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revolvers more accurate that semiauto handguns?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by cajun47, Apr 17, 2007.

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  1. cajun47

    cajun47 member

    Oct 29, 2006
    given all other things equal. same person shooting both.
  2. Just Jim

    Just Jim Member

    Mar 27, 2006
    Rimfire or centerfire? In rimfire I would say autos for sure. In centerfire useing the same caliber in both guns I would still give the auto a small edge.

  3. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Red America
    "more accurate than".

    If we're talking about general-purpose centerfire handguns of each type (e.g. Glock pistol vs. Ruger wheelgun), within a roughly similar price range, then yes, that's my experience.

    My handguns are all-'rounders, not specialized target guns. When I want to make a deliberate bullseye shot at a distant mark, I grab one of my revolvers.

    Some common semi-autos are quite accurate, though, and can narrow the gap a lot. My CZ 75B groups very well.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2007
  4. Bula

    Bula Member

    May 22, 2006
    Scottsdale, AZ
    For me, revos are more accurate. I can't put 5 out of 6 in one hole at 15 yds with ANY auto I've ever owned. I own some that can come close, but it's never happened.
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    I have auto's that can shoot as well as my Model 14 and that's saying something. They are 1911's and not cheap ones.

    I would think it is probably easier to make an accurate revolver than an accurate auto, but that is pure speculation on my part. :)
  6. 461

    461 Member

    Mar 18, 2003
    I think it completely depends on the shooter, some are better with one or the other. I personally prefer wheelguns but I shoot an auto more accurately.
  7. 6_gunner

    6_gunner Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    The average revolver is inherently more accurate than the average auto due to the fact that the barrel and chamber remain stationary. In actual use, it's probably easier to shoot accurately with an auto than a revolver if the revolver is being fired double action. I still prefer revolvers, though.
  8. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    I shoot just as well with both my revolver and semi auto pistols. I do however shoot my revolver more accurately in SA than DA.
  9. Brasso

    Brasso Member

    Sep 27, 2003
    Given well made examples of both, I'd say they are pretty even in accuracy potential. But, I've yet to see an auto with the trigger of a box stock S&W. Some 1911's are real close, but cost a pretty penny also. They also wouldn't make very good self defense guns, as the triggers would be too light to be safe for anything but competition.
  10. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Delaware home of tax free shopping
    A semi auto that costs $2000 + is every bit as accurate in single action as any good $300-$700 S&W revolver in my experience. :)

    You probably have to spend 3 to 5 times as much on a semi auto to equal the accuracy of a good revolver. Some folks claim they can hit pretty small targets at 100 yards with a scoped Redhawk, Black Hawk or 629. Those Guys that own freedom arms revolvers claim 200 yards.

    Not too many semi autos can keep up with that.
  11. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    Apr 13, 2007
    Regarding the S&W trigger, I agree the SA trigger is nice - surprisingly crisp - but in my albeit limited experience, there's plenty of room for improving the DA trigger. I'm guessing it's probably true for other factory DA triggers, too.
  12. fedlaw

    fedlaw Member

    Feb 22, 2003
    The test targets tell the tale: My best wheelie is more accurate than my best bottomfeeder.
  13. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    Leeds, AL.
    Perhaps you should check your firearms over and make sure they are all okay. What you are describing doesn't sound quite right. All the chambers on mine revolve. You know, like a revolver. :evil:

    In fact, this probably lowers the accuracy potential. The chamber of an auto is integral to the barrel and is consistent. A revolver has six of them and they move. All of them are likely to vary a little bit, even if that is by half a hair's width. And then you have to consider the play between the cylinder and the cylinder stop.

    P.S. all them what use SA fire with DA revolvers to determine accuracy is guilty 'a cheatin'. :neener:
  14. Jim March

    Jim March Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    If your semi-auto features sights, barrel and grips that do NOT independently move in relation to each other, then inherent accuracy can be very high, sometimes rivaling bolt-action.

    This is true regardless of rifle or handgun. The various MOA accurized AR15 bull-barrels are classic examples.

    In semi-auto rifles this sort of layout is very common. Not in handguns. We only see it in some rimfire handguns by Ruger and others - and once tuned up some of those can be tack-drivers.

    In everything else, be it 1911 or Glock or whatever, a $500 revolver almost always tops a $700 slidegun in the accuracy department. I had great fun once embarrassing some dude with a Glock fo'tay at a 50 yard target with my $186 Charter Undercover snub 38.

    This is assuming the revolver isn't a "bad monday gun". That's what "the checkout" is for, and that old Charter was the gun that caused me to write the first version of that checkout. I picked that thing out of a pile of junk, drove a clerk at Trader's in San Leandro (RIP) half nuts checking, jeez, don't recall but it was at least a dozen cheap used wheelguns :D. That was in '97 and the old critter (late 70's production) is still as sweet.

    Guess what? You can't DO a checkout that thorough on a slidegun. Too many variables. I asked around on the slidegun forums, too.

