Armed Security Training-Revolvers

Armed Security Training-Revolvers

Armed Security Training-Revolvers.  This section covers the physical aspects of the Revolver along with the care and proper handling for the Statewide Firearm Class G License.

This section need be taught only if the security officer will carry a Revolver in the performance of his or her duties.


Outline of Lesson:

  1. Types of Revolvers
  2. Nomenclature
  3. Stoppages
  4. Care and Cleaning of the Revolver
  5. Loading & Unloading the Revolver

No individual can be expected to use a tool safely and skillfully if that person does not understand its functions and capabilities. Firearms training for security guards gives the information necessary to become knowledgeable in all aspects of the weapon and its safe, effective use.



There are two basic types of revolvers. They are single-action and double-action. A single-action revolver is fired by pulling the hammer back to the fully cocked position and squeezing the trigger. Single-action revolvers cannot be fired double-action. The double- action revolver can be fired in the same manner but it can also be fired by controlling the trigger through its complete cycle. The hammer will rise and fall as a result of the trigger action alone. Whichever means of firing is used, the cylinder rotates as the hammer raises and another cartridge is brought into place for firing.


Armed Security Training-Revolvers  

Built-in safety factors in the revolver

  • For single-action firing, it must be cocked by hand. Single action firing is not permitted during the qualifying course or while on duty.
  • Heavy double-action trigger pull reduces possibility of accidental firing.
  • Double-action firing requires complete pull through the cycle.

C.              STOPPAGES

Inadequate maintenance and excessively rough treatment can cause many types of malfunctions. The malfunctions listed below can occur occasionally in spite of good care.

  1. Cylinder fails to turn. There are several reasons why this may happen:

1) Trigger not completely released from previous shot – most likely to happen in double- action

2) High primer

3) Cartridge not fully seated

4) Protruding bullet from squib load which fails to enter barrel completely.

  1. Gun fails to fire:

1) Broken firing pin

2) Worn firing pin

3) Firing pin hole in recoil plate plugged

4) Accumulation of lint and dirt particles in working mechanism.

  1. Lead and powder particles thrown to side:

1) Cylinder out of “time” does not line up properly with barrel

2) Leading at forcing cone.

  1. Misfires and hangfires:

A misfire is “the failure of a cartridge to ignite when the primer or case rim is struck by the firing pin”. This can be caused by a defect in the pistol and/or the cartridge. A misfire should be solved by simply pulling the trigger again. While it is true that this could be a hang fire (delayed ignition of a round), in a real world situation an individual will most likely not have 10-30 seconds to keep the muzzle in a “safe direction” in anticipation of a delayed discharge.

  1. “Squib” loads

A Squib Load is a cartridge with less than normal pressure or velocity upon ignition. Because of this the round fails to exit the muzzle and may be lodged in the bore. One will usually notice a squib load by one or more of these signs:

  • Reduced noise
  • Reduced muzzle flash
  • Reduced recoil

It is important to note that until the round is dislodged, the firearm is inoperable.

  1. Reloads

Once sufficient used cartridge cases are available, ammunition can be reloaded for a considerably smaller amount of money than the cost of factory ammunition. Since many departments are faced with the necessity of saving even pennies when they can, this difference in price can mean the difference between an adequate and an inadequate training program. The best of reloading equipment and the most conscientious personnel however, cannot give the results that are achieved in a factory which is geared to do nothing but make ammunition. The occasional high primer and the occasional squib load (which occur with considerably greater frequency in a reloading operation), only cause a momentary inconvenience in a training exercise. The same “little” difficulties in the street, however, could take on a much different light. For training and practice … reloads, yes! For service ammunition … reloads, no!


Although sturdily constructed and not prone to get out of order, the modern revolver must be maintained properly if it is to give longtime satisfactory service. Good maintenance calls for periodic inspection and the adoption of a thorough and systematic cleaning procedure as instructed by the manufacturer.

Aside from the minor adjustments outlined in this article, repairs and a periodic internal cleaning and inspection of the revolver should be entrusted to a competent gunsmith.

All revolvers should be fired and given a thorough cleaning at least once a year.

Revolvers carried by armed security officers should be checked daily for cylinder rotation, firing pin protrusion, ejector rod operation, bore cleanliness, cylinder locking and alignment, and hammer fall. This inspection can be methodically performed in less than a minute.

Before any inspection or cleaning is done, the revolver MUST be unloaded.

