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List of Advantages of Revolvers + rant

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Shawn Michael, May 16, 2007.

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  1. Shawn Michael

    Shawn Michael Member

    Dec 31, 2006
    While I constantly hear autoloader users talking about the thousands and thousands of rounds they shoot without malfunctions, I sometimes wonder. Spending a lot of time at shooting ranges I see a LOT of autoloader failures...the most common and prominent one "failure to go into battery" so you see the guy who has to push the slide forward those few milimeters every shot to get the arm to function. I have had this problem too often with well maintained autos and factory ammo.

    While I think for military and many LEO applications autos are the obvious choice, for home defense I really have come to feel a lot better with revovlers.

    My personal choice is a SW Military and Police 8 shot .357 revovler with a streamlight on the bottom rail. With California high cap ban and practice with moonclips getting faster and faster, I feel pretty good.

    Autoloaders have more firepower and reload faster (though someone who drills with moonclips can get really close to a lesser trained with and auto) Autoloaders have a faster cycle rate, though that too seems to depend on the caliber and operator. Watch some competitive revolver shooters, it is amazing.

    1) Generally more reliable because they are more simple
    2) Can recover far more rapidly from the most common cause of failure (ammo problems)
    3) More likely to function under extream stress: In "The bullet proof mind" Col Grossman details numerous accounts of effects of extream stress which often include shaking, weakness "jelly hands", inability to complete simple mechanical functions like the very common phenomena of not being able to DIAL 911 because of severe shaking, which does not bode well for clearing a jam, having, not limp wristing, or working with safties!
    This could far and away be the end of the list
    4) Pressure on the front of many auto will cause them to go out of battery and fail. In a close quarters quarrle this is an important factor. If you jam an auto in someones ribs or have to shoot in close quarters it is more likely to be obstructed and fail.

    5) Revolvers will shoot many differnt types of ammo which makes them more versatile and again more reliable as the gun does not have a power threashold needed to cycle.

    6) Revlover will go off standing on your head with a broken arm as long as you can squeeze the trigger, it will cycle. No limp wrist syndrome. (I can get my glock 23 to fail to go into battery almost every time with limp wrist)

    7) LEO organizations report increased accidental discharges with autos (causing call for modifications such as "new york trigger" on glocks etc) If the professionals are having more problems non professionals would seem to be at greater risk

    Can you add to the list?
  2. Shooter973

    Shooter973 Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Ogden,Utah, Home of John M. Browning
    ya don't lose the brass......
  3. ozwyn

    ozwyn Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    the much-respected and often worshipped .45 acp (the stereotypical powerful autoloader) is STILL the younger, shorter little brother of .45 LC :neener:
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    Revolvers have many good points -- but as I've often said, hang around long enough and you'll read many accounts of revolver malfunctions. And most of them do not respond to Immediate Action drills.

    The most recent was a case where the retaining screw backed out a bit, and the cylinder fell off.
  5. Shawn Michael

    Shawn Michael Member

    Dec 31, 2006

    I really like sitting in front of the big screen with snap caps and "shooting"

    no picking up mangled brass, good point, esp if you reload

    Big cals for hunting

    Easier to mount optics
  6. Bearhands

    Bearhands Member

    Feb 21, 2007
    far less revolver "wannabees" than autos... ?
  7. Hawk

    Hawk Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Grand Prairie, TX
    As a revolver noob, this was noticed early on.

    Picking up brass from my "main" (semi) was such a pain I never did it. I may get to re-use brass for the first time in my life.
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Nevada, escaped from the PDRK via Idaho.
    A real advantage in snow country.

  9. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    upstate NY go to school in WNY
    i'm no expert, but didn't bob mundan (sp?) do a special on american shooter a few years ago on shooting a colt SAA and a colt 1911 for speed? i know this happened, and the colt SAA was much faster.

    unless i've gone totally crazy at 23 years old, i don't think this has changed. now maybe da revolvers are a bit different, but i'll bet the speed between them is moot for 99% of the shooters around.

    okay not 99 but you get the point.
  10. Plink

    Plink Member

    Apr 5, 2006
    Very true. One of my friends carries a revolver concealed every day. He goes out shooting about twice a month and shoots a box or so of cartridges. He also rotates his carry ammo by shooting the older rounds and putting fresh ones in. To practice firing from the draw, he pulled from the holster and attempted to fire his carry rounds. The cylinder wouldn't rotate. Turns out that a large seam thread from his jacket or holster had found it's way in between the hand and the cylinder and wouldn't allow the hand to come forward enough to rotate the cylinder.

