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Are revolvers ideal or obsolete?

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Are revolvers ideal or obsolete? This is somewhat less argued a question than the age old comparison of 9mm v .45 but still worthy of discussion (just don't get Ed Lovette, Michael de Bethencourt or Grant Cunningham started on an answer). Lucky Gunner asked that question a couple weeks ago and we figured we'd share the article with you.

Says author Chris Baker,

“…the guys at the revolver roundup came across as being a lot more pro-revolver. The prevailing sentiment…was that the revolver are kind of like the everyman gun. It should be the go-to firearm for the average civilian who wants something for personal protection and semi-autos are probably best reserved for more dedicated shooters.

These two perspectives might seem pretty incompatible on the surface, but I think there’s a lot of merit to both of them. And that’s been one of the recurring themes of the Wheel Gun Wednesday series — this paradox of how revolvers can be seriously flawed but also maybe the ideal self-defense tool for most people.”

He is quick to point out, however, that the revolver is not without its flaws.

“It never ceases to amaze me just how many people are under the impression that revolvers are incapable of malfunctioning. You can just look at some of the comments on some of our other revolver videos and blog posts to see just how common that sentiment is.

The fact of the matter is that even though revolvers can be very reliable, they’re also prone to some pretty serious issues that don’t affect semi-autos. Just in the past year, had I’ve had plenty of revolvers malfunction on me and I’ve also seen people on the range have problems, too.

Problems like…

  • A frozen cylinder from debris under the extractor star or from out of spec primers.
  • An extractor rod backing itself out preventing the cylinder from opening.
  • Multiple light primer strikes.
  • A shooter being sprayed with bullet fragments from a revolver with severe timing issues.
  • A Smith and Wesson revolver with a broken cylinder release latch.
  • A Ruger GP100 that completely stopped working due to a broken cylinder latch.
  • And several instances of triggers spontaneously dragging or freezing up for undetermined reasons.
  • And I’m not even going to go through all the user-induced problems like short stroking the trigger or all the different ways you can fumble a reload.

Out of all those issues, only one — the light primer strikes — is easily fixed.”

Check out the video.

Read the remainder of this excellent article here.

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