Course Outline

Unloading a revolver

The unloading procedure also depends on the type of handgun.

For revolvers, you remove the fired cartridge cases using the extractor. An ejector rod is connected to the extractor. Pushing the ejector rod causes the extractor to remove the fired cases from the cylinder chambers.

Unloading Single-Action Revolvers

Single-action revolvers are unloaded through a gate on the right side of the frame.

To unload a single-action revolver:

  • Point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard.
  • Push the ejector rod. The fired case is ejected out of the chamber. Rotate the cylinder and repeat this operation for every chamber.
  • Make sure the gun is empty by visually checking both the chamber and the cylinder.
  • If the gun is cocked, uncock (decock) it. Hold the hammer with your thumb, pull the trigger, and slowly lower the hammer until it is in the uncocked position.

Unloading Double-Action Revolvers

Double-action revolvers are unloaded by releasing the cylinder.

To unload a double-action revolver:

  • Point the muzzle up and in a safe direction.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard.
  • Release the cylinder latch to allow the cylinder to swing out from the frame.
  • Push the ejector rod downward, forcing out the fired cases.
  • Make sure the gun is empty by visually checking both the chamber and the cylinder.
  • If the gun is cocked, uncock (decock) it. Hold the hammer with your thumb, pull the trigger, and slowly lower the hammer until it is in the uncocked position.

Unloading Semi-Automatic Pistols

Semi-automatics usually have cartridges stored in a magazine.

To unload a semi-automatic pistol:

  • Point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Put the safety on if it is not already on.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard.
  • Release the magazine and take it out of the pistol.
  • Remove the cartridges from the magazine.
  • Pull the slide all the way to the rear and then let it go forward to eject any cartridge that may be in the chamber. Repeat this several times to make sure the chamber is empty.
  • Make sure the pistol is empty by visually checking both the chamber and the magazine well.
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