Pros and Cons of revolvers (Part Two)
Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Handguns > General Handgun Discussion > Pros and Cons of revolvers (Part Two)

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-15-2010, 11:01 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
M14sRock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,539
Liked 33 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 45

Default Pros and Cons of revolvers (Part Two)

Due to what could be described as "Popular (?) Demand" (OK, it was also due to "Un-Popular Demand"), I will continue with some more notes and observations about revolvers.

Some readers seemed to get from the OP that I hate revolvers. Not true. I love them. Love the mechanical aspects of revolvers and own many S&W revolvers, Colt, H&R, Ruger, and Taurus revolvers. They are all fine. I have owned Rossi, Dan Wesson and Charter Arms and loved them. More about them later.

The first point I want to make is that the "pros/cons of the revolver" have less to do with the manufacturer of the revolver than the general design. All revolvers work in essentially the same way, and are prone to the same problems. The overall quality of the revolver matters in regards to potential inferior parts that may break, and how the revolver holds up to a lifetime of hard use. Tighter guns last longer and make better range guns, looser guns will be more reliable and make better field guns. And, YES, this is a generalization.

General notes on repair.

If your plan is to own a revolver that you can use and maintain forever, it is advised that you pay attention to the availability of spare parts. There are many "parts houses" in the country, but the largest is probably Numrich (Gun Parts Corp). Springs are eventually worn out, and companies such as Wolff Springs have excellent replacement springs. But changing springs (lighter springs) will adversely affect reliability, so test thoroughly after any spring changes. Spare parts for S&W and Colt revolvers are readily available from parts suppliers. Ruger tries to control their spare parts. Keep some spare parts on hand for your pet revolver, and learn how to replace them.

I don't own any "serious use" guns that I cannot detail strip and maintain, and this includes my DA revolvers. In a long term (SHTF) scenario the nearest warranty repair center or gunsmith will be "tough" to find (heavy sarcasm intended here). In double action revolvers the parts I have seen broken most often are the "hand" and the "cylinder stop". These are the parts that rotate the cylinder as the action is worked (hand) and the part that stops the rotation of the cylinder when it is lined up correctly (cylinder stop). I've seen hammers and triggers snap off, but think that is very rare and due to bad parts, not bad design or general fragility. Have spare springs sets in your parts bin.

Warranties.

Some companies offer "Lifetime warranties" on their firearms. S&W is one, as is Taurus. But a consideration should be, how long does the warranty service take? I sent my M63 S&W in because it was shooting 3' high and they had it back to me in about 6 weeks. Someone gave me a Taurus 3" .22 a few years ago that was unfired, but broken (?!). I took it to Turners and they sent it away for me. Taurus got it back to me in 6 months. The time did not matter to me because I have plenty of other guns to use. But for someone who only owns one gun (yes, they exist), that is a very long time to wait.

Past experiences.

My S&W revolvers have been almost 100% trouble free. Some don't shoot to POA, but they still work after thousands of rds. I broke the claw off a M-10 mainspring once. Had a spare in the parts box and it was up and running for the next range session.

Many years ago I had a Colt Python that locked up due to dust intrusion while carried in a holster. It was a great target range gun, but lousy field gun. Only a couple of flakes of unburned powder in the wrong place would cause it to seize up. Very disconcerting problem if you don't know what to look for. I have owned several Police Positives and love them. Slim and trim, and crazy accurate. The one I have now is an early 1920's vintage "Match .22" and even the springs are original. It still shoots great, though in DA it often mis-fires. SA is flawless. Agents, Cobras, D!ck Specials, Troopers, etc are all good revolvers but parts are finely fitted and they are dirt prone. Colts also go out of time more often than other revolvers, in my experience. But Colts also like up tight as a drum which is critical to good accuracy. I'm done with Colt revolvers.

I had a used Ruger Speed Six that broke a hand once, about 20 years ago. Fixed and returned fast, less than a month if I remember right. I have never had another Ruger break. They are a bit too "crude" and "Blocky" for my tastes, but are probably the most dirt resistent DA revolvers made. My ex had a 4" GP100 and it turned out nice after some trigger work. Beefy gun.

Charter Arms are mid range priced good quality revolvers and also have a lifetime warranty. Crude, but good. I've owned a couple of their .38 snubbies and they worked fine. They did not see lots of use, but were kept as "strategically located store security devices" when I owned my gun store. If I was to own one for daily use it would need to be seriously "cleaned up" and tested a lot. Actions were gritty and inconsistent. I owned two of the excellent "Bulldogs" in .44Special. One 3" blued Bulldog and one 2.5" Bulldog Pug in stainless. The 3" was great and had a one piece barrel and a smooth action. But it would sometimes "skip". Meaning the cylinder would rotate past a chamber while using DA fast. But it would lock up on the next chamber and fire fine. However, a 5 shot revolver that turns itself into a 4 shot (or less) did not make a perfect defensive piece. The SS Pug functioned perfectly, but the stainless shroud over the barrel would loosen up and slide forward during firing. I had it fixed a couple of times by Charter Arms, but it still happened. Finally, I removed the shroud and coated the whole bbl with Loctite and hammered the shroud back on and it never came loose again (for me). Ended up selling it to a co-worker who did not care about the shroud thing. It was a backup for him.

