That was the question asked back in 1989. The Era of the Wondernine was upon us. Higher capacity 9mm semi-autos that held 15 or 17 rounds was becoming the new standard. Technological wonders from Smith & Wesson, Ruger, GLOCK, SIG SAUER, HK, Beretta, and others were hitting store shelves and could been seen in police holsters.
The talk at ranges and in roll call rooms was that the old reliable wheel gun was done. By the year 2000, we’d all be shooting phased plasma rifles in the 40-watt range…and doing it on the moon.
Well boys and girls, they were wrong. They were wrong then and those who claim wheel guns are a thing of the past are still wrong now. The revolver is not dead, not by a long shot. In fact, I’d say they’re enjoying something of a rebirth. The revolver is regaining popularity like the mythical phoenix, obtaining new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.
I can tell you this, the revolver never lost popularity in my house. I grew up in a house of both automatics and revolvers. My father cut his teeth as a street cop carrying a wheel gun and I grew up shooting them.
Here’s a snapshot of the family armory back in the day when I was the TV’s remote control for my father.
As time marched on, automatics did indeed replace revolvers in cops’ holsters across the country. When I started my career, the revolver was relegated to being a backup gun and off-duty gun. We weren’t allowed to qualify with one as a primary duty gun.
I carried a Smith & Wesson J-frame of one flavor or another on my ankle as a BUG and toted revolvers as off-duty pieces too.
I found the wheel gun to be comforting and comfortable to carry. The two- and three-inch guns carry fine and are easy to conceal. The .38 Special and .357 Magnum loads I carried were capable and potent. I never felt under-armed with a revolver on my hip as an off-duty cop.
And I don’t to this day as a private citizen, either. I still carry them and even though I hung up the badge. I still deal with plenty of lowlife vagabonds who want to steal from us. Except now they’re in elected office.
As Gun Owner of America’s Florida State Director, I carry a revolver at most events I speak at to promote open carry and show the public that gun ownership is something that shouldn’t be hidden.
I have a pile of GLOCK, HK, Beretta, and Smith & Wesson autos. But there’s something about a revolver that just screams class.
But carrying and using a revolver these days isn’t simply about looks and hipster points. They’re still very capable self-defense tools and I put them through their paces at the local matches I shoot at. I was able to keep up with other competitors using automatics.
As a home defense gun, the need for the revolver to be small and compact goes out the window. Size doesn’t matter. In fact, the bigger the better in my opinion. The larger framed and longer barreled guns work better in home defense situations.
The weight aids in reducing recoil and the longer barrels give the shooter a longer, better sight radius. The Model 14 shown above is a kitten to shoot with the ever-classic .38 Special Treasury Load. A 110 grain Winchester JHP loaded to +P+ specs, this was one of the go-to loads back in the day and it is still a very viable load today for self defense.
Out of the six-inch Model 14, it’s very controllable since recoil is almost nonexistent from this gun.
The larger-framed Colt Python (I-frame) and S&W Model 686 (L-frame) are even better. Chambered in .357 Magnum, these wheel guns with their full under-lug barrels and overall larger size make shooting the stout .357 Magnum round very doable for even the novice shooter.
The Model 625 (N-Frame) is also another kitten when it comes to shooting, .45 ACP out of this gun is very tamed.
Again, concealing these guns isn’t an issue, so go big.
If you want something easy to carry, the classic snub nose is still an excellent choice even today. Yes, the micro-compact high capacity 9mm autos are awesome guns. I won’t deny that. But not everyone wants a SIG P365 or a Ruger MAX-9.
They’re easy to carry and easy to conceal. The nice thing about a J-frame like the Model 342Ti is that it weighs in at twelve ounces loaded and can be fired from the inside of a coat pocket without jamming. Plus, Smith & Wesson makes a .357 version called the Model 340PD. It is, in fact, the lightest .357 Magnum in the world the last I checked.
For general all around outdoor fun, nothing beats a good four-incher. For folks in the lower forty-eight; the classic duty-sized spinner is still a good choise for carrying on the trail in most places. The .38 Special +P and .357 Magnum loads are accurate and pack enough power to deal with any critter you might encounter, of either the two- or four-legged variety.
They also make for good home defense guns, too.
But nothing in my opinion is better than a three inch, fixed sight revolver.
They’re the best overall setup. Compact grips that you can still get a full hold of. Fixed rear sights so they’re simple and dead-nuts reliable. I mostly carry one of these guns these days when I’m out and about town.
Shooting the .357 Magnum round from them is controllable and the .45 ACP chambered single action is a great wood guns. A 255 grain semi-wadcutter from the Ruger bird’s head Vaquero is a very good load for use in the Florida swamps.
