Are Revolvers Obsolete?

Revolvers seem to be either loved or hated. There isn’t much middle ground these days, with most people firmly planting themselves on one side of the fence and smugly looking down on the other camp. In this installment of TFBTV, Alex takes a look at this old question through unbiased eyes.

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Transcript …

– [Voiceover] Are revolvers obsolete? Well, this question tends to start a firestorm among many members of the gun community.

The more tactically-inclined folks, whose perception of the gun has been shaped by modern military experience, carbine courses, or three gun competitions, would almost certainly say, “Yes, absolutely.” A great many other people have found through trials and tribulations that revolvers work best for them, generally citing the way they are contoured, reliability or familiarity.

To this, I say, “Carry on.

“Only you know what works best for you.” So, back to that big question, “In general, are revolvers obsolete?” Short answer, Yes.

But, damn, if I don’t love them and, occasionally carry them.

From military perspective, revolvers have been largely obsolete for over 100 years.

When the Swiss adopted the Luger in 1900, it kicked off the trend of nations ditching revolvers in favor of self-loading designs.

The Germans followed suit in 1908, the Americans in the year of our Lord 1911, and, so on, and so forth.

While revolvers did see quite a lot of service in World War II, that was mostly due to holdovers from previous conflicts, as was the case with the American M1917 revolver.

In the war, revolvers filled a few niche roles.

For example, inside of a cramped vehicle, you wouldn’t want an auto-loader spitting hot brass all over, or failing to cycle due to (gunfire) spatial hindrance or clutter.

Now, that’s well and good, (gunfire) but let’s move forward to today. (gunfire) Companies are still making fine revolvers that are sold (gunfire) almost exclusively to the civilian market. (gunfire) You saw American Law Enforcement largely (gunfire) shift away from them in the 80s, with the Wonder Nine revolution, and companies like Colt and Smith and Wesson now had to adapt.

Colt never seemed (gunfire) to get the hang (gunfire) of auto-loading handguns, (gunfire) with the flops that were the All-American 2000 and Z40.

But, Smith is doing just fine, and still produces (gunfire) fine double-action wheel guns. (gunfire) Colt, unfortunately, (gunfire) decided to kill guns, like the iconic Python, while keeping the single-action Army in production.

Other manufacturers today include Manurhin, Korth, and Janz, but these high-end custom manufacturers seem to cater less to people with duty-use in mind, and more to the high-end consumer market.

From a civilian carry perspective, I believe that the humble revolver still has a lot of merit.

(gunfire) Say what you will about automatics, but they are harder to use than a revolver.

This is something I used to scoff at (gunfire) until I took some uninitiated persons to the range who physically had trouble racking the slide (gunfire) of an automatic.

That’s something very easy for guns guys like us to (gunfire) overlook and it’s almost become second nature, but, seeing a 100 pound female struggle to chamber a round (gunfire) in a Glock 19 makes you realize that there really isn’t a one size fits all option for concealed carry. (gunfire) Yes, I know we all think we need a semi-automatic (gunfire) with extra magazines for that romanticized (gunfire) gun fight that’s played out in our heads, but, the fact of the matter is (gunfire) that in the vast, vast majority of cases, the number of shots fired in an altercation will be two.

A survey of 482 civilian (gunfire) incidents involving firearms used in self-defense produced this statistic. (gunfire) And, when more than two shots were fired, (gunfire) it was generally because the defender’s response was to fire until empty. (gunfire) I would never turn down additional capacity, but with a revolver, you trade capacity for a very simple manual of arms.

So, in short, there are still applcations where a revolver shines.

As a carry piece, target or competition gun, they still have (gunfire) great relevance.

However, I believe that as a duty gun, (gunfire) they are very outmatched by modern semi-automatic pistols. (gunfire) If anything, I like revolvers because I enjoy shooting them. (gunfire) They are accurate, and the nostalgia that comes with them caters to my heritage (gunfire) as a Texan.

However, if I were headed (gunfire) to the OK Corral in the 21st century, you bet, I would leave the old Colt at home.

Thank you for watching this episode of TFB TV.

What do you think of revolvers? Put your opinion in the comments below, and I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Big thanks to Ventura Munitions for helping us out with our shooting videos.

And, we hope to see you all next time.

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • olivehead

    Of course they are not “obsolete” and have a definite place for many people. I only own one, however, because when my father died it came to me and I’ve never shot it. Revolvers are just not as “fun” as semi-autos and not as entertaining to shoot, clean, and tinker with, IMHO. Of course YMMV.

  • Martin M

    This is like saying bolt actions are obsolete because semi-auto rifles are so whatever. Wheel guns will always have a place in the gun world.

    • That’s pretty much the point I make in the video.

      • Swarf

        Actually, you say in the video that yes, they are obsolete and then go on for the rest of the video listing the ways in which they aren’t.

      • Martin M

        I thought I’d reprint that for the non-watchers. Keep up the good work, Alex.

    • fdsaasdf

      Except revolvers cost about the same as semi auto pistol while bolt action rifles tend to cost less than semi auto rifles.

    • Ben Pottinger

      Except if you’re using combat as the sole scale bolt actions are pretty close to obsolete now. The military has almost completely removed bolt guns from every role. The 50BMG sniper/material rifle is semi, the DMR is semi, the SASS and CSASS are both semi, etc etc. Snipers are the only units still fielding bolt guns and those are being replaced with semi’s in all but specialist roles (for an already specialised unit!) like the 300WM or 338LM chambered guns.

      For civilians other factors come into play and we have other requirements (cost, collecting, hunting restrictions, etc) but for the military the bolt gun is just eclipsed by modern autoloaders in almost every way.

      • Sir TuberKopf

        Most snipers that carry a bolt action also lug along either two side arms, or a light weight SMG, or all four.

  • Mattb

    When I go to the range I practice with my autos because they are the guns I’m most likely to call upon, then the revolver comes out and I have a great time. No one can pop off a .357 magnum from a hair single action trigger then say it’s obsolete with a straight face. Too damn fun and if it’s only used because it’s fun in the end then it isn’t completely obsolete in my book.

  • Schnee

    These make me happy. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

    • Schnee

      And then there’s this for ultra-light backpacking. 5 rounds of hot .357 sucks to shoot, but it’s as important as a SPOT satellite panic button in the Rockies.

      • How is firing that with 125gr .357 mag?

        • Schnee

          The 329PD is painful. Like, I don’t really like to shoot a whole cylinder of full-house Magnum. The 340PD, if you can believe it, is actually worse. It’s sharper. Feels like someone hitting the web of your hand hard with a ball peen hammer. I rigged up a thing where I duct taped a piece of foam from a cut up Crocs sandal on the backstrap. That makes it totally bearable.

          • FourString

            I wanna see more of these in action movies. Just cuz they’re interesting.

      • Kathy Singley

        I have this gun! But I’ll stick with .38P
        Best Christmas present ever.

    • Schnee

      While I’m being gratuitous, how about a truck gun that was a French cop gun in a previous life. Rivals my Python for build quality and is certainly tougher. If you want to lose an hour or two of your life, google Manurhin MR73 and read about its pedigree. This thing vs. a Glock 19 under the seat is a tough call.

      • Christopher Barnett

        An obviously well-loved revolver just does good things for my cardiovascular health. And, I think that’s about the first time I’ve seen anyone use a Manhurin as a truck gun. Well played.

        • Schnee

          I like to think it would give a good French pistol-whipping if it were required, too. Imagine the humiliation!

        • n0truscotsman

          Im equally impressed. πŸ˜€

      • iksnilol

        You use a Manhurin as a truck gun?

        Lemme guess, you have an original K98 sniper rifle that is your trunk gun as well?

        • Some Guy

          There was a batch of MR73s sold on aim for like $400 (I think they were previously well used, hence the price)

          • iksnilol


            Those things are way more worth than that.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      The 329PD is the most beautiful revolver ever to grace the Earth.

      • Schnee


      • Giolli Joker

        I disagree… but respect your choice. πŸ˜‰

    • John Swinkels

      well i started to get really excited here had to remind my self i was not on a porn site.when you said drop in a moon clip of 6 .45 i just lost it.i have to ask do you prefer the 4″ or 5″ i would like to know as much as i love my 44 competitor its huge.

      • Schnee

        I believe that all 1917s, Colt or S&W are 5.5″ barrel. Except for Indiana Jones’ which was cut down to 4″. The pencil barrel on these is so nice and light that it feels like a much smaller and handier gun than a full-underlug modern revolver.

    • FalconMoose

      They’re beautiful!

  • cwp

    They aren’t obsolete, but their niche is growing steadily narrower. When I was growing up in the pre-Glock era, it was still common for quite serious people to advise selecting revolvers as self-defense guns “because you’ll never have to worry about reliability, and you only get one more round from a .45 anyway.” Glock and its imitators have pretty much put paid to both ends of that argument.

    Still, obsolete doesn’t mean useless. Obsolete guns can be a hell of a lot of fun, as can obsolete cars. I wouldn’t use a Model A Ford for everyday transportation, but I have one in my garage anyway.

    • TheMaskedMan

      Exactly. I still think a revolver would be my gun of choice for the trail. Nothing beats a revolver when it comes to hard-hitting rounds in a compact package.

      • rebart

        It all depends on the trail. In bear country I would like a 10mm pistol because of the higher capacity than the revolver. It’s a myth that any revolver would kill a bear, especially a Grizzly, unless you placed an excellent shot. However, I would also consider a revolver in something like a .454 or hot .45 Colt. Or other hot load. The only problem with these is recoil.

    • guest

      They don’t have a “niche” other than personal preference and/or taste.
      Your last sentence sums up the problem perfectly: you won’t use an old vehicle, but you’d keep it for some other reasons (affection, collectable, etc).
      That’s the exact definition of obsolete.

      If asked maybe a lot o pilots today would rather fly some old, sturdy prop fighter from WW2 to do strafing runs on ISIS or whatever. Would probably be fun, look good, and to some extent do the job, it would also however make no f***ing sense. Same thing with revolvers. I have one but I will never write up excuses as to its practicality – fun, yes, but that’s the sum total of ALL the advantages it has over any other gun.

      • cwp

        I think there’s still a role for the revolver, particularly in handgun hunting and protection from large wildlife. While the 10mm is a fine cartridge, it’s not really comparable to hot .44 Magnums, .454, .460/.500 S&W, etc. The only significant production .44 Magnum semi-auto is both more expensive than a revolver in the same chambering and more awkward to carry.

        You might object that very few people need (or want) a handgun suitable for brown bear defense or African buffalo hunting, and you would be correct. Within that small niche group, however, a revolver would be a perfectly defensible choice on the merits.

        • iksnilol

          *cough* .460 Rowland *cough*

          Basically .44 mag in a 1911.

          • cwp

            As a *cartridge*, .460 Rowland seems like a perfectly acceptable .44 Magnum equivalent. It’s just the surrounding ecosystem isn’t there yet. For someone who’s okay with a boutique gun that shoots a boutique caliber, it’s a reasonable alternative, but the ubiquity of the .44 Magnum gives it an advantage in terms of practicality.

            I guess I’d draw an analogy to electric cars. They’re great if your lifestyle fits their usage model, and I won’t be surprised if we’re all driving them in 20 years, but right now the limitations are challenging enough that internal combustion is still a better fit for the majority of people.

          • jcitizen

            Or the .45 Wildey Magnum, or Desert Eagle 50 Action Express. Personally I just don’t trust an auto for big game. I don’t know why I trust semi-autos for self protection against human criminals though. I guess it is a psychological thing. I’d rather have say – a 500 S&W magnum, revolver.

      • Tabitha Martin

        Can your semi-auto handgun carry more than one caliber? Can it carry more than one caliber in the same magazine at the same time?

        Do you have to worry about potential feeding/jamming issues because you are using hollowpoints? (I have seen this many times in several different guns)

        Does your seni-auto EVER jam?

        How long and delicate an operation is it to clean it in the field on your lap sitting in the dirt? Possibility of loosing a piece in the process?

        • ccpotter

          What advantage does carrying ammo of two specific calibers in a gun at the same time offer? If you’re referring to ammo availability, that turns out not to be an advantage. In the recent madness, .40 S&W was still available on the shelves long after the calibers fireable by a .357 Mag revolver were gone.

