Can You Dry Fire A Revolver?

There are many different practices when using a gun. Some of these are simply to make sure your skills aren’t rusty, others are simply there to make sure the firearm is functional.

Can You Dry Fire A Revolver (2)

These different techniques, methods, skills, practices, or whichever you want to call them are all in the pursuit of improving both your firearm handling skills and making sure your weapon is in peak condition.

The problem is that, depending on the weapon, these practices can be harmful.

Normally, this harm is solely on the piece of equipment and not on the user – though there are some exceptions – yet you really don’t want to be breaking your firearm, especially with the expense that comes with fixing it or buying a new one.

To the uninitiated, it may be hard to tell which practices suit which weapon. Dry firing, for example. Could you dry fire a revolver without any lasting consequence? In this article, we seek to answer this question, so you don’t have to.

What Is Dry Firing?

Dry firing is when you aren’t using the firearm in question with live ammunition, but are still firing. This can be done by just cocking the hammer back and letting it go without shooting.

This is useful as it lets you test the function of your gun without damaging it. Dry firing practice can be done with a pistol or other hammer ignited one-handed or two-handed weapons.

The main purpose of dry firing is to test that the weapon is actually functioning as it should: when you pull the trigger, the hammer clicks down, and – if there was ammunition in the gun – it would fire.

However, in recent years, it has become fairly common practice to dry fire a weapon a couple of times for varying reasons.

Often, these reasons involve a wish to test someone’s skills without any danger to the person or the tester.

Can You Dry Fire A Revolver?

Yes you can. Back in the day, when revolvers were the most popular firearms in the United States, dry firing was a necessity.

The reason for this was the west was still fairly undeveloped, and the systems we have in place now to mitigate problematic weather were simply not there.

Not only that, but without infrastructure, the professional repair of equipment was few and far between.

Therefore, many people had to make their own repairs and inspections of equipment and purchases before doing them.

With all these factors affecting their life-saving weaponry, gun owners in this period would often use the dry firing technique to make sure their revolver was operational.

Now, with the advent of semi-automatic pistols and professional repair, not many people use revolvers and – if they do – there’s not really a good reason to dry fire a revolver yourself, unless you can’t get a professional to examine it.

However, if you do own a revolver, then there are a few good reasons to dry fire it every once in a while just to be safe.

For example, revolvers with incredibly weak triggers that are only strong enough to be used as a replica, or if you use your revolver regularly.

Why Is Dry Firing Helpful?

Dry firing is a great way to test your gun on a regular basis to ensure that it is in working order. Dry firing will help you to determine if there is something wrong with your gun or if it is functioning properly.

Not only that, but dry firing is a great asset for anyone who owns a gun, especially with regard to safely handling your gun.

Dry firing will help you to learn how to handle your gun, its features, its unique quirks, and how it is handling wear and tear.

Can You Dry Fire A Revolver (3)

The downside to dry firing a revolver is that this can cause the cylinder to jam. This is because the cylinder is the part of the gun that the barrel locks into place.

If you were to dry fire a revolver, you might exert too much force on the cylinder, and it would be forced out of position, but this is a rare occurrence and can be easily fixed.

Where Can I Go to Dry Fire My Gun?

There are a few options available when it comes to dry firing a revolver. Some of these options may be a little bit more costly than others, but they are all worth considering:

Firing Range

Dry firing at a range is a great way to test a revolver. If you are using a type of safe cartridge that still shoots a pellet or something else, there are either paper targets or even steel targets.

The good thing about dry firing at a range is that you are in a controlled environment and there are safety rules that need to be followed. Dry firing at a range is a great way to practice your gun handling skills as well.

Dry Firing Simulator

Dry firing with a simulator is a great way to practice dry firing a revolver. This is because it is an inert replica of your gun that does not fire a bullet.

This can be a little bit more expensive than some of the other options available as it uses laser or infrared to simulate firing your gun, but it is a great way to practice.

Dry Fire Challenge

Dry firing challenges are a little bit like safe games, but for a specific type of weapon. Dry fire challenges are a great way to ensure that you are practicing the correct dry firing techniques.

These challenges can be done with a lot of different gun types and since you are often with others for these, you can get a lot of good points on how to improve your firing technique.


Dry firing a revolver is perfectly safe and can be done without any lasting consequence. However, it can also be dangerous if done incorrectly, but it is still a great way to practice your firing technique.

Always make sure that you are dry firing your revolver in a safe way that does not cause any damage to the gun or the person firing it.

If you would like to dry fire your revolver, make sure that you follow all of the safety rules that are in place, whether they be the place you are firing at or your own rules.

Matthew Osborn

Matt is an entrepreneur who has created and successfully exited multiple companies and brands. Now, he dedicates his time to Legionary, where he produces content on guns, family, and freedom.

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