Market wise, there’s no shortage of options these days. Ruger, Taurus, and Smith certainly haven’t stopped making them. Kimber offers some very good options and Colt has jumped back in with the Cobra, King Cobra, Python, and now the Anaconda.
Will revolvers regain their place as a duty gun for cops? No, not likely. But they aren’t destined for the trash heap of history anytime soon either.
So don’t turn your nose up at one.
They’re still fun at the range and plenty effective in a personal defense role.
Luis Valdes is the Florida Director for Gun Owners of America.
Packing a 4″ Redhawk in .45 Colt today.
I’m partial to autos but there are a few revolvers I pack. For one thing, a hammerless snubbie in a coat pocket means zero draw time. Shoot right through the coat if you have to.
Being afflicted with EGS(Expensive Gun Syndrome) insures that I will continue to buy a variety of pistols. I love my nice 1911s and have a supply of CZs, Sigs, and Glocks, but nothing floats my boat like a really nice revolver. I recently picked up a Smith 29-2 in nearly pristine condition that would make Dirty Harry proud.
Long live the wheel gun!
I’m a big fan of the model 29, it is my absolute favorite wheelgun. I have a 4″ built in 1979 that I love to shoot and even carry sometimes. People who have shot it don’t share near my enthusiasm for in though, they all typically manage to shoot it about three times before they decide they have had enough. I know a couple currently retired Dallas police department officers that were instructors at my police academy that carried 4″ model 29s on duty back in the day. They both had stories about their use in gunfights and just how much stuff .44 mag would shoot through, it more often than not turned cover into mere concealment. The .44s also had the overwhelming tendency to immediately dump badguys like blowing out a candle. The duty load was often a 240gr. semi-jacketed softpoint going a little shy of 1300 fps for those guys back then. Hollowpoints weren’t really a big thing just yet, Lee Jurras had just started marketing some of the first ones in .357 mag.
I seem drawn to high dollar guns too but most of my favorites are the cheap ones!
After years of that I now ask myself “do I actually need that or just want it?”.
I own 13 pistols. I carry a Keltec PF9 usually.
I’ll offer another suggestion for popularizing carry among novices.
I bought a Ruger LCRx in .327 Magnum. I had a gunsmith convert it to Single-Action-ONLY.
Recall that the manual of arms for a revolver recommends it to the beginner. It’s lack of a “safety” is disconcerting. The strong trigger-pull is a plus and a minus.
I expect never to have to fire in-anger my EDC for the rest of my life. However, if I might one day prove mistaken, my SAO will be there by my side. My objective is peace-of-mind. I don’t want to worry about a ND. The SAO modification creates a conspicuous “safety”. A ND requires that I perform two stupid mistakes in the correct sequence. I’m convinced that I can avoid that level of negligence.
I can see the hammer when it is in line-of-sight with my target. I know whether I’ve remembered to cock it; or forgotten. In the draw operation I put my thumb on the hammer so it’s where it needs to be in the event that I make the decision that I’m about to fire. The thumb-on-the-hammer prevents the exposed hammer from catching on my clothing.
This alternative ought to be an option offered to the skittish novice desirous of minimizing the risk of a ND. She will always have the option to switch to DA if and when she feels comfortable with her daily usage.
Incidentally, the .327 chamber accepts 4 different cartridge loads. The beginner can start with the least of these and gradually step-up as her capacity to manage recoil develops. The .327 Federal Magnum – at the top of the hierarchy – is relatively stout for the novice.
SAO snubbie. I must admit I never thought of doing that but I still get where you are coming from and I often carry a S&W M60 in a pocket holster and draw it much as you have described. I like the hammer on the pistol to be able to use SA for carefully aimed shots and I am willing to put up with the discipline of covering the hammer on the draw for that flexibility. Many younger shooters are always a bit shocked to see just how much more accurate my antique snubbie is than their subcompact pocket 9mm poly wonder…at least for the 1st 5 rounds
Accuracy is a complex problem.
We PotG are always striving to maintain accuracy as we increase range and other challenging aspects of shooting.
Yet, we know that most DGUs don’t reach the trigger-pull point. Those that do are in the 2 – 6 yard range; bad-breath. There, the marginal advantage of the SA trigger-pull is not likely to be decisive.
My motivation is peace-of-mind. I am carrying; therefore, I CAN defend myself. I’ve done everything I can think of to reduce my risk of a ND. These are my driving motivations.
There are always other considerations which might not weigh heavily in my mind but would be important to others. (E.g., the risk of only half-cocking the hammer in the moment of urgency). So, I eagerly solicit and take seriously others’ critique of my choice.
“This alternative ought to be an option offered to the skittish novice desirous of minimizing the risk of a ND.” I respectfully disagree, although I definitely regard SA as a good tool in the toolbox for a DA.
