Top 3 Reasons To Carry A Revolver Rather Than a Semi-Automatic Handgun

Colt King Cobra .357 revolver

Colt King Cobra (JWT for TTAG)

Some thirty years ago the American gun-buying public began to see semi-automatic pistols as reliable firearms. Once semi-autos cleared that hurdle, their superior capacity and quick reloadability ruled the day. When cops switched to semis, that convinced a lot of average gun buyers that it was safe to do the same. And yet revolver sales are still going strong — and for good reason! Here are three very good reasons to carry a revolver instead of a semi-automatic pistol.

Simplicity

Buying a concealed carry revolver

Kimber K6s DCR  (JWT for TTAG)

Gun guys find it easy to load, unload and reload semi-automatic handgun magazines and firearms. They know when and how to rack the slide. They may have little trouble disassembling and re-assembling a semi for cleaning. Some are cool with manipulating frame-mounted safeties. Beginning shooters and non-enthusiast shooters? Not so much.

A revolver couldn’t be easier. Open the gate, insert cartridges (bullets face forward), close the gate. Aim. Squeeze the trigger. If you want a lighter, easier trigger pull, cock it first. When the gun goes click instead of bang, open the gate, remove the casings, and replace them with new cartridges. To clean, shove something through the cylinder chambers (i.e., the holes) and the barrel.

While a revolver surrenders capacity to a semi, and the definition of an optimist is a revolver owner who thinks he can reload in a gunfight, the wheelgun is the most user-friendly firearm money can buy. For millions of Americans who can’t or won’t be bothered to master a semi-automatic handgun, the revolver is the right choice.

Reliability

Ruger Super Blackhawk .480 Ruger

Ruger Super Blackhawk .480 Ruger (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

With proper care and feeding, a modern semi-automatic pistol is a supremely reliable firearm. But a semi-automatic pistol has a lot more moving parts — bits that can become damaged or wear out — than a wheelgun. The most likely part of a semi likely to fail? The ammunition magazine. How many mags does a wheelgun have? None.

Revolvers can fail (click here for proof). But the bottom line remains: a revolver is, on the whole, more reliable than a semi-automatic handgun. They’re much more resistant to neglect than a semi. Not to mention the fact that you can’t “forget” to do anything to a revolver before shooting (aside from loading it and having one with you). And if a revolver doesn’t fire, you just pull the trigger again. And/or run.

Compact Stopping Power

The J-Frame Revolver for Deep Cover Concealed Carry...Still

Smith & Wesson Model 360 .357 (Logan Metesh for TTAG

Some gun guys reject the idea of “stopping power.” Shot placement is all. Period. And there’s no question that it’s generally more difficult to shoot a double-action revolver accurately than a relatively light-triggered semi-automatic pistol. But all things being equal, it’s better to shoot a bad guy with a bigger bullet than a smaller one (makes a bigger hole).

If you want compact (i.e., easily concealable) stopping power, you can carry a .357-firing snub-nosed revolver in your pocket. There are relatively small .45 semis, but you can’t buy a .357 semi-automatic “mouse gun.” And as far as shot placement/accuracy goes, it’s a lot easier to dry fire a revolver than a semi-automatic pistol. And that’s the best way to improve your shooting.

 

This article was originally published in 2017.

comments

  1. avatar MouseGun says:

    Oh boy, prepare for all the “but, but, but!!!!!” from people who can’t get an erection without thinking of Gaston.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Why not both….. and some assorted derringers for variety. Everyone will find something easier (or various somethings depending on the task).

      1. avatar Joel says:

        Biggest issue with this particular article is the bit, about moving parts. Lots o little bits moving inside a revolver double action revolver. Compare a single action to a semi, and maybe it’s a different story.

        But the jist of the article holds true. Simple to load, simple to carry, simple to shoot, simple to store. I dig them.

        One of the interesting things I learned early on, is I actually spend more time shooting and less time loading at the range when shooting a revolver. Sure, I can dump a couple mags faster, but then I have to reload the darn things. Shoot 5, load five, repeat. And 50 rounds are gone before I know it….

        1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          Did like how the Smith and Wesson’s tended to point but never got enough trigger time to get as comfortable with revolvers as I did with the various automatics. Ah well revisit that category when I have the time and money to develop it.

        2. avatar Thixotropic says:

          S-L-O-W to load, L-O-N-G heavy trigger pull, underpowered (.38 SPEC) ammo, etc.

          Nope. You are better off statistically with a simpler faster semi-auto gun like a SIG P-365/365XL or G19 Gen3 or 5 and 9BPLE ammo.

        3. avatar Ric A says:

          I like my wheel guns because I don’t have to crawl around on the floor at the range to collect my brass.

    2. avatar Arc says:

      Only reason to carry a revolver is for a bullet too big to fit into an autoloader, or something to shoot snake shells from (.410).

    3. avatar Matt says:

      Well, but, but, but, two different operating systems doing basically the same thing. For the person who will leave a firearm in a bedside night stand for years until it is needed, the revolver is ideal. There are no magazine springs that can weaken. For the person with weak/arthritic hands, the revolver can be adjusted and made to work for the disabled. For everyone else, it’s a question of tea, or coffee?

      1. avatar Josh says:

        Springs weaken from repeated cycles, not from time compressed, unless they are held at elevated temperature, which is not relevant here.

        1. avatar arc says:

          A whole bunch of anecdotal accounts and psudoscience. It comes down to quality of the metallurgy and generally speaking, good springs will last for at least a decade or more while crap from China won’t last a year. A revolver can rust just as much as a semi-auto.

  2. avatar GS650G says:

    Revolvers still offer the biggest cartridge loads you can get in a handgun. The 10 mm has nothing on the 454 casull or 480 ruger and 500 smith.
    I’ll even put a .44mag and .41 mag on that list too properly loaded.

    1. avatar 41mag says:

      Golly mister, thanks!

      1. avatar Tired of the bs says:

        Lol I heard the beaver say that.

        1. avatar KCK says:

          Or was it Lucas’ son Mark

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      10mm is actually weaker than .357 magnum if full SAAMI spec loads are compared. Of course there’s a lot of weak sauce for both rounds.

    3. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      10 mm has nothing on the 454 casull or 480 ruger and 500 smith.

      But I’d rather shoot 500 rounds of 10mm than 10 rounds of 500 smith.

      1. avatar Bruce says:

        Preverbal bear gun question. Got to talking guns with my wife’s eye surgeon last week. He showed me pictures of his bear gun, something like that .454 Cassul. I shot a mutual friend’s comparable bear gun a Couple years ago, and decided to go the 10 mm route. I can put the entire 15 round magazine in a bear, while they are still cocking and firing through their five rounds.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Put my money in a BMW, in order to drive past the DAMN bear, you guys are nutz!

    4. avatar Otherwise... says:

      That almost ranks right up there with “using a bigger fishhook so you’ll catch a bigger fish.”

    5. avatar Josh says:

      I think .45 Win Mag can be loaded heavier than .44 Rem Mag or .41 Mag, but I don’t think there’s any rimless equivalent to .454, .460, or .500. Would have to check the hottest loadings of .50 Action Express.

      1. avatar BeoBear says:

        The .45 colt can be loaded to exceed the .44 magnum and with considerably less pressure. It may have been relegated to the obsolete drawer by many shooters these days but in actuality it’s a very powerful and versatile caliber that out performs most modern popular calibers.

