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Gun Safety: The Movies (Page 4)
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ghporter
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Apr 7, 2022, 12:03 PM
 
Here’s an interesting article on aphasia, discussing Bruce Willis’ issues. It points out that about 40% of cases are related to strokes. Dementia-related aphasia typically shows up a very long time after the dementia is obvious.

On the other hand, we can look at the different kinds of aphasia to see how cognition can be affected. There’s “expressive” aphasia, which impairs the person’s ability to express him or herself. Then there’s “receptive” aphasia, which impairs the person’s ability to understand - and can be visual (writing), aural (hearing), or both.

Receptive aphasia’s impairments can be subtle, as in when hearing the word “green”, for example, the person perceives it as “tractor” (or any symbol other than green). It can be related to specific vocabulary, specific situations, specific behaviors, or it can also be (apparently) intermittent. These factors mean that communication - the primary way we demonstrate cognitive activity - can be incredibly difficult.

Working with people with expressive, receptive, or mixed aphasia is pretty challenging. With expressive aphasia, folks often are aware of exactly how poorly they’re expressing themselves, which is incredibly frustrating. On the other hand, there’s a form of expressive aphasia where the person seems to babble - even though they think they’re forming coherent sentences - and they get really frustrated with everybody else who doesn’t understand the plain words they’re saying.

In short, “cognitive decline” in the setting of aphasia of any kind can be entirely communication-related.

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reader50
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Apr 7, 2022, 03:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
On the other hand, there’s a form of expressive aphasia where the person seems to babble - even though they think they’re forming coherent sentences - and they get really frustrated with everybody else who doesn’t understand the plain words they’re saying.
I've never heard of this one. Could be cool at a party.

When I was a kid, I'd have killed for the ability to pass this out. Someone doing public speaking, and it's boring-boring-boring? BING. Now the speech is no longer boring. Even though the useful info level is about the same.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 20, 2022, 01:59 PM
 
New Mexico OSHA fined the production company $136,793, which is the maximum.

Their press release was thin on details, only saying they violated protocol, but no real specifics.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 28, 2022, 04:57 PM
 
Well I got my primary source “dream”. The cops dropped 200+ pages worth of investigation results, including video of the armorer’s interview with the cops immediately after, and then a second one a few months later. I consider this some of the most important data.

The only detail I know of so far is to her credit (in terms of judging veracity), the armorer didn’t wait to lawyer-up for the first interview. I know that’s not supposed to matter since she has a right to one, and I would have recommended her to get one before talking to the police, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t factor into my analysis.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 28, 2022, 06:47 PM
 
Well, it would be primary source heaven if I could get a copy. Looks like only the press got the link, so I have to wait for a leak. I’m most curious about where they found the rest of the live ammo.

The armorer’s story seems to be the box of dummy rounds she got from the rental house had live ammo mixed in.
     
reader50
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Apr 28, 2022, 08:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
... the box of dummy rounds she got from the rental house had live ammo mixed in.
Is this line a quote? If so, it sounds weird to me. How does one rent ammo? The same way you rent food from a market?
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 28, 2022, 11:20 PM
 
It’s not an exact quote. Just me putting stuff together from skimming a bunch of articles looking for a link to the info dump.

IIUC, it was specifically dummy rounds (i.e. cartridges with no gunpowder). Those don’t get used up, so are returned and rented again. They’re typically only used for revolvers because with a revolver you can see into the cylinder. It was the (wooden) bullet from one of these which killed Brandon Lee after it worked loose and got lodged in the barrel.

Also, most of the rental places I’ve worked at/with have a stock of “expendables” for sale related to what they rent. Think U-Haul truck rentals selling boxes. Lighting rental places will sell gaff tape. I’ve never dealt with firearm rentals, but my guess is they sell various blanks.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 29, 2022 at 12:32 AM. )
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 29, 2022, 01:34 AM
 
Variety has an article just about the live ammo.

https://variety.com/2022/film/news/r...235243228/amp/

If this article is roughly correct, mea culpa. The armorer isn’t full of shit like I thought she might be. It really looks like the rental house sent the production live ammo mixed-in with dummies. Live ammo almost undoubtedly hand-loaded by a pro.