SA is an art. Getting good with SA must be an obsession. I used to be good with an 1858 Remington Army replica, by shooting every evening, and dryfiring all the time. SA on a DA is an afterthought, and is more difficult (smaller, lower profile hammer spur). Even on my purpose-built SAs I turned up the hammer spurs.
Someone not obsessively practiced in SA (especially a “skittish novice”, and even more likely if said novice is a “she” with shorter thumbs and less natural hand strength) will often “cheat” by “meeting the hammer halfway” (tilting the frame back toward the thumb, and the barrel up in a non-Rule One direction in the process) – sometimes, if really new to shooting, with the trigger finger where it shouldn’t be either.
Because the trigger pull for a DA revolver does so much (mechanically), it has to be well past the length and weight where one has to worry about it “going off”. How does one ND a 3/4″, 12lb squeeze?
I think you make an excellent point about the discipline of bringing the hammer back to the full-cocked position. This hasn’t happened to me yet; I emphasize YET. I want to think about that more. Thank you.
When something – anything – gets inside the trigger-guard, it has potential to discharge the gun. If trigger pull weights ranged from 1 – 100 lbs. then there would be a clear line of differentiation between risk/no-risk. But trigger pulls ARE from 2 – 12 lbs.
If someone is in a high state of stress he will have the power to pull 12 lbs without realizing what he is doing. Or, SHE will have difficulty pulling 12 lbs when she needs to do it. I see no sweet-spot at e.g., 6 lbs that clearly marks the boundary between safe vs danger of a ND. Best I can say is that if DA revolvers were an empirical problem we would have heard about it. I do not argue with advocates of DA revolvers who believe they are safe enough.
There always remains the risk of something – a bit of garment or pull-string – getting caught in the trigger-guard when holstering (or even drawing). Especially with DA, a discipline of keeping the thumb on the hammer should help to avoid a ND.
I like very light, crisp triggers and am exceptionally careful / concerned about things like reholstering for exactly the reasons you mentioned.
OTOH, even the ~3.5lb trigger on my 1911A2 requires conscious effort to press. With something like a stock Glock, very much so. Above that – certainly at the level of a DA revolver or M9 – requires so much effort that an ND is an ND (a consequence of bad habits and choices, not an unfortunate coincidence like a drawstring or shirttail).
It has to boil down to human factors: Are there people out there who are so shaky, uncoordinated, or nervous that they could unintentionally crank through a long 12lb pull? Probably. I took a struggling Sailor on my first ship to the range, and saw him shake all over the place and miss the 3m silhouette a few times with my glass-rod Officer’s Model.
Is that same person going to master the complexity of cocking a hammer and then safely handling an SA trigger? Or worse, dealing with a non-shoot with no decocker or safety? Maybe, in an ideal world – but not without ceasing to be the spaz who can’t be trusted not to ND with the 12lb trigger. Skillset 2 > Skillset 1.
“It’s lack of a “safety” is disconcerting. The strong trigger-pull is a plus and a minus.”
That’s food for thought.
For me, the long, heavy DA trigger *-is-* my safety, and finger-strength isn’t (yet) an issue. I picked up a new pocket piece, a Beretta 21A Covert, and with one in the pipe, it can be fired DA or SA, I can choose to cock the hammer or not before the trigger pull, and it will fire…
I agree, Geoff. Back in ’88, when I bought my Beretta 21A, I never used the safety. Like a revolver, the heavy double-action first shot was sufficient to insure the my first shot was legal, moral, necessary, and deliberate. Not that I dislike a 1911 or Glock, but back then, clerking at a state court of appeals, it was all I could get away with undercover. (Even though my Judge asked that I wear it at all times.) I’ve always regretted selling that little 21A.
Louis Prima and his orchestra!
I’ve known a lot of guys that do cowboy shooting and I’ve done demo mounted shooting — “train robberies” on a local historic railroad.
You’d think SAA revolvers would be safet than a DA revolver, but there are caveats. The most dangerous time is if you cock a SA revolver and then decide you don’t want to shoot (or, at least not right away)
Would you elaborate?
I imagine the issue is lowering the hammer gently without letting it slip and strike the firing pin firmly enough to initiate a discharge.
Previously, I carried a DA/SA semi-auto in Condition 2 and recognized this problem. My solution was to construct a tool from nylon square bar. I would insert the tool (L-shaped) with the short end of the L between the pin and hammer. Then, gripping the slide and long-side of the tool, I’d lower the hammer.
Yes, I could slip. But if I did, the hammer would fall on the nylon tool, not the firing pin.
With the revolver, the problem is quite different. I don’t have to lower the hammer after chambering a round.