          Revolvers also can jam from slight deformities in the ammunition; these jams generally can’t be fixed in the field. Plus they can have timing issues that semiautos never have to deal with. It’s true that semiautos jam more easily than revolvers, but we’re talking very rare vs. extremely rare, and semiauto malfunctions are far easier to recover from.

          • Tabitha Martin

            My Governor can carry .410, 45ACP, and 45LongColt, all at the same time.

            I am loaded for anything from snake to bear, in ONE hand held firearm. And i could ALWAYS find at least one caliber at all times during the ammo shortage. I found PLENTY of times during that shortage when your 40S&W wasent available but my PDX1 .410 was available.

            Now, i have put lots of rounds through lots of weapons both semi-auto and revolver. EVERY SINGLE semi-auto jammed at least once. My own Beretta which normally operated flawlessly, sometimes had feeding problems with hollowpoint ammo.

            NO revolver i have ever fired has jammed.

          • ccpotter

            Still don’t see what benefit comes from having multiple calibers in the same cylinder at the same time. You can’t choose which cartridge in the cylinder to shoot without releasing the cylinder and manually spinning it. I suppose you could shoot a bunch of rounds with the “wrong” caliber to get to the one you want, but that seems pretty dumb.

            Also shotshells from a rifled barrel are not the greatest idea. Terrible patterning. One could find .22 shotshells on gun store shelves pretty much throughout the ammo crisis, even while bulk packs of normal 22LR were selling for $100 on Gunbroker — there’s a reason for that.

            Like I said, revolver jams are extremely rare, but they are not unheard of. I have seen a Ruger Single Six jam on Remington Thunderbolts in a way that was not fixable at the range. Definitely the ammo’s fault, but so are many semiauto malfs.

          • jcitizen

            Plus the Astra Model 400 could shoot a myriad of different ammo when it was produced – 9mm ammunition: Bergmann Bayard or Largo, Steyr, Parabellum, Browning Long and the .38 ACP; and it was semi-auto. The advantage was that if one type of issue ammo was not available you could use an alternative.

            As far as revolvers go, I do like that I can shoot 38 special or 357 magnum in my revolver, and also I have a choice of 44 magnum or 44 special in another pistol I own. No special advantage, I just like that it can do it if I want. If it weren’t that I hate .45 colt ammo, I’d be happy with that alternative too.

          • Lt_Scrounge

            I had a new from the factory single action revolver that jammed. It simply would NOT rotate past one chamber in the cylinder. 5 of 6 chambers were fine, but that sixth one locked up the action every time. I’m glad I dry fire everything BEFORE taking it to the range to make sure it goes at least “click” every time. It went back to the gun shop. Its replacement was one serial number higher and functioned flawlessly.

          • Mikial

            I guess there can be lemons in any machine, no matter how reliable the overall line is. You’ve had an experience I certainly have not. I’ve never owned or shot a revolver of any kind that didn’t function every time.

      • Malleus Veritas

        Actually a propeller driven platform like the AC130 would be ideal for use against a low tech adversary like ISIS that doesn’t have any air defense to speak of. For the close air support mission you want something that flies low and slow, is rough field capable, and has lots of endurance. Jets generally don’t do any of those things well. The only one that does is the A10, and it uses turbofans, not turbojets. And what do you think a drone is? Most of them are basically WWII style piston engine airframes, just with no pilot on board.

    • dltaylor51

      One of the guns i carry for self defense is a Uberti SSA sheriffs model in 357 mag with a 3 1/2″barrel and I have never felt under gunned or obsolete in the least.In a point blank defense situation I can get off the first shot faster than anyone with an auto,it takes practice and lots of it but the single action army designed in 1873 is still as good as an auto right up untill it comes time to reload and then the auto wins hands down.

  • Christopher Barnett


    I’m not a cop. Or a “special operator.” Or a gang-banger. Or anyone else who reasonably could expect to require more than five to six rounds of anything in my day-to-day. If I were, maybe I’d be more inclined to carry a semi-auto (and there are a bunch of semi-autos I dearly like).

    However, I’m just a guy living in the suburbs, and I’m pretty firmly entrenched in Camp Wheelgun. I have nothing against my fellow POTGs who prefer autoloaders, but that’s just not me anymore.

    “An elegant weapon for a more civilized age…”

    • MIke H

      I wouldn’t want to trade my Sigs for one, but that’s just me. If it works, and you like it, and you shoot it well, and it’s only going to be a carry piece or bedside gun in the ‘burbs because you aren’t a operating operator operating operationally in an operation, I have a hard time seeing it somehow as a wrong choice.

    • Ian Thorne

      According to NYC police data over 45% of self defense shootings use more than 6 rounds. So anyone at all who see’s a need to carry can reasonably expect to need more than a revolver, you included.

      • gunsandrockets

        Uh, I wouldn’t want to use NYPD practices as a model for appropriate SD handgun methods. No offense intended.

        • MIke H

          ^^^This πŸ™‚

      • Christopher Barnett

        My initial reaction to that is: Good thing I don’t live in NYC (like I need another reason). Also, good thing I’m not NYPD.

        However, before I officially go all snarky, how about you give me a cite to a source for your assertion?

        • Evan

          I read a few years back that NYPD hits their target about 9% of the time. Their firearms training is abysmal, and their duty guns have 13lb triggers installed to prevent NDs in lieu of proper weapons handling training. What NYPD needs in a defensive shooting and what any other civilian – cop or private citizen – needs are two completely different things.

      • Dan

        The shootings involved more than 6 rounds doesn’t mean that they actually needed more than 6 rounds.

  • vwVwwVwv

    revolvers are like knifes, if you want something redy whenever, revolvers rule.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Last time I checked they still fire bullets that will kill you so I would say no.

    • Im not sure that’s a great point. Springfield 1861s fire bullets that can also kill, but surely you would agree that such firearms are obsolete?

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I think the question is far too vague.
        Obsolete for what? As a military sidearm? Yes.
        As a means for self protection? No, especially considering the compact lightweight models out there.
        This is just me but I dont see myself needing more than 6 shots in a self defense situation.

        • ostiariusalpha

          I’d say that handguns in general are becoming obsolete for military use, but they have a long and fruitful future ahead of them for civilian defensive purposes. Revolvers work just as excellently for this task as they did a century ago.

          • TheNotoriousIUD


          • iksnilol

            I remember reading about Russian guys in Afghanistan leaving behind pistols to pack more ammo for their rifles (a popular trick was to get too big boots so you could put in a 20 round box in each shoe, padding with socks of course).

        • BattleshipGrey

          I just switched over last year to a Glock, but I carried an SP101 .357mag for just over a decade. I still love revolvers though and never consider them obsolete.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yeah, I mean the only real change is in ammo cap.
            My Sig P 238 only carries one more round.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I’ve never carried a revolver but it’s a silly question. They work and they will kill. Period.

        • M

          What you just said Alex addressed the video:
          He says that as a military sidearm it is definitely outdated, but still a viable civilian defensive firearm, then goes on to quote that a study showed most situations requiring a firearm ended in 2 or less shots, and any more was because the user just emptied the gun

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Didn’t watch the video just answered the question.

        • Ian Thorne

          If you don’t see needing more than 6 shots you are not thinking very hard. The NYC police stats say that about 45% of self defense shootings use more than six rounds…so…yeah.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            So you’re talking about the police force that fired 41 shots at a guy reaching for his wallet and hit him 19 times. The nypd is not my standard for accuracy or restraint. Besides that’s less than half anyway and mostly overkill by people who just pull the trigger until it’s empty.

          • The average number of rounds fired to stop a gun fight was right at 2.3 rounds in the late 70’s when everyone carried wheelguns.
            Now it seems there is a lot of spraying going on both civilian and police.

          • Hedd Wyn John

            If you have more rounds you’ll use more rounds. That said revolvers capacities are better than they used to be. 6 shot snubbies are now more available (5 shots used to be the mainstream) and there several 7 shot & 8 shot revolvers on the market.

          • Tabitha Martin

            My S&W model 686, .357 is a 7 shot, AND you can get speedloaders for it. πŸ™‚

          • Evan

            The NYPD’s hit rate is about 9% according to a book I read a few years back (don’t remember the name). That’s a believable statistic. NYPD officers are issued pistols that have been modified to have 13lb triggers. This is supposed to prevent NDs, in lieu of training. NYPD firearms training is virtually nonexistent.

          • Tabitha Martin

            I dont live in NYC. And if i DID, i likely would carry something OTHER than a gun.

        • RobertNorwood

          I agree. If you need more than 6 you’re in a bit of trouble. Unless an automatic is ready to go, e.g. round chambered ready to fire and on safety a revolver can be brought into action from a dead stop much quicker. And revolvers have a timeless beauty. That said I favor the M1911 and its modern expressions. I used the 1911 in the Mil so it’s like your first love.

        • missourisam

          I agree with you on the six shots being enough, until you think modern day threats. Everyday there are more people being let into this nation, by the so called humanitarian “need” or just by sneaking into our country, and the gang violence that is rampant, that if you are out in the public the more ammo available the better. The first part of my law enforcement career was spent carrying a revolver, but as soon as it was allowed by the chief, who incidentally had never worked the street as a cop, I went to an auto. Not only for the increased capacity, but for the speed of reloading the weapon. Nothing is more stressful than being under fire, and trying to reload a revolver one chamber at a time. Even speed loaders are not as fast as a loaded magazine change.

          • Tabitha Martin

            I disagree that speedloaders are slower. Though they do require practice.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I agree I don’t even own a revolver. I carry a glock 45.
            I was just saying they definitely aren’t obsolete.

      • Sulaco

        Heard a quote once to the effect that guns are “obsolete” only in relation to newer tech. That “They maybe old, but they still have lots of killing left in them”. Have seen cap and ball revolver used in a murder, DRT.

      • Mike

        Yes the springfield 1861 fire bullets, however revolvers are capable of handling rounds that semi-automatics are not. I believe there has to be a clear distinction for what the side arm will be used, between two legged predictors and four legged there is a huge difference. I would not likely carry my HK45C in the mountains and my 329PD in a urban area. This is one point I think was greatly missed in your review video. I do appreciate your work, and keep it up!

  • Edeco

    I’m not a huge fan of swing out cylinders. Bleh. But the character of the recoil (short and simple compared to autoloader) is neat, as is the control one has over cases and not needing mags. Also the grip shapes; I like Pachmayr Presentation grips.

  • hikerguy

    Are they obsolete? Depends on how you look at it. As a combat or law enforcement side arm, the autos now rule the day. As a trail gun, tacklebox gun, target shooter, home self defense, people who have problems racking slides, general fun gun, and for those who reload and don’t like chasing brass, It is still far from it.

  • BattleshipGrey

    If 98% of the population isn’t willing to stand in front of one, it’s probably not obsolete.

    • Paladin

      I’m not willing to stand in front of an arquebus, and I doubt you’d be able to find many who would be, but strangely enough I didn’t see all that many of them last time I swung by the gun store.

  • Thomas S

    Obsolete depends on context. No sane military is going to field a revolver these days.

    A law enforcement officer could get away with it in many areas but most would be better served with an auto.

    A civilian using one for defense is viable, and demonstrated to be effective time and again.

    If you are into hunting with a pistol, revolvers are still a great option.

    For having fun, obsolete doesn’t matter. A single shot muzzle loader can be fun to shoot.

    I own a single revolver, it belonged to my dad. I don’t shoot it often but it works well enough on the range. I own a single shot rifle for the same reason.

    I wouldn’t use either in a field situation if I could avoid it and I don’t want to be in a bad enough way for them to be what my life depends on. They work though and that is better than no gun.

    • JSmath

      Military police running ballistic shields just might do it => S&W TRR8/R8

  • MIke H

    No more obsolete than the 1911… which the Marines MARSOC just adopted.

    I mean, I love my P226 and my carry is a P239 (both in 9mm), and have no plans to ever trade either for a revolver (or 1911). But “obsolete” doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

    I kinda want to get a little .38 snubby for my fiancee, for the reasons stated in the article (she’s a very small woman, even though she has good strength for her size).

