4.2

Learning how to handle a revolver

Every shooter should choose a handgun that is most appropriate for their hands size. The grips should allow your index finger to easily reach the trigger without moving your palm away from the gun axis. Just like every step of the shooting, holding the gun correctly should be studied, trained and memorized through repetition. The revolver you choose should allow you to put your stronger hand as high as possible. The gun needs to be in axis with your forearm. Muscular memory, achieved through training, will automatically incline the wrist so that the aiming devices are perfectly aligned when the gun is pointed towards the target.

To handle a revolver
This is how you should hold the gun when shooting in single action. Your thumb should be on the cylinder latch thumb piece and the trigger pushed with half of your last phalange. Your hand should be as high as possible
To handle a revolver
The gun’s axis is perfectly aligned with the shooter’s forearm
To handle a revolver
When shooting in double action, your thumb should be moved downwards and touch the tip of your index finger which leans on the trigger with the junction of the last two phalanges

In precision shooting, using single action and one handed hold, the thumb can rest on the cylinder latch thumb piece button or on the recoil shield. This way it is possible to stabilize the gun well and eliminate possible oscillations. When shooting one-handed in double action, the only defensive shooting method is the following:  the thumb of the stronger hand should be bent forward and trying to reach the tip of the index finger that is on the trigger.

When shooting with both hands, the thumb of your weaker hand will push the thumb of your stronger hand downwards. This will ensure you a more secure grip that will soften the recoil and help you increase the pace of your shooting. 

To handle a revolver
Use your weaker hand to enclose your stronger hand. The thumb of your weaker hand should push the thumb of your stronger hand. This will allow you to resist the recoil and increase the shooting pace

Snub-nose revolvers require extra attention if you are using both hands because it is easy to put your weaker hand in front of a barrel with disastrous consequences. The option to add a hand-guard of the trigger with the index finger of your weaker hand is increasingly rare these years, since it’s been discovered it could cause flinching. The idea would be to put the upper part of your index finger of your weaker under the trigger guard. Even if we don’t personally use this technique, we feel we could advise it because there are some shooters that can achieve excellent results this way. Everyone should choose their hold and grip  according to their own physical features.

To handle a revolver
This should be avoided. If you learn this technique, you may cause incidents when you use a semi-automatic handgun

The thing we’d like to stress, even with the help of the pictures illustrating this article, is that some types of grip techniques should be avoided. Keeping the wrist of the shooting hand very tight next to the weaker hand is not very useful. The wrist will keep on oscillating and the recoil will not be cushioned. When shooting with both hands, avoid putting the thumb of the weaker hand behind the hammer. When we are stressed, our brain applies everything we learned from our trainings and keeps us from making any decisions. If you learn a technique like this, you may be tempted to use it while operating a semi-automatic gun. This could cause a nasty wound on the thumb with the back side of the cycling slide, and you may damage your gun as well. 

To handle a revolver
Using this movie-like hold is useless, unless you suffer from arthritis
To handle a revolver
The thumbs are stretched out along the cylinder – which rotates – it could cause malfunctions. This is another technique you should avoid

Another position that should be avoided includes positioning the thumbs as it should be with a semi-automatic gun: right on the sides of the cylinder axis. An excessive pressure of the thumbs, especially in stressful conditions, could keep the cylinder from rotating correctly and it could skip the chamber. Usually, revolvers have a very light single action shooting. In this case, the trigger could be pushed with half of the finger’s nail bed phalange. In order to fight back in the traction of the trigger in double action, you can use the trigger between the junctions of the last two phalanges. In this way the index finger can easily get greater resistance in double action. 

To handle a revolver
Loading your revolver a) the thumb of your stronger hand is holding the cylinder latch thumb piece
To handle a revolver
Loading your gun b) the stronger hand isn’t holding the gun. The middle and annular finger of your weaker hand are holding the cylinder which opens up

When you need to eject the spent cases from the cylinder, most revolver experts push the opening button with the thumb of their stronger hand. The revolver is held with the palm of your weaker hand and your index and pinkie finger are on the sides of the frame.

To handle a revolver
Loading your gun c) the revolver, rotated upwards to ease the expulsion of the spent cases, is held by your index and pinkie finger. The thumb of your weaker hand holds the ejector rod

Your annular and middle finger should push the side of the cylinder, causing it to open. Once you’ve rotated the revolver upwards in order to easily remove the spent cases, press the ejector rod with your thumb.

Once the spent cases fall to the ground, you can re-load the revolver with the fresh rounds, using your stronger hand. The revolver should be set back by pushing the muzzle of the barrel downwards. The two cylinder chambers will align with their respective cartridge in the speed loader which will then be closed. Close the cylinder with the thumb of your left hand. In case you want to load the rounds one by one, this procedure allows you to easily rotate the cylinder between the thumb and two fingers that are in the opening of the frame. 

To handle a revolver
Loading your revolver d) the stronger hand aligns the fresh round in the speed loader with the cylinder chambers
To handle a revolver
Loading your revolver e) the round is in the cylinder
To handle a revolver
Loading your revolver f) the thumb of your weaker hand closed the cylinder and the gun is loaded and ready for use

We can watch the world revolver championship of fast shooting Jerry Miculek in action on Youtube, which is really a great example of just how fast a revolver shooter can become, following these methods. For those who might be interested, Jerry is using a .45 ACP Smith&Wesson revolver. The moon clip used in this revolver speeds up the loading procedure to its fullest but you need more than a good gun to get to Miculek’s level. 

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