Re: Technical question re: old load handgun kept in storage
Why not just have the gun fire and forget about the suspense?
Or (a common storage situation) the gun could be stored empty, but with a box of cartridges next to it. Then the hero would have to fumble around getting cartridges out of the box, loading the gun, maybe only getting a few rounds in the cylinder before the BG interrupts him, but the first chamber up is empty.... Suspense all over the place, loaded cartridges falling on the floor, and so on. Of course that would mean the hero would have to know enough about guns to know how to load that one, so he can't be a complete newbie. (For example, to open the cylinder in a Smith & Wesson, the thumb piece is pushed forward, but in a Colt it is pulled backward.)