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Revolvers: Outdated? Obsolete?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by amprecon, May 17, 2006.

  1. amprecon

    amprecon Participating Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    I've been told that no gun collection is complete without at least one revolver regardless of what caliber it is in. I have owned various revolvers in my time, small to large and thought they were, well.......ok. I do not own any at present and every once in awhile my interest is peaked again. So I'll go to the local gunstore look at a few, pick up a few, consider the price, consider what it is and what it does, look at the price again. Remember that I have 9mm and .45acp semi-auto's at home and that I just can't justify spending around $500 for another handgun that doesn't really hold anything over the handgun collection I already have.
    They are heavier, hold fewer rounds, harder to clean and have a hard DA trigger pull. Now granted a 9mm or a .45acp is not a .357mag, but is it necessary? Why do I need to spend $500 to have something I already have that does the same thing using a different mechanism? Justify this for me please. 'Cause I really kind of do want another revolver :) .
    Now consider this, I have an AK, a Garand, a bolt rifle and a shotgun, yet I want an M1A Scout in a bad way. Now I have rifles, why would I want yet another rifle you might ask? Well, my justification is that it's in a powerful round with a 20 round magazine, but there's improvement there over the other rifles in it's higher magazine capacity and more powerful round. What would I be gaining in performance by getting a revolver I ask aside from nostalgia?
  2. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 20, 2002
    No and no.

    Mike :)
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Elder

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Why do you want a revolver?

    If it's just to complete the decor of your den, get a cheap replica and hang it on the wall.

    If it's for self-defense and concealed carry, then a Smith, Colt, or Ruger SP 101 would be good choices. You could, of course, also opt for a small automatic.

    If it's for use as a service pistol (military or police), then automatics are the way to go.

    If it's for hunting, woods carry and so on, then revolvers have the edge with more powerful cartridges, and generally better precision shooting capability.

    Decide what you want a new gun for, and then decide if a revolver is the ideal choice for that purpose.
  4. atlctyslkr

    atlctyslkr Member

    May 2, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Do you NEED a revolver? That's up to you. Are they outdated? Ask a cop who carries a snub in an ankle holster or as an off duty. As a handgun hunter. Ask a family man just looking for added peace of mind. What I mean to say is revolvers are still revered by many as the best tool for the job. I carry one as my CCW. I figure my chances of needed it are very small, even smaller chance of firing it. If I was a cop I would probably not carry a revolver unless I was "high up" or in a low profile job. You need the firepower to battle todays better armed criminals. There is just something about that reliability that gets to me.
  5. bluto

    bluto Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    San Diego, CA
    I guess you could argue that what a revolver lacks in round capacity, it makes up in power and reliability. I think revolvers have their place in a collection based solely on their utility.

    For instance, there are always topics running about what "handy" weapon would be best to take into bear country. Among handguns it's usually the revolver chambered in a larger, powerful, caliber that tops the list. In that type of situation it is arguable that a revolver will get the job done better than an auto.

    I have a few in my collection simply because they're more pleasing to the eye and more interesting as a piece of machinery - verging on art. And if you've ever seen guys like Jerry Miculik use them, you'd be hard pressed to call them obsolete.:D
  6. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Mentor

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    Revolvers can accept a wider range of loads than an automatic.
    Compare the range of ammunition available for a .357 from
    .38 wadcutters to .357 JHP versus most 9mm automatics.
  7. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Participating Member

    Jun 8, 2005
    Don't leave home w/o it!:) Even though I lean toward the autoloaders, there are times when it just feels right....;) When you look over the gun rags & what's being pushed now-a-days, I wouldn't be too far off that it is the older population that still cherish & hang-on to their wheelguns. One of the last articles I read about a revolver in a new gun mag made it seem like a history lesson...
    Last edited: May 17, 2006
  8. Boats

    Boats member

    Dec 29, 2002
    You know something funny? I don't think this type of thread HAS EVER COME UP BEFORE AT EITHER THR OR TFL!

    I wonder what the answers will be.:rolleyes:
  9. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 20, 2002
    The real question is this: what will you be 'gaining' from getting another gun period, pay no heed to its mechanics of action.

    If you already have a centerfire rifle of moderate caliber, a common gauge shotgun and a centerfire handgun of moderate caliber (and it sounds like you do), you have all of the bases covered as far as "needs." You can justify a purchase until the cows come home by saying that it fills another niche, but at the end of the day you just want another gun. There's nothing wrong with that.

    For what it's worth, I'm a "niche" guy too. I like knowing that I have one (or more) guns that fit into most of the commonly accepted categories ("this is my SHTF rifle, and this is my varmit rifle, and this is my pigeon killer and this is my etc etc etc etc"), but if I have an itch to get something that serves no real purpose whatsoever and I just want it because I want it, I'll stop worrying and just go out and buy it (finances allowing).

    This, of course, helps explain why I have about 8 handguns that shoot .38spl- that's about 5 more guns than I have "niches". At first I worried about justifying their presence to myself, then I finally realized that as long as my bank account was balanced and my credit card paid off, I didn't have to justify owning them to anyone, save myself, and that a simple "Because I like it" will suffice for that.

