Are revolvers really reliable?

Are revolvers really reliable?

This is a discussion on Are revolvers really reliable? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm seriously considering buying another revolver, probably next year, but I am still having a tough time working up the enthusiasm to do it. I ...

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Thread: Are revolvers really reliable?

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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Are revolvers really reliable?

    I'm seriously considering buying another revolver, probably next year, but I am still having a tough time working up the enthusiasm to do it. I don't hate them, but they just don't evoke any warm, fuzzy feelings in me.

    Just watched this video and it doesn't help my desire to buy one at all. What do you revolver guys think of this?

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    New Member Array djcomm's Avatar
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    After watching the video I think the moral to the story is don't bury your guns. LOL. Any firearm can give you problems. There are advantages to having a revolver and there are advantages to having a semi-auto. The revolver you can shoot in the pocket and directly against the target. However, you can reload that semi a whole lot faster than you can the revolver in most cases. It's a matter of personal preference. Whatever you get, keep the gun well-maintained and it will serve you well. Make sure that you practice a tremendous amount, especially if using a double action pistol. The double action can really make it tough to group well unless you practice. YouTube videos can be very informative however they can also make you second-guess your purchases. For example, I'm a huge advocate of a double action/single action pistol. But after watching some YouTube videos they make me feel bad by even considering a brand new Sig 229. The key is buy what you want and train. Make it a part of you. I hope you get the revolver and enjoy it better than any other firearm you own.

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    Senior Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    I believe revolvers to be just as reliable as semi's.
    To me it is not a revolver vs semi issue.
    It is about maintaining your firearm.
    You can muck up any gun to make it inoperable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KILTED COWBOY View Post
    I believe revolvers to be just as reliable as semi's.
    To me it is not a revolver vs semi issue.
    It is about maintaining your firearm.
    You can muck up any gun to make it inoperable.
    Yep. Don't muck up your gun. A clean gun is a happy gun. Revolver, pistol, rifle, machine gun -- they don't like sand and mud.
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    Senior Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavygravy View Post
    Yep. Don't muck up your gun. A clean gun is a happy gun. Revolver, pistol, rifle, machine gun -- they don't like sand and mud.
    Unless you talk to those AK guys.
    They will tell you they love sand and mud.
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    Why are you even watching this? All it shows is that any system can be abused to the point of failure. It's click bait.
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    For me its more about purpose of use than anything else. I like a revolver for bear defense better because of its ability to fire more powerful rounds than a semi. I like a 642 for an all around concealed gun because it is really, really hard to get it to not fire tangled up in clothes, pockets or belly fat and best grappling, ground fighting, close up and nasty or backup gun made IMHO. However, best defense against people belt gun I would say semi just because of how easy they are to carry flat, capacity and reload capability. If I had to own only one it would hands down be the revolver but, that is because of my needs and circumstance. Everybody has different needs.
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    No offense to you, OP, but this video is one of the stupidest things I've seen. It has no basis in any real world scenario, unless some guy on youtube steals your guns and fills every nook and cranny with dry, powdery dirt. A revolver does have a lot more things that are easily cloggable, yep. His Shield also wouldn't eject anything after that, does that mean Shields are inherently terrible pistols with FTE issues?

    The main thing here is, the guy who made the video knows how to fix an issue with an auto, but not a revolver.

    But really, OP.... why buy a gun you don't want or aren't excited about? That just seems like 100% a waste of money.
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    I like revolvers and definitely see their value in a variety of circumstances. But one must understand the limitations of any tool they choose.

    RevolverGuy took a snubbie class from Greg Ellifritz. His AAR is here.

    https://revolverguy.com/aar-greg-ell...ose-revolvers/

    From that article
    “ The most important thing that came out of the classroom session for me personally: the answer to, “is the snubby enough gun?” Greg answered this in a way that makes me think about revolvers a bit differently. He said that revolvers are a “one bad-guy gun,” sufficient for most things civilians are likely to encounter, but ill-equipped for multiple adversaries.”
    “Beware of people who brag about who they are. A lion will never have to tell you he is a lion.”

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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CreedDryrot View Post
    No offense to you, OP, but this video is one of the stupidest things I've seen. It has no basis in any real world scenario, unless some guy on youtube steals your guns and fills every nook and cranny with dry, powdery dirt. A revolver does have a lot more things that are easily cloggable, yep. His Shield also wouldn't eject anything after that, does that mean Shields are inherently terrible pistols with FTE issues?

    The main thing here is, the guy who made the video knows how to fix an issue with an auto, but not a revolver.

    But really, OP.... why buy a gun you don't want or aren't excited about? That just seems like 100% a waste of money.
    Not offended at all. I guess the way I feel about a revolver is that in the event there is a semi-auto ban, which I think is likely some time down the road, revolvers might be "allowed" just a bit longer. I don't want to be left defenseless.
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    Every bullet has a lawyer attached to it.

    Learning occurs only after repetitive, demoralizing failures.

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    General Alexei Yepishev, political commissar of the Soviet Armed Forces

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    Both types failed in the video after being abused. Neither were able to be gotten back into action in a timeframe that would have made any difference in an SD fight. My experience in 50 years of shooting handguns is several failures with autos and zero failures with revolvers. I think the guy in this video went in trying to demonstrate a pre-judged conclusion and even then, he was not all that convincing.

