What is the proper grip to unload a SA revolver?

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1ruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
151
What is the proper way to hold a SA revolver when unloading the cylinder (live ammo or spent brass)?

Currently when I finish shooting...

1. use the support hand (left) to cradle the revolver in the bottom of the frame/barrel area and use the thumb of the shooting hand (right) to open the loading gate

2. hold the revolver barrel strait up with the shooting hand on the grip and use the trigger finger to rotate the cylinder

3. use the index finger of the left hand to pull down the ejector head and push out the ammo/brass

Is this the proper way?

How do you do it?
 

MAC702

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
109
I've heard Sam Colt was left-handed, which is why we right-handers have to swap hands in order to load the things....

I do your number one, but I use my left thumb and index to rotate the cylinder and my right index to reach under the bbl and pull the ejector.
 

1ruger

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
151
MAC702":17wwun0b said:
I've heard Sam Colt was left-handed, which is why we right-handers have to swap hands in order to load the things....

I've never heard that before but I just tried it with my Blackhawk and it makes a lot of sense. As it's designed it would work a lot better for lefty.

MAC702":17wwun0b said:
I do your number one, but I use my left thumb and index to rotate the cylinder and my right index to reach under the bbl and pull the ejector.

So you are hold the revolver with your left hand?
Your hand is not on the grip when unloading?
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
huh..well i grab a handfull of shells in my left hand and in my right i flick the loading gate open with with my thumb and then "lay" the revolver down across my palm with my ring finger wrapped over the cylinder and my first on the ejector. pop the ejector, load a round, turn the cylinder with my ring/middle finger (i guess it more rolls the gun against my palm) and repeat till you see an unhit primer.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Southpaw Flatgate laughs............ insert evil laugh here....... :D

Hold gun in left hand. Open loading gate with right hand. Place your right hand in a "palm up" position and use the right thumb to operate the ejector and use your "little and ring" fingers to rotate the cylinder, from the underside of the S.A. revolver. With some practice one can kick out six empties in a couple of seconds.

Loading is painstakingly slow in comparison.

:D

JMHO,

flatgate
 

leejack

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
278
I think that loading and unloading makes the SA revolver experience fun!

My daughter doesn't have the patients that I have. She likes autos.

Come to think of it; I'm the one that cleans the guns, too! :lol:

lee
 

c.r.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
436
apparently we are all different.

i'm right handed.

i lay the gun in my left hand........the cylinder is resting in my palm almost on the underside of my knuckles. my ring finger is either in the trigger guard or just in front of it, my thumb wraps over the top strap.

i use that thumb to index the cylinder.

The barrel is basically parallel to the ground, maybe slightly tilted up

i use my right hand pointing finger to cycle the ejector rod. the empties fall into the exposed portion the palm of my supporting hand. (I have room for 3 or 4 cases before i have to remove them. if it's a magnum or Colt case, after cycling the ejector rod, I use my right hand to pluck the cases from the cylinder.