  • Blake
    • TheNotoriousIUD

      When I was in HS my buddy had a van we called The Smoke Wagon for entirely different reasons.

      • iksnilol

        Was it because of the engine mixing oil with the fuel causing much smoke?

        • ostiariusalpha

          Of course. I mean, what else could it possibly be?

        • TheNotoriousIUD


          • iksnilol

            Man, he should’a fixed that. Can’t be good for the engine.

  • Pete M

    Can I suppress them? No? Then, yes, obsolete. ?

    (Nagants aside)

    • Giolli Joker


      • Pete M

        Ok I’ll add that I also don’t want to have to get a tax stamp for each round in my revolver. ?

      • Pete M

        I’d buy this in a heartbeat though. If the cylinder gap issue was fixed.

        • Giolli Joker

          S&W 325+SilencerCo photoshop?

          There were also 2 silenced revolvers (handgun and rifles) based on Ruger GP100 and RH made by KAC, plus a German S&W 625 (I think) modification aimed yo make it silenced. Big and bulky but apparently effective.

          I believe that a break open revolver would offer better options for suppression as the cylinder doesn’t need to swing out…

          • Pete M

            Yup. I threw it together and sent it to SiCo to try and convince them to make it.

            Agreed on the the cylinder. Even a loading gate would work. Single-action integrally suppressed cowboy steampunk FireFly gun?

          • Tassiebush

            Absolutely thinking the same thing re the top break revolver.

    • Tabitha Martin

      And you need your EDC suppressed for WHAT reason? Thats a pretty lame reason to say revolvers are obsolete.

      • Pete M

        Its a joke Tabitha.

  • Wanderlust

    My 2 cents is my Ruger LCR .327 is a small bit larger then the pocket .380’s and about the same as the pocket single stack 9’s. Holds 6 rounds so is the same as most of the single stacks. Is more reliable then any of the single stacks, and is unlikely to engage a target in concealed carry at a distance the sight radius on the others would make a difference. Oh its about as light as most of them and given the nice smooth curves and concealed hammer it never snags and does not print. .327 federal is a good match for 9mm

    • asdffdsa

      >about the same as the pocket single stack 9’s
      More like about the same as a Glock 26.

  • allannon

    Nah, especially if you’re pistol hunting or need to concern yourself with large and aggressive things like bears.

    At least, there’s no .500s&w automatic I’ve heard of. πŸ˜‰

  • CissyScum

    My EDC is a S&W 642-2 with an Apex spring and firing pin kit.

    No, revolvers are not obsolete.

    • Tabitha Martin

      My EDC is a S&W Governor loaded mix six with .410, 45ACP, & 45LongColt and 4 speedloaders of the 45LC.

  • Barry

    As an edc, revolvers are supposed to be loaded minus one in the cylinder, right? The round under the hammer can be ignited if the the hammer is hit hard like bumping into something when getting up from a sitting position. If so, those small lightweight revolvers are holding just 4 rounds which are making them close to becoming a novelty like the derringers. Can you use them for defense? Sure, but should you?

    • DW

      You still living in pre-transferbar times apparently.

      • Barry

        That’s the way my concealed carry instructor told us to carry a revolver. Granted, he was an aged gentleman. I guess they fixed that?

        • Vizzini

          They fixed that many, many decades ago. In fact even modern single-action cowboy-style revolvers by Ruger (Single Six, Bearcat, Vaquero and Blackhawk models) have transfer bars and are safe to carry fully-loaded.

          All typical EDC modern DA revolvers have transfer bars and are safe to carry fully-loaded.

        • barry

          Thanks for the correction, guys. I’m constantly learning not to trust those old gun guys.

          • The only revolver you don’t want to carry with 6 rounds is a single action army 1873 in the original configuration without a transfer bar.
            Carry 5 with the chamber empty under the hammer.

      • Bob

        Old school Wild West single action revolvers yes, modern ones, no.

    • Don Ward


    • Blake

      Even our modern repro black-powder percussion revolver has half-stops on the cylinder so you can park the hammer half-way between chambers & carry it safely.

      Don’t forget to put a dollop of crisco over each loaded chamber to prevent chain-fires though!

      • Schnee

        Hadn’t thought of squirting FireClean over each chamber until now!

  • Dr. Buchenrad

    As a duty gun you can definitely do better with a semi, but I’ve been wanting an sp101 for a carry gun for a long time. The new kimber k6s looks nice too (especially the narrow cylinder) but give me an exposed hammer please.

    I love revolvers and will continue to own them until I die (and I’m only 25)

    Give me an sp101, 327pd, 329pd, and a pair of Remington 1851 clones and I’ll be a happy man.

  • VF 1777

    I pretty much agree, but you forgot one big niche – big bore dangerous game defense. I dont know of any semi autos in 454 casul, nor would that really make sense.

    • gunsandrockets

      Well there was that semi-automatic revolver in .454 Casull, which was all kinds of awesome!

    • hikerguy

      I didn’t think of big game defense per se, but file it under the “trail gun category”. Good point.

    • Well, there is one…….

  • Bill


    It wouldn’t bother me a bit if The Boss told me to hit the bricks with a Model 66 or L-Frame.

    I also think that they are an excellent choice for people, be they citizens, cops or soldiers, who can’t or wont learn things like immediate actions or the slightly more complex loading/unloading procedure for a pistol.

  • Mike Trainer

    They are my choice for the great outdoors! Comfortable, reliable, just the natural side piece, when hunting, camping, hiking or just hanging out enjoying nature.

  • RoyG

    Revolvers have their place just like the high capacity semi autos do.. most every pistol is designed for their/a specific purpose and yes a lot of handguns have cross utilization capabilities but no serious shooter/hunter or gun enthusiast would have a collection of guns and not have a revolver or two.. not to enply your not a serious shooter if you dont have one…

  • Just the facts

    One thing you didn’t really touch on was handgun hunting; I know there are those who hunt with 10mm autos but a Dan Wesson .44 mag, which I own and hunt with, or Ruger Blackhawk can’t really be matched by any auto for this purpose,

    In my career as a LEO I went from a Md 28 S&W .357 to a Md 681 S&W .357 and finally to a Glock 17. The first time I pointed a gun at an evildoer (a burglar in a bar at 4AM) was with the Md 28; is eyes got huge and his knees literally buckled looking at the nasty end of that huge revolver.

    If I were to come out of retirement today and choose any duty weapon I wanted it would be a S&W M&P R8 with full moon clips. The proven stopping power of the .357 in a package lighter than both the Md 28 and 681. Having said this I should point out, sheepishly, that I carry a Glock 19 as my every day carry.

    • Amanofdragons

      The r8 is on my extended short list.

  • Christopher Armour

    Obsolete? That’s a huge no.

  • thedarkknightreturns

    Yes, revolvers have been obsolete since 1893.

  • thedarkknightreturns

    Yes, revolvers are obsolete, and have been since 1893

  • Justin Roney

    A few years ago my parents bought a S&W with lasergrips, and both got their CCW permits. I don’t know that my mother would be able to load magazines or rack the slide on a semi-auto, let alone remember to do an immediate action drill. So I would say they’re still relevant.

    • Amit Nachman

      She won’t be able to load magazines but will be able to reload a revolver?

      • Justin Roney

        She might not be able to fully load magazines with her hand strength. She’s recovering from cancer and chemo, so her strength isn’t what it once was, but she can operate and shoot the S&W pretty darn well.

        • Amit Nachman

          First of all I hope she gets better and stronger everyday!
          The point is, magazines can and should already be charged. A gun should be carried with a round chambered. Hence, in an immediate need to use it, a semi auto should at most require the flip of a safety, or maybe not even that. firing a chambered Glock is no more complicated than firing a revolver. You press the trigger and the gun goes bang. The “complicated” part is in clearing jams etc. But the chance of a jam is negligible. Get a good reliable semi-auto and load it with good reliable rounds and 99% of the time it will go bang bang bang until you run out of ammo. And you will run out of ammo later.

          • screwtape2713

            So she picks an autoloader that will require her to find somebody else to load her mags for her and to rack the slide for her before she takes the gun out with her? Or else she picks a revolver she knows she can load and reload all by herself. Boy, that’s a tough choice…

  • Amit Nachman

    So, a 100 pound female (or male) with weak hands can’t run a slide, but can accurately place shots with a heavy revolver trigger? Hmmmm. Now, assuming the weapon is loaded, she/he do not need to rack the slide unless a)they have a stoppage, or B) they ran out of bullets. A stoppage in arevolver is far worse than in an automatic, and you are more likely to run out of ammo in a revolver….
    The only two real advantages a revolver has left today are 1) you can fit some heavy and hard hitting calibers into relatively small revolvers. Generally you can shoot some nastier stuff from revolvers such as 357 Magnum etc(yes there are semi autos that shoot these calibers but who carries a 357 Desert Eagle or w/e?!)
    2) at really close range a semi auto can get out of battery when pressed against an attacker. A revolver can not. A shrouded hammer revolver is even better.
    Both advantages are hardly enough to justify revolvers as main carry guns imho.

    • CupAJoe

      For someone who has multiple purposes for their handgun but doesn’t want to invest in an arsenal, a wheel gun can carry everything from snakeshot to bear loads with no problems whatsoever. Flexibility is the reason that the revolver is not obsolete. I only have one handgun, a .357 sp101 with a 4″ barrel. I’ve made it unique thanks to chigs grips. I can conceal, back pack, shoot vermin in the attic, and hunt (in some states). My caliber choice and reloading flexibility gives my long guns ballistics on par with 30-30 or 7.62×39 without having to stock separate pistol and rifle ammo. Yeah, I’m a fan.

      • Amit Nachman

        -if- you can only have one handgun, -and- you hike in bear country, live in snake country and use it for self defense against 2 legged predators, you have a point. this connects with the first advantage i mentioned, loads and calibers.
        However the vast vast majority of western human beings live in cities where there are no bears, no snakes, and really must only worry about the worst animal on earth, man.

        • Tabitha Martin

          I am happy that i dont live in a city. And i will happily take my Governor and its “mix six” snakes to bears and everything in between load out, any day.

  • Kelly Jackson

    I think a J frame still has it’s place as a concealed carry piece, and of course you want big caliber handguns revolvers are pretty much the only game. But I’d be hard pressed to carry a mid-sized frame revolver in .38, .357 or even .44 if given the option of a semi auto.

    • gunsandrockets

      And that nails it exactly.

      Where the self-loading pistol shines is with mid-range power pistol calibers in mid-range sized handguns. When the handgun starts to get very small or the caliber begins to get very powerful is where the revolver is better.

      And the American commercial marketplace unconsciously reflects this wisdom.

      There isn’t much of a market anymore for K frame sized .38 Specials. But look at how well the modern Ruger LCR revolver has done. And for good reason the S&W Model 69 .44 magnum was named handgun of the year.

      • Amanofdragons

        I think we all know why the model 69 was handgun of the year. Giggity.

  • Happiness is a glistening stainless steel K-frame on your hip, a Detective Special in your trenchcoat, a New Vaquero on the High Plains, or even Trooper Mk. 3 as you drive off into the sunset.

    • Amanofdragons

      I have a sweet spot for K frame smiths. First handgun I ever bought and shot was a model 19.

  • derfelcadarn

    Do you carry $H!T like this just to appear stupid ?

  • Gidge

    What about places like California where semi auto’s are heavily regulated? More and more manufacturers are deciding that it’s not financially viable to produce California compliant guns, limiting a consumer’s choice. A modern made quality revolver sidesteps a lot of that.

  • gunsandrockets

    Some other revolver advantages:

    One aspect of combat revolvers that I think goes unnoticed too often, is how much more customizable a revolver is to fit the individual user compared to the auto pistol. Not only are a wide style array of inexpensive replacement grips available for revolvers, the cartridges can be loaded very hot or as lightly as the user wants without compromising reliability or safety.

    The revolvers simple manual of arms also makes dry firing a revolver very convenient and more realistic than dry firing most auto pistols. One trick I’ve thought of to make dry fire practice in my home even better, is to use a laser boresighter.

