvements in armour also).

If your saying reasonably accurate at 50 (17m) I am thinking that you could model a reproduction with modern ammunition as a heavy pistol with the extended barrel option.

Edward

Dude, pistols in general don't do well against armor, even a flimsy second chance vest. The basic armor in Shadowrun is strange because it only sort of protects you from "heavy pistols".

So, actually, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference whether you were loading modern 10mm or blackpowder .44 when it came to shooting someone in the armor, realistically speaking.

If we're talking in terms of Shadowrun, just give the blackpowder pistol a lower Power and let the rules handle it.
Raygun
QUOTE (Shadow)
In my personal experience (ie no scientific accuracy, or articles written by brains) I have noticed that Revolvers tend to be more accurate at long ranges and pack a bigger punch. I have also noticed that they are easier to "get on target" then a Automatic.

Unlike most automatic pistols, revolvers have a barrel that is not designed to move during recoil. Because more attention is generally paid to the magazine (cylinder) in relation to the rest of the firearm, a solid, concentric lockup between the firing cylinder and the stationary barrel tends to translate to better accuracy for a revolver. Also, revolvers often have longer barrels, thus a longer sight radius than most autos, which helps accuracy.

QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
If we're talking in terms of Shadowrun, just give the blackpowder pistol a lower Power and let the rules handle it.

Yet another example of why it's not right to have power and penetration represented by the same number.

Black powder firearms may have relatively shitty armor penetration potential (that is mostly due to bullet construction, BTW), but they can certainly dump plenty of energy into something, as most are designed to fire a right massive hunk of lead, that, if no body armor is present, will very much so ruin your day.

Black powder cartridges can be loaded with a relatively small mass of smokless powder (with the extra case capacity consumed by a case filler such as Pufflon), which will allow the firearm in question to produce its original ballistics without a huge cloud of blue smoke being produced in the process. Most can also use modern jacketed bullets.
mfb
speaking of mechanics, any real reason not to roll power and damage potential into one stat, assuming you've got a stat for penetration?
Kiedo
Personally I like revolvers for two reasons, they look cool, and they are more accurate.

I usually give my characters both however, since a revolver's max ammo is 7 and a semi-automatic's is 50, heavy revolver, light or machine semi-auto.
EVLTIM
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
QUOTE (Arethusa @ Apr 30 2005, 06:07 PM)
Reliability, lack of ejected casings, higher powered loads (especially in SA pistols) because of the lack of limited grip length, and personal preference.

That's pretty much it. If you jam you don't need to rack the slide back. Just keep firing.

It's preference, too. I actually like revolvers for recreational shooting simply because I often find them more comfortable to grip.

Which is great until a bullet unseats from recoil and locks up the cylinder .
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (mfb)
speaking of mechanics, any real reason not to roll power and damage potential into one stat, assuming you've got a stat for penetration?

Are you designing a new RPG system? Just for firearms, if you don't want to pay too much attention to bullet types, I suppose it's not very important to have a two-part damage code.

Optimally, unless it gets too complicated to do, I would like some kind of Power/Damage Level system, because it allows you to simulate different bullet designs much better. For example, expanding bullets create a much wider wound channel ( = higher Damage Level, unless too unbalancing) but penetrate less tissue ( = lower Power), so that an expanding bullet fired from a low-power handgun might be powerful enough to deal with most humans (say, 5M), but killing trolls with the same could prove very problematic.
BitBasher
QUOTE (Raygun)
QUOTE (FrostyNSO)
From what I've experienced, a bad magazine is about the most common reason for a failure to feed in an automatic.

Same here.

I agree with this also. The only time I've had any pistol stovepipe was directly the result of a weak magazine spring. Even then, with a clip that's seen many thousands of rounds through it it's only happened twice and only on that one magazine.
mfb
a two-part damage code (penetration, damage) is fine. what i'd want to avoid would be a three-part damage code (penetration, power, damage).
Austere Emancipator
Oh, right, should have said "three-part DC", not "two-part" in the above message. I didn't think of penetration as a part of the DC because it's a separate attribute in my games.

I like having all three because I like to fiddle with the ammunition, bringing into the game the whole range available IRL with different effects in game. If you're designing a new game system, or changing an existing one where a 3-part DC just doesn't fit in, then it's definitely a better idea to just drop the one part than making extensive changes to the game mechanic to squeeze in the third part.

In SR3, though, you'd actually have to change around more stuff to use just Penetration and Damage, and you'd have to make huge abstractions in the Damage department: either having only 4 basic levels of damage, or only one level of damage with the only differences in how hard it is to resist.
Raygun
QUOTE (EVLTIM)
Which is great until a bullet unseats from recoil and locks up the cylinder.

