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For nearly a century, the revolver was far-and-away the leading firearm for personal defense. Even if you’re not a gun person, you’ve probably heard of the world famous Cold 45, one of the most popular firearms throughout the 20th century. While it’s true that revolvers have since fallen in popularity, have they completely lost their place to semi-automatics? The short answer is it all depends on what you are looking for ...

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Semi-Automatics vs. Revolvers

When the earliest semi-automatic pistols hit the market, they were far from a replacement for the reliability of a revolver. They weren’t user friendly, and they were extremely prone to jamming, leaving the revolver as the superior choice for almost every circumstance. But as the engineering and technology behind the automatic loaders that operate semi-automatic pistols improved, the advantages of using a revolver rather than a semi-auto have started to slip away. Today, the question isn't if semi-autos are better than revolvers, but if revolvers are relevant at all.

From a strictly mechanical standpoint, semi-autos are undeniably better. They suffer from far less recoil. They have triggers that are easier to manipulate. The sights are larger and easier to use, especially for anyone who isn’t adept at using firearms. Most importantly, these days, semi-automatics are one of the most reliable weapons you can purchase.

Semi-autos also have a considerably larger ammo capacity than any comparable revolver. Whether you're interested in home defense or just shooting for fun, semi-autos are have several clear advantages. What used to be prone to malfunction after malfunction has since been engineered to perfection. Grabagun.com semi-automatic handguns showcase some of the best examples of this modern engineering in practice.


Revolver’s Still Have a Place

Still, there doesn't have to be a winner and loser. For most jobs, six rounds are more than enough, and practicing with a revolver does force you to use more discretion with each shot, because you have fewer shots to fire. This helps you keep in mind how many shots you have left, which can be excellent training anyone serious about firearms.

Of course, at the end of the day, all that really matters is that you use the weapon you’re most comfortable using. One thing you can say about revolvers is that they’re very easy to use. Once loaded, you don’t have to worry about if a round is chambered, you don’t need to worry about disengaging the safety, and you don’t need to manually eject a defective round before you can keep firing. That’s why it should be no surprise that revolvers are still a favorite of gun enthusiasts everywhere.