Smith & Wesson model 19-3
Dan Z. for TTAG
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By Gov. William J. Le Petomane

For some, the decision to carry a revolver or a semi-auto pistol comes down to the semi-auto’s greater capacity vs. the revolver’s reputation for reliability. While both of these reasons are valid, most defensive gun uses can and are resolved with less than five or six rounds at short distances. And being mechanical devices, revolvers can and do fail (though it’s rare).

As the two weapons systems are essentially radically different designs that accomplish the same thing, being a revolver fan-boy myself, I have compiled a list of 12 other inherent advantages to a revolver for those who are undecided.

1) The shape of a revolver’s grip is not compromised by the necessity of feeding an ammunition magazine through it. Revolver grips can be shorter front to back than semi-autos and they can be curved in a form that better fits your hand. A good, firm, comfortable grip does wonders for improving accuracy and recoil management.

Ruger Super Blackhawk Bisley in .480 Ruger

2) A revolver’s cartridge isn’t compromised by the necessity to feed it through the grip either. Magnum Research even makes a .45-70 revolver. Try putting that round in an auto-loader and getting your mitts around it.

3) A revolver doesn’t require fully jacketed bullets to feed reliably. You’re free to use semi-jacketed hollow points, semi-jacketed soft points, lead round nose, lead wadcutters, lead semi-wadcutters, and my personal favorite, lead semi-wadcutter hollow points, a bullet design Buffalo Bore refers to as ‘Deer Grenades’.

.44 magnum cartridge bullet

4) Not only will revolvers function perfectly regardless of how hot or mild the rounds are, many are even multi-caliber. .357 magnums shoot .38 specials, .44 magnums shoot .44 specials and .460 S&Ws shoot .454 Casull, .45 Colt and .45 Schofield – that’s about a 10-1 power ratio. Ruger even makes a Redhawk that shoots both .45 Colt and .45 ACP and Blackhawks that do the same or .357 magnum and 9mm.

5) A revolver’s sights are firmly affixed to the barrel and frame. A semi-auto’s sights are attached to the slide which reciprocates on the frame to which the barrel is sort of loosely attached to. Not the best set up for accuracy.

Colt Python
Dan Z for TTAG

6) You can see if a revolver is loaded without even touching it. The shell casings are clearly visible between the cylinder and the recoil shield, and the bullets can be seen through the front of the cylinder. No pulling magazines, press checks, or racking slides to see if the handgun is loaded.

7) A revolver can be cleaned without taking it apart. Just swing out the cylinder.

revolver cylinder
Jeremy S. for TTAG

8) A revolver doesn’t fling spent cases all over the place. That’s an obvious advantage if you reload, but also no need to worry about sending a hot shell casing down your wife’s cleavage. Also, in some jurisdictions, it may not be wise to fling spent cases with your fingerprints on them all over the ground in the case of a defensive gun use.

9) A revolver can’t be put out of commission by pressing the slide back on a contact shot. You may not even know you’re under attack until you’re laying on the ground. That’s no time to be trying to get a hand free to push the slide back into battery.

Kimber K6S DCR (photo courtesy of JWT for

10) A revolver will function and cycle just fine when fired from inside a pocket or bag. No slide bite either.

11) A revolver is quicker and easier to load. Granted, if you already have a loaded magazine handy, reloads are quicker with a semi-automatic, but if you’ve got to grab shells from a box and load a weapon, the revolver has a big advantage.

12) Revolvers don’t have beaver-tails that can jab you in the side when you sit down. Maybe this is unique to me, but revolvers are just more comfortable to carry when pressed against your side.


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  1. I’ve seen them use it as a hammer on TV many times while hanging up a wanted poster. It must mean I could frame a house with one.

    • From the article:

      “Also, in some jurisdictions, it may not be wise to fling spent cases with your fingerprints on them all over the ground in the case of a defensive gun use.”

      This is exactly why I load my mags while wearing gauze tape over my thumb & forefinger tips. Not only to save them from callousing (I like to load a few hundred rounds in one sitting while watching a movie), but also to prevent my prints from being all over them. Because ya never know…

      They said I’m crazy for doing it. But I’m not. I’m not, I’m not, I’m not.

      • Finger prints actually can’t be lifted off of spent shell casings. That’s all TV. The heat from the round firing actually burns them off. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. The police don’t bother checking spent shell casings for a reason.

        Now there’s other reasons why you may not want to fling brass around for evidence, as there are ways to match up spent shell casings to the gun they were fired out of.