  • Bob

    I’m thinking of purchasing a Colt Army Special for $600. (A bit high price I think, but it is in very good shape from what I can tell and the owner said he fired maybe 20 rounds out of it after getting off a cop many years ago who carried it in Chicago.) Do I plan on using it for self defense? No, but .38 special could still do the job if I needed it to. Eh… I seem to have lost whatever point I had in mind. I’m just echoing everyone else: Sometimes a revolver is still a good choice, but not in most cases these days, semi autos have so many advantages.

  • jpcmt

    Define ‘obsolete’? This is like asking which single stack 9mm is ‘better?” In terms of self defense I think it’s safe to say that while not obsolete (because they still shoot bullets), they’re a poor choice in pretty much EVERY way. The slide can be worked by little old arthritic ladies after learning simple technique…because yes, when they first put that glock 19 in their hands and try to operate that awkward slide using the slingshot method, they (and most men and women with little dexterity and hand strength) will fail. Put a small square of grip tape on either side of the rear of the slide and practice for 10 minutes and it’ll be a non issue…and hey, 15 rounds instead of….6. My main standards for a defensive gun are reliability, capacity, and weight. Revolvers suck at 2 of those and break even on reliability.

  • smartacus

    my biggest problem with revos is too many calibers.

    How in Hades did i buy and feed a 22Short, 22Long, 22LR, 22Mag, 32 S&W, 30 Carb, 327 Federal, 38 spl, 357 Mag, 41 Mag, 44 Spl, 44Mag, 45LC, 45/410, 454 Casull, and 500 Mag??

    **At least i’m not one of those who buys a 480 Ruger or 460 S&W just to brag :p

    • Amanofdragons

      Get a better job, ditch the family, enjoy life?

    • Tabitha Martin

      During the ammo shortage the first 5 years of obama, i owned 4 handguns.

      Beretta .380
      S&W model 586, .357
      S&W model 686, .357 snubby (7 shot)
      S&W Governor

      I could not find ANY .380 for 3.5 years in the stores. I sometimes found . 38 or .357 in stores, though i never knew which or when i might find it. I had a VERY hard time finding 45APC and a hard time finding 45LC. The 45LC could be found more at mom&pop type gun stores on a bittom shelf with dust on the box and at almist $1.50 per round.


      What i could EASILY find EVERYWHERE, was the Winchester PDX1 Defense rounds in .410 which is prettymuch made specifically for the Judges and the Governor.

      What it boiled down to was this.

      My semi auto became a paperweight because i could not get ammo for it. My .357 revolvers dident have a big problem because they could fire 2 different calibers making it easier to find ammo during that shortage. And i ALWAYS had ammo for my Governor.

      So, having multiple caliber option guns is a GREAT thing.

      • smartacus

        For exactly that reason, my favorites were my plastic fantastic Public Defender, my 6-shot 357 K-frame, and my 327 Federal (because i can still find .32 Auto, 32 S&W, 32 Long, 32 H&R, and BB 327 Fed)

  • demophilus

    I own both. I still like wheelguns on account that 1) they don’t leave cases behind, and 2) I’ve met a lot of people that like to shoot pistols, but I haven’t met any that didn’t like shooting a .357.

  • Giolli Joker

    In the doubt between revolvers and semi-auto pistols I bought an auto-revolver…

    • ostiariusalpha

      Ha ha! Please tell me that means you have a MaTeBa, or at least a Webley-Fosbery.

      • Giolli Joker

        The first one you said, .454.

        • Amanofdragons

          I thought the matebas were only chambered in 44 mag and 357 mag? Still jealous no matter what. A unica 6 is on my short list. Plus a wildey.

          • Giolli Joker

            6 Unica, not Unica 6… It’s a pun in Italian, it reads “sei unica – you’re unique”.
            Regarding calibers: Ghisoni’s brainchildren were only in .357; .44, .454 and .41 (prototypes) were only manufactured after he sold the company to the Mottana family.

          • Schnee

            sei unica — implying that you are a girl!

        • ostiariusalpha

          Ghisoni was a brilliant innovator, his ideas of what was possible with a revolver were inspired. The entire gun community was poorer for his passing.

          • Giolli Joker

            Yep… some of his ideas still survive in the Chiappa Rhino, that got much more success than Ghisoni’s very own designs.

          • ostiariusalpha

            The Rhino is largely his design (along with his friend, Cudazzo, of course), Chiappa only made some small changes for simplifying production. It’s just sad that he never saw it get large scale distribution before he passed away.

          • Giolli Joker

            Well, that’s not really correct.
            I copy here what I wrote in the comments to Rhino review by TFB TV:
            “Emilio Ghisoni designed the MaTeBa (Macchine Termo Balistiche,
            Thermo-Ballistic Machinery) revolvers (several models actually, although the Autorevolver is the one that got more, albeit limited, success); Antonio Cudazzo developed the basic idea of the Rhino and patented its features together with Ghisoni.

            The Rhino design was offered to a few manufacturers and Chiappa took it on board.

            Others who had ideas similar to Ghisoni’s were the Russians, they
            developed some more traditional revolvers firing from hour 6 chamber; parallel development in the period of Ghisoni’s first prototypes.ο»Ώ BTW, Ghisoni sold MaTeBa around 15 years ago or so and he died before seeing the Rhino being manufactured by Chiappa.ο»Ώ

            -I own a 454 Autorevolver bought directly in MaTeBa;
            -I know the sponsor that pushed for the development of the Rhino (and owner of IP) well before Chiappa was involved;
            -I met Ghisoni and Cudazzo once.”

            I would add that Cudazzo involved Ghisoni as a tribute to the man and his ideas and possibly to have his somehow “famous” name associated to the project.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Huh, I had heard that TheMa was mostly Ghisoni’s concern when he was healthy (and that like the original MaTeBa, mainly manufacturing food processors, with gun design as very much a side project) that he founded with his buy-out money. I was aware that Cudazzo was the one that was driving the project, and had developed the ergonomics and look of the pistol, such as its quasi-birdshead grip, but you say that Ghisoni had been even less involved with the Rhino than I had imagined.

          • Giolli Joker

            When I went to MaTeBa to buy my gun I think it was only a firearm manufacturing company, already owned by the Mottanas, though. I initially thought as well that Ghisoni designed the Rhino, but as I mentioned, I know the owner of the IP of the Rhino, that sponsored it since its inception and he told me that the inventor was mostly Cudazzo (maybe Ghisoni’s age and health played a role). In fact the only patented feature of the Rhino relates to it ergonomic configuration (patent signed by Cudazzo and Ghisoni); surely having Ghisoni on board allowed use of other solutions previously patented by Ghisoni.
            He might have not been the father of the Rhino, but without his previous design most likely we would have not seen the Rhino as well. πŸ˜‰

          • ostiariusalpha

            “…surely having Ghisoni on board allowed use of other solutions previously patented by Ghisoni…”

            Perhaps, but those solutions are different from what he applied to the MaTeBa MTR-6+6, as the Rhino has a distinct internal mechanism. My understanding was that the Rhino internals came from a compact pistol that Ghisoni had designed, with the external design created by Cudazzo.

          • Giolli Joker

            I can’t say it for sure, I’ll verify when I’ll have chance, but I would say that the external design with the peculiar ergonomics is what defined the need for bespoke internals. Having the bore axis where it is was the main goal, everything else is a consequence.

  • Mark

    Revolvers will always be around because they are the best platform for the largest, most powerful pistol rounds.

  • ax

    What’s up with the technique used for shooting that luger? Looks like the trigger is jerked to the extreme. I’m no expert pistol shot, just looking at something I don’t understand.

  • vwVwwVwv

    Waking up in the middle of the night, from a home intruder, I would rather have a 357 magnum revolver or a doublebarrel shotgun

    Than a glock with a AK, just because wakeig up and manipulating slides and safeties while fighting may be impossible.

    Let the guns untouched for 2 jares under your bed and the magazines of the autos will probably fail…

    • Bob

      Gonna call bull on that mag failure. Mags that have been loaded for years have been found to function just fine.

      • vwVwwVwv

        i had a mag failure once and i would risk it, but if my woman had to
        defend here with it, the rules change and i will not argue with you.
        you have a reason to think as you do.
        do you know the story of the
        vogel familie in israel,
        they had a M4 in the haus and grabd it but the trrorists with knifes
        killed them, i can not say how you wake up but i am sometimes
        a little iritated…… may god save us all from such things. πŸ˜‰

  • jerry young

    although I carry a semi auto for concealed carry I prefer a revolver, this is what I grew up shooting and feel the revolver is more accurate unless you’re talking about one with a one inch barrel, that being said there are too few good reasons to carry a revolver for protection compared to the many for semi autos

  • Dave

    Derp: So the revolver was obsolete when Switzerland, a nation last at war during the Napoleonic era, adopted a .30-cal. Luger pistol in 1900… Which was used alongside a bunch of tough-as-nails-if-under-powered .32-cal. revolvers. That the revolver was used in WWI, and in WWII is just a fluke. Why, it was attributable to there just being so many of ’em still kicking around and the tooling to make ’em was on hand, and…and… It didn’t really matter because artillery fire and tanks were more important at the end of the day.

    My first serious carry gun was a Glock 19. I never could carry concealed without adopting levels of concealment clothing that rendered a reasonably quick draw a tenuous proposition at best. I discovered, a) nonchalantly putting my hands in my pockets, where b) I had a Smith J-frame with a concealed hammer in a dedicated pocket holster, allowed for c) a better concealed carry choice. Ruger LCR, Ruger Speeed Six, S&W Bodyguard Airweight for me! Out of time before out of cartridges, me thinks.

    Still, as you say: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to concealed carry. The revolver is intuitive, but if a person cannot operate a pistol slide, the heavy double-action trigger pull of the revolver may also prove a real hindrance. The revolver is the easiest handgun to use, but also the most difficult to use well, paradoxically. YMMV.

    • Tabitha Martin

      Yeah, you are right. I prettymuch dont do a full on trigger pull. I always pull back the hammer manually, then squeeze the trigger. Yeah, it takes an extra .25 of a second. But my shot wont suffer from the trigger pull.

  • De Facto

    “In the year of our lord, 1911.”

    ..nice. xD

  • Schnee

    Here’s another reason for one very particular revolver I own: Say you are doing a cross country road trip, passing through countless jurisdictions. Some of these don’t like high capacity mags, some don’t like loaded guns. And you’d like to have a loaded weapon in the center console of the Sienna in case the worst happens. What do you carry? This is not the perfect solution to the problem, but it helps with a bunch of it: A Ruger Old Army cap-and-ball revolver. Basically a black powder version of the Blackhawk. Think about this: This is a tool that launches six 144-grain bullets at 950 FPS and it’s technically not a gun in most jurisdictions. No ATF involvement in the transfer. As a bonus, you get a huge cloud of smoke to aid you in your retreat following firing.

    • Schnee

      And even though you don’t launch fancy hollow points from it (you probably could if you were really excited about it), plenty of dead deer and soldiers will tell you that a through-and-through wound from a lead ball is no fun at all. And a two-bleeder pass-through is virtually guaranteed. Two holes for the price of one!

    • Evan

      Just don’t carry that in New Jersey. They arrested some high school teacher on gun charges there for having an antique 18th century flintlock with no powder, ball, or flint.

  • circular reasoning

    The key question here is why it took U.S. police forces three quarters of a century longer than their European counterparts to replace their service revolvers with semi-autos. Another question is why the U.S. civilian population – then and now – blindly mirrors the choices of their police when choosing a gun.

  • rayward

    Obsolete for what purpose, and where? Yes, for military, police, open-carry free states, etc. For concealed carry, especially in tyrannous jurisdictions, a light, five-shot revolver with Crimson Trace loaded with +P is much better than a semiauto. It doesn’t litter the scene with casings that contain fingerprints, DNA, fibers, firing pin imprints, or easily obtainable manufacturer information. It is much easier and faster to deploy from a pocket holster or semi-holster in a jacket pocket, and less obvious to grasp without exposing it to potentially hostile witnesses or using much larger movements that attract attention. Yes, the limitation on rounds restricts the available tactical options, but I don’t see a very high risk of needing more than five rounds to get me out of a potentially fatal encounter.