  3. avatar RGP says:

    Currently wearing a Mernickle PS6SA holster with a 4 5/8″ Blackhawk in .45 Colt loaded with 280 gr RCBS 45-270-SAA’s over 13.0 grs HS-6 . It has worked quite well on a really, really aggressive cow.

    1. avatar Lee the FOWG. says:

      Hey, that’s the same projectile I load. My launch pad is the 5.5″ Bisley Blackhawk. Although my load is propelled by 18.5g 2400. We have both blackies and grizz here in the mountains.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      For anything around here, the heaviest I load is a Speer 260 gr. soft tip hollow point over 9 grains of Unique for pistol. I have some rifle loads with the same bullet loaded over 11 grains of Unique that I haven’t tried out yet. I am sure they would blow up my 1873.

      1. avatar RGP says:

        I used to use heavy charges of Unique too but switched to HS6. I’d avoid anything over 10.0 grs Unique in a .45 Colt case and some people avoid using more than 9.0 grs. Heavy loads of Unique can become erratic and cause pressure spikes (I didn’t know this until recently).

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      RGP, you dare to hunt the wily cowsie-wowsie?

      1. avatar RGP says:

        She kept sending me up a tree.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Fourth reason to carry a revolver rather than a semi-auto handgun for self-defense: style.

    Most, if not all, semi-auto handguns seem to be soulless bricks. Revolvers on the other hand have a certain panache that semi-auto pistols never seem to achieve.

    And when I think of a “barbecue” handgun, I immediately think of beautiful revolvers with gorgeous wood grips.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      I made my own mammoth ivory grips that, for me, look and feel at least as good as any wood grips I have seen. Of course that is just an opinion. My father thinks rubber Pachmayrs are as nice as it gets but he also pontificates about how nice Chardonnay is so we can discard his opinion about pretty much everything;-)

      1. avatar RGP says:

        That reminds me, I need to go pick up my mammoth from the taxidermist.

        1. avatar Arc says:

          You can order it from Alaska and other places, plenty of it is preserved. Tbh, its ridiculous that ivory is a banned product in the USA.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      Nothing is more stylish than a John Moses Browning masterpiece like the 1911 or BHP.

      1. avatar Joel says:

        Agreed. A classy 1911 or BHP drips with style… But let’s face it, there are a few ugly revolvers and a few good lookin semi’s….

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        A classic 1911 with ivory grips and that extremely rare indescribably beautiful/fantastic deep bluing (where there are different shades of super dark blue with an almost opalescent quality) — THAT would be a semi-auto pistol that outshines any revolver.

        While I would love to own such a handgun, I cannot justify the price tag which I figure would be north of $3,000.

    3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      +1

    4. avatar pcb_duffer says:

      I, for one, don’t care how stylish my hammer is. I care that it works. Neither do I care about what my car’s wheels look like.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        pcb_duffer,

        Why not have both superb function and superb style if you can?

        1. avatar LampOfDiogenes says:

          While I do enjoy the sheer beauty of some handguns (a nickel Colt Python 6″ is arguably the most beautiful handgun ever made, IMHO, but I truly love a really nice 1911, as well), I would pick an ugly-ass handgun that worked, first time, every time, over a “beautiful” handgun that was even SLIGHTLY less reliable/accurate. Since I carry concealed, I could give less than a shart what my handgun looks like; I want that sucker to WORK.

      2. avatar Josh says:

        BBS makes probably the toughest AND best looking motorsport wheels in the industry.

        Forgelines are very attractive and tough as well.

  5. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Nothing optimistic about reloading a revolver in a fight. Been happening since before the semi-autos hit the scene. I generally have a revolver and auto at hand. And reloads for both.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Gadsden Flag,

      I camp, hike, and occasionally hunt in black bear country. Most “big” black bears in my neck of the woods are between 300 and 400 pounds. Once in a great while someone takes a huge 500+ pound black bear. In terms of a handgun, what would you carry for self-defense against such black bears.

      Disclaimer: yes, I know that long guns are far superior to any handgun for black-bear defense. Nevertheless I cannot carry around a long-gun all the time for multiple reasons when I am camping and hiking. Thus, I carry a large-frame revolver with a 6-inch barrel chambered in .44 Magnum, usually loaded with 240 grain softpoint bullets.

      1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Uncommon, black bears are not common where I live, but we do have them. We even had a couple of bear on human attacks a year or two ago. Wild hogs are a problem too. They can get big and mean. I generally carry a rifle, but when I can’t it’s my 6″ S&W 629 or my 4″ S&W 629 Mountain Gun. More rarely my 6″ stainless Python. Always armed.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Gadsden Flag,

          Sounds good to me. I carry a stainless steel Taurus .44 Magnum revolver with a six-inch barrel which is very similar to the Smith and Wesson model 629 with 6-inch barrel.

          The trigger on my Taurus revolver is excellent and the ported barrel, along with its impressive weight (54 ounces I believe) and outstanding aftermarket grips makes shooting surprisingly easy, controllable, and fun — even with hot loads.

      2. avatar John Davies says:

        You need to swap out those soft tip bullets for flat nose hard cast ones. You don’t want expansion so much as really deep penetration. Look for a heavy for caliber round like the excellent and affordable HSM .44 Mag 305 gr Bear Load. Use the dinky soft bullets for Range practice.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          John Davies,

          Thanks for the tip. I have kind of wondered about softpoint bullets for bear, hog, and deer defense. (Yes, white-tailed deer — both bucks and does — have actually attacked humans on occasion.)

          I figure it depends somewhat on the size of the animal attacking. Even those expanding softpoint bullets should go through-and-through just about anything in the 300 pound weight class. I have shot several white-tailed deer and every shot is a pass-through no matter what angle the deer presents, even the large buck that I shot. Remember, 240 grains (the weight of the softpoint bullets that I carry for animal defense) is a pretty darned heavy bullet with a lot of momentum when it exits the barrel of my revolver around 1,400 fps.

          As it turns out, I do have one box of the HSM 305 grain loads for .44 Magnum. I suppose I could carry those instead and be absolutely certain that I can stop pretty much anything in the Lower 48 states (coming out of my revolver with a six-inch barrel which boosts speed a bit over revolvers with shorter barrels).

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      When is the last time a non-leo DGU included a reload of a revolver?

      As to police shootings, there’s a good reason they moved away from them. James Pence can attest to that. Well, he can’t, but…

      1. avatar RGP says:

        Bigger reason for the shift to autoloaders was more a shift from American to European manufacturers. That was a direct result of a then pathetic level of “Quality Control” at both Colt and Smith & Wesson.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          The reason the shifted to semis is the same reason the military did. You can train Private Snuffy to be proficient with a 1911 faster than you could with a revolver. You can substitute the semi of your choice.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Hannibal,

        I agree that a 5-shot revolver will enable a righteous defender to emerge without any significant physical injuries from 98% of violent attacks.

        I personally want a very high probability of being able to emerge without any significant physical injuries from the remaining 2% of attacks where a 5-shot revolver is insufficient. That is the only reason why I carry a reliable semi-auto pistol with a 15-round magazine (and at least one spare magazine) almost all the time.

        1. avatar Joel says:

          It’s good to be prepared, but only a small percentage of people will ever need the gun they carry, and even smaller percentage will ever fire it. In that already small percentage of dgu’s that result in a shot fired, only 2% need more than 5 rounds…..