        • They are not worried about pulling fingerprints from ejected shells. They are going to pull your DNA from them, which is better evidence than a fingerprint.

        • They only way you could pull dna off a spent shell casing would be if you spit, bled, or jizzed on them after you fired them.

        • France counter terrorist team carried browning Hi-power 9mm until boarding a hijacked plane a terrorist shot the hi power and exploding the magazine ever since they carry 357 revolvers plus using a bullet proof shield semiauto can jam against the sheild. In fact it happened so much S&W made the S&W M&P 357 revolver to fix that problem. Still you can’t go wrong with a Glock 19 Gen4 9mm.

        • Spent twelve years as a crime scene tech. We did dust fired cartridge cases and did lift latent prints off them. Rare but it happened.

        • Not sure where you got your information but yes they can get fingerprints from a fired casing. They dont need the oils like a traditional fingerprint, fingerprint technology is way past the old days of spreading powder to stick to oils from your fingers. Here is from an article explaining it.

          “Firing the gun rapidly heats the casing, vaporizing the water in the sweat” “You’re left with non-volatile salts,” “Established fingerprinting techniques ignore those residues, but they can reveal prints” “At high temperature, those salts are molten and you get a chemical reaction with the metal.” “Those reactions chemically etch the fingerprint into the surface of the bullet casing when the cartridge is fired – and no amount of washing or wiping will remove it”

      • There are so many other factors to tie you to a shooting scene. The lans and groves on the bullets you shoot out of your gun. The hammer indentation on the casing. Also the extractor marks on your casings. These are just for starters. If you intend on walking away from a shooting scene, be prepared to either dump your firearm where it will never be found or change the barrel, the firing pin and the extractor. You do reloading? Your sizing die leaves marks on the casings that could be traced to you.

      • Police usually are oppossed by many thugs unlike a home owner, who only has to stop the threat whereas the Police have to stop and secure the thugs, hence the need for many rounds. If Police trained well enuf to put one deadly round, .357 and 44 Magnums, on each thug and were, like Jerry Miculek, quick to reload with Speedloaders, then they would use the more powerful revolvers.

        • Guessing you’ve never had a (mostly peaceful) BLM bowel movement come through and enrich ( burn, loot, and maraud) your town.. I have my revolvers, but trust my plastic fantastic when out numbered. Don’t get me wrong, protest to your hearts desire, if you let people within your group destroy property of innocent people and don’t stop it.. You’re group is a terrorist org. If blm wants to judge every law enforcement individual by the actions of a few, they should receive the same. I have a radical idea, how about each community hold those within accountable for their actions.

        • If you’re gonna rely on a handgun, whether if be a revolver or auto, to defend your home from thugs like BLM and ANTIFA you’re at a big disadvantage from the get go.

        • Michael, the police are opposed by the exact same thugs that we are. By definition, they arrive AFTER the shooting has stopped in order to do the paperwork.

        • Spent 18 years in patrol in L.A. carrying a six shot .38. I never felt under gunned. Its not the number of rounds fired but the hits that count.

      • You know what the reason is? Cops being hired today can’t handle the .357 magnum. They can’t shoot it.

      • Because today’s cops can’t handle a 357 or a 44. Too much for their little girl hands. Get a copy of Bill Jordan’s “No Second Place Winner”. Now there was a cop, and a half. Quicker and deadlier with a 357 than anybody on the planet. Pansy ass cops today with their fruity plastic squirt-gun looking 9mms. What a joke.

        • 10mm. Read about it. The FBI had it developed, but then changed their minds because of all their limp-wristed agents.

    • Yeah I carry a G26 and a 442. It’s a good combo, you just have to practice the muscle memory so you don’t try and stick a spare G17 mag into your wheelgun or take a speedstrip to your Glock.

  2. They can take it out of your dead hands after you fired 6 and they have another 11 plus.

    • “but muh accuracy and training on reloads”

      lol. Ok.

      Real talk though, I saw some tool open carrying a glock with a 30 rounder in a drop leg nylon holster the other day…. as I was also open carrying, and he did not look happy to see someone who looked like they actually knew wtf they were doing with a firearm. I dunno… maybe it’s cuz I was mugging too and trying not to shake my head “no” too hard…

      He also had on bedazzled ghey boi jeans with the marks on them to make them look worn and if I remember correctly, just the right amount of holes around the knee caps from sucking dick so hard, with a wife beater on and a toothpick of an arm around his obese wife. I was wearing a khul shirt tucked in with khul pants owb at the 3 and two spare mags at the 9. Not trying to brag, but I guess I kind of am… Dude was cringeworthy and I wanted to slap him like his dad never did but backhanded with respect for OWBing, Not open palmed. Just wrong on so many levels.

