In the upcoming 2015 issue of HANDGUN BUYER’S GUIDE, author Dave Campbell discusses some of the advantages single-action revolvers from Colt, Ruger and other famous manufacturers have over modern semi-autos, and how to use these wheelguns to effectively protect yourself.

Campbell writes, “It is undeniable that the semi-auto pistol dominates the self-defense market today, and justifiably so. Technological and tactical improvements have produced a product that is well suited to serving its owner as a primary reactive tool to save his or her hide. But there remain literally millions of revolvers—double-action (DA) and single-action (SA)—in the homes of gun owners today. Are these guns mere paperweights? The single-action revolver has been around for 140 years. Its popularity among gun owners continues to be very strong. Colt has tried many times to retire its iconic Single Action Army, yet the demand for these old ‘thumb-busters’ keeps prodding the company to continue manufacturing them. And once Ruger introduced its Blackhawk single action, it has never looked back. When choosing a self-defense pistol, should the SA be dismissed out of hand? I would say no, and here’s why.

“The first advantage is power. The solid, heavy frame of an SA revolver can contain and control more power than most semi- auto pistols. In many urban environments that can be problematic, since overpenetration in an apartment can be dangerous to innocents, but out in rural areas that power can be effectively used to overcome barriers and longer ranges. I am a staunch supporter of large chunks of lead launched at as high a velocity as I can handle in a handgun. A 250- to 300-grain semi-wadcutter at 1,100 fps or so has measurably more range and terminal effectiveness than a 120- to 180-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) at 950 to 1,000 fps.”

To learn more, check out the 2015 issue of HANDGUN BUYER’S GUIDE, available on newsstands and digitally October 7, 2014. To purchase, visit

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