How much more reliable have your revolvers been than your semi-autos? - Page 2

How much more reliable have your revolvers been than your semi-autos?

This is a discussion on How much more reliable have your revolvers been than your semi-autos? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The main issue I see is that a semi auto needs to get "proven" with every magazine, and with the carry ammo you intend to ...

View Poll Results: How much more reliable have your revolvers been than your semi-autos?

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  • Much more reliable.

    51 39.84%
  • Much less reliable.

    1 0.78%
  • About the same.

    76 59.38%
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Thread: How much more reliable have your revolvers been than your semi-autos?

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    The main issue I see is that a semi auto needs to get "proven" with every magazine, and with the carry ammo you intend to use. Get a different brand of defensive ammo - and you need to start the process all over again. That gets time consuming - and expensive.

    With a revolver, you need much less of that. A few cylinders will tell you if there is an issue with crimp jumping, or with the primer popping loose. And with standard pressure factory ammo, there is very little risk of that.

    I have had feed issues with one of our three LCPs (Ruger fixed it up), and with three of the four Kahrs that I've had pass through my hands (the one I still have does not get carried any more). None of the revolvers I've had have ever had a single issue.

    For civilian purposes, the "perfect" carry may be two revolvers. You get 10-12 ready rounds and near 100% reliability.
    shooterX and Vuva3rae like this.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off. - member
    Glock 30, 19, 26; Ruger SP101, LCR, Mini 14; Marlin 336 .30-30; Mossberg 500
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  2. #17
    Member Array msc8127's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Springdale, Arkansas
    The two glocks I have in 9mm right now have functioned 100% through a combined 3000 or so rounds. My j frame has likewise been very reliable with only having not gone bang twice...both times I'd say the ammo was to blame. Sig p220 did double feed once early in its life, and I had a bad mag for it that wouldn't feed reliably. So I'd have to say that most modern, quality firearms a pretty dang reliable. I favor semi autos for capacity and because tap and rack fixed most problems.

    sent via iCarry

  3. #18
    Member Array Rhcmlc's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Austin, TX
    I've never owned a revolver.
    "You cannot invade the mainland United States.
    There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass"
    - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

    Sig P238/Sig 1911 Ultra/Beretta PX4 Storm/Kimber Ultra Carry II

  4. #19
    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Florida's Space Coast.
    many revolvers (S&W, Ruger, J.C. Higgins, Colt, etc.) with never a problem. Several semi-autos (Sig, Colt) with, so far, no problems. I guess I expect a problem with the semi-autos someday, but with thousands of rounds through my Colt Woodsman I have never had a problem (in maybe 45-50 years that I've had it). My newer Sigs have been flawless since I got them...only a few hundred rounds through each of them.

  5. #20
    Member Array violinjim's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Buffalo, NY
    A tie for me, My PPK is finicky about ammo. I did have a S & W freeze up on me when the little set screw that holds the cylinder mechanism backed out and the cylinder didn't spin freely. Easy fix on the spot with my leatherman tool. My Kimber .45 has never failed, nor has the 9mm (but I don't have more than a few hundred rounds through each). The .22 Ruger has had casings not fully eject causing a jam.

    All the more reason for a BUG.


  6. #21
    Senior Member Array SFury's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Assuming you are using ammunition that cycles properly in your firearm, which can be an issue, and you maintain your firearm there should be no issues.

    The only time I had feed troubles with my RIA 1911 was with an aftermarket magazine. The magazine was bent slightly so it was improperly feeding one round for every loaded magazine. So, one in eight times. Once I figured out the problem, no more feed issues.

  7. #22
    Member Array pattrickg's Avatar
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    Sep 2012