On top of this, I may not have read closely enough, but it didn’t look to me like the rental house is denying the live ammo came from them. At the least, they stress how it would be the armorer’s responsibility to catch such a thing. This is true, but not necessarily what an innocent party focuses on.



As an aside, it mentioned a use for dummy rounds my modem sensibilities didn’t account for: gunslinger belts holster a ton of visible ammo.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 29, 2022 at 01:58 AM. )
     
reader50
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Apr 29, 2022, 03:34 AM
 
If the character pulls out the mag to "check it", the bullets are briefly visible then too. Same if they load a fresh clip.

Assuming this is correct (rental house slipping in a few live ones) it would be hard for the armorer to catch. Dummies should look exactly like a real round. You'd have to weigh each round, and know the dry weight (no powder, fake primer).

You could catch a live round by hand-weighing if the dummy bullets are wood or rubber. But is that a realistic assumption? Either material will compress, making crimps loose. So bullets can fall out, and/or jam up your props. Non-metal bullets might also prevent closeups. Today we're routinely filming in 4K, and expensive productions in 8K. Filming visibly fake props just creates post-production expenses.
     
reader50
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Apr 29, 2022, 03:57 AM
 
Upon further thought, someone needs to be weighing individual rounds.

A) Rental house rents a box of dummies to Movie #1. The movie also purchases some live rounds for audio work. The Movie #1 people return the dummies, but accidentally mix a few live ones in.

B) Rental house should check every round, weighing to the gram before re-renting.

C) Movie #2 rents dummies from the rental house. They get the box with a few bogies mixed in.

Should the Movie #2 people also weigh every round? I suppose, but it's tedious and may require disassembly of one dummy of each caliber, to establish the correct weight. If they need to do this themselves, they might as well create their own dummy rounds from scratch and not rent anything.
     
subego  (op)
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Apr 29, 2022, 04:54 AM
 
FWIU, under normal circumstances, at the very least a dummy round will either:

A) Have a hole drilled into the side of the brass.

B) Have a BB inside and rattle when shaken.

So, tedious to check a big pile, but not the task of having to weigh them. FWIU, both sides are supposed to have checked, and in this case it looks like neither did.
     
ghporter
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Apr 30, 2022, 11:51 AM
 
A typical dummy round could be a lot of things. It could have a hole drilled in the side, have NO primer, have a BRIGHT orange plastic slug in the primer pocket, have BBs inside (no hole of course) or some mix of the above. Military dummies usually have lengthwise grooves in the case body, and either empty primer pockets or empty pockets that don't have a flash hole (making the inside of the case sealed. I'll try to get some pictures of dummies I've made...

If a rental house has somebody on hand to create dummy ammunition, they should have a federal firearms license to do so. Making ammunition for sale - even if it's dummies - requires a 06 FFL. Of course a lot of rental houses also make their own blanks, and that requires a 06 FFL.

So here's a real issue: the BATF "does not have a sense of humor" about such things as either not having a license when you need one, or performing functions under a license that can cause harm. If you make ammo and your ammo factory blows up because you weren't paying attention to safety, your license will probably go away.

And firearm rental houses depend on maintaining their FFL because that's the ONLY way they can rent things like machine guns. With a 07 FFL and a "Special Occupational Tax" certificate (which costs a BUNCH) a company can MAKE machine guns. (A 07 FFL also allows one to manufacture ammunition, with or without the SOT.). They can't sell their machine guns to the public, but they CAN rent them. Lose either the SOT or the FFL (which would automatically pull the SOT), and a rental house is going to lose so much business that they may go down the drain...

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subego  (op)
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May 2, 2022, 05:34 PM
 
My knee-jerk reaction is they won’t lose their FFL. I assume sprinkling live ammo in with the dummies isn’t illegal, but it’s very bad business.

My current curiosity is the rationale for having it loaded with anything at all considering the circumstances, which was pointing the gun at someone and dry-firing it during setup. If I was designing the protocol for that I’d say the gun should be both “cold” and empty, but there may be something I’m missing.
     
ghporter
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May 2, 2022, 08:17 PM
 
You're probably right that ATF probably wouldn't revoke their license. There's a pretty solid list of why they WOULD revoke an FFL here. None of what they list includes negligence with regard to safety.

