When I open my gun safe my eyes fall upon several categories of guns and their various subcategories, somewhat in the same way that we breakdown vehicles into two broad groups: trucks (and their sub groups) and passenger vehicles (and their sub groups). A major handgun category that I would like to comment on is the revolver. A group that I believe has a lot to offer but has been overlooked by new and younger shooters due to the popularity of the Wonder Nines and their ilk.
One of the great virtues of the revolver is that it is consistently reliable. Well maybe no gun is consistently reliable; after all it’s a mechanical device and therefore subject to malfunction. But for me the revolver comes as close to being one hundred percent reliable one hundred percent of the time. It is a weapon that can not only be counted upon to fire when asked to, but also extremely simple to operate and therefore does not require a complicated manual of arms to master.
Should you ever need to use your revolver to protect yourself and/or your family, you’ll want SIMPLE to OPERATE to be synonymous with AIM and squeeze. A revolver has no safeties to disengage, no slides to rack, no magazines to insert (and then feel obligated to “tap the heel” to ensure that it is properly seated), and most importantly there are no magazines to lose. No magazine. No gun.
You also do not have to concern your self with a plethora of causes on why your semi-auto failed to fire, especially if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. If your revolver doesn’t fire, pull the trigger again. Hearing a click when you want to hear a bang can be a deafening sound of the wrong kind. Without stovepipes to fret about and with no “what-to-do-now” procedures to memorize, you have freed yourself for more important matters to ponder…like surviving. A revolver can even be fired from inside your COAT pocket, with the emphasis being on COAT pocket and not pant pocket. It can even be fired when flush up against your adversary’s body—something a semi-auto can’t do, at least not more than once. Remember that with a revolver you need only to Draw, Aim, Fire (hear bang) and re-holster.
Another important virtue of the revolver is that it is NOT ammo sensitive like many semi-autos can be. If you can shove the proper cartridge into the revolver’s cylinder you’re good-to-go. A revolver will shoot snake loads, target loads, and full power defense loads with equal aplomb. Most semi-autos (if not all) are somewhat ammo sensitive. I know from practical experience that my .22 semi-auto is very ammo sensitive. Fortunately what it likes to digest can be bought at Wal-Mart. And what it doesn’t like to digest I run through my revolver. Don’t you just love it when there is an easy fix close at hand?
A very important plus for the revolver is that it can be kept loaded indefinitely. There are no springs to stress like there is in a magazine. Yes, I know that magazines can be kept fully depressed for years without any ill effect. But I don’t know anyone who feels comfortable doing it. I know I don’t. It must be the fear of having your magazine fatigued at the wrong time. No fear of that happening with a magazine-less revolver.
If you need to check your revolver to see if it is loaded, just open the cylinder or look in the cylinder gap for brass cartridge rims. You also have the added bonus in knowing that after you’ve check the cylinder for ammo, there isn’t a round hiding in the breech. This type of error can be easily made with a semi-auto with serious consequences.
You can customize the grips on a revolver a whole lot easier than on a semi-auto. You can go from small J-frame style grips to large target grips in every material known to mankind…or just make your own grips if you think you need another hobby.
Do you reload? If you do then you won’t have to look far to find your brass because they are all in your cylinder just waiting to be plucked out. It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?
Yes, it does. Especially if you think it’s important to clean your gun after every shooting session. It’s an axiom of mine that ‘A clean gun is a happy gun. And a happy gun owner is one that has an easy gun to clean.’ Revolvers are easy to clean because there are no parts to disassemble so there are no parts to loose or springs to spring away as can happen with semi-autos. So with little free time to spare these days, having an easy gun to clean is welcomed. This is a win-win situation for gun and gun owner. What more can you ask of any gun?
I’m sure there are many of you saying that I purposely overlooked a major flaw in the revolver: namely its inability to hold more than six rounds while the wonder nines can hold up to 18 rounds. Balderdash I say. Watch for my future comments on why I don’t feel under gunned while carrying my six-shoot Colt Detective Special as well as my views concerning the virtues of the semi-auto pistol.