    Well I will start the war, grab the popcorn and hold on. Revolvers tend to be more stable for all practical purposes. They are not influenced by a sub-par load for feeding the next round. The feed ramps do not accumulate dirt which can slow up an auto, although not an issue for defense if you clean between heavy range sessions. The magazines seem to be more of an issue than the guns themselves. I always make a habit of not forcing rounds in a mag and making sure they are well set back trying to protect the lips on the top of the mag. The revolver tends to be more reliable for just not having a mag. I often carry either depending on the situation so this is not a slam on the autos by any means. I happen to live in an area with no real gang trouble only isolated individuals occasionally causing trouble. For this type of situation a snubnose should be more than adequate. A revolver at close contact distances just seems a decent option. Can just stick it in their ribs if fighting no slides to jam. When fighting or drawing from a poor position limpwristing is not an issue, a big plus. Can be shot through a jacket pocket if need be without any ill effects or worry of jamming. Practice ammo and defense ammo can be swapped out without care when going to the range. There is still quite a bit going for the revolver in a non combative environment. I still carry a snubby at times and feel quite comfortable with it. I have only had to pull a weapon twice and each time it was a snubnose. So yes they can be comforting and part of that reason is their simplicity of going BOOM when you pull the trigger. No tap bang drills neccesary.

  8. #23
    Distinguished Member Array GunGeezer's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    I've owned more revolvers than semi-automatics. I've never had a revolver fail to fire every time I pulled the trigger. I've had semi-auto's that either failed to feed, failed to eject or stove-piped, from on occasion, rarely to never. I had one that jammed the very first time I tried to fire it, on the very first shell. It jammed so bad, I had to bring it to a gunsmith to unjam it. I sent it back, tried it again and got the same result. In the 20 yrs. I owned it, I never got through a full magazine without a jam. In all fairness, I only tried shooting it 4 times in 20 yrs. I finally sold/traded it. The only reason I kept it that long was that I really liked the look and feel and I thought it might become a classic.

    That's the reason I keep coming back to my S&W 342 for pocket carry. The others either reside in my gun safe and get cleaned annually or get fired from time to time. Some find their way into my carry rotation but I keep coming back to the 342.

  9. #24
    Member Array _Hawkeye_'s Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    I have never had a revolver malfunction. I have have some malfunctions with autos.
    English is my second language, I have been told my use of it is harsh, apologies if this is the matter.

    You know what stops a bad guy with a gun? A good guy with a gun

  10. #25
    VIP Member Array SmokinFool's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    I went with About The Same. Almost all my revolvers have performed flawlessly. The only problem I had was with my Python. It became hard to close the cylinder sometimes, and started throwing hot gas (more than it should) out of the barrel/cylinder gap. Had to send it back to Colt to have the cylinder tuned. I have experienced near flawless performance from my semi's as well.

  11. #26
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    When both platforms are of equal quality the only difference that I could imagine would be in reliability when using suspect ammo. My revolvers never fail to function with strange bullet shapes or with reloads where the bullets might not have been seated properly. If you are using proper ammo that has been tested to function in your weapon I would not be concerned with reliability in normal use.

    Anyone else ever loaded up a new bullet style in their reloads only to find out when you get to the range that they need to be seated just a tad farther back? Please don't tell me that I'm the only one. Never happens with my revolvers.


  12. #27
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Orlando, Florida
    I carry Glocks. Revolvers bore me.
    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

  13. #28
    Member Array Lindy1933's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Reno NV
    I have both the S&W 637 5 shot revolver and Sig P238 7 shot automatic; both with lasers. Each weigh about 16 oz. The 637 has never failed and the Sig has not failed with several different types of ammo since I polished the ramp. Each have several hundred rounds through them and I am not concerned about the reliability of either. I practice every week about a half box of shells through each. I believe there are other considerations than simply revolver vs automatic. I carry each gun but in different ways. In summer I carry the Sig P238 in a pocket carry holster, typically in cargo shorts. In winter I carry the 637 under a jacket. I carry another mag for the automatic and a speed strip for the revolver. I can get 14 shots off with the P238 in less time than 10 shots with the revolver. I will never know what circumstances may come up but I know I will carry full time so to me size and weight are big considerations. If I lived in a dangerous area I would probably carry a M&P 40c with two 15 round magazines.
    Retired AF pilot, Vietnam FAC 1967-68

  14. #29
    Member Array 1boredguy's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Just get both.

  15. #30
    Member Array rdpG19's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    I carry a Ruger SP101 357 3"Barrel by choice, love revolvers, old school...My Glock 19 has got 4000 rnds thru it and not one problem. I think its all a matter of choice, which type of gun you fell comfortable with.
    Old School likes this.
    US Navy Veteren
    Ruger SP101 357 3" Barrel
    Taurus 65 357 Mag
    Glock 19 Gen3
    Walther PK 380

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