I could – if I had the presence of mind in your scenario – flip the cylinder open. Then drop the hammer with no cartridge in-position.
Or, take care to aim the muzzle at a safe backstop, and try to drop the hammer with the greatest possible care.
Interesting: None of my Smith, Ruger or Colt cylinders can be opened while the hammer is back in the SA full-cocked position. What brand of revolver is yours that allows this particular de-cocking move?
The other brand. It only works when shooting perp ventilating snake shot though.
I pocket carry. A stiff DAO trigger is a must. If I feel the need for more firepower I holser carry an auto with a fast trigger and no safety…I hate safeties.
Luis, thank you for the excellent article on wheelguns.
My only exception is your touting the 340PD…it freaking HURTS to shoot Magnums outta one.
Revolvers were my first guns…I will aways have a very large soft spot for them.
I have a Ruger LCR in .38 +p. I don’t mind recoil but I can’t imagine why anyone would want something of that weight in a .357. Unless you just like to prank your friends.
I have an LCR in .357 and wouldn’t trade it for the world. It is my every day carry gun. Trigger is smooth (though long pull), accuracy is as good as any of my 4″ guns, weight is negligible and safety is certain. The recoil IS brutal but so is the downrange performance. In a defensive situation I suspect I wouldn’t even notice it.
Long Barrel Ruger, .357/.38/9×19 Blackhawk for Economical carry on the Ranch, sub-sonic heavy-bullet Cartridges, and the pigs and coyotes Stop Kinda quick !, And an 1858 Remington,
.451 + 40grains of fffg for when you might need to be in town with a weapon that folks cant really complain about
I’m an old guy. My first pistol was a 44M Virginian Dragoon wheelgun bought in the early ’80’s. Now I routinely carry an HK45C, but occasionally switch holster space with my GP100 in 357M. My Ruger 454C also travels the country with me, wife, and dogs. Can’t beat a revolver for power, accuracy, and just fun.
Well-written TTAG article.
If nothing else, there’s very few handguns better looking than a good Ol’ Stainless Wheel Gun. Only semi that rivals one is a classic 1911.
Even the venerable 1911 doesn’t hold a candle to the Colt SAA when it comes to class.
“For general all around outdoor fun, nothing beats a good four-incher.” That’s what she said!
Just kidding. Great article. I’m toting a 638 in a Don Hume JIT slide right now. Love it.
For home defense my Taurus Judge 3 inch cylinder revolver is excellent at stopping the threat from any home Invader. Loaded with double-00 buckshot. However this is not a carry gun.
Also the North American Arms mini revolvers such as the “Pug”, make a great swimsuit gun.
Charter Arms makes 6 & 7 shot 32 H&R Magnum revolvers. So there are options out there. The revolver is never going away.
Great article. Love my wheel guns.
Whole lotta pig propaganda in this piece. Really think it’s time gun owners stopped sucking cops’ ball sacks. They’re not on our side. At all.
Well, being that the author is no longer a cop and is fighting for better gun laws in FL against a GOP majority that backs gun control. I don’t see the “pig propaganda” that you’re rambling on about.
red dog, what was it you are wanting to do to the Former Officers Scrotum ? and should he wash it first or Not ?….
The Glock Worship thing is rather offensive but the rest of it? See no problem at al there. Revolvers or semi-autos, both are perfectly fine and no the revolver is not going away. I currently own only three revolvers, two of them being .22’s. But my .38 special is a snubbie and with 5 rounds of 158gr SJHP, I figure its a fine second gun.
Although I do at times wear it openly on my belt.
I did own a Ruger Blackhawk, 7.5″ barrel in .45 Colt, but gave it to a relative.
Police are just like Black people. Some are good folks while others are vermin. A common problem with both is that they can be provoked into doing stupid things by inflammatory propaganda.
People from all walks of life, suffer from this human failing, some more than others. The failings are not reserved for anyone specific.
Agree – 3″ ~20 oz. revolver is the right trade-off in size/weight/concealability for many seniors. Racking a slide with the onset of arthritis can be a major problem. Caliber is another issue, but also agree that for many applications, the .38 +P is a good baseline in a decent revolver. While for home defense, I do prefer a pump shotgun, but a heavier 4″ – 6″ revolver, in .357 or .44, would work. Most importantly is that: Doesn’t matter what firearm you carry, but practice, practice, practice until you are comfortable with it, and can hit a ~6″ target 5 out of 5 times in about 5 seconds. (Range TBD.)
I carry a 3″ GP-100 in .357 magnum every day.
I own a dozen handguns, and only two are semi-automatics, a Glock 32 and a Kimber 1911 LW. The rest are revolvers.
Revolvers are very capable and easy to carry in the right format.
