The biggest knock against revolvers for concealed carry is their comparative limited capacity to pistols and the time it takes to reload them. Yes, both of these are compelling arguments and have persuaded many, including law enforcement, to retire their favorite wheel guns in favor of pistols, typically of the polymer variety.
No doubt that pistols are great and will get the job done, but there is an argument to be made that revolvers are still a solid choice for concealed carry. Here are five points to consider:
1. Battle Tested
When I think of reasons to purchase revolvers, the first thing that comes to mind is that stupid faucet commercial. You know the one I’m talking about, right? “Moen: Buy it for looks, buy it for life.”
Well, that tagline holds true for revolvers as well. They’re nostalgically stylish (cowboy guns!) and durable as hell. It’s a winning combination. Not only can you carry your wheel gun for life and look good doing it, but you’re son or daughter can carry that same wheel gun with confidence when you’re ready to pass it down.
Recently, we talked about investing in firearms as opposed to other commodities like precious metals. When you think of guns that have value or guns that have appreciated over time, for me, I can’t help but to think of the Colt Python. Talk about a “value buy.” If you picked up a Colt Python back in the 70s or 80s or even 90s for $300-$700, you’re smiling now because you’ve seen just how much your investment has paid off. Pythons can easily sell north of $2,000.
Point is, if you pick up a quality or classic revolver chances are it won’t lose its value over time. In fact, it may just appreciate. Can you say the same thing about your polymer pistol?
3. .357 Ain’t No Joke
With all the debate over 9mm versus .45 ACP folks forget that .357 Magnum, a common revolver caliber, is pretty darn effective too. Not only that, but it’s versatile. It’s a great round for self-defense and hunting! What more can you ask for?
On a side note, .38 Special in +P isn’t a bad self-defense round either. Sure, it’s not quite the same as .357, but traveling in and around 1000 f/s it packs a punch that won’t disappoint.
Yup, you knew this was going to make the list. Revolvers are inherently more reliable than pistols. I know some of you will tout the merits of the tried and true 1911 or your GLOCK, but the thing with autoloaders is that they do malfunction at a higher rate when compared to revolvers (typically due to user error, e.g. limp-wristing and getting a stove-pipe or failure to feed, or issues with the magazine).
When you carry a revolver you can be supremely confident that when you pull that trigger the gun will discharge.
Two words: Hammerless snubby. That’s about as tight of a concealed carry package as you can ask for. Sure, you’re giving up some accuracy with the shortened barrel and some classic flair with the hammerless look (really, in most cases the hammer is concealed) but for everyday carry (EDC) it’s a great way to go.
Also, and to point out the obvious, revolvers don’t use magazines so there is no real limitations on the size of the handle. With pistols, obviously, there is a certain bulk that unavoidable due to those pesky mags.
As with all advocacy articles, one should take them with a grain of salt. Yeah, I know, I probably got you itching to get a new revolver now, but the truth is that you should carry the firearm that you’re most familiar with, the one you shoot the best. After all, you’re life may be on the line one day and you want the tool that you practice with the most, be it a pistol or a wheel gun.
That said, don’t be afraid to experiment at the range, at home, wherever you shoot. Try on a revolver, see how it fits. Who knows, you may like it enough to eventually make it your primary EDC gun.