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revolver:see small armssmall arms,
firearms designed primarily to be carried and fired by one person and, generally, held in the hands, as distinguished from heavy arms, or artillery. Early Small Arms
The first small arms came into general use at the end of the 14th cent.
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an individual, multifiring, rifled handgun with a revolving cylinder-type magazine; designed to hit live targets at a maximum distance of 50 m.
The trigger mechanism of the revolver is connected to the mechanism that revolves the cylinder—when the hammer is cocked or the trigger squeezed, the cylinder turns so that the next bullet lines up with the revolver barrel. The matchlock and flintlock cylinder revolvers of the 16th to 19th centuries in which the cylinder was turned by hand did not become widespread. A practical solution for combining the trigger mechanism and the revolving cylinder was found and implemented in the revolver models of Collier, Marietta, and Shierk from 1810 to 1830. In 1835, S. Colt of the United States invented the percussion-type revolver with an improved percussion slide, which was adopted by many armies.
In the second half of the 19th century the Colt revolver was replaced by revolver models with quick-firing metallic fixed rounds and cylinder capacities of from four to 12 rounds. Revolvers were classified as military, police, civilian, and sport guns. The Russian Army adopted the Smith & Wesson 1871, 1874, and 1880 revolver models, which in the late 19th century were replaced by the Nagant 1895 model. With the appearance and development of automatic pistols, military revolvers were gradually declared obsolete by armies in the first half of the 20th century.