Pro Tip: How Not To Shoot a Revolver


Hickok45 demonstrates what a snub nose .44 Magnum can do to a piece of paper held next to the cylinder when it’s fired. As the pressure and burning powder from the discharge are released, anything next to the cylinder gets a shower of hot debris. If you value your digits, take heed.


  1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    That’s my dream pistol range, right there.

    1. avatar Jack in the Crack says:

      Hickock45 is swinging a set of brass ones.

  2. avatar racer88 says:

    The guys on “Myth Busters” did this and created a human hand “analog” with some chicken parts. The result was NOT pretty.

  3. avatar Rob C says:

    Mythbusters actually did a pretty good episode on that too.

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    Yep. Don’t put your fingers anywhere near the gap between forcing cone and cylinder or you’ll have a very bad day:

    1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      I was going to ask what moron would put his hand near the cylinder until I saw your post.

  5. avatar Goodacre says:

    How not to shoot a revolver? Single action. Man up and learn that double action pull, then learn it fast! The only exception is guns that are range toys.

    It makes me cringe seeing “girly mans” thumbing that hammer back when the gun is DESIGNED to do it for you!

    1. avatar SonOfDad says:

      Whoa! We got a badass on our hands here, folks! Look out!

      1. avatar Tom W. says:

        I think the wise (sarc) Goodacre should watch some Dirty Harry movies, where SA and DA were utilized from Calahan’s revolver as needed. That’s why the option is available. Did he fire six shots or only five……….

        That was almost a new keyboard moment when I read it.

    2. avatar dave s says:

      I agree with the exception of long shots. Thats why I have no do only wheel guns

    3. avatar Thomas says:

      I’m guessing you haven’t seen many hickock videos before.

    4. avatar Gunr says:

      “Girly mans” eh? How good of a group can you shoot double action? Give me a moment to take my dress off and we’ll go find out!

      1. avatar Goodacre says:

        I put 36 rounds on 6 targets, best edge on an inch at 10 yards. I’ve been shooting club GP100s for about 6 months and I think I’ve reached a plateau until I can be responsible for my own firearm maintenance, load development, sight adjustment etc. But that’s getting personal.

        I didn’t mean to rustle so many feathers hey. :/ But to me it’s just like cars which were designed with manual boxes and tracks in mind, being driven with a lousy 4 speed auto. It’s like the shooter isn’t getting the full experience.

      2. avatar Shawn says:

        Two years ago I took Ayoobs MAG 40 class. Of the 22 students, there were 2 revolver shooters. I was shooting a stock GP100 and the other revolver shooter was shooting a 586. To graduate from the class, you have to shoot a qualification course. B27 style targets at ranges between 7 and 20 yards. Ayoob shoots the course and then gives a signed $1 bill to anyone who ties his score and $5 to anyone who beats it. He handed out 4 1s and a 5. I took a 1 and the guy shooting the 586 took the 5. We only shot double action. If your groups are bigger shooting double action than single action, you are doing it wrong

    5. avatar cabman says:

      I am offended by your comment. As a quadriplegic with limited hand function the only safe way for me to fire a revolver is single action. Not everyone has fully functioning hands.

  6. avatar Jay G says:

    I’m guessing the exception to this rule is the 1895 Nagant gas-seal revolver.

    1. avatar Timmy! says:

      There’s one in every group, isn’t there? Of course I was hoping to be “That guy” on this thread but Jay G beat me to it.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Nah, Tim.

        Goodacre (See above) is ‘that guy’ for today…


        1. avatar Gunr says:

          The sucker didn’t even like my dress! One in every crowd.

    2. avatar LordGopu says:

      Or a mateba

  7. avatar Michael says:

    This is why competent training is valuable …watched a new revolver owner slide his fingers too far forward (he had big hands)….he didn’t hear me yell….it tore up 2 fingers pretty good….

  8. avatar TX Gun Gal says:

    My first handgun was a Ruger LCR 38, did not have any experience shooting a revolver, but knew proper way to grip it, so still have all my fingers. Thank you Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, I watched with my dad.

  9. avatar justAMan says:

    Made the mistake shooting a 22lr revolver. Luckily the result wasn’t too bad.

  10. avatar CHLChris says:

    Uh… old video. Saw this years ago.

  11. avatar John Gancho says:

    I’ve seen this before and it gets me wondering about close quarters dgu’s with revolvers. You never hear of collateral damage from revolvers, but it must occur. Anyone know of occurances?

  12. avatar John Franco says:

    Wow that was wild! I was not aware of how dangerous it could be holding a revolver with an improper grip like that. Always learning from Hickock.

  13. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    When I took my last state mandated CCW course before applying for the license, the instructor tried to tell me that in drawing and shooting from concealment that one should fire the gun next to hip/belly while leaning back. I told him he was crazy and that if I had to shoot like that to pass his course, I was done for the day and to give me my money back. He “allowed” me to shoot anyway I wanted to which by the way was arm extended, point shooting style. Might not injure yourself with an auto but you are definitely going to ruin some clothing at the very least with a revolver.

  14. avatar Tominator says:

    Having shot revolvers as long as he has leaves me wondering why this video was even needed.

    The very first rule of handling anything mechanical is knowing how it works….or be trained on it’s operation. If you do not know how a gun operates, don’t touch it!

    Btw, did I not hear him use the word ‘headspace’ when referring to ‘cylinder gap?’

    1. avatar Stratajema says:

      Huh? He is making the video to teach people. Most all gun reviewers of revolvers forgoe discussing this topic.

  15. avatar bontai Joe says:

    And mow you know why revolving carbines and rifles never became popular.

  16. avatar US American says:

    It would be nice if revolver handles were more slanted and less vertically-oriented to the frame so that we could actually do the thumb over thumb style grip. Some of us believe the left thumb is actually pretty important to a tight, stable grip; but with a revolver, your left thumb is relegated to just staying out of the way and not getting blown off your hand. Hickok crosses his thumbs in this video – a huge no-no with an automatic.

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