  • Jim

    No! Revolvers are fantastic firearms and have many uses. They are also the most reliable handguns money can buy, period. You pull the trigger and 99.9% of the time it will go bang.


    I don’t think this issue is as polarizing as suggested here. As a big revolver fan and owner of many S&W revolvers, I have spent a lot of time on the S&W Forum in the revolver section with thousands of other revolver enthusiasts. The vast majority of whom own many semi autos as well. Not only do they own semis, they love their semis too. That’s right, they love both revovlers and semi autos. They are even know to carry one of the other depending on the situation.

    I fall into that category. I love revolvers and I love semis. Do I carry a revolver? Sometimes. I have a S&W 586 Performance Center L Comp, that has had the action and trigger tuned by a famous Gunsmith. It is one of the most amazing shooting handguns I have ever handled. I carry it sometimes. But 90% of the time I carry a semi auto. On most days you will find an FN Five seveN inside my waistband. It is super light, it holds 21 rounds that travel at 2300 fps, recoil is mild and it is simple to come right back on target for a follow up shot.

    I carry a full sized semi because of capacity. I feel safer with more firepower. But I really would not feel under-gunned with a 7 shot or 8 shot 357. A 5 shot snubby, yeah I feel under-gunned with a 5 shot snubby. Does lower capacity make a revolver obsolete? No. I would not carry a Glock 43 either. I feel undergunned with 6 rounds on tap.

    I think the real debate here is about capacity. Not about the operating system of a revolver versus a semi auto.

  • vwVwwVwv

    for someone from europe
    to read that a 5 shot revolver is not enough to
    carry, do you have war in the USA or is american blood so cheap today?

    i have som handguns, a S&W, a Glock…. but I will never get a carry permit.
    my weapon of chois is a knife, something like a small bowie folder, thats all i can have.

    statistics say that in the US ++90% of gunfights end after 2 shots,
    so two bond arms must be 1 to much.


  • guest

    Revolvers along with obscure calibers of ammo and a whole slew of guns and gun types are “kept afloat” by civilian market, where functionality and practical considerations are often surpassed by “taste”, “looks”, “feel”, and “opinions” – all of which never mean the same, can not be decided upon by consensus, and very often have no real meaning that has anything to do with firearms.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    Revolvers can’t be beat when doing a job. No casings flying everywhere, leaving evidence for the popo to find.

  • Damocles

    No, never obsolete, just personal preference. My wife just got a new/used S&W Model 36 Chief’s Special and it is a thing of beauty. I’m a tupperware semi-auto kind of guy, but damn do I see the allure of a revolver.

  • thunk

    You are forgetting that a lot of people, mostly women, don’t have the strength to operate anything but a revolver.

  • Bud Harton

    Yes, they are long obsolete

    But, at 68 years of age, so I am I but we’re both still kicking

  • dbobway

    A revolver will never jam.

    Fully loaded, pull the trigger.

    Guarantees instant self defense.

    The balance of a 6′ S&W police special, helps accuracy.

    • Ben Pottinger

      They *rarely* jam but most certainly can and do jam! I’ve seen revolvers jam from various mechanical issues (part failure, just plain dirty, etc) and I’ve seen them jam from the bullets creeping out of the brass (for any number of reasons).

      Really their main advantage for CCW is what was pointed out in the article, no need to rack a slide. Of course if the shooter carries their autoloader cocked and locked then that’s covered as well (until the have a malfunction).

      I love revolvers and have carried one before (I especially like the ruger LCR) but they can still fail like anything mechanical.

      Also, a 6 foot police special might be hard to conceal… πŸ˜‰

      • dbobway

        Thanks Ben

  • John

    >seeing a 100 pound female struggle to chamber a round (gunfire) in a
    Glock 19 makes you realize that there really isn’t a one size fits all
    option for concealed carry.

    This really does open my eyes. A colleague of mine owned a small Kel-Tec pistol, back when they were hot stuff, and let me handle it. The springs were heavy and tough, it took some effort to pull back and slide forward. Then he showed me the new Glock 19 he got. Yowza. The Glock’s springs were gentle and the slide moved like butter in comparison. I walked away feeling like there was a huge difference in price between the two guns for good reason.

    I never felt that I had anywhere near as much trouble racking a Glock as I did other guns, but maybe I underestimate my own hand and arm strength.

    • Evan

      Kel-Tec makes junk. That was the problem.

  • Badwolf

    There are still some police with revolvers. For example Hong Kong.

  • Michigunner

    Are revolvers obsolete for military use? Yes. LEO use? Yes, at least as a primary firearm. For the concealed carry market, a short barreled and small framed revolver is the original concealed carry piece and they are still a viable option. When getting my wife interested in carrying, she gravitated towards my Smith 638 more than anything. I really don’t care for that gun, but she loves it. A no safety, double action trigger, bad breath distance problem solver is what it is- and for her use it really is the perfect choice.

  • A10 Warthogs, for the win β™‘

    • carlcasino

      O’Bozo just about had the A10 sent to the ash heap of history. Thank goodness sane minds intervened.

      • There are many individuals pulling to get rid of the A10’s, many of them betting this will lead to more allocation for F-35 projects.

        The .mil research project PDFs I’ve read state the 2003 updates to the A10’s will keep them effective and competitive ’til 2030.

        • carlcasino

          Being the oldest person in the room makes me want to grab the people spending OUR money and shake some common sense into their jockey shorts. If you have something, anything that works FOR TROOP PROTECTION, why do you think something that costs 1000 time more with less TROOP PROTECTION is a
          Good deal? I know ! The new technology is good for a) my State, b) my district, c) my Country or My Pocket book? Gee ! I think even a progressive can understand that one.

      • dltaylor51

        Obuthole does everything wrong,name one thing that poser has done that turned out right?

        • carlcasino

          The Poser has managed to divide the Country to the point that open revolution becomes palatable.

          • dltaylor51

            The poser has no real power,his power comes from the global elitists who’s ultimate goal is to drive this country down to its knees and all Barry’s job is to be the front man to help them reach their goal and he’s very good at pushing their agenda.I blame the democrat party for bringing this maggot to the forefront of American politics and for this there can never be any forgiveness.

          • Warren Ellis

            The A-10 was useful 40 years ago, but AA defense has changed in 4 decades. In Iraq in 1991, A-10s were driven off by Iraqi AAs. Got chewed up some. Instead the aircraft that did the most CAS was F-16. PGMs have really changed how CAS works nowadays.

            Getting in low and close is suicidal nowadays because of advanced AA and MANPADs. Stingers and other missiles are great for shooting down planes at that level. Nowadays the best form of CAS is to loiter and fly at high altitudes and drop PGMs like JDAMs or Hellfires against the target.

            From speaking to a Canadian soldier, he found that helicopters and drones had been better at CAS than the A-10. They could loiter, and in the case of the drones, didn’t have a pilot with Mark 1 eyes trying hard to scan for something while moving at speeds that make everything on the ground look like a blur. At the very least, with drones you get less friendly-fire incidents.

            Most people like the A-10 not because it’s useful but because of it’s 30mm rotary cannon.

            Of course I’ve come to realize that most people would care more for aesthetics than usefulness. Because it’s looks nice, they want to keep it around despite knowing its not effective anymore. Sometimes I think they want our troops dead because they care more about how it looks than how useful it actually is.

          • Mikial

            I don’t know where your getting your information, but you are about as far out in left field with your A10 rant as you can get. I guess if “speaking to a Canadian soldier” is all you have to base it on, your outlook is understandable. As for my opinion, over two years in Iraq gave me a little different outlook on the A10s capabilities.

  • Evan

    Actually, we’re hardly even doing that. 75% of sorties flown against IS drop no ordinance at all. So we’re really just wasting thousands of gallons of jet fuel and putting additional strain on aging airframes for no good reason. While a P-51 or a Corsair or something might be cool for fighting IS, they would also have a severe problem with being vulnerable to ground fire. An F/A-18 Super Hornet is likely going to be flying high enough that the risk it takes from the DshK in a truck bed is negligible. A vintage warbird on a strafing run would expose itself to fire that could potentially be very effective against it. Also, the ability to do a gun run against a soft target still does not speak to the numerous other shortcomings inherent to 75-year-old designs.

    It is true that there has been a trend towards inexpensive light attack aircraft like the Super Tucano, but these are modern designs with modern cockpits, ejection seats, controls, etc, as well as the ability to carry a wider range of weapons.

    And I’d take an A-10 any day.

    • Warren Ellis

      And how do we know your claim about “75% of sorties flown against IS drop no ordinance at all” is true?

      You have statistics from papers to actually back this up?

      • Evan

        Have you ever read an article about the phony war against IS that didn’t mention that statistic? It’s been in literally every article on the subject I’ve read.

        • Warren Ellis

          So ISIS has just spontaneously died by itself. Interesting. I guess all those bombs dropped on oil wells, the ones that destroyed their building that stored all that cash for their fighters were completely imaginary. Very interesting.

          • Evan

            First, they’re not called “ISIS”. In Arabic it’s ad-Dawlah i-Islamiya, or the Islamic State – IS or Da’ish. “ISIS” is a mistranslation of their pre-2014 name, ad-Dawlah i-Islamiya fil Iraq wa Sham. ISIL was a better translation, but that is no longer accurate either.

            The fact that American sorties do occasionally drop a bomb does not cancel the fact that most sorties don’t, mainly because the administration has made utterly unrealistic ROE. And the majority of IS fighters who have died died at the hands of the Kurds, Syrians, or Iraqi army/Iranian backed Shia militias. If we were serious about fighting them, number one we’d have ground troops, and number two we’d be hitting Raqqa and Mosul, which we aren’t.

  • WFDT

    “Colt never seemed to get the hang of auto-loading handguns…”
    Perhaps it’s just hard to top the perfection they achieved in 1911 AD.

    If I was forced to have only one handgun, it would be a .357 revolver. Foolproof action and the ability to shoot a variety of common ammo.

  • Patrick K Martin

    The proper term is Obsolescent, it can do the job but there are things that can do the job better. I carry a revolver quite often but I live in a highly rural area, if I go back to Detroit I pack my XD’s.

  • ganadharmabhasa

    Police departments in South Korea still issue revolvers to police officers.

  • Leigh Rich

    I CARRY TO DEFEND MYSELF. I AM NOT A COP. My snobby is enough. I have had a CCW over 40m years.

  • CZFan

    I have never had an affinity for revolvers, I have a few mostly hand me downs including one absolutely beautiful 1924 manufacture Colt Army Special in 32-20, but I am a semi auto lover.

    Even if you limited me to guns before WW2 there are plenty of great Semi Auto designs, two of the best IMO are from John Browning, the 1911 and Hi Power, but Im would take a P38 or Walther, or any number of other semi auto guns over something like a Webley, Colt Army, or any of the other Revolvers of the era.

    They do still have their place however, If I was going to stick a gun in a hidey hole or leave one loaded for along time without maintenance It would probably be a revolver.

    I just started having issues with my 1992 produced CZ85 because the recoil spring was worn out, I bought the gun about 8 years ago and it was still brand new in box and wax paper/grease and ive put almost 8,000 rounds through it so I think the spring had a decent service life. I bought 3 because they were so cheap and the gun runs like a clock now.

    I see revolvers as outdated technology but not obsolete, a scandium frame 5 shot S&W is a great ankle gun and even though its certainly not pleasant to shoot, get a .357 and you are much more “prepared” than having a comperable 6-7 shot .380 of similar size and weight. but you would also be well served by a boot knife.

  • Len Jones

    I bought one the other day Taurus 85 38 special shot it at the range with a Glock 42. Had problems with the Glock failing to load, could have been the the mag or the ammo. The Taurus never failed but surprised by the recoil. It like exploded in my hands but I couldn’t put it down and reloading was easy, was so easy the next thing I know I’m out of ammo.

  • lookinoutforu

    I carry a Model 442 Smithy. If I have to get up close, I know it’ll be a reliable “contact” shooter where a semi-auto could get knocked out of battery and hence, not fire.

  • 1inidaho

    I find the discussion interesting considering that Kimber just introduced a revolver into the marketplace. I am guessing that they figured that Ruger and Taurus were getting a lot of business.

