Revolver vs. Semi Auto in Longevity... Who wins?


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Glockedout17
March 3, 2012, 09:07 PM
I have a few guns and they all have high round counts, some semi auto's and some revolvers. I'm in the market for a new gun and I think I might go with a .357 mag revolver, but I was just wondering which platform is more durable and will out last the other. Any input will be appreciated.

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rcmodel
March 3, 2012, 09:16 PM
Hard to say for sure.
Jury's still out.

There are still a lot of working revolvers around that were made in the 1800's, before auto pistols had been invented yet.

You take good care of either one and it will last longer then you will.

rc

Nomad
March 3, 2012, 09:36 PM
It's really hard to compare since there are so many variables. For example are you comparing a high pressure caliber like a 44 Mag to a low pressure caliber like a 45 ACP. There are certainly a lot more moving parts in a semi-auto. I think if each is well cared for they will last many decades for the average shooter.

My guess, with all being equal, the revolver will out last the semi.

Pyro
March 3, 2012, 09:42 PM
Semi-auto.
Easier to repair and maintain granted you know what you are doing.
Revolvers are easier to make parts for though.

That's me though..

jad0110
March 3, 2012, 09:59 PM
Didn't we just have one of these thread's 2 weeks ago?

RC is right. Proper care and maintenance, along with a quality piece, and either should last a lifetime or more. If it doesn't, buy another. No biggie. Most stuff doesn't last a lifetime, particular stuff with moving parts.

Ford Prefect
March 3, 2012, 10:00 PM
Guns with long life, no problem. Shooters who can throw over 100,000 rounds? Rare.

Good luck wearing out a Glock 17 or Ruger GP100. I won't wait for the results.

Sam1911
March 3, 2012, 10:02 PM
Didn't we just have one of these thread's 2 weeks ago?


Yes we did.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=638716

Glockedout17
March 3, 2012, 11:45 PM
It is hard to say. One thing that's lodged in my head though is over the years I have seen more semi auto's go in for repairs than revolvers. I also see revolvers dating back to 1946 that can still be carried and they are fully functional, I can't say the same for semi autos except for Makarovs and other surplus semi's. Oh I wasn't aware that another thread like this one was out there.... Didn't do a searc, just posted.

harmon rabb
March 4, 2012, 10:21 AM
It's really hard to compare since there are so many variables. For example are you comparing a high pressure caliber like a 44 Mag to a low pressure caliber like a 45 ACP. There are certainly a lot more moving parts in a semi-auto. I think if each is well cared for they will last many decades for the average shooter.

My guess, with all being equal, the revolver will out last the semi.
Totally wrong. A revolver has more moving parts.

black_powder_Rob
March 4, 2012, 10:31 AM
Not all revolvers have more moving parts than a semi-auto, think SAA types.

As it were I think that the revolver sees less stress applied to its moving parts compared to a semi-auto. When the round goes off the semi-auto's moving parts have the force off the recoil acting on them while the revolver's moving parts only move when the shooter applies force.

grendelbane
March 4, 2012, 11:31 AM
A whole lot is going to depend upon the design, as well as the cartridge itself.

For example, the old Colt double action revolvers would go out of time before the S&W revolvers would. For longevity, I would choose S&W over Colt. I would prefer Ruger over either, however. The Security-Six I bought 35 years ago is still going strong, for example.

If longevity is the goal, I would rather have a semi-automatic, though. Especially if I can keep just a few parts.

The auto is easier to work on, though the recoil spring does need changing occasionallly, and magazines don't last forever.

I would say that the general answer has already been discovered by most military and law enforcement. The semi-automatic pistol is much easier to keep in service long term.

Revolvers can still outlast a lot of the people that shoot them, however.

JohnBiltz
March 4, 2012, 01:17 PM
Revolvers handle neglect better, automatics handle abuse better. Its pretty easy to damage a double action revolver using it military hard. I've heard accounts of SA revolvers from the 1800s with some piece of scrap metal in them that some one filed into a replacement part. We don't do that anymore, we just order a part. Doesn't mean we can't though. From what I've heard they do do that in places like Afghanistan with automatic and semiautomatic guns.

