A day at the range with your semi-automatic:
- Gun – check.
- Multiple magazines – check.
- Ammo – check.
- Cleaning kit for when the semi gets really dirty – check.
- Select tools in case the gun needs adjustment – check.
- Magazine loader – check.
A day at the range with your revolver:
- Gun – check.
- Ammo – check.
Yes, it’s another fine day for shooting and there is something to be said about having the latest and greatest, high-tech semi-automatic pistol produced in the world. Gun-tech has made modular back straps, dual recoil springs, ported barrels, and blah, blah, blah are all very common.
Sometimes, only sometimes, simplicity and ease of use can be of value also. That something, is the simplicity, reliability and continuing accuracy of the modern revolver.
What’s that? You don’t own a revolver? Well, let’s take a seat and have a little chat about your first one, then.
There is a laundry list of advantages to going with a revolver. If there were any disadvantages, they would have to be the more difficult trigger pull in double action and the six-round capacity of the pistol. These become complete non-issues with two things – practice, practice, practice with the trigger pull and speed loaders or moon clips for the round capacity. Not looking to shoot fast? Then shoot your new revolver single action! Pull the hammer back and fire a nice, light 2.5 pound trigger with every shot if you wish to.
Shoot any load.
If you’re a reloader (or just want to be) then you can load the heaviest thunderclap that safety will allow or the lightest powder puff load that a sprinkle of powder grain can give. It does not matter because your revolver does not concern itself with recoil springs or the cycling of the next round based upon the power of the recoil.
Clean when you feel.
Clean your revolver when you feel like it. Seriously. No dirty barrel ramp to worry about. No filthy extractor letting go of the brass. No finicky magazines deciding to sit this one out because they are dirty.
No Brass chasing.
Done shooting your rounds? Dump the brass conveniently into a nearby receptacle. No need to roll around across the floor to pick up all your brass. Shooting and loading fast? No problem. With moon clips you have an inexpensive way to hold everything in place for loading and unloading.
Want to change the way the gun fires? Feel you could use a trigger job? Swap out a few springs and you’re good. Unafraid of a little filing and you can do some smoothing, or, you can just dry fire a few thousand times and it will smooth up all by itself. Rarely will you ever have to worry about a technical issue or a misfire that is the fault of the gun. Usually the ammo is the culprit.
With a revolver you have many many grip options of every conceivable type from just about every manufacturer. My Dan Wesson model 15 came with a beautiful, but bulky wooden grip that I swapped out for a nice Hogue textured grip that works much better for my hand. Lots of options.
Aside from grips, can you make changes? Of course. Just about any kind of upgrade you can put onto a semi can be put into a revolver, provided of course that the parts exist on a revolver (not much point shopping for a ported slide when revolvers don’t have slides).
Like with any handgun purchase, your ultimate purpose for the gun helps dictate which you should lean towards. Caliber is also a big consideration. Revolvers are not going to be made from polymer, so they will be heavier than most semi’s, but this is offset by the fact that 6 rounds of ammo weigh a lot less than 17, so the weight thing balances out. The metal and heft, though, will also help deal with felt recoil, another positive.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Plinking: Look for something chambered in .22LR up to .38 special.
- Home Defense: .357 magnum (that also takes .38 special for practice) up to .45 ACP.
- Hunting: .357 magnum to a .44 magnum (I would have gone to .500 SW, but this is your first revolver. Let’s not be silly).
- Competition (action): .38 special up to .45ACP (no magnums)
- Competition (target): .22 up to .45ACP (just about any non-magnum)
Your first revolver will be a refreshing and educational tool for the other side of handguns and handgun shooting. Less complicated, less stuff to lug around, and less worry about problems. Who knows, your day at the range may never be the same.