  1. Bore should be thoroughly scrubbed with proper caliber bristle or nylon brush (use bronze bristle brush if leading is present) dipped in bore solvent. Brush should clear bore at end of each stroke as attempt to reverse brush within bore will only bind it.
  2. Barrel throat or bore leading which resists the ordinary bronze brush can be removed with a special wire gauze-head cleaning tool. Fine steel wool wound on jag tip of cleaning rod is also effective in removing lead.
  3. A thorough cleaning with bronze bristle brush dipped in bore solvent will remove ordinary fouling from individual chambers. A chisel shaped piece of wood is used to clean collected grease, etc., from locking notches in the cylinder. Stubborn chamber residue is best removed by scrubbing with tightly fitting bob of fine steel wool wrapped around roughened end of wooden dowel or jag tip of cleaning rod.
  4. Use a solvent-moistened cloth or cleaning patch on jag tip to impart final polish to bore. After final inspection apply very light coat of protective oil to bore if gun is to be maintained in “ready to use” status. Clean and wipe each chamber of the cylinder with patch or bob.
  5. Use bristle brush or clean toothbrush with solvent to clean interior surfaces of frame and crane assembly indicated by arrows. Accumulated powder fouling, gummed lubricant, lead particles, or lint induced formation of corrosion and lock-work can lead to malfunctions.
  6. Push ejector mechanism back and forth vigorously. It should operate freely. Clean entire assembly with brush and place drop of oil on ejector rod and spline shaft. Push back and forth again, and then wipe off all excess oil. Check to see that ejector head is aligned properly to bottom fully in cylinder recess.

Daily check is … considered advisable for the revolver which is carried on the person. There are several general points of view which apply.

Special emphasis points in operation and use

  1. The revolver is not a club or hammer. Do not use it as one.
  2. Do not flip the cylinder open.
  3. Do not slam the cylinder shut.
  4. Do not toss the gun around, even in a holster.
  5. Do not attempt any internal repair. Take it to a competent gunsmith.
  6. Do not loosen mainspring strain screw.
  7. Remember that this weapon is your life-preserver. Rough treatment may cause misalignment, improper timing, malfunction or inaccurate fire.
  1. Built-in mechanical safeties in the revolver. Modern double-action revolvers (Colt and Smith & Wesson) contain a built-in hammer block which is automatically interposed between the hammer and frame, except when the trigger is to the rear. It is designed to prevent the firing pin from hitting the cartridge primer if the hammer is struck or if the hammer slips during manual cocking.

To test the safety on the Colt, open the cylinder and remove any cartridges without touching the trigger, pull back the hammer until almost cocked and release it. The firing pin should not project through the hole in the breech face. If it does, the revolver should be repaired. The Smith and Wesson can be tested in the same way; however, it is necessary to hold the cylinder thumb latch to the rear while pulling back the hammer.

(1)       Where the revolver is carried daily, the chance of having it bumped, dropped, or fouled with some substance is greatly increased. The one minute check as suggested in the illustrated “Care and Cleaning of the Revolver” is good insurance.

(2)       The revolver should be wiped externally after each handling.

(3)       The revolver should be cleaned thoroughly after each firing.

(4)       The revolver should be checked by the firearms instructor or supervisor each time the officer fires for qualification

The objective of this regular maintenance is to have the weapon in efficient operating condition at all times.


Loading the revolver (The following example is for the right-handed shooter.)

Armed Security Training-Revolvers

The revolver is drawn with the forefinger lying alongside the frame. The other three fingers are curled around the grip. The thumb is straight along the cylinder latch side of the gun with the tip close to the latch. As the gun is drawn, the left hand is brought up about belt-buckled high in front of the body. The gun is placed in the left hand at a point where the cylinder will cover the two middle fingers. As soon as the gun touches the left hand, the cylinder latch should be actuated. The cylinder is forced out of the frame by the two middle fingers of the left hand and into contact with the thumb while the right hand is still in contact with the grip.

The gun is held against the base of the palm by pressure of the left forefinger and little finger on the top strap. The thumb and middle fingers are then free to rotate the cylinder as it is loaded. The right hand secures ammunition from the carrying device or pocket and feeds the cartridges into the cylinder chambers. The muzzle of the gun must be tilted toward the ground in order to give better access to the chambers and to keep the cartridges from sliding out by gravity. In most cases, gravity also causes the rounds to drop into the chambers. While both hands are still on the gun, the cylinder is closed gently and rotated slightly to be sure it is loaded.

Unloading the revolver

Armed Security Training-Revolvers

The loading position is taken. While the body is turning, the gun is brought from firing position into the left hand just as it was for loading. The barrel is tilted upward; however, it is opened in the same way except that, in unloading, the thumb goes to the end of the ejector rod. The thumb actually exerts some pressure toward the frame of the revolver while it depresses the rod. This maintains the contact of the cylinder with the two middle fingers of the left hand. The thumb is pressed smartly toward the cylinder to create sudden pressure on the empty cartridge cases. This unseats them, despite the fact that they have swelled during firing, more readily than slow steady pressure. At the same time the ejector rod is being depressed the left hand is rotated through a small arc much as it would be if the shooter were trying to shake water from the hand.

Meantime, the ejector rod may need to be actuated several times, very quickly. The whole idea is to get the empty cases out of the cylinder without the help of the right hand. The right hand has its function during the unloading procedure. As soon as the cylinder is opened (assuming another string is to be fired immediately) reach for more ammunition so that the firearm may be loaded the instant the cylinder is empty.