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 Does a Revolver Work?
Let’s start with some basics. The first revolvers ever created were developed in the mid-1800s. They used gunpowder, balls, and caps very much like you would’ve found in early pistols, but the big difference was that they had six separate chambers so a person could continue to fire beyond a single round.
Over time, the revolver has become a lot more sophisticated. In the 1870s the first bullet cartridge was created, meaning that users no longer needed gunpowder and caps. All they needed was the bullets, also known as a cartridge. The gunpowder and primer were often contained within the bullet itself.
In the modern revolver, each cartridge is loaded into one of six chambers in the revolver. A spring-loaded hammer is located on the other side of the cylinder directly in line with the barrel. The basic idea behind the revolver is pretty simple. The hammer cocks back into position to be ready to fire. When the trigger is pulled, the hammer lunges forward due to the spring action mechanism. This causes it to crash into the primer which ignites, launching the bullet out of the barrel.
You will find that the barrel is lined with spiraling grooves inside that helps to provide stability for the bullet. This also gives the characteristics signature markings to a bullet that lets forensic examiners know exactly where a bullet was fired from, as no two barrels are supposed to have the same groups.
As a note, the shorter the barrel the less speed the bullet will have. This is why some prefer longer barrels. Because the gas is building up pressure inside the barrel, the longer the barrel the more that pressure is able to speed up the bullet’s velocity.
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.