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Gun: Revolver Basics Cheat Sheet by

basics     gun     revolver


The revolver is still the ideal handgun for many. For those who haven’t had the opport­unity to use a revolver, or who perhaps have forgotten, let’s run through a refresher.



Your grip on a revolver should be as firm as possible, and as straight in line with your forearm as can be accomp­lished consid­ering the size of the frame and your hand. This allows the trigger pull to come straight back into your hand, not torqued to one side. Ideally, for single­-ac­tion, the pad of the finger should contact the trigger.

For double­-ac­tion, the first joint of the finger is ideal. Revolver stocks are usually narrower at the top so there is a tendency for the hand to “ride up” the frame during firing. To help prevent that, the grips can be oversize to fill the area between the handle and rear of the trigger guard.

Sight Alignment

Sight Alignment

How closely the sights are aligned is in direct relati­onship to the distance to the target and the type of shooting. At room-size ranges, a quick flash of the front sight is all that is required. At longer ranges, careful (and therefore slower) alignment is needed. With the choice of focusing on either the rear sight, front sight or target, the shooter needs to understand the importance of a clearly defined front sight.

For double­-action shooting, sight alignment is not critical at the start of the trigger pull but rather at the end of the relatively long pull. A careful sight picture before the trigger pull commences can lead to a fast pull, in an attempt to get the shot off before the sights are misali­gned.

Trigger Control

Trigger Control

In single­-action firing, the hammer is cocked with the thumb, allowing a very short, light trigger pull. This technique was necessary for bullseye shooting and helps greatly in engaging targets at longer ranges. Old-time bullseye shooters sometimes started the pull double­-action and then picked up the hammer to cock the gun. Oversize stocks with a thumb rest can aid in single­-action shooting but prevent a quick reload, with or without a speedl­oader. Shooting two-handed allows the shooter to cock the gun with the “off” thumb of the support hand, which is much more efficient than using the thumb of the gun hand.

Double­-action shooting requires more care. The long travel of the trigger can lead to jerking shots. The cadence of firing should at least start as a “one-t­hou­san­d-one” pull with emphasis on a constant pull or even slowing down slightly (but not stopping) at the end, just before the gun fires. The final sight picture is acquired just before firing. If the shooter acquires a perfect sight picture before trigger pull is initiated, a “jerk” is often the result.


The Weaver position. Basically, the gun is brought up to eye level. The strong­-hand grip is supple­mented with the weak hand in a “push–­pull” support. The gun arm can be slightly bent at the elbow. This measurably improves the support of the gun and allows more rapid recovery for subsequent shots. Accuracy is much better.

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