Question of the Day: What’s Your Definition of an Optimist?

My definition of an optimist is a man carrying a revolver with a speedloader. [Click here for Gun Digest’s advice on how to “recharge your revolver”.] What’s yours?


  1. avatar Adub says:

    I thought that was the definition of a Luddite…

    1. avatar Leadbelly says:

      Watch it, bub! The word is Traditionalist.

  2. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    National reciprocity…..

  3. avatar Andy says:

    Someone who ignores the storm clouds of reality and walks on false sunshine.

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:


  4. avatar Joe says:

    A pessimist who has yet to pay taxes

  5. avatar Taro Tsujimoto says:

    Optimist: A guy who walks into a gunshop planning on buying a Kel-Tec SUB-2000…

    Pie-in-the-Sky Fantasy Optimist : … and it’s the Beretta-mag model.

    1. avatar Nine says:

      Saw one in my Milsurp store about a week ago, $400 tag on it.

      Not sure what mag or caliber.

    2. avatar crzapy says:

      Picked up mine for $325, in .40 cal. Takes Glock mags though but I already own a Glock 22. Wasn’t even looking for one. It was just there.

  6. avatar Don says:

    Someone who thinks that they’ll be able to fire more than six rounds before the gunfight is over.


    1. avatar Don says:

      Also, reading the article, the technique is kind of wrong. The author says “pull the speedloader straight back” after you release the rounds. That’ll cause problems, As soon as the rounds release (automatically or manually depending on speedloader type) I’m not holding onto the speedloader any more. It stays in place by itself until the rounds are free and in the cylinder, then just let it drop as you close the cylinder.

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      I have to point out that the presence of the speedloader in and of itself labels you a pessimist. Hell, the presence of the pistol labels you a pessimist.

      But an optimist is a pessimist with a j-frame and NO speedloader.

      Or a soccer mom with a house full of kids, a double-barrel 20 gauge loaded with #9 birdshot, and no extra shells.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Or a soccer mom with 9-1-1 on speed dial and a belief that all will work out.

        1. avatar neiowa says:

          That can stop playing CandyCrush long enough to realized something is going on.

        2. avatar Don says:

          When I was a kid, my aunt had 911 on speed dial, and to select and call it required 5 button presses. She was not very smart.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          “Someone look up the number to 9-1-1 ! Quick!”

  7. avatar Kris S says:

    Someone who thinks the police are the best option, so no need to carry a gun.

  8. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Thinking I can get Shannon to wear ponytails, the white stockings, high heels and plaid skirt to satisfy my school girl fantasies.

    But I am a team player and will keep trying.

    1. avatar C says:

      damn it, Dirk. You’re causing me a crisis. Pics or it didn’t happen!

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        Working on it

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      your nemesis Dark Duggler already beat you to it

    3. avatar crndl says:

      you are a credit to your name, dirk 🙂

  9. avatar Hal says:

    Someone who walks out the door and says

    “I’ve got seven rounds of .45… I’m good.”

    1. avatar Jon R. says:

      N.Y.C politicians who say, “You have seven rounds, that’s all you need”…

      1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

        Spare magazine, hoss. Besides, if you can’t buy yourself enough time with the first eight rounds to reload a 1911, you need to seriously re-evaluate something… whether that’s your tactical decision making that got you to that point in time and space or something else, I cannot say.

        1. avatar Ardent says:

          Everybody loves to cut on the old 1911 but Tomy has it right; if you can’t solve your problem with 8 rounds of .45 and a spare mag on the hip you don’t need more ammo, you need to seriously reevaluate your situational awareness.

  10. avatar Carl says:

    An optimist is a person that thinks they can shoot more bullseyes with a semi-auto faster than Jerry Miculek can with his 45 revolver.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      That’s not optimism, that’s delusion.

    2. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

      And the realist knows he can’t beat Jerry.


  11. avatar Leadbelly says:

    Anyone who can get out of bed and function in this world.

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      wow that’s setting the bar really low, man.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Define “function”.

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        Now *that* is setting the bar low.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          I’ve been in some pretty low bars back in the day.

        2. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

          low bars are where all the fun stuff happens!

  12. avatar IdahoPete says:

    An optimist is … someone who walks into a gun store and says “I’ll take a brick of .22 Long Rifle ammo, please.”

