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How to Shoot a Revolver with Smooth Single and Double Action Pulls?

How to Shoot a Revolver
Written by Dan Goldsmith
Last Update: August 11, 2023

Most people have doubts as to how to fire a revolver properly, which may cause deadly accidents anytime. It is strongly advised not to try loaded guns if you are a beginner.

There are certain things to master before actually firing the gun. 2 sights (front and rear), standing position, and understanding recoil are some of those.

This article will let you guys know everything you need to know about how to shoot a revolver safely. Read till the end and start practicing.

How to Shoot a Revolver Well: Effective Revolver Shooting Tips

parts of a revolver

Just as we’ve mentioned above, you need to care for a few crucial factors to master the art of shooting. Let’s divide the task of shooting a revolver into mini-tasks. These are the basic things to learn at the primary level.

Let us evaluate each factor in depth to know more about them.

1. Load Your Gun

Loading a gun to start shooting a revolver

This is where your efforts for how to shoot a revolver start. The task of loading ammunition may differ from gun to gun, with slight differences visible.

Once you know how to load and unload your gun (let’s say a revolver), you will get a generalized idea of how to load/unload other guns too.

Try to get used to handling the gun without loading the ammo at the starting level. This will help in reducing anxiety while shooting a loaded gun.

2. Grip the Revolver

Grip the revolver to shoot a revolver

Use the non-dominant hand to hold the gun for more support. Do not go hard on holding the revolver, as it is uncomfortable for the shooter.

60% of the dominant hand and 40% of the non-dominant hand should be used for better grip.

But it is all about your comfort levels. Hold the gun with both hands and start shooting. Feel the recoil. Modify the grip (loose or tighten your hold) accordingly to manage the gun’s recoil.

3. Stand Right

Stand Right To shoot a revolver

The next step in learning how to shoot revolvers is to know how to take a stable shooting stance.

The backward movement of the gun after shooting the bullet is called recoil. Pretty much every gun has recoil. It is directly proportional to the power of the bullet. The more powerful ammo is, the more recoil you will face.

Along with grip, proper standing will help in controlling recoil. To understand why this is important, try a small exercise.

Stand straight and shoot with a single hand or both hands. Due to recoil, you will feel like going backward. The effect will be small as it’s a revolver, but this will still affect aiming.

Put one leg back at an angle of 45 degrees to the other leg. Bend your legs a little for firm support. Hold the gun with both hands.

Now shoot it, and notice that even though you feel the recoil, bullets hit the target or are near to it. This is why standing right also plays a crucial role in learning how to shoot a revolver like a pro.

4. Aim

Aim a revolver to shoot

Front and rear sights are very helpful in hitting the target. Focus on the front sight but not on the target.

What I meant by focus is that your eyes will blur out the remaining things that are out of focus. If you are not seeing the front sight and are only focused on the target, bullets will not hit the target.

We must deal with recoil and focus on the correct part of the gun.

Remember the point that bullets will go down with time due to gravity. If you hit longer targets, you should place the gun’s aim slightly above.

Coming to a revolver, place the gun in front of the target where you want to hit. Make sure your front sight of a gun is rightly aligned with the target point.

Now focus only on the front sight and pull the trigger. Based on recoil, you can place the gun a little above or below for accurate shooting.

If you want to learn more about how a revolver works or how to aim a revolver properly, we’ve got a range of topics for you. Follow the links, and start reading!

The Proper Way of Shooting a Revolver

how to shoot a revolver properly

Now, we have come to the exciting and final part of learning how to shoot a revolver.

While shooting the revolver, beginners have to face a few more problems. Some of them are as follows.

  • Shaking of hands
  • Pulling the trigger either fast/late
  • Getting surprised by recoil

These are some of the problems which many people experience in reality. We will help you overcome these issues by breaking down each problem with a working solution.

How to Shoot a Revolver: Pro Tips

1. Control and Continue to Breathe

Shaking of hands while trying to aim at the target or pulling the trigger is because of anxiety. Anxiety is a state where you will worry about something that is about to happen in the future.

It may or may not happen, but in mind, they will think of the worst and start feeling worried. Coming to this case, thoughts like this will come to mind.

  • I may not hit the target
  • Am I holding the gun, right?
  • I need to learn fast but not getting it

The solution to all these thoughts is to believe in yourself and to continue breathing. Without your control, you stop breathing, and this further increases anxiety. Make sure to breathe during the whole process.

2. Squeeze the Trigger

Squeeze the Trigger To Shoot a revolver

One important rule is to put your index finger on the trigger only when shooting. It is because the gun is loaded and dangerous. If you are always keeping your finger on the trigger, there may be chances of accidental firing.

Make sure to squeeze the trigger with the center of your index finger. You can pull the trigger with a good grip, balancing stance, and focus on the front sight.

3. Learn How to Handle the Recoil

How to Handle the Revolvers' Recoil

The only way to handle the recoil is to hold the gun so the body absorbs most of the recoil effect. If you handle the gun lightly, it will fall off your hands right after shooting due to recoil.

The first thing would be to hold the gun with your two hands.

Stand or sit in a comfortable stance and start shooting. Make sure to bend your arms slightly, so the recoil spreads to your body. Failing to do this will put more force on the hands during recoil.

Maintain the correct posture and good grip while shooting the gun. In a few days of practice, you will learn to handle the recoil like a pro.

Understanding the Differences Between Single and Double Action

There are two types of revolvers, namely single and double-action revolvers. Working of both types is the same, but there exist notable differences in action between them.

In a single-action revolver, you will need to cock the hammer and then pull the trigger. Cocking the hammer must be done for every single bullet.

In double-action revolvers, you only need to pull the trigger. During that time, the gun cocks the hammer and shoots the bullet.

Let’s also discuss how not to shoot a revolver to avoid misfiring or any other potential issues.

Do not put your hands to the sides of the cylinder when firing the gun. You only have to hold the gun at the bottom grip and pull the trigger with the index finger when needed to.

Avoid placing hands near the cylinder, or you will end up with first or second-degree burns to the skin.

With this, we’re at the end of our discussion on how to shoot a revolver correctly. We hope that the answer to the question you were looking for has been made clear by now.

However, don’t forget to learn to handle the gun properly first, then move on to the actual shooting. Thanks for reading this far, and happy shooting to you!


Is a Revolver Hard to Shoot?

Some people find revolvers easier to shoot as there are fewer moving parts, and they usually have less recoil due to the heavier weight of the cylinder. However, revolvers can be more challenging for some shooters as they require a steady and consistent grip on the handle and proper sight alignment for an accurate shot.

Is a Revolver Good for Beginners?

Revolvers can be an excellent choice for beginners because they are easy to learn and operate. There is no need to understand complex parts or mechanisms to use a revolver, as it is a simple system with few moving parts. Revolvers also often have lighter triggers than semi-automatic pistols, making them easier for novice shooters.

How Do Revolvers Shoot?

When the trigger is pulled, it rotates a cylinder that holds the bullets. This rotation allows one chamber to align with the barrel, allowing a bullet to be fired when the trigger releases the hammer. After firing, the cylinder rotates, and another round of ammunition is ready to be fired. The process is repeated until all the rounds are shot.

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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