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How to Load A Revolver? – (Single & Double Action Guns)

How to Load A Revolver
Written by Dan Goldsmith
Last Update: August 11, 2023

The process of loading revolvers is relatively easy. A little practice can help you in becoming an expert.

But a word of caution here! Make sure you have not pointed your revolver toward anyone, as a simple mistake can have lethal consequences.

We hope you realize the importance of careful revolver loading, so this article can take you a step ahead in giving some basic information.

This is because we want you to learn without compromising on safety. Let’s dive down and explore how to load a revolver most efficiently and safely!

How to Load A Revolver: Everything You Need to Know

Basics of loading a revolver

Loading one is not complex if you know how a revolver works, but you will have to follow some specific steps to keep the entire process safe for you and those in your close proximity.

Going through the basic guidelines and the loading or unloading process can be helpful in this regard, so do not take these guidelines lightly. Any of these tips can save you from a severe injury.

Some of the precautions that you must take in this regard include the following:

  • You must not load a revolver unless you are sure that you’re going to fire it.
  • Make sure no one is close enough while loading your gun, as it can be dangerous.
  • Please don’t keep a gun loaded around, even at any safe place, because you never know who can trigger it mistakenly. Even you might forget about the loaded gun.
  • Always keep the trigger guard on.
  • While loading, keep yourself, especially your hands, protected by following the right procedure.

The type of revolver you possess is also essential while considering the safety guidelines of your handgun.

This is because the specific procedure for loading each gun is slightly different, so look for your revolver’s specific guidelines or owner’s manual.

When we say different, it means you need to remain focused on learning and try to absorb as much as possible from the expert advice.

Single action and double action revolvers are the two types of revolver. And here, we have discussed specific steps for each revolver type. Let’s get going!

How to Load A Single Action Revolver

How to load a single action Revolver

Deal With The Cylinder

Dealing with the cylinder is one of the most important steps in the revolver loading process. There can be two ways of doing so, depending upon the type of gun. The procedure for both methods has been described below.

What If The Cylinder Swings Out?

How to swing out the cylinder of a revolver

In this case, you will find a release button on the left side just behind the cylinder. If you hold your gun with the right hand, you can find this button just under your thumb.

Pressing it will swing your cylinder out on the left hand side. Whatever you do, remember to abide by the safety rules of dealing with a firearm.

What to Do With A Revolver With A Trap Door/Loading Gate?

If your gun works with a loading gate, you’ll have to open it. You will find it at the back of the cylinder. In this case, you should expect movement towards the right.

So, be ready if it is your first experience. Put your hammer back in the half-cock position to help rotate the cylinder freely.

Check The Chamber

Now comes the step of checking the chamber. Make sure that you have an empty chamber when you hit the range.

But to do this, you must check it from the rear of the cylinder.

In most cases, you can use the ejector provided in the revolver for emptying the previous round of bullets or used cartridges.

Now, Load The Gun And Make It Ready to Shoot

If you are using the gun with a loading gate, you can only load one of the bullets at a time. Keep on revolving the chamber to insert each bullet.

In the other gun style, you can fill all the slots together. Only five bullets need to be inserted in the chamber, and keep the hammer lowered to ensure safety. You can swing the cylinder back so it can adjust with the frame.

Here are some more handgun shooting techniques you can follow.

How to Load A Double Action Revolver

how to load a double action revolver

If you own a double action gun, you are in the perfect spot. Here is how to deal with the double action gun.

To load a double action firearm (like a sawed-off shotgun), however, you’ll be able to insert 2 bullets at a time.

  • Don’t forget the safety procedures
  • Use your dominant hand to free the cylinder latch
  • You can use your middle fingers to release the cylinder
  • Put bullets in each chamber
  • Once done, rotate the cylinder back into the frame with the middle fingers of your left hand
  • Ensure that the hammer is down if you are not using it
  • Always keep your firearms in safe storage

Here we have discussed the procedure for how to load a revolver in the easiest and safest way. The process is fairly straightforward. Here’s also a video guide for those in need.

However, you’ll need to follow specific guidelines to protect the people around you from unfortunate accidents.

You would have observed that the procedure is simple, but it is definitely technical for beginners.

You wouldn’t like to risk your safety because you are unaware of how to load a revolver.

Make sure you read these guidelines and abide by them so the next time you load your gun, you will be sure that you know the proper technique and can handle the entire process safely.


How Long Does It Take to Reload A Revolver?

If you’re using a speed loader, it’ll take you less than 5 seconds to load your revolver. It usually takes less than a minute to fully load a revolver, if you have all the cartridges nearby.

How Many Bullets Does A Revolver Load?

Generally, most revolvers house a magazine with 5-6 bullets. However, custom-made and special edition revolvers can hold up to 9-11 rounds at a time.

What Is The Strongest Revolver Bullet?

The .500 S&W Magnum is the most powerful bullet you can shoot. With a maxi working pressure of 60,000 psi, these bullets can even take down a raging grizzly.

About the author

Dan Goldsmith

Hi, this is Dan. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 30+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed.

My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

Whenever I am able to catch a moment of free time, you will find me enjoying my family or heading to the range on my motorcycle. I have enjoyed shooting sports ever since my dad introduced them to me as a child.

I like to think of myself as an outdoorsman who lives his life to the fullest. I hope you will benefit from my efforts to create valuable resources on this website. Happy reading!

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