I like shooting 3 inch (and longer) revolvers, I find it easier to carry 2 inch revolvers.
I most often carry some type of small auto like a 43 or 26 but certainly don’t feel unarmed with a Centennial or LCR.
If Lipseys will commission a 3.5 inch Ruger Flattop in 9mm, 40, or 45 (or maybe even 357 or 45 long Colt ) I would buy one and carry it OWB.
But thats just me.
Is the revolver dead? Not by my account. Read my recent letter below.
Lake County Examiner, Lakeview, Oregon: Letters To The Editor
Wednesday, March 23, 2021/ http://www.lakecountyexam.com
Best general purpose handgun
Consider Ruger’s SP-101 .357 Magnum revolver: “stainless steel”, 5 shot swing out cylinder (double-action), with 4.2” barrel and target sights for the citizen owning only one handgun. Versatile for “self-defense/house protection/concealed carry”, as a kit and trail gun for the outdoorsman/ sportsman, and for urban metro vs. *wilderness rural use. At 30 oz. unloaded lightweight (for the hiker, backpacker, trapper), yet heavy enough to handle the .357 Magnum. Loaded with .38 Special 148 grain lead target wad-cutter ammo (next to a .22 or .32) practical for hunting small game: rabbit, squirrel, and grouse (for the campfire skillet), for dispatching vermin such as raccoon, skunk, possum, etc. Even for butchering livestock such as cattle with a head shot. Loaded with CCI’s classic .38 Special shot or snake load of No. 9 shot highly effective in killing rattlesnakes. Readily and instantly accessible in reach via a nightstand, dresser or bureau drawer, or next to a sleeping bag inside a tent is very comforting armed security to have, especially at night!
This handgun would also be great for a long haul trucker, or hay hauler, to carry. Even for the motorist traveling on a road trip. Yes, bear in mind being broken down, stranded, and having to spend the night alone in your vehicle. This .38/.357 revolver combination along with an Atomic Beam Flashlight, survival knife, fresh drinking water, food, toilet paper, shovel ,matches, wool blanket, etc. could certainly take back the night .Even for a woman it’s smaller frame and size would still fit her smaller hands. And firing.38 Special ammo in this .357 Magnum could still be handled by a female. Double action revolvers can be improved with aftermarket combat rubber grips. I recommend reading, “Meet Ruger’s SP-101 Revolver: The Ideal Gun For Self Defense”, by Kyle Mizokan via the April 2019 issue of The National Interest
. -James A. “Jim” Farmer Merrill, Oregon(Klamath County) Long Live The State of Jefferson!
*The Gearhart Mountain Wilderness Area on the Fremont/Winema National Forest which
straddles the Klamath/Lake County Line situated in South-Eastern Oregon located between
Bly (Klamath County) and Paisley (Lake County).
Toilet paper? I just scootch across the ground like a dog with worms. Toilet paper, bah.
Okay. Well….how about wet wipes?
I look at bare shelves when I go to stores where I used to see all kinds of ammo. .357, 38 special, and 44 magnum are very hard to find and it isn’t because no one makes it anymore.
This tells me we hat I need to know as far as wether or not revolvers are dead.
The minimum price for .357 magnum on Ammoseek right now is $1.10 a round. 9mm is 49 cents. I think revolvers are alive and well.
no, they aren’t. but i wish the question was.
The only things that don’t live in my safe, are my wheelguns. Sure, I do have a wild fling with my Glock 20SF every so often, but nothing seems as right as a cylinder full of .38 specials.
I’ve got a SA but next on the list is a DA .357.
Why I like a revolver. 99 .99% they don’t malfunction, 100% they leave no spent shell casings ( disregarding a reload).
Why I don’t like a revolver. They don’t spit lead as fast, they’re harder to conceal and harder to reload.
Gotta say I am unsure to chuckle more at the article’s subject matter or the “opposition to steel shot is growing” byline.
I usually have a semi-auto on my right hip; P225, P226, or, as of last week, a S&W M&P Shield Plus.
I usually carry one of those but I always carry my S&W 649 in my pocket.
If I’m in bear country (PA – no grizzlies), I open carry my S&W Model 69 Combat Magnum too.
Love the birdshead. I had the .44 mag version (polished stainless) but sadly parted with it. I have a 5-1/2″ Uberti birdshead in .45 Colt now though and it’s pretty. And a 3″ GP100 is about the perfect EDC for anyone capable of wearing a belt. Revolvers are alive and well.
I’m an old guy. Nevertheless, my first handgun was a semiautomatic competition pistol. So I was raised on pistols, but enjoy revolvers way more.
I propose commissioning Ruger to build a six shooter in 155mm. The Portland Nightlife Special.
