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Old October 30, 2013, 06:01 PM   #1
charlesc
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How to operate a Revolver for complete beginner

I am new to the forum. I want to ask this helpful forum where can I find online videos on how to operate a revolver for someone completely new to guns. Please direct me to the most useful resources that explain this in very simple language. Thank you.
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Old October 30, 2013, 06:38 PM   #2
James K
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If you buy the gun new, you will receive a manual with it. Much will be written by lawyers (the "DO NOT POINT GUN AT HEAD" kind of thing) but read it anyway. A conventional double action revolver is about as simple a gun as can be made. Modern style revolvers are loaded by pressing a latch (its location varies with the maker) and swinging the cylinder out to the left. The chambers (round holes) in the cylinder will be obvious. Put the cartridges in those chambers, bullet end first. Make sure the cartridges are all the way in. Close the cylinder by pressing it back in. Do not "flip" the gun or use excessive force.

The revolver is now ready to fire. You can fire it either by pulling the trigger, called "double action", or by pulling the hammer (the thing with an "ear" on the top rear of the gun) back until it stays back, then pulling the trigger, called "single action". The former is faster, the latter has a shorter and lighter trigger pull.

Once all the cartridges have been fired, swing the cylinder out again and use the ejector rod (the thin part that sticks out of the front of the cylinder) to eject the fired cases. Then reload as above.

That is it. Other revolvers, like old style single actions will be a bit more complex to load and fire.

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Old October 30, 2013, 06:48 PM   #3
overkill0084
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Double action revolver 101: http://youtu.be/TXliIJ_66FQ
Admittedly a bit simplistic but not too bad.
Poke around You Tube a bit, some of it isn't too annoying and can be considered helpful.
I would also recommend that you seek out a basic handgun class of some sort. IMHO, videos are not a true substitute for proper hands on training.
http://www.nrainstructors.org/searchcourse.aspx
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Old October 30, 2013, 07:31 PM   #4
charlesc
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James wrote -

Modern style revolvers are loaded by pressing a latch (its location varies with the maker) and swinging the cylinder out to the left

Question 1- How do I swing the cylinder out to the left?
I mean what is the proper technique to do this?

James wrote -
Close the cylinder by pressing it back in. Do not "flip" the gun or use excessive force.

Question 2 - What is proper technique to press the cylinder back in?

Thanks James
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Old October 30, 2013, 07:37 PM   #5
lee n. field
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The Gun Digest Book of the Revolver.
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Old October 30, 2013, 07:38 PM   #6
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All I know about revolvers is that the spent gasses come out at the rear of the cylinder. I am not sure what the proper grip would be , but you have to watch that you don't injure your hand or fingers.
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Old October 30, 2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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Gasses from a revolver actually escape at the front of the cylinder, through the cylinder gap between the cylinder and the forcing cone at the ear of the barrel proper. Putting your finger or thumb (or whatever) across that area WILL result in serious injury. If you have gas escaping the rear of the cylinder, I recommend you see a qualified gunsmith post haste - and stop shooting that revolver. As for proper grip, there are any number of illustrations and demonstrations to be found. My preference doesn't differ much from my two-hand auto grip.
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Old October 30, 2013, 08:41 PM   #8
James K
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How do I swing the cylinder out to the left?

Assuming you are right handed and the gun is in the right hand, and with the latch pressed with your right thumb, wrap the left hand around the bottom of the gun and use the fingers to press the cylinder to the left. Use the left thumb to restrain the cylinder movement so it is not too fast.

What is the proper technique to press the cylinder back in?

Hold the gun as in the first reply, and use the left thumb to press the cylinder into place, and your fingers to keep it from moving too fast.

Jim
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Old October 30, 2013, 09:20 PM   #9
ClydeFrog
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Gun sources....

If you are new to DA revolvers or the shooting sports Id check these sources:

www.midwayusa.com www.ruger.com www.gunvideo.com www.nra.org www.deltapress.com www.paladin-press.com www.brownells.com www.natchezss.com
I'd suggest No Second Place Winner by Bill Jordan & a few works by Elmer Keith. Keith is considered a top handgun hunter & he R&Ded the magnum handgun rounds used today.
Ruger has a few well made videos with retired LE officer & instructor Dave Spaulding. He is a good trainer & offers a simple, easy to follow style.

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Old October 30, 2013, 09:40 PM   #10
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Here's a video showing the use of a speed loader that happens to also demonstrate basic unload and reload skills very well, including a good method for cylinder release.

http://youtu.be/nigvfoaCYwY
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Old October 30, 2013, 10:21 PM   #11
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A few other things...

I'd like to mention a few other important pieces of advice.

