View Full Version : 22 revolver cylinder length
08-16-2009, 05:52 PM
I asked a question this week on this forum about firing a 22 short in a revolver made for long rifle. One of the concerns is that there is a long distance to travel to the barrel which is not necessarily a good thing. I notice today that my Smith and Wesson 63 has a very long cylinder for a 22 much longer than my H&R. I assume that the 63 is made in a J frame and the size of the cylinder is the same on a 22 as a 38? Seems no reason to have that much wasted space in the cylinder unless it is the frame for another cartridge.
08-16-2009, 09:53 PM
The S&W "J" frame is a slightly larger, stronger version of the "I" or .32 cal. design frame, and was designed for the "Chiefs Special" Model which was originally in .38 S&W Special Cal.
I may have answered your other post. If so, again, I opine that their is a slim chance of the possible problems previously mentioned relative to your revolver. Others here have reported that they have done what you propose to do with no problems. However, if someone has a problem by operating their revolver contrary to the manufacturer's instructions or recommendations, I do not want some lawyer to be arguing that I said it was an acceptable practice.
Good luck and be careful.
If you are the member with the H&R, remember that the S&W typically cost 1.6 to 2 times as much as the H&R. For that extra money it should have been built from tougher materials.
Always be careful.
The frame of the 63 is the same frame as the Model 36, Chiefs special in 38 special. That's why the cylinder is so long in relation to the cartridge. I shoot 22 shorts in my 63 and model 18 with no bad effects. I do clean the cylinders after shooting 22 shorts only because both guns have very tight cylinders and the fouling prevents me from cambering 22 Long rifle. Other wise it does the gun, rifle or pistol no harm. There is no erosion from shooting the shorts. I have guns that have shot thousands of round of shorts wilh absolutely no ill effects, none period.
08-17-2009, 11:17 AM
RJay gives a good and, no doubt, valid answer relative to S&W's.
They have about a 140 year history of making well made, high quality products. from tough expensive materials. H&R and IJ revolvers cost significantly less than the comparable Colt and S&W revolvers they competed against. They had the reputation of being less than top quality (economy or utility quality) products for those who often could not afford to buy better.
As a 14 year old "pistol prodigy" I almost caused cause two grown men to get into a physical fight because a H&R significantly outperformed a S&W for accuracy.
I was asked to try-out comparable model H&R and S&W 22 revolvers owned by two gun club members, who were mediocre "shots". I shot so much better with the H&R top break 9 shot that the S&W owner got mad and accused me of deliberately making his pistol look bad. He claimed something like "A $35 revolver can't out-shoot a $65 one". I was not big enough to kick this stupid bully's donkey, so my marksmanship mentor (a sixty-something WW I vet. with a notorious temper and "mean streak") started a very ugly and embarrassing conversation with him.
I do not know what spec steel(s) or heat treatments H&R used in its revolvers. I tend to be cautious in offering advice. I have seen some old firearms (but no H&R) that had been shot with so many shorts that their chambers were dangerously eroded for use with Longs or LR's.
I really do not expect that a careful person would likely encounter any significant problems; but I am not about to recommend doing something that manufacturers and firearms safety experts do not recommend.
I do not want to be trying to defend my advice in a deposition in some lawyer's office or on the witness stand of a courtroom.
Always be careful.
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