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Single-action revolvers typically load through a gate on the right side of the frame. To rotate the cylinder, pull the hammer back to half-cock. For a safer carry in the holster or hand, leave an empty chamber in front of the hammer.

Double-action revolvers have cylinders that fall downward, exposing all chambers for loading.

Semi-automatics usually fire rounds stored in a magazine that is inserted in the grip or handle.

Repeating Handguns

Repeating handguns (revolvers and semi-automatic pistols) hold more than one round of ammunition. A revolver uses a cylinder to store the ammunition, and a semi-automatic pistol uses a removable magazine that fits in the grip.

Handguns ready for loading