LEO Couldn't Open D/A Revolver Cylinder


OM44

New member
I went to a gunshow today in El Paso, Tx. I need a holster for my Charter Arms 44 Bulldog, so I took it
with me. There was an officer (female, this time) at the front door to inspect all firearms entering the
building. There has always been an officer there to inspect guns and install a plastic strap to any guns
coming in so they can't be operated.

I handed her my empty Bulldog, and almost laughed out loud! She could not open the cylinder! She
absolutely didn't know how! I told her it was a double action revolver and opened just like any other D/A
revolver. That didn't help. She still could not figure out how to open the cylinder! I told her to push on the
cylinder release button. That didn't' help either! She couldn't find it!

I had to take the gun back and show her how to do it. I don't think she was pretending not to know.

That speaks volumes about the training the new police recruits in El Paso receive. She said she didn't think
there was anyone in the department who still carried a revolver. I can believe it!

I told her about the time I attended the El Paso Police Department training for Special Officers and Security
Guards in 1974. The police lieutenant in charge of firearms training at the time absolutely hated semi-auto
handguns. He made anyone carrying a semi to carry it with the chamber empty. He taught racking the slide
after drawing the gun from the holster. She agreed that sounds strange now days.

I was trying so hard not to laugh that I didn't get her name.

When I left the show about an hour later, without a holster, there was a male LEO sitting at the desk.
I didn't speak to him.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
 

Last edited:

toreskha

Titles are un-American.
Unfortunately, too much training of all kinds teaches people only what they absolutely need to know, rather than a broad range of skills, as well as basic principles. LEOs typically have to sit through a classroom session on how firearms and ammunition works, but they don't get a very thorough lesson, and they probably forget most of it later. As with most things, the focus is on getting people on the job, rather than thorough and effective training.
 
That gets to be a bit frightening to hear about. Especially when they are usually the first to want you to disarm and hand over your gun during a traffic stop. I fully expect them to know that sort of stuff. Granted, I can understand to an extent if there was hesitation. I'm used to going to the cylinder pin to pop the cylinder out of habit of using older revolvers. But, even if you did not understand the notion of the cylinder release, its not rocket science. I've had people come up to me with some really old rare revolvers that quite frankly had some unique methods of opening the actions. It would maybe take a few seconds, but gee its not that hard. I should bring my SAA to the show and see how the officer handles that one. An officer of all people should at least have gotten a day of weapons familiarity. Just a few hands on would have made the difference. Oh well, hopefully she will always know how to open DA from now on. I remember an officer story a few years ago about some county sherrifs up in Idaho of all places. A man got pulled over while carrying a 1911 cocked and locked. He relinquished it over to the officer upon request for safety. The officer spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to unload it safetly. Yikes!!! Then proceded to lecture the man on the dangers of carrying a gun in condition one and that the 1911 is meant to be carried hammer down. ARGG!!! If I ever become an NRA instructor, and I run across something like this, I will offer free instruction to the department. Its important for an officer to know how to use a firearm,etc sure. But, I think weapons familiarity runs right up there on safety. LEO are the most likely to come across a huge amount of different firearms in their careers and need to unload them. Incidents like this give the rest a bad name. So many officers out there are walking firearm dictionaries and part registers, but it seems that some get a "here is the end that goes boom" lecture only. At least she gained some education, I hope. Guess thats the only way to change things. I would have a hard time not laughing though. You just dont expect the person at the GUN show door would not know how to open a simple DA.
 

Scarecrow

New member
that is kinda funny... yes you would think that if anyone is familiar with many types of guns and knows how to operate them... a leo would... I bet she is educating herself on things a bit now.. hopefully she doesn't want that to happen again.. she must have felt pretty stupid. poor girl..
 

NDS

New member
Unfortunately, too much training of all kinds teaches people only what they absolutely need to know, rather than a broad range of skills, as well as basic principles. LEOs typically have to sit through a classroom session on how firearms and ammunition works, but they don't get a very thorough lesson, and they probably forget most of it later. As with most things, the focus is on getting people on the job, rather than thorough and effective training.

"...absolutely need to know..." really covers the topic. So much extraneous non-subject matter has been addded to all curricula in the last few decades that the actual subject matter has suffered. Police are not immune to this problem, and given their exposure to the public and in the media, they are more likely to find the law and survival taking a second place to community relations.

While you and I may think being able to deal with any type of arm a criminal may have is of paramount importance, those in charge may feel training time is better spent learning to be 'culturally sensitive' (or whatever the current buzz-phrase is in that particular department)...
 