      • If six from a .357 revolver is not good enough and thirty won’t do with 9mm, what are my options

      • I a strong advocate for everyone to read , “On Killing” in regards to accuracy of firearms in general under stressful conditions. The only shooting I have been in I was on the adrenaline ” high and calm,” during it but afterwards I was shaking like going through withdrawal.

        Each their own I guess. I am the general opinion more ammo the better.

  3. If Sam Hoober wrote this, he would have spent half the article screaming about FMJs going through elebenty billion people.

  4. That’s just stretching it a bit. Now do Semi-Autos. Bet there’s more than 12 reasons to use one over a revolver.

    Click bait. Nothing against it. Sometimes you run out of ideas so you go with the easy one but dang that was a lot of words to express an opinion and that’s all it is.

    All facts but easily disputed as being important.

    • “Click bait. Nothing against it.”

      It was written by a regular here in the comment section.

      I took it as entertainment, and wasn’t disappointed…

  5. Revolvers are scientifically proven to have “soul”; black plastic people poppers have insofar been incapable of maintaining any actual spiritual cognizance.

  6. 1) Semi-auto grips tend to be more comfortable and more controllable for me.
    2) Those who have shot a 10mm semi-auto pistol generally don’t think of it as a compromise.
    3) Most modern semi-auto pistols feed JHP just fine (this is the stupidest argument so far).
    5) Pistols in general are more accurate than the people aiming them.
    6) All guns are always loaded. Jeff Cooper said so.
    7) Easy cleaning – Ok, but you have six or more chambers to clean. Then again, cleaning a semi-auto doesn’t exactly require an engineering degree.
    8) True enough, though cases on the ground can actually validate your story in a DGU.
    10) I agree – Revolvers are good for purse carry, if that’s how you roll.
    11) What you’re saying is a revolver is quicker to reload if you aren’t prepared for a reload. But you’ll be reloading your revolver a second time when the semi-auto shooter is still on his first magazine.
    12) There are comfortable ways to carry revolvers or semi-autos of appropriate size.

    I like revolvers and semi-autos. They both have a special place in my heart. But honestly, if revolvers were so great, why didn’t John Browning design one?

    • Good point about John Browning; mebbe cuz revolvers had evolved to perfection by the era of 1911, M-2, Auto 5.
      Also own a few of Saint John’s designs.

    • Curtis in IL,

      As for shell casings on the ground, I can see that going either way. Your shell casings on the ground could help and they could also hurt your defense.

    • What matters in reloading is how long it takes when you have exhausted the rounds in your gun. There, despite speed loaders, the semiautomatic is as fast, if not faster, and loads maybe 15 rounds at once, instead of only 5-6. It really doesn’t matter nearly as much how long it takes to load at the range, etc. presumably, with a semiautomatic, when the SHTF, you will have a couple of spare magazines already loaded, and can shoot 45 rounds with two reloads.

    • This… and, look at the average rounds expended per casualty in war…. it’s a bit more than six. While it may only take 1 or 2 rounds to incapacitate, even well trained people make mistakes when under duress.

    • I couldn’t resist commenting #6 on cleaning your gun.
      Modern semi auto with a nitride finish is always easier to clean other than maybe a stainless revolver. drop the whole thing in a bucket of simple green and scrub with a brush, dry well manually or with hair dryer on low. Spray well with dry lube such as hornady tap or hd. Though I haven’t done it, I would have no issue dropping my modern glock in the dishwasher and cycling it through.

      On the other hand any gun with bluing on it other than just collecting is an abomination and an excuse for rust looking to happen. Ruger’s LCP is a prime example. As an EDC that lives on your body it will start to rust. A Glock cleaned a couple times a year carried every day as EDC will not corrode other than cheap aftermarket parts such as extended slide release etc. Both have been used in excess of a decade as EDC so I have lots of experience with those two guns. Mileage may vary for other brands but I would assume that any modern gun with a nitride finish will give similar results.

      I have been tempted to send off that same LCP and have it nitrided to move it up to the category of a modern functional firearm.For those that love their LCP, don’t get me wrong it’s an accurate and reliable gun if a little under powered. Uncomfortable to shoot due to its light weight and small size. Easy to conceal and carry due to its light weight and size. However in the 21’st century you should never have to worry about fighting corrosion in any quality firearm. We have had the technology to make that a moot issue since the mid 1980’s to early 1990’s. It should just be a defacto standard today. It’s not like it’s an expensive add-on per unit of firearm manufactured.