Speaking of Portland…there was an interesting article on the Police1 website last week with excerpts (from exit surveys) by retiring / resigning Portland officers from the last year. The exit surveys are from white, black, brown and whatever officers. Surprisingly, their comments are fairly uniform across the board.
There are also a number of quotes from the current Portland Police Bureau management…no surprises from them…F’ing clueless Progressive Kool-Aid guzzlers that they are. One of their Ass’t Chiefs says that they’re concerned that they just are not Progressive enough.
It’s also interesting to note that according to the Portland PD, Antifa, specifically Antifa, are now engaging in more aggressive arson and now even drive-by shootings that appear to also target businesses at this point.
Summer’s gonna be a hoot.
Like, Come On, Dude…Anarchy is, like, it’s own reward!
Kinda reminds me of Baltimore Mayor Rawlins-Blake back in 2015 and her infamous quote “We gave those who wished to destroy space to do that”…Yo, Mayors’ Raw-Blake and Ted Dealer, how’d that work out fer ya so far? Let me guess…innocents of all races killed, businesses destroyed, millions in lost taxes and virtually zero tourist dollars coming in (unless you count the Media as tourist dollars).
Well that would be one eargersplitenloudenboomer for sure.
Envy of the used to be a range, now it’s a hole.
” . . . gun ownership is something that shouldn’t be hidden.”
That’s debatable. Highly debatable.
Yes, the revolver is dead.
Please form an orderly line, and turn in all of your revolvers to me (through an FFL as necessary), along with their ammunition, for safe proper and responsible disposal.
You bring up a good point; if you’re concerned about capacity, you don’t need higher capacity handguns, you need more revolvers.
There is no reload faster than the New York variety, but in nearly all cases capacity is highly overrated.
Where capacity matters, semi-autos are clearly superior. Barring that, try both & go with what you like & can shoot well. For me, the sweet spot seems to be a .22 anything, or a medium-frame revolver (the heavier the better) with .38’s.
I tend to prefer to buy .357’s though, because then there are 2 caliber possibilities. I thought this would be a good way to outsmart the periodic ammo shortages. Guess that bright idea didn’t work out too well. I’m wondering if I can get a spare cylinder & have it bored out for 9mm in moon clips. Not that there’s oodles of 9mm hanging out on the shelves either…but it seems that’s easier to get, for the eagle-eyed.
Your capacity needs depend a lot on whether you’re trying to avoid trouble or running to it. But it’s extremely rare for even cops to need more than 6 rounds of .357.
Love my wheelguns…
22LR, 22WMR, 327Mag. (32SW S/L, 32HR Mag) , 357Mag. (38spcl), 44Mag. (44spcl), 460Mag. (45LC/454Casull). Yep, at one point in my early days of owning handguns, I thought I’d never own a revolver. Now I have 6 different models, that cover 13 calibers.
It used to be that I couldn’t shoot a revolver with any sort of accuracy at all, and .357s were not my cup of tea. But then I bought my first black powder revolver (Colt 1861) and now own five (51, 51, 60, 61 and 62 colts) and two 1873s. Started the paper on my third 1873 (another 4 3/4″ in .45 Colt) today and can pick it up in ten days. The .45 Colt is my favorite, so much so I started reloading just to keep up the supply of what is usually a fairly pricey round. I love the flexibility reloading offers in bullets and powders.
The best reason for owning revolvers rather than semi-autos is one that isn’t mentioned in most articles these days – reloading your own ammunition – as I have been doing for 35 years. Reloading for revolvers is MUCH more practical and forgiving than for rimless cartridges in semi-auto pistols.
However, I have found that many younger shooters these days are as shy of reloading, just as they are working on their own homes, fixing their own cars, or doing other technical tasks for home or sport. 30 years ago doing technical things like reloading was common for young men. Having few shop classes in high schools these days doesn’t help (they are very busy learning about transgenderism, systemic racism, etc.) If you haven’t been taught how to use basic hand tools and measuring devices, it is undertandable that you can’t manage following technical directions for ammunition reloading. Some of these young shooters show up at the range with their tacticool guns and call men with revolvers and wood-stocked guns Fudds, when they actually don’t know crap about crap (including about the Constitution, Second Amendment Law, and self-defense law). This isn’t just an old guy spouting off – most young people today really are technical morons (except for those in the trades or engineering.)
