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Rotary-Barrel Handguns


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#1 Dawes

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 2151 PM

The Beretta PX4 Storm and the Grand Power K100/Q100 series have a rotating barrel arrangement as opposed to a more conventional design. The PX4 had some early issues but current production examples seem to be reasonably reliable and accurate.

 

So do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages in such a design?



#2 Blunt Eversmoke

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 0134 AM

First to derail! :D On a somewhat related note: These firearms are rotary-barrel-delayed.  Were there attempts to create firearms actuated by barrel rotation (as the bullet is pushed through the rifling and made to spin, it creates a counter-force that tries to rotate the barrel in opposite direction), where a barrel outfitted with a set of appropriately-designed cams would, by its rotation, accelerate the bolt carrier?



#3 Argus

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 0528 AM

First to derail! :D On a somewhat related note: These firearms are rotary-barrel-delayed.  Were there attempts to create firearms actuated by barrel rotation (as the bullet is pushed through the rifling and made to spin, it creates a counter-force that tries to rotate the barrel in opposite direction), where a barrel outfitted with a set of appropriately-designed cams would, by its rotation, accelerate the bolt carrier?

 

Savage 1907 pistol  sort of, still more a delay effect in both principal and practice.

 

shane



#4 bojan

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 0544 AM

...So do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages in such a design?

It requires more precision machining than Browning locking design.



#5 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 0836 AM

Webley-Fosbery caliber .455 automatic revolver used recoil to turn the cylinder to line up the next shot and cock the hammer.  The barrel, cylinder, and upper frame recoiled across the lower frame, grip, and trigger group.

 

When i saw the thread title, the old "pepper pot" revolving pistol came to mind before I read you were talking about the Beretta action.



#6 Colin

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 1916 PM

Same thought crossed my mind 



#7 Chris Werb

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 0935 AM

Has anyone taken the revolver cannon method of operation and applied it to a shoulder weapon? I would imagine torque induced aim/pointing errors might be an issue :)



#8 Dawes

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 0953 AM

Of course. Arnold uses hand-held Miniguns on a regular basis.



#9 Colin

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 2318 PM

Has anyone taken the revolver cannon method of operation and applied it to a shoulder weapon? I would imagine torque induced aim/pointing errors might be an issue :)

The movie actor was tied to a stake so he could fire the gun during the scene



#10 Ivanhoe

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 0105 AM

When i saw the thread title, the old "pepper pot" revolving pistol came to mind before I read you were talking about the Beretta action.

 

Ditto. I was looking forward to a rollicking discussion about a transitional handgun technology that I don't know enough about...



#11 Loopycrank

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 0630 AM

The Beretta PX4 Storm and the Grand Power K100/Q100 series have a rotating barrel arrangement as opposed to a more conventional design. The PX4 had some early issues but current production examples seem to be reasonably reliable and accurate.

 

So do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages in such a design?

 

It's not that different.  In the more common tilt-locking design, the barrel rotates on the pitch axis.  In a rotating barrel design, it rotates on the roll axis.  They both lock to the slide, they both accelerate while locked to the slide a short distance, they both stop against the frame, and the slide unlocks both by impinging it against a cam surface in the frame.

 

The rotating barrel, by the way, is also a Browning invention.

 

The performance will be more a function of the design's other details and the manufacturer's attention than it will be a function of which axis the barrel rotates on.

 

There are a number of small pros and cons.

 

A rotating barrel will sit lower in the slide than a tilting barrel.  This means that the rotating barrel will have potentially a lower bore axis, but slightly greater sight offset.  In any event, most production rotating barrel pistols (PX-4, QSZ-92, Grand Power) are all hammer-fired and not particularly designed for low bore axis, making this potential advantage irrelevant.  Colt did have a striker-fired rotating barrel pistol, but it was an enormous pile of shit that never worked.  Grand Power does have a striker-fired pistol now, but the frame design is no different than their old hammer-fired design.

 

A rotating barrel can also sit closer to the feed position of the ammunition when in battery.  A tilting barrel's breech end drops down, which wastes a small amount of height, which in turn either drives the bore axis up or drives the entire pistol height higher for a given ammunition capacity.

 

Rotating barrel pistols usually have the locking elements arranged on the sides of the barrel, and after they rotate they need space inside the slide in order for the slide to reciprocate.  This usually makes the slides wider than they would be in tilting barrel pistols, but the difference is slight as most tilting barrel pistols have a significant amount of wasted dead space inside the slide anyway.

 

In a rotating barrel pistol, the barrel remains parallel to the direction of travel of the slide during extraction and ejection.  In tilting barrel pistols the case is being pulled out of the firing chamber slightly off-axis.  This problem is worse in compact models, since the height of the locking surfaces is the same but the lever arm is shorter.  In practice, this doesn't appear to matter much.  Oddly, the Beretta PX-4 subcompact model is a tilting barrel design, and the off-axis extraction should be worst in the subcompact model.  So this problem is clearly not a design priority.