    1. avatar Sovereign says:

      Haha, winner right here!

  13. avatar MojoRonin says:

    Any one that puts up a gun free zone sign with a straight face.

  14. avatar Greg in Allston says:

    A pessimist is an optimist in full possession of the facts of a given situation.

  15. avatar Independent George says:

    Someone who just bought himself a .22 rifle & pistol, even though he doesn’t have any ammo in his safe…

  16. A person who carries a handgun without carying a knife or a light.

  17. avatar J- says:

    Hey! I resemble that remark. I got 5 rounds of .38 in my snubbie and 5 more in a Tuff Strip in my pocket. If I need more than that, I should have packed my AR down my pant leg.

    1. avatar Nicks87 says:

      I agree 100%

  18. avatar DrVino says:

    Repeal of the Roberti-Roos ban in California in the next 10 years.

  19. avatar dwb says:

    Love my 5 star bedside block and speedloader. optimist? nah, you have not met the people who do pension accounting. 7.5% return on the stock market and no recession in the next 30 years. THATS an optimist. And even with those assumptions pensions are … still. not. funded.

    Someone with a revolver and speedloader is not an optimist. Seeing as how 95% of DGU just involve brandishing, I’d just call them at least prepared.

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    “My definition of an optimist is a man carrying a revolver with a speedloader.”

    That would be my definition of a pessimist — or a really bad shot.

    An optimist is anyone who can say the phrase “fair trial” without snickering.

    1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

      you carry the speedloader for the same reason you carry the revolver. Because some day you may need it Very Badly. Also, unlike semiautos…. revolvers do not jam.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        That last part is factually incorrect. It may be significantly less likely with a revolver, but it does happen.

        1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

          true, but if that happens you are well and truly JAMMED.

  21. avatar Jesse Nelson says:

    Loading a magazine into my CETME and not having to pull the charging handle back before the magazine is empty.

    Okay… more of a fantasy than optimism… but I take what I can get. And ‘taking what I can get’ is also why I own a CETME at all!

    1. avatar Ardent says:

      Just today I rehabbed an FAL that was having failure to feed problems. The buffer spring tube turned out to be so full of ancient, rancid and baked cosmoline that it was basically acting as a glue. I replaced the spring set anyway since I already had it there but I suspect the rifle would have been fine if all I’d done was to clean that spring and tube. It’s certainly worth a try to disassemble and clean the spring tube ($15.00 for a buttstock removal tool from SARCO) or even replacing the spring set (another $15.00 from the same place.

      With this rifle, which had never cycled 2 consecutive rounds for the current owner, replacing the buffer spring assembly and thoroughly cleaning the weapon resulted in it running 100 rounds at rapid fire without a hitch.

      There is just so little that can be really wrong with an FAL that the springs are often the issue and everyone ignores the springs. Good luck and happy shooting.

  22. avatar S.CROCK says:

    someone who lives in so cal and says today i am going to go to a gun store and buy a cheep brick of 22.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      Ahhh, that was me here in Sarasota 3 weeks ago when I actually did score 2 bricks of cheap 22LR at WalMart. Seems like a distant memory now.

      1. avatar S.CROCK says:

        on thursday in burbank i saw 22 for 7 cents a round.

        1. avatar Joel says:

          My big lucky score was just under a nickel a round. That’s 1100 rounds of happy.

  23. avatar Don says:

    An optimist is someone on reality TV who actually keeps it real.

  24. avatar Shenandoah says:

    Someone who believes in Hope & Change. Still.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Who believes in peaceful reverse of all the “Change”

    2. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

      That’s not an optimist. That’s someone who’s mainlining the Kool-aid

  25. avatar BLAMMO says:

    I’m (Noo Yawkuh) prohibited from carrying much of anything beyond a knife and a tactical pen. I use optimism only as a mental defense mechanism.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      NYC born and raised — so I feel your pain, bro.

    2. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

      From what I understand showing the picket clip of a pocket knife is illegal there.

      1. avatar Lazer says:

        I believe you are correct. They also just banned e-cigarettes from a bunch of places including parks (they’re outside for Christ’s sake) for their anti-smoking act. They don’t want you to smoke so they punish you for trying to quit.

