I know that many people prefer a semi automatic, but I’ve also noticed some cheaper options in a revolver and wanted to know why some people might prefer them over a semi automatic. As a primary and not a secondary firearm.
Why do some people like a red car and not a pink one? Personal preference is the only answer I can offer as I have carried both.
An older person might prefer a revolver over a semi-auto because they may not have the physical hand/wrist strength to rack the slide. Therefore, a revolver is a better choice for them because they can just pull the trigger to fire it. And it also doesn’t potentially have as many misfire/jam problems, so they don’t have to worry about those. I personally have a revolver to carry as a backup firearm plan to carry when I have to wear a shirt that I have to tuck my shirt tail in for whatever reason (i.e., dressing up for church). For that scenario, I have an ankle holster to carry my .38 Special snubby under my dress pants.
I like the simplicity of a revolver for home defense, not for concealed carry.
Light, easy to carry, super reliable. In a scuffle, you can hold it right up against the other person or shoot from a pocket.
Curious, why the question?
You get bonus points for really nice revolvers at a gun “BBQ”?
Good revolvers aren’t usually “cheap”
Revolvers aren’t as ammo sensitive
Revolvers are simpler to clean
Revolver triggers smooth out with use—shoot a 40 year old S&W to see what I mean.
Revolvers generally don’t have sights mounted on a moving slide
which I find a distraction (except on GM 1911s—I get along just fine with GM 1911s)
My primary is a Centennial which I pocket carry and can be fired through my pocket without fouling, if need be, which is what attracted me to the design after a tragic double homicide went down in my neighborhood one Christmas season when a gang member wannabee ambushed at random a young couple out Christmas shopping.
When things go badly, they can go badly very fast.
Longer barrel(4"-6") revolvers can be extraordinarily accurate—tea cup size groups at 25 yards aren’t uncommon out of the box. Excellent for HD in my opinion
Are those good enough reasons why?
For me, one word POWER. In a similar size platform, revolvers can be hard it some very stout loads. Go to a bigger platform, more powerful firearms come into play. Why would you want that much power? Hunting and defense against large predators. Even in the smaller guns, .357 magnum is a powerhouse. Yes, it comes at the price of recoil, noise, muzzle flash(fireballs) and lower capacity. It also can be pressed against Little Johnny Gangbanger’s gut, and not be knocked out of battery. But I digress. The power factor is why I carry a wheel gun, when I do. Deer season, and deep woods walking.
Wheel guns are relatively simple tools that are accurate, easy to maintain and rarely fail.
Semi auto pistols are much more complex and likewise more likely to fail.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each.
I am still new to the gun life I am currently a Glock fan - Started with G43 - going today to by a G44 / But I do like the way a revolver looks - its what I have seen growing up -
I think its a simple gun - My next Gun will be a revolver
I love the look, feel and sound of a well made revolver I prefer blued steel and wood grips but went with Hogue grips for increased accuracy. My two favorites were a Ruger GP 100 in .357 mag. and a Ruger Black hawk in .45 LC. I have hunted and have taken deer with both from 15ft. to 100yds. Easy to carry and maneuver.
I simply love revolvers.
For many the two primary revolver advantages for CC, are reliability and safety. If you load it, it will work, period. you pull the trigger, or you don’t. there is nothing else to think about in the moment. no safety, no worries about if the ammo will cycle or if you remembered to put one in the chamber or not, etc. And if you take the example of a smith and wesson air-weight double action only, it is very difficult to imagine any way you could accidentally make it go off without pulling the trigger, even if you tried. with that longer double action trigger pull, it makes accidental discharge about as unlikely as you could make it in a fire arm that has the fine reliability a revolver does. If you want something as simple and reliable as possible given all the variables, a revolver is it. For non CC, a revolver, Like the GP 100 in .357, is about as versatile as it gets. suitable for self defense at close ranges with good ammo selection, it at the same time is also suitable for hunting, ( again with suitable ammo selection ) and ,what might be considered “extended ranges” for a pistol. A 6" .357 was something I routinely shot at 75 and 100 yards and as mentioned ,with a simple change of ammo, can revert in seconds to a light recoil .38 special , or .38 special +P that will reliably shoot any ammunition I may have on hand. A semi auto must always be shot 100+ rounds for verification of reliable function with the intended use ammo. Not so a revolver ( in the vast majority of cases ) beyond accuracy concerns. Finally there is the power that makes it suitable for hunting and extended range. Typically such power, like the .357 magnum, or .44 magnum ,is housed in a revolver with the accompanying boost in accuracy of the fixed ( and frequently longer ) barrel for the longer ranges, where the longer barrel is able to both increase velocity, and provide a longer sight radius, and is not subject to possible issues of being a separate moving piece apart from the sights. Revolvers have their own down sides, but reliability, versatility, safety, and accuracy all tend to be favored by the revolver design. On board capacity , obviously, not so much. Anyway, that would be my answer to the question.
There is one other thing about a hammerless DAO revolver. If you think you may have to fire from a pocket or purse, as some training I have seen show, You are far more likely to be able to fire all 5 shots, there is nothing to hang up, no spent cartridge to be blocked from ejecting and jamming the gun, fewer ways that the function of the gun can be hung up by something in the pocket or purse. I would feel greater doubts hoping to get all my shots from a semi auto pistol that was trying to cycle inside a pocket or purse.
I have several revolvers and they all have their place. I like snubbys, but I do not like the lightweight/ air- weight models. Shooting a snub nose, in a caliber that I trust .38/,357, and or .41 to me is the way to go for back and in some cases mainline weapon. I do not subscribe to the adage that you can shoot while the weapon is in your pocket. The side blast from a .357 or .41 will leave you with a wound so severe that it may take you out of the fight. Old S&W Stainless Snubbys or Rugers are great and very reliable weapons. For those who like the lightweight models on the market today, I say great, buy all you want, just not my cup of tea.
I will rely on my semi-autos due to capacity, recoil and the speed of a reload if needed, the semis are normally thinner making IWB much easier
The bottom line is this, carry what you want and be good at using it.
I like both, and carry both. When my old shop added 45 ACP bottom-feeders in 1987, my belief at the time was that self-loaders offered significant advantages over revolvers in a self-defense scenario. Since that time, my thoughts have evolved a bit…
Autopistols are not as significant an advantage I perceived of them to be, and revolvers are not the obsolescent curiosities I took them for. Caliber is what puts the goblin out of action, and I like that caliber to start with a decimal-4, or a muzzle velocity in excess of 1200 FPS. I am VERY fond of the 10mm Auto, which does both.
Revolver skill sets are FAR MORE DURABLE than those of autopistol management, which are IME perishable as hell. If you aren’t drilling with your carry autopistol monthly, get a revolver and carry that. I say this as a LE firearms trainer of several venues–YOU GOTTA STAY HANDS-ON WITH THAT SLIDER IF YOU HOPE TO EXPLOIT ITS ADVANTAGES. Otherwise, go to The Roller, in a serious chambering.
Just my view of the world, 28-year lawman, 23 year trainer, and served in a lot of interesting environments.
I like what you said, I came to much the same conclusions
.357 mag. Shoulder holster, it will stop a threat!
Glad to see you posting again @Allen21
Thank you for sharing your insights and experience.
Just a thought, why not a 44 special? I get the ammo cost but easier to shoot & heavier bullet. Noise & blast are also less.
Definitely less noise, If it works for you is what matters!