          On the flip side, probably a few hundred Americans a day, will find themselves in situations where they wished they had a gun. Any gun. Imagine a scenario where a couple guys walk into a dinner, pull guns and demand money. What’s better? One guy with a glock 19 or 6 guys with 5 shot NNA revolvers? The point is, I’m glad 3-4% of law abiding Americans Choose to carry everyday. But I’d prefer that percentage to be more like 20-30%. Small, easy to carry pistols are key to more people carrying.

        2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Joel,

          I have decided that violent crime would diminish to zero (or effectively zero) if just 16% — that is one out of every six — adults were armed in public

          And I believe that would hold true even if they only carried 5-shot revolvers.

      3. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Hannibal, I don’t know when the last non LEO DGU reload occurred. Revolver or semi-auto, but I feel better having one for either.

      4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        You’re a lot more likely to be struck dead from lightning than to need a reload in even a 5 shot .38 special.

        That said, I carry a speed strip (12 rounds full bore .357 loads in all). They’re just too damn convenient not to carry. Just hope you have about 10 seconds free if you actually need to use it.

  6. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    But a semi-automatic pistol has a lot more moving parts — bits that can become damaged or wear out — than a wheelgun.

    Actually, I believe that statement is incorrect: most semi-auto pistols actually have fewer moving parts than revolvers. Nevertheless, I agree that revolvers seem to be notably more reliable than semi-auto pistols.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      It’s not the internal mechanical parts that can screw you, it’s getting the rounds in and out of the chamber. That said, there are semi-autos out there that are so reliable as to make this point nearly mute. But then reliability is just one of many advantages revolvers have.

  7. avatar tdiinva says:

    A repeat of a repeat so I will repeat my critique

    Simplicity: False. Manual of Arms includes reloads. Automatics win hands down. Revolvers are for enthusiasts. Long double action pull, heavy recoil and if you don’t practice you won’t hit anything which is the objective afterall. A non enthusiast will come home from the range with a sore wrist and hand after 50 rounds, will develop a flinch and never shoot it again especially a magnum snubbie.

    Reliable? No more reliable than any modern striker fired pistol. And when they break, it’s gunsmith time. Please don’t let them get dirty because they will certainly fail.

    Stopping Power: False. No such thing remember. If you are talking about a carry pistol you can match the power in .357 sig, .45 +P or 10mm.

    1. avatar Victoria Illinois says:

      A repeat article with no name?
      Is the author embarassed by what he/she wrote? Are they in the witness protection program? Are they afraid of angry letters to the editor? If I had an article officially published/printed/posted on a ‘famous” website, I’d be proud to put my name on it….or I wouldn’t write it.

  8. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    The only place where a revolver shines for me is in the woods. Either deer hunting or hiking in bear territory. Since I don’t own a 10mm semi auto(yet) I’d be more likely to pack a 44 mag. Otherwise I will keep my semi autos. P.S. I can dry fire practice my CZs all day long.

    Notice above I said for me…. I like both revolvers and semi autos but I prefer semi for my own protection.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Hey Jeff,

      I have a Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum with 7.25 inch barrel — the top strap is drilled and tapped for a scope rail which I also have. I bought it for deer hunting without realizing that my dad had just purchased a Taurus Raging Bull revolver with 8-inch barrel for deer hunting — which he figured that I would use almost exclusively. (You have to seriously love your dad when he purchases a fantastic huge revolver figuring that you will use it a lot!)

      Now that I have unfettered access to his Taurus Raging Bull revolver, I find that I have little use for the Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk. Let me know if you ever want to take it for a spin in hopes of buying it.

      Note: the trigger on that Taurus Raging Bull revolver is the nicest trigger that I have ever experienced. I wish Ruger made factory triggers like that.

      1. avatar Dave G. says:

        uncommon_sense:
        “I wish Ruger made factory triggers like that.”

        I think the double action trigger on my Ruger GP100 Match Championin .357 mag. is the best double action trigger I have ever encountered. Try one and see if you agree.

  9. avatar The Ferret says:

    1) If manipulating a semi-auto is too complicated for you, you should not be carrying a handgun of any kind. If you cannot invest 15-20 minutes into learning the deadly weapon you will be carrying, you have no business carrying.

    2) In many cases, semi-autos are LESS mechanically complex than revolvers, and though revolvers are probably more reliable in the big picture, the mean time to failure of both platforms are so high that it is not a practical discussion for carry.

    3) Yes revolvers have access to loads that far exceed what you can find in semi-autos, but you will not be carrying them on a daily basis. .38 special is pretty much interchangeable with 9mm, just more expensive and you will have less of them in the gun.

    Here are some actual reasons why you might consider a revolver as a carry gun.

    a) They are immune to limp wristing, meaning you cannot cause a failure due to improper grip. There are times when even pros may fail to have a proper grip in a fight.

    b) Because they do not have a slide, they do not require any clearance in front or behind the gun to fire. This allows them to be fired from inside a bag or purse (don’t carry in a purse please), as well as makes them immune from being pushed out of battery by a contact shot, where the slide is pushed back slightly because the muzzle is being pressed against the target.

    This website is called the Truth About Guns. There are millions of people who just purchased firearms or are about to due to the unrest in this country. We should be providing them with accurate and useful information, not flame bait and fudd.

    1. avatar Sam in Ohio says:

      +1!

      I especially love the commentators who advocate, “If you’re not willing to invest ___ minutes to learn the manual of arms…” for a semi-auto. Counter-point is that the DA trigger of a decent revolver isn’t that hard to learn in order to shoot accurately. I hadn’t shot a revolver in a long time, but the knowledge I gained in shooting one 34 years ago came right back before the first re-load.

      Ditto with the so-called extra recoil of the generally more powerful revolver “defense” cartridges. Invest a little time learning to handle it and if you can’t, eat some Wheaties.

      Bottom line, there’s advantages and disadvantages of each. Semis have general advantages in capacity, rate of fire, weight, if a polymer frame, concealment and speed of reload (Arguable advantage. If you need more than 5-6 rounds, you probably should have run.) Revolvers have the advantage generally in cartridge power, less sensitive to ammo, reliability and always remember that when a round fails to fire on a DA revolver, pull the trigger again and a fresh round rotates up to be fired.

      1. avatar Joel says:

        Sam I had a similar experience. The first time I had shot a firearm of any type in 12 years, was the day I qualified for my chl. I ran through the firing drill twice (just for fun the second time around). Once with a Beretta 92 and once with the dao Taurus 85ch that I actually planned to carry. I didn’t have any problems accurately shooting what was supposed to be an “experts gun”. I had done a lot of dry fire practice in anticipation of range day, and I am sure it helped.

  10. avatar enuf says:

    I own and carry both at different times under different conditions. When it gets down to a matter of choosing the gun that fits the most defensive needs all in one package it’s a full size 9mm pistol, right side holster, two spare magazines.

  11. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

    “A revolver couldn’t be easier. Open the gate, insert cartridges (bullets face forward), close the gate.”

    Good luck getting them to fit any other way… 🙂

    1. avatar RGP says:

      It’s easy, use a smaller size cartridge and it can then go in backwards.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        (snicker)

      2. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        “It’s easy, use a smaller size cartridge and it can then go in backwards.”

        If you’re that stupid, you deserve to lose that gunfight… 🙂

        1. avatar Dave G. says:

          Geoff:
          He’s just KIDDING.

