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How to Uncock or Decock a Revolver: Step by Step

A revolver is a popular choice for gun enthusiasts. This repeating gun is known for using at least one barrel with a rotating cylinder and various chambers. At times, you may need to uncock or decock a revolver.

Decock a revolver by pointing it in a safe direction, place a finger in front of the hammer, put your thumb on the hammer spur, and pull the trigger gently. Once the sear releases the hammer, let go of the trigger and slowly guide the hammer forward.

When you uncock or decock a revolver, safety is essential. If you are looking to perform this process on your revolver, read on below to find out about each step involved.

Can You Uncock a Revolver?

Uncocking, also known as decocking, is a process that involves removing the hammer of a gun while it is cocked. This can become necessary due to a variety of reasons, but requires special care to avoid firing an unintentional shot.

You can uncock a revolver when it becomes necessary to do so. It is a safer practice to uncock a revolver after cocking it if you need to abort the shot. While it is always best to have someone show you how to safely uncock a revolver, you can still learn by yourself.

Uncocking a revolver is a process that highlights exactly how necessary safety is when handling a gun. If you have a revolver, you may find yourself practicing uncocking it several times before you start feeling more comfortable with it.

You should also bear in mind that there are two types of revolvers: single action and double action models. Single action revolvers must be cocked to work, which makes these models more likely to uncock. With double action revolvers, cocking them is an optional benefit.

I use either Brownells, Palmetto State Armory, or Optics Planet to buy parts, that way I always know what I’m getting and that it will actually show up.

What Does Uncocking a Gun Mean?

Back in the days of flintlock firearms, the term ‘cocking’ a gun emerged when speaking about pulling back the hammer and getting ready to fire. The term continues to be present when talking about firearms today, and uncocking is the process of reversing this action.

On a revolver, uncocking means that you have decided to not fire the shot after getting the gun ready to fire. Shortly put, uncocking involves holding the hammer while pulling the trigger so that the cartridge doesn’t emerge.

As a gun owner, you will most likely have to uncock at least once. Safety is paramount, but the process is straightforward once you learn each step involved in it.

Here’s an instructional video showing how to decock a revolver, with written steps below:

How to Uncock or Decock a Revolver

There are several parts involved in uncocking or decocking a revolver. You can follow this step by step guide for single action and double action revolvers, and remember that you should always follow general gun safety practices when handling a revolver.

Safely Point the Revolver

When you decide you need to uncock a revolver, the first thing to do is to point the gun. You should aim it in a safe direction, where you can be sure you won’t accidentally shoot something if the gun fires.

You won’t have to worry about accidental misfire with most modern guns in this situation, including modern revolvers. Nevertheless, you should always point the revolver in a safe direction before proceeding to uncock it.

To be as safe as possible, do not move the revolver once you have safely pointed it. You should place your finger on the frame, nowhere near the trigger.

Place a Finger in Front of the Hammer

Use either a finger or the thumb on your non-dominant hand to place it in front of the cocker hammer. You should be able to place your finger in the slot between the hammer and the frame of the revolver.

If your revolver has a fixed firing pin, you should place your finger underneath the hammer. This step is essential because your finger will stop the hammer falling if it slips from you while you are uncocking it.

Put Your Thumb on the Hammer Spur

Using the thumb of your dominant hand, place it on the hammer spur of the revolver. This placement will allow you much more control over the movement. It will help you direct the forward motion of the hammer once you uncock the revolver.

Place Your Finger on the Trigger

Once you are ready, you should move your trigger finger to the trigger. Press it until you feel the sear releasing the hammer. Once this forward motion starts, it is essential to immediately take your finger off the trigger and place it back on the frame.

This is one of the most important steps in the process. Despite the simplicity of the steps to follow, they are each necessary to perform as stated. In this case, not removing your finger from the trigger will most likely cause the revolver to fire.

Removing the finger from the trigger will indicate that you do not intend to fire the gun, which will make the safety mechanism halt the firing pin.

Restrain the Hammer

Once the sear releases the hammer, allow the forward motion to continue for a second. Then immediately restrain the hammer with the thumb of your dominant hand. You may cock the revolver again by doing this, but you shouldn’t worry. If that happens, you can repeat the previous two steps.

This step may require a bit of finessing as you go, so don’t get too frustrated if you don’t get it right the first time. You will get a feel for when it’s best to restrain the hammer as you repeat the motion. 

Move the Blocking Finger

Once your trigger finger is back on the frame of the revolver and fully away from the trigger, you should move the finger or thumb you were using to block the hammer. When your finger is out of the way, you can start slowly and carefully lowering the revolver.

This is the final step of the process. If you have followed every step until now, you will have succeeded in uncocking or decocking your revolver in a safe and quick way.

I use either Brownells, Palmetto State Armory, or Optics Planet to buy parts, that way I always know what I’m getting and that it will actually show up.


To uncock or decock a revolver, the steps are straightforward to follow but must be carefully done to ensure the safety of the process. The steps include safely aiming the revolver, and the correct placement of both your dominant and non-dominant hands.