The Age-Old Debate

Are revolvers out of date? Not hardly, says Sheriff Jim

posted on May 15, 2024
Sheriff Jim Wilson

I get pretty tired of the claims that the revolver is so yesterday when it comes to defensive tools for the armed citizen. Let’s get this straight: the armed citizen should choose the handgun that he or she can shoot the quickest, with the most accuracy and dependability. If that happens to be an semi-automatic pistol, that’s just fine. And, if it turns out to be a good revolver, the citizen should understand that is well armed.

While ammo capacity may be an issue with police and military, that is not necessarily the case with the armed citizen. The police and military must, by their oath, run to the gunfire; the armed citizen should be dedicated to getting away from it.

In reality, the first two shots you fire are the most important. You’ll look long and hard to find a case where two well placed shots failed to get the job done. Internet commandos like to talk about the gangs of attackers to justify their use of a high-capacity pistol. In the real world, if a fellow is faced with a gang of attackers, he needs something that is belt fed.

Equally, if not more, important is the use of movement and cover. You might keep in mind that a moving target is always harder to hit. And, while John Wayne never got behind anything, you would be well advised to.

A good research project for every armed citizen is to examine reports of actual gunfights involving armed citizens. What you will find, time and again, is that the fight is generally over in just a few seconds and with only a few shots being fired. Effective bullet placement trumps whatever guns the participants happen to be armed with. Crooks do not attack you in order to get into a gunfight; they want to get what they want with the least resistance. Taking a couple of bullets in the face is not part of their plan.

So, if you happen to be a revolver fan, you don’t owe an apology to anyone. Those six-shooters and five-shooters will get the job done; history proves it. They will get the job done, that is, if you do your part and work on your marksmanship, movement, and use of cover. And that is really your mission regardless of what you choose to carry.


Real Avid Speed Stand
Real Avid Speed Stand

First Look: Real Avid Speed Stand

Work on your long guns just about anywhere.

First Look: New Accessories from Federal Ammunition and Duluth Pack

Two iconic brands team up to create a new line of gear for gun owners.

Review: Gideon Optics Omega Reflex Sight

A lot of sight for not a lot of money.

Fightin' Iron: New Service

It may not have the celebrity of either its predecessor or its successor, but this revolver served with great merit.

First Look: Nextorch TA31 Tactical Searchlight

10,000 lumens in an easy to carry package.

Top USA Firearm Manufacturers Report

Who are the top firearms manufacturers in America?


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.