That ranting over:
With all the panic buying of ammo due to the leftist rioters once again doing the nonsense that leftists always have done, new ammo is very expensive if you can find it at all. So reloading makes more sense than ever. Most reloaders already had a good supply of powder, cases, primers, and bullets, before the panic. And revolvers are great for reloading. Many semi-autos do not fully support the case at the base, giving poor case life compared to revolver cases. And more importantly semi-auto rimless cartridges headspace on the case mouth, rather than the case rim like revolver cartridges. If you improperly crimp a straight-wall rimless cartridge, even a bit, you can blow up your gun as the bullet tries to exit a case mouth which is jammed into the chamber. There are YouTube videos of young shooters who did just that, perhaps realizing that they should have done a little more studying of reloading manuals concerning rimless cartridges rather than just watching YouTube videos (most of these guys obviously didn’t have fathers or uncles who reloaded and taught them). Reloading for revolvers gives more margin for error, as it did for me when I started long ago.
Also another reason to like revolvers is that many steel revolvers are very attractive pieces of machining work, especially some of the classic models. Most polymer striker-fired semi-autos are uglier than sin (while the less-popular steel-framed 1911s, Hi-Powers, etc. are/were not). These modern pistols look like a checkered blob of molded plastic with an ugly matte black metal slide perched on top. Then add a red-dot sight and it looks worse. No soul at all compared to a revolver. Clint Eastwood or Steve McQueen with a Glock wouldn’t have been the same. Although Kimber has lately proven that it is possible to make a terribly fugly steel revolver (not to mention the hideous Chiappa Rhino).
I can see it now, handing my grandson a S&W Model 29, ” Wow grandpa, thanx, its so cool. When can we shoot it?” Or handing my grandson a checkered blob of molded of plastic with an ugly matte black slide perched on top, ” Uh yeah gramps, I’m on level 5 vidji game, I’ll look at that later ” LOL ,,,,,really by that time he’ll go ” Yeegads your a gunm owning killer, red flag mom, red flag, grandpa’s got a gunm! ! !”
When I was working as a welder, oof, getting closer than I’d like to admit to 10 years ago now, we never had a SINGLE kid hired as a welder’s helper who would read a tape measure without being taught to do it.
Not one out of dozens.
Your problem is the school system. It has been for decades. SAT scores across the board plummeted in 1964 and never recovered.
Like it or not the stats don’t lie. If you graduated HS after 1963 your education was total shit compared to the early 1960’s and before. Total and utter shit. By the 1970’s it was a joke. It’s just gotten so unbelievably bad now that even a lot of the trained seals coming out of the post-1964 system can see it clearly.
*could, not would.
To Stryc9: You are absolutely correct! Furthermore much of this blame for the establishment of our government controlled socialist public schools can be blamed on Lyndon B. Johnson: the most abusive corrupt and dictatorial president from out nation’s shameful past! LBJ, along with both the corrupt Earl Warren and Warren Burger Supreme Courts, Ted Kennedy, Thomas Dodd (D): socialist U.S. Senator from Connecticut and one of LBJ’s henchmen, and their rotten ilk were sworn enemies aligned against not only American gun owners, the Second Amendment, but likewise decency, morality, and freedom in general. Our nation continues to pay for their high crimes, treason, and subversion to date! Read on:
Klamath Falls Herald and News: Tuesday, September 27th, 2016/Letters To The Editor
Trump description would fit LBJ well
In her Sept. 20th letter Sandy Couch describes Donald Trump as “narcissistic and egotistical.” That is an accurate description of Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) , perhaps the worst president in American history.
Unfortunately, an issue doesn’t disappear simply because it’s been ignored, censored, covered up and concealed for decades.
Also, the legacy of deceit, abuse of power, and political corruption that continues to curse America today! Case in point: “American Experience, “LBJ: Beautiful Texas/My Fellow Americans. A profile of Lyndon B. Johnson.” This recently aired on KSYS Channel 8.1 Aug. 15 and 16, respectively.
Consider the following the itemized links below:
Barr McClellan’s 2003 book: “Blood, Money, and Power: How LBJ Killed JFK”. Also posted at YouTube.
J. Evett Haley’s 1964 book: “A Texan Looks At Lyndon: A Study In Illegitimate Power.” “How Persecution of American Christians Really Began in The US!” via the Constitution Party of Oregon (www.constitutionpartyoregon.net) posted under “Liberty In The News.”
Trump to Pastors: ‘Christians Have Been Silenced Like a Child” via Pat Robertson’s 700 club confronts the 1954 Johnson Amendment which remains blatant censorship.
“Lyndon Johnson Murdered John F. Kennedy” at YouTube. The oppressive 1968 Gun Control Act LBJ signed into federal legislation and its Nazi/ racist roots long since exposed by JPFO, Inc. at http://www.jpfo.org.
Finally, the Vietnam War (1961-1975). How LBJ and then Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara greatly escalated this “no win war” in Southeast Asia. And at a cost of 58,000 American lives. Lyndon B. Johnson likewise paved the way for Carter, Clinton, and Obama.And while Richard M. Nixon was no saint, he wasn’t even in the ballpark with Lyndon when it came to the above political atrocities, abuses, and crimes against the American people.