    • Because he wasn’t smart enough. With his limited I.Q. all he could come up with was that high-maintainence clunker they call the 1911.

    • *This*.

      The original “Point-and-shoot” user interface, that everyone instinctively knows how to use in a time of emergency…

  7. Look no further than the recent event where an individual was shot by a police officer 8 times at point blank range and is still alive. Handgun cartridges are very limited in terms of terminal performance and thus capacity is king.

    • Have you met Mr. .44 mag and his bigger brothers .454 casull and .480 Ruger?
      6 shots of either won’t leave much.

      • GS650G, went through several .44 Rem. Mag. Before I settled on the two that I have now. Owned one .454 Casull. Freedom Arms. The most accurate handgun I ever owned. Caliber was a bit much for N FL. Buffalo Bore was $2.00 a rd. even back then. No experience with the .480 Ruger. Sorry. I digress. Except for my 4″ Mountain Gun these are all 6-7 1/2 inch revolvers chambered for big game hunting revolvers. In large frames. To compare them to real carry weapons is disingenuous. BTW, a friend has an X frame S&W. I forget which caliber. Compensated. Scoped. Heavy. After a couple of cylinders I looked at Rick an asked; “Why wouldn’t you just carry one of your rifles?” The revolver is for sale.

        • Carry wasn’t the issue. He dismissed revolvers first on capacity then terminal performance. Wheel guns are effective defense weapons, period.

        • How much does he want for it? I’m kidding anyway, I very much doubt y’all live where I do.

    • A first shot CNS hit beats a mag dump any day. Not that I can likely do that, but those that can are correct.

    • If the cop had been using a .357, two shots would have sufficed, and the perp wouldn’t still be alive.

      • Jimmy, I love a .357. From my 3″ round butt 65s to my 6″ stainless Python. But it ain’t a death ray.

        • Most of the perps these days don’t spend a lot of time at the range and therefore prefer the spray-gun to a wheel-gun. I can’t handle my S&W .44 mag like Miculek Jr. (6 shots, reload, 6 shots in 2.99 sec.) but if the perp tries to hide behind just about anything I’m gonna reach out and touch him while he’s shoving another clip in. I too have a 17+1, that I can’t buy clips for anymore where I live. But to each his own.

  8. “9) A revolver can’t be put out of commission by pressing the slide back on a contact shot.”

    This is true. But if an assailant grabs the cylinder from the top with his hand the revolver won’t be able to fire unless it is already cocked, maybe not even then if his hand blocks the hammer’s fall.

    • This is true. A semi-auto will be capable of firing a single shot in such a scenario. Once the grip has been broken though you’re probably going to need both hands free to rack the slide, so you’d best make your one shot count.

      Slight advantage to the semi-auto if your assailant gets his hand on your gat.

    • Indeed, and the write-up was an entertaining read, in the bargain… 🙂

  9. It’s “still” a free country…if you want a revolver get one. Way down my list. Like pump shotguns. My semiautomatic handguns have never malfunctioned. Ditto my AR. If I get a revolver it will likely be a 357 with a 3 or 4″ barrel. Peace out😏

      • Finally broke down and bought my first Taurus (6.5 inch Raging Hunter in .454 Casull) and 40 rounds later the fucking thing went back due to a cylinder misalignment.

  10. Gov, great article. I really don’t have a favorite. Depends on what the tool to do. Carried revolver and semi-auto at the same time for years. Sometimes, I still do. However, #6. Countersunk chambers will hide those case rims and those chamber mouths are aligned with the muzzle. No thanks to that. Swing open the cylinder. #10. A revolver with function just fine from a pocket if it has a concealed or shrouded hammer. (A S&W 442/642 is the thinking man’s J frame.) #11. No matter which; why wouldn’t you have a reload? Making the point irrelevant.

    • 642 for the win, with a couple speed strips . But lately I’ve gone to my cz p01 because of capacity and all the crazies out and about. Sometimes both.

      • Tired, carry more handguns. The ammo is already on board.

        Gov, just noticed that S&W at the beginning of the article has recessed chambers and a pinned barrel. Appears to be a 19. Want to sell it?

        • Have to talk to Dan Z on that one. I’m also a Ruger fan-boy. Not that I’d turn my nose up at that Python if it were offered.

        • Well, I would like to see a 4″ HB stainless Security Six. No Python though. Just a fistful of $100 bills.

  11. Armor sales seem to be way up. Both soft and rifle plates. I think that that is something to take note of.

  12. My pistol has 17+1 reasons to carry it over my revolver and I haven’t left the grip area of the gun yet to continue adding to the list.

