We’re having this classic thread over at GTA forum.
I thought it was worth it to dispel some of the common misconceptions regarding the traits of each system.
*Simpler to operate ( does NOT mean it’s simpler mechanically speaking)
*Does not rely on ammunition gases for the next shot. Means a dud gets left behind with the pull of the trigger.
*Can fire underpowered reloads that may jam a semi auto.
*Can fire different projectile shapes and weights which may jam a semi auto.
*Can handle more powerful ammunition.
*Mechanically more complex than autos
*More sensitive to abuse, grit and pebbles getting in the mechanism
*Harder to repair
*Slower follow up shots
*Much more rugged. Some autos fire many thousands of rounds and keep working well. *Service pistols can take much more abuse compared to service revolvers.
*Easier to repair
*Fires big bore ammo that is readily available and inexpensive
*Faster follow up shots.
*More ammo sensitve.
*The possibility of failure to feed ammo or eject the empty case
*You have a single shot if the magazine fails
*A more complex operator’s manual (though DAO and weapon like the Glock are much more simple than traditional DA/SA with safeties)
These are all characteristics most of us already know well, that’s why we prefer autos for self defense.
The thing that I’ve learned to appreciate more though besides the obvious fact of almost 3x times the capacity of most revolvers and the fast reloading is the ruggedness of the semi auto system.
I’ve read for many years in various gun media that the revolver is more rugged. That simply isn’t true. It may be more reliable but its certainly not more rugged.
When it comes to comparing service military models revolvers don’t even come close to handling the kind of abuse some autos have.
There are Glocks that have been torture tested in way no revolver could tolerate. Some had hundred of thousands of rounds fired through them. Again, a feat a revolver will not tolerate simply because of parts wear and delicate internal clockwork.
Glock Torture Test Story (must read!)
I can dig out old abused 1911’s and get them back runnining very well with little or no part replacement. Its even easier with Hi Powers, one of the toughest semi automatic pistols ever made. I’ve got both Hi Powers and Ballester Molinas that are visibly beaten on the outside but still work perfectly well, very accurate.
A service revolver? Unless its been in storage for most of its live it will have problems, a rattling cylinder and out of timing.
This old Colt 38 Special still works, but requires a caring owner.
Just one handgun and one that will last a lifetime and you can repair it yourself with little gunsmithing skills, that’s a service auto pistol. Glock, Hi Power, 1911 and CZ75 (and the clones made by reputable manufacturers) there are others good too but theses and the most successful, most widely spread designs.