  • Douglas Laney

    I’ve been on 1911’s since 1945. I have one born in February, 1914 with which I made a very nice target on the 100th anniversary of its birth. I own and use 14 handguns including several.of the newer slab guns (which I like) but my two most recent purchases have been revolvers. My carry guns: 642, P3AT and XD-45; my “war guns” : 19-3 and XDM-9. My “if I had to choose” gun: Smith & Wesson model 19-3 (6 inch barrel); perhaps the most accurate center fire handgun I’ve ever owned-or for that matter fired- and none is more reliable.
    Wheelgun dead? Not among those qualified to know.
    Douglas Laney,
    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor.

  • Tom ThreePersons

    Revolvers always work in the dark.

  • 33Charlemagne

    Ultimately a handgun is an emergency gun. If you knew were going to a gun fight you would pick a long gun of some sort (rifle, carbine,or shotgun depending on the range you were likley to encounter) not a handgun. With its simplicity to use and its reliability a revolver makes a better choice for most people in such a situation.Likewise with a good .357 Magnum you can tailor the power level of the ammo you shoot to fit the shooter and the situation anywhere from .380 a.c.p. all the way up to hot 10mm level.

  • Jon Hammett

    My 100 pound sister can rack the slide on my dad’s S&W 5940 no problem.

  • mazkact

    My wife and I have many cool toys but in recent years have come back to revolvers for EDC. We both carry S&W no lock 442’s everyday and I do not feel underguned. About the cost of revolvers,as a Machinist I know revolvers are much more difficult to manufacture
    than a pistol. Think about the time in machining the cylinder alone and
    getting everything right. I own higher priced and low end revolvers usually
    the low end ones are just that but thus far the Rock Island M200 is
    proving to be the exception to the rule.

  • Earl

    Obsolete? It all depends. Armies will continue to use autos b/c they fire 9mm and are easier to service/repair, i.e., there are very few if any parts that require anything more than being dropped in rather than hand fitted. Fine. Ideal for a combat weapon. Same logic holds for most police agencies. Neither of these services need target precision nor a broad selection of ammo types/weights. Common ball/SD loads will work just fine. Cool.

    For those who enjoy just shooting and perhaps competing, the auto will always be in demand. Out of the box most will function well and offer good accuracy. With careful fitting, many can be made superlative target quality pistols, often with excellent reliability. If there is a FTF, etc., well, that’s what drills are for.

    On a very limited basis, some autos will suffice for hunting small and even large game. But they are less than ideal for use in the woods/fields. Revolvers typically offer a far larger range of usable bullet weights. Fired cases are easily recovered, a real concern for handloaders and those who shoot less common calibers. Common service grade revolvers typically offer better on target results out of the box than equal quality autos. Revolvers are available in calibers that offer plenty of power/penetration for use on medium and even heavy game. Few autos can meet this challenge, those that do are very heavy/chunky, extremely expensive and limited in availability. A quality revolver will have a single-action trigger pull that will be superior to any unaltered auto. Just compare the SA pull of a S&W 686, 629, etc. to that of any common automatic. Revolvers can be fitted with quality scopes/mounts that will yield extremely good field results. There are autos that can be so fitted, but the result is awkward at best. Most folks find a hunting quality revolver to be easier to shoot accurately in field positions that autos. Often a revolver can be purchased that will use the same ammunition one is using in a lever-action carbine, such as .357 S&W Magnum and .44 S&W Magnum.

    The revolver has excellent utility for SD/HD. Barring zombie invasion scenarios, one will not ever fire more than a few rounds in a SD/HD incident. When you get shot at, you seldom are wise to stand and slug it out with anyone. You seek cover, etc. And, most criminals are not prepared to slug it out. They run for the door when rounds start popping. Often they move out as soon as they see your gun. Cool. Now, for those who focus on and are entertained by EOTWAWKI type stuff, only a auto will suffice… along with lots of spare mags, a bugout bag, etc., etc., etc. But, for everyday people dealing with everyday type crime, a revolver is going to be just about idea. It will typically be available in a very useable and effective caliber, it will hold five to six rounds… more than enough to deal with a SD/HD incident, it will be easy for most folks under stress to grab and use effectively, it will not require a lot of fiddling around with levers/safeties/grips, etc. If your hand is slick from sweat, etc., it will still fire rather than short stroke due to a less than ideal grip.

  • Alex Barnette

    Revolvers are hot right now, there’s no obsolescence. It’s the perfect gun for city apartment home defense. Hell, my neighbor just bought two new 44 revolvers and a really sweet little 22.

  • George Beecher

    I have had misfeeds on my automatics, never had one in any of my revolvers. My usual carry is a 340PD with crimson trace grips. Sure it beats hard on my 66 year old arthritic hands but they don’t mind a little beating once in a while and I know if the red spot is on my target my bullet will immediately follow. With that said I still occasionally carry one of my automatics. I cannot remember ever having a jam in my Kimber Super Carry Ultra + nor my Colt Defender. I think it may be the Smith is simply easier to carry.

  • ft

    I mostly carry when I go into the woods and I take my faithful S&W 66-2. Partly because its a 357 and more powerful than the 9mm. We have had sightings of Mt Lions and we have coyotes and bears around, which have yet to bother anyone here but you never know.
    I’ve had it for about 40 years and it has never failed to fire. As a former firearms instructor, it was one gun that got used a lot. Its also my bedside piece with its CT Laser for home protection. I have a few pistols too but my home and woods piece is this one. The 9mm I carry for things other than the woods and home protection.

  • ft

    My daughter did her own research and chose a Ruger LCR 38+p for her own handgun. She chose it because of reliability and ease of use under stress.
    I can’t argue with her reasoning.

    • Bill

      I’ve been at this for something like 45 years, and after carrying practically every kind of handgun in all the usual positions I now pocket carry the .38 LCR that I originally bought for my daughter (I traded her a .357 LCR for it). The first day I carried that gun I stopped looking.

  • MidwayBill

    Revolvers may be obsolete for most, but not for all. When I started out, police were still carrying the revolver, and as an Air Force policeman I carried and was issued the M15 S&W. Revolvers were what many of us trained with and were introduced to. The vaunted 1911, as I recall, was looked down upon as generally an inaccurate and useless cudgel. (Unless of course you had the Colt National Match or some other custom expensive race gun) The “New Breed”, or the “NEXTGEN” or whatever, will look down on the trusty old six shot wheel gun as something from a bygone era that should be relegated to a museum. I would say this is happening for no other reason than the marketing emphasis is on selling autoloaders. Most autoloaders these days are cranked out fairly economically, and a good quality wheel gun is likely more expensive to produce. I am not bashing autoloaders at all. I still have my Smith and Colt wheel guns and I am pretty proficient with them. I also have some of the newfangled autos, and I train for defensive situations with both. I can say that the new 1911’s are a far cry from the tired old worn out milsurp 1911’s I encountered in my youth. I don’t think the trusty old revolver is going anywhere anytime soon. There is just more choice now in many fine firearms.

  • OldGringo

    Actually, there is no such thing as unbiased eyes…..and the military did not obsolete revolvers until the Air Force dumped their model 15 Smith and Wessons for the M9, althot some special units carried 1911s until the M9 came out…..they took my 1911 way for a huge Berretta…darn! I frequently hike at he NRA Whittington Center and have seen huge bears and one cougar, so I leave my Glock 43 and 19 at the camper and carry a 44 mag or 45 Colt while walking my mini snauzer at dawn and dark…..if you chrono your guns you know that your Glock 19 barely reaches 300 foot lbs…I have a 44 mag with a 2 inch barrel that produces about 900 ft pounds…..with 240 grain bullets…so for that application the rvolver rules…..when I was a cop, park ranger, military policeman, and federal agent….I carried 1911s and Glocks….autos for people, revolvers for big animals..

  • SRG53

    I think your remarks about the simple manual of arms, and no need to overcome a recoil spring to rack the slide hit home. My wife is not a gun person, but does come to the range to stay comfortable and familiar with a handgun for home defense. She finds the revolver far simpler to use. It may be a little harder to make accurate hits at distance, but at 10 ft she does fine with it. Thanks for the video.

  • Franco

    I have far more autos than revolvers. For firepower in a gun fight the auto wins but I do not feel unDer armed with a revolver. A nice mid sized S&W 7 shot 3 or 4 inch barrel 357 would be an ideal firearm if I could only have one handgun. One day we might be only left with being able to own these types of guns if Hillary gets elected and the Dems take the Congress and appoints liberal judges.

  • Archie Montgomery

    The term obsolete implies ‘no longer useful’. I suggest revolvers are ‘passe’, fallen out of fashion.

    The idea of looking to the ‘military’ for direction is pointless in the field of handguns. Armies do not fight wars or even battle with handguns.

    Self defense is effected primarily with actual hits on targets. I shudder to think about police or unsworn citizens using ‘suppressive’ fire in urban settings. (Consider firing a short burst at the mall with shoppers all around. Not so smart.)

    Getting hits on targets are much more effective – not all villains simply run away – and provide much more safety to bystanders AND the defender in terms of lawsuit protection. (Shoot the wrong person and see if one is hailed as a hero.)

    Revolvers are only ‘obsolete’ for those who refuse to learn marksmanship. Or those who have already decided to panic and fire wildly in response.

    For those who can actually hit a target under duress, (practice, perhaps?) revolvers remain a valid option.

  • iksnilol

    For the most part obsolete.

    Only thing I can think that revolvers do that semi autos “can’t” is ridicilous magnums such as .460 S&W or .500 S&W. Still won’t stop me from messing around with revolvers (the Nagant is capable of some really good precision if you tune it right/know what you’re doing).

  • IndyToddrick

    The primary tactical advantage of a semi auto is reloading ability. Anyone, even a “girly girl”, could load a new magazine of about 15 rounds into a semi auto in the time it takes just to empty a revolver. (But of course a revolver is a better weapon for someone who isn’t capable of racking the slide to load or clear a semi auto).

    Weight/size is also a major advantage of the semi auto. If you don’t carry the gun because it is too uncomfortable then you might not have the gun at all when you need it. In a revolver the cylinder IS the chamber, and so all rounds present must be caged in thick, heavy steel, and obviously the cylinder must be wide enough to hold all the rounds in a symmetrical circle that is almost always wider than the rest of the gun. In a semi auto the chamber is part of the barrel, and the lightweight magazine holds the rounds flat within the handle–the perfect spot since it needs to be wide enough to grip anyways.

    Lastly, noise is a big negative with the revolver. Since there is necessarily a gap between the cylinder and the barrel the sound escapes there. For this reason you cannot effectively use a suppressor with a revolver. But also…it’s just painfully loud without hearing protection.

    Revolver enthusiasts will argue that they are slightly more accurate, durable, and so forth, and I do not dispute such arguments. But I do believe the points above outweigh all other when considering a handgun purchase. The only time I’d ever recommend a revolver is when one cannot rack a slide (although I’d suggest trying to find a “looser” semi auto first) or when a magnum caliber required (in which case you wouldn’t have a choice).

  • scaatylobo

    A very major and yet unspoken point of the advantage of the wheel gun = in CLOSE quarter combat,the ability to put the barrel up to the intended adversary and use the barrel as the aiming point [ CONTACT WOUNDING ] is one that the semi auto does not share.
    Fact is that a SA [ semi auto ] might very well be put out of battery and therefore not fire.
    And if it did fire,it would be jammed and need 2 hands to clear.
    I still carry a S&W snubby as a BUG as they do not fail.
    When I was LEO,the BUG was often a G-27.
    With a snubby as the 3 rd BUG.

  • David

    I think you are spot on with your thoughts.
    I just picked up a new 6″ GP100 on Thursday and have no delusions of what it’s place will be.

    The biggest areas I can think of where revolvers will have a firmly seated place is hunting, target shooting, and personal defense( home/civilian). You can basically make a revolver for any caliber you want from .22LR to .500S&W, and then some “rifle” rounds as the BFR and others have done. The simple manual of arms can’t be beat, again as you covered well. And then for hunting, as a main use or predator back-up, you can go anywhere size wise. Granted the “ultra-lite” .44 Magnum I fired was by no means pleasant, and the Ruger Alaskan scares me just thinking about it, I can imagine them being very useful for their specific jobs.