    Also own and carry both.

      • After taking out 17+1 Alien Vampire Zombies with a brain shot each, the revolver comes out to pick off five stragglers.

        Of course, if it’s the Alien Vampire Zombie Virus Apocalypse, I wouldn’t start with the 17+1 pistol. More like the 33+1 Ruger PC Carbine (10 mags), followed by the 30+1 AR-15’s (two rifles, dozens of mags), the Mossbergs of course, can’t forget to bring those to the party …

        It is just possible I’ll run low on Alien Vampire Zombies before I even get to the pistols and the revolvers.

        I’ve thought about 50 and 100 round drums for the 1911. But man, them things are crazy expensive.

        Hold on, never mind the .45, have the Ruger 10/22 and a knapsack packed with 25 round and 10 round magazines. Have to save some Alien Vampire Zombies for my old trusty 10/22!!!

        It’s such a heavy responsibility being well ammo’d, well gunned up and overly supplied with loaded magazines when the Alien Vampire Zombie Virus Apocalypse hits us.

        On the other hand … what if they arrive by Comet?

        Pretty sure I haven’t anything suitable for the Alien Vampire Zombie Virus Comet Attack Apocalypse.

        Shit. Back to the planning stages…………

        • enuf, not sure I believe that whole 17+1 headshot thing. Fifteen? maybe. Let me tell you how to handle the whole “ordinance, mobility thing.” Get a piece of equipment with a front end loader bucket. Hauls your shit and frontal armor too. As for a few left over for the pistols and revolvers? Let the kids get involved early on. They’re will be a few zombies left over. Unless your kids can shoot like mine.

  13. “no need to worry about sending a hot shell casing down your wife’s cleavage”

    Why? Is that a bad thing?

  14. I do carry a North american arms revolver as a back up. But with a ruger p89 with 51 rounds on me, I don’t think I will ever use my back up gun.

    Revolvers are great night stand guns.

  15. #13. Your carry ammo can be loaded and unloaded from a revolver many times without worrying about bullet setback or case scarring. Switch from carry ammo to range ammo to empty and back all you want without worry.

    • Also, bullets pulling out of a non crimped shell. Why I sold my 9mm LCR, jammed cylinder, Hornady Critical Duty.

  16. Revolver are more accurate from a Ransom Rest. They are not more accurate in practical use because accuracy involves the shooter. Revolvers have long trigger pulls even with custom triggers and if you want to exploit single action to reduce the length of pull you increase the time between shots. That may be great on the range or in competition but not when your life depends on it. Revolvers have much more recoil and muzzle rise than a semi auto which reduces practical accuracy. It takes more training to master a revolver and more training to maintain proficiency. That is why the world’s military switched to semiauto 100+ years ago.

    Revolvers are not faster to reload than semiautos even with speed loaders. There are videos that refute your claim.

    Is 6 rounds enough for a normal DGU? Probably. The engagement probably won’t long enough to even get to six. However, do you want to face an angry mob with 6 or 17+1. You make the call.

        • Damn sure looked like an option in Kenosha, WS last night. Even if they were AR-15s. Unless something just changed. (Watching a Bridge Too Far.)

        • I highly doubt these antifa beta males would continue to attack after you drop the first 5 with some full bore .357s.

          Obviously semi-autos have a capacity advantage, but 1 9mm slug is nowhere near the equal of 1 .357 slug either. If your survival strategy consists of spray and pray you should stick with the pistols.

        • Well Gov, if the crowd is too hopped up on adrenalin to notice your stop the beta Male strategy then what’s your backup plan when you start three seconds from a bunch of people jumping you now with deadly intent?

          Your commend is then stuff of a Keyboard Kommando.

        • tdiinva, why would I be anywhere that could happen without a rifle? Jesus, I don’t go about my daily life without at hand.

        • GF:

          Rule #1 of life: $h!t happens. That’s why you might be without a rifle.

          If revolvers are still relevant why didn’t 686 win the MHS competition?

        • tdiinva, as I type this a rifle is two steps away. Okay, I don’t carry one in the grocery store, but I do have a handgun (or two) and a rifle in the truck. Like Clint Smith said, “A handgun is something you use to fight your way to your rifle.” Say what you want. There is nothing that the typical citizen can own that surpasses the rifle for defensive or offensive capability. Before anyone gets started on legal liability of offense. You hear glass break at 03:00 hrs. You arm yourself and investigate. You are now on the offensive.

