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The revolving action takes its name from a revolving cylinder containing a number of cartridge chambers. One chamber at a time lines up with the barrel as the handgun is fired. Revolving cylinders may rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on the manufacturer. Revolving actions are referred to as either “single action” or “double action.”

Revolving action firearm

  • Single Action: Will fire only after the hammer has been cocked manually.
  • Double Action: Pulling the trigger both cocks and releases the hammer. A double-action revolver typically also can be hammer-cocked like a single-action revolver.