  • bob

    Revolvers will Always have a place in defensive protection. As a retired LEO and NRA Instructor, I have always recommended,when asked, a revolver as a first hand gun. Thy are easy to load, quickly get into action and much less complicated to to maintain. The biggest advantage for newer shooters is they will Not stove pipe, double feed, etc. For a very long period in our history revolvers were carried by LEO’s and they sufficed most of the time.

  • Tabitha Martin

    I have 3 revolvers. Two are S&W .357’s. A model #586, and a model #686 snubby. Of course both fire .38 OR .357 which is always great having a weapon that is capable of shooting multiple caliberd, something a semi auto cant do. My snubby is also a 7 shot instead of 6. So smart assed bad guys counting my rounds will think me out when i still have one round left. Both of these have speedloaders available. I carry 4 speedloaders. With a SINGLE 20 minute practice session, one can become proficient enough with the use of a speedloader that they can reload just as fast, or FASTER than someone slapping in another mag in their semi-auto (literally showed this to someone just last nighy, training not combat)

    My normal EDC is a S&W Governor.6 shot, .410, .45ACP, & 45LongColt. Pre loaded moon clips for the .45ACP and speedloaders for the 45LongColt. Winchester makes PDX1 Defense rounds in the .410 specifically for the Judges and the Governor. I carry my Governor loaded “mix six” fashion. Two .410 X two .45ACP X two 45 LongColt. Again not something a semi auto could even DREAM of doing. I have everything from snake to bear covered in one weapon all at the same time.

    The guns will never jam. They are heavy, which helps lessen recoil and oddly makes aiming more steady (not sure how THAT works, but it does). If completely out of ammo, they still can make a nasty close quarters bludgeon. They areFAR easier to clean and maintain. You NEVER have to worry that you made any mistakes when reassembling, or loosing parts after cleaning becauae you dont have to take it apart in the first place. More accureate, more reliable, prettier to look at, more imposing to look at when you are on the wrong end of one. They also tend to make a bigger BOOM and have more which has phychilogical advantages.

    The lower ammo capacity IS always in your mind. But it makes you a LOT more aware of the little things when shooting. Things like sight picture, trigger squeeze, breath control, ect. Because with the lower capacity, EVERY SHOT COUNTS. You cant afford to rattle off 17 rounds as fast as you can pull a trigger and HOPE you have hit something… how many times have YOU seen video footage of a Police Officer and suspect exchanging gunfire from 6 feet away, emptying their ENTIRE magazines at each other and neither of them getting hit? With a revolver you are FORCED to take your time and actually AIM your shots. Yes, it takes courage. And yes you take a chance with that hail of bullets being fired at you. But YOU wont miss…

    The downsides are that they ARE bigger and heavier, making concealed carry more difficult. Yeah, just TRY concealing that .357 while wearing a sundress. NOT HAPPENING… a good holster helps, and i prefer open carry anyways. Its amazing how great a deterrant a visible hand cannon can be.

  • Bigjohn

    If I could shoot like Jerry Miculek I wouldn’t worry – Gimme that wheel gun!

  • MIstwalker

    I have no strong feelings about revolvers. As far as “obsolete” goes, depends on what you want to do, just as with any gun. The military non using them means they’re obsolete as a weapon to wage war. I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I’ve never waged war with any of my guns, and whether or not the military likes a gun has little impact on my purchasing and use habits.

  • dltaylor51

    Revolvers are no more obsolete than hi cap autos,there is a time and place for each.A desert eagle is designed to do things that a super blackhawk cant and vice versa,its best to get proficient with both and make up your own mind.Only a fool makes up their opinion by listening to others.

  • Phil

    The revolver will never be obsolete until we make a completely closed non-ejecting “semi”. Having taught many women to shoot, the comments you make on the slide and “flying bits” (aka brass to us) are very accurate. If a woman is carrying, and they, in spite of the Flash-Bang and other woman-specific attempts, often have far fewer on-body options than men. They are also both expected to look better and because of that are examined more closely than men. Typically. That leaves a lot of women with the “purse gun”. And Rule #1 of a gun fight: Bring a gun. So that which you can bring beats the most amazing self defence tool in the world left at home. Now go try draw a gun out of a purse, even a special designed one. Now do it with an assailant hung all over you. What you can do – anytime – is tuck your hand INTO your bag’s gun pocket and be ready. Nothing happens, you slip your hand out and no one around you is the wiser. But if something goes south, and it will go south FAST, you can pull the gun and the sight of it solves most issues, OR as is the “worst case scenario” and you are grappling with one or more people, you are already armed with 5 or 6 shots of .38 or .357 “immediate response”. Shoot THROUGH the bag. Believe me you will be the 2nd (or 3rd) most surprised person there. And you will now have their undivided attention. Hopefully while they are bleeding profusely. That shrouded revolver will keep blasting when your G19/26 or M&P or LCP would be jammed up in cloth – again in that worst case scenario, sometimes you get a follow up but its not to be counted on from inside a bag.

    So in my humble opinion there is VERY MUCH a place for the revolver, and that place is the last line of defence of the most important people in my life, my wife and daughter.

    The last piece of advice/suggestion; get a spare purse, make a gun pocket, or get a second gun purse and PRACTICE. Shoot through it. You can keep blasting even when it is pretty much tatters because you are learning point shooting at contact to arms length. And that would be my other thought; get CLOSE to your target. Learn to shoot when you can touch the target with your off hand (don’t when you turn lose but that’s your “starting range”) and back up to maybe 3 yards max. (After that you’ll be shooting them in the back.) Learn what you can do and point shooting (Google Roger Phillips and take his course if you can) will serve you well, but like everything practice is equally important.

    Stay safe out there ladies.

  • dltaylor51

    Plus it costs about $15,000 dollars a minute to keep an F-16 in the air where a WW2 vintage fighter costs only a fraction of that amount per hour but look at all the training our pilots are getting shooting at those sand rats with the best planes possible.The old 50 BMG that was mounted in the old WW2 planes had a belt of rounds that was 27 feet long and that’s where the saying “Give them the whole nine yards came from”.

    • carlcasino

      A little history goes a long way. Thanks ditaylor51!

    • Old Vet

      Did not know that about the 9 yards thing….thanks…

      • dltaylor51

        Some of those old fighters had four 50s mounted on them so that’s 36 yds of hell’s fire that the enemy had to go up against. Every filth round was a tracer and in the old news reels it looked like a solid beam of light coming from the gun barrels,John M.Browning’s finest achievement.

        • Warren Ellis

          Yeah and it was found that 20mm cannons did a hell of a lot better at killing things. There’s a reason why most US fighters carry 20mm to 25mm cannons.

          Those .50s were lousy at downing jet fighters as was found in Korea.

          • Mikial

            Gee, Warren, do “You have statistics from papers to actually back this up?”

    • CZFan

      The “whole nine yards” did not originate with WW2 fighter planes, Belt fed machine guns in WW1 such as the Vickers used a 27ft belt of ammo.

  • AkoOH

    I sometimes carry my North American Arms .22 mag revolver while out in the garage working on the cars or mowing the lawn. I know some will say .22 mag is worthless, but it’s much better than nothing. Having said that, I nearly always prefer to carry a semi-auto with at least one extra magazine.

  • 1stAfterburner

    How often in a normal civil criminal confrontation are you going to need more than 6 rounds? You need to ask these questions:
    Which firearm is more likely to jam? Which one do you have to figure out whether or not you remembered to chamber it? Even with a well experienced semi-auto handgun owner,..we are dealing in seconds and surprise,.and unless you are a L.E.O or military experienced in sudden unexpected criminal threats I would always choose a high quality revolver. Many revolvers are designed with snag protected hammers. Far fewer parts to go wrong or maintain therefore more dependable.

    • 2ThinkN_Do2

      Interesting choice of words: “a normal civil confrontation”.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    The question is about as valid as: Is the 1911or metal frame semi-auto obsolete? Simply answered: to some people yes, to others, absolutely not. The final answer: to each their own. After owning polymer & metal SA’s and revolvers, I prefer to carry metal SA’s with a single stack in 380, 9 or 40 (depending on my attire). If camping I usually bring my S&W 44 magnum. Only have one pocket size revolver, which I typically do not carry; it’s an S&W J-frame, model 632 – 327 magnum. Mainly bought it for it’s uniqueness and ability to shoot multiple calibers: 32S&W, 32H&R and 327. Actually worked well to teach the youngsters to shoot a revolver, while starting them out with somewhat low powered rounds and steps up in power progression. My daughter prefers revolvers over SA’s and yes, it is due to the ability to rack the slide; though she does like the CZ75 D Compact PCR.

  • Patrick Warner

    I am a BIG fan of revolvers.Tough and simple…Very accurate in the right hands.And seem to be going UP in value..

  • Jackson Andrew Lewis

    I think ther revolver still shows us that it has a purpose, from that 100lb person who cannot rack the slide to, defense and to wildernes carry where unless you want to carry a 5 lb DE in 50AE a 357 mag revolver still offered you more.
    this even carries to a defense situation where revolvers even in compact for can still pack magnum wallop in small packages , and even at similar capacities as many popular semi auto carry pieces….. many of which still only carry 5-8 rounds themselves in much smaller cartridges….. which coupled with different user abilities wants needs etc make the revolver venerable as opposed to obsolete.

  • carlcasino

    You can have my Ruger Vaquero in 45 LC and my S&W in 38 when you pry them out of my
    cold dead hands. I heard that somewhere?

  • Mikial

    My wife and I own auto loading handguns ranging from Ruger .22s to Desert Eagle .44 Magnums. We love them all and shoot weekly. We both carry autos, she her beloved Beretta 92 and me my Glock 21. But we also own a very nice German made .38 Special wheel gun, and it shoots great. It resides in one of the many spots in our home where we keep a loaded gun in case of emergency (no children) along with a couple of speed loaders. I am always armed . . cooking, mowing the lawn, getting the mail from our rural box, or BBQing. I am wearing my G21 as I write this. But I do not hesitate to slip that revolver into my holster if I need to go outside for a chore in our yard.

    My first handgun back was a Ruger Stainless Security Six (.357 Magnum). I carried that Ruger on my hip for many a hunting trip as a back-up to my Mouser 30.06 to provide fast and reliable support if things went sideways. I sold it to a friend who worked as a Smoke Jumper in Montana so he would have a good gun to carry into the back country with him. I feel good about that sale and hope it served him well. The revolver will remain a viable handgun choice for a long, long time to come, especially for magnum calibers.

    Revolvers are not obsolete. Yes, they have been eclipsed as a tactical weapon by autos, and that isn’t surprising. Nor would I carry a revolver on a daily basis. It’s just not in my make-up, but I personally believe revolvers will be around forever.

  • David169

    I have been shooting handguns for 62 years now. I own both revolvers and pistols. Each has its place in self defense and hunting.
    Every instructor I have had for CCW certification has advised against using a semi-auto pistol for night time home defense. The reasoning behind their statements is you would be just awakened and in a dark room. You would not be fully awake. What are the odds of clearing a jammed semi-auto pistol when you are half asleep in the dark. My bedtime gun is a S&W 329 PD 44 magnum with a laser sight, loaded with Mag-safe ammo. All I need is a single hit.
    My daily around town carry handgun is a S&W 396 NG in 44 Special loaded with Buffalo Bore 190 gr. almost dead soft SWCHPs at 1034 FPS (actual measurement). OR a Para C6.45 LDA loaded with Mag-Safe ammunition. Both of these are major caliber defensive weapons capable of incapacitation with a single center mass hit. I mostly carry the 396 NG. The Para is easier to conceal but may jam. My SHTF handguns are a pair of Para P-14.45’s with high capacity magazines because in this situation I may be confronted by more than a single or pair of shooters.
    Statistically if the weapon is going to be used defensively it will be used at 7 yards or less. Further is one looks at all of the famous shootists in history, they all took that extra 1/4 second to align the sights with the target rather than spray lead and hope to hit your target. They usually prevailed with their first shot.
    I practice almost every week and shoot about 25 cartridges thru each handgun in simulated situations for how I deploy each handgun. Further I attend almost every advanced class offered in my area for those who carry.