    Buy the gun. :cool:

    Oh, and if you MUST find a niche for it to fill, buy a .44 magnum and check off your "most powerful handgun in the world, it could blow your head clean off, so do you feel lucky, punk?" niche. :D

  10. Freddymac

    Freddymac Member

    Mar 16, 2006

    You don't. What are you going to do with it. I have revlovers that I hunt or target shoot with, but have no intention of carring. I'm an auto guy, always have been, always will be, but I also see the place in my collection for wheel guns. If you don have a need for one, don't buy one.
  11. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Last edited: May 17, 2006
  12. Checkman

    Checkman member

    Sep 23, 2003
    :D I have no idea.:rolleyes:
  13. lee n. field

    lee n. field Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Not my Model 19.
  14. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Participating Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    Lynden, WA
    Revolvers outdated? NOT IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS

    I've had my clock cleaned by a guy shooting a revolver when I've shot my Kimber 1911 in a Pin shoot. (and I've turned in the fast time for a stock gun, twice against some tough competition. I'm not all that slow.)

    I carry either a small revolver when dirt bike riding, or sometimes a small auto, but the SP101 is much cheaper to lose should it decide to launch itself to the wilderness while I'm riding.

    What's in the bedroom for the wife? A small revolver. If she's gonna have to shoot in the dark of night, I don't want her to have to even think about a safety or racking the slide to chamber a round. Do I have DA auto? You bet.

    What's my backup or sometimes primary gun when hunting? A big frame magnum revolver! Yes, there's the large auto's that can get the job done hunting, just as well, if not better. Like the 50AE or the .44automag. But you know what? Revolvers don't jam like an Automag can. Even in Single Action, I'll take the revolver when hunting semi-dangerous game.

    When I teach a new shooter with small hands... Colt Diamond Back or Cobra .38spl. Great shooters. Accurate and reliable. There's move to the autoloaders, but not until the revolver has been proficiently handled.

    And, even though my Kimber is quite accurate at .45acp Bullseye pistol ranges, there's not an autoloader in my safe that can compare to the accuracy of my Dan Wesson 15-2VH in .357mag. (revolver) (OK, the target MKII's should print clover leafs from a Ransom Rest at 50yds, but I doubt it at more than 100yds.)

    Last edited: May 17, 2006
  15. Mizzle187

    Mizzle187 Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    When I came of age to buy guns and had the money to start buying them a few years ago all I cared about was auto's. I wouldnt give any revolver the time of day. They werent "cool" enough for me! Damn I was a ****** back then!:D I had shot revolvers before but I wanted as many rounds as possible. 5 years later for some reason Im drawn to revolvers. I still have 2 or 3 times the autos than I do revolvers but that is changing pretty quick. Im younger than 30 and my generation is one of hi-tech but in the end Ive started to come back to revolvers and love to shoot them. I cant explain why. I carry a P99c 9mm(IWB) as my #1 and a SW 642 w/Laser Grips(pocket carry) as my #2 . Im not even getting in their value in hunting so I say hell no revolvers arent outdated and hell no they arent obsolete.
  16. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2003
    Where they tell me to go
    If you don't care for them, then don't buy one.

    However, there are many great things about them. For me they just feel right. Also, I can change the grip to fit almost anyone's hand. Hard to do that with the polymer guns and not too easy with most pistols.

    I don't find them any harder to clean. I think they're easier since I seldom feel the need to remove the sideplate.

    One huge gain if you get into the high end is power. No auto's come close to the big revolver rounds. Yes, I have a Desert Eagle, but it's far less managable then a revolver in the same round.
  17. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 19, 2002
    This month's California Rifle And Pistol Association (CRAP-a) newsletter, The Firing Line (not to be mistaken for our sister website), has an article by a former deputy turned radio detective. In it he discusses riding with a rookie to a farm where the wife complained that her husband had armed himself and threatened to shoot people. Armed with revolvers and Ray-o-Vac flashlights (wow, I had at least a Streamlight SL-20), they confronted the old farmer who warned them off. When he pointed his rifle at the deputies, the rookie broke leather, fired one shot from his revolver and hit the farmer in the eye. The farmer fell and they kicked the rifle away, put him in the cage and drove him to the hospital and expected him to die along the way. They managed to get a dying declaration out of him and the doctor said he's a goner. Amazingly, the farmer survived and the deputies declined pressing charges. Still, the revolver worked and removed the threat, thereby saving the lives of both deputies. The writer later learned that his rookie partner was once a champion shot in the Air Force.
  18. Onmilo

    Onmilo Mentor

    Jul 26, 2004
    In my home state of Illinois it is illegal to hunt deer with a semi-automatic handgun.
    That limits the choices to a revolver or some form of single shot.
    My 629 .44 Magnum does a fine job and this in itself tells me revolvers are far from being obsolete, ineffective, or outdated.
  19. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Quote: by amprecon

    Sorry sir, NO WAY Jose:D
  20. Surefire

    Surefire Active Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Buy and collect what you like. If autoloaders work better for you, more power to you.

    For me, revolvers work better for me:

    1. Superior ergonomics
    2. Reliable with underloaded ammo
    3. Great range of power (from cowboy loads up to heavy magnums)
    4. Long range accuracy (esp. 6" plus barrels)
    5. Comfort (I prefer the way most revolvers recoil)
    6. Logistics (no magazines to worry about). If rapid reloads are necessary, and good speedloader can be bought a lot cheaper than a good magazine.

    Having said this, my collection contains revolvers AND autoloaders. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I feel that for me it makes sense to have both.

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