Revolvers have more or less fallen out of favor with modern police and military forces to the automatic pistol. However the revolver is an American mainstay and it will always be. The American fascination with the old west has done wonders for the revolver. Outside of nostalgia the revolver does have a few advantages over an automatic, and a few downsides.
Many will point out and say revolvers don’t jam, and that’s true. A modern auto will not jam with quality magazines and ammunition. So an immediate advantage will be the fact that a revolver can use the cheapest, dirtiest ammo you can find, and you do not need to worry about the magazines.
Revolvers can also fire magnum cartridges in a more compact package than the automatics. Speaking of calibers there is really only two that are affordable for a bulk purchase. The 38 Special and 357 Magnum are the only two revolver cartridges I could suggest for a revolver.
A 357 Magnum round is substantially more powerful than any of the big three auto cartridges. A 357 Magnum can also be used as a more effective hunting cartridge, doubling its potential uses. A 357 Magnum revolver can also fire a 38 Special round, making it softer shooting and easier to handle. Revolvers are also often inherently more accurate due to its fixed barrel design.
The largest disadvantage of revolvers is their limited capacity, typically 6 rounds, but can be stretched to 7, 8, or even 9 rounds in certain calibers. With a 357/38 you can top out at 8 rounds. Revolvers are typically slower to reload, but can be facilitated with speed loaders, or speed strips.
Examples of Modern Revolvers
SMITH AND WESSON R8 – This ultra modern revolver is capable of holding 8 rounds of 357 Magnum. Topped with an under barrel rail to attach lights or lasers. This revolver is expensive, but is an extremely capable weapon.
RUGER GP100 – The GP100 is Ruger’s duty sized six shot revolver chambered in 357 Magnum (Other calibers as well). The GP100 is not exactly a budget revolver, but is more than affordable for such a quality weapon. The GP100 is a classic design, and it’s built like a tank.