The Revolver in the 21st Century
Most people probably think of the revolver as a weapon belonging to another age, with very little relevance to today’s firearm options for the defense of your home, for concealed carry, and even for recreational shooting. A majority of gun enthusiasts have become enraptured with the semi-automatic pistols now available, because they provide certain advantages like rapid fire and and ease of loading.
However, there’s still a lot to be said for the revolver in the 21st century, and a big part of that can be related to the modern improvements which have been made by gun manufacturers. Some of these modern-day improvements have actually given the revolver advantages over semi-automatic pistols, as discussed below.
Benefits of Today’s Revolvers
Ease of maintenance is one big benefit of using today’s double-action revolver, and that carries with it a high degree of performance. It can also be pretty handy to determine whether or not your revolver is loaded, just by checking the side of the gun, where you can see the gap between the frame for the cartridge rims and the rear of the cylinder. That might sound like a small thing, but it means you’ll probably never face a target with an unloaded gun, and it means you’ll probably never accidentally fire the revolver because you didn’t think it was loaded.
Another advantage that revolvers have over semi-automatics is that practically any kind of cartridges can be loaded into the cylinder, as long as the caliber is right. This means your revolver can just as easily fire a .38 Special cartridge as well as a .357 Magnum. The revolver’s also much better at firing from odd angles than a semi would be, so if you’re not using the two-hand firing position from your firing range practice, there’s a least a fair chance your semi-automatic will misfire.
The most important advantage that a revolver has over a semi though is in the area of close combat. Of course this may not be important to the recreational shooter, but for law enforcement personnel, it can be critical. When you press the muzzle of your semi-automatic pistol against an attacker’s body, the slide will probably be moved toward its out-of-battery condition, resulting in a jam. Since the revolver’s barrel is fixed and motionless, this just can’t happen, and you won’t find yourself jammed at a critical time.
Many people who grew up using a revolver simply prefer it because of its feel and performance, but in the 21st century, a number of design improvements have also been made that keep the revolver a relevant firearm for all kinds of usage.