That is usually caused by the lack of a case mouth crimp after seating the bullet in a magnum cartridge.

Dumbass: 2, Gun: 0.
EVLTIM
QUOTE (Raygun)
QUOTE (EVLTIM)
Which is great until a bullet unseats from recoil and locks up the cylinder.

That is usually caused by the lack of a case mouth crimp after seating the bullet in a magnum cartridge.

Dumbass: 2, Gun: 0.

True enough , but the first tim I saw it happen was with factory ammo .
(whoops)
Raygun
That's pretty unlikely, unless a lighter, non-crimped load was mixed in the cylinder with heavier crimped loads and fired. Not that it couldn't happen, but you'd be talking about a very major mistake on the part of the ammunition manufacturer if that happened with the same load in all chambers.
Reaver
QUOTE (DrJest)
On the face of it, the automatic has all the advantages; clip size, rate of fire, reload time (although I realise speedloaders can make that distinction less noticeable).

So what are the advantages to using revolvers? I ask because I'm considering a gunslinger adept packing a revolver or maybe two, and although in-game the distinction is really not that big I am genuinely curious what the advantages would be IRL.

Overall, I prefer a revolver. They hardly ever jam (and when they do it's because of low powder charge) and they are more accurate... at least in my experience. Don't get me wrong, I do like my Steyr semi-auto, but I always pull better groupings with my S&W 6" and 4" .357 revolvers. Frankly, if I were going into combat, I'd carry both.
nezumi
Arethusa mentioned this ever so briefly earlier, but keep in mind revolvers will work better underwater or in a vacuum than an automatic, since the machinary doesn't use the venting of gas to reload. I suspect a glock underwater would be far more prone to jamming, as the empty casings would get stuck in the ejector, whereas a revolver wouldn't (assuming the bullet didn't bounce all around the muzzle on the way out due to the added drag).
Mad Jack
I've had a revolver jam when the primers back out from the cartridge. This mostly happens with hand-loads, but it also happened twice with factory loads. In my experience
Arethusa
QUOTE (nezumi)
Arethusa mentioned this ever so briefly earlier, but keep in mind revolvers will work better underwater or in a vacuum than an automatic, since the machinary doesn't use the venting of gas to reload. I suspect a glock underwater would be far more prone to jamming, as the empty casings would get stuck in the ejector, whereas a revolver wouldn't (assuming the bullet didn't bounce all around the muzzle on the way out due to the added drag).

Actually, Glocks are among the most reliable pistols underwater. They may not be any good if you deviate from standard factory ammunition, but they're known for working relatively well underwater. And I have no idea how a bullet could "bounce around the muzzle." Bullets just go slower underwater. It's one fluid substituted for another.
The Other DSE
QUOTE
revolvers will work better underwater or in a vacuum than an automatic, since the machinary doesn't use the venting of gas to reload


While your point about the cartridge jamming the glock underwater is well taken, in a vacuum there wouldn't be a problem. My understanding of autoloading pistols is that almost all of them use the momentum of the bullet to reload, not the gas. The notable exception to this being everyone's favorite, the Desert Eagle, which actually uses a gas-operated recoil system similar to that used in assault rifles.

In fact though even a gas-operated recoil system would still work to operate the loading mechanism since the gas used is created *by the round*. It doesn't use gas from the environment, it just siphons off some of the gas from the firing process to move the receiver.

Again, I do however think your example of cartridge ejection is a good example. I'd imagine that the force with which the cartridge is ejected might not be enough to overcome the drag of the water...

EDIT: Or maybe not. Arethusa beats my post and debunks the example. smile.gif
Arethusa
Yeah, doesn't matter if it's recoil or gas. A gas system will function just fine in a vacuum because the gas is generated by the propellant in the cartridge. Gas systems, however, will likely have a bit more trouble than a recoil or revolver action underwater because of the dramatically increased pressure. That doesn't mean they won't work, however.

And, yes, extraction is more of a problem underwater. Doesn't mean it won't happen; just depends (quite a bit) on the weapon in question.
nezumi
QUOTE (Arethusa @ May 5 2005, 11:02 AM)
And I have no idea how a bullet could "bounce around the muzzle."  Bullets just go slower underwater.  It's one fluid substituted for another.