On the other hand, business could be seriously impacted. "Hey, aren't you guys the ones that gave live ammo to the armorer on 'Rust'? Yeah, no thanks!"

I also agree that there should be a very rigid protocol for handling ANY firearm that could chamber live ammunition on a set. For that matter, those "convincing looking blank firing non-guns" that use 8mm or 9mm blanks* should be included in that protocol, since from a safety standpoint, blanks are "live" enough to cause injuries and even death.

*These are physically different enough from actual ammunition that live ammunition can't be accidentally substituted for the blanks.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
OreoCookie
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May 3, 2022, 04:36 AM
 
Since I don’t know anything about US firearms laws and regulations, I am just telling you I am listening. Thank you, @subego, for digging up this article. I agree, if this is accurate, then in my mind the armorer is off the hook when it comes to criminal charges. I reckon the prosecution would have to prove gross negligence of sorts, and I don’t see that if the situation is as article describes. It’d make it even harder to place clear blame with Baldwin (both, in his role as shooter and producer), the production company and the armorer.

Your back-and-forth about what could and should be done is interesting, and the only thing I’d add is that I wouldn’t hold it against anyone on set that they loaded the revolver with blanks during rehearsal. Otherwise, it seems the accidental shooting would have happened when shooting (no pun intended) the scene.
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subego  (op)
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May 3, 2022, 11:35 AM
 
The irony is it probably wouldn't have happened if they were shooting the scene for real. The cylinder would have been rotated so the blank was the first round fired. He’d fire it, and that’s the end of the scene. Then they’d reset and do the same thing again. Baldwin would have never pulled the trigger on one of the ostensible dummy rounds that was actually live.

Since they were rehearsing, the cylinder just kept advancing until it landed on the live one.

It definitely would have been a safer policy to have it completely empty for this unless there’s something I’m missing.
     
subego  (op)
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May 3, 2022, 03:56 PM
 
Analysts have been pointing to involuntary manslaughter as a possible charge. IMO, whether that sticks depends on what standard protocol is and whether he followed it. If he did, he’s fine. If he didn’t, then he was reckless, and that’s what makes one guilty of IM.

What (also IMO) makes this tricky is it’s this old-timey western revolver shit. We have tons of examples of protocol for modern weapons.

I don’t know the exact protocol, but for this situation with a modern weapon I imagine the protocol would be along the lines of:

1) Present pistol to the actor with slide back and no magazine.
2) Shine flashlight down the barrel to show lack of obstruction.
3) Shine flashlight into the mag well to show there’s no mag.
4) Present mag to actor to show it’s empty (theatrical tap on the follower optional)
5) Insert mag, release the slide, hand over to actor grip first.

If someone points this gun at someone and pulls the trigger, they’re not being reckless.

Here, the AD just handed over the gun, and “trust me, bro” was the full extent of the protocol… in a situation where it doesn’t really make sense why it was loaded with anything at all. Depending upon how this is normally supposed to go, there’s an argument Baldwin was reckless.

As an aside, there’s a ruling in NM law which explicitly states it doesn’t matter who loaded it when it comes to IM.
( Last edited by subego; May 3, 2022 at 05:26 PM. )
     
OreoCookie
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May 4, 2022, 04:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The irony is it probably wouldn't have happened if they were shooting the scene for real. The cylinder would have been rotated so the blank was the first round fired. He’d fire it, and that’s the end of the scene. Then they’d reset and do the same thing again. Baldwin would have never pulled the trigger on one of the ostensible dummy rounds that was actually live.
But in this alternate universe, the live round could have been in the first chamber, too. Or if they had to do 3 takes, then the chance of a live round going off would have been about 50 % (not sure whether this revolver holds 5 or 6 shots).
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It definitely would have been a safer policy to have it completely empty for this unless there’s something I’m missing.
Yes, true. But in practical terms, if you believe you only have blanks on set and blanks loaded in that gun, it does not seem irresponsible to me.
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OreoCookie
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May 4, 2022, 04:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Analysts have been pointing to involuntary manslaughter as a possible charge. IMO, whether that sticks depends on what standard protocol is and whether he followed it. If he did, he’s fine. If he didn’t, then he was reckless, and that’s what makes one guilty of IM.
My feeling is that the bar of a criminal conviction is too high, especially if it turns out to be true that the supplier of the blanks was the party that snafu’d here. I am not a lawyer, but I would expect that the bar is something like gross negligence. (Real lawyers, please chime in here and correct me!) The case seems roughly equivalent to Baldwin inadvertently causing a car accident that kills another person. As far as I understand, if he didn’t do something completely stupid while driving and e. g. “only” accidentally took someone’s right of way, he should be fine as far as criminal convictions go.
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subego  (op)
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May 4, 2022, 09:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
But in this alternate universe, the live round could have been in the first chamber, too. Or if they had to do 3 takes, then the chance of a live round going off would have been about 50 % (not sure whether this revolver holds 5 or 6 shots).
In this alternate universe the round in the first chamber would be a blank. Close to impossible to mix up a blank with a live round. They look very different. The armorer would have loaded the blank right before the shot and rotated the cylinder to the proper position.