Back in the '80's the store I worked at stocked and sold Taurus revolvers. I hated them. They were crudely made, rough, poorly finished. The return rate for the ones we sold was 100%. Everyone who bought them had problems. Taurus fixed them and they would not come back in for service again, but the QC issue from the factory left a bad taste for me. They LOOKED like S&W's but that was where the similarities ended.

Then a funny thing happened about 5 years ago. My local FFL had someone order two 2" blued Taurus .38's. I was there the day they came in and they were beautiful. Even finish, incredibly smooth actions, lockup like a bank vault. Better than any S&W I'd ever seen. What???!! I was impressed. Actually very impressed. Then the Buyer said he only wanted one of them and told the FFL to send the other back to the distributor. The distributor's re-stocking fee was almost half the cost (plus overnight shipping), but he did not care. So the FFL offered me the other one for his cost/less re-stock fees. It was about $125 IIRC, so I bought it. I have only put about 200-250 rds through it and it shoots great. (It is one of the guns that my wife can get to if she needs one when I'm not home). But I think this Taurus was made during their "sweet spot" because the new ones I've looked at are not nearly as nice. About 15 years ago I was given an unfired 3" Taurus .22. Nice little gun, but it was unfired, and broken. Broken straight from the box??! Not a good indicator of QC, but Taurus fixed it and it worked great after that, though it was not a tack driver. It did not compare to my S&W .22's.

We also sold Rossi revolvers at the same time. They had fairly slick actions, and used coil springs. My girl friend bought a little SS 4" .38 and loved it. The guys at the shop thought she was nuts, but it never gave her a problem, and she shot thousands of rds through it. It got used every week and would see a steady diet of HSM orange box reloads. At least 250rds a week. But it would seize up after about every 100rds due to unburned powder build up, either under the ejector star, between the crane and frame or between the cylinder face and forcing cone. Most of the Rossi revolvers we sold came back for one reason or another, but hers was a solid little shooter for years. Rossi and Taurus are now under the same "roof", but they still have a long way to go to bring them up to quality standards in my eyes. They have been too inconsistent.

Dan Wesson revolvers were very nice, but internally rough. I had a SS .44Mag, and a SS .357Mag. I loved them, even though everyone else looked down on them. The DA triggers had an odd "mid pull stack" that took a lot of getting used to. But versatility was awesome. Grip changes for any size hand, or field carry, or concealed carry? Yep. Change barrel shrouds from light to heavy? Yep. Change barrels from 2" to 12" in about 3 minutes? Yep. But that bbl change led to some serious problems. People who were not "gun people" did not understand the importance of using the little "feeler guage" to set the forcing cone gap. So they would buy the gun, shrug off our advice, and proceed to damage their new revolvers, or shower range mates with excess forcing cone "splatter". If the gap was too big, lead shavings and hot powder sprayed the range (and damaged the frame). If it was too tight the gun would lock up or crack the cylinder. The DW revolvers were not best for neophyte gun owners who did not want to learn. The versatility is awesome, but quality was not as high as a S&W. My .44 was very dirt sensitive, even when carried in a full coverage Bianchi nylon holster.

I know Cane likes the Korth revolvers. I have played with them at SHOT and they are beautiful. But they are REALLY proud of them. Lot of money for a revolver. I have not fired one, so maybe someone can include their observations if they have?

Revolvers have withstood the test of time. Just look at how many old 1917's (S&W and Colt) are still going strong. Look at how many S&W M&P's (M-10) have been built (1 million +). Look how many Police Positives there are (and still going strong). Lots! Many can still be found well used, and very affordable.

Revolvers are a better choice than semi autos in some circumstances. But they fall short in many others.

Keep them clean, and do not abuse them and they will serve several lifetimes. But they are prone to outside influences that can quickly take them off line, and for the inexperienced this could have catastrophic consequences.

A few have questioned my inclusion of the "sand box test" in the OP, as they feel it is unfair and unlikely to happen in real life. My real world experience has had hefty doses of Murphy's Law in charge. So I defend the "sand box test" as completely realistic. It is a great example of why guns need to be kept clean for optimal operation. Especially revolvers, with all their nooks and crannies. And the sand box test is routinely used for testing semi autos, so why not revolvers? Hmm...I've been in serious sand storms, fallen off dirt bikes, been in deep mud, crossed streams and lakes, spent days in Biblical rain, snow/sleet, and crawled through thousands of yards of brush and dirt and the one thing I know to be true is that dirt and dust get into every possible crack and crevice and seriously affect moving parts. The "sand box test" is valid if you want to test your equipment to the brink of failure. If you don't do that, don't try the sand box test. But it is a valid test for any firearm.

If my life is on the line, I will try to make sure my revolvers are of high quality, and kept clean. I would rather have a WW1 vintage 1917 in decent shape than a new Taurus. The 1917 has stood the test of time and will probably continue to do so.

