The Revolver has a lot to answer for! Since its introduction it has brought a completely new take on the way carabiners work, but its construction set the standard and style of all our carabiners for the future.
The whole I-Beam construction of our latest range stems from this one design. We wanted to lighten this carabiner substantially so that the benefits from the roller weren't compromised by being too heavy. By hot forging the back, creating lightening panels (I-Beam) we were able to achieve this, and also create a very unique and stylish look which has become the hallmark of DMM carabiners and has also been used on the ice tools, the Rebel and Anarchist.
So what does it do?
In simple terms the carabiner uses rolling friction rather than sliding friction as in a normal carabiner when the rope runs over the carabiner bar. In this case the rope rolls over the pulley wheel which means much less friction is created.
Less friction means less force holding the climber back which makes upward progress a lot easier.
Imagine a longer route where you have placed a number of runners, the benefits are obvious to see. The benefits are even more apparent when sudden changes of direction are encountered, such as when your route traverses or goes over a roof or bulge, these are the placements where you will get most benefits in terms of reducing friction.
However, there are other important factors to consider too. Since the rope rolls over the roller there will be less wear and tear on your rope which will increase its working life considerably. Also, by reducing the friction, the forces involved when a climber falls are more evenly distributed throughout the system, resulting in less force being inflicted on the last piece of protection placed. If this last piece is marginal, it could be a very real benefit.
Lastly, the Revolver also offers you options in terms of rigging hauling systems or improvised rescue, as it works just like a small pulley, making this carabiner a very versatile piece of kit.
The roller itself is made of 7075 and blends smoothly into the back of the carabiner to encourage the rope to run correctly. Inside the roller is a dry tube Igus bearing which in turn is supported by a high tensile stainless sleeve over a high tensile stainless spindle. The whole assembly runs very smoothly and the sealed bearing tubes as it wears. It is also very strong, and the spindle will not deform until a force approaching 10 to 12 kN is generated.
Carry two or three on your rack and use them as described above, enjoy the benefits of less friction, less rope drag, and be comforted by the fact that you are also carrying a couple of pulleys with you for emergencies.