 

There are people who claim that rotating barrel pistols have lower recoil and greater accuracy.  These people don't know how physics works and you should ignore them.

 

The overwhelming majority of new designs have been tilt-lockers, but this has more to do with designers blindly copying the Glock than it has to do with any inherent superiority of that design.  I would love to see a rotating barrel pistol design that's as well-made and well-designed as a Glock... but realistically, it would pretty much be just like a Glock, except that the barrel rotates on the roll axis rather than the pitch axis.

 

First to derail! :D On a somewhat related note: These firearms are rotary-barrel-delayed.  Were there attempts to create firearms actuated by barrel rotation (as the bullet is pushed through the rifling and made to spin, it creates a counter-force that tries to rotate the barrel in opposite direction), where a barrel outfitted with a set of appropriately-designed cams would, by its rotation, accelerate the bolt carrier?

 

Bolt carrier... in a pistol?  Maybe in some obscure, turn of the last century design back before anyone knew what they were doing, but most automatic pistols don't have bolt carriers.

 

Supposedly the Jordanian JAWS pistol and the Chinese QX-04 both use the old Savage-Searle breech design, but I've never seen either one and Jane's has been wrong before.  I'm not sure if that's what you mean; your terminology isn't exactly English idiomatic.



#12 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 10 July 2017 - 1017 AM

Has anyone taken the revolver cannon method of operation and applied it to a shoulder weapon? I would imagine torque induced aim/pointing errors might be an issue :)

There were some revolver rifles early on in the old cap and ball days.  They quickly were abandoned because of the distinct possibility of all of the caps being set off at once by accident.  In a pistol, this just destroyed the pistol.  In a rifle or a carbine, it has serious consequences to the shooter's forearm in front of the cylinder.



#13 Blunt Eversmoke

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 0140 AM

 

The Beretta PX4 Storm and the Grand Power K100/Q100 series have a rotating barrel arrangement as opposed to a more conventional design. The PX4 had some early issues but current production examples seem to be reasonably reliable and accurate.

 

So do the disadvantages outweigh the advantages in such a design?

 

It's not that different.  In the more common tilt-locking design, the barrel rotates on the pitch axis.  In a rotating barrel design, it rotates on the roll axis.  They both lock to the slide, they both accelerate while locked to the slide a short distance, they both stop against the frame, and the slide unlocks both by impinging it against a cam surface in the frame.

 

The rotating barrel, by the way, is also a Browning invention.

 

The performance will be more a function of the design's other details and the manufacturer's attention than it will be a function of which axis the barrel rotates on.

 

There are a number of small pros and cons.

 

A rotating barrel will sit lower in the slide than a tilting barrel.  This means that the rotating barrel will have potentially a lower bore axis, but slightly greater sight offset.  In any event, most production rotating barrel pistols (PX-4, QSZ-92, Grand Power) are all hammer-fired and not particularly designed for low bore axis, making this potential advantage irrelevant.  Colt did have a striker-fired rotating barrel pistol, but it was an enormous pile of shit that never worked.  Grand Power does have a striker-fired pistol now, but the frame design is no different than their old hammer-fired design.

 

A rotating barrel can also sit closer to the feed position of the ammunition when in battery.  A tilting barrel's breech end drops down, which wastes a small amount of height, which in turn either drives the bore axis up or drives the entire pistol height higher for a given ammunition capacity.

 

Rotating barrel pistols usually have the locking elements arranged on the sides of the barrel, and after they rotate they need space inside the slide in order for the slide to reciprocate.  This usually makes the slides wider than they would be in tilting barrel pistols, but the difference is slight as most tilting barrel pistols have a significant amount of wasted dead space inside the slide anyway.

 

In a rotating barrel pistol, the barrel remains parallel to the direction of travel of the slide during extraction and ejection.  In tilting barrel pistols the case is being pulled out of the firing chamber slightly off-axis.  This problem is worse in compact models, since the height of the locking surfaces is the same but the lever arm is shorter.  In practice, this doesn't appear to matter much.  Oddly, the Beretta PX-4 subcompact model is a tilting barrel design, and the off-axis extraction should be worst in the subcompact model.  So this problem is clearly not a design priority.

 

There are people who claim that rotating barrel pistols have lower recoil and greater accuracy.  These people don't know how physics works and you should ignore them.

 

The overwhelming majority of new designs have been tilt-lockers, but this has more to do with designers blindly copying the Glock than it has to do with any inherent superiority of that design.  I would love to see a rotating barrel pistol design that's as well-made and well-designed as a Glock... but realistically, it would pretty much be just like a Glock, except that the barrel rotates on the roll axis rather than the pitch axis.