  12. avatar d says:

    With the days of riots, only high capacity autos for me

  13. avatar Not Larry from Texas says:

    Cause you can’t afford a Glock?

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Unless you want a Taurus revolvers are more expensive.

    2. avatar Montana Actual says:

      mmm I know some pretty expensive revolvers. My dream would be a S&W PC Model 327. That’s a bad bitch and at $1300, it’s a tad more than a Glock. I own a couple glocks and working on a p80 but nothing beyond gen 4.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        I’ve had a long standing hankering for an SP101 in .327 Federal, but no one but Ruger, I think, has adopted the cartridge. and I suspect that it may vanish.

        1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

          Save the brass, and reload…

        2. avatar LazrBeam says:

          Mark, once upon a time several manufacturers marketed revolvers in .327 Fed Mag. S&W, Taurus, Charter Arms, as well as Ruger. Of these, I believe only Ruger remains. The cartridge is just simply badass. I’ve got a Taurus 327 with a 3 in ported barrel and it’s a tackdriver. I also have a Ruger SP 101 in SS with a 3 in barrel and it’s a joy to shoot. And, a Ruger LCR as well as an LCRx and both conceal easily. All of these are 6 shooters vice 5. My latest acquisition in .327 is a Ruger Single Seven w/ 5 1/2 in barrel. The .327 Fed Mag is a highly under appreciated chambering. Get the SP101, for starters, and you won’t be disappointed. Oh, did I mention my Henry Big Boy in, you guessed it, .327 Fed Mag?

        3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          there were some freedom arms in .327 as well. but the biggest boost in acceptance may be the henry rifle and carbines.
          it would make a great derringer or naa round.

  14. avatar jwm says:

    I have both. Just as I have semi, pump and break action shotguns. They all have their use. My g19 is going to be my shtf sidearm. But my j frame is my go to everyday gun.

    The type of malfunctions I’ve seen and experienced with handguns go something like this. The majority of handgun stoppages happen because of bad ammo. The revolver gets this out of the way with a simple pull of the trigger. The auto loader can choke on bad ammo and it can choke on a bad mag. Neither thing is a major deal. Stoppages are fairly easy to clear. But if you truly believe you’re not going to be able to reload a revolver in action how do you think you’ll do better clearing an autoloaders stoppage?

    I’ve been shooting for 55 years, at least. I’ve seen mechanical failures that rendered a revolver useless less than 5 times in those years. Buy a decent brand and clean it regular and you will not have much to worry over.

    Every time I go to a range I see folks with semis that hang up. Every time. And a lot of these folks haven’t a clue as to what to do when their autoloader jams. If you cannot clear a routine jam on a semi without monkey fucking the thing all around the shooting bench you are better served with a revolver.

    My 2 cents worth.

    1. avatar Dave G. says:

      jwm:
      I’ve been shooting revolvers for about 37 years. (Got a late start with handguns.) Only ever have had one (1) stoppage with a revolver. That was when shooting some commercially produced reloads where a round didn’t have any powder in it. The primer started the bullet into the forcing cone and jammed the thing up good and proper. That was on the range, but I would not be here now if it had been during an altercation. After that, I stopped using reloads, since I have not chosen to reload my own in a very long time. (See below.)
      On the other hand, I, myself, failed to put powder in an 8mm Mauser reload about 50 years ago. In that case, the bullet didn’t move, when I tried to fire it. In light of the later revolver experience, I still wonder why the 8mm bullet didn’t budge. Anyway, got my ass chewed really good by a range safety officer for the 8mm flub.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I had the exact same thing with a reload in a S&W Model 19. Locked the cylinder up until I drove the stuck bullet out with a cleaning rod. At the time I was reloading my own stuff but that load was from a range buddy. That was 40+ years ago and I haven’t trusted others reloads since.

        As I’ve said. Less than 5 times I’ve had a revolver malf to the point it would have been out of the fight.

        Just to put it in perspective I’ve witnessed dozens of folks gripping their semis wrong and dropping their mags on the ground. If those folks had been in a fight and like a lot of concealed carriers only carrying the one mag they would have been hosed, also.

  15. avatar Stephen Burkhalter says:

    Sorry, but the stopping power argument in a small snub-nose is a joke. I use to work in Police Supply, and in one contract we supplied S & W Scandium revolvers as backups for a large suburban department. I can’t tell you how many of the big Swat Team guys absolutely detested trying to qualify with a .357 in that gun. The reality is for the average untrained civilian a small 9 mm will be much more effective as the chances of getting a follow up with that small .357 are slim to nil. OTOH, there is nothing wrong with carrying a revolver in the right caliber they are fine self defense weapons. And it certainly makes since in Bear country although I’m fine with 10mm.

  16. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I continue to go back to my two biggest reasons for recommending a revolver, especially for older people who have problems racking a slide due to muscle loss and lack of grip strength:

    1. The manual of arms for a DA/SA revolver is easier. Load it, close the cylinder, you’re ready to go. When you need it, pull the trigger, or cock the hammer and then pull the trigger. Simple.

    2. The failure drill on a revolver is much simpler than a semi-auto: Pull the trigger again. There’s no failure to eject due to limp-wristing it. There’s no tap-rack-bang. Just pull the trigger again.

    This is especially useful for people who are too old, too poor or too busy to practice at the range. It’s all well and good for those who can practice well and frequently to advocate semi-autos – but put yourself into the shoes of someone who can’t. Now how good would you be if you didn’t practice a tap-rack-bang drill, and have the strength to rack the slide without even thinking about it?

    I maintain that for older folks who don’t have the means, an old police turn-in S&W Model 10 (or similar) .38 Special loaded with Federal Hydry-Shok or similar ammo can suit them quite well.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I’ve said it many times here. For 99.9% of legit citizen DGUs a model 10 will do quite nicely. You do not need a safe full of different types of guns to survive a bad event.

      Choice is great. But a fair number of folks confuse want with need.

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        The police want 15 round cap handguns. Do they really need them? I do know that if they had stayed with revolvers, the police would have been outgunned by criminals long ago. Because that is what happened in the 1920s.
        The police had revolvers. And Pretty Boy Floyd, or people like him, had machine guns and hand grenades. A criminals 1911 with 7 or 9 rounds beats a police issue 5 shot 38 everyday of the week.

        At the FBI miami FL shootout. The agents left their heavy firepower weapons elsewhere. So when they came up against criminals with better guns it was very bad for the FBI on that day.

        If you live in the country perhaps a revolver is all you need. But for us city dwellers with teams of gangs to contend with. I will still carry my ruger p89. With three 17 round mags.

        1. avatar Darkman says:

          P89 the Tank of the 90’s. I wouldn’t trade mine for any of the newer semi’s on the market. Mine eats anything you put in it and I’ve never had an issue in 26 years of service.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      I am sure an arthritic senior can easily pull a 12lb trigger and handle the recoil of a-frame. /sarc.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Why 12#? Why not 7#? Do you think DG can’t make that happen?

      2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        And the same arthritic person (arthritis is not just a condition of the elderly, BTW) is going to be able to grip a slide well enough to rack the slide?

        I don’t think you’re thinking this all the way through.

    3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      You don’t need to be a novice to benefit from #2. Generally speaking, when people believe they’re under lethal attack and their gun goes click they go straight to panic mode. No matter how much training you have the first thing you’re going to do is pull the trigger again.

