Updated: April 04, 2020

While many have moved to more modern style firearms, there are those who still prefer the old-fashioned type, particularly the revolver. This is still an extremely popular weapon, which was glamorized by the Cowboys of the old West.

While not being able to hold the same number of rounds as many modern firearms, this is still a weapon that has a number of great advantages to it. However, it is a bit different in terms of how to use it. So here is some information that should assist you on being able to be proficient and more accurate with your revolver.

How Many Rounds Does a Revolver Hold?

Since its inception, the revolver has been a six cartridge weapon. By its design, only six cartridges would easily fit within the chamber well that is used with this weapon. There are some that uses few is five, but unless it is specifically customized, you are not going to find a standard revolver that holds more than six cartridges.

How to Load and Unload a Revolver?

Loading and unloading a revolver is pretty simple. Most common revolvers you will find are known as single-action. What this means is that you pull back the hammer with your hand or your thumb every time you want to fire the weapon. A double action revolver is different in the fact that when you pull the trigger it pulls back the hammer before releasing it.

  • Single Action Revolver. This is important, because how you load or unload your revolver is a little different based upon the type of revolver you have. We will start with unloading of the single action revolver.

    First off, it is important to note that many of the early single action revolvers do not have a safety. This means that you need to be especially careful whenever you are unloading this weapon. Whenever you are transporting it you always want to make sure that the chambers are empty.

    To start, you will open the loading gate which is usually located on the back side of the chamber to the right of the hammer. You then want to pull the hammer back to the half lock position. Ensure that the barrel is not facing in any direction where you can harm yourself, any other person, or any property. You want to then turn the cylinder slightly so that the cartridge is aligned with the opening.

    Now, there is a plunger underneath the barrel that you simply pull back. This will eject the cartridge out of the chamber. Now all you have to do is continuously turn the cylinder to the next cartridge and use the plunger to eject each cartridge. It is always a good idea to go around the cylinder twice just to make sure that you didn’t miss anything. It’s just a good safety technique.

    Loading of the cylinder is extremely easy in the single action revolver. What you do is begin by opening the loading gate. Pull the hammer back to the half cocked position. Next, turn the cylinder so that an empty chamber is aligned with the loading gate. Now, simply slide in a round and repeat the process until you have completely loaded your weapon. When you are done, close the loading gate, and slowly release the hammer until it is completely forward. You are all done.

  • Double Action Revolver. The unloading of the double-action revolver is quite a bit different. What you will find is that there is a cylinder release button that is usually located to the side of the revolver near the back. By pushing this forward, it causes the cylinder to be released, allowing you to push it to the side. From there, all you have to do is to turn the revolver upside down and the cartridges will slide out.

    To reload the weapon, you push forward on the cylinder release button. When the cylinder is released, simply slide a bullet into each chamber and tell it is full.

    You will find that there are some double-action revolvers that allow you to completely remove the cylinder and replace it with one that is already loaded. This makes the reloading process work a lot more efficiently.

How to Hold a Revolver?

This is an interesting question to ask because it depends on the type of revolver that you have and how comfortable you are in your firing position. For a standard double-action revolver you would hold this weapon in the same way that you would hold a pistol.

The best way to do this is by using both hands. Your dominant hand you would place around the grip with your thumb coming up underneath where the trigger is that, and your index finger on the trigger. Your other hand would come around your dominant hand, holding it in place to be more stable. This will help you to be a lot more accurate with your shots because you will be in a steadier position.

However, the single action revolver is a little more complicated. Because the Hammer needs to be pulled back to fire, it creates a different kind of scenario on how you would hold this weapon. The first thing to assess is how you will pull back the hammer. Many are very comfortable with using their thumb to pull back and then pulled the trigger.

If that works for you, then you will hold the weapon with your dominant hand. Your three bottom fingers would go around the handle with your index finger placed on the trigger. You would then keep your thumb up so that it was in a position so that it could pull the hammer back and you would still be able to fire.

This can be a little tricky. It takes a lot of practice to get comfortable holding the weapon and still being strong enough to continually pull back your thumb over and over. You are probably going to have to practice this for at least 10 or 12 hours before you start really feeling comfortable with this continuous firing motion.

Some never get comfortable with this, opting to go with using their other hand to pull back the hammer. The hard part about this is that they are most comfortable using their dominant hand to pull the hammer back. That leaves them using their inferior hand as the one that is actually pulling the trigger and holding the firearm.

This takes a lot of practice as well, and it takes a lot of practice to still be able to get an accurate shot. What you will find with this kind of revolver is that it is virtually impossible to sight and shoot the weapon and less you have become quite proficient with using your thumb to caulk the hammer.

This is why you often see in the movies that gunmen hold their weapons down near their side. This is not a Hollywood depiction. Cowboys really shot this way because it was the only way that they could get the kind of rapid fire motion they were looking for. Plus, they still had great accuracy, which takes a lot of practice as well.

How to Aim a Single Action Revolver?

With that being said, with enough practice you can actually get to a point where you can aim your weapon and hit the target you desire. It does take a great deal of practice though.

First off, you will need both hands. Even if you are a person who was able to pull back the hammer with your thumb, you will want your other hand on the revolver to provide stability. The jerking motion of your thumb is going to create some instability, but your other hand in position can help to stabilize before shooting.

If you are a person intending to pull back the hammer with your other hand, then you will need that hand close by as you aim your revolver at the target.

If you have a few extra moments, first cock back the hammer before aiming. This will give you the greater stability so that you can get that accurate shot. The trigger aligned with the front sight can actually work as a great tool to help you to aim accurately. This takes a little practice in using these two sights in this way.

How to Shoot a Revolver Better?

This is a different kind of weapon, and so practice is huge. This is especially the case if you are a person who is intending to use a single action revolver. You cannot imagine how difficult it is to get use to continuously pulling back on your thumb or fanning the hammer using your other hand. It’s not that it is impossible, just awkward, at least at first.

Every part of getting better with your revolver starts with practice. If you are a person who is looking to aim and get more accurate shots, then you need to practice holding that weapon in position while continuously pulling back that hammer over and over again. This is not an easy task, especially if you want to be as deadly accurate as you can possibly be.

Practice at different ranges. Don’t just get comfortable with shooting targets 25 feet away. Practice at 50 feet, 100 feet, 200 feet. Practice at various ranges so you can be accurate and proficient.

Try to time yourself. Work to see how quick you can be with your revolver by putting yourself to the test. Pretend you are an old-fashioned cowboy or cowgirl and a rabbit is racing across the prairie in front of you. How quickly can you get your revolver out, aim, and shoot for that rabbit? Those are things you should practice.

It would be a good idea to work on improving your hand strength. Get yourself some handgrips from an athletic store or use them when you go to the gym. This will not only strengthen your grip on your revolver to give you greater stability, but it will increase the strength of your thumb, trigger finger, and hands overall.

If you take this advice you can become quite efficient at using your revolver. You can be a total stud out there at the range. This is a great weapon that comes with many advantages, and you will soon learn all about them if you put in the effort.

Levis Herrmann

Levis Herrmann

Levis has been a blogger for many years, and has a considerable amount of experience as an internet marketing executive. The idea behind the site was actually his brainchild. He had spent years using his skills as a marketing executive to help market and promote products and services and wanted to do something that really had an impact on consumers. He built a small team to help him get the site off the ground and to help develop the strategy behind what DefenseGears is all about.

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