So, I love revolvers. But I don't let that love cloud my judgment. Revolvers are not as "Bomb proof" as most people believe them to be.

__________________
NRA-Life
CRPA-Life

SAF-Life
PEIAPOI


"Obama has ordered the launching of more Tomahawk cruise missiles than All the other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined."
M14sRock is offline  
 
Reply With Quote

Join FirearmsTalk.com Today - It's Free!

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Firearms Talk is owned and operated by fellow firearms enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join FirearmsTalk.com Today! - Click Here


Old 08-15-2010, 11:32 PM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
JSDinTexas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 51
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Revolvers aren't on my list since I like 13-15 rounds per mag, but way back when, I had an instructor tell me a revolver will shoot faster than my auto due to the cycle. Made me think about that one.

__________________
JSDinTexas is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2010, 11:41 PM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
M14sRock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,539
Liked 33 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 45

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSDinTexas View Post
Revolvers aren't on my list since I like 13-15 rounds per mag, but way back when, I had an instructor tell me a revolver will shoot faster than my auto due to the cycle. Made me think about that one.
He was correct. That was in "Part One".
__________________
NRA-Life
CRPA-Life

SAF-Life
PEIAPOI


"Obama has ordered the launching of more Tomahawk cruise missiles than All the other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined."
M14sRock is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2010, 11:59 PM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
JSDinTexas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 51
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by M14sRock View Post
He was correct. That was in "Part One".
Ooops, sorry bout that.
__________________
JSDinTexas is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 02:27 AM   #5
Retired
FTF_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
danf_fl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: LA (Lower Alabama),FL
Posts: 10,412
Liked 2986 Times on 1720 Posts
Likes Given: 1280

Default

Thumbs up on both articles!
I like both the semi-auto and revolver platforms. My self defense / SHTF packages include both. The recent ammo shortage showed that ammo will not be available on the shelves all the time and that I have plan accordingly.
to paraphrase "beware of the man with only one gun, he may know how to use it (until the ammo is gone)"

__________________

Amendment II:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Life Member NRA
Life Member NAHC
Former President of the ECPT (Eifel Combat Pistol Team)

danf_fl is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:12 AM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Gatekeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Uniontown,PA
Posts: 3,710
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts

Default

Great info..... Again

__________________

----------Gate
______________________________________________
Hellfire, Doom, Watch the hatred spin
Beyond the speed of sound---
Fire it up, Let the engines roll
It's time to burn it down

Gatekeeper is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:14 AM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
M14sRock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,539
Liked 33 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 45

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatekeeper View Post
Great info..... Again
Thanks Gate. I'm not a "typer" so am glad these make sense to someone. I use the "one finger hunt and peck" method, and spend more time correcting, than writing. Hahaha.
__________________
NRA-Life
CRPA-Life

SAF-Life
PEIAPOI


"Obama has ordered the launching of more Tomahawk cruise missiles than All the other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined."
M14sRock is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:24 AM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pandamonium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,601
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Good read Sir! Thank you for taking the time and for sharing.

Currently the only pistol I own is a Colt Official Police, made in 1947. This revolver has never failed to fire,( at least while I have owned it) is 100% origional and is very accurate. I love it! I plan to add more revolvers and also semi-autos to my collection. Just waiting to get my life back.

Again, Thanks for posting.

__________________
GUN CONTROL, I GOT THAT

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. Thomas Jefferson
pandamonium is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:29 AM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
M14sRock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,539
Liked 33 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 45

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandamonium View Post
Good read Sir! Thank you for taking the time and for sharing.

Currently the only pistol I own is a Colt Official Police, made in 1947. This revolver has never failed to fire,( at least while I have owned it) is 100% origional and is very accurate. I love it! I plan to add more revolvers and also semi-autos to my collection. Just waiting to get my life back.

Again, Thanks for posting.
Great revolver. Got some pics to post?

I prefer a house that has stood the test of time (settling, earthquakes, etc) to one that is brand new construction. Any defect has reared its head by now. Same with revolvers.
__________________
NRA-Life
CRPA-Life

SAF-Life
PEIAPOI


"Obama has ordered the launching of more Tomahawk cruise missiles than All the other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined."
M14sRock is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2010, 03:49 AM   #10
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
pandamonium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,601
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Here ya go! Barely a blemish on her, grip is a tad small for my hand, but it's a great shooter!

dsc02026.jpg  
__________________
GUN CONTROL, I GOT THAT

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first. Thomas Jefferson
pandamonium is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
FFL--In my name or my LLC? Pros & Cons? CenterMass NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion 11 02-13-2012 01:20 AM
Pros and Cons of revolvers M14sRock General Handgun Discussion 47 09-30-2011 02:53 PM
Any one have a DAO Sig - Pros and cons? group17 Semi-Auto Handguns 18 01-25-2010 08:50 PM
pros/cons of reloading kablooie Ammunition & Reloading 12 09-10-2009 02:25 PM
Pros and Cons? gatgurl Competition Shooting 1 07-11-2007 06:54 PM