Before loading any firearm, thoroughly read the owners manual for specific loading instructions for your firearm.
Remember The Four Rules apply ALWAYS so keep them in force while loading and unloading your firearm.
The Four Rules Are:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
Verify you have the right ammunition. Ammunition “can” be confusing. Know which round(s) are appropriate and safe for your model. Shooting the wrong ammunition in your firearm is extremely dangerous. Check both the labeling on the box and the actual round as well, (The round itself should be marked on the bottom). If you are not sure, don’t load your firearm and get some expert advice.)
TO LOAD A REVOLVER
Step 1: Make sure the hammer of the revolver is not in a cocked position or pulled back.
Step 2: Place your hand on the grip of the revolver without placing your finger in the trigger guard, and point the barrel in a safe direction. Cup the body of the gun with your other hand. Push or pull (depends on the model) the cylinder latch with the thumb of the hand holding the grip.
Step 3: It is IMPERATIVE that you fully expose the entire cylinder completely every time you load or unload. This should be your habit every time you release the cylinder. As you push the cylinder open with your non-dominant hand – allow your two middle fingers to slide through the frame to ensure full exposure of all chambers and a solid grip on the gun.
Step 4a: Secure the butt of the gun against your waist with your non-dominant. You want to place the gun in the same location each time so it becomes habit. This will assist you in the event you must load your gun in the dark helping you to “feel” your way through the loading process.
Step 4b: Insert the pointed or rounded end of the round first, not the flat end. Press the bullet into the chamber until it is fully seated (inserted with rim flush against the cylinder surface). Repeat this process until you have inserted rounds into all chambers of the cylinder. Note: It is a common safety habit and personal choice to leave one chamber empty when loading your gun to either carry or prepare for home defense as you can position the empty chamber in line with the barrel and hammer which is the firing position.
Note: A speedloader is a device that holds and positions all rounds (typically 5 or 6, depending on the model) and are used for loading all chambers of a revolver simultaneously for faster loading. To load with a speedloader, grasp the speedloader with your dominant hand and bring it to your midline at the same time you secure your gun with your non-dominant hand at your waist. Use your index and middle fingers to align the rounds into position. Release the rounds with a slight twist to slide into all chambers simultaneously.
Step 5: Turn the cylinder until the empty chamber is in the 12 o’clock position. Push the cylinder back toward the gun frame until you hear the cylinder latch lock into position with a click. Look at the back of the cylinder to verify that the empty chamber is in line with the barrel and hammer, or in the firing position. If it’s not, open the revolver by pulling on the cylinder latch, pushing the cylinder out to the left and rotating the cylinder so that when you put it back in place with the empty chamber will be in the firing position.
Step 6: Gently attempt to rotate the cylinder clockwise by hand to make sure it is locked. It is locked if it does not move. If it does move, you will need to re-open and close the cylinder to make sure.
Step 7: As soon as you have completed your reload, bring your hands back into your regular firing position.
TO UNLOAD A REVOLVER
Step 1: Place your hand on the grip of the revolver without placing your finger in the trigger guard, and point the barrel in a safe direction, away from people. Cup the body of the gun with your other hand. Push or pull (depends on the model) the cylinder latch with the thumb of the hand holding the grip.
Step 2: This should be your habit every time you release the cylinder. As you push the cylinder open with your non-dominant hand – allow your two middle fingers to slide through the frame to ensure full exposure of all chambers and a solid grip on the gun.
It is IMPERATIVE that you fully expose the entire cylinder completely every time you load or unload.
Step 3: Rotate the gun and point the gun muzzle-up. As you rotate the gun, secure the cylinder to keep it from spinning with your thumb and middle finger. Use the palm of your non-dominant hand to press down on the ejector firmly. Press it all the way down one time to release all of the spent cases. Do not hit the ejector rod more than once or manipulate it in any way. Don’t twist it or continually push it up and down as this can damage the star (the flat star-shaped piece of metal that the back end of the cylinder that “catch” the rim of the round for unloading).
Step 4: Verify the gun is fully unloaded making sure the cylinder is “fully” exposed and all chambers can be seen and felt to insure a fully unloaded gun.
5 thoughts on “Loading & Unloading Your Gun – Revolver”
Mishandling a firearm should be everyone’s responsibility; mishandling it could cost other people’s lives. As you mentioned, we should talk to people loading and unloading their guns unsafely because it is not good and can be dangerous. However, guns are necessary for many ways, particularly for protection and security. That is why my husband and I are preparing to acquire one in a gun shop since we moved to a more remote place last week.
I appreciate the advice about never letting the muzzle cover things that you are not willing to destroy when you’re handling a gun. I recently got my concealed carry permit, so I was thinking of buying a handgun for self-defense soon. I’ll keep this in mind when I buy a wheel-lock pistol this weekend from a licensed dealer.
That’s a good idea to make sure that you don’t have the hammer pulled back. I would think that would be a good way for you to lose a finger or shoot someone. I’ll have to make sure that I check that when I put it back in the holster as well.
So glad to have this website. The instructors at CCW training does not teach you how to do any of this stuff. They watch you load and unload your weapon and shoot it, but never mentioned this. Everyone in there loaded differently & some looked like they were from the old west unloading. I’ve never had to use my handgun in defense -but really enjoy learning how to do things from TWAWi