      • Oh, guns don’t win competitions. Shooters do. You know, like the old saw, “Guns don’t kill people. People do.” True by the way. And remember. A match is just that. A match. Shot more than I can remember. The right matches are good training and a lot of fun.

    • Takes 1/4 second to thumb a trigger tops. Won’t be necessary inside of 10 yards though. YMMV.

      Try loading 15-17 rounds in a magazine without a loader and see for yourself how much slower loading from a box is with a semi-auto.

      If fast accurate follow up shots are your primary concern you should be carrying a .22LR.

      • One usually leaves the house with magazines loaded at leisure and not empty magazines and a couple of boxes of ammo. It does not matter how long it takes to load up sitting in your basement. It’s how long it takes to reload under stress when someone might be shooting at you. I don’t it often but at a couple of equals where I had to do a combat reload it took less time than you take swinging out the cylinder and dumping the brass let alone reloading fresh rounds.

        • tdi, granted, this is mostly an advantage at the range. However, these arguments always revolve around unlikely what if scenarios, so if you find yourself in the unlikely situation of having an empty gun, a box of ammo and 5 seconds to bring it into the fight, you’re good to go with a revolver, with a semi-auto you’re screwed.

      • Gov:
        “If fast accurate follow up shots are your primary concern you should be carrying a .22LR”.

        I have an SP101 M5765. Accurate yes. Fast and accurate, NO. You have to try the D/A trigger on that thing to know what I mean. And… thumbing the hammer will give you blisters. (Though I am working on a fix.)

  17. … , but also no need to worry about sending a hot shell casing down your wife’s cleavage.

    That’s one for the semi-autos.

  18. The author lost me by, bringing up a 5 pound novelty joke revolver, before he even made one salient point.

    If you are trying to be serous don’t lead off with the absurd.

  19. The best reason to carry a revolver……..357.

    And no…a 10mm is not the same as a 41 magnum …. maybe a 357.

    • 10mm is almost a .357. May have a terminal performance edge on humans due to the larger bore and lower sectional densities. Those qualities make the .357 significantly better for 4 legged critters though.

    • But it can mess up the timing if you’re pistol whipping someone with a Python, which is much more serious problem. 😁

    • Reactive training . If you have a miss feed you go through your mis-feed drills , do it enough its muscle memory. That CA female officer who is the competitive shooter I believe had one and she did it without a second thought .

  20. Forgot one advantage. Ammo will likely be easier to find in the event of a shortage. Say one caused by a pandemic/rioting combo. I’ve certainly had a much easier time finding ammo, reasonably priced, for my Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp. Both .357 Magnum and .38 special are much easier to find than 9mm or .45 ACP.

  21. # 13. .357 magnum. Still the best cartridge ever invented. Powerful. Flexible. Impressive. Intimidating. I’ll take six .357 magnum over seventeen 9 mm any day of the week. Don’t believe the hype about the latter. Modern bullets and powder are also used in the .357.

    If you’re attacked by four or more people, and all you have is a handgun, you’re f*ed anyway.

  22. The first hand gun I bought was a S&W Model 19 immediately after the Rodney King civil unrest, I lived in SoCal at the time. The last handgun I will ever buy is a S&W Model 625 in .45ACP. Quite a few semi autos in between but I’m most fond of the revolvers.

    • Play spin the cylinder on someone’s newly polished and blued revolver and they will point it at your head for you!

  23. Everybody knows revolvers are less lethal than semi-autos. Tacky old firearm. Should go the way of those antiquated and useless shot-guns. Spray and pray, or get out of the way.

  24. I own a couple of revolvers and enjoy them, but neither is a front line firearm. Most of the advantages cited in the article range from specious to irrelevant. Fundamentally, the most important trait of a firearm is that it functions effectively. There’s some leeway as to what “effectively” means, of course, but common across most definitions I’m sure would be that it goes bang when it’s supposed to.

    The older action types, including revolvers and lever action rifles, simply have not proven to me to be as reliable as their more modern counterparts in semiautomatic or bolt action.

  25. 18+1 in my 9 mm 1911.
    Not that big a fan of 9’s but the accuracy and firepower is pretty impressive.

    Also have 13+1 .45 and I really like my old Dan Wesson .44 mag revolver
    but that doesn’t conceal except in colder weather.

    All said, the Dan Wesson accuracy is phenomenal out to extended ranges, especially with one of the longer barrels. Just can’t hide the damn thing most of the year.

  26. Lost interest at “most defensive gun uses can and are resolved with less than five or six rounds at short distances.”

