So you have an unloaded, empty single-action revolver. You open the loading gate and slide in a round. From there, you will move the hammer to the “half-cock” position (and a reminder, as with all guns, only load with the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction). This allows you to turn the cylinder of a single-action revolver to put the next empty chamber in line with the loading gate. (Note: Many currently produced single-action revolvers such as the Ruger Vaquero do not require the hammer to be at half-cock when loading. With a gun such as this, simply open the loading gate and rotate the cylinder with your fingers. As it is with all modern firearms, refer to your owner’s manual for complete safety and user instructions and contact your firearm’s manufacturer with any questions.)
Now, most single-action revolvers hold six rounds. To safely load, shoot and carry a single-action revolver, you will load only five rounds and the sixth, empty chamber will initially be positioned to be the one in front of the hammer and in line with the barrel. To do this, you will load one round into an empty gun, skip the next chamber, load the next four and close the loading gate. You will then, cock the hammer fully back and very carefully and with your thumb still on the hammer, gently depress the trigger and ease the hammer forward to its full, upright, uncocked position. If you’ve done this correctly, the empty chamber should now be in front of the hammer and in line with the barrel.
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