On a single six, i can eject all the rounds into my palm and then just walk to the trash can and dump them there.

~~~~now if for some reason i was in a hurry and not worried about saving my brass, then i simply have the barrel tilted higher and the bullets would eject into my palm and then roll off to the ground.

Loading............the gun is positioned the same way in my left hand except the barrel is slightly below parallel, thum indexes the cylinder while the right hand does nothing but insert the cartridges.

yeah, the more i think about it, this is the right way to do it :lol: :lol:
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Here's a post I recently made on the subject of Sam Colt being left-handed.

"...there is no evidence that Sam Colt was left handed or that that was the reason for the layout of the sixgun. The revolver, at that point in time, was a secondary cavalry weapon. It was worn butt forward, on the right hip so that it could be drawn with either hand but it was meant to be used with the left hand. The saber was the primary weapon and it was always worn on the left side. Colt designed a cutout in the right side of the frame of his percussion guns for capping. This was so that the sixgun could be held in the left hand while the dominant right hand could be used for operating the powder flask, ramming balls and capping. This was carried over, years after Sam Colt's death, when Charles Richards and William Mason designed cartridge conversions on the percussion pistols and their 1872 Open Top successor. This was Colt's first dedicated metallic cartridge sixgun chambered in .44 rimfire. It was submitted to the Army for testing. It was rejected, as they wanted a centerfire .45 caliber cartridge and a solid frame. THE ARMY is responsible for those two major changes that ultimately led to William Mason's design of the 1873 Single Action Army in late 1872. If it would've been better for a predominately right-handed cavalryman to have the loading gate on the left side, don't you think the Army would've ordered it that way?

It's worthy of note that the loading gate/capping cutout on Remington percussion and cartridge sixguns is also on the right side.

I, for one, do not believe Bill Grover's design to be better for right-handed shooters and most veteran sixgunners agree. You can operate a single action much more quickly and efficiently by changing it over to the left hand, turning the cylinder with the left thumb and forefinger while operating the ejector with the right thumb or forefinger. I then transition to the right hand to load with the left. I shoot 20-30,000rds a year through single actions and have found this to be the most efficient way to reload a single action. Usually takes 12-15 seconds to unload and reload in this manner."
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
5,934
I don't think its ever been proven Colt was left handed.

But, the Colt was designed as a Cavalry revolver. The revolver was held in the left hand, along with the reins. The right hand was free to reach for fresh cartridges.

Same for the Smith: Open the gun with the right hand and "break" it against the thigh. Move to left hand and reload.

Bob Wright
 

Wyandot Jim

Hawkeye
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,040
I, for one, do not believe Bill Grover's design to be better for right-handed shooters and most veteran sixgunners agree. You can operate a single action much more quickly and efficiently by changing it over to the left hand, turning the cylinder with the left thumb and forefinger while operating the ejector with the right thumb or forefinger. I then transition to the right hand to load with the left. I shoot 20-30,000rds a year through single actions and have found this to be the most efficient way to reload a single action. Usually takes 12-15 seconds to unload and reload in this manner."

I unload like you. This also allows you to catch the brass in the palm of your hand. I put my thumb in the flutes to rotate Once brass goes in the grass or weeds it becomes invisable. :(
I load with my right. Why do you load with your left??? Just curious.
Jim
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Wyandot Jim":2p1no8j4 said:
This also allows you to catch the brass in the palm of your hand.
Yep! If I'm shooting rimfires I then have the opportunity to give them a toss, rather than standing in a growing pile of them.

I switch back to my right hand and load with my left, turning the cylinder with my right thumb.

What I need to spend more time on is unloading one-handed. I'm 'okay' with it but need to spend a lot more time on it to develop some speed.
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
leejack;
I think that loading and unloading makes the SA revolver experience fun!

how true, especially when freinds and family want to shoot.
when i bring up an auto its like {ftttttttttttttwooom} wow 100rnds in 15min well time to go home.
i find with singles i can just go up and enjoy the day and maybe pop off 100 rnds in an hour or 2. course my cap and balls take longer and are so cruddy after 24rnds they are almost unshootable.
 

Driftwood Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
699
Howdy

There's no such thing as the 'proper' way to load or unload a SA revolver. I do pretty much the same as Flatgate describes. Cradle it in my left hand, rotate the cylinder with my thumb, load with my right hand. To unload I angle the barrel up around 45 degrees rotate the cylinder with whatever finger on my left hand is handy, and work the ejector rod with the forefinger of my right hand.

Now I'll tell you what an awful lot of Cowboy shooters who shoot really light loads do. They open the darn thing, point it skyward and try to shake the empties out. Sometimes they'll lightly tap the butt on the unloading table. I once asked one of these guys what he thought that thing hanging underneath the barrel was for. He gave me a quizzical look. With really light loads, they don't expand enough to grip the chambers and can often be shaken out. Full powder Black Powder loads need to be ejected.
 

nn

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
427
Anyway you want as long as you keep away from the trigger and the muzzle is in a safe direction. Whether it will shoot with the gate open is not the issue the sheeple are.
 

TCGuy

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 20, 2007
Messages
188
Whatever works best for you. The key is to maintain proper muzzle control while you're loading/unloading the firearm.

I find holding it in my left hand, opening the gate with my right thumb, then rotating the cylinder with my left thumb while operating the ejector with my right index finger works for me. It seems that others here operate in the same fashion.
 

jpickar

Blackhawk
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
732
The SAA which the blackhawk is patterned after was made by a left handed guy and so thwere is no natural way too load and unload a SA.

John
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Driftwood Johnson":npbc3alg said:
They open the darn thing, point it skyward and try to shake the empties out. Sometimes they'll lightly tap the butt on the unloading table.
That's a really bad habit to get into if you have any interest in speed. Hit `em with the ejector and they come out every time. It's faster, more consistent and with practice it becomes completely natural. As opposed to standing there and waiting for the damn things to fall out.


jpickar":npbc3alg said:
The SAA which the blackhawk is patterned after was made by a left handed guy and so there is no natural way too load and unload a SA.
False on both counts. :roll:
 

zullo74

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
8
Quote by Ellsworth S. Grant in his Book "The Colt Armory: A History of Colt's Manufacturing Company, Inc." ..... Smoking Cuban cigars, Colt ruled his domain from a roll-top desk at the Armory, often writing his own letters in his left-handed scrawl.

I think we can say that Samual Colt was left handed.
 

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