  • eric ellquist

    I will not pretend to be any kind of an expert, to even call myself a casual shooter would be a stretch. The only altercation I’ve ever been in involving a gun was with an idiot who was waving a derringer around in a very small room. Rather than wait around for something worse to happen, and in reaction more than anything else, I grabbed the thing, and twisted it away from him.
    That said, the only auto loading pistols I’ve ever shot have eventually jammed, conversely the best pistol I’ve ever owned was a Ruger Security Six in .357 magnum, six inch barrel.It was as accurate as I was able to make it, and never malfunctioned. I understand the mechanics of a revolver, I can see things moving, I expect certain results… Autos always seemed a bit arcane to me, can’t see what’s happening inside an auto, it’s mysterious. I grew up around simple machinery; standard transmissions, reel type lawn mowers. I’m going to be sixty five this summer; God willing and am more comfortable with simple things that just work. No mysteries.

    • Mikial

      eric, a Security Six is a fantastic gun . . revolver or not. Mine never failed me . . not once, not ever.

      • eric ellquist

        I believe you. It certainly struck me as a well made device. Did what I expected it to do every time. My experience of firearms had mostly to do with deer season or bird hunting. The Winchester or Marlin lever action in.30 ’30, Savage bolt action .30 ’06 maybe a surplus Mauser. Various shotguns… most guys who carried a side arm on a hunting trip did so for the coup de grace on a wounded animal. There was little range shooting, one would “sight in” one’s rifle prior to the season in a sand pit or farmers fallow field, having first asked for and gotten permission. Simpler times. We lived in a rural community in west central New Hampshire. I still remember the taste of fresh brook Trout, fried in butter. God I miss those days.

        • Mikial

          Now you’re making me miss my life when I grew up on the farm. The streams were full of trout, every farm pond had loads of catfish and you could fish off the shore at the lake for blue gills and perch all day long.

  • Old Vet

    I would agree that single actions are about totally obsolete, but I would still carry a double action myself. That is what I carried as a duty weapon for many years. It was extremely accurate. Our range quals started at 60 yds., double action on Dillinger targets back in the day…haha

    • maodeedee

      Anyone who thinks a single action revolver is obsolete never saw Bob Munden shoot one.

    • 33Charlemagne

      One night years ago a guy tried to batter down my uncle’s door. My uncle had both a “modern” ( for the 60s) Walther P38 and a 44 Magnum Super Blackhawk. He went for the Super Blackhawk because he knew where the guy would be coming from and figured the power of the 44 Mag more than made up for the Ruger’s old fashioned design.

      • Old Vet

        Don’t get me wrong, both of my hunting revolvers are Ruger Blackhawks in stainless. I have taken a couple of really nice Missouri bucks when I lived there. I always carried a Colt Det. Special off-duty though. Sometimes I carried a 1911 in the small of my back too.

  • maodeedee

    I like the looks of that new Kimber revolver and I’ve heard it has a nice trigger. I have an old humpback 5 shot J-frame smith & Wesson airweight bodyguard that I carry regularly but 5 shots seems a little limiting and something like a Glock 43 compact 9mm might actually be better but I have no plans to switch.

    I have other Semi-autos, A Browning Hi-power, a 1911A1, and a couple of Glocks, but also have 2 Smith and Wessons’ a 357 mag and a 41 mag and a Ruger Blackhawk in 41 Mag, and I like them all.

    No gun is obsolete if it works and you know how to use it.

  • Zobeid

    Vinyl LP records. Film cameras. Fountain pens. Revolvers.

    It’s been something like sixty years since ballpoint pens became dominant, but today companies keep producing fountain pens, and fountain pen ink, and people keep buying and using them, and they aren’t going away.

  • US Army (retired)

    I spent 24 years in the US Army and carried a 45 acp. It is rugged and never failed me but I have one now that is finicky about the ammo used. My CC weapon is a Charter Arms 3″ bbl 44 special 5-shot revolver. It is simple, rugged, accurate and will definitely put down an adversary. The 45 auto is difficult to carry concealed.

  • Sir TuberKopf

    I had a medical issue many years ago that left me weak as a kitten for months. Cycling the action on my 45 Sig was not possible except to use special techniques (see Israeli special forces shoe technique for one handed cycling of a semi auto pistol, there are YouTubes). But, that’s assuming you are wearing shoes!

    A .357 wheel gun, with the wide range of ammo that it fires enabled me to field a weapon I could still defend my family with, and handle the recoil. A misfire with a semi auto, and I was screwed, a misfire with a wheel gun – just pull the trigger again.

    I like the seven shot .357 for any idiot that sees I have a wheel gun and counts off six rounds!

    Wheel guns will never be obsolete. In a serious situation I’d love to have my 15 round extended magazine .45 sig P227, with a few extra magazines, but truth be told most incidents will be over in the first couple shots.

  • 4Bill_O_Rights

    As for me I love mine for EDC. I like my semi-auto’s as well but they have on occasion had ‘issues’. My wheel guns never fail.

    For me Pro Choice means: Pistol or Revolver.

    Ever though I prefer S&W this one is for the computer geeks…
    Colt, the original point and click device.

    Cogito, ergo sum armatus. Molon labe.

  • Alexandru Ianu

    The way you described it they’re not obsolete, since obsolete implies that it’s outclassed in every practical application. I’d just say they’re more of a niche product that can serve the role of a general use handgun. In fact, just like autoloading centerfire actions, revolvers may very well never be obsolete.

  • VF 1777

    Yeah, so.. the more I think about it: NO, they’re not ‘obsolete’. There are still several areas where they completely dominate – including large caliber dangerous game defense and mini revolvers. And as you even mentioned, there are several use cases where they are extremely advantageous – including first time shooters, shooters with physical limitations, etc. So while a revolver might not match up well against a modern semi-auto as a service or military sidearm with 15-19 round mags, there are still plenty of use cases where they are extremely advantageous or outright dominate.

    • VF 1777

      …does that mean I’m going to be swapping out my PPS M2 EDC for a Chiappa Rhino anytime soon? Hell No. But I also aint gonna be selling my SW 686 .357 pre-lock or my NAA Pug anytime soon either. And the only gun my Dad’s wife could feel reasonably comfortable with is a full size .22 mag revolver. The manual of arms with a semi-auto were just too much for her to get comfortable with at her age (racking slides, loading mags, safeties, ejecting brass, tap/racks, the recoiling slide, take down, etc) All the stuff we do without thinking can be a challenge for some, and enough to make it hard for a first time shooter to break through their ‘fear barrier’.

  • Wolfgang Oehry

    Both types of handguns have their advantages and disadvantages. For me, my revolver is a backup gun. Holds only 6 rounds, but very reliable. My semi-auto carries 16 rounds, but as any pistol with moving parts, it can potentially jam.

  • Jamie Clemons

    Revolvers have advantages over automatics. They tend to never jam. If a round don’t go off just go to the next one. Speed loaders can be nearly as fast at reloading as doping a magazine.

  • jcitizen

    I’ll never stop using them – on just the beauty of the pistol is enough for me, but for people who load their pistol and never do maintenance on it, and expect it to come out shooting — that is where the revolver still shines. It could sit in a holster for years, and still be reliable – If actually taken pistols out that were loaded sitting under a pillow for 30 years and they fired on the first to the last shot, no failures. As long as it is stored in a dry temperature controlled environment, there shouldn’t be any problem – for stainless steel, you may have more problems with old ammo than the reliability of the pistol. I take them out once and a while and shoot all the old ammo out of them, then replace with rounds from a new box. Revolvers are just too beautiful and reliable for me to give up on – EVER!

    • Mikial

      I like the way you expressed that. Any gun is an emotional purchase, and guns have so much history to them. And revolvers are just such an icon of the gun lover’s culture.

      I agree with you. revolvers are going to be around forever.

  • William Hymes

    Obsolete? Yes. Useless? Hell no! They will always have a place in the firearm world.

  • Cmex

    In my honest opinion, yes, revolvers are obsolete. Fewer shots, slower reloading, worse balance, and increased bulk make them inferior to pistols in a combative or personal defense context. I’ve heard some people say they have utility for extreme close quarters or for breaching, due to not having a slide to be pushed out of battery or in need of room to cycle or not have to worry about where cases are ejecting to. Of course, it’s not particularly hard to either build a contact device to cover the muzzle and slide, or to use adjusted technique to keep the weapon in battery. Those fringe benefits, however, doesn’t nearly justify the disadvantages when it comes to things like firepower or even shootability. Modern revolvers are almost always some kind of double action, and they may have the ability to be fired single action if the hammer, if they have one, can be manually cocked between shots. Long, heavy trigger pulls on a weapon where the center of gravity is almost always focused ahead of the grip. This is versus most modern pistols, which offer either DA/SA action, or if based on an older design, single action, with some being DAO. All of these but DAO offer lighter trigger pulls for the majority of, if not every shot, thereby making pistols generally easier to shoot well in addition to almost always having a firepower advantage of 100% of more. A revolver and a pistol can be fired at close to the same rate, but the generally notably larger capacities of pistols mean half as many breaks to reload or fewer, and magazines are easier to handle than clips, strips, or loose rounds. About the one area where revolvers still really hold anything like an advantage is in big bore calibers due to not needing to be so carefully controlled to avoid technique-induced malfunctions, though there are still pistols that can handle them and it’s a training issue more than an equipment issue. There may be an advantage in cartridge development for a revolver, because they can tolerate a wider range of pressures and projectiles due to not needing the ammo to cycle. It’s a myth that revolvers never jam, and when they do jam, they go down hard; good luck getting them running again immediately. Lastly, revolvers are bulkier than pistols. The cylinder bulge is very much out of line with the rest of the gun, and if you’re trying to conceal, good luck passing that off as anything but a suspicious bulge. Anything a revolver can do, a pistol can do and then some. Picking a revolver for the fringe benefits unless the revolver is dedicated to serve in such a role where those fringe benefits are likely to manifest, is like picking a bicycle for your primary form of transportation because you’re worried about having to travel through tight spaces or that your battery may die. Short answer: revolvers are obsolete. Long answer: revolvers are 95% obsolete.-

    • Mikial

      I understand what you are referring to in terms of tactical utility, but you are not taking other applications into account. Many shooters with weak wrists find that a semi doesn’t function reliably because they cannot stiff wrist the gun enough for the recoil to work the action. So an auto may not work reliably, but a revolver will.

      Another consideration is handgun hunting for dangerous game such as bear or boar. I love my Desert eagles, but if i’m going after a bear a revolver would give me more peace of mind because of its reliability.

      Finally, revolvers are just plain cool. And they will shoot anything you can load into them. My Desert Eagles have to use ammo that is of sufficient power to work that heavy slide and action. No such problem with a revolver. Load the ammo, pull the trigger, and it works.

      Do I carry a revolver for my EDC? No. In truth i currently own one revolver and 10 or so autos. But I don’t think they will ever be obsolete.

  • Curious_G

    …you are really getting some deep knuckle in on that trigger pull

    • Mikial

      I noticed that too.

  • borg

    Reloading a revolver is usually quicker than reloading a magazine inserting it and chmabering it.

    • Ed Smith

      That’s why you carry multiple pre-charged magazines. πŸ˜‰

  • Warren Ellis

    And a great way to get shot up by them. Can they even fly high enough that AA guns and MANPADs won’t shoot them down?

    • CZFan

      with a ceiling altitude of 28,500ft I think they can fly high enough

  • ChiptheBarber

    I understand the discussion completely, really I do. There’s so much to be said for today’s semi-autos. But the LAST handgun that will leave my collection is my S&W 686. It shoots like a rifle. It’s so much better than I am it’s not even funny. I sold it to my brother-in-law once, he wouldn’t let me have it back for 13 years. I won’t make that mistake again.Thanks for the video Alex.

  • Ed Smith

    Interesting comment regarding the difficulty a 100lb woman had cycling a glock 19. It was followed by a remark about semi-auto pistols for self defense. I figure a glock 42, or similar size pistol, would be better suited to her. The lower recoil of a 380 would mean a lighter recoil spring, which in turn means easier time racking the slide.

    For the record, I feel revolvers are obsolete. But I still own and use one.