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Are Revolvers Archaic or Obsolete?

By Dan S Defense

Is it Time to Retire the Revolver and Relegate it to Range Use Only?

Revolvers have been around for a long time. Their basic technology is unchanged. Their bullet capacity is minuscule when compared to today's' high-tech semi automatics. To reload them, you must in essence, disassemble a big chunk of them. Reloading a revolver, takes more effort and a slow reload in a gunfight can get you killed. Lots of revolvers are still made from steel and are heavy to carry. And I'm sure there are additional points that show them to be old and unsophisticated.

Given all of this, are revolvers obsolete and archaic? Do people who carry revolvers suffer from some techno-phobia? Are they obsolete and archaic too? Is the revolver truly dead when it comes to self defense, as many claim?

I will submit that the answer is no. The revolver is relevant today, as it was many decades ago and will continue to be relevant in years to come. I will qualify this statement and say that revolvers will be relevant to people who make an effort to learn how use them properly. I'll add that while I most often carry a 1911 for self defense, I also carry N frame Smith & Wesson revolvers, in the same caliber.

I also carry a revolver as a backup to my primary carry gun. And, since I didn't make a case for the revolver as a potent and reliable self defense handgun, you may consider me to be just as obsolete and archaic. I have read the same said about Clint Smith, Director of Thunder Ranch, by "Internet experts"-- and while on the topic, let me state that Clint Smith is a man I greatly respect. His many contributions to my continued education are very much appreciated. Life is much more complicated in the civilian arena. But, back on topic, If you think revolvers are dead as self defense weapons--as combat gear--I challenge you to read on.

When I was in the IDF, my primary weapon was sometime a Colt M4 with a trilux scope, Sometime an M16 with a M203 40mm grenade launcher, sometime a Galil or Glilon and a few bigger (read heavier), louder ones. What didn't change was my backup handgun -a used 4" 357 magnum Colt Python revolver.

Other folks had semi automatic handguns, but I cherished my revolver and had a few boxes of ammo in my combat vest. My Python went everywhere with me and it always kept me safe. We went to many different places, some of them very nasty, and we always came back. Moving to some obvious advantages--revolvers are easy to maintain, easy to clean and are generally tough.

There are no parts to assemble improperly for field cleaning. No spring to fly into a corner. If you placed a bad cartridge in the cylinder, causing the gun not to go bang, you just pull the trigger again. If you get some sand in it, or spill coffee on it, chances are it will go bang. And, if you take the time to practice reloading your revolver, or use moon-clips, as I do, you'll see that it isn't as bad as you think. In addition, some new S&W revolvers have 8 rounds of 357 magnum bullets—same as I have in my 1911 magazine.

These are some of the reasons that I have to offer, as a counter argument, to folks who think revolvers and the people who carry them are obsolete and archaic. I'm delighted with my revolvers and feel comforted whenever I carry one. Think about it--there might be a revolver with your name on it.

Until next time, stay safe by staying alert!

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