The Revolver

In the age of the autoloader, some say revolvers are obsolete. This writer ain’t so sure.

I just got done with seven weeks and a little more carrying and shooting revolvers, coast to coast. I’ve already lost count of the powder horn jokes.

An instructor needs to be familiar with all the guns the students bring to class, so I carry a six-shooter for at least one training tour a year. For 2011, it was two tours; five weeks for one tour and a couple more for the next. A host on the first tour wanted me to shoot with his team at his state’s IDPA championship, and they were short a Stock Service Revolver (SSR) shooter. Once I got home there were only a few days before the next tour, which would culminate with the IDPA World Championships. I decided at the last minute that since for me IDPA stands for I Don’t Practice Anymore, instead of International Defensive Pistol Association, I might as well stay with the platform I’d been carrying, hence the second wheel-gun run.

Good News

Revolvers are less ammo-dependent than autos, and obviously not magazine-dependent at all. They’ll run anything from blanks to snakeshot to the hottest stuff it says on the barrel it’s chambered for. In almost two months and nearly a 1,000 rounds downrange, there were no ammo-related malfunctions. Power? An almost 40-year history tells us the Remington 125-grain .357 Magnum hollowpoints I had in the cylinders when I carried the guns “for real” leave nothing to be desired in that regard.

If you are in a belly-to-belly confrontation and have to jam your muzzle against your would-be murderer’s body and pull the trigger, most autos will be pushed out of battery and fail to fire. Not so with a revolver.

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6 thoughts on “The Revolver

  1. Bruce Fletcher

    I own both autos and revolvers. I never feel undergunned with my model 66-2, 2 1/2 in. 357. I recently added a set of crimson trace laser grips and have been getting lots of practice. I never have to worry about a stove pipe, extractor failure etc. I carry 2 speed loaders and use critical defense ammo.

  2. Frank Holt

    And if the revolver has a concealed hammer no need to draw you can pull the trigger and have a load blow out of your jacket pocket while the other guy / gal is reaching for his or her auto. Cycling a round if one is not in the chamber, and taking the safety off. When they are ready to shoot you with their auto; The revolver has all ready gotten off a second shot. In the previous post if you don’t feel that one revolver is enough get a speed loader or have a pocket auto pistol as your back up or another revolver.

  3. Scott Morris

    I have carried a 3″ Ruger SP101 with .38 spl 158 gr. lead hollow points for years – inside the waistband, strong side – nothing showing but the rubber grip above my belt. I wear it all the time, even at home around the house or when working in the yard or garden. It is absolutely reliable, simple, and puts the bullets right where the sites are when I do my part. Two speed loaders in the strong side front pocket give me 15 rounds. I have other guns for other needs, but for every day carry, it’s hard to beat this revolver.

  4. shidpoke

    I have both, a Bersa Thunder .380 and a Rossi .38 snubbie both of which I carry in shoulder rig. If I’m in snake country (La. bayou’s) I carry the Rossi with snake loads, if on the bad side of B’ham Al. I carry the Bersa. I love both weapons, but in truth if I could have only one, it would be the revolver, its just more versatile. plus I can leave it loaded indefinably, no mag. springs to worry about over a long time period.

  5. Keith J

    Carried semi autos for 25+ yrs. till a chain saw left my non shooting hand unable to rack the slids of them.
    Sure am glad that I learned how to shoot and kept those outdated old wheel guns! ( and by the way, I never feel under powered ) retired Officer!


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