    4. avatar GS650G says:

      I have a colt official police I would trust my life to. 158 grain jacketsd hollow points will do enough damage and it’s trigger is good enough for me .

      1. avatar LazrBeam says:

        I’m fond of 158 gr LSWCHP plus P’s in my .38 Spcs. Yeah, it requires more cleaning after a shooting session but my belief is that those rounds are hard to beat in a SD situation.

  17. avatar Montana Actual says:

    S&W PC Model 327. Yessir. I’d rock that if I had $1300 to blow on a revolver. But I have only been “collecting” guns for a little over 5 years and still have yet to see a revolver being a “practical” purchase. Maybe one day.

  18. avatar Cloudbuster says:

    I’ve got a .357 Magnum snubnose. I keep it loaded with .38 +P, which is a bit less power than 9mm, because the .357 Magnum stings my palm. Need to grip harder, I guess. I carry my snubnose because it’s more comfortable and concealable than my Glock 26, but if I’m going into the city to work on my rentals, I carry the Glock.

  19. avatar JB says:

    This article was originally published in 1987.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      You’re sure it wasn’t 1957?

  20. avatar strych9 says:

    Wheel guns have their place. To me it’s mostly as a range toy, but I do rock a revolver as my bear gun since it was cheap on sale a couple years back (not sure why but whatever, Ruger makes a pretty good product IME) because carrying a 12 gauge while wading in rivers and dealing with fly line isn’t useful.

    Given the current situation however, in terms of carry or HD, a revolver would be my absolute last choice for dealing with a group of people.

    I hope the recent reporting on the two people in St. Louis is either in error or the mob decides to leave them alone, but if not and that touches off some serious shit, I certsinly won’t be rocking a wheelie for carry other than as a BUG.

    1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

      “I hope the recent reporting on the two people in St. Louis is either in error or the mob decides to leave them alone,…”

      What news is that?

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Really? My bet is that if they had fired one round from a .500 S&W into the crowd, they’d have had 2-3 dead and 25 unconscious on their lawn, what do you think would do better?

  21. avatar C.S. says:

    Modern ammunition standards made it reliable enough for the automatic pistol, like Browning’s early 1900’s designs. The best part about a revolver is in dealing with the ammo, eg: bad primer, squib and special loads. I’ve heard a lot of trick shot shooting was done with wax loads back in the dinosaur days. Not to say stuff like that couldn’t be done with semiauto pistols, but for things like blank rounds usually require modification.

  22. avatar Jimmy says:

    Regarding side arms, I have both semi-autos and revolvers. I certainly think both are important tools for personal safety. I respect both, but I especially love revolvers. 😀

  23. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Top reason for carrying a revolver – .357 magnum.

    1. avatar LazrBeam says:

      .327 Federal Magnum. There, fixed it for you. You’re welcome.

      1. avatar Bortan says:

        If you can reliably find ammo.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Either-or, both-and.

  24. avatar jakee308 says:

    Good to see evidence of something I’ve always known; mechanical stuff will break. I don’t care how reliable they have been in the past. The odds are still the same; stuff breaks.

    I’ve always looked askance when folks say that revolvers are so much more reliable than a semi-auto. Maybe back in the early 20th century or some brands of Saturday night specials (and revolver styles of them broke too.) but not all that more than regular.

    Now what DOES happen is that Semis can be misoperated and cause a couple of well known failures. That’s different. That’s operator error. And Revolvers are pretty good about that; put in shells, close cylinder pull trigger repeat till empty. Yep very few Ftf’s there and there’s no expel of the cartridge to that doesn’t happen. Bad ammo can cause some things for both.

    After hearing about these S&W locks, I’m going to make sure I never get one. No matter the price.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      They can easily be removed, and there are videos on the net to show you how.

    2. avatar Dave G. says:

      I have an S&W 642 with an internal lock. The lock pretty stiff and hasn’t ever moved on its own, but if it ever does, I think a little Lock-Tite will fix it up just fine.

  25. avatar Scooter says:

    Decided to shoot my LCR a 350 round session wadcutters mostly and +p defensive loads. Shot 10-8 yard dots, FBI bullseye, and my favorite speed and accuracy drill Ken Hackathorn’s wizard drill. Two times out of 100 cartridges I hit the cylinder with my thumb interrupting the rotation of the cylinder causing the hammer to fall on an empty cylinder. I don’t consider myself a great revolver shooter with that said a novice shooter could very easily do what I did. Quality revolvers and quality semi autos are equally reliable WHEN the operated properly. One isn’t superior to the other both have strengths and weaknesses.

  26. avatar Nate in CA says:

    One answer, two parts: Image.
    Everyone understands the message conveyed when staring at the muzzle end of a loaded wheelgun.
    Worst case scenario, a small pocket revolver looks far more civilized in a court of law than a scary black murder pistol.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Seeing those copper faces smiling from the cylinder leaves no doubt it’s loaded and ready to go. There is a subliminal effect there.

      1. avatar Geoff "Guns. LOTS of guns..." PR says:

        “Seeing those copper faces smiling from the cylinder leaves no doubt it’s loaded and ready to go.”

        Literally : 🙂

        https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/ammo-review-alchemist-ammunition-c3-zclean/

  27. avatar former water walker says:

    Well this senior citizen has no problem with a semiautomatic pistol.Absolutely agree with tdinva. I’ve had revolver’s too. Gimme a modern polymer piece. And an AR15. Not 19th century technology…oh & 38special sux. Happy 4th! My idiot neighbor Eduardo has some especially noisy fireworks(and a young son). I betcha I can “out-noise” him😃😎😏

  28. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Ehhhh…. I dunno.

    I love revolvers and learned to shoot revolvers first. Autos were problematic at best and pathetic at worst when feeding hollowpoint bullets.

    The Beretta, Sig, and then Glock paved the way as far as reliable bullet-hoses go. Revolvers – size for size (not weight) handle more powerful cartidges.

    So while revolver do sell well today, there are distinct groups.

    Small revolvers for defense in a variety of calibers like 22 and 38 (yes – 9mm and 357 as well but most people buy a 357 and load 38s – always have).

    Then the bigger guns to handle the bigger medicine. Whether a double action 357 or 44 for home or animal defense or a single action for hunting or bigger animal defense.

    My main reasons to carry a revolver are: long familiarity; ease of carry (holster or pocket); and speed of deployment.

    Revolvers carry and conceal easier for me because they are rounder. Fewer spark edges poking up and out. And given same placement and holster design, I can draw and put a round on target faster with a DA revolver than an auto.

    But I have been shooting DA revolvers for almost 50 years. While I can teach a New Shooter to handle a model 10 or LCR in just a little time, a shooter that learned with Glocks has a hell of a time learning the revolver.

    If I can get a Glock shooter to forget “riding the reset” and stroke the trigger smoothly, things go better. If not, it’s a frustrating day for both of us.

    The other stuff about reloading and ammo is useless if they cant hit the target with the rounds in the gun.

    I find most “grown assed men” who are new to shooting end up passing on the revolver for something they can use to miss a lot in a short amount of time. New shooters who are female will gravitate to what fits the hand and is easy to manipulate repeatedly.

    YMMV

    1. avatar LazrBeam says:

      Let’s not overlook the .327 Fed Mag.

  29. avatar Ralph says:

    And the number 1 reason for carrying a revolver is: less evidence left behind.

