Welcome to The Centerfire Firearms Training Academy's

Basic Firearms Course Section 1 Page Loading and Unloading Handguns


Loading and Unloading a Revolver: When loading a revolver be sure to always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Open the cylinder with the cylinder latch - place on cartridge into each chamber ( there is no reason to leave a chamber empty like in the cowboy movies). Close the cylinder, push and lock the cylinder into place, don't flip the cylinder closed. Now the Revolver is ready to shoot. To unload the revolver- open cylinder - point barrel up and firmly push the ejector rod in, this will remove the cartridges from the cylinder. Double check to verify that all the chambers are empty.

View of an empty revolver cylinder - this 38spl revolver has 5 chambers. View shows loading the cartridges into a chamber of a 38spl revolver - please note the handgun is pointed in a safe direction. View shows two cartridges in the chambers of a 38spl Taurus revolver.

Pretty simple.

Loading and Unloading a Semi-Automatic pistol: There is a little more to loading and unloading a semi-auto, however once you are taught the basic and practice the semi-auto will lose it's mystic. First you must load the magazine - the key to loading cartridges into the magazine is to be sure that the pointy end goes to the front. Sounds a little silly, however it is possible to put the ammunition in the magazine backwards and shove them half way into the chamber.

Next you must put the magazine into the handgun - when you put the magazine in give it a good smack on the bottom to seat the magazine in place ( this is one of the errors people make when loading a semi -auto, they try to be nice to the gun rather than smacking the magazine into the handgun.) Now you must load a round into the chamber in the back of the barrel. Our instructors will demonstrate the proper technique during the range portion of the course. They key to properly loading a cartridge into semi-auto is to allow the slide to sling shot forward, simulating as close as possible the force of the pistol reloading itself after discharging.

Loading a magazine into a semi-automatic handgun - point in safe direction -notice that the finger is not on the trigger, only aligned with trigger. Push the loaded magazine firmly into the bottom of the semi-auto handgun. Give the magazine a firm rap to ensure that it is properly seated. Please note correct grip on slide - heal of the hand on back of slide - fingers firmly  gripping opposite side of slide - pull back on slide and allow it to sling shot forward without any resistance from your hand.

Unloading a semi-automatic pistol- first remove the magazine - pull back and lock open the slide - lastly make a visual check to verify the chamber is now empty.

PLEASE NOTE: Your handgun should always be pointed in a safe direction when loading or unloading a handgun.









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