I love shooting, which is no surprise since I blog about it. While I will never get bored with my modern guns, sometimes I like to take a trip down Nostalgia Lane with some wheelguns and show my friends how things used to be; however, semi-autos have been around for over a century – have you? For my New Year’s Resolution, I’ve decided to carry and shoot my revolvers a little more often. There is something special about revolvers that I have trouble explaining. I will never say that revolvers are better than semi-autos—because sometimes it isn’t the best tool for the job. However, it is better in certain situations and for several reasons.
Primarily, revolvers are stupid reliable. A decent revolver will go bang every time you pull the trigger. This legendary reliability, coupled with less than stellar consistency in early semi-automatic pistols, helped carry revolvers into the modern age. At nearly 200 years old, your local gun store still has shelves of revolvers ready for purchase. Today, you can buy a quality semi-automatic at a low price that is almost as reliable as most revolvers, but this is a newer dynamic in the firearms industry. There still are plenty of gun owners who refuse to carry a semi-automatic handgun.
If you have a double action revolver, the trigger pull when the hammer is back is usually phenomenal. You often have to do a fair amount of work on a semi-automatic to get a similar level of trigger control. At the shooting range, this super-light trigger pull gives unparalleled accuracy. I don’t recommend taking your sweet time pulling the hammer back while trying to defend yourself, but in normal circumstances, you can achieve incredible accuracy with a double action revolver. If you are in a defensive situation, the long heavy trigger pull matters less at close range, since most defensive situations happen at room size distances.
If you are strapped for cash—say your budget is around $300—you can get more for your money with a revolver. A Taurus 85 chambered in .38 Special will get the job done and still fall within your budget. A low quality .380 auto at a similar price-point will most likely be far less reliable. Rossi makes a line of .38 Specials in the same arena, as does Ruger. In a defensive role, semiautomatic require more training. A revolver, with its simplistic design, is easy for just about anyone to operate. A semi-automatic, although an excellent tool, offers a more complicated platform by its nature.
Most gun owners won’t argue that part of reason we carry, practice and shoot firearms is the fun factor. Yes, we are exercising our Second Amendment rights; yes, we are making a choice to defend ourselves. However, there is little argument in the fact that lighting up a target with a lot of lead is just plain fun. To me at least, shooting a revolver is more fun than shooting a semi-automatic. I have owned 1911s, Glocks, XDs, Kahrs, and just about every other major platform under the sun, but I always get a grin when I blast away with a sturdy wheelgun.
Despite the popularity and reliability or the semi-automatic handguns, the revolvers still has its place. It packs an amazing amount of firepower in a concealable package and offers people a level of protection they would not otherwise have. When you’re grabbing your concealed carry weapon this year, consider the dusty, old revolver. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy it.