Okay folks, this is not a political thread, so please leave politics out. How to safely check and handle a handgun. By DeaconKC I found Grandpas old gun, is it loaded? What do I do now? Hello, please allow me to take a few minutes so I can help you through this if you have never handled a firearm before. I am a licensed collector of firearms and a moderator at www.surplusrifleforum.com and handle firearms daily. I am not an expert just an experienced shooter. First there are three main rules of safe firearm safety. Follow these and you will avoid embarrassment, or worse, tragedy. 1. ALWAYS TREAT ALL FIREARMS AS IF THEY WERE LOADED. Even if you have just checked it, or someone has told you its empty, still treat it as loaded. Also you will check it yourself and still treat it as loaded. This is the mark of responsible firearm handling and avoid anyone who ignores this rule. 2. NEVER POINT THE FIREARM AT ANYTHING YOU DONT INTEND TO SHOOT. 3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET. If you cannot use these rules, keep your hands off a gun. Sorry if this sounds blunt, but I handle firearms everyday and carry on duty and even among trained professionals it is easy to become complacent. In the last year I attended the funeral of a fellow law enforcement officer who died from a negligent discharge from his weapon. This happened in front of his 4 year old daughter. Safety first. Okay, now a quick introduction to handguns. There are two basic types you are likely to encounter, revolvers and semi-automatics [hereby called autos from here on out]. Both come in a great variety of sizes, due to intended use. Here is a comparison pic of 3 revolvers all capable of firing .38 Special ammunition: ￼ From front to back a snubbie 5 shot, a K frame and a N frame. Okay, so heres a good place to throw in some nomenclature [big word so you will be impressed]. I will use my buddy the Deacon to help point out different things as we go along . The barrel ￼ The grip [on an auto, this will hold the magazine] ￼ The hammer ￼ Cylinder Release ￼ How to check the revolver: First keep your finger off the trigger. Second look at the cylinder release. It may slide forward, ]Smith and Wesson, Taurus, Rossi], it may slide back [Colts] press inward [Rugers]. Taking the revolver in your right hand, keep your index finger straight along the frame of the gun. ￼ Manipulate the release with your thumb and using the middle and ring fingers of your left hand push the cylinder out of the gun. ￼ Now tilt the guns muzzle up and push the ejector rod, which is sticking out of the front of the cylinder, to eject the cartridges. ￼ Check the cylinder to make sure ALL the holes are empty. Then push the cylinder shut. It will latch back on its own. DO NOT FLICK the cylinder back into the gun. This is hard on the gun and will get you hurt by the owner of an expensive gun.