Did you know that three in ten US adults claim to own a gun?
They identified personal protection as the top reason. When protection is the goal, choosing the right gun is vital.
The one-way path towards improvement for firearms has led to the accessibility of compact handguns. Being the two most common handguns, this is where the pistols vs revolvers dilemma comes in.
To solve this dilemma, you need to understand their differences. So follow along!
Pistols vs Revolvers
From appearance to general knowledge, the revolver’s traditionally exposed cylinder design lends it a primitive feel. Hence, it’s a common assumption that pistols are superior to revolvers. Of course, it’s not that simple.
The term “pistol” itself has evolved from its historical definition to its current common usage. It originally derives from the French “pistolet,” meaning small gun or knife. When the first revolver came along, it became a type of pistol.
Both handguns have undergone extensive development, making their history irrelevant when choosing. However, the history of the term can cause confusion.
The common usage of pistol nowadays is in reference to the semi-automatic pistol. So, in this article, “pistol” refers to the common usage of the term.
Looking to purchase your own pistol or revolver for your personal protection? Check out this resource for some options.
The semi-automatic pistol, or simply “semi-auto,” is a self-loading single-chamber handgun. A detachable magazine in the gun’s grip contains up to 17 rounds. It self-loads using the force of a fired round to load the next cartridge into it.
As the name suggests, a revolver’s most distinct feature is its rotating cylinder. This sits behind the barrel and contains five to eight chambers. The number of chambers determines the ammunition capacity.
The exposed cylinder allows you to literally see the mechanism in use. What rotates the cylinder depends on the revolver’s action type:
1. Single Action Only (SAO)
Single action revolvers require manually cocking the hammer to rotate the cylinder. The single action of the trigger is to fire the shot.
2. Single Action/Double Action (SA/DA)
Double action revolvers can function SAO by cocking the hammer first or double action. The double action of pulling the trigger both cocks the hammer and fires the shot.
3. Double Action Only (DAO)
Directly referred to as “double action only.”
The immediate distinction is the lack of a visible or accessible hammer spur. The hammer is inside the frame, so there’s no single action operation. Forgoing the traditionally exposed hammer spur reduces the likelihood of snagging, making it better for concealed carrying.
Whatever your reasons are, whether it’s for protection or a hobby, consider the following:
Ease of Use
A revolver is simpler with its few moving parts being accessible. This makes it easier to maintain and more comprehensive for beginners. It’s also easier to manage during a misfire.
A semi-auto’s lighter trigger pull makes firing more accurate. However, the heavier trigger pull of a revolver makes accidental discharges less likely.
A pistol’s biggest advantage is its higher capacity. Its detachable magazine also makes it easier to reload. Although, a revolver can fire larger calibers. On the other hand, a pistol such as the Glock uses 9mm ammo which makes it perfect for personal defense since the whole package is more compact
Arm Yourself Properly
With guns, your safety and efficiency rely on your knowledge. There are so many options, all packing a deadly punch. Once you’ve identified their differences and your preferences, the pistols vs revolvers question becomes less of a dilemma.
A gun is merely an extension of its user. You get to determine what’s better for you. Do you need help solving more dilemmas? Then, check out our other guides!