    Once you get into a quality SA, the slideguns can't touch you. $1500 worth of line-bored Freedom Arms or customized Ruger will just cream a $2,000 "racegun" 1911 and be rock-solid reliable while the "racegun" is choking on SWCs.
  15. johnny blaze

    johnny blaze Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Yes the revolver is more accurate. I am talking about over all.
    There are some instances where they are not, but revolvers are usually more accurate.
  16. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    If you look at precision target shooting, namely Bullseye pistol, there are few shooters that still use a revolver and I haven't heard of one using a revolver winning at Camp Perry or other major competition for many years. Semi auto's do have some real advantages in timed and rapid fire events. If revolvers where more accurate more competitors would be using them.
  17. .41Dave

    .41Dave Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    In absolute terms, the pistol is more accurate. In practical terms, it is pretty easy to find a revolver that will outshoot most pistols.

    Pistol accuracy also seems to come with a pretty heavy price tag, but if you have unlimited funds, a pistol will be more accurate. If you are on a budget, a revolver is more likely to be more accurate. In my experience, it takes somewhere between $2 to $3 pistol dollars to get $1 revolver dollar worth of accuracy. For example, my S&W model 14 cost me $400. The cheapest pistol I have found that will compete with it for accuracy cost $1200.
    Then you have the reliability factor. The things that make a pistol more accurate tend to also make it more finicky and prone to malfunction. So if you want a pistol that is as accurate AND as reliable as a revolver, you will probably need to spend even more $$$
  18. Matt Almeda

    Matt Almeda Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Suffolk Virginia
    Not a fair comparison but I will toss in:
    If I had to put six rounds in the center of a target at 25 yards, and I had a stock Colt Gold Cup and my best built 6” S&W 586 fired in double action. I think I would take the 586.

    But it’s just not a fair comparison…It’s like comparing a Pit Bull to a German Short Hair. They both are dogs but each dog has a strong point and a weak point in different fields of sport.

    Have a great day!
  19. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    really no true answer. I have 2 identicle ruger blackhawks both 4 5/8" and one is definatly more accurate than the other.and my BHP will group betwine the two
  20. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    It's not the gun, It's the shooter.

    Both can be accurate. It does seem however, that at the lower price points, revolvers have an edge.

    Same ammo, targets, sights, range, shooter, and result.



  21. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    Well, my Smith Model 10-8 seems to be extremely accurate, no matter what load I use, though it has a definate preferance for 125gr JHP.


    Dadgum flyer.:fire:

    My CZ autos are quite accurate as well, reliable,dependable, and a bit easier to carry, but the teeny edge in accuracy must go to the Smith. :cool:
  22. defiant73a

    defiant73a member

    Jul 13, 2006
    Put a typical service auto in a Ransom Rest and typical service revolver in a Ransom Rest, the revolver will deliver a tighter group at longer distance than the auto. We begin to see the term "combat accuracy" in gun reviews ONLY after autos became more popular for LE/defence use.
  23. floridaboy

    floridaboy Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    For a less than about $1500.00, revolvers are generally going to be more accurate. There are always exceptions. But go pick up a $900.00 1911 type, and a S&W 686, take them to a range and shoot them from a solid rest. Shoot the Smith single action, after all, the 1911 is a single action only. See which shoots tighter groups. My money will be on the Smith, and I'll win a lot more often than I'd lose.
  24. tube_ee

    tube_ee Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    On bullseye

    Isn't this more likely a result of the rules? Given that you must shoot around of .22, a round of any centerfire, and a round of .45ACP, most competitors use the .45 for two rounds, reducing the number of guns they must achieve match-level proficiency with to two. Every gun is a little different, and those differences get bigger as you move up the competitive scale. Shooting three different guns when your competitors are only shooting two will probably swamp any difference in inherent accuracy between platforms.

    Maybe that rule should be modified to make the third round shootable with any .45 caliber repeater. If they did that, I bet Freedom Arms would sell a bunch of guns to bullseye shooters.

    For stock guns, revolvers tend to be more accurate than autoloaders. This of course is a trend, not a universal truth. The .38 Special target wheelguns of the mid-20th-Century, like the Colt Officer's Model Match, and (I think) the S&W K38 Masterpiece, are some of the most accurate handguns ever built. As are the Freedom Arms single action sixguns. The Freedom Arms may be the most accurate repeating handgun you can buy new, and they're worth every cent of their (high) price.

    Thompson Center Contenders and Encores, and the Remington and Savage bolt actions, are more accurate still, although the bolt-actions have never really caught on, and of course the Thompsons are single shots.

    If it's accuracy / dollar that you're looking for, get a Contender. If the goal is a very accurate repeater, get ready to spend some serious coin. Accuracy in a gun comes from precision manufacturing, and that costs.

  25. YodaVader

    YodaVader Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    The timed and rapid stage give an overwhelming advantage to the semi-auto. The semi-auto pistols that are used in Bullseye are highly tuned and accurized. My 1911 that I sent to Clark was returned with a 10 shot machine target of about 2" , the pistol was an excellent shooter after Clarks work!

    Still ,any of my Smith revolvers will shoot to that level of accuracy easily in complete out of the box stock condition. It would just be incredibly difficult to thumb cock a revolver to get off 5 shots in 10 seconds , that is why the semi autos are used.

    In competition like NRA silhouette (up to 100 meters) which I used to shoot ,where speed was not an issue , I never saw anyone using a centerfire semi-auto but saw revolvers quite a bit.
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