        As far as self defense goes here, it’s probably easier to list what you legally can do than what you can’t. If I correctly decyphered the bits of law I’ve read it reads something like this:
        1. Run
        2.Call Cops

        Optimist: Anyone who lives in NYC and thinks it rules?

  26. avatar Conway Redding says:

    Optimist: someone totally ignorant of the way the universe really works.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      “A pessimist is right far more often than an optimist, but his is an unhappy life.” – Robert Heinlein

      1. avatar Rambeast says:

        “I would rather be a pessimist, and be pleasantly surprised than be an optimist, and constantly disappointed.” -Ben Franklin

  27. avatar Jus Bill says:

    Shannon Watts playing Russian Roulette with a Glock.

  28. avatar Joel says:

    Me, this morning at WalMart looking for ammo (quote from the guy at the gun counter “you missed the party, there was a line here at 6:00AM).

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      This must be what goes on at my Walmart, because I haven’t seen handgun ammo in there for months. Well, not true, they always seem to have some .40. But I don’t won a .40, so it matters not.

      1. avatar Joel says:

        I’ve got two .380s They’ve always got plenty of .308. I keep tellin’ em they’ve got the numbers all mixed up but to no avail.

  29. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Aren’t all hand guns the personification of optimism?

    Long guns > hand guns

    1. avatar Rambeast says:

      Ah, but you use your handgun to fight your way to your (or acquire someone else’s) rifle.

  30. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

    Optimist –
    Anyone who actually thinks the Hughes Amendment can/will be repealed through legislation or the SCOTUS.

  31. avatar Don says:

    An optimist is someone who lobbies for gun control but can’t win over a youtube comment section.

    1. avatar Michael C says:

      An optimist is someone who thinks gun control can actually work. Hint: Criminals don’t follow the laws.

  32. avatar Braenen says:

    An optimist is a realist who knows nothing of Mathematics, Physics, History, Psychology and Sociology.

  33. avatar Dave s says:

    Like anything, speedloaders require practice. I would add that after releasing the bullets you should let the loader roll over the top strap to the ground, since pulling back can jam it against the grip, and you are looking for smoothness in this evolution.

    Carrying a revolver forces you to consider carefully your tactics, strategy and marksmanship before you get into a defensive situation.

    I am from the last generation of LEO to carry a revolver as a service weapon. I have the biases of that generation. I never felt under armed after we went from .38spl to .357 ammo. Course there is always the subject of backup weapons…

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      What was your drop gun?

      1. avatar Dave s says:

        LOL, All of my backups were SN ed at the Dept with quarterly quals required. My usual was my OD S&W 39 in a shoulder holster and a 22 auto in a pants pocket.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      I knew this KC cop who was on orders to the Pentagon (He was an MP light colonel in the reserves) who still swore by a wheel gun. He believed that you had to thing about your shots rather than just blaze away with a Glock.

  34. avatar 505markf says:

    An optimist says the glass is half full. A pessimist says the glass is half empty. But that’s only part of the story…

    An engineer says the glass is twice as large as it needs to be.

    A progressive says there is no optimism, just faith in Dear Leader and the relentless march of progress.

    Chuck Norris says whatever the hell he wants to say.

    Clint Smith says throw the water in an attacker’s face and hit him with the glass.

    1. avatar dwb says:

      an accountant looks at a half full glass and lets management mark it up to three quarters. Goldman Sachs sees a half full glass, finds someome who wants water, someone who wants an empty glass, and takes a hefty transaction fee on the trade. They will also be happy to sell you a derivative to lock in the price of future half full glasses. for a big fee, of course.

    2. avatar Jus Bill says:

      No, an engineer says “I can make an improved glass.”

    3. avatar Jeff says:

      if the most recent action taken upon the glass was to drink, then the glass is half empty.

      if the previous action was to add more liquid, then the glass is half full.

      quandary solved

      1. avatar Rambeast says:

        I will have to use this next time someone says “I’m a glass is half full kinda guy.”.

        1. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

          “Good man, half fill my glass…. twice”

    4. avatar Matt in FL says:

      I knew someone would eventually mention “glass half full,” so I came here to say the engineer thing. You beat me.

    5. avatar Troutbum5 says:

      The ammo shelf is half full

    6. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      The scientist say the glass is always full, with either water, air, or both.