    Revolvers can jam and when they do, they're often harder to clear than with an autoloader. I carried a revolver for years and never had any reliability problems, but they can and do happen.
  11. skeeter1

    skeeter1 Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Northest Ohio
    Believe me, I love my semi-auto Beretta. It's great fun to shoot or even just plink with.

    However, If my butt really has to depend on a handgun, I'll take a S&W revolver over it any day. No firearm is going to be 100% reliable, but a high-quality revolver is probably as close as you're going to get.
  12. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Revolvers do not require a magazine to run.

    Not that I have ever left magazines at home for a semi-auto mind you...*ahem*


    When that really neat lady gives you , a kid, an old cylinder to put pencils in...can't do that with a 1911 mag.
    Then again you can't launch the follower across the room on a revolver cylinder either.
    Amazing what I could with gun stuff at age 3 ...stuff in general. *smirk*
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    OK, mere mortals like us can't do this, but it can be done. The reload at the end of the video looks as fast or faster than any semi-auto Mag reload. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-whjNtTFHK4
  14. Shawn Michael

    Shawn Michael Member

    Dec 31, 2006

    I have seen similar clips and this is totally unreal.

    Another fellow mentioned that he is a lefty and he has accidentally "dropped" the mag on his auto by hitting the release with his middle finger on recoil. If you are a lefty with large paws you can see how this can happen!

    Glad no one took offense to the thread, probably because it is in the revolver section
  15. Geister

    Geister Member

    Mar 8, 2007
    Easier to reload for and I don't have to clean the brass as often.
  16. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    older stuff is cool...

    being older is cool...

    dimentia is my friend...

    alzheimers let's me forget who I don't like and I make new friends everyday...they seem to know me very well...

    oh wait...revolvers

    older stuff is cool...;)
  17. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Member

    Jun 24, 2003
    Oregon Monsoon Central
    Try to field strip a revolver. If your wheelgun goes down in the field, your done.

    Not enough ammo.

    The (insert expletive here) cylinder digs into your hip.

    More reliable? You get your wheel gun, I'll get my XD. We'll shoot until your revolver fails, and it will fail first.

    I'm a lefty. Trying to load a revolver in a hurry, with a speedloader is next to impossible.

    I like revolvers as nostalgia. For high powered applications they are still the best answer.

    But for everything else they are obsolete.

    Flame on!

    This is my opinion. Your opinion may vary

  18. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    the Evergreen State
    Loading an autoloader is faster?

    Only if you don't count loading the magazine.

    Try this unscientific experiement.
    -One box of ammo for each gun,
    -One DA revolver (in my case a 1917 Colt)
    -One Autoloading Pistol (in my case a 1911)

    Both guns (and magazine) empty, ammo in pocket, load and shoot 50 shots into a 6" bull at 25 feet as fast as possible. Which one is faster for you? For me it was the DA revolver.

    I personally have not had a revolver malfunction but I have witnessed two. Both were ammo related. One was a 357 DA revolver that the recoil unseated the bullets in the neighboring chamber and projected forward of the cylinder stopping rotation. The other was a squib load. Could have be catastrophic in either style of gun.

    In my exprience as a volunteer range safety officer at our club autoloaders (long and short), by far are the most likely and common failures/malfunctions to fire. Sometimes it's magazines, sometimes it requires cleaning/lubrication. Three recent failures required coming off the line to be repaired.

    After years of only owning and carrying autos I've converted to revolvers. Out of the box more accurate and more reliable. NOT ammo sensitive/finnicky and ammo is much more versatile (shot, cast, jacketed, HP, solid, cowboy to magnum levels). Brass doesn't litter the country side. Superior balistics and game performance. Easy to maintain. Rugged. Easier and more intuitive for novice shooters.

    If I am in a situation the requires more than 6 shots I already made at least two mistakes; poor situational awareness and not having a long gun. I'm lucky to be alive at that point.

    No doubt an autoloader is an excellent carry piece. It can carry lots of ammo on board, its slimmer (usually) profile, its lighter (usually) and capable of a high volume firing.