    Most? In a gunfight trying to protect your life and the lives of those around you, “most” is not a very helpful statistic. There are many instances of attackers absorbing more than 10 rounds before the fight is over. There’s even accounts of attackers being shot six times in the head with a revolver and not being killed! There are multiple instances of magazine changes being required before the fight is simply over for whatever reason.

    The point of carrying concealed is so that you can have the best chance of having the upper hand ALL the time. “Most of the time” just doesn’t count (and “close” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades).

    Bottom line: six shots in OFTEN nowhere near enough. Say that a revolver is mechanically simpler and less prone to malfunction and you’ll get my support on why it’s an option to carry. But, saying first off that it’s an option for statistical reasons and I have to ask if you’ll stake the protection of your life and loved ones on statistics.

    • DGUs that require more than 6 rounds are exceptionally rare. And I highly doubt any assailant has ever taken 6 .357 rounds to the head and continued to fight. If that happens you might be better suited with a water pistol loaded with holy water. However, there is a legitimate trade-off between power and recoil. A higher capacity does mitigate the disadvantage of a weaker round.

      I do own a semi-auto which I do carry from time to time. The first rule of gun fighting is bring a gun, any gun. I do believe though that the advantage a revolver has in a gun fight is a greater chance of getting the first 6 (or 5 or 8) shots off without a failure. This comes at the cost of delaying subsequent shots. Since subsequent shots are very rarely needed I chose to prioritize the first 6. With Double Tap .357 magnum rounds delivering nearly twice the energy of a 9mm round.

      You’re free to prioritize your own defense as you see fit.

  27. I have both, know the advantages of each. The .41 mag 210 grain JHP will do anything I can ask for. The .40 only provides more capacity.

  28. Now for the downside, except for .22 revolvers, they are all more expensive than a semi-auto pistol.
    At least all the ones I looked at.
    I’ll stay with my 18 round 9mm. and not have to reload 3 times with a revolver under stress.
    Just me.

  29. Oh, and “most defensive gun uses can and are resolved with less than five or six rounds at short distances” is the standard Liberal argument behind every effort and state law meant to ban “large-capacity magazines.”

    Then again, the author is posing as a character from Blazing Saddles, and THAT character was most definitely a buffoon, so….

    • so…
      The character in Blazing Saddles may be a buffoon, but the author who uses that handle as a nom de plum definitely is NOT. And… I have enjoyed his comments on this web site for many moons and look forward to many more.

  30. I got in a gunm fight once, six runs out pretty fast, ducked behind a car and tried to reload from loose rounds in my pocket, son of a bitch. Crawled under the car, skinny helps, and ran and ducked between vehicles, got shot in the ankle but made it home, wife tried to help me patch it up but had to go to ER. Now I carry a semi automatic. Revolvers hAve their pluses but in a gunm fight I want more. Oh and doctors can be a real prick about patching up gunm wounds, cops, questions ,questions.

    • Possum, I hope you don’t have a problem with your ankle. I broke mine badly on a night jump on Taylor DZ. I gives me problems today. My ex, a physical therapist told once, “The older you get, the worse it will get.” I replied, “Thanks for the good news.”

  31. Counterpoint to multi-round of revolver vs. semi-auto’s capability:

    Rowland conversions. .460 Rowland > .45 SMC > .45 Super > .45 ACP All in the same gun. Being fair, spring change is necessary for the lower power variant’s Guv, but to my eye, .460 wins that argument pretty decisively.

  32. “1) ….A good, firm, comfortable grip does wonders for improving accuracy and recoil management.”

    The precise reason I did not buy a revolver is that the “handle” twists in my hand upon firing the gun. I have to then use both hands to re-seat the revolver for the next shot. I don’t have big hands (cannot do an octave spread on the keyboard). All the semi-autos I have shot seat quite well in my hands. Nonetheless, I recognize all the other advantages listed are worth the consideration.

  33. I have both, really like both, but like my revolvers more. if antifa or blm comes to my door, I think that some sort of long gun AND my revolvers AND my semi autos will come out, but also my tasers stun guns pepper ball launchers and pepper spray, and I would probably need all of that. revolvers load quick with speed loaders and also full moon clips. they are good back up guns. most of the time I am carrying some sort of revolver, I try to avoid mobs, and trouble. in the winter my larger guns come out ( when the temp goes up the gun size goes down) and that is when my large revolvers come out as well as my SigSauer’s. but mostly my revolvers. I dont have a problem shooting them and practice is always a good thing. dont disrespect a revolver. practice with one and when you shoot any semi auto you will do better. you will have better trigger control and accuracy as well as ammo control, you wont spray and pray. and they are more versital than a semi auto. and having both is like having the best of both worlds.

