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Revolvers, also called wheel guns, are simple handguns that use a rotating set of chambers to allow for repeating fire. They differ from semi-automatics which use a single chamber and a gas or blowback operated, magazine fed action.


Action Types

An "action" is the mechanism that moves the chamber with the spent cartridge out of the way, moves a fresh cartridge into place, and readies the gun to fire again.

Single Action

Single action revolvers perform only one action when the trigger is pulled, they drop the hammer and fire the weapon. This then requires the user to manually pull the hammer back.

Double Action

Double Action cocks the weapon, rotates the chambers, and releases the hammer in a single trigger pull allowing for a much faster rate of fire.

Loading Mechanisms

There are several different loading/unloading systems available on revolvers, the greatest differences being speed of reloading and durability.


Fixed cylinder revolvers require the weapon to be partially dismantled by pulling out the pin that the cylinder rotates on for the gun to be reloaded or they have an opening are the rear of the revolver to allow for a single cartridge to be loaded at a time.

Top Break

Top break loader open similarly to a crack open shotgun allowing the chambers to be loaded more efficiently by hand or with a speedloader.

Swing Out

Most modern revolvers have a cylinder that swings out the side of the gun allowing for faster unloading and reloading by hand or with a speed loader. This system allows for a stronger single piece frame of the fixed cylinder system with the ease of use and speed of top breaking.



List of Revolvers

This is a list of revolvers that are popular or of notable historic significance.


See Also

Second Amendment Defenders of American Liberty


External Links

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