The Pros and Cons of Revolvers

Meta: When deciding on the right kind of handgun for your needs, you may consider using a revolver. Today, we’ll look at their benefits and disadvantages, so read on!


Over the past hundred years, we have gradually transitioned away from revolvers and embraced semi-automatic handguns. At first, the reasons why most people moved away from revolvers are obvious, but some of our readers have recently been wondering if there are any advantages to using one of them.

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at both the advantages and the disadvantages of revolvers, and the things you can expect as the owner of one of them. Of course, a huge part of gun ownership is personal taste, so we unfortunately won’t be able to tell you outright whether or not you’ll like a revolver, but we can certainly help you find out.

The Advantages of a Revolver

The major benefit of a revolver is that it’s a lot easier to use than a semi-automatic handgun. Since most revolvers lack an external safety, they will typically fire when you pull the trigger, so one of them can help you practice trigger discipline as well as knowing when to load your gun.

You also won’t have to deal with a bunch of levers and switches when you use your revolver, as the hammer, the trigger, and the break mechanism are all you’ll typically have to know about. Some revolvers will also feature a manual casing extractor, though that will be the extent of what you need to learn.

One of the main advantages of revolvers over semi-automatic pistols is their simplicity. Since most revolvers have far fewer moving parts than semi-auto handguns, they are far more reliable, so you won’t have to deal with issues like jams, and other malfunctions are far rarer.

The Downsides of a Revolver

Unfortunately, revolvers have quite a few downsides, many of which are why militaries and police forces moved away from them. The first issue is that revolvers carry less ammunition than comparable semi-automatic handguns, resulting in more frequent reloading and a lower sustained rate of fire in a defensive situation.

Revolvers are also challenging to load without the use of speed loading clips, whereas you can just slide a loaded magazine into a semi-automatic pistol. Another problem is that revolvers are far louder than handguns due to the open nature of their design, isolating less of the sound from a gunshot.

Due to the lack of things like an external safety, revolvers can also be a little more hazardous for inexperienced shooters, though some will argue that this helps teach good firearm handling skills. Situations like self-defense are when the issues with revolvers truly start to show, so if you need a concealed carry gun, you’re typically better off with a semi-auto pistol.


There are still a few reasons why someone may want to own a revolver, but we wouldn’t recommend using most of them as concealed carry or potential defensive weapons. Of course, this is entirely dependent on the situation in which the gun is used, so your mileage may vary.

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