When considering a used revolver, the same rules of inspection apply as with a rifle or shotgun: look for rust or worn spots. However, the difference between revolvers and other types of firearms is obvious: a revolver uses a cylinder. So, if you’re buying a used revolver, the cylinder should be a main point inspection.
“The biggest thing you’re going to be looking for in that part of the (revolver) is that when it is fully cocked there is no slop or movement in (the) cylinder. Because each time (the gun fires) the bullet has to align with the barrel,” said Mark Micoley, a seasoned gun seller in northern Wisconsin.
Micoley, who has owned northern Wisconsin’s Rocky Ridge Shooter’s Supply for more than 30 years, explained that if a revolver’s action isn’t “in time” there could be dangerous consequences. “If that cycle is off you could actually have shavings of lead coming off to the side,” he said.
There are three types of revolvers, which differ by the relationship between the hammer and trigger. Single-action only revolvers fire only after the shooter cocks back the hammer. Second, single- or double-action revolvers function with the hammer in either position. And, lastly, double-action only revolvers only function with the hammer beginning in the resting position.
Knowing how to properly operate each type of revolver is also important not just to preserve functionality, but also etiquette. Micoley advises against drying firing a single- and double-action revolver, for instance, without first asking the seller. “A lot of times they don’t want you to do that,” he said. Dry firing a revolver could be damaging to the internal firing mechanism.
But if the shop allows it, Micoley suggests to “pull it through.” That means pulling the trigger through its entire travel to ensure the action cycles through its full motion. . In a single-action only, the hammer should hold firm at half-cock. For double-action, you want to see the hammer travel back-and-forth smoothly.
While there’s nothing wrong treating yourself to a new gun, there are benefits to buying used. Better prices, better deals, and oftentimes better options. For a great selection of new and used revolvers, check out Guns.com.