HK4U

New member
Years ago the training in many departments was even less. I remember reading an article back in the late 1970's or early 80's in one of the gun magazines. It was about a small police dept. somewhere that started having the officers qualify at the range. Guess they had not been doing it on a regular basis. One Sargent that showed up had to have his holster cut of the gun it was corroded so bad.
Also I was a deputy in the mid 70's . There was a story I heard about a deputy that was working on his fast draw in the briefing room when he shot another deputy.
There are a lot of fine officers out there that do a great job but just like any other profession you get some real goobers too.
 

The Gunny

New member
YIKES!!!

Reminds me of the old Mayberry RFD and Barney Fife. Remember how the Sherriff, Andy, would only let Barney keep his gun unloaded? I think he let him carry a bullet in his pocket, too funny! I remember a LEO giving a demonstration on firearms safety to a class room and shooting himself in the middle of it, saw a video of that. Oh boy some of these guys are down right scary no wonder they are afraid of guns they don't understand how they operate.
 

kwo51

New member
Saw a picture of a of a texas police women in a cover postion with the mag of her ar15 in backwards. Not really funny stuff.
 

DrDavidM

New member
As we know only the police officers should be allowed to carry guns. This is due to their extensive training. Anyone on here not know how to open the cylinder on a revolver? that's what I thought.
 
What is a cylinder?? What is a revovler??? Asking those sort of questions on here is like asking how to use a telephone. In my book, very very basic knowledge. I could see someone having issues with take down for cleaning. Seems like every handgun has a pin, lever, or slide arrow to get the thing broken down. There is a bit more variety and difference in takedown. But, basic clearing of a weapon. HMMM thats a shocker.
 
Reminds me of the old Mayberry RFD and Barney Fife. Remember how the Sherriff, Andy, would only let Barney keep his gun unloaded? I think he let him carry a bullet in his pocket, too funny! QUOTE]

I guess Sheriff Andy was being "extra cautious" by allowing "Barney" to carry only a "bullet" in his pocket. :wink: If he had a loaded cartridge, he could be considered dangerous. :icon_cheesygrin:



gf
 

rmarcustrucker

New member
As we know only the police officers should be allowed to carry guns. This is due to their extensive training. Anyone on here not know how to open the cylinder on a revolver? that's what I thought.

ROFL: Yes, lots of cops are getting hired for different reasons. One is not that they know or have ever handled a firearm. Some never have, so they only one they know about is the one issued by their department. It's going to be a Glock, Sig, H&K or such...not a wheel gun. So very possible they won't know about cylinder release, but OMG....:msn-scept: it is so sad. THOSE are the ones that i'm afraid will have an AD with my firearm if on a traffic stop they try to empty my loaded firearm.
 

Mushroom

New member
Doo Dad's

If it is a Colt you pull the little Doo Dad on the left side. If it is a Smith and Wesson you push the little Doo Dad. If something other, do what is appropriate with the little Doo Dad, if it has a Doo Dad it will either push or pull. If it don't have a Doo Dad it could be a top break or a solid frame Single Action. A few seconds of observation will usually be enough to easily determine which. Just stay away from the bang switch on all of them until you have checked thoroughly to make sure it isn't loaded.
 

HK4U

New member
Brings to mind another question. How many know which way their revolvers cylinder rotates? Clock wise or counter clockwise and does it matter if you know?
 
Some revolvers require you to pull out a pin and the whole cylinder pops out. The hammer would have to be at half cock first though.



gf
 

OM44

New member
By the way, HK4U, I remember a report of a similar occurrence to the one you mention about the guy
whose gun had corroded so bad it was stuck in his holster. I first started working part time in the security
industry in 1972. This was when the revolver was still king.

I was told the story about a guy who carried his extra 38 special ammo in belt loops on his gun belt. On the
day he retired, he tried to take the ammo out of the belt, but couldn't because it was covered with green
corrosion and stuck solidly in the belt. It was agreed that he was lucky he never had to try to reload while
on duty. It was also stressed that a person should rotate ammo in and out of the belt from time to time to
keep it from getting stuck in the belt.

This was before the invention of speed loaders or speed strips. We had to reload one cartridge at a time.

The El Paso police department at the time mandated all their officers must carry 38 special revolvers.
The .357 was too powerful! So, most officers carried Smith model 27's or 28's with .357's loaded and a belt
full of .38's which were visible for inspection. I remember that worked OK until someone actually had to
discharge their weapon and the truth came out in the investigation.

Ah, the memories!
 

HK4U

New member
Yes OM44 those were the days. I could tell some tales of my days with the Sheriff Dept.
 

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