Even something as simple as loading or unloading a handgun can result in tragedy if it isn't done properly. Here's how to do it safely.
The loading procedure depends on the type of handgun.
Loading Single-Action Revolvers
Single-action revolvers typically load through a gate on the right side of the frame.
To load a single-action revolver:
- Point the muzzle in a safe direction.
- Open the action; make sure the barrel is unobstructed.
- Load a cartridge into each chamber. To rotate the cylinder, pull the hammer back to half-cock.
- When the chambers are loaded, close the action.
Loading Double-Action Revolvers
Double-action revolvers have cylinders that are swung outward to expose all chambers for loading.
To load a double-action revolver:
- Point the muzzle down and in a safe direction.
- With your right hand, release the cylinder latch. This frees the cylinder from the frame.
- Swing the cylinder out and away from the frame with the two middle fingers of the left hand.
- Make sure the barrel is unobstructed.
- Load a cartridge into each chamber. After a chamber is loaded, rotate the cylinder with the left thumb and two middle fingers.
- When the chambers are loaded, make sure the hammer is down (uncocked). Gently swing the cylinder back into the frame, and make sure it locks into place.