How to Correctly Load a Single Action Revolver





Introduction: How to Correctly Load a Single Action Revolver

I will show how to correctly load a single action revolver ....AKA Six Shooter with five bullets
Now the cautions ,A firearm is deadly !! Handle with extreme care DO NOT point it at anything you are unwilling to destroy .The bullets used in this instructable are dummy rounds hand loaded by me for live fire jam drills, the primers are inert (soaked in oil) and there is no powder in the bullets.

Step 1: Load the First Chamber

Open the loading gate on the right side of the gun , here I use a replica 1851 Colt Navy cartridge conversion . Center the chamber in the loading gate and insert the first bullet .

Step 2: Rotate Cylinder Past Second Chamber

Rotate the cylinder past the second chamber and stop at the third , you want to load only FIVE bullets ....I have removed the barrel and will show the cylinder from the front in my pictures .
Here is the first and third chamber loaded.

Step 3: Load the Rest

Rotate the cylinder and center the fourth chamber in the loading gate and again load a bullet then do the same for the fifth and sixth chamber.

Step 4: Cock and Let Hammer Down

Point the gun in a safe direction and cock hammer to full cock , if you have done this right you will let the hammer down on a unloaded chamber .
Why 5? Why a empty chamber under the hammer ?
First on older guns if a live round is under the hammer a hard blow to the hammer can cause a accidental discharge , not good if in a holster ,Second if you are letting the hammer down and you lose control of the hammer your get, Why, yes, an accidental discharge!



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I agree on loading to only 5 rounds on OLD single actions . More modern revolvers have safety features like transfer bar safeties and hammer block safeties etc ( such as the Ruger Blackhawk SA ) to prevent such unintended discharges. We've come a long way in safety on revolvers to get away from the "accidental discharges" due to hammer strikes . That being said , I wouldn't have the hammer resting on a live round , in a revolver , unless it was a modern example with one of the safety features mentioned or similar . Good instructable btw .

saftey or not engeneering  controlls  often fail and it is a good idea for an empty chamber anyway

Ruger transfer bar safety cannot possibly fire unless the trigger is pulled. Such a failure is not possible.

And the Titantic wasn't supposed to sink.

I teach my Hunter's Ed students this mantra, and have them repeat it throughout the class - "A safety is a mechanical device that can and will fail".

When you say that something is "not possible", that Murphy guy has ways to make you regret your hubris.

Thoroughly non-analogous analogy, sir. Not even close

Not to mention a misnomer, as you're not even talking about the same thing that I was talking about. A "transfer bar" is not a "safety".

I'm glad you teach your students to be extra careful, especially considering how litigious our society has become. I won't say that you are going too far in telling your students that safeties "will fail" because I don't do what you do, nor am I even qualified to do so.

Yep, I own antique and modern revolvers, and as a matter of habit,I always keep the hammer on an empty chamber.

dosent dry firing damage guns?

It varies from gun to gun.  As a rule, I never dry fire a .22,  or any other rimfire weapon. 

But there are some centerfire weapons which can also be damaged by repeated dry firing.  I once broke the firing pin on a little French made .32 auto by dry firing.

I don't think I dry fired it ,just put let the hammer down on the empty chamber . if I did I shouldn't have .over the years I have dry fired many S&W revolvers most times the model 10... issue gun for corrections ..I use to give cadets lessons and one of the way I taught was with dry fire ON the RANGE WITH IT POINTED DOWNRANGE ...that seemed to help ...I have replaced many a fireing pin on my and others guns from dry firing as skunk says most have been .22

Ah sorry i misunderstood,my knowledge on firearms is Very vague indeed but if you accidentally press the trigger without a 5th cartridge isent that dry firing