    1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Gets more confusing with the 9mm revolvers if the evidence techs are not up to speed.

      1. avatar Wheel gun guy says:

        To further confuse the evidence techs, I have a 40sw revolver.

      2. avatar Wheel gun guy says:

        Colt makes a revolver that shoots 10mm or 40sw

  30. avatar Montesa_VR says:

    I just gave up on my LCRx. I have large hands and I couldn’t fire it without my trigger finger getting whacked with the trigger guard. I thought maybe the slight extra weight of the x would help compared to the LCR but it didn’t make much difference. And unlike the LCR, I shot way low with the LCRx. I can shoot accurately with a Glock 19, a Ruger GP100 with 158 grain .357 loads, or a Colt detective special firing .38s. I can shoot very accurately with a Springfield XDM. I also shot well with a Smith Bodyguard in .380 using a laser sight.

    If you’re going to the range with a semiauto, better have a mag loader. Otherwise the revolver is a lot more fun. But for carry, pick something you shoot so well that it makes you feel like you can’t miss.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      i can load big magazines all day and still not have the callus on my right thumb that gran turismo has permanated on my left. don’t own a magloader.

  31. avatar Shwiggie says:

    When it comes right down to it I don’t see much practical reason for a revolver these days unless you’re a hunter. That said, I’ve bought four revolvers over the past year…I still love shooting them. That’s not a practical reason, but it’s reason enough.

  32. avatar The Rookie says:

    I like both revolvers and semi-autos, though I generally carry a semi-auto. IMHO, revolvers have two areas where they hold an advantage over semi-autos:

    1. More tolerant of certain user errors. (Limpwristing, etc.)

    2. Able to eat a wide variety of ammo types – hot loaded, cowboy action, hollow point, hardcast, shotshell, ad infinitum without reliability concerns.

    The one thing I would say might be a problem for a new gun owner with a revolver is knowing how to lower the hammer safely. I can see riding the trigger while lowering the hammer being a pretty easy mistake to make for someone not familiar with how a transfer bar works.

    1. avatar adverse6 says:

      Safety is always a concern, if I’m out shooting a revolver and comes time to lower the hammer on a live round, that, (like a plane taking off or landing), is the critical moment. I want to have it pointed at a whole lot of nothing.

  33. avatar Hoodlum says:

    I have to say reason #4 is the style factor. I love my Ruger SP101. Put Hogue grips on it. And my Tucker holster is damn comfortable with it.

  34. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    There are revolvers other than a 5 shot 357/38. How about a 7 shot 32 H&R magnum. Or a ten shot in 22 caliber? Or how about 327 magnum? All with lower recoil and more rounds.

    1. avatar LazrBeam says:

      +10 on the .327 Fed Mag.

  35. avatar possum says:

    Revolver number one for doing dirt

  36. avatar WI Patriot says:

    While not my EDC(SiG 1911), I’ll carry a wheelgun(Taurus 3″ 692) for a primary every now and again, otherwise, I ALWAYS carry a wheelgun(Taurus 3″ 692) as a secondary…

  37. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

    Where revolvers outshine semi-autos in certain instances is the fact too many women are not mechanically inclined and a semi-auto handgun is a “mechanical device” which if you don’t carry with one in the chamber we all know requires extra steps to fire ie. disengagng the safety and racking the slide which is one reason I suggest revolvers to my female friends who aren’t that familar with firearms as they, revolvers, are literally “point & shoot”. One thing we must not discount is the “stress factor” ie. remembering the steps required to load and fire when under pressure.

    Another plus for revolvers particularly where females are concerned is finger/wrist/forearm strength, a majority of women are deficient in that area, it’s a result of not performing physical labor at the same rate as males thus racking a slide can be difficult. Sure a fair number of women possess the requisite strength to rack a slide but from my experience far too many don’t and in a “life & death” situation I want those I advise to prevail thus more often than not I recommend the revolver over the semi-auto.

    In my case my soon-to-be wife has MS thus racking a slide even on my well broken in Star BM is difficult, watching her struggle and resorting to twisting and manipulating the handgun (unloaded of course) in ways I considered “unsafe” in order to get the leverage necessary to chamber a round (snap cap) was a huge concern (she tried other models but none we found sufficed) thus I suggested she try the revolver. After just a few minutes watching her practice in the home I was confident my fiancee’ could and would perform admirably at our local outdoor range. On her first outing using a Rossi 685 .38 special (5 round) with 2-1/2 barrel and 130gr cartridges she did exceptionally well, of the first fifteen (15) all but four hit the torso near “center mass” of the human-sized target at twenty-one feet, with one nailing the perp in the left shoulder. Our visit was a huge success considering this was only her third time at the range, her previous experience in using firearms was one instance two decades ago where her ex-husband handed her (without instruction) a 12 gauge shotgun which promptly put her on her ass souring her to the sport (it took some to persuade her to try firearnms again) and to firing my late father’s JC Higgins 42DL bolt-action .22 at both fifty (50′) feet on her first outing and fifty (50) yards at her second, on each occasion all but five rounds were “in the black” in or close to bullseyes.

    The fiancee’ can’t wait to return to the range, we are working on her reloading using H & K speedloaders right now, she is learning to properly orient the revolver, tipping it up, pressing the rod down to eject the spent shells then pointing it down to insert the tips of cartridges then turning the knob to release them into the cylinder. My bride-to-be has made it clear she likes the idea of “pew, pew, pew” ie. dumping an entire semi-auto’s magazine into a target, if/when we find a suitable handgun I’m unsure if I’ll get one for her, that’s a decision to be made later.

    The best news is that this formerly unfamilar with firearms female I’m about to marry has announced she wants a CCW (Concealed Carry Permit) it’s a direct result of becoming comfortable with a particular firearm, the current unrest throughout the nation, and her medical condition, she’s resolved not to be a victim, quite a huge step for someone, a “city girl” who once saw no need for a firearm nor a desire to learn how to use one. I can thank both my mom and dad (NRA instructor) for my introduction to firearms and later the Boy Scouts, I won’t be jealous if the fiancee’ surpasses me in proficiency as my mother did with my father in the city’s pistol league in the 1960s.

    1. avatar SportsDen says:

      Have you had your fiancé try the S&W M&P EZ pistols? They come in 380 and 9mm, and were designed for folks who have trouble racking slides, such as my wife who has arthritic hands.

      1. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

        Thank you for the suggestion and “yes” she has tried the S & W “M & P” twice, they were up for bid at the local country auction on two separate occasions despite repeated attempts it was a “no go”. The fiancee’ is working out, trying to strengthen her fingers/hands/wrist/forearm but it’s slow-going. I thought she would have a harder time with the revolver having to operate it in “single action” manually cocking the hammer before firing but no the “double action” has been no problem for her.

        I was encouraged when it was announced the re-released Remington R51 was to be a “light racking” handgun but now, after watching/reading reviews, we all know it’s a piece of crap.

        1. avatar Another Ed says:

          If you want a pistol that is easy to rack look for a 9mm Parabellum 7+1 capacity used Boberg Arms XR9-S or a new Bond Arms Bullpup (based on the Boberg Arms design). Since they use a rotating barrel action the recoil spring is very light. The double action trigger pull is around 7 pounds.

          If you want something with more capacity, check out the Beretta PX4 Storm, also with a rotating barrel action.

