Why Revolvers Will Never Be Outdated — and One Surprising Reason Everybody Should Own One

Jason HansonDear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

I’ve recently fielded quite a few questions about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a revolver versus a semiautomatic. There are several pros and cons for each, and one of the frequent criticisms of revolvers is that they’re obsolete.

Well, Caleb Lee, founder of Prepared Gun Owners, has something to say about that.

Check out the article below and see if it doesn’t make you want to go out and get a six-shooter of your own.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

Why Revolvers Will Never Be Outdated — and One Surprising Reason Everybody Should Own One

by Caleb Lee



Caleb LeeWhen we think of revolvers, we automatically start seeing images of gunmen in the Wild West shooting up saloons and putting down bad guys. The revolver is a quintessential part of American gun history, and it holds a special place in our hearts.

Unfortunately, many people believe that revolvers are quickly turning into a novelty item with little potential practical use, and it’s a crying shame.

Despite the growing sentiment that revolvers should be relegated to collectors and old movies, there are plenty of good reasons to keep these guns in your regular carry rotation. Furthermore, there’s a strong argument to support the notion that these guns will NEVER be outdated like some people say.

You might be surprised to hear that, but give me a chance to tell you why.

OffTheGridNews tells us more:

Revolvers are here to stay, despite the fact that they hold a limited number of rounds and are slower to reload compared with semiautomatic handguns. Does that mean that you need a six-shooter in your handgun battery?

It depends.

For more than a century revolvers were the de facto go-to handgun for civilians, soldiers and peace officers. They remained in service after the introduction and adoption of the semiautomatic pistol, and their decline has only been over the past two or three decades.

Manufacturers continue to produce revolvers, and it seems that every time we try to write them off as obsolete that a new model comes forth.

What is it about the revolver that still endears it to so many shooters?

1. Nostalgia
For many shooters, revolvers hearken back to a simpler time. Whether it is from watching Western-themed movies or police dramas set from the 1940s through the late 1980s, the revolver played a dominant role from the early days of America through the end of the Reagan era.

Many new revolvers coming to market are designed for period reenactors who need to replicate arms from the Civil War through the Old West up through the Roaring Twenties.

As a student of history, the author can certainly appreciate revolvers from this standpoint.

2. Reliability
There was a time when revolvers held the advantages of simplicity and reliability. The modern semiautomatic pistol has finally come into its own in this regard, but for many years they were denigrated as being fussy with ammo types, and prone to malfunction and — heaven forbid — needing to be maintained and cleaned.

There is a lot to be said for any firearm that can be left loaded for long periods of time and remain reliable and not cause worries about automatic ejection of spent casings before firing another round and also need no external safeties.

Many new semiautomatic pistols have these same advantages, but they cannot be taken away from the revolver.

3. Concealability
Apart from the reenactor revolvers, there are two other classes of revolver that shooters want to see. The first of these are the small, compact revolvers that can easily slide into a pocket holster and be carried comfortably all day.

The J-Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers and the mini-revolvers from companies such as North American Arms make for outstanding concealed carry or backup guns for a primary defensive handgun.

Some revolvers with concealed or shrouded hammers can be fired from inside a pocket; not even the best compact .380 can manage that.

4. Power
The other type of revolvers that shooters seem to want is the Magnum caliber revolver. Beyond .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum and .44 Magnum, there is an entirely new class emerging in the .454 Casull, .460 S&W and .500 S&W cartridges.

These large-caliber wheel guns have all but replaced the various single-shot and bolt-action pistols chambered in rifle cartridges for handgun hunting due to similar and sometimes superior ballistics — not to mention their ease of use when compared with the bolt-action “mini-rifle handguns.”

Semiautomatic handguns in these calibers need to be overbuilt in order to handle the pressures and the slides made much heavier.

Even with some modern auto pistol rounds (like the 10 mm fired through a six-inch Glock 40), the power factor is at the lower end of the power scale when compared with the revolver cartridge it is trying to emulate.

For a hunting handgun, the revolver is still king.

5. Simplicity
Regardless of the type of revolver, the hallmark of a wheel gun is its simplicity and shorter learning curve. We learned how to shoot on semiautomatic pistols, and when we started as an instructor, we were convinced we could teach all our students the same way.

For some shooters, though, the revolver has a steeper learning curve. It may be they are distracted by ejecting brass, have difficulty with slide manipulation or are enamored by the superior grip characteristics of a classic Colt or Smith. If part of your goal is to introduce new people to the shooting sports, a spare .38 Special revolver can help a newcomer who might otherwise give up.

I simply like revolvers, for many of the reasons cited above. My Colt SAA is a piece of history at more than 115 years old, and a Colt Detective Special conceals easier in the summer months than a Glock 19. Additionally, my S&W500 can drop an elk at 50 yards.

Now that you’ve heard the case for revolvers, what do you think? Was that enough to sell you, or are you still skeptical? Maybe you’re already a faithful revolver fan. No matter your inclination, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

[Editor’s note: Jason here. If you’re sold on revolvers and ready to arm yourself, you should check out Caleb’s Concealed Carry 101 course. It’s a 90-minute online course, which means you don’t even have to leave home to qualify for your concealed carry permit — and you can do it in the time it takes to watch a movie. If you carry concealed, you won’t just be able to protect yourself and your family — you’ll make everyone else safer too. Click here now to enroll.]

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