Smith & Wesson Victory Model
I'd like to apologize in advance for the ridiculous volume of technical detail in this post. There aren't actually that many behavioral changes I'm suggesting, but I'd like it to be clearly understood why they should be that way.
The Victory Model is a wartime-production version of the S&W Military & Police revolver made 1942-1944, later renamed the Model 10 when S&W finally started using actual model numbers. The Victory is distinct from the other M&P/M10 variants in that most of them have a rougher but more durable finish
(except the very early ones like shown below,) and has a lanyard loop on the bottom of the grip. Receiver's model of the Victory lacks the lanyard loop:
Of course, you can always say that the loop was simply removed (which would leave a small hole in the bottom of the pistol grip where it goes.)
The second cosmetic item to point out is that the Model 10 family, like most older S&W hand-ejector revolvers, has the firing pin fixed directly to the front of the hammer. You'll be able to see what that looks like in the illustration for point #3.
In Receiver, having the cylinder opened prevents you from cocking the hammer, however having the hammer cocked doesn't stop you from opening the cylinder. It doesn't quite work that way on the real thing; the cylinder latch and the hammer lock each other out of operation.
There's this little thumb pad on the left side of the gun behind the cylinder; that's the cylinder latch - push forward on it to release the cylinder. When you push forward on the cylinder latch to open up the gun, part of it goes under the back of the hammer to prevent it from being cocked, and it stays there under light, forward spring pressure until the cylinder is closed. When the hammer is cocked, that same part of the cylinder latch can't go forward, so the cylinder can't be unlatched. This is somewhat easier to show than tell:
(By the way, the photos of this S&W Model 36-1 are mine. It was made in 1967 or 1968 and is my own concealed-carry weapon; I inherited it from my grandfather.)
Now, there is
a way to circumvent the hammer being locked forward when the cylinder is opened, but I figure the PC for Receiver is sort of a novice with firearms so that wouldn't be immediately obvious and can probably be ignored. If you really wanted to implement it, just bind (Y) or something to hold backward on the cylinder latch. That way, if the cylinder is opened, you can manually cock the hammer with (Y* -> F). The other way around however, there is no way
to open the cylinder if the hammer is cocked; you must
decock it first.
So, I think most people have at least some
understanding of the idea behind a double-action lockwork, but I'll go ahead and detail it here for anyone who is still confused. There is a point to all this, an issue with the Victory's portrayal to comment on. Anyway, grab a sandwich and some coffee and prepare yourself for a massive infodump.
'Single-action' or 'double-action' denotes the behavior of the trigger, not the behavior of the person holding the gun. On a single-action firearm like the Colt M1911, pulling the trigger performs one action: releasing the hammer/striker to fire the gun (this isn't a big deal on semiauto pistols since rearward movement of the slide recocks the hammer anyway.) On a single-action revolver, you have to manually cock the hammer with your thumb before every shot. Pulling the trigger with the hammer decocked accomplishes nothing.
On a double-action firearm, pulling the trigger can accomplish two functions automatically, one after the other: first it cocks the hammer/striker, then it releases it to fire. Early double-action revolvers were simply referred to as 'self-cocking'. Due to the extra work performed, a double-action trigger pull is longer and takes much more force. On a double-action weapon, you can usually still cock the hammer with your thumb to achieve a light and crisp single-action trigger pull.
There are double-action autoloading pistols, like the Beretta M9, where the hammer can be left decocked; first shot is double-action, and the slide then recocks the hammer automatically so every successive shot is single-action. These are often called DA/SA pistols so that they are differentiated from now-ridiculously-popular DAO designs. Some pistols, like revolvers which have the hammer completely inside the frame or the striker-fired Glock (which really starts at half-cocked rather than decocked, as I described in the Glock's own post,) are denoted as "double-action only" or DAO.
I swear there's a legitimate reason for all of this nonsense, but I'm not going to go into all that until much later. For now, I just want that understood so I can talk about the correct behavior of a double-action, hand-ejector revolver like the S&W Victory.
