Russian roulette: it can be done safely

The trick is to sneak a peek at the revolver after spinning the cylinder. If the bullet is in the cylinder which will come up next, say something like “Just one more spin for good luck”, spin it again, and look again.

You do have to know which way the cylinder will turn, though. All revolvers (ok, ok, there are probably rare exceptions, but…) turn by one cylinder as the hammer is cocked, but some brands turn clockwise and some counterclockwise. Colts turn one way, Smith and Wesson the other. I’ve read (I don’t recall where) that people have died because of this difference. But if you ever have to persuade a bunch of ignorant Russians that you are a crazy man who is not to be messed with, this is a great way to do it.

(Link to column being discussed: - Jill)

[Note: This message has been edited by JillGat]

Second important tip:
Never use an automatic.

I once lost my corkscrew and had to live on food and water for several days
(W.C. Fields)

The only way to win this game is to not play.

(Hmmmm; where have I heard ** this before?)


When you are lost, or in doubt, run in circles! Scream & shout!

If it can be done safely, then you have no way to lose…and then it doesn’t deserve to be Russian Roulette, does it? Always thought RR was a term to signify something that was irrationally dangerous and you had better chances to die from. Or I’m just still delirious from my brain-cell-killing fever.


From Snappylicious:

I vote for the fever. :wink: You are correct that RR has been applied in the manner you state. The source, however, is from the game involving the revolver. If you play fairly (no peeking) you can see that the game is pretty macabre, and has high chances of death.

Which reminds me of the actor that died playing RR with blanks. From some show in the '80s about spies that used the cover of being supermodels.
From Vestal Blue"

Get it right - it’s “When in danger, or in doubt, run in circles, scream, and shout!”

Source: one of these Heinlein books on my shelf.

You can play Russian Roulette safely with a cap gun or squirt gun, IF the gun isn’t loaded. I’d avoid the supersquirters, though.

Irishman: That was Jon-Erik Hexum (sp?).

I think “News of the Weird” has had items about people playing RR with an automatic. My question is, how dumb do you have to be? There is nothing to spin, no chance involved. I guess you could put several magazines in a sack, one with a cartridge in it and pick one out while blindfolded, but who is that desperate to play? Sounds more like natural selection than RR to me.

Safely? Perhaps, if you are by yourself. Do you really believe that your opponent isn’t going to notice your looking down the cylinder? Even if they don’t, you will only get 1 retry. I don’t believe anyone would let you spin more than 1 time for good luck.

I would say the safest way to do this would be to either not ‘play’, to use an empty gun, or to just unload your revolver into THEM, and run like mad.

Just one question- How does this really apply to anyones everyday life? (Unless they’re a maffia member…)


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The safe form of Russian roulette I heard of goes as follow: take a six pack of beer. Shake one up mercilessly. Mix it in with the other five. Then select a random can of beer, put it right next to your head, and open it.

I don’t like beer though, so I never play.

  • Boris B, Hellacious Ornithologist

We used to play bug-repellent roulette. Use one of those safety cans where you have to turn the top to line it up with a mark in order for it to spray. Turn the top several times. Point the nozzle into your open mouth. Press the button. For real men, use an eye instead the mouth.

The entire premise of this thread is ludicrous. There is NO WAY IN THE WORLD to safely point a firearm at another person or yourself. All firearms are loaded, period.

I open my mouth and the whole world turns smart.