  38. avatar Jimmy James says:

    Simplicity? Timing can be an issue. Reliability? I ve had 2 revolvers break internally while firing at the range. Compact stopping power? Buy a commander or officer sized 1911 in 45acp or 38super (very comparable ballistics to 357mag).

    1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      Taurus? Rock Island? Because it’s hard to believe one person in a single lifetime has had bad enough luck to encounter “2 revolvers break internally while firing at the range“ unless those revolvers were junk to start with, were late 19th/early 20th century DA revolver’s, or someone incompetent attempted an “action job”. Anyone who owns or has owned quality revolvers (Colt/Ruger/S&W) knows this claim of breakage while firing at range, (twice no doubt), is likely pure BS. Quality revolvers wear over time just like any tool or machine, but rarely “break”. I love and still own the Python and S&W 13/19/586 revolvers I’ve had for decades, but no longer carry because they’re too heavy, bulky, & valuable. My preferred concealed pistol is the P365, the P226 for duty carry. My wife & daughters all chose J-frames because they are simple & reliable.

      1. avatar WI Patriot says:

        Taurus may have had issues with their semi’s, but their wheelguns are rock solid…

        1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          All Taurus/Ross firearms i have a staggering higher percentage of quality control issues. That’s why Taurus/Rossi are #1 in warranty returns of all major firearms manufacturers and have been for over a decade. The high percentage of warranty returns is why Taurus/Rossi has a customer service apparatus in place to make warranty returns difficult and why they require the customer to pay return shipping both ways. If you’ve made it past the first 3 or 4 boxes of ammo in your new Taurus/Rossi firearm without discovering a quality control defect you’re probably in the clear. A common quality control issue with Taurus revolvers is double action failure to fire, same with Rossi revolving rifles and handguns. There’s a reason that you should NEVER buy a fire sale priced used Taurus or Rossi at a gun show, odds it’s a defective gun someone’s trying to (pardon the pun) unload.

  39. avatar Grumpy Old Guy says:

    My simple logic is there are good reasons why police departments and armed forces all switched to semi-automatics. For the general population, its a better weapon overall. Some old timers may have extensive experience and decide a revolver is good for their purposes and they may be right. Personally, I like the feel of a well made revolver that has been hand fitted to work precisely and smoothly. It is something lost with the design for manufacture plastic fantastic. That however does not make it the best tool for a general purpose carry gun.

    1. avatar Specialist38 says:

      The police changed to autos to take advantage of mathematical probability.

      When they used revolvers, the hit ratio was 10-15%.

      Switching to autos did not increase the hit ratio but increased the number of hits per load by 2.5x. (15 vs 6).

      Plus service autos don’t come in “magnum” calibers that cause public angst.

      Scores may have gone up a little as most agencies are dumping the harder kicking 40 for the 9mm.

      I say most departments should go to the 32acp. Very low recoil and wont do as much damage from errant rounds off target.

    2. avatar adverse6 says:

      The same reasons a revolver used to be a carry firearm apply today. With better built revolvers and better ammo. However, a semi auto is a better spray and pray firearm. A semi-auto is, in my opinion, a better choice for concealed. That does not make a revolver obsolete. It’s the defender that makes the difference.

  40. avatar possum says:

    At any rate , it’s a glorious day to be an American. Freedom, freedumb, whatever, I’m glad I live here ,,,,, check out that possum salute, to My Country. I love this bitch

  41. avatar Frank says:

    Revolver..? I did the math and came up with the figures. 6rds. Or 16 rds. Hmmmmm. We as Americans have whitenessed anarchy all across this nation and 16 rds suites me just fine…

    1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      Another reason to always carry a handgun is that you you might need It to fight your way to a rifle. Also important to always have reload ammo on your person, 30 extra rounds in a couple of mags vs 5 or 6 speedloaders is another reason revolvers aren’t the best defensive carry choice if the threat is a rioting mob of anarchist.

    2. avatar WI Patriot says:

      Unless of coarse have an FTF, or an FTE, or a mag failure, or a stovepipe, or…
      At least with a wheelgun, if it doesn’t go “BANG”, you pull the trigger again, no fancy smancy immediate action involved…

      1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

        Unless of course you’ve got defective Taurus or Rossi revolver that too frequently are shipped with quality control defects resulting in double action failure to fire. Also, if you frequently encounter the malfunctions you describe and detest clearing with “fancy smancy” techniques, good chance your pistol is a Taurus.

        1. avatar WI Patriot says:

          You have a real chip on your shoulder…it’s gun snobs like you, putting out erroneous information that gives all gun owners a bad name…
          Instead of spewing rhetoric, try backing up what you say with hard evidence…
          Go disparage somewhere else…

        2. avatar Wheel gun guy says:

          I have multiple Taurus and Rossi firearms in revolvers and semi auto. I have Taurus weapons of all flavors that have thousands of rounds though them . In 30 years of owning Taurus firearms I had ONE problem with a weapon , my wife’s pt22 cracked one of the pink pearl grips . Taurus replaced the grips . I’m happy with every Taurus and Rossi I own.

  42. avatar American Patriot says:

    Yeah…tell that shit to the military & police around the world & you try it in the middle of a riot….I’d like to watch it on TV.

  43. avatar Grumpy 49 says:

    Biggest plus for a revolver versus an autoloader is when you have to rack the slide. IF you have the strength, an autoloader is preferred. Once you get older or have less strength, a revolver is a more “user friendly” option. Old folks and some women don’t always have the strength to rack even a 9mm slide. (Yes – I use an ACTION JACK cocking tool to rack my P89 slide.)

    Modern DA/SA revolvers can be “cocked” for single action (lighter trigger pull) for easier handling. The long double action trigger pull is a “passive” safety. Autoloaders should be carried with the Safety ON! Think of how you would feel if you need to use a gun, and forgot to flip the Safety off.

  44. avatar Libertarian says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mateba_Autorevolver

    Ore carry an semi revolver in .454 Casull ^^

  45. avatar Bemused Berserker says:

    I own, shoot and carry both (revolver is usually in the winter or hiking/camping). For 4 Legged Predators, you need that oomph a 6″ -8″ inch barrel can give you (4″ minimum). What you’re loading and shot placement are what counts. Buffalo Bore 180 JHP is good but I prefer their 180 gr Lead Gas Check for it’s better penetration. Underwood has their solid copper 120gr, but they’re never in stock at my LGS. I used to carry 158 gr JSP’s in the woods, but switched to Buffalo Bore a couple years back.
    With component prices being what they are these days, I only handload plinking/target ammo, so I’ve not tried a cookbook load.

  46. avatar Mark-in-Indy says:

    Top 3 reasons…
    1. Snakes.
    2. Snakes.
    3. Most revolver calibers are easy to custom reload, you know, maybe for snakes.
    That should cover it.

  47. avatar Alan says:

    Push coming to shove, given the choice between a properly maintained double/single action pistol and the standard double action, open hammer revolver, my choice would be the pistol. I’ve had a state issued carry permit for a great many years, and when I go armed, I carry the above described pistol, full magazine, round in the chamber, hammer down. To each their own.

  48. avatar Mark says:

    Ever try to shoot a .357 out of a 2 inch barrel? Ha ha ha ha…. you might hit someone 3 yards away. .38 works. .327 magnum works. I have a SW 642 and it does well with 130 grain loads. But the loooonnnggggg trigger pull in the revolver makes it difficult to put an accurate second shot on target if your trying to put any speed on it like 1.5 seconds.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Soooo… don’t do that. Don’t try to shoot a .357 out of a 2″ barrel. Shoot a .38 Special instead.