When the revolver is decocked, the trigger is positioned way forward inside the trigger guard, about half-way forward. When you fire in double-action mode, it takes a fair amount of force to pull the trigger all the way back almost to where it touches the back of the trigger guard, and this pushes the hammer back slightly past the cocked position, then immediately lets it go to fire the gun. When you cock the hammer with your thumb for single-action fire, it pulls the trigger back along with it. With the hammer sitting in the cocked position, the trigger is just slightly forward of the firing point and it takes very little effort to push it back that last bit and release the hammer. (This is also important because the trigger has to move in order for the cylinder to rotate; you'll see why later.)
So, why am I pointing all this out? Because when you cock the hammer with (F) in Receiver, the trigger doesn't move back the way it should:
Also, I'll say that the double-action pull should not only be slower but should also noticeably throw off the accuracy. It takes a lot of strength and practice to accurately fire a revolver in double-action. Anyway, I'll be talking more about SA, DA, and DAO trigger systems much later, after I've finished critiquing the Victory.
Next off I'd like to make some comments about rotating the cylinder. Spinning the cylinder with the mouse wheel when it is open is fine, obviously. When the cylinder is closed into the frame, however, the behavior is a little different than what the game displays, and from what you would intuitively expect I guess. There are two parts that interact with it regarding rotation; one is the indexing bolt, which prevents the cylinder from rotating, and the other is the ratchet pawl that pushes the cylinder around when you cock the hammer.
The indexing bolt locks into little slots in the side of the cylinder to prevent it from rotating regardless of whether or not the hammer is cocked. When the gun is being fired, this keeps the chamber lined up with the barrel. When the hammer is decocked, this prevents you from inadvertently spinning the cylinder and skipping shots while handling the gun. (I have a pair of revolvers made by H&R and Iver Johnson which are about 120-130 years old. They do not lock the cylinder when decocked, and it is very annoying.)
The indexing bolt is withdrawn as you begin to pull the hammer (or trigger) back, and is allowed to snap back against the cylinder as the hammer nears the cocked position (or sear breaking point to fire in double-action); it grabs a locking slot on the cylinder again right at the end of the rotation.
The ratchet pawl is attached to the right side of the trigger; as the trigger is pulled or the hammer cocked, this pawl pushes up on a set of teeth on the back of the extractor star (which Receiver doesn't show,) pushing the right side of the cylinder up and rotating it counter-clockwise. (Incidentally, I originally thought it looked like Receiver showed the cylinder rotating the wrong direction until I turned on slomo. The framerate was just playing tricks on me.)
(For modeling purposes, take note that a revolver with an even number of chambers, like the Victory, has the indexing notches lined up directly over the chambers. On a revolver with an odd number of chambers, like my five-shot Model 36-1, the notches are located in between the chambers.)
Getting to the point:
To manually spin the cylinder, you have to withdraw the indexing bolt by holding the hammer half-way back. If the hammer is fully cocked or the trigger completely released/hammer decocked, the indexing bolt is in place and you can't spin the cylinder. The way I'd deal with this in the game is have it so spinning the cylinder with the mouse wheel automatically holds the hammer half-way back; let it go forward again when it stops spinning, or pull it to fully cocked with (F) and cause the cylinder to immediately slam to a stop when it lines up with the indexing bolt. (Please don't ever do this with a real revolver, you'll warp or shatter the indexing bolt if you do it very often or with sufficient force. Sufficient force to do damage is much lower than you think it is.)
The second point is that, even when decocked, the ratchet pawl acts as a one-way ratcheting clutch and prevents the cylinder from being rotated clockwise. If the gun is in good condition, you should only be able to spin it counter-clockwise. (If the gun is sufficiently worn or has just been abused, you can
go the other way if you keep clockwise pressure on the cylinder and then pull the hammer back just a hair and release it, but you have to click the hammer like that on every indexing slot.) I figure you can either make it so the mouse wheel only works in one direction, or make it so that spinning the mouse wheel either way turns the cylinder the same direction when closed.
Lastly, if the hammer is cocked, you shouldn't be able to spin the cylinder at all.