  35. avatar Larry says:

    The gun in this photo needs a trip to a gunsmith to have its timing adjusted and then have its cylinder re finished or he will get half of its value at trade in time

    1. avatar Dave says:

      That is intentional polishing to reduce friction from the drag of the cylinder stop.

  36. avatar Jim R says:

    An optimist is one who believes this is the best possible outcome.
    A pessimist is afraid he’s right.

  37. avatar Mediocrates says:

    What’s a “revolver”?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      A more elegant weapon from a more civilised time.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          And by blaster I mean XDm.

          And by “good” I mean .40 S&W.

        2. avatar Tomy Ironmane says:

          But they’re still better than hokey religions alone.

          I can say with absolute certainty one thing about folks who disparage revolvers. Not a single one of them will volunteer to be shot by one of any caliber.

        3. avatar PavePusher says:

          Best. Thread. Evar.

        4. avatar Hannibal says:

          I approve. All of it.

  38. avatar SteveInCO says:

    I thought a “revolver” was the revolving line of credit credit card I used to buy my last gun.

  39. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Gotta throw my $00.02. In here.

    An optimist (aka masochist) is someone who begs, “hurt me, hurt me”.
    A pessimist (aka) sadist is someone who replies,

    Now, don’t YOU feel better?

  40. avatar Excedrine says:

    A gun control advocate.

    But there’s overlap there between hopeful and delusional.

  41. avatar Tom in Wisconsin says:

    Optimism is having any ammo in the magazine of your Jennings.

  42. avatar ken says:

    a new shooter that buys the latest hand cannon, puts a thirty round magazine in it then tries to conceal it with a front carry!

  43. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    I use speed loaders for my Webley .38 revolver and I got no idea what this idiot is talking about. Supposed top be a “world famous revolversmith” and he does not know how to use a speed loader? Perhaps he should attend an Evelyn Woodhead Sped Loading Class.

  44. avatar Hannibal says:

    Hmm… if that’s an optimist I must be walking on sunshine because I carry the same gun as pictured often without a reload.

  45. avatar MOG says:

    In “the glass half full/half empty” vein. Some people look at a sink as being half full of dishes, some people look at a sink as being half empty of dishes. I look at it and figure I got a couple more days before I have to wash the dishes.

  46. avatar Matt says:

    To me, anyone who supports concealed or open carry is the ultimate optimist seeing good and trust in his fellow man. What else can you say about a group of people who trusts complete strangers to have the power to kill at their finger tips?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      It’s a better and healthier outlook than to assume that all people are evil and untrustworthy and should not be trusted to provide for their own protection.

      1. avatar 2hotel9 says:

        Yep, that about sums it up. If I thought like matt here seems to be I would be sporting full combat load every day I left the house, not to mention the perimeter with active mines and concertina and bulldozed berm around my property.

        Its a really dark place he is in, and I won’t go there. At least not until given sufficient reason to.

        1. avatar Matt says:

          Perhaps yall think I’m trolling or being facetious, but I’m not.

          I honestly can’t think of much else that is more optimistic than completely trusting a stranger with a firearm; you literally have to be thinking that they aren’t going to do anything bad with it and thinking of the positive benefits versus any potential negative outcomes. Sounds like optimism to me. Positive > negative and always looking on the bright side.

          How is this a bad thing to believe/remark gun owners & those who carry are optimistic for this reason? It’s taking it back form the anti side who calls us paranoid and constantly preparing for the worst. It is practically a direct adaption of the glass is half full versus half empty. Hell, most our arguments can be summed up in purely dispassionate utilitarian forms, this at least might shed a little perspective that goes past facts/numbers.

          If I’m in a dark place thinking it’s sunshine, happiness, and unicorns farting rainbows because my fellow man can carry a firearm for protection, then I don’t even know where you all rate on that continuum.

        2. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          Expecting the worst from every one is a dark place. As for people carrying, concealed or open, that is a decision not taken lightly by the vast majority of people. Very rarely does someone just hop up in the morning and declare”I’m gonna carry a gun from now on!” trot out to walyworld and buy the first thing they see. I great deal of consideration is inevitably involved, so yea, I give most people who own and carry the benefit of the doubt.

  47. avatar MOG says:

    Matt, you worry too much.

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