      Complaints like this are sort of like someone rushing into the ER with a sharp stick in their eye, whining:

      “Doctor! It hurts when I shove a sharpened stick in my eye!”

      What’s the Doc going to say? I can tell you what 99.999% of MD’s will say, and I’ve never been to medical school:

      They’re going to say: “Don’t shove a sharp stick in your eye – either eye – and you won’t feel that pain. That will be $250 for the office visit.”

      1. avatar LazrBeam says:

        Or, might I suggest .327 Federal Magnum instead of the .38 Spl. Just sayin’. I’ve been on a crusade for the .327 for……forever, or at least the last few years.

    2. avatar WI Patriot says:

      “Ever try to shoot a .357 out of a 2 inch barrel?”

      Yup, it’s a pain, that’s why I went to .38 +P…
      Additionally, if you can’t hit something(your intended target) from more than 3yds away, you’d better up your game, and snubbies weren’t meant for trying to make 50yd(extreme example) shots…snubbies are for the most part, close in, “get off me guns”, and visual deterrents that will get the job done when necessary…

    3. avatar Specialist38 says:

      Funny.

      To paraphrase Elmer Keith – The more I practice, the luckier I get.

      If you cant handle 357, shoot 38s. I guess 9mm is a little less stout than 357 in a snub as is 327.

      327 keeps its velocity pretty well in a snub. Finding ammo is the hard part.

  49. avatar SoCalJack says:

    To be able to reliably shoot multiple rounds from a jacket pocket is a benefit to concealed carry revolvers. I got to see that in one of my renewal CCW classes.

  50. avatar MB says:

    I love revolvers as much as I love pistols.

    You can also carry some “stopping power” in the semi-auto platform, while the .357mag is often the standard to which other self defense rounds are measure, I think .45acp or 10mm would also be considered serious “stopping power” in a handgun.

    As far as mastering a semi-auto, it doesn’t take thousands of hours of intense training to be efficient and comfortable with manipulating the slide, thumb safety, reloading, and taking the gun apart for cleaning.

    1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

      Sounds like you’re still hung up with all the traditional 357 mag/45 ACP/10mm false assumptions & BS on handgun “stopping power” many of us used to believe back in the day before we knew better. Google “Dave Spaulding stopping power” to be enlightened on the topic.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        Yeah. Massive failures with certain rounds led to realization that some calibers and rounds are more effective. Mainly ball ammo is lesser and hollowpoints are better.

        The FBI came up with a model to justify changing rounds after the Miami Shootout. (Interesting to note the 9mm Silvertip passes the FBI protocol). They chose the 10mm and then the reality of heavy recoil raised its head so the downloaded the 10. Then S&W said – Hey, we can get downloaded 10mm ballistics with a shorter cartridge and fit it into a smaller frame with more rounds – Win/win.

        Then, budget crunches resulted in less training dollars with fewer qualifications and poorer scores since the more effective rounds often produce more recoil. So, the bureaucrats decided that “new” technology made the 9mm into a super cartridge for law enforcement.

        Same old story – mid bore/ moderate velocity is what most people can handle with least practice – imagine that. 38 special vs 357, 40 vs 10, 9 vs 40. Nobody ever complained that the heavier loadings were ineffective but that they couldnt qualify as easily.

        Everyone talks about the “modern” 9mm loading being so effective. The Silvertip came out in the 80s. As did the Golden Saber and the Gold Dot in the late 80s or early 90s. Hardly new.

        Most rounds (just about any) will stop someone with multiple hits, it is usually the heavier loaded rounds that do more damage. If you think penetration is all that matters (12-18 inches of course), there are some 22 LR that hit that mark. Load up.

        I’ll take something that reaches 12 inches with the most violence and energy expended that I can reasonable control.

        1. avatar Ted Unlis says:

          That’s quite the ignorant rant. News flash Bubba, major advancements in ammo technology since the 1980’s.

  51. avatar adverse6 says:

    Just acquired a S&W Model 66 revolver. Stainless with a 4 inch barrel, wood grips. Nice and tight. First revolver I’ve had since 2005. Six rounds will be enough. Experts and arm chair commandos notwithstanding. If we go to war with each other, I’ll pick up something else as needed. (All the bravado assuming I’m not hit first).

  52. avatar Tec's Dad says:

    Carry what you want, I do. I carry semiautos, revolvers…do what you want. Just practice, practice and practice.

    1. avatar adverse6 says:

      Been shot at, shot back. You are right, use what you got. In many cases we had what the military gave us, no discussion. As a civilian I have better choices, but for a whole different situation. I don’t shoot for fun, I shoot to check function and sights. I’d carry my 12 ga shotgun if I could find a big enough holster for it. Still have to aim it. Eye and hand co-ordination is your friend. You get that by practice. Also, practice not shooting, if time allows, move.

  53. avatar Tom Worthington says:

    I carry a S&W Shield in .40 and have no complaints. In fact, I love it. Shoots great. That said, I still want a Taurus 605 revolver. And yes, I’ve fired one full of .357s.

  54. avatar Gary Jones says:

    I’m 65 years old and served in the military police during the Vietnam War. Standard issue were revolvers even though autos were available. Reason: studies showed the revolvers were much safer to handle and they didn’t jam. You really can’t argue with that. In the last five years alone, here in Georgia, I have read of at least 5 police officers accidently shooting themselves with glocks. Even a police chief here accidently killed his wife in bed with a glock. I also have read several articles of perps trying to kill would be victims with autos and (Thank God) they became jammed. Why take the chance?
    I remember when Dirty Harry came out. You could not purchase a 44 magnum anywhere for many months after the first movie. They sold out nationwide.

  55. avatar BusyBeef says:

    I’m a revolver fanatic – but simple they are not. Take one apart and get back to me.

    1. avatar adverse6 says:

      Never had to take one apart. Took grip panels off, C&D, rod barrel, dry clean cylinder bores. If nothing breaks, leave it alone. They are simple in operation. They are easy to maintain. Never had a complicated semi-auto either. Revolvers are not obsolete, it’s just some people want them to be.

  56. avatar Ben Champion says:

    I have carried both types of firearms and like both, but after having my hip replaced I couldn’t take the weight of a Sig 250/sub compact 9mm with 12 rounds in the mag and 1 in the chamber so i went back to the good old reliable wheelgun a Ruger LCR 357 Mag snub nose with 38 +P loads I carry three speed loaders and I have no problem with weight. Being 72 years old and having been a Deputy Sheriff and Deputy Constable I carried a Colt 357Mag on duty for 19 of my 23 years on the job and the rest of the time I carried a Sig P220/45ACP and was a dang good shot with it also. So for me I have gone back to my comfort zone the good old wheel gun is here to stay for me.

  57. avatar PMinFl says:

    I don’t like to get into pissing matches but here goes, I’m getting older, luckily, and realize that someday I’ll have trouble racking the slide on a pistol. Now, I have a nice semi that holds 19 1 and have four extra mags. If I can no longer rack it’s slide I’ll have someone do it for me, then decock the gun. I can use it, and have96 rounds total at my disposal. I’ll probably die before all of that happens. If the trigger is too hard (ha ha) in DA it has a two stage trigger so about 5 lbs of pull will do it.

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