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Revolver Reloading Mechanisms

Loading Gate

revolver loading gate
closeup of revolver loading gate

A single-action revolver with a fixed cylinder uses a loading gate at the rear of the cylinder that allows insertion of one cartridge at a time for loading, while a rod under the barrel can be pressed rearward to eject fired cases. The cylinder is rotated after each chamber is loaded or unloaded to bring the next chamber in line. The gate cover is closed after the desired chambers are reloaded or the gun is emptied.


revolver with top break mechanism
top break on revolver

A top-break mechanism on a revolver is hinged near the front-bottom of the cylinder. The user can open the revolver and load new cartridges in quickly and easily. In many top-break revolvers, the action of breaking open also pushes an extractor lever upward, which ejects all the cartridges or empty cases or moves them far enough out of the cylinder that they can be pulled out easily.


revolver with swing out mechanism
closeup ejecting casings from revolver

A revolver with a swing-out cylinder mechanism is one with a cylinder that is mounted on a pivot that swings out of and down from the frame. The rod on the front of the cylinder unlocks the mechanism and allows it to swing out. It can then be pushed in to operate the extractor and eject the contents of the chambers. Loading bullets can then be done one at a time, or simultaneously using a speedloader. After loading, the cylinder is pushed back to the body of the revolver and locked in place.

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The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. We make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed.

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