While our younger readers may gasp in disbelief at this, there was a time when one seldom read about semi-auto pistols in gun magazines. From the 1850s to the 1980s, revolvers dominated the American civilian and police handgun markets. While today’s firearms media and manufacturers repeat a never-ending mantra about the qualities of modern semi-autos, the revolver’s positive qualities remain undiminished, which is why civilians, armed professionals, law enforcement officers and soldiers worldwide continue to use it as a sidearm.

The unenlightened among us will say that the revolver displays poor ergonomics, is too complicated and bulky, lacks reliability and is obsolete. Am I missing something here? How can a firearm capable of handling any task that a handgun may be called upon to perform be obsolete? When you find a handgun with handling qualities superior to those of a quality, medium-frame, double-action (DA) revolver, please tell me about it, because I want to buy one.

Unlike pistols, a revolver’s lockwork is well sealed against dirt, debris, powder residue and fouling. Normal cleaning only requires one to open the cylinder, brush out the barrel and chambers, wipe the gun clean and lubricate. As for bulk, if you take a micrometer to a medium-frame revolver and a service-size pistol, I bet there will be very little difference in terms of girth. What difference there is can be easily neutralized by using a properly
fitting holster.

Read more in the August 2013 Issue of Combat Handguns

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