(1) If the revolver can be hand-cocked and fired single-action, I strongly recommend becoming comfortable with the decocking procedure before attempting live single-action fire. The general technique is (a) place thumb of the support [non-firing] hand in front of hammer, (b) pull hammer spur back with thumb of firing hand, (c) press trigger while retaining hammer with both thumbs, (d) release trigger, (e) move support hand thumb out of the way, and (f) ease the hammer forward with the firing hand thumb. It sounds complicated but becomes easy to accomplish with some practice. BTW releasing the trigger (step D) prior to moving the support hand thumb will usually cause the hammer block or transfer bar to move into the SAFE position, preventing the gun from firing if your other thumb slips. (More on these safety features below.)

(2) Dry-firing- i.e. pulling the trigger with no rounds in the chambers- is a common way to practice your trigger pull, particularly for double-action fire. However, there are some mandatory warnings. (a) You MUST check and double-check that all chambers are empty before dry-firing is attempted! (b) It's considered poor etiquette to dry-fire ANY firearm that doesn't belong to you, unless you ask the owner or store clerk beforehand. (c) Most rimfire [.22 Long Rifle, .22 Long, or .22 Short] revolvers should never be dry-fired, as this can damage the firing pin. OTOH most modern (i.e. post WWII) centerfire revolvers can be dry-fired without damage. (d) NEVER dry-fire with the muzzle pointed at another person!

(3) You are likely read or hear some earnest advice- and even a few pop-culture references- stating that revolvers should always be carried "five-up" (or "four-up") with an empty chamber under the hammer, to prevent an accidental discharge if the gun falls on the hammer. This advice should be heeded if you're using an older gun, or certain single-action designs. However, almost all post-WWII double-action revolvers incorporate some form of hammer block or transfer bar to prevent accidental discharge if dropped, and these devices are almost 100% fail-safe. Modern revolvers can be confidently carried fully loaded.
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Last edited by carguychris; October 31, 2013 at 07:44 AM. Reason: minor reword...
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Old October 31, 2013, 10:57 AM   #12
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Books and online videos are VERY useful and I like them a lot but if you are totally in the dark about firearms the BEST (IMhO) method of getting educated would be to have a real live person show you how it's done.

If you're going to go to a range to shoot then easy-peasy, sign up for a class. If you're a rural resident I bet you have friends or relatives that shoot and pick one you trust and get them to show you how to shoot. (Then go take a class anyway.)

The down side to face to face instruction is you have to admit your ignorance to another person. The up side is you only have to do it once and you'll be able to ask questions and (once again IMhO) there's is NO substitute in shooting for having someone actually showing you how to do it.

As a pLus, being an uneducated person to the shooting world you won't have a lot of bad habits that will have to be unlearned (and any instructor will appreciate this-and a good attitude).
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Old October 31, 2013, 12:15 PM   #13
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I'd like to suggest this web site for a beginning shooter.
http://www.corneredcat.com/

I'd also strongly suggest an introductory handgun class. You can find one in your area through the NRA web site.
http://training.nra.org/training.aspx

You can also find firearm courses through local ranges.

Google is your friend.
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Old October 31, 2013, 03:24 PM   #14
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When you get past the basics and want to really know how to shoot your revolver,
Find the videos of Jerry Miculek, master revolver shooter.
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Old October 31, 2013, 08:26 PM   #15
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If this is all new to you, my first suggestion would be to contact some gun stores and find out who is offering a good class on handgun safety and handling. There are many good courses being offered out there and well worth the time to take it to start out right - one which is taught by a certified instructor.
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Old October 31, 2013, 11:32 PM   #16
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not all instructors are smart with revolvers. not all instructors know the difference between smokeless and black powder.. yes i know it does happen.


Just for basic getting your revolver into use, and accuractly go find a copy of the clint smith / thunder ranch 2 dvd show. Its really pretty good and focuses on what really does count.


alot of things come down to this small fact thats easy to overlook.

proper grip, trigger control, sight control and line up, take time to master on their own. And they take alot more time to master together.

anyone can chew gum or walk. not everyone can chew gum and walk at the same time.

its easy to read a book, or watch a person/video and get the basic idea but YOU the shooter has to actually put it into a way your body works.

example arthritis or bad wrist wont let you work the release like the video guy does, you have to learn a new way to get that cylinder open.
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Old November 1, 2013, 08:21 AM   #17
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Bezoar - this is not to start anything . . . but, if you will read the OP's post, not only is the revolver new to him but he is new to guns as well.

In 50 years of shooting, I have seen way too many people purchase a firearm, with the best of intentions, and never get any instruction in the safe handling of it. Bad habits are easily established early on. I still see it today on ranges where I shoot from so called "experienced" shooters.

Reading a book is fine and watching a video is fine - but some of the videos I have seen out there are put out by folks who don't know the first thing about firearm safety and it shows . . . so how do you guide the new handgun owner to the right ones and the wrong ones?

There is no substitution for a good firearms safety course - it gets a person started out right. Yes . . there are bad instructors and there are good instructors. . . . some are more "semi" oriented and some are more "revolver" oriented . . . but the same safety rules apply. An instructor who passes the NRA certification program is supposed to be profficient upon completion of the instructor program.

I don't care how long a person has been shooting - they can always learn something. Anytime I get the chance to take a different course . . I do. And even though I'm an "old dog" . . . I always learn a "new trick". The only problems I see is when a person takes the class and they "know it all" . . . usually they have developed a few bad habits along the way. You have to keep an open mind and listen and learn. That's the best thing a person who is new to firearms can do. Yea, watch the videos and read the books but nothing will substitute for a "in person" class to teach the proper safety and the basics of shooting with some range time. They are the blocks on which to build.

I took a class last Saturday. I didn't "need" it but I had heard a lot about the instructors and how good they were. What I heard was correct. I went in with a "blank slate" and I picked up a lot of good things - especially at the range time. However, the fellow who shot next to me was completely new to shooting - his first gun. He'd gone out and bought a fancy Kimber .45 and unfortunately, he hadn't even read the manual. Even under close supervision of the instructors, he was what I would call "an accident waiting to happen". By the end of the class, he was much better and had a clear meaning of the safety and what his responsibilities are. Sorry to rant on the safety issue and the training, but in my 50 years of shooting and in my experience of working fire, rescue and ambulance, I have seen far too many things in regards to "accidents" - some of them deadly - by people who don't have the proper training and knowledge of the proper safety.

OP - congrats on your entry in to an enjoyable hobby - do your reading, do your watching but also, take a good course on handgun safety and shooting. There are good courses out there and good instructors. It will help you develop the good safety habits you need to acquire as well as give you the basics of handgun shooting that you can build your skills on.
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Old November 1, 2013, 12:07 PM   #18
Hal
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Quote:
Here's a video showing the use of a speed loader that happens to also demonstrate basic unload and reload skills very well, including a good method for cylinder release
The guy ejects the empty cases by slapping the ejector rod.
The guy that taught me would have had my hide for doing that.
I was taught you never slap the ejector rod or flip the cylinder closed.

Either action I was told could bend the ejector rod.
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Old November 1, 2013, 03:44 PM   #19
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If your asking how to use a revolver than please take a class. If you bought it from a store the salesperson will likely know of an area class or possibly be able to give you an introduction to firearm safety. Guns are lots of fun and when used properly much safer than riding in a car. BUT all guns are designed to put holes in whatever is in front of them when the trigger is pulled. Doesnt matter if its an accident or on purpose. Get some hands on experience with a mentor. Youtube is no place to learn how to use a gun.
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Old November 2, 2013, 01:00 AM   #20
ClydeFrog
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Post 19; yes & no...

I agree with part of post 19 but also disagree with a section of it.

Yes, a new or entry level gun owner could benefit greatly from formal class room instruction but I would not rely on or expect a local gun shop clerk or sales mgr to give a honest, open unbiased opinion of what class to take.
Many gun shops or chains have "instructors" or cadre available to teach new gun owners the basics but some are honestly better than others.
The NRA or a local gun/rifle club may have better resources.
Web forums can help but I won't put a lot of stock or spend a ton of $$$ based solely on a internet message or topic.

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Old November 3, 2013, 12:05 AM   #21
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Attitude: Once you do get your revolver home, learn it as if it was the only one on earth. How it works, how it feels, how it shoots. It is a fine tool and you are the craftsman. Also, get a copy of Kuhnhausen if it's a Smith. But know that weapon better than you think you need to. It pays.
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Old November 3, 2013, 09:29 PM   #22
ClydeFrog
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2 well known firearm Youtube instructors....

I've seen 2 well known(so called highly trained) tactics instructor either knock DA/DAO revolvers or use improper terms related to revolvers.
As pistols become more prevelant in the US shooting sports community & with CCW holders, more shooters & cadre will be less familiar with revolvers.

Clyde
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Old November 4, 2013, 12:35 AM   #23
DPris
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Please direct yourself to local classes, and do it before you injure somebody.
If you're the same poster on two other forums asking essentially the same things, you need IN PERSON HELP.
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Old November 4, 2013, 01:30 PM   #24
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I would suggest following this link: http://www.nrainstructors.org/SearchCourse.aspx.

Select the boxes next to these courses:

NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientation
NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course

then enter your zip code and a search radius. This will bring up a list of NRA training courses near you that would be appropriate for a brand new shooter. These courses are about a day long, and include classroom and range instruction. I've been shooting for many years and recently took the Basic Pistol Course as a refresher, and it was time well spent. For a new shooter, these courses would be invaluable.
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Old November 5, 2013, 11:53 AM   #25
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The double action trigger is going to be your number one impediment to shooting. Look in Grant Cunningham's The Gun Digest Book of the Revolver for how to manage it. There are two components to be aware of: trigger pull and trigger reset. You need to know both because your second shot's accuracy depends upon it.

Reloading the gun quickly is very important. I use Ayoob's "Stressfire" method because it is fast and reliable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXUwI_d8JlA

The difficult part is training. There are fewer and fewer revolver instructors every year. It is essential that you attend training if you want to improve. A regular lesson at the local gun range would help you immensely. I waited three years and went to a trainer out of desperation; I should have done it that first year.
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