Wheelgun Wednesday: Proof That Revolvers Are Still Viable?

    Are Revolvers Still Viable

    Image credit: Chicago PD Facebook page.

    Welcome to another Wheelgun Wednesday, where we cover all things “wheelgunnery.” In this edition, we’ll veer from the light once more and delve to a darker realm. Much debate has been had about semi-autos versus revolvers, and most gun owners would probably reach for a semi-auto over a wheelgun for self defense, even if they still enjoy shooting revolvers. However, on today’s Wheelgun Wednesday at TFB, I thought we’d look at a different angle of revolver usage; the criminal element. Regardless of which good guys are still carrying six-shooters (or 5, 6, 7, 8, or 18! shooters), revolvers are still very prevalent in crimes. Let’s explore if this proves that revolvers are still viable.

    Revolvers @ TFB


    It feels a little strange asking about the viability of revolvers in terms of their use in crimes because I would prefer they weren’t successful in the hands of robbers, rapists and murderers, but they are. From the criminal’s standpoint though, revolvers are still viable, or they wouldn’t use them. One could argue that a criminal would only use a revolver if that’s all he is able to acquire, and perhaps given the opportunity, he would also choose a semi-auto over the revolver. I’m not exactly game for conducting a survey of armed criminals, so we may never know what their actual preference may be, but again, the revolver is still very much in play for the two-legged predators of today.

    Are Revolvers Still Viable?

    Image credit: Chicago PD Facebook

    According to court documents and statements made in court, Shawn Le, 28, sold fentanyl, a .22 caliber revolver and 214 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition to a confidential informant working with law enforcement on February 19, 2021. Source

    During the search, deputies found 5.8 grams of presumed methamphetamine, other illegal substances, “multiple” packaging materials, a set of digital scales and a loaded .22 caliber revolver, according to a criminal complaint. Source

    White admitted to having more than five grams of methamphetamine, also known as “ice” and “crystal meth” in October 2018 in Randolph County. White also admitted to having a .22 caliber revolver with him during the drug crime. Source

    According to the evidence and testimony at trial, on November 13, 2016, Hartford Police detectives responding to a ShotSpotter activation recovered a loaded revolver in a car last registered to Perez and containing documents addressed to Perez in the glove box. DNA analysis of the seized firearm indicated Perez had handled the firearm. Source

    Paul M. Folks pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder Wednesday after prosecutors accused of him of firing his revolver into the backs of a fleeing crowd and shooting a Decatur woman dead. Source

    As you can see from the few examples of news stories in the last five years, revolvers are still viable and being used by criminals, which means you have a chance of staring down the barrel of one. Statistically, it’s not a large chance, but it’s never zero either. Finding cold hard numbers of revolvers used in crimes in recent years has proven a bit difficult. That percentage doesn’t exactly matter, since we’ve already seen evidence that revolvers are being used on the street, but it would still be interesting to know a percentage of discovered usage. If you know of a good source, please share in the comment section or email me and I’ll update the article.

    Are Revolvers Still Viable?

    Image credit: Chicago PD Facebook

    I scoured the Facebook pages of several big city police departments for a feel of how often revolvers were encountered during crimes. Of the departments that openly shared photos of seized weapons, Chicago PD seemed to regularly meet suspects armed with revolvers, though semi-autos were still more prevalent. Meanwhile, I had to scroll back to St. Louis PD’s 2019 photos to catch my first glimpse of a wheelgun. LAPD’s Facebook page seemed to show a similar trend where revolvers were not nearly as prevalent.

    Are Revolvers Still Viable?

    Image credit: St. Louis PD Facebook

    Are revolvers still viable?

    Image credit: St. Louis PD Facebook

    Image credit: LAPD Facebook

    So, what exactly does all this mean? Lord willing, none of us will have to encounter an armed assailant, but if you do and you have to pull the trigger, shot placement is still king, regardless of what type of handgun you’re carrying. This has been more of an exploratory look into a different aspect of whether or not revolvers are still viable. I would argue that they are, even in this context, but is that because criminals are seeking unarmed victims, or using ambush tactics? Or is it the successful, justified response of good guys with revolvers that prove the viability all the more? I’ll let you be the judge.

    Doug E

    Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he’s taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT gmail.com, or battleshipgrey61 on Instagram.