In this day and age, when different size pistols with high capacity or single column magazines reign supreme, is the five- or six-shot revolver still a viable handgun for personal protection and home defense? I say they are. I take this position because I always felt very well armed whenever I carried various Smith & Wesson and a few Colt revolvers while on and off duty during my law enforcement career. In fact, now that I am retired, I consider my six-shot stainless steel Smith & Wesson Model 686 with the 4-inch barrel in .38 Special/.357 Magnum caliber to be one of my favorite personal defense weapons.

Speed Boost

If you wish to improve the firepower potential of any well made revolver you must be trained to effectively use speed loaders like the kind made by HKS and Safariland. The Bianchi Speed Strip is another accessory that is worth having when you carry or use a revolver. With practice, a six-round Bianchi speed strip can help a revolver operator facilitate a faster combat reload. Speed strips work by inserting one bullet into the empty chamber of a revolver cylinder before you twist the rubber strip to the side in a rather quick motion to remove one round at a time from the rubber strip. Even though I prefer speed loaders, I continue to carry at least one Bianchi Speed Strip instead of having loose ammunition rolling around in my pocket with spare change.

Revolvers also generally tend to be incredibly reliable and are very easy to maintain. Just like semi-automatic pistols, revolvers also come in different sizes, are manufactured with different types of material, have different barrel lengths, different ergonomics depending on the grips used, are chambered in different calibers and also come with fixed or adjustable sights. Similar to a pistol, you can also generally use different types of ammunition in a revolver that can change the performance and the level of recoil that a wheelgun displays.

Previous generations of shooters used handgun ammunition that was not as effective as the ammunition that is available today. A revolver loaded with more modern hollow point ammunition is more likely to provide better results than a revolver loaded with the ammunition of yesteryear. This is especially true today when an ammunition company like ATK manufactures the 135-grain Speer Gold Dot hollow point bullet that is specifically designed to provide maximum performance in any revolver that has a 2-inch barrel. Clearly, ammunition like this was not available in the so-called good old days.

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