Tactical Thoughts

Most people think revolvers are easy to shoot and operate, and for some reason they think this is especially true for women shooters. This is simply not the case, regardless of the shooter’s gender. The trigger on most revolvers is longer and heavier than the majority of semi-autos. – Tiger McKee

Read the rest of his column in today’s issue of The Tactical Wire.

7 thoughts on “Tactical Thoughts”

  1. Wow… I completely disagree. To me it sounds like he’s comparing one revolver to one semi-auto, and making assumptions from that.
    Yes, one or two particular malfunctions could happen in a revolver, such as rounds that come apart and block the cylinder from rotating. But I’ve never seen it happen.
    And yet, I’ve seen failure to feeds, double feeds, shells caught in the chamber, magazines that fall out, and so many other problems in a semiauto, all of which prevent you from firing.
    Trigger length on each depends on the gun. I’ve shot several revolvers that are much easier on the trigger than something like an S&W Sigma. Sure he says “most” but then uses it to make blanket assumptions. I’ve shot DAOs in both types and they’re essentially the same. Both types in single action have great triggers overall.

  2. >Most people think revolvers are easy to shoot and operate,

    Something I see all the time in Internet Gunforum (pooled ignorance) Land, right down there with “9vs40vs45” and “what one gun?”.. Different platforms, different procedures, different modes of failure. Different ergonomics. Neither platform is simple enough that it doesn’t have to be learned.

    In my limited experience, I tend to agree with Mr. McGee. Revolvers are point and click simple (but gee, so are Glocks, and XDs, and I can’t keep track of how many other modern autos) until you run through your 5 to 8 shots, and need to reload. Then it gets all fine-motor-skills fiddley.

  3. I wonder if this isn’t a misdiagnosis. From what I’ve seen, and YMMV, non-gunnies like revolvers because they’ve seen them umpteen times in movies and feel confident that they can operate them (and most of the time, they’re right). At least in my experience, talking about triggers or magazine capacity would get you blank stares and remarks like “Well, I don’t want it to go off accidentally” and “Why would I possibly need thirteen rounds in my own home?”

    Baby steps. If all they ever feel comfortable with is the J-frame, then at least they’ve got that. If they want to start working up to the Minimi, then that’s good, too.

  4. Yes, one or two particular malfunctions could happen in a revolver, such as rounds that come apart and block the cylinder from rotating. But I’ve never seen it happen.

    If you actually read the article, you would have read about a piece of carbon or unburnt powder or other debris getting between the cylinder and frame and grinding the works shut. I have seen this happen twice, and I’ve only owned one revolver.

  5. Does the revolver jam less frequently then a semi-auto pistol, certainly. However when the revolver jams, it JAMS and usually requires tools and time to correct. On the other hand, most semi auto jams can be corrected in under 5 seconds without tools.

  6. If you shoot a revolver in competition long enough, you’ll see some really weird stuff happen to your (or other guys) guns. You know how to tell if someone is a wheelgun shooter? He has a mallet and seven different screwdrivers in his range bag.

  7. Some additional thoughts, I have personally had the empty case slip under the extractor star on at least two occasions, it took a pair of pliers and several minutes to clear that jam. When I took LFI-1 in 1995, I also saw a first generation S&W 640 chambered in .357, jam up solid after firing 2 cylinders worth of .357 ammo. Cylinder refused to open or move, the owner had to send it to a gunsmith.

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