All for the sake of better understanding, because I may not actually know, or may not have thought of everything;
I recently watched several videos wherein the shooter would load only five out of six chambers on a cap and ball revolver. At the firing range. I can understand loading only five, and lowering the hammer on the empty chamber, if one intended to then holster and carry the revolver. What I cannot understand is loading five, then having to further manipulate the gun just right so as to get the unloaded chamber in the right position, then lower the hammer, if one intends to shoot right away. Once you've capped the fifth cylinder, isn't the half-cocked hammer already over a live chamber, exactly as if you'd loaded all six? And wouldn't it, arguably, actually be safer to load all six, LEAVE THE HAMMER ON HALFCOCK (in other words, leave out the extra manipulation of rotating the cylinder to just the right spot and then lowering the hammer on the empty chamber) then raise the gun, still on half cock, point downrange, then fully cock and fire? And wouldn't it be more obvious to an observer that you never lowered the hammer at all after loading, than having to determine that you'd lowered the hammer onto the correct chamber, and did it safely? As far as I can see at the moment, it’s not even arguable— the load five rule some ranges have makes no sense if you’re loading right there at the firing line.
Carrying loaded and capped cylinders. Has anyone tested just what it takes to get a chamber to fire upon dropping the loaded and capped Remington cylinder? Does anyone know of an actual, documented accident or injury involving that system? I've thought of testing this, but I'm a bit hesitant to beat the snot out of a perfectly good cylinder. Load a few grains of powder in each chamber of a Remington cylinder (no ball of course) covered by a shot card, cap all six, and then test drop it on several surfaces, say hard packed dirt, driveway gravel, and concrete, and see how many drops, or what sort of drop, it takes to light off a cap.
What I can do with no danger to the gun, is fire a Colt with no barrel, to measure the velocity from the chamber alone, using different loads. My guess is that some of the lowest velocities will come from full chambers, as the ball has virtually no acceleration room, then it will get faster as the charges are reduced since the ball has more room to accelerate, then maybe drop off again as the powder charges get super light. You’d have to use a spacer under the ram to seat the ball all the way down with the lightest charges of course, but then too, you’ve gone into the fringes of what’s likely in real world situations at that point.
Maybe these things have already been done, but I don't recall reading about it.