The gun groups have ignored this question, probably because it's so
stupid, but it's something that has always bugged me, so I ask you
guys because of the wealth of knowledge here.
Most revolver barrels have bullet-shaped grooves in their outer
surface. Do these have a function? To make the barrel lighter,
perhaps? Or is it merely a traditional "decoration" that persists?
The outer surface? The part you see, as opposed to the inside surface? I've
never seen bullet-shaped grooves on either one. Are you referring to the
rifling? The fine grooves machined on the inside in a slight spiral pattern?
There are often grooves in the cylinder, yes, not the barrel. They are
they mainly for aesthetics and to save a little bit of weight. It also
makes it a bit easier to turn the cylinder by hand to check for loaded
chambers (less useful on a swing-out cylinder, more useful on a gate
I have seen a few smooth-walled cylinders, though they are rare.
There are also a couple of neat old revolvers that use a Z-channel in
the cylinder that actually causes the cylinder to turn when a lug
underneath moves forward and back as the trigger is pulled.
email@example.com wrote in
Gun BARRELS are fluted to give more rigidity with less weight,cylinders are
fluted to reduce overall weight but not reduce strength.
Handguns chambering the most powerful cartridges usually don't have
fluting;they want maximum strength(some only chamber 5 rounds,too),older
guns with poorer metallurgy used unfluted cylinders.
So far, your reply best matches what I've been taught. However,...
My S&W Airweight is a five shot, .38., and my S&W .357 in stainless
steel both have fluted cylinders. Of course, there are far more powerful
I realize the fluting geometry differs between barrels and cylinders;
but, if fluting makes a barrel more rigid, wouldn't it also make a
Fluted barrels dissipate heat better, by virtue of increased surface
area. That's a great benefit, but I don't understand the logic of making
a barrel lighter.
My AR-10T, .308, is very heavy, but I consider that a major plus.
A day without recoil is like a day without sunshine!
Do you mean the revolver's CYLINDER? Barrels don't have grooves on their
If you mean the FLUTING on a revolver CYLINDER, they serve two purposes:
Reduces weight and strengthens the cylinder (yes, a fluted cylinder is
stronger than a solid one, just like a hollow cylinder is stronger than a
I just saw the picture. The cylinder is top dead center. The flute at
the very top and looking from a top view you will see a flute on the
Ever see lead fragments on the cylinder end, adjacent the barrel? Lead
and gases can disperse; out and away from the shooter.
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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