    It is not true that a failed auto can always be easily fixed in the field either. I have had two autos, a well broken in Colt 1911 and a Kahr 9mm lock up so hard at the range that "tap-rack-bang" would not work. The slide was stuck open and the mag would not eject. If a round gets nose down coming out of the mag, an auto can jam up solid and you have to go to serious lengths to get it going again. I consider it a mag issue, which is a potential weakness with autos that revos don't suffer.

    Also, especially with small autos, including two Sigs and a S&W, I have had light strikes. I have never had that with a revolver in 50 years of shooting them. It is also possible to produce a failure by limp wristing a small auto. You can't do that with a revolver.

    Both platforms have their strengths ans weaknesses. Carry what you feel comfortable with.
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    G26R, if you aren't enthusiastic don't get one. You don't need a revolver. Both revolvers and semi-automatics have advantages and disadvantages. Choose what works for you.

    I love revolvers. I'm a revolver guy. This preference is based on several decades of shooting experience with multiple firearms, and revolvers have proven to be more reliable for me. Their method of action is just simpler. There are fewer parts being kicked about. There are fewer sources of human error that can mess them up. Burying a revolver is not a realistic test. That doesn't happen to me.....often.

    I started out shooting revolvers, but naturally was itching to get one of the automatics as soon as I could. That first revolver has never missed a beat in 35 years. My first automatic, a Belgian made Browning Hi-Power, was new out of the box. It suffered a failure to feed the first trip to the range. Just need to be broken in, right? (first excuse) Or maybe I was limp wristing? (excuse #2)

    Well fast forward a few hundred rounds and I'm still having failures to feed on some range trips. Ahhhhh.....my budget was limited and I tended to buy the cheapest ammo I could for practice. It turns out the Hi-Power, being a fancy European pistol, prefers a fancy diet of hot ammo. It thrives on NATO spec ammo. (excuse #3)

    The first military handgun I trained with was a S&W M15. I won't swear to it, but it was old enough that I'm pretty sure it was carried up San Juan Hill by Teddy Roosevelt himself. It never missed a beat.

    The first 1911 I trained with? Failure to feed. A new magazine was tried...and...yes....it worked. (excuse #4) The very first M9 I trained with. Failure to feed. New magazine? No. More new magazines? No. Well, it probably needs new springs.... (excuse #5). Hey, anybody seen my 38?

    I've shot a lot of automatics and I think I've only seen a few that never had a malfunction (Sig 226/227 & HK 45 come to mind). In some cases (Kimber 1911) it was just a matter of getting the pistol broken in. I trust my Glocks, but I've had a couple of malfunctions with one of those too. My Sig 938 is a little fussy about ammo. I've become fairly good at clear malfunctions now. So that's an unintended benefit.

    Ever see the failure to fire drill for a revolver? Yeah, pull trigger.

    I've shot more revolvers than I can count and, up until recently, haven't had a single problem. Right now (oh the irony is thick here. ) I have a 686 that is giving me light primer strikes.

    What happened to me reliability?!

    Well, I think that is my fault. I've had this revolver worked on a good bit and worked on it myself some; it had some hick-ups right out of the box. I suspect that this particular 686 has just been over-worked and is too slick now. However, I see this less as a revolver problem than an armchair gunsmith problem. (And I feel 99% confident I've got it sorted out now. A few hundred more rounds down range and I'll declare this pistol 'reliable' again.)

    All mechanical devices can and will fail. No question. There are a host of issues that a revolver can develop. No question. An action or barrel full of sand is to be avoided. However, in general, I believe that a revolver is less subject to mechanical and human error than an automatic. The 'experts' will tell you that today's automatics are 'just as reliable' as revolvers. Maybe, but not in my experience. I think automatics require more care and attention than a revolver. So, I spend more time fussing with my automatics to ensure they are as reliable as can be.

    I will say, my Sig 227 has been beaten and abused and just keeps on pumping out rounds. So maybe the experts have a point: modern semi-automatics are exceptionally reliable if well maintained (along with their magazines), but there will always be a place in my safe or nightstand for a revolver.

    So that's my ˘38.

  14. #13
    Nix
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dial1911 View Post
    From that article
    “ The most important thing that came out of the classroom session for me personally: the answer to, “is the snubby enough gun?” Greg answered this in a way that makes me think about revolvers a bit differently. He said that revolvers are a “one bad-guy gun,” sufficient for most things civilians are likely to encounter, but ill-equipped for multiple adversaries.”
    I think a snubbie is more of a 'two bad guy' gun. But I won't quibble overly much. If a squad of skin heads is assaulting my position, I'll be reaching for my 1911 and a spare mag.
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    Seen enough vids with this particular guy on TFB TV to already know what the conclusion is going to be. Only thing I got out if this is that now I have to carry a bottle of gun lube with me when I edc carry for those days I have to bury myself then engage I'm a gunfight. The jabs at people of senior years is also completely unnecessary.
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    Revolvers can be reliable but...when a revolver does fail its usually not something that can be easily fixed in the field. For example: Within the past month I had a student who had a newer Taurus 7 shot .38 revolver (not sure which model) that locked up after the third round. It took quite a bit of work with a soft mallet just to unload it. It will be going back to the mother ship! Some brands and models of revolvers are prone to problems than others! Just my .02 worth!
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