Glockedout17
March 4, 2012, 01:33 PM
I think my Ruger SP101 would out last my Glock 22 if I was making enough $ to find out.

MachIVshooter
March 4, 2012, 01:55 PM
It depends more on the specific gun than that the type. Parts wear in both, and lower quality metals wear faster.

Also, what kind of durability are you talking about? Do you mean without repairs whatsoever, or do you mean actually wearing out the main components like frame and slide/cylinder to the point where the gun is a paper weight? Because short of a catastrophic failure, most guns remain serviceable a lot longer than we do. Recoil springs, sears, ratchet hands-these parts do wear out.

Float Pilot
March 4, 2012, 02:11 PM
I have a couple revolvers that were made during the War of Northern Aggression (1860s) and they still work fine.
The oldest auto loader I have was made in 1899 (broomhandle) and it has already had a few parts replaced to keep it working.

gearhead
March 4, 2012, 03:19 PM
I think revolvers last longer with no maintenance, in other words without changing any springs or in the case of semi-autos, magazines. I think the sort of maintenance that a semi requires is easier to perform than the sort of maintenance a revolver will eventually require, however.

conhntr
March 4, 2012, 09:30 PM
I dont think the question is practicaly relevant in light of todays ammo prices. Even if a design where to wear out at 50,000 rounds (unlikely for a quality piece) thats still 10,000-30,000$ of ammo. If you have to buy a second 500$ revolver or pistol to shoot the next 25,000$ of ammo i doubt it would matter

From a mechanic curosity standpoint it is interesting though.

Ala Dan
March 4, 2012, 09:55 PM
I'm on a JURY lunch break, that my friend RC Model spoke of~~!!! ;) :D

barnbwt
March 4, 2012, 09:58 PM
I'm pretty sure laser-rays will be commonplace by the time I wear out my pistol :D

RickMD
March 5, 2012, 11:32 AM
I think it all depends upon the original quality of the gun. A high quality revolver will outlast a cheap autoloader and a high quality autoloader will outlast a cheap revolver. One thing I've learned in forty years of collecting, shooting, and buying and selling guns is, possibly more than with any other product, you get what you pay for.

jmr40
March 5, 2012, 12:18 PM
If you don't shoot them much any of them will last hundreds of years. If you're talking high round counts and abuse through guns of equal quality the semi-autos have been out performing revolvers for quite some time now.

telkontar
March 5, 2012, 12:30 PM
All of the above -- well-made guns will last. But which will jam more during that lifetime? For a Cal Ripken-style "never-miss-a-day/never-misfire" gun, I would take the revolver. So shoot what you like.

Lee D
March 5, 2012, 12:36 PM
i have a 2nd gen G17 thats seen 10s and 10s of thousands of rounds and still running strong, and i imagine my SBHawk is just as durable, but of course it hasnt had near as much shooting.

imo it all comes down to what you buy. durable guns are just that...durable

Hunt480
March 5, 2012, 09:15 PM
I was just out this weekend shooting a 1915 model 38 S&W I inherited from my ole man when he passed...Its still tight and shoots great and the accuracy was very good. Somebody mentioned the great revolvers from the 1800's...I know there are some great semi auto's like the great 1911... but a good revolver will wear out 3 or 4 bodies...the longevity easily goes to the revolvers IMO it aint even close...I aint got nothing against Glocks I own a couple myself but I don't they will shoot a hundred years from now...or at least we will have to wait and see anyway.

CajunBass
March 6, 2012, 10:27 AM
I say it all the time, but it's the truth.

I'd like to have the time and the money, to try to shoot either one of them, enough to wear either one of them out.

cougar1717
March 6, 2012, 02:17 PM
Who wins?... It's obviously your grandkids when they receive their inheritance (as long as the 2nd amendment hasn't been repealed by that time!)

mes228
March 6, 2012, 06:51 PM
If you are speaking of rounds fired. The semi-auto wins hands down. Just my opinion so don't flame me. I shoot both and cannot afford enough ammo to wear either out.

jameslovesjammie
March 7, 2012, 06:06 PM
If you think about it in terms of taking one gun side by side and shooting until there is a malfunction due to wear...the semi will be the first to fail. Recoil and mainsprings wear out, simple as that. A failure is a failure.

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