 

First to derail! :D On a somewhat related note: These firearms are rotary-barrel-delayed.  Were there attempts to create firearms actuated by barrel rotation (as the bullet is pushed through the rifling and made to spin, it creates a counter-force that tries to rotate the barrel in opposite direction), where a barrel outfitted with a set of appropriately-designed cams would, by its rotation, accelerate the bolt carrier?

 

Bolt carrier... in a pistol?  Maybe in some obscure, turn of the last century design back before anyone knew what they were doing, but most automatic pistols don't have bolt carriers.

 

Supposedly the Jordanian JAWS pistol and the Chinese QX-04 both use the old Savage-Searle breech design, but I've never seen either one and Jane's has been wrong before.  I'm not sure if that's what you mean; your terminology isn't exactly English idiomatic.

 

Nah, not necessarily in a pistol. I actually thought more of a rifle or a machine gun.

Don't think my English is at fault (rusty and faulty as it though is), but the idea itself. Let me repeat:

Rotary-barrel pistols either have the barrel move with the slide (locked, short recoil operated) or reside in the frame (rotary barrel delayed, blowback operated). The latter designs use the counter-torque exerted on the barrel by the boolit riding its rifling to stop the barrel from rotating and releasing the slide; as soon as the projo has left the barrel, the slide moves back, rotating the barrel.

 

What I meant is: If one were to use the counter-torque not to delay blowback, but to actuate a bolt carrier and a bolt? Say, you have a bolt carrier and bolt, but no gas drive - neither direct impingment nor gas piston. Instead, have the barrel be free to rotate as it is accelerated by the bullet in the opposite direction. Also, give it cams somewhere near the chamber. These cams will, in turn, accelerate the bolt carrier and have it unlock and cycle the bolt (would have to lock somewhere onto the receiver, not the barrel).



#14 Loopycrank

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 0125 AM

 

 

What I meant is: If one were to use the counter-torque not to delay blowback, but to actuate a bolt carrier and a bolt? Say, you have a bolt carrier and bolt, but no gas drive - neither direct impingment nor gas piston. Instead, have the barrel be free to rotate as it is accelerated by the bullet in the opposite direction. Also, give it cams somewhere near the chamber. These cams will, in turn, accelerate the bolt carrier and have it unlock and cycle the bolt (would have to lock somewhere onto the receiver, not the barrel).

 

 

 

Oh, OK, I gotcha now.

 

Your arrangement would have the advantage that the barrel wouldn't take up any extra room from reciprocating.  It would have the disadvantage that the impulse on the bolt carrier group would be a function of the moment of inertia and velocity of the bullet.  It might be something where you could design it to work very well with one load, but it might not work so well with others.



#15 Blunt Eversmoke

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 0210 AM

Well, one could mount a muzzle device designed to give the barrel additional torque, but this is going too far into details.

 

I was just curious if anyone ever made a rifle or MG with such an arrangement.

It would be, in essence, gas driven (bullet being the piston), but could have a truly free-floating barrel (rifle), a very simple belt pulling arrangement (MG), would suffer less from powder fouling and so on...



#16 Loopycrank

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 0135 AM

The barrel would be free-floating, but not in a good way.  "Free floating" means that the barrel is attached to the receiver and nothing else.  No differential heating, no variable pull on the sling can affect the point of impact that way.  Barrels that move within the receiver are not conducive to best accuracy.



#17 Sir Rosco

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 1707 PM

As far as the Grand Power K100 goes, I can say that it does indeed behave significantly differently under recoil than a tilt barrel pistol.

Even with hot ammo, it cycles with what feels like a muted shuffle, rather than snapping the muzzle upwards.

The actual operating force is the same of course, but its delivered less abruptly and in a more horizonal axis.

#18 Dawes

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 1956 PM

Decided to take the plunge. This is the LE version with three mags, and comes with the medium size backstrap installed. Looks like a chunky little thing but fits my hand quite well:

 

8PUYYoM.jpg



#19 Loopycrank

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 1341 PM

As far as the Grand Power K100 goes, I can say that it does indeed behave significantly differently under recoil than a tilt barrel pistol.

Even with hot ammo, it cycles with what feels like a muted shuffle, rather than snapping the muzzle upwards.

The actual operating force is the same of course, but its delivered less abruptly and in a more horizonal axis.

 

I don't doubt that you can feel differences in recoil impulse, and especially notice their impact on how much your sights shift.  But are you sure the differences you're noticing are a result of the barrel spinning on a different axis and not:

 

1)  The result of different amounts of slide overtravel between the K100 and whatever tilt-locking pistol you're comparing it to?

 

2)  The result of different slide masses between the K100 and whatever tilt-locking pistol you're comparing it to?

 

3)  The result of different return spring forces between the K100 and whatever tilt-locking pistol you're comparing it to?

 

4)  The result of different bore axes between the K100 and whatever tilt-locking pistol you're comparing it to?

 

5)  The result of a different slide-to-frame mass ratio between the K100 and whatever tilt-locking pistol you're comparing it to?






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