After the first take, Baldwin would have immediately given the gun back to the armorer, they would reload a single blank into the same chamber, and rotate the cylinder to make the blank be first up. This would repeat until that shot was finished. Baldwin would have never dropped the hammer on one of the dummy/live rounds.


This particular revolver holds six, but was generally carried with only 5 and the cylinder on the empty chamber because a slight tap on the hammer was enough to fire it. The replica they were using had a trigger safety (i.e. the hammer can’t hit the firing pin unless the trigger is being pulled).
( Last edited by subego; May 4, 2022 at 12:37 PM. )
     
subego  (op)
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May 4, 2022, 10:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I would expect that the bar is something like gross negligence.
In New Mexico law, the term is “reckless”, but this appears to be roughly equivalent to gross negligence.

I agree it’s a high bar. The prosecution would have to show not only a violation of protocol, but that Baldwin was also aware of that protocol.
     
reader50
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May 4, 2022, 12:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The armorer would have loaded the blank right before the shot and rotated the cylinder to the proper position.
...
After the first take, Baldwin would have immediately given the gun back to the armorer, they would reload a single blank into the same chamber, and rotate the cylinder to make the blank be first up. This would repeat until that shot was finished.
subego, would the armorer be present in a closed set?

When a set is closed for sex scenes, I imagine the support people hand props (skin oils, rubbers, etc) to the actors as they enter the set. Presumably the actors would have to exit the set between each take to get extra supplies - so they'd take extras with them the first time for efficiency. If the same procedures were followed with this closed set, the armorer would be outside.
     
subego  (op)
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May 4, 2022, 12:33 PM
 
A closed set is limited to “essential personnel”. Who decides what constitutes essential would depend on why the set is closed. For a sex scene, that’s pretty firmly in the hands of the director because they’re in charge of the actors, and their comfort is what caused the closing. For COVID I would assume that’s more an AD thing, as they’re the ones keeping things moving. ADs are a lot like stage managers.

I would personally consider the armorer to be essential if blanks were being fired, but non-essential for a cold gun.
( Last edited by subego; May 4, 2022 at 04:19 PM. )
     
ghporter
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May 5, 2022, 10:35 PM
 
Demonstrating this type of revolver is empty takes a little longer than with a modern pistol, but it’s simple:

1: Hammer is drawn back to “half cock”. This is far enough back for the nose of the hammer to be fully outside of the frame, and it disconnects the “bolt” that stops the cylinder from rotating. The hammer will stay in this position until it’s drawn all the way back, then lowered.

2: Open the “loading gate,” the hinged thing on the right side behind the cylinder. This is how you load or unload these revolvers.

3: Turn the cylinder in the same direction to show each chamber of the cylinder is empty. Go around at least twice.