James A. Farmer, Ashland
Since October 2016 a resident of Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County): Long Live The State of Jefferson!
I have 3. All in. 357. I lean this way because they’re simple to use and just cool. I don’t have the time or $ to keep proficiency in my plastics. I’ll carry a 4″ 686 Plus at my next job, and I’ll carry either a 640 Pro or 627 PC (new purchase) away from work, depending. Can’t possibly be dead.
I found a used 4″ 686- no mark/ factory bushed at a buddy’s local gunship a little over a year ago. At the time, I was planning on not shooting it that much. Now, I use and carry it often…. it’s nice to just dump a fired cylinder full into a jacket pocket for future reloading. Spending today rethinking my carry and housegun setup , as the Chauvin verdict / dead thug-lifer protests are going to be gearing up locally ( twin cities) in the coming weeks.
Bully cops need to be fired before they cause trouble. That just won’t fly anymore.
I don’t blame black people for being so pissed but since I’m white…I just hope I’m not targeted. I carry for other reasons but, damn, I’m tired of feeling like I always need to carry. Just more shit to haul around.
Wheel guns are terrific, nostalgic, fun, coveted, traditional, revered. But, 15 or 17 chances with at least another 15 or 17 chances in less than two second reload will always trump 6 chances plus another 6 in 3-5 second reload.
I hate to admit it but Biden was right: Two shots out the back door solves most problems.
I prefer autos but I don’t feel undergunned with a five shot snubbie.
Mr. Schofield, you’re new here, aren’t you?
If you got paid for this – give the money back. What a pile of ‘stream-of-consciousness’ bs…
Revolvers ‘scream class’?? Something is wrong with you
LOL, show us on the doll where the Colt Python touched you. Not my fault you don’t understand what quality work is when handling a hand fitted Colt Python or S&W Performance Center gun.
What revolvers do that semi-autos cannot:
1. Handle more powerful cartridges. You don’t see any semi-autos loaded in some of the monstrous loads that John Linebaugh has designed and fielded, nor some of the “cannon without the carriage” loads found in hunting revolvers that make 10mm Autos look like training guns for kids.
2. Handle a wider spectrum of energy/momentum loads than semi-autos. I can load up a revolver with a full-bore magnum load (eg, in .357 or .44) and then follow it with a pussycat target load, followed by a full-bore load, and so on. Every time you pull the trigger, it will go ‘bang’.
3. Revolvers are easier for people with muscle wasting and old age to handle.
4. Revolvers never suffer from “tap-rack-bang” syndrome. There’s no FTF, FTE, etc. Fill them with factory, rolled-crimp ammo and you’re in business.
5. Lastly, there is no other type of handgun out there where you can change from “self-defense” to “target” trigger the way you can in a well-tuned double-action revolver. There’s no other handgun, off-the-shelf, that goes from a 9+ lbs trigger to a 2.75 lb. trigger just by thumbing back the hammer. Sure, you can thumb back the hammer on a semi-auto. But it won’t change the trigger pull and engagement on most semi-autos as it does on a revolver.
Many good points, but – contrary to 5 – there are many DA/SA autos, which also share the choice between “optimized for firing” and “optimized to prevent firing because I distrust myself” trigger modes. The differences are:
-The auto can be carried in “distrust myself” mode and then – whether first fired in that mode or thumbed – defaults to “firing” mode for every shot thereafter. The revolver reverts to “afraid I’ll shoot myself in the leg” mode for every shot, long after it’s safely pointed downrange.
-The cocked DA auto can revert to its safe mode with no dependence on fine motor skills under stress.
Love wheel guns, because they work everytime, all the time. S&W 637, most defensive gun use is within 4 feet, point and empty, works for me. Reliability is the key, I also love my Glocks, no reason to have a unreliable firearm (is Walther listening), because when it comes to saving you and your family, reliablity is #1. That’s why I Have a H&K P7m8. Mag dump in 2 seconds.
If you have a choice between a revolver with “trench” rear sights or “real” rear sights, chose the latter – you will not regret it. As you eyes age, you WILL appreciate the difference, especially when a more precision shot is called for.
Shot placement is king. I have some revolvers that print holes within holes off-hand.
More importantly, ICORE is alive and well for those of us who love to run wheel guns.
actually, the need for a compact revolver for home defense is a real need. right now I have a Colt Agent in my pants pocket as I write this. small compact revolvers make excellent guns for home defense since they are more likely to be in your pocket when you need it then something bigger.and they fit the pocket better than a small semi auto and you can get a nice grip on it while pulling it out. and if you have a conceiled hammer revolver like S&Ws M642/M442/M638 etc they can be fired while IN your pocket if needed.