Tips for First time Revolver Shooters


I’ve shot a few revolvers and it’s definitely a different experience than shooting a semi-auto.

What tips do you have for a person who is going to shoot a revolver for the first time? Should they shoot one before they shoot a semi-auto pistol, or does order not matter to you?


I’d shoot a semi auto first. The revolver has little nuances that a semi auto doesn’t. Like don’t put your thumbs in front of the cylinder so you don’t get hurt. There is also the recoil of a revolver. None of the energy is transferred to the slide, so you’re getting a lot in your palm.


Shoot a heavy one first in a light caliber, like a 6 inch .357 loaded with .38’s. That’s how I taught my wife to shoot. Keep your fingers away from the cylinder gap is hard ghky important.


I agree with both @James and @45IPAC
I’ve only shot 3 revolvers. Colt, taurus and Pietta. All .357. The Taurus was a snub nose while the other 2 were full size. The Taurus was the worst with recoil. I’ll gladly shoot 38 outta that one, but I’ll pass on .357. Thankfully shot the Taurus after the Colt. If it would have been the other way around I may have been more hesitant.
Like they mentioned about, careful of the rotating cylinder. And as tempting as it may be, I suggest leaving the gun spinning to Johnny Ringo. :sunglasses:


An important thing to know about your revolver is the direction in which your cylinder rotates either clockwise or counterclockwise. Sounds simple but all part of fully knowing the operation of your firearm.

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Ok - my lack of revolver experience is totally going to show - I didn’t realize they don’t all revolve in the same direction.

Any reason they go different directions? Or is it just manufacturer spec?

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I believe it’s just manufacturer design. To my knowledge of modern revolvers, Colt is the only one that turn opposite. Now, some use a reverse pawl on their single actions so the cylinder can be rotated backwards.

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I’ve heard different theories of CW vs CCW.
(All points of direction mentioned as the shooter looking at the revolver in their hand.)
older SA load/eject from the right side. The cylinder doesn’t swing out. These tend to be CW. Their predecessors of black powder did the same. This was supposed to help have the spent percussion cap free fall as the cylinder rotated. The cylinders that swing out to load/eject tend to be CCW to aid in rolling while they swing out. Of course this isn’t always the case.
Good to know which way it turns if you plan to stack your ammo. Meaning the first round is a warning of birdshot, the second is straight business.
I’ve also heard that the rotation could effect your shooting by torqueing the revolver ever so slightly one way or another. Not sure how true of a statement that is. Anybody have experience with that?