View Full Version : (Forehand and Wadsworth) chamber space
12-18-2010, 04:20 PM
My F&W revolver is dated 86-87 and made to chamber only the .32 S&W (short). Yet the chambers appear to be cut to chamber the .32 S&W long, which seems to be a coincidence as they fit quite well for being designed 10 years after the pistol. I never will fire .32 S&W long out of this, but I wondered about having that extra cylinder space. Why would they design a cylinder to hold the bullet that deep when you could cut off that extra fractions of an inch to save resources and weight? The only reasons I could think of is for added strength and giving the automatic ejector enough length to fully extract the rounds. Are my assumptions correct or is there another reason?
12-18-2010, 06:13 PM
The ejector is certainly a factor in deciding cylinder length, but I think the main reason was aesthetic. Percussion revolvers with longish cylinders and guns like the SAA sort of established the idea of what a revolver should look like, and a revolver with a very short cylinder (there were some British revolvers with cylinders only long enough for a short cartridge) just looks funny to most folks.
Also, remember that while the .32 S&W Long was not introduced until S&W's Model 1896 Hand Ejector, the .32 Long Colt had been around since c. 1875 and there were .32 rimfire cartridges that had longer cases than the .32 S&W and for which revolvers had been made by F&W and H&A, so cylinder proportions were already established.
12-18-2010, 06:50 PM
12-19-2010, 05:50 PM
there was a 32 M&H (aka 32 H&R Long). many of these older 32 have chamber long enough for these early extra length 32's. by the time the 32 S&W Long was introduced most of these other longer 32's (longer than the 32 S&W) were discontinued. H&R may have been one of the last as they did not start offering the 32 S&W Long until 1905.
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