Cylinder cannot be rotated while hammer is cocked as of update RC7.
Now that double-action functionality and the cylinder rotation mechanics have been covered, I'd like to explain something about the misunderstood concept of "trigger-cocking". Firing accurately with a double-action trigger pull takes a lot of practice because of the amount of wrist strength involved; one method some people use is to pull the trigger back in double-action just shy of the firing point. You get the cylinder rotation and indexing out of the way, and it takes less force to hold the trigger there than to get it there, so you can stabilize the gun and aim more carefully after you've pulled the trigger most of the way back and then just give it that last little nudge to fire. The method for practicing this is (with the gun unloaded, of course,) to spin the cylinder around using the trigger without actually (dry)firing the gun and without touching the cylinder or hammer. Note, however, that the hammer does not stay cocked
after you let go of the trigger.
In Receiver currently, a very quick tap to (LMB) in an effort to fire will instead cock the gun as if you had pressed (F). The gun should not
be staying in the cocked position after a partial trigger pull; the cylinder should rotate and lock on the next chamber, but the hammer will go back down to the decocked position when you let off. This has the implication that you will have skipped a shot, and will have to manually rotate the cylinder or pull the trigger six more times to go back and fire that chamber; this is very annoying
if the gun is only partially loaded. Which I think is totally
within the spirit of Receiver.
Now, let me re-qualify the above statement. Trigger cocking like what's shown in Receiver (and some other fiction I've encountered) is possible
, but the gun isn't designed
to do it. The very edge of the trigger's sear-catch surface may come to a stop pushing directly into the double-action sear on the hammer, but this is like trying to push the sharp edges of two knives into each other perfectly parallel without having them slip and you losing all of your fingers. It happens a bit more frequently than flipping a coin and having it land on edge. I wouldn't even put it on a luck roll, I would just take out that behavior completely.
The gun apparently has a phantom cylinder yoke (or cylinder crane, if you prefer.) Swing the cylinder open and you'll see a second yoke (without its journal shaft) still up inside the frame. Illustration:
Shells sticking in the chambers... what to say about this?
Well, you mentioned in the update video that shells can expand from the explosion inside. Well, in the spirit of pedantry, the powder deflagrates
(subsonic combustion front), it does not detonate
(supersonic combustion/explosive shock wave.) If it were an 'explosion', you would no longer have a gun in your hand. (Sometimes this happens.
) Anyway. Yes, fixed, metal-cased ammo is used specifically because the brass expands to completely seal the breech end and prevent any propellant gas from leaking out. (Not that this makes much of a difference on a revolver, considering how much gas pressure you lose from the gap between the cylinder and barrel.)
The brass cools and relaxes/contracts a moment after the shot, so sticking isn't too much of a problem, especially with low-pressure ammo like .38 Special or .38/200 British (the two calibers the S&W Victory came in, not interchangeable.) Unfired cartridges should/will slide out very easily, while expanded cartridges will stick, but not very tightly. If the gun is really dirty, yes, the unfired carts may stick a little bit and the fired shells may bind tightly.
However, they would bind to the chambers, not
to the extractor star. If you punch the extraction rod (V), and the shells stick, the extractor star should go back into the cylinder due to spring pressure, but the shells will stick there part-way out of the cylinder; they wouldn't go back into the cylinder, like they do currently. It would actually be a bit more difficult to shove them back into the cylinder than to simply pluck them out with your fingers. Striking multiple times on the extractor rod wouldn't push them any further out.
So, let's say that the gun is actually fairly clean, and the shells aren't sticking excessively. First, unfired cartridges should fall out easily on the first hit to the rod, always. In fact, it would be both realistic and funny if having the cylinder open and pointing the gun higher than, say, 40° above the horizon would cause the unfired shells to just fall out on their own without the player hitting the extractor rod. The fired shells may require a couple hits to the rod and a bit of shaking to have them fall loose, but they ought not to ride back into the cylinder with the star if they fail to fall out the first time; of course, that prevents you from closing the cylinder until the shells have all fallen out.
In conclusion, I should have registered under the screen name Teal_Deer
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