Revolver vs. Semi-Auto

Revolver vs. Semi-Auto

by Janice Talaroc

Every gun owner has their own opinion about which is best – revolver or semi-automatic.  Ultimately, only you can decide which will best fit your needs.  And, it is possible they may both fit.  Let’s take a look at some of the key points of each.


  • Simple, straight forward operation.
  • No slides to pull or safeties to remember.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Available in easy to conceal size and weights.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Grips are easily changed.
  • Ammunition capacity is limited, less than many semi-autos.
  • Smaller, lightweight models may produce more perceived recoil.


  • Ammunition capacity can be much higher – 15 rounds or more.
  • Available in polymer, aluminum or steel frames.
  • Less perceived recoil than revolver of equal weight.
  • Some models come with interchangeable grip pieces to fit a variety of hand sizes.
  • Faster to load.
  • Generally have better sights and may be better suited for range practice.
  • Manipulation of the slide, and malfunction clearing require practice.
  • Cleaning may be more complicated and require more time.

When considering a new firearm, first and foremost determine the primary intended use.  If possible, visit a local gun range that offers rentals.  Try before you buy.  And then, practice, practice, practice.  And practice some more.

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