  34. GOOD IDEA!!
    LET’S START A MOVEMENT TO “SAVE THE BEAVER.” [I hate to see all those beavers running around with no tails. ……]

    • “[I hate to see all those beavers running around with no tails. ……]”

      I often get confused here. Are you talking about animals?

  35. Not to ignore all y’all Tommy tacti-cool types, but I like a revolver for daily carry around the cabin.

    Most often these days it’s the old 3″ Charter Bulldog, blued, walnut handles, riding in a Bianchi 5BHL, loaded with two CCI “Big 4” shot shells, followed by three 210 gr SWC.

    It’s light and handy.

    Ain’t much, 2-legged, 4-legged or no-legged that can’t handle.

    Now I loves my 1911’s and its kin, but for a carry gun where I might be popping a rattler or a ‘yote and for peace of mind for black bear, a .44 S&W Spl be a good thing.

  36. I use either an old single action revolver in .45 LC. Or my 1911 in .45 ACP . 5 rounds in the SA. And 7 in the 1911. if that doesn’t solve the problem, I need a bigger gun. Like a 12 gauge or my Springfield M1A. Any pistol is fine for a defensive weapon. So long as the shooter is familiar with it and comfortable using it. If it looks like there is a riot coming your way, or TSHF it’s time for more gun than a handgun of any type.

  37. One quibble.

    If your semi-auto won’t feed anything other than FMJ, it’s either very old, or there’s something wrong with it (or both).

    My favorite carry gun is a 1911 platform and it eats anything I feed it, including lead semi-wadcutters.

  38. I have fired a few revolvers and even own one, an old 38 s&w copy that was my grandfathers. But I cant shoot revolvers, not at all. My hand size is such that my knuckles get whacked by the trigger guard during recoil on every one I have ever tried. And it hurts enough to discourage me from doing it anymore. Therefore I am solidly in the semiauto camp. Years ago I carried a Glock 21 but dont shoot the 45 very well anymore. I still am fairly accurate with a 9mm and have a plethora of them. a couple of sigs, a ruger sr9c for my daily when I want to open carry, or occasionally the Glock 19 G4 also works. Both of those guns have significant capacity and are good shooting relatively low recoil weapons. Hard not to like either one. I use the Glock at night as it has night sights on it. For concealed carry, I have two small sigs, both are easy to conceal and one is the P365 so it has serious capacity too. Oddly enough, even with its shorter barrel I am as accurate with it as I am with the ruger or the glock. The other sig is a 938 so it usually ends up being the ankle pistol. 7 rounds and only good in my hands out to about 20 feet, but it is so concealable its great for those situations when it just MUST not be seen.

  39. 1. Shape of grip better? Totally subjective. But all revolvers’ bore axis is sky-high compared to a Glock or M&P. Muzzle Flip aplenty. Big advantage to semis.

    2. True.

    3. True.

    4. True.

    5. Slide reciprocation hurts accuracy? Irrelevant. Revolvers and autos shoot more accurately than the people shooting them.

    6. Easier to check status? Beside the point. Anyone properly versed in either type should know whether his pistol is loaded, and should know how to safely check.

    7. Clean without taking apart? Disadvantage to revolver here. With modern plastic semis you whip off the slide in four seconds, wipe it down, squirt a little oil, and you’re good for thousands more rounds. Revolvers must be cleaned much more frequently, and must be detail cleaned. Cylinder face. Crane hinge. Extractor star. Cylinder advancement star. Six chambers to scrub. Lead building up in the forcing cone?

    8. Fling spent cases? Theoretical problems.

    9. Better for contact shots? Maybe, but this is a problem of training.

    10. True.

    11. Quicker to load? Sure, from a box of shells. Also irrelevant, because nobody’s life should depend on how fast they can load from a box of shells. On the other hand, you shoot your five or six shots and the bad guy(s) and still need more. Try reloading in a short range firefight with strips or speed loaders. You’ll die. Then consider the Glock 19’s sixteen rounds and quick, sure reload of 15 more. No contest.

    12. Beaver tail jab your ribs? This isn’t a problem for me or most others. Revolvers are larger, fatter, heavier, and bulkier than comparable semis, e.g. four inch Smith 686 vs. G17.

    Gangstas travel in packs these days. One robber is now three or four. With a revolver, its five- or six-and-done. Semis have many times the firepower and that’s even before considering a fighting reload.

    Revolvers will get you killed on the street.

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