    For all around utility, give me a revolver every time.
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  19. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

    Mar 7, 2007
    The Land of Bowie, Crockett, Travis & Houston
    While I wouldn't want to be in any situation with a gun shoved into my ribs, be it revolver, auto, or even a TC Contender, a revolver can also be taken out of battery.

    In this situation (a gun shoved into my guts), an uncocked DA revolver can be stopped by clamping a hand firmly over the hammerspur. A trigger finger does NOT have enough mechanical advantage to pull the trigger and raise the hammer against such force.

    Likewise, if the hammer is back on a cocked revolver (either a SA or a DA), drop the web of the hand, a thumb, or even the whole hand between the hammer and firing pin. It will hurt like no tomorrow, expecially if the firing pin is fixed onto the hammer, but that will hurt a lot less than a hot lead slug passing through your guts.

    My point is that it is possible and if I'm ever in that defensive situation and can do it, I'll give it a try to try to save my life.

    The key in this thread is to use what is comfortable and manageable for the situation. I wouldn't want to hunt with my Taurus PT 92; I wouldn't want to attempt to carry my 6" GP100 concealed. Both wheelguns and autos have +'s and -'s. Pick what you like and use it; don't worry about talking others out of the opposite choice.

  20. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Olympia, WA
    VH: A very enlightening post! No guarantees with either weapon methinks. I need to get more into the habit of carrying a bug. If it is worthwhile carrying an auto, I really need to back it up with a small J frame. If I am carrying the J frame as primary, it really would be wise to back it up with an auto bug, e.g., P3AT, Bersa, etc.
  21. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    Deep in the valley
    Hey Zeke Menuar,

    Found a way... Sixgun Speedloading for Southpaws.
  22. ewayte

    ewayte Member

    Jul 16, 2004
    How long do you think your XD's extractor will hold up, even against another semi-auto? And when it does break, you'll have to send it back to Springfield as they don't sell parts, not even to gunsmiths.
  23. Bula

    Bula Member

    May 22, 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I find revos more accurate than most box stock autos.
  24. crebralfix

    crebralfix member

    Mar 7, 2004
    The main advantage of revolvers over semi-autos that I see is really one in training.

    1) The double action trigger forces you to have/develop good technique.
    2) Most people aren't afraid of the "mystery" of a revolver's action. Most people seem to get apprehensive around semi-autos their first few times out.

    Other advantages:

    3) More powerful cartridges are available
    4) Accepts different shapes, such as flat nosed bullets


    1) Low capacity
    2) Longer time for proficiency in reloading
    3) Slower reloading time (except for Jerry M.)

    The lower capacity is a big deal. In force on force scenarios, 20+ rounds in an Airsoft gun does NOT last long. It's very easy to tear through 16 rounds. Now face down three guys with only six in the cylinder and everyone is running. Most folks seem to fall apart even in a FoF scenario. YOU WILL MOST LIKELY MISS SOME SHOTS. There is not much room for missing in a 5 or 6 shot cylinder. Forget statistics; that's all they are and it's no guarantee you'll only have to fight 1.3 goblins.

    It's a great thing when you have time to aim. It's a whole different story when you're trying to shoot someone while running over rough ground and they're going every which way AND trying to shoot you. Just something to keep in mind.
  25. pax

    pax Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Washington state
    I love revolvers. Love the reload sequence, love the accuracy, love the smooth feel of a long, sweet, well-worn DA revolver trigger.

    I will never carry one.

    When I first started out, I knew I was not a good enough shooter to carry only 5 or 6 rounds.

    That is not so much an issue anymore, but there's another thing: every time I shoot more than 50 rounds in DA, my trigger finger swells up and gets terribly sore. If I keep going, my finger stops working. I mean I literally find myself unable to pull the trigger again, the finger just freezes and will not bend any further.

    Not going to carry anything I cannot practice intensively with.

    I'm not alone, by the way. For every new shooter I've met who's developed the terrible habit of whacking the back of the slide on every shot (cheap or unlubed semi-auto didn't go into battery ...), I've encountered an equal number of revolver owners who really could not cope with the DA trigger, and either shot solely in SA mode, or used both trigger fingers to pull the trigger.

    What's all that mean? Gun choice is a very personal thing.

    Get what works for you. Then learn how to shoot it properly and practice enough that you know you'll always be able to hit what you need to hit in as little time as possible.

    And don't dis other people's choices. You don't wear their skin and you don't know how the guns feel for them or work for them. There is no One True Sword for everyone.

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