Because I wouldn't know a gun from a hole in the ground, even if the hole had a sign saying 'not a gun' : P

I didn't mean to imply there wouldn't be gas to eject the cartridge in a vacuum, rather the engineers made it at one atmosphere, with an understanding of how things work with normal air pressure. As soon as you wildly twist that premise, it's not always clear how things would turn out. In a vacuum (since this is usually, in our case, in space), you'd still have to deal with no gravity and oftentimes delicate things nearby, so a lot of givens are no longer there. At minimum, you may have to worry about hot pieces of brass ejecting out and bouncing around the cabin or whatever instead of staying neatly in a revolver.

Just random thoughts from a person who has years of experience with a nintendo light gun.
Raygun
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Yeah, doesn't matter if it's recoil or gas.  A gas system will function just fine in a vacuum because the gas is generated by the propellant in the cartridge.  Gas systems, however, will likely have a bit more trouble than a recoil or revolver action underwater because of the dramatically increased pressure.  That doesn't mean they won't work, however.

Gas operation under water is a very bad idea.

When water mixes with propellant residue, it becomes a gummy substance that adversely affects the weapon's operation, especially in a system like direct impingement (AR15/M16; high atmospheric humidity in combination with a particularly sooty propellant residue was the major contributing factor to M16 failures during Vietnam). Also, the gas tube is going to be filled with water which is going to have to go somewhere when gas pressure is directed against it. That hydraulic compression will increase pressure (with the bolt's rearward movement also being resisted by water, the M16 especially so considering a water-filled buffer tube), thus wear. Case ejection will be affected by fluid resistance and eventually short-stroking will occur, meaning manual operation only.

Other systems such as short or long stroke piston operations would likely be less affected. Still, propellant residue will eventually clog up the barrel's gas tap, making for manual operation only.

As for ammunition underwater, any kind of specialty ammunition (other than AP) is pretty much out. Expanding/frangible bullets will probably expand or fragment inside the barrel (that's bad), and I wouldn't want to think about the possibilities of what might occur with PIE bullets.

Revolvers might generally be more reliable as far as firing underwater is concerned as, again, the weapon is not dependent on gas pressure or momentum to cycle underwater. A major problem with automatic pistols firing underwater is light or no primer strikes due to a water-filled firing pin channel in which the forward movement of the firing pin is resisted by water pressure. The water generally has only one place to pass, through the extremely small firing pin hole in the bolt face. The Glock pistol can be modified with "maritime spring cups" which allow water free movement through the firing pin channel, which in turn allows unresisted forward movement of the firing pin, thus more reliable operation. More on that here, last question.

As far as firing in a vacuum is concerned, automatic firearms aren't likely to be affected by the lack of oxygen or gravity, and range will be substantially increased. smile.gif
Kagetenshi
Indeed. Effective range becomes "however far out you can aim or until it hits something or gravity becomes a major factor".

~J
mfb
recoil becomes a larger issue, though, since you don't have a planet stuck to your feet to help absorb it. automatic weapons in space are one situation where SR's autofire rules almost make sense.

almost.
Kagetenshi
What do you mean? The autofire rules make perfect sense. Mickey and Goofy agree with me, too, so there.

Now if you'll pardon me, there's a carnivorous smurf on my tail.

~J
mfb
that's not--oh, god. that's not a tail. ugh.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (mfb)
recoil becomes a larger issue, though, since you don't have a planet stuck to your feet to help absorb it. automatic weapons in space are one situation where SR's autofire rules almost make sense.

almost.

Firing a gun in space would send you spinning backwards out of controll due to recoil. You'd be moving fairly slowly since a handgun gun produces realitivly few newtons.
Still, it isn't a good idea to go shooting with a very percise tactical computer connected to the un via smartlink and a rocketpack via datajack so that it may fire off the rockets to compensate for the gun.

Spinning slowly out of controll can mean slow death in the emptiness of space if there isn't anyone around to rescue you.
Kagetenshi
Um, dude, that applies if you're in space at all. Presumably if you're firing a gun you've got something to either anchor yourself with or provide thrust. If not, well, those people aren't going to be worth considering.

~J
Req
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Still, it isn't a good idea to go shooting with a very percise tactical computer connected to the un via smartlink and a rocketpack via datajack so that it may fire off the rockets to compensate for the gun.

I'm pretty sure that's the unnecessarily-complex solution to the problem. Get your rocketpack (or more likely, cold-gas maneuvering system) and hook it up to a fairly-sensative accelerometer. Tell it to keep acceleration at a net zero as long as you're not moving the joystick. Problem solved, and no tactical computer necessary.

Of course, if you're having to figure out firearm-compensation for null-grav encounters, your Shadowruns are a lot different than mine... smile.gif
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