Some of us are old enough to recall the days when “Revolver versus Semiautomatic” was debated in the gun magazines at least once a year. Others, including many of today’s younger cops, may have seen but never fired a so-called “wheelgun.”
While the same bullet fired out of a single-action revolver will do just as much damage as if it were fired out of a double-action revolver, the following discussion will be limited to the latter and will assume that such revolvers will be fired in double-action – or, more correctly, trigger-cocking – mode.
While revolvers may have more complicated mechanisms than autoloading pistols, they are simpler to operate, so long as you have the hand size and strength to work the trigger reliably. Not to be overlooked is that the fit of the gun in the hand may benefit from the substitution of aftermarket grips and that the trigger stroke may benefit from tuning by a gunsmith skilled in working on that type of gun. Given those caveats…
Many revolver users are attracted by the fact that the swing-out cylinder of most double-action revolvers allows both visual and tactile confirmation of loaded or unloaded status.
When there is sufficient illumination, this includes being able to see which primers have already been indented – normally a sign that such a round has already been fired – and which ones have not. Don’t take the chamber status too lightly; triple-check by sight and feel. . .