4: For a final check, run a dowel that’s about 12” long into the barrel from the muzzle until it stops, pull it out a few inches, rotate the cylinder and repeat AT LEAST six times. This verifies that there isn’t anything stuck in the barrel.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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May 6, 2022, 11:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I would personally consider the armorer to be essential if blanks were being fired, but non-essential for a cold gun.
Seems to me it would be prudent to have the armorer there to “officially” verify the gun is cold right before it’s used. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s and whatnot.
     
subego  (op)
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May 6, 2022, 06:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Seems to me it would be prudent to have the armorer there to “officially” verify the gun is cold right before it’s used. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s and whatnot.
From what I understand, she was there and did officially verify the gun, she just wasn’t on the set itself, but instead set-up right outside. The AD got it from her and walked it in.
     
subego  (op)
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May 6, 2022, 10:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
4: For a final check, run a dowel that’s about 12” long into the barrel from the muzzle until it stops, pull it out a few inches, rotate the cylinder and repeat AT LEAST six times. This verifies that there isn’t anything stuck in the barrel.
One of the things I’m not clear on is how the “flashlight check” for obstructions works on a revolver where the cylinder doesn’t swing out. Do you point the barrel at your face and look inside?
     
Thorzdad
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May 7, 2022, 04:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
From what I understand, she was there and did officially verify the gun, she just wasn’t on the set itself, but instead set-up right outside. The AD got it from her and walked it in.
Is that accepted practice? I would think the safest process would be to have the armorer hand-off the verified weapon directly to the actor on-set. Giving the weapon to the AD off-set and not being able to directly monitor it seems like a wide-open door for trouble.
     
subego  (op)
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May 7, 2022, 05:31 AM
 
It’s not standard. This was due to COVID.
     
ghporter
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May 10, 2022, 09:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
One of the things I’m not clear on is how the “flashlight check” for obstructions works on a revolver where the cylinder doesn’t swing out. Do you point the barrel at your face and look inside?
That is what the "run a dowel up the barrel" does. No flashlight needed, nobody looks down the bore, and you can positively prove that there's nothing in any of the chambers. Ideally you'd use a dowel big enough to fill most of the bore but not close enough to the bore to stick.

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subego  (op)
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May 11, 2022, 01:08 PM
 
The dowel idea makes me slightly nervous. While extremely unlikely, a dowel can actually cause an obstruction. A flashlight can’t.

Not quite the same thing, but a magician killed themselves along these lines when they were doing the “bullet catch” trick.

Said magician used a muzzleloader, and their wand acted as the ramrod. One end of the wand had sticky stuff on it, and he’d flip it around for his last tamp. The bullet would come out of the gun, and the they would palm it.

The magician successfully pulled the bullet and then did one last tamp for flourish.

The white tip of his wand separated and stayed in the barrel.


I have to say though, if you have to get killed by your own magic trick, shooting your magic wand into your face is the way to do it.
     
ghporter
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May 13, 2022, 02:41 PM
 
As I said, the dowel would be a “good fit” for the barrel, but not a tight fit. And of a single piece of wood, not something “built”.

Of course there’s no sleight of hand involved in this - push the dowel all the way up the barrel so everybody can see that it bottoms out on the recoil plate (that’s the round bit behind the cylinder). Armorer should also verify that the dowel is intact and in good condition before and after, of course.

A .45 caliber revolver would be checked with a 3/8” dowel at most - a 7/16” dowel (0.4375”) would be too close to the bore diameter of 0.442”.

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subego  (op)
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May 13, 2022, 04:03 PM
 
I guess my point is no matter how unlikely it is for the dowel to cause a obstruction, it’s still has a greater chance than a method which doesn’t introduce a physical object into the testing process.

Maybe that’s not possible with a non-swing-out revolver.


Also, with most guns, it’s not hard to pull off the flashlight method even if the magazine or cylinder is full. Ideally there’s a method to check for obstructions on a non-swing-out when it’s loaded with blanks. My knee-jerk reaction is a dowel would be bad in that scenario.

Maybe there is no way to test once it’s loaded.
     
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May 14, 2022, 04:32 PM
 
With a fixed cylinder revolver, there really isn’t another way to check the bore for obstructions, except perhaps to remove the cylinder. With the style of revolver we’re talking about, that is actually pretty easy.



The arrow points to a “button”; you push in on that and the “axle” shown in front of the revolver slides out, releasing the cylinder.

From a safety standpoint, this process is pretty solid, especially if our purpose is to prove there’s NOTHING in the barrel. With the cylinder out, you can see the rear of the barrel clearly from either side, so the flashlight test will work OK. Further, you can hold up the cylinder and see that it too is empty just by looking.

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May 14, 2022, 05:07 PM
 
Good info! Thanks!
     
 
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