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A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. As the user cocks the hammer, the cylinder revolves to align the next chamber and round with the hammer and barrel, which gives this type of firearm its name. In modern revolvers, the revolving cylinder typically chambers five or six rounds, but some models hold 10 rounds or more. Revolvers are most often handguns, but other weapons may also have the design of a revolver. These include some models of grenade launchers, shotguns, and some rifles.



A revolver works by having several firing chambers arranged in a circle in a cylindrical block that are brought into alignment with the firing mechanism and barrel one at a time. In contrast, other repeating firearms, such as lever-action, pump-action, and semi-automatic, have a single firing chamber and a mechanism to load and extract cartridges into it.

A single-action revolver requires the hammer to be pulled back by hand before each shot, which also revolves the cylinder. This leaves the trigger with just one "single action" left to perform - releasing the hammer to fire the shot - so the force and distance required to pull the trigger can be minimal. In contrast, with a self-cocking revolver, one long squeeze of the trigger pulls back the hammer and revolves the cylinder then finally fires the shot. They can generally be fired